In addition to yummy French onion and apple soup, last night’s dinner included two appetizers (courtesy Barefoot Contessa) and dessert (thanks, BrownEyedBaker). They were too good not to share, so here goes.
Bruschetta with Peppers and Cheese
- Sliced baguette
- Red and yellow pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp. sugar
- Basil leaves, thinly sliced
- Olive oil
- Cheese — feta, goat, or gorgonzola (I used feta)
Brush bread slices with olive oil and place in a 350 degree oven until lightly toasted. Saute bell peppers (I used half of each variety for 12 servings) until soft, then add sugar, basil and salt/pepper to taste. Spoon pepper mixture over bread and top with cheese. Return to oven until cheese is warm/melting, 3-5 minutes.
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (I substituted an additional stick of butter)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tsp red food coloring
- 1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter, shortening and both sugars on low speed until just combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy and smooth, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and the red food coloring and beat until just blended.
Add half of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk to the batter and beat on low until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining flour mixture and remaining ½ cup buttermilk and beat until completely combined.
Using a spoon, drop a tablespoon of batter onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or Silpat and repeat, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for about 10 minutes each, or until the cakes spring back when pressed gently. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cakes cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.
- 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium speed. Add the sugar and beat on low speed until combined. Add the vanilla and increase the speed to medium-high; beat until creamy and smooth, about 4 minutes.
To assemble: Spread the filling onto the flat side of one cake using a knife of spoon. Alternatively, you can use a pastry bag with a round tip to pipe the filling onto the cake [BrownEyedBaker did this, hers turned out much prettier than mine]. Top it with another cake, flat-side down. Repeat with the rest of the cakes and filling.
The roasted eggplant spread can be found here. It’s obviously a staple in my kitchen.