Carrot Cake Bars with Goat Cheese

These are just lovely, moist bars — perfect for a brunch, tea or dessert. The chèvre makes them taste very creamy, and really sets off the carrots. Enjoy! Thanks to the fabulous Baker Boys at Lake Country Quark in the UK!

  • 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 8 ounces goat quark or chevre, thinned with 1/4 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4tsp baking powder
  • 2tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 2tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 6 medium grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut

The Icing

  • 1 1/3 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chevre
  • 1tbs honey

 

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2

Whisk together the sugar and sunflower oil, add to this the eggs then the chèvre thinned with milk

Step 3

Next add all the other dry ingredients followed by the raisins, carrot and coconut

Step 4

Stir well and pour into a greased 9 x 11 rectangular baking pan, or 12-muffin tin

Step 5

Place on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 30-40 mins until golden and a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean

Step 6 – The Icing

Once the cake or muffins have cooled, sieve the icing sugar into a mixing bowl then add chèvre, the butter and honey and mix well until smooth

Step 7

Top your cake or muffins with the icing

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Raspberry Goat Cheese Swirl Brownies

Ohhhh! I know what I’m doing tomorrow, in preparation for <3’s day! This luscious version of my husband’s favorite cookie couldn’t be improved upon by anything better! Thanks to www.thekitchn.com, I have the perfect savory-sweet combo now.

Dark Chocolate Brownies with Raspberry Goat Cheese Swirl
Makes about 30 small brownie squares

Raspberries
2 cups raspberries, lightly mashed (thawed, if frozen)
2 tablespoons brandy or Kirsch

Brownies
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Raspberry Goat Cheese Swirl
8 ounces goat cheese, softened at room temperature for an hour
4 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature for an hour
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Heat the oven to 350ºF and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan (or any 3-quart dish, like the gratin dish I use here) with butter or baking spray. Place the raspberries in a bowl and stir in the brandy or Kirsch. Set aside.

Melt the chocolate and butter until liquid in a 3-quart (or larger) saucepan over low heat. When the chocolate is completely melted, remove from the heat, whisk in the milk, and cool for about 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar and vanilla. Stir in the eggs one by one. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and fold in until just combined. Fold in about half of the raspberries and spread this brownie batter in the prepared pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with hand beaters, or by hand with a heavy whisk) beat the goat cheese with the cream cheese, egg, sugar, and almond extract until light and fluffy. Gently fold in the other half of the raspberries and their juices. Drop the goat cheese mixture on top of the brownie batter in spoonfuls, then swirl it through the batter with a knife. Bake for 30 minutes or until just barely set. The top will be just turning light brown. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Store at room temperature, well-covered. The flavor and texture of these brownies really bloom when you let them rest overnight.

PS: I made these the week of Valentine’s day and used a shortcut, namely, a Duncan Hines brownie mix along with the goat cheese filling. It worked splendidly, as evidenced by the following photos! I also skipped the raspberries, opting instead for the only choice I had onhand, raspberry jam. Worked wonderfully, just cut back a bit on the sugar if you use the jam.

Pumpkin-chevre-cream cheese bars

There is just practically no limit to the dishes I want to make with pumpkin at this time of year. Breads, custards, muffins, bars, side dishes, etc, etc. The vegetable is on my top-10 list. And now that I think of it, it’s not just for this time of year.

One Perfect Bite had this up today, and I am tweaking it to add chevre in place of one third the cream cheese. This substitution cuts the fat and makes the bars healthier…if you can get fresh chevre, the flavor will be divine.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares…from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:
Crust
1 cup cinnamon graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup gingerbread cookie crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
Filling
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature

8 0unces room temperature fresh goat cheese (chevre)
1 (15 ounce) can solid-pack pumpkin
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon mace
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup heavy cream

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a 9 x 13 x 2-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
2) Combine crust ingredients. Remove 1/2 cup of mixture and set aside. Firmly press remainder of crumbs onto bottom of prepared pan. Cover pan with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
3) Combine cream cheese, chevre and sugar in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Beat in canned pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, mace, nutmeg, cloves, salt, vanilla and orange zest. Add eggs and heavy cream and beat on low speed until just combined. Pour filling over crust.
4) Bake for 35-45 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour; then cover and chill for at least 8 hours. I chill them overnight. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs just before cutting cake into squares.

Yield: 20 servings.

Dulce de Leche Goat Cheese Cookies

The Latin American afajores cookie is the inspiration for this recipe. Adding goat cheese to the dulce de leche puts a fun twist on a classic and offers something savory to an otherwise very sweet cookie. To ensure that the base was not too delicate for the goat cheese and caramelized-milk filling,  Dorie Greenspan’s sturdy sable cookie recipe was used, as well as dulce de leche from the Latin American aisle of the supermarket. Goat cheese is perishable, so keep the filling cold and only sandwich cookies that will be consumed within a day.

Goat Cheese 
Alfajores

Enlarge Kirstin Jackson for NPR

Makes about 2 dozen sandwich cookies

2 sticks salted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 large egg yolks, at room temperature

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup pecans, finely chopped

7 ounces (from a 14-ounce can) dulce de leche

3 to 5 ounces fresh goat cheese (chevre)

Powdered sugar for dusting

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk the butter and sugars together until light and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the yolks one at a time and whisk well. Fold the flour into the bowl with a rubber spatula, mixing until the dough is all the same texture. It will be moist and clump together, but will not be as smooth as chocolate-chip cookie dough. It will be a little crumbly. Lightly stir in the pecans.

Divide the dough into 2 balls. One at a time, place each ball on a sheet of plastic wrap. Use the wrap to roll the dough balls into 8-inch logs. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap tight and refrigerate the dough from 2 hours to overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and unwrap. Starting from the center and working out, score (or mark) the log beforehand to identify where to cut the 24 cookie pieces. Mark the center first, then in quarters, then 6 on each quarter. Then, slice the log into 24 pieces.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mats and space the cookies so they are an inch apart. Rotating the sheets after 10 minutes, bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.

While the cookies are cooling, warm the dulce de leche over low heat in a small saucepan, stirring and being careful not to let the caramel bubble. When just warm, take off heat. Add from 3 to 5 ounces goat cheese to your taste, and stir until well mixed. Cool.

Sandwich about a teaspoon of the dulce de leche mixture between 2 cookies and continue with the rest of the cookies until finished. Dust with powdered sugar.

Thank you to Kirsten Jackson of NPR for the recipe:)

Maple Almond Crunch Cookies

As the shelves fill with this year’s maple sugar supply, here is a wonderful and healthy recipe for maple sugar-sweetened almond butter cookies. For anyone who loves nut butter, the cookies are a great way to get your daily ration. Thanks to the Sweet and Natural food blog for the inspiration! And yes, you can make a sandwich cookie from these, with maple sugar-sweetened goat cheese as the filling! The cookies have a lovely crunch from the nuts (you can use pecan, almond or walnut crushed nutmeats), and the insides are soft and chewy.

1/2 cup natural almond butter

1/2 cup maple syrup

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped almonds

Preheat the oven to 350*F. In a large bowl, combine natural almond butter, maple syrup, oil and vanilla extract until well blended.  In a separate bowl, mix together whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, along with chopped almonds, and stir until just combined.  Let sit for five minutes.  Roll heaping tablespoons of dough into balls, flatten to about 1/3 of an inch and place onto cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Makes 18 cookies.

Let cookies cool, and then use 4 ounces of fresh goat cheese whipped with 2 Tbsp maple syrup to smear the flat side of one cookie, placing a second cookie on top: voila, the best sandwich cookie ever!

 

Almond and Tangerine Tart

Doesn't this look like a smile in the mouth?

We got six inches of new snow last night, with more on the way. So the only way to sweeten the prospect of a late winter snow is to bake a pan of caramel-chewy nutty shortbready tart!  Thank you to Food 52 for the rescue from bleakness.

This recipe packs a lot of flavor but is not overly sweet. The texture of the tart is reminiscent of a cookie and the filling is a honey caramel delight. And since I STILL do not have any fresh chevre (we’re making the first batch tonight), this is a cheese-less recipe.

Serves 12
  • 2 tangerines
  • 1 3/4 cup All Purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange blossom honey
  • 1 cup extra heavy whipping cream
  • 3 cups toasted sliced almonds

  • Zest 2 tangerines and ream to extract juice. Chill the juice.
  • Line the bottom of a 10-inch tart pan with a removable base with buttered parchment paper.
  • Pulse the flour, confectioners’ sugar, salt, butter and tangerine zest in a food processor. Add tangerine juice by tablespoon(s) as needed until it looks like wet sand. Pulse just until it starts to form a ball.
  • Pat the dough into the tart pan, being careful to press up and into the sides.
  • Chill the crust for one hour (can chill up to 4 hours).
  • Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together the superfine sugar, brown sugar, honey and 2 teaspoons of the reserved tangerine juice. Allow the sugars and honey to melt together over medium-low heat, swirling gently. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the mixture darkens and caramelizes. (Tip: You can use leftover tangerine juice mixed with some warm water to brush down the insides of the pan while you are waiting for the mixture to caramelize).
  • Add the cream and increase the heat to medium. Cook the mixture at a low boil for 8 to 10 minutes, until it is richly caramelized and thick.
  • Stir in the almonds and spread the mixture into the chilled tart pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes and then lower the temperature to 350 bake for another 15 minutes, or until the crust is richly browned.
  • Cool completely, remove the bottom from the pan and using a long-bladed spatula, transfer the tart to a cake stand.
  • Optional: Serve with sweetened whipped cream (1 cup heavy whipped cream, 2 tablespoons vanilla, 1/4 cup superfine sugar) and a mint garnish.
  • Deep Chocolate-Chevre Brownies

    This delectable recipe comes via Beth, a very good friend who should not live so far away as Cali! It was “thunk up” by Pink Apron, and is perfect for anyone who likes a little tangy with their sweets.

     

    Get yourself a cuppa Joe, these are worth savoring!

     

     

    Deep Chocolate Brownies with Chevre Swirls
    Note: Two additional variations exist for this recipe.   They are a little fudgier and have a stronger chevre flavor than the original (the latter and newest version also includes a blend of brown and powdered sugar and a sea salt topper to make it closest to the original recipe).  Those recipe are available on the Pink Apron blog here and here.  \
    Yields: 16 brownies
    Ingredients:
    Chevre Swirl:
    -4 ounces chevre, room temperature (I like Vermont Butter & Cheese)
    -2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
    -1 tablespoon honey
    -1 large egg
    -1 tablespoon all purpose flour
    Brownies:
    -6 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
    -1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
    -1/2 cup sugar (I like raw sugar for its richer flavor)
    -2 eggs
    -1/2 cup all purpose flour
    -1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    -1/4 teaspoon salt
    -2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    -1 teaspoon chocolate extract or strong coffee (optional)
    -1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli)Method:
    Chevre swirl
    Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter 8-inch square nonstick baking pan. Using electric mixer, beat chevre and butter in medium bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add honey and beat until well blended. Beat in egg. Mix in flour. Set mixture aside.

    Final Directions
    Stir baking chocolate and butter in heavy small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool slightly. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs in large bowl until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt. Mix in chocolate mixture and extracts. Stir in chocolate chips.

    Spread half of chocolate batter in prepared pan. Using rubber spatula, spread chevre mixture over chocolate batter. Using tip of knife, gently swirl through batter, forming marble design. Bake brownies until tester inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 30 minutes. Cool brownies in pan on rack. Cut into squares.