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Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Squares for Bonnie

Leith Hall bed and breakfast lemon squares

Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Squares for Bonnie

Bonnie stayed with us last weekend and had these lemon squares for Leith Hall bed and breakfast lemon squaresteatime. I always serve something chocolate and something non-chocolate at teatime. Otherwise the guests rebel.

These are very easy to make. You could also use two or three packages of cream cheese, which will make lemon flavored cheesecake. You can sprinkle the squares with powdered sugar to serve, or you could decorate them with candied violets or rose petals.

preheat oven to 350 F.

Crust

1 ½ sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter, melted

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 ½ cups flour

Mix the crust ingredients together and turn into an 8”x8” or 9’x9′ metal baking pan, lined with cooking parchment. Press the crumbs into an even crust on the bottom of the pan. A small measuring cup works well for this.

Filling

1 8 oz. Package of cream cheese

4 eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

¼ cup flour

2/3 cup Meyer lemon juice or regular lemon juice.

Grated zest of ½ lemon

Directions

Beat the cream cheese in an electric mixer, scraping the sides regularly, until the cream cheese is soft and smooth. Beat in eggs, ,one at a time, beating well after each addition, to avoid lumps. Then beat in all of the other ingredients and pour the mixture on top of the crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until just colored around the edges. Do not brown.

Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate ’till cold. Loosen the cooking parchment. Turn the cake onto a cutting board, peel off the cooking parchment, then turn again onto a serving plate,

Cut into squares with a small knife dipped into water between cuts.

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Little Chocolate Cakes for Tea

This recipe is for Jackie. I serve these little chocolate cakes for teatime, using two silicone baking pans that make small straight-sided cakes. It would work as well in cupcake pans, or in two nine-inch cake pans, or in a Bundt pan. I like to soak cakes in a little simple syrup (one third cup sugar and one third cup water, brought to a boil plus a little vanilla) but it isn’t necessary.

Chocolate Cakes for Tea

2 cups flouralmond pound cake

2 cups sugar

¾ cup Dutch process cocoa (I use Droste’s or Van Houten)

2 tsp. Baking powder

1 ½ tsp. Baking soda

½ tsp. Salt

1 tsp espresso powder or coffee extract

1 cup milk

½ cup canola oil

2 eggs

1 Tbs. Vanilla extract

1 cup water.

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Beat the eggs, milk, oil, vanilla extract together. Beat the flour mixture into the liquid mixture. Beat in the water. Pour into greased pans. (greased and floured if not using silicone pans).

Bake 30-35 minutes for 9” layers, or about 12 minutes for cupcakes or mini-cakes, about 40 minutes for a bundt pan. I test them before the estimated time. Cake will spring back when touched if it is done.

I top each little cake with chocolate icing made of 1/3 cup butter melted with 1 cup of bittersweet chocolate.

If you’d like to sample our teatime treats, give us a call at Leith Hall bed and breakfast in Cape May, NJ. 

We look forward to seeing you.

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Cape May B&B Pumpkin Apricot Cake

Cape May B&B

CAPE mAY B&BThis is another recipe for Millie and her family. We served this pumpkin apricot cake for teatime while she was here last week, and she asked for the recipe.  I always like desserts that include two ingredients that are similar colors but different flavors, like honeydew and green grapes, chocolate and coffee, and this pumpkin and apricot cake.

 

Cape May B&B Pumpkin Apricot Cake

3 1/2 c. all-purpose flourcAPE mAY B&B
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. each nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon
1 1/2 c. each granulated sugar and packed brown sugar
1 c. oil
2 c. canned pumpkin
4 eggs
2 cups dried apricots, cut up

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Add the sugars, mixing well.

Mix dry ingredients with the oil and pumpkin, stirring until well combined.

Cape May bed and breakfastAdd eggs, one at a time, blending thoroughly. Stir in apricots. Pour into 2 greased and floured bundt pans. (I use small-ish silicone pans)

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until cake springs back when prodded with your finger.. (I start testing after 35 minutes) Cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Place on wire rack to cool.

So come visit us at our Cape May B&B and have some of my teatime treats !Cape May b&b

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Leith Hall Mexican Wedding Cake

Cape May bed and breakfast

 

We recently had two sisters as guests, Phoebe and Joann, who were a delight to talk to. Phoebe told me about a cake that she makes that isCape May bed and breakfast incredibly simple to make, very rich, and pleases all of her guests. She was right. She knows her stuff. It’s called Mexican Wedding Cake, though I suspect that it has nothing to do with Mexican weddings. It is made with an entire large can of crushed pineapple, and it looks like the batter will produce a light-colored cake. But it doesn’t. It produces a very dark, caramelized cake that is delicious when served with cream cheese icing.

Our recent guests, Erik and Lisa, had some and Lisa asked for the recipe – so here it is. Thank you Phoebe and enjoy it Lisa.

Mexican Wedding Cake

2 c. all [purpose flour
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2Tbs. Baking soda
1 tsp. Vanilla extract (I use vanilla paste)Cape May Bed and Breakfast
1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple DO NOT DRAIN
1 cup. Roughly chopped pecans
9′ x13” metal baking pan, lined with parchment
350 F. 35 minutes

Cream Cheese frosting
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter
8 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese
1 Tbs. Vanilla extract (I use vanilla paste)
3 cups powdered confectioner’s sugar

To make cake, mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl by hand. Turn into the baking dish and bake.Cape May bed and Breakfast

To make icing – Beat all of the ingredients in an electric mixer in order, starting with the butter. Beat until light and fluffy. Spread onto completely cooled cake.

Try making this cake youirsself. It’s incredibly simple! Or, come visit us at Leith Hall and I’ll make it.

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Author Visits Leith Hall

Author Stef Hoina

This past week, we had a guest at Leith Hall , Stefanie Hoina, who was delightful to talk to. It turns out that she is a writer and has just had her first young adult novel published.Leith Hall b&b


If you know a teen/pre-teen girl, or are just one at heart, grab a copy of my first YA novel, Kissing Atticus Primble….. It’s a typical teen love story….until it isn’t. Available on Amazon and B&N, but using the link below supports my small, independent publisher! Thanks for your support! http://www.whimsicalpublications.com/stephanie_hoina/Kissing_Atticus_Primble.htmlCape May Bed & Breakfast

I’ve never thought of myself as a pre-teen girl at heart – but if you are looking for a gift for just such a girl, check it out. Oh, and by the way, come visit us at Leith Hall.

 

 

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Dale’s Chocolate Peppermint Sandwich Cookies

chocolate peppermint cookies

I’ve had a recipe for peppermint cookies on this blog before, but these are different from the earlier ones. Our guest, Dale, wrotechocolate peppermint cookies and asked me to post the recipe for last week’s peppermint sandwich cookies. They look like Oreo’s on steroids, but taste much better.

I make them medium size, then make sandwich cookies with the quick peppermint butter-cream.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

1 ¼ cup (2 1/2 sticks) butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla paste
2 cups flour
¾ cup Dutch cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

chocolate peppermint cookiesBeat the butter and sugar together until they are fluffy. Beat in eggs and extracts. Mix the flour, cocoa, soda and salt together and beat the mixture into the butter mixture. Drop by tablespoons full onto parchment lined cookie sheets. I use a scoop to get exactly even size domes. Bake for 9 minutes at 350F. Cool on cookie sheets, then again on cookie racks.

For the peppermint cream.

1 stick (1/2 cup)  unsalted butter, creamed in an electric mixer

4 cups powdered sugar

1 Tablespoon peppermint extract

a few tablespoons of waterchocolate peppermint cookies

Cream the butter ’till light and fluffy. Beat in the extract and powdered sugar, one cup at a time. If the mixture doesn’t make frosting, beat in water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is creamy and frosting consistency. You could add a tiny drop of red food coloring if you want the frosting to be pink. I seldom do.

chocolate peppermint cookiesWhen the cookies are thoroughly cold, put a dollop of frosting on one, then top with another and twist the sandwich to distribute the filling evenly. Keep cool ’till serving.

Or, the other wy to get these cookies is to come visit us at Leith Hall for a romantic weekend away.

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Once Again – Eat Drink and be Merry, for Tomorrow we Diet!

Romantic Cape May

eat drink and be merryI haven’t used Eat Drink and be Merry, for Tomorrow we Diet for a year now. That’s because it’s been almost a year since the last Cape May Restaurant Week. I know that a lot of my guests come to town to eat in Cape May’s wonderful restaurants. From June 1 to June 8, you can do it for less! Once again, some of the best restaurants in town are participating.

410 Bank Street for Cajun Creole and Caribbean food  – Union eat drink and be merryPark for exotic ingredients like elk, bison, and fois gras –  Fresco’s for Northern Italian food – Cucina Rosa for Southern Italian food,  and several restaurants with a wide variety of dishes  –  Alethea’s, Tisha’s, and the Mad Batter. You probably already know that all of the best restaurants on the Jersey Shore are here in Cape May, but go to the website to see this once a year bargain.

Come stay with us at Leith Hall, so I can feed you my breakfasts and afternoon tea to complete your sybaritic experience.

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Maple Pecan Squares

Maple Pecan Squares

This is the second recipe that Lindsay asked for. They are maplebed and breakfast Cape May syrup flavored cake squares with a handful of crushed pecans in the cake. Of course, you could use any nuts in the cake, or no nuts, or raisins, or any chopped dried fruit. You could also substitute honey for the maple syrup for a different flavor.

2 cups all-purpose flourbed and breakfast Cape May NJ

3/4 cup oat bran

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoons baking sodaCape May bed and breakfast

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup well-shaken buttermilk

1/3 cup maple syrupCape May NJ bed and breakfast

1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 large eggs

1 cup (I use my hand to measure, so it’s probably closer to 2 cups) pecans

For the icing:

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

About 1 cup maple syrup

 

350 F.  8”x8” metal baking pan, lined with cooking parchment and sprayed with cooking spray.

Whisk together flour, oat bran, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, maple syrup, butter, and eggs. Add to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until it springs back when lightly prodded with a fingertip.

To make the icing, beat the confectioner’s sugar with an electric mixer adding enough maple syrup to make it flow.

Cool cake. Turn out onto serving platter. Cut into sixteen squares, and then drizzle with maple icing.

 

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Peach Upside Down Cake for Lindsay

Peach Upside Down cake for Lindsay

Cape May bed and breakfastLindsay asked for the recipe for this peach upside down coffee cake which I served at teatime last week. I cut it into four squares by four squares – for sixteen servings. The cake is plain, but the melted butter and sugar syrup takes care of that. I’ll post the other recipes that Lindsay requested afterbed and breakfast Cape May this one.

For the upside-down topping:

1 stick unsalted butter

1 cup brown sugar

Sliced peachesCape May bed and breakfast

For the cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour,

½ cup granulated sugar

1 Tbsp baking powderbed and breakfast Cape May New Jersey

½ tsp salt

1 cup whole milk

1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

4 oz unsalted butter (½ stick)

1/3 cup sour cream

First, line an 8”x8” metal baking pan with cooking parchment and spray with cooking spray like Pam. Melt the stick of butter for the topping and pour it into the baking pan. Sprinkle the cup of brown sugar on top of the melted butter, then arrange the peach slices (or any other fruit) on top of the butter and sugar mixture.

Mix all of the cake ingredients together in a bowl, then pour on top of the fruit. Smooth the top and bake at 350 F. for about 20 to 25 minutes until it is thoroughly baked. If the middle of the top seems soft, turn the oven down and return the cake to the oven for a few minutes ‘till the middle is firm. When it’s done, remove the cake from the oven and immediately reverse it onto a serving platter with a rim. Do this by putting the serving platter on top of the cake, upside down. Then flip the whole thing over. The sugar/butter topping will run everywhere, so the serving platter must have a rim.

Remove the metal baking pan and peel off the paper, being careful not to burn yourself on the molten lava of butter and sugar.

Or, you can skip the whole baking experience and come visit us at Leith Hall and let me bake for you.

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Leith Hall ROMANTIC GETAWAY TRUFFLES

Chocolate championship at Leith Hall
photo by Edward Lea AC Press

We just had our third annual Spring Chocolate Championship yesterday and, once again, I didn’t win. You may remember that Chocolate Championship was my suggestion several years ago for MAC to start a new tour during Spring Festival. Any tour is improved by adding chocolate. Last year I made Julia Childs’ chocolate mousse, which is the best chocolate mousse ever, and yet I didn’t win. I consider it an insult to Julia Childs’ memory . (Maybe we can get Meryl Streep to protest.) This year, Anna Marie McMain won with with her Chocolate Delight. It must have been spectacular, ’cause my truffles were pretty darn good. Richard Degner wrote a very nice article in the Atlantic City Press about the contest and Leith Hall. You can have chocolate treats every day at teatime, if you make a reservation.

LEITH HALL

ROMANTIC GETAWAY TRUFFLES

I started making these chocolate truffles to include in our Romantic Getaway package. The basic recipe is incredibly easy, and depends on really good ingredients. The different flavors are created with extracts.

32 oz. (1 quart) heavy whipping cream

32 oz. by weight of bittersweet chocolate

1 Tbs. organic extract.

Melt the chocolate in the cream.  Use 60% to 72% chocolate. Use a very good brand Romantic Getaway chocolate trufflesbecause the quality of the truffles is entirely dependent upon the quality of the chocolate. I use Valrhona, Valor, Green and Black, Guittard or Ghirardelli. Don’t use Hershey’s or Nestlé’s.  You can microwave it for one minute at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula between minutes. Or you can melt the chocolate in an uncovered metal bowl over simmering water. Or you can melt it in a 200 degree Fahrenheit   oven.  It doesn’t matter. The important thing is not to overheat the mixture and to stir often.

Stir in the extract. I always use organic extract from the health food store. It really does taste better. You can use orange extract, peppermint extract, coconut extract, almond extract, or any other that you like. You can also double or triple the amount of extract.

Cool the melted chocolate mixture (ganache) in the refrigerator until it thickens. Whip it in a stand mixer. It will double in size and fluff in a few minutes. Scoop  the ganache into little balls with a little scoop. Put the balls onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate. Decorate the truffles by tossing in toasted coconut for coconut flavor, or toasted almond slivers for almond. You can toss any flavor in a mixture of cocoa and powdered sugar.

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