The Fantastic Mr. Feedbag

A website celebrating and enumerating Juneau, Alaska's food culture

Posts Tagged ‘dessert

Ritter’s Own Homemade Frangelico Hazelnut Ice Cream

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My friends are food geniuses. Lucky for me, they love cooking and invite me over for dinner. Sarah and Mike recently bought a house in the flats, and are making it gorgeous/livable. The inaugural RitterBrown Town dinner last weekend had a delicious menu, ending with this knock your socks and shoes off home made ice cream. I asked Sarah to send me the recipe to share with all you folks that love to make your own home made ice cream. Thank you, Sarah!

If you don’t have an ice cream machine, worry not. Check out David Lebovitz’s machineless ice cream how-to. I’m sure you can adapt this delicious recipe for all kinds of ice cream making methods.


– 2 cups heavy cream
– 1 cup whole milk
– 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, divided
– 2 large eggs
– 2/3 cup of Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
– liberal pinch of salt
– about 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted

Equipment: an ice cream maker


Bring cream, milk, and 1/2 cup brown sugar to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring.
Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking. Return to saucepan and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until mixture coats back of spoon and registers 175°F on an instant-read thermometer (do not boil).

Immediately strain custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl. Stir in Frangelico and nuts and chill custard at least 6 hours.

Freeze in ice cream maker, then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, about 2 hours.

•Custard can be chilled up to 24 hours.
•Ice cream keeps 1 week.


The Best Wheat Free Granola Bars, ever!

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Wheat Free Granola Bars

Going to school full time and working at a school makes meal planning difficult. Commuting to and from school for graduate school and student teaching makes meal planning essential. I always make my lunch in the morning or the night before. I don’t have time to leave school for a quick fix meal on the go during lunch time, so packing good food is important. I’ve noticed that on days that I go running, that my energy is pretty low after a full day of student teaching.

Have you guys seen the price of wheat free products? They’re ridiculous! Seriously, I can’t rationalize (or afford) paying seven dollars for a box of lame bars or cereal. I’m stubborn and I love whole foods. Which means that my life is a little more difficult, but often a lot more delicious.

I think these little granola bars are the perfect after school snack for days when I’m training for my first 10K run. I’m happy to report that this last week I was doing four mile runs!

My inspiration for these bars came from a recipe via All Recipes that I modified to suit my tastes and wheat free ways.

Don’t forget to cut these bad boys after letting them sit for a couple of minutes! If you don’t cut them into long rectangles, they’ll turn into one giant rad granola bar of goodness.

– 2 cups rolled oats
– 1/2 cup of maple syrup
– 1/2 cup of olive oil
– 1/2 cup of apple sauce
– 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon of allspice
– 1 teaspoon of nutmet
– 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose GF flour
– 3/4 cup raisins (optional)
– 1/4 cup of dried apricots, diced
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 cup of shredded coconut
– 1/2 cup of walnuts, chopped
– 1/2 cup of pecans, chopped
– 1 egg, beaten
– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


– Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

– Generously grease a 9×13 inch baking pan (I used olive oil to grease my pan).

– In a large bowl, mix together the oats, spices, gluten free flour, raisins, apricots, pecans, walnuts and salt.

– Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients: pour in the maple syrup, apple sauce, beaten egg, oil and vanilla.

– Mix well using your hands. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.

– Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges.

– Cool for 2 – 4 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm.

– Don’t let these bad boys cool to much before cutting.

Variations on a theme & serving suggestions: These granola bars are versatile, allowing for different ingredients. Imagine if you will peanut butter & chocolate chip granola bars, dried cherry & almond granola bars, or banana & walnut granola bars. All totally possible by tweaking a few things with this recipe.

These bars are so decadent you could serve them as a desert with a little scoop of sorbet or ice cream. Instant win!

Happy Eating!

Mint Buttercream Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes

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mint choco

Even though I’m still off the hard stuff (gluten, sugar, most dairy). I still occasionally bust out some goodness for friends and co-workers. One of my co-workers told a story about being a little kid and asking for a lemon cake with mint frosting. Her parents tried to explain that it might not be the best tasting thing in the world and ended up making her two cakes for her birthday. One cake was lemon cake with a lemon buttercream frosting and the other was a chocolate cake with mint frosting. I made these mint frosted chocolate cupcakes for my friend’s baby shower last month.

A warning when using peppermint extract: the stuff is strong! Seriously a drop or maybe two will do – mix and taste the frosting to make sure it’s not too strong. I made the mistake of using a quarter teaspoon on this batch and the frosting tasted a little too toothpaste-like. Otherwise these cupcakes were full of awesome.

I have to give a shout-out to All Recipes for the simple chocolate cupcake recipe.


– 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
– 2 teaspoons baking powder
– 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
– 1/8 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons butter, softened
– 1 1/2 cups white sugar
– 2 eggs
– 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 cup milk

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
– Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
– In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla.
– Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk; beat well.
– Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.
– Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
– Frost when cool.

Mint Buttercream Frosting:
(Thanks to Big Oven!)

– 1 cup unsalted butter, (2 sticks)
– 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
– 1/4 cup of buttermilk
– 1 or 2 little dashes of natural peppermint extract
– a couple of dashes of good old fashion green food coloring

– Beat butter until creamy, scrape bowl.
– Add 4 cups of sifted powdered sugar, milk, food coloring, and peppermint extract, beat until combined.
– Add more powdered sugar as needed to get piping consistency.

Written by Patrice Helmar

June 13, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Bars

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There are times where canned clearance organic pumpkin pie filling and boosting office morale call for creative measures. One of those times happened last week when I felt the need to make something nice to share with my co-workers. I racked my brain thinking of what do with pumpkin pie filling that wasn’t exactly pie: muffins? cupcakes? tartlets?

The stray bag of graham cracker crumbs left over from my dramatic huckleberry cheesecake incident looked rather lonely lying in wait with its healthier companions on my pantry shelf. I felt a twinge of guilt each morning when I’d by-pass the bag of graham cracker crumbs for my healthy friend, oatmeal. I wanted to finally give that little bag of graham cracker crumbs that could a real opportunity to shine. My spring-form pan and I aren’t on speaking terms after our last messy dance around the kitchen. Pumpkin cheesecake bars made in my faithful Pyrex pan seemed like the path of least resistance.

Those of you that scour the Internet know that the world-wide web is a choose your own adventure when it comes to recipes. You can go up-town and check out the now defunct Gourmet Magazine online archive for recipes, cruise the curated food blog recipes on Saveur, pick through the wealth of online information and recipes known as Chow, or just get lucky playing the google recipe slot machine.

I hit the jackpot with this recipe I found on a little online version of New England’s Yankee Magazine.

Recipe from the Yankee Magazine that I tweaked a bit to fit my ingredients:

Crust Ingredients:

– 1 cup of crumbled graham crackers or pre-crumbled graham cracker mix
– 1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
– 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


– Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 8-inch square pan.
– Break the crackers into a food processor. (or use the pre-packaged crumbs)
– Add the brown sugar and cinnamon, and process to a fine meal.
– Add the melted butter and process again.
– Press the crust into the bottom and slightly up the sides of the pan.
– Bake 10 minutes, then cool.
– Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Filling Goodies:

– 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
– 2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
– 1 large egg
– 1 egg yolk
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 tablespoon unbleached, all-purpose flour
– 1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg
– 3/4 cup canned pumpkin (I used organic pumpkin pie filling and it worked just fine)
– 1/3 cup heavy cream

Filling How-To:

– Cream the cream cheese, brown sugar, egg, and egg yolk.
– Blend in the vanilla.
– Blend in the remaining ingredients until smooth.
– Pour into the crust and bake for 45 minutes.
– Cool on a rack.
– Refrigerate at least 4 hours before slicing.

Serving Instructions:

I topped my pumpkin cheesecake bars with homemade pear citrus preserves that my aunt Ann had given me. The bars on their own look a little plain coming out of the oven. If you don’t have an awesome aunt that makes homemade preserves, a freshly made whipped cream topping will knock this dessert out of the park.

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Mom’s Ginger Molasses Cookies for AB

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Ginger Cookies

A co-worker brought these amazing rounds of delight to our office the other day. Dear Reader, I advise you to bake these cookies immediately, leave work if need be, call in sick or hungry, borrow spices from your neighbor, and make this recipe for your family & friends.

Imagine if you will, a cookie in Juneau, Alaska not bearing the consistency of a hockey puck. AB’s cookies are round, dimpled, slightly squishy, fragrant with notes of citrus, ginger, clove, molasses, and cinnamon. AB’s mom sent this recipe and encouraged him to integrate orange zest into the cookies, a wise addition making this dessert worthy of documentation.


– 2 cups of flour
– 1/2 cup of vegetable shortening
– 2 tsp. baking soda
– 1/4 cup unsalted butter (or salted butter works too)
– 2 tsp. ground ginger
– 1 cup of dark brown sugar
– 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
– 1 egg
– 1 tsp. ground cloves
– 1/4 cup dark molasses
– 1 tsp. of salt
– 2 tsp. orange zest (or more)
– handful of granulated sugar for dusting


– Sift the dry ingredients and set aside.

– Combine shortening, butter, and sugar mixing until fluffy.

– Add egg, molasses, and orange zest. Beat until blended, add flour mixture, and mix.

– Refrigerate for one hour.

– Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

– Butter baking sheet or use parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.

– With wet hands roll dough into balls 1 1/4 inch round and roll balls into the granulated sugar.

– Place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart and bake for approximately 12 minutes

– Let cookies cool for 1 hour, if you can.

Yield: 2 1/2 dozen (easy recipe to double)

Serving suggestion:

Serve with a stove top espresso drink made with the best coffee you can buy, a cup of fine black tea, or a spicy gorgeous glass of red wine.

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Written by Patrice Helmar

March 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Polaroid Birthday Cake

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my polaroid birthday cake

Found this photograph while cruising Flickr for gold nuggets of photo goodness this afternoon. It’s amazing on so many different levels of amazing. It is a real polaroid photo of the cake! Peter, the photographer whose girlfriend made the cake for his birthday commented on this post! I still don’t really know Peter, but that’s kind of the cool thing about the Interweb. You can discover other photographers, artists, cooks, etc. Click on the photo if you want to hook into Peter’s flickr stream and check out his photography. Looks like dude rocks a Polaroid land camera too!

Dear Feedbag Reader, what’s your favorite kind of cake?

Written by Patrice Helmar

February 13, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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I love carrot cake. I love cupcakes, they’re delicious. Do you love carrot cake and cupcakes? I hope so. Are you there Internet? It’s me, Patrice.

I searched for a recipe online for a straight up non-sugar, fruit or honey sweetened carrot cake recipe that didn’t sound like it would end up like a brick. There’s a lot of information out there in this world of Internet fancy food blogs and gourmet food sites. People are totally creative and pretty much awesome when it comes to alternative ingredients. Honestly, I think stevia takes gnarly and I’m not a big fan of soy flour: just throwing it out there, if you like those things by all means eat up!

I’ve discovered that using a sifter while working with whole wheat flour is of the utmost importance when making baked goods. This would seem like a pretty common sense, food not bombs kind of educated conclusion. Sifting helps break down whole wheat flour a bit so that your goodies come out less like weapons and more like delicious.

1 cup of whole wheat flour, sifted
1 cup of wheat bran, sifted as much as you can
1/2 cup of ground almonds
1 1/2 cup of grated carrots
1/2 cup of raisins
1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup of low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup of canola, olive, or vegetable oil
1/4 cup of honey
1 juice of an orange, plus the zest of the orange divided into 2 parts (1/2 for frosting 1/2 for cakes)
1 1/2 tablespoons of molasses

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees
– Fill a 12 count muffin tray with liners, or grease
– use your food processor to finely grind some almonds or chop the heck out of ’em
– grate carrots or use a food processor for fast grated carrot fun
– sift whole wheat flour & bran into a large bowl with baking soda, salt, & spices
– Whisk 2 eggs together with molasses & honey, then add to flour mixture
– Wash and zest your orange before juicing it, reserve zest and juice
– Add orange juice and half of your orange zest to flour mixture
– Add carrots, raisins, oil and mix well
– Portion out carrot cake mixture into muffin tin using about a large spoonful for each
– Bake for 20 minutes
– Allow cupcakes to cool before frosting

Frosting Ingredients:
– A little over 1/2 a package, or 5 ounces of low-fat cream cheese at room temperature
– 1 Tbsp butter
– 1/3 cup of agave
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 1 tsp of orange juice

– Whip cream cheese, butter, agave, vanilla, and orange juice together with the whisk attachment of an upright mixer for 5 minutes
– Refrigerate frosting mixture for at least 20 minutes in a pastry bag , or a plastic bag to be converted into a pastry bag by cutting an edge off for frosting cupcakes.

Serving suggestion:
Delicious after dinner with a stovetop cup of espresso, even more delicious in the morning as a sweet treat breakfast.

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