Oh Boy, have you every been to New York? The city is fast-paced, busy, and amazing in every way. I found myself looking forward to each meal on my weekend away. This place has some intense food. My favorite food of all time: bagels and lox, seems to be on every corner of New York City.
Let me just paint a picture for you: a huge bagel, as big as your face. It is seasoned with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and onion powder: everything spices. Scallion infused cream cheese is glopped on. Despite being drenched in cheese, the scallions maintain their crunch. Crunchy and tangy onions enhance the everything spices and give the dish a snap. Layers of pink nova smoked salmon is piled on the sandwich. The salty and savory nature of the fresh fish balance the beautiful vegetables. Also, the famous New Jersey tomatoes under the salmon gives it more of a push if freshness. Easily the most delicious bagel and lox I’ve had in my life. It puts my hometown Einstein bagel’s lox to shame.
Whether Chinatown dim sum, Rockefeller center French pastries, tomato and burrata salad with balsamic reductions and fleur de sel at Mastro’s, authentic Sicilian pizza in midtown, or cornbread madelines with homemade salted caramel dipping sauce at Blue Smoke Barbeque, New York is the culinary capital of the nation.
Simple chocolate cake iced with classic peanut butter buttercream, dressed with chocolate ganache. These were loved as expected. Nothing too exciting, just rich and delicious.
Half of these are apple butter macarons and the other half, pumpkin macarons. French macarons are so trendy right now so people were very excited to try these. Less people enjoyed them than expected. They are an intensely rich cookie. Macarons are an almond meringue cookie filled with creams or jams.
Double chocolate and cranberry cookies. Nothing all too memorable about these. They were good but it was interesting how many people turned their noses at chocolate and cranberry. Fruity and rich. It’s match made in heaven… right?
Pumpkin and brown butter mini cupcakes with salted caramel butter cream. HOLY COW… YOU HAVEN’T LIVED IF YOU HAVEN’T HAD HOMEMADE CARAMEL. Homemade caramel is a serious game changer. Caramel sauce, caramel lollipops, caramel apples, caramel corn, caramel hot chocolate… the list goes on. This recipe is flawless and the salted caramel sauce is something that just makes me so incredibly happy.
Please try making your own caramel. It will change your life.
Life Changing Caramel Sauce
2 cups granulated sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tablespoon sea salt
1. Heat the sugar over medium high-heat in the bottom of a heavy 2-3 quart saucepan. When the sugar starts to melt, start whisking the sugar. Be patient and DO NOT ADD ANY LIQUIDS: it will melt on it’s own. The sugar will clump up, but keep whisking. It will continue to melt. When the sugar is melted, stop whisking. You can swirl the pan to move the sugar around.
2. Continue cooking the sugar until it reaches a deep amber color. Make sure you watch the pan very closely. This is where it is easy to burn the caramel. You want the caramel to reach 350 degrees F. I don’t use a candy thermometer (I just watch for the right color) but if you have one, this is where you can use it)
3. As soon as the sugar reaches the dark amber color, carefully add the butter. Whisk until butter is melted.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour in the heavy cream. Whisk until cream is incorporated and caramel is smooth. Whisk in the sea salt. Do not use iodized salt. Sea salt is the only way to go here.
5. Let the caramel sauce cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Pour the caramel into a Tupperware container and refrigerate. (Will thicken when refrigerated)
Banana muffins with an oat topping and a sugar glaze. With leftover glaze from the coffee cake, and brown bananas on my kitchen counter, I had to whip these up. A big favorite with my dad, he at four in one night. These were fabulous. Bananas have become one of my favorite ingredients: creamy, sweet, and very flavorful. Full of potential.
Pumpkin coffee cake with a crumb topping. These were a HUGE HIT. One teacher continues to talk about it daily. The only issue I ran into was, since it was an egg-less recipe, the cake didn’t firm up like I may have liked so the very center was a little raw. However, it was a simple fix. I will definitely be making these again.