Four Clan Kitchen

What we eat everyday

Posts Tagged ‘quick dessert’

Almond Shortbread

Posted by fourclankitchen on June 2, 2012

Have you ever used almond paste?  It is basically marzipan, except that it has a little less sugar.  But if you like the flavor of almonds, this could be the ingredient that jazzes up your desserts.  I previously posted an almond cake on this blog that uses almond paste: it is one of my favorite cakes in the whole world.  I was rooting around for a recipe to use up a log of almond paste when I came across this recipe on the manufacturer’s (Odense) website.  I tinkered some with it and liked the results.  I swirled in some strawberry jam into the batter, it looked pretty, but the shortbread is really lovely without it.  Either way, this is a quick and wonderful recipe to have in your repertoire.


1-7 oz log Odense Almond Paste, grated (I cut it into small pieces, this worked fine, but next time I will blend it with the butter and sugar in the food processor)

1 cup sugar

2 sticks salted butter, room temp (the butter does need to be at room temp).

2 egg yolks

1tsp almond essence  (this is not in the original recipe, but I wanted a more intense almond flavor)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (1 substituted 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 cup ground almond powder)

1 teaspoon baking powder

2-21/2 tbs.  jam (strawberry or raspberry),  optional


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Grease a 9×13″ baking dish.

3. Add the almond paste, sugar and butter to a mixing bowl. Mix

on low speed until combined. Increase speed to high and beat for

three minutes, scraping down bottom and sides of bowl.

4. Add the almond essence and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well between each yolk.

Beat on high speed for three minutes, until light in color and


5. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Add to batter. Mix on

low speed, until just incorporated.Do not over-mix!

6. Lightly press the dough into the greased baking dish and  smooth the surface.

7.  Warm up the jam for a few seconds in the microwave, till it is runny.  Using a butter knife or a fork, swirl in the jam so that it forms a pretty pattern (I am no good at this, but the shortbread will go down the hatch pretty easily, pretty or not).

8. Bake 22-29 minutes or until lightly golden.  Mine needed 29 min, may be because I added the almond flour and the jam.

9. Cool pan on wire rack. Don’t cut until cool.

10. Store in an airtight container.


Posted in baked, Dessert, Uncategorized, Vegetarian | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Persimmon Bread

Posted by fourclankitchen on December 3, 2011

James Beard’s “Beard on Bread” is an incredible book.  I bought it maybe 15 years ago and it is still my favorite go to bread book.  Even now, I can go to it and  find something new in it as I did recently with this persimmon bread.  In the breakfast bread/muffin category (made with apples, bananas, zucchini  etc), this bread holds its own.  It is really worth having in ones’ repertoire.

For those that don’t usually use persimmons, it is a mild flavored fruit that comes in several varieties, some of which can be eaten firm while the others have to be softened to the point that they feel over-ripe or even rotten.  I can’t keep the two categories apart, so for the purpose of this bread, I just allow whatever  persimmons I buy to go to the super-ripe state prior to use.

For this version,  I made 2-3 substitutions in the Beard recipe.  I used a combination of grated apples and persimmons, simply because I didn’t buy enough persimmons.  I’ve also made it with just persimmons and both breads taste excellent.  I  replaced the mace with cinnamon and cloves (for convenience) and the 2/3 cup cognac with 1/4 cup of apple cider (the lesser amount figuring that it would not evaporate as much as the cognac).  I am giving you both the original and my substitutions below.


3½ cups sifted flour
1½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon grated mace (I substituted with 2 tsp. ground cinnamon and 1/8th tsp ground cloves)
2 to 2½ cups sugar (I used 2 1/2)
1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter and cooled to room temperature
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup Cognac (I used 1/4 cup apple cider, you may be able to add a little more if you use the larger amounts of nuts and raisins as below)
2 cups persimmon puree from super-ripe persimms (I used eureka, but Hachiya persimmons would be fine as well).
2 cups walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped (I used 1 cup)
2 cups raisins (1 used 1 cup)


1. Butter 2 9″x 5″ loaf pans,   dust with flour and tap out any excess.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Mix the first 5 dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

4. Stir in the butter, eggs, liquor/cider, persimmon puree, mix well,  then add the nuts and raisins.

5. Bake 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

6.  Eat cake for breakfast with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk.

Posted in baked, Breads, Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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