Amazing Applesauce Cake

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From the cinnamon-y apple-y smell while the cake is baking, to the spicy, sweet taste, applesauce cake is one of our very favorites! Like many of our favorite good ‘ole recipes, we’ve adapted it to make it a bit healthier and to add guaranteed wholesome ingredients…

Amazing Applesauce Cake

2 2/3 cup organic, all purpose flour

2 cups brown sugar, packed

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon organic sea salt

1 1/2 teaspoons Raggedy Hen Farm Baking Spice Blend

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce*

2 fresh eggs

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

1 cup raisins, chopped (optional)

*We use our home-canned applesauce, but you can use your favorite–chunky is best!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour one rectangle 13X9X2 inch pan or two round or square layer pans (8-9 inches). Measure flour by dip-level-our method and add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spice blend to a large mixing bowl. Stir dry ingredients together until well-blended.  Add butter, water and applesauce and mix for 2 minutes or so until well blended and smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add eggs. Beat 2 more minutes, scraping the bowl to keep things well incorporated. Finally, stir in optional walnuts and raisins by hand and pour into prepared pans.

Bake 35 to 45 minutes until knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pans before turning out on racks.  Frost with cream cheese or other frosting or dust with powdered sugar (our favorite!)

Easy Chocolate Truffles

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Are you still looking for the perfect gift to share with the neighbors? Your child’s teacher? Or maybe you’re just craving a bit of holiday chocolate decadence. Our chocolate truffle recipe only has a few ingredients and, other than the time for chilling and shaping, they go together quite quickly.  And, like all our recipes, they are easily adaptable to your tastes!

Easy Chocolate Truffles

1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips (you can use mint, dark, milk, whatever you like!)

1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or try rum, hazelnut, orange, etc.)

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

cocoa powder, fine coconut, chopped nuts, sprinkles, etc. for rolling

Pour the chocolate chips in a medium sized glass bowl.  Heat the cream until just simmering in a saucepan over medium heat.  Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and then cover with plastic wrap and let sit and melt for about 10 minutes. Take the plastic off and whisk up the cream and chocolate mixture until smooth (this won’t take very long). Add the extract of choice and the salt and stir.  Pour into a pie pan or 8 inch square cake pan and let cool for about 10 minutes before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating for at least 3 hours (can be overnight too)..

We use a teaspoon to scoop out 1 inch balls of the soft ganache. Roll in cocoa, chopped nuts, sprinkles, etc. shaping into balls.  Place on a parchment or waxed paper-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until set.  We store these in covered tins in the refrigerator.  They stay slightly soft and are oh, so rich and delicious!

 

Chocolate-Dipped Huckleberry Biscotti

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With the temperatures well below freezing and our entire corner of the world covered with more than a half-foot of snow, we’ve decided it is high time to start the holiday baking.  Inspired by some frozen locally-harvested (and downright delicious) huckleberries we purchased last week from Mycological Natural Products (where we also purchase local mushrooms), we created a to-die-for Biscotti recipe that looks as festive as they taste!  If you don’t have huckleberries, or can’t get them where you live, feel free to substitute frozen wild or cultivated blueberries…

Chocolate-Dipped Huckleberry Biscotti

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease (we used almond oil) two cookie/baking sheets

3 large eggs

1/4 cup sweet almond oil

1 1/4 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon extract

1 teaspoon hazelnut extract

1 1/2 cup thawed, frozen huckleberries

3 1/2 cup unbleached, all purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate, milk chocolate or chocolate of choice

Mix eggs,oil, sugar, and extracts together and beat until well incorporated.  Fold in huckleberries. Sift or mix flour, baking powder and sea salt together and fold into the wet ingredients.  Mix until incorporated.  Divide dough into two halves and shape into flattened logs. Put each log onto the lightly oiled cookie sheet and bake 20-25 minutes until cooked through and golden brown.

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Remove logs from oven and cool for 5-10 minutes on a rack.  When cool enough, slice into 1-1 1/2 inch slices and arrange these flat on the cookie sheets.  Bake for another 10 minutes and then remove and cool on racks.

Melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave (or in the top of a double boiler over boiling water).  Melt at 30 second intervals, stopping to stir and check the consistency.  When melted, dip half biscotti into melted chocolate or use a knife or spoon to coat one end of the cookies.  Allow to dry on racks until chocolate is firm again.

Once these cookies have cooled and the chocolate has hardened, store in an airtight container and enjoy!