Black and Blueberry Crisp

20130516-225556.jpg

My father was gifted some beautiful blueberries today, and right when I saw them, I knew I had to make a sweet dessert with them. At first, I was contemplating making a blueberry muffin, but the more my innovation began to churn, the more I wanted to attempt something a bit more difficult. Then it stunned me – a blueberry wine reduction. A blueberry crisp, ureka! What a wonderful treat for a warm summer night.

I did some research before attempting, and followed the basic jist of these recipes:

http://iadorefood.com/recipes/blueberry-crumble/

http://half-bakedbaker.blogspot.com/2008/06/blueberry-nectarine-crisp-and-award.html

One of my favorite desserts is apple crisp (mostly the crumb topping). I had at least half a bottle of a beautiful, locally fermented blackberry wine that I have desperately been wanting to use in a baked dessert, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to test the waters.

This dish is seriously delicious. I was hesitant to put more crumble on top before baking, and I wish I did! The blackberry wine gives it a unique fruity and sweet undertone which makes this dessert truly one of a kind. The cookie dough type crumble adds a different texture that complimented nicely with the fresh berries. Top with a vanilla ice cream or eat it directly out of the dish – the choice is yours.

cup2

Black and Blueberry Crisp

Crumble topping:

1/2 cup unsalted butter (8 tbsp)

1/2 cup light brown sugar (not packed down)

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup Honey Maid graham cracker crumbs

3/4 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (I used vietnamese cinnamon that I purchased from Whole Foods)

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Filling:

1/4 cup Blackberry wine

1/2 cup granulated sugar

16 ounces (2 cups) fresh blueberries, washed

6 ounces (0.75 cup) fresh blackberries, washed

Directions:

1. Set oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9×9 ceramic baking dish lightly with unsalted butter.

2. Make the crumble topping and set it aside:

  1. Cream together the butter and brown sugar in a stand up (or hand held) mixer.
  2. With a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, mix in the flour and graham cracker crumbs until they are well incorporated into the batter.
  3. Fold in the oats.
  4. Add cinnamon and nutmeg.

Tip: Use your hands if necessary. You will not only be able to see if the texture of the dough is forming correctly, but it will also be easier to incorporate all the ingredients.

The topping should be very similar to a cookie dough. Do not fret! The dough will be moist, but it will bake through.

3. Make the berry reduction:

  1. On low to medium-low heat, add wine and sugar to a medium sized sauce pan.
  2. Let it thicken (come to a light boil) and make a simple syrup. (note: this is what I SHOULD have done, but added the berries a minute or so too early)
  3. Gently toss in blackberries and blueberries to the syrup. Let the mixture reduce and start to bubble around the edges of the saucepan.

4. Add the berry reduction to the ceramic dish.

5. Evenly sprinkle the “crumble” dough on top. Make sure the entire dish is covered with the crumble. (Seriously, you will want to, because it is absolutely delicious!)

6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the topping becomes a golden brown and the filling begins to bubble. Let it cool for a minute or two, and enjoy!

Update 5/19: Refrigerate up to 3 to 4 days at most. The cookie crumb topping (after 3 days) has retained its texture and has not gotten mushy by any means. The syrup has set and it looks just as delicious as it did after being baked in the oven.

berryy

berry2

oven

20130516-225639.jpg

cup

At the Heart of Every Orange is a Creamsicle

Minneola Orange Creamsicle Cookies

get-attachment-75

get-attachment-78

One thing I noticed about this recipe was that it did not make mention of vanilla extract. I found that quite odd, and still decided to take a chance on them. After making my adaptations (in bold below), I cannot imagine what the cookie would have been like missing an emulsion or extract. In addition, I was a little worried that 2 1/4 cups of flour would prevent the cookies from being chewy, and make them more cake-like, however that did not seem to be the case. I guess that is how it goes – you risk the upset to get where you want to be, and in this case, it was to experiment and give it a go no matter how it turned out. Luckily, they baked wonderfully!

Adapted from: http://www.sprinklewithflour.com/2012/02/orange-creamsicle-cookies.html

(I am almost positive this is not an adapted recipe {only by the change of substituting white chocolate chips for vanilla chips}, but merely a replica, or an adoption of a recipe, found in The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook, but I will give this blogger credit anyway.)

Original recipe: http://www.bakespace.com/recipes/detail/Orange-Vanilla-Chip-Cookies/9980/

get-attachment-69

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Dash of ground cinnamon

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

brown egg (Eggland’s Best)

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/8 tsp orange bakery emulsion (which I found at HomeGoods)

Zest of 2 Minneola oranges [about 4 to 5 tbsp] (I really enjoy the bright, orange color of them, but its up to preference)

Juice from 1/2 of a zested orange

1 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk together and set aside.

get-attachment-72

3. In a separate large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

4. Add egg and beat until combined.

get-attachment-74

5. Add vanilla extract and orange bakery emulsion (optional).

6. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed until well incorporated.

7. Add orange zest and orange juice and beat to distribute.

get-attachment-73

get-attachment-76

8. Stir in white chocolate chips.

get-attachment-71

9. Use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to drop in rounded spoonfuls on cookie sheets, leaving plenty of room between cookies to allow for some spreading (at least 2 inches).

10. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes until light golden brown. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheets and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

get-attachment-67

Verdict: 

This recipe needs a flavoring extract and/or an emulsion. Maybe it is just my preference to add an ingredient or two that would seemingly bring out the flavors out a bit more, but I was worried the dough would have been too thick and dense to bake evenly. The white chocolate chips added a smoothness that without, the cookie would have been missing an underlying sweet tone. It adds a nice depth of texture, and eases any acidity. The ones I experimented with, disregarding the white chocolate chips, were still tasty, but were a bit too pungent for my liking. I am not much of an orange girl (although I am definitely fruity) and these really drove my taste buds wild. These cookies reminded me of being at summer day camp – in the midsts of the moments when we would concoct ice cream sundaes and during the afternoons when we would receive popsicles, splitting them in half, and trading half of one for half a vanilla popsicle with amongst one another, to make our own mix and matched creamsicles. Overall, this recipe needed a bit of adapting, but was surprisingly delightful. For a nice spring or summery treat, this cookie would lend very well to a vanilla ice cream or a strong cup of coffee.

get-attachment-77