Four Clan Kitchen

What we eat everyday

Posts Tagged ‘quick desserts’

Shortbread Cookies

Posted by fourclankitchen on March 6, 2016


Shortbread cookies

I loved shortbread cookies and this recipe caught my eye because it had rice flour in it.  In Indian cooking, rice flour is often used in deep frying for providing a crisper texture that all purpose flour cannot provide.  I guess that rice flour is doing the same here.  The cookies have a lovely texture and take about 5 minutes to put together although rolling the dough out is not quite as easy as I thought it would be.  The recipe was taken from the following website, with only a couple of minor changes: adding salt and the demerrara sugar:




1 ¾ cup all purpose flour

¼ cup rice flour

½ c pwd sugar

2 sticks salted butter room temp.   If unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt.



  1. Mix the flours together. Set aside.
  2. Using the paddle attachment and a stand mixer or a hand held mixer, cream butter and sugar till fluffy- this takes a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the flour mixture to form a soft dough. Cut dough into 2 equal portions. Saran wrap and refrigerate 15 min.
  4. Roll out first disc between sheets of plastic wrap so that it is about ¼ inch high.
  5. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Cut out cookies using a 3” stamp or a biscuit cutter and place on the prepared sheets.
  7. Bake at 350deg F for 20 min until the edges of the cookies are light brown.
  8. Cool completely on a mesh rack and store in an airtight container.



1. I had trouble rolling the dough and stamping out the cookies (dough was too soft).  I rolled out the second half between sheets of saran wrap,  placed the rolled out disc in the freezer for 10 min and then stamped out the cookies.  This worked pretty well, But maybe I will roll the dough into logs, cool and cut into rounds the next time.

2. I got 18 cookies, although the recipe said 12, so I must have rolled the dough out too thin. Still the baking time of 20 min for first batch and 19 min for subsequent batches was perfect.

3. I sprinkled some demerrara sugar onto onto the rolled out disc and rolled the sugar right into the disc. This added a nice texture.



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Russian Teacakes (Mexican Wedding Cakes)

Posted by fourclankitchen on October 14, 2014

photo 2

It does not matter what you call them, these are easy to make and delicious!  Our family makes them for Christmas, but today  I am mailing these  to send to my son who is off to college because they keep well at room temperature for several days.  I use the Betty Crocker recipe except that I substitute 1/2 cup of flour with the same amount of almond meal (ground almonds).  I also add almond extract to enhance the almond flavor.  Using the food processor makes the whole thing easy and makes the fewest dishes.  So here goes:


2 sticks (1 cup butter) softened (don’t skip this step)

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour + 1/2 almond meal   (if yo don’t have this simply skip and use 2 1/4 cup flour)

3/4 cup finely ground nuts (I used walnuts)

1/2 tsp salt

Extra powdered sugar to roll the cookies.

photo 1


1.  Preheat oven to 400˚F.

2. In a food processor,  finely grind the walnuts and set aside.

3. Add the butter, powdered sugar and the extracts and blend.

4. Add the flour, almond meal, ground nuts, salt and pulse until the dough comes together.

5.  Remove from the processor, shape into a smooth ball and roll into 24 balls.

6.  Place  balls on an ungreased cookie sheet about 1″ apart.  You may need to do this in 2 batches.

7.  Bake 10-12 min (do not over bake).  The cookies should not be brown when you pull them out.

8.  Roll cookies in powdered sugar while still warm, then roll again.

9.  Store in a tight box between pieces of parchment.  The cookie freezes well and as I said above, it also travels well.

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Lemon Cheesecake

Posted by fourclankitchen on June 2, 2013

photo 4

I am not a great fan of cheese cake, but my son is.  The only kind that I like making is the lemon/lime cheese cake out of the Philadelphia cream cheese cake cookbook that a friend of mine unloaded on me a long time ago. This recipe on Food52 caught my eye, because it is very similar to the one I make,  but instead of using the standard graham cracker crumb crust, it uses a Biscoff cookie crust.  These are awesome cookies,  especially if you are the type of person who likes a little something with their coffee or tea.   A crust made of this sounded pretty good to me and it was.  So here is the recipe.  The original recipe calls for Meyer lemons,  I used regular lemons.  It also called for a sour cream icing/topping which I skipped, this cake is rich enough.  When I tasted  the filling (yes it has raw eggs and I lived to tell),  it seemed to want more salt,  so I added some (I am guessing I added about 1/2 tsp).  Those are the only changes I made.

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  • 1/2 of  an 8.8 pack of  Biscoff cookies, crumbled
  • 1/3cup sugar
  • 1/8teaspoon salt
  • 5tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled somewhat


  1. Heat oven to 350. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter.
  2. In a food processor, pulse Biscoff cookies until finely ground. Add sugar and salt and  melted butter and process again.
  3. Press mixture into bottom and about a 1/3 of the way along the sides of springform pan (I got lazy and just pressed it to the bottom of the pan). Bake  for 10 minutes and let crust cool while you put together the filling.

photo 1

Lemon cheesecake filling
  • 3 (8 oz.)packages cream cheese (I used 2 full fat and one low fat packages).  Bring to room temp. before proceeding.
  • 4large eggs
  • 1cup sugar
  • 1teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 lemons, zest removed and juice reserved
  • 1/2 tsp extract (I omitted)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

photo 3


  1. In a mixing bowl, place cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. This is a real pain if your cream cheese is not soft and at room temp.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the sugar and mix well.
  2. Add the zest to the  batter. Add all of the juice and the extract (if using), and continue to mix. Pour batter into prepared  crust. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until cake is just set in center.  You must place the baking sheet under the pan.  The Biscoff releases oil which could mess up your oven. Line sheet with foil if desired.
  3. Remove cake from oven and let cool.  Store cheesecake, well-wrapped in refrigerator. Its better when eaten cold.

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Rosemary Shortbread

Posted by fourclankitchen on March 9, 2013

photo 4I love shortbread and I really  loved this one.  I normally don’t like faddish foods which combine odd flavors together, just because they can be combined.   So when I read about this rosemary shortbread on Melissa Clark’s blog,  it smelled faddish to me.  But then I started to see praise for this on other blogs and this recipe just stayed on my list of things to try.  Well,  I just did.  I have to say that the sweet-salt combo with the rosemary is really amazing.  Ms.  Clark’s blog suggests other shortbread variations.  If you are interested, head over there and find out for yourself.  Meanwhile, make this and hoard it away from your evil children and spouses who will eat it till it is gone!


photo 1


1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
2. 2/3 cup granulated sugar
3.1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
4. 1 teaspoon plus 1 pinch kosher salt
5. 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted cold butter, cut into 1-inch chunks
6. 1 to 2 teaspoons rosemary, chestnut or other dark, full-flavored honey (optional).

photo 2


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Stem the Rosemary leaves and cut into fine pieces by rocking your sharpest knife over the leaves.

2. In a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, rosemary and salt. Add butter, and honey, and pulse  until the dough just begins to come together, but still looks shaggy. Do not  overprocess.
3. Press dough into an ungreased 8-or 9 inch-square baking pan. Prick dough all over with a fork.

4. Bake until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes for 9-inch pan, 45 to 50 minutes for 8-inch.

5. Cool for a bit and cut  into squares while still warm.

photo 5

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Apple Cake

Posted by fourclankitchen on October 14, 2012

This is apple cake recipe is from the NY Times (first published in the 1970s).  It takes about 15 min to put together and can be eaten for breakfast or a coffee time snack. If it makes you feel less guilty about eating cake for breakfast,  by all means put it in muffin pans or loaf pans.   I even serve it for dinner sometimes, when I dress it up with a caramel sauce.  Although I haven’t tried it,  I think it would take very well to adding more cinnamon or substituting half the flour with whole wheat flour.  The recipe follows the original exactly, with one exception.  I added 1/2 cup of milk to it.  I do this for all soda breads because I think it makes for a softer texture.  This is a huge cake and takes very well to freezing (sliced up) for several months.  So enjoy!

3 cups flour, plus more for dusting pan

Butter for greasing bundt pan
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup milk

3 cups peeled, cored and thickly sliced tart apples, like Honeycrisp or Granny Smith
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup raisins (optional, but delicious)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour a 10-inch bundt pan. Beat the oil and sugar together in a mixer (fitted with a paddle attachment) while assembling the remaining ingredients. After about 5 minutes, add the eggs and beat until the mixture is creamy.  Add the milk.

2. Mix together 3 cups of flour, the salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir into the batter. Add the vanilla, apples, walnuts (if using) and raisins (if using) and stir until combined.

3. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before turning out.

Caramel Sauce (the recipe is from the blog:  Thibeault’s Table;  I did not make this, this time, but will add pictures when I do)


1 (2 sticks) cup butter (unsalted)

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup cream

pinch of salt

2 tsp vanilla

Place all the ingredient in a thick bottomed sauce pan and cook on medium heat for 5-6 min.  Serve over the apple cake, vanilla ice cream… you get the picture. This is a lot of caramel sauce, but the left overs freeze very well, but I don’t know how long they last.

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