Saturday, August 28, 2010

SMS - Sweet Plum Clafoutis w/Almonds plus a special cookie treat

Recipe: Melissa's Sweet Plum Clafoutis w/Almonds
(Found on Michelle's blog and pg. 30 & 31 of The Sweet Melissa Baking Book)

What a fun recipe. I found miniature cast iron skillets at Fred Meyer's store for 20% off (7.99 each) and could not pass them up. I halved the recipe, ending up with exactly 4 single servings.

The plums available at my local produce stand are HUGE. I bought 4 red plums but only used 1 1/2. The fruit is perfectly ripe, juicy and has the best flavor.

I was able to fit all 4 skillets on one large burner which I thought was pretty cute. I should have cut the plums narrower because the tops of the fruit stuck out of the batter. I also used sweetened creme fraiche for topping and the final consensus was thumbs-up. Delicious!

Thank you Michelle for hosting Sweet Melissa Sundays this week; great recipe selection!

While baking the plum clafoutis, I decided today was the day to try baking sweet potato French fries. I am NOT a sweet potato or yam fan. Several weeks ago, I tried my first sweet potato French fry, thinking bad thoughts, and was pleasantly surprised. I loved them! In fact, I was a total piggy and ate more then Larry. I know, he was shocked too. Last week, I bought 4 sweet potatoes, set to bake my own, and wasn't quite sure how to approach them. I assumed just like any other potato.

Sweet potatoes are drier and olive oil really does not coat the fries very well; meaning the diced garlic and sea salt did not stick overly well. I coated the fries fresh out of the oven with ground black pepper and basil. They were killer good! Guess who ate over half of them?

Sweet Potato Fries with Minced Garlic and Seasonings Plus Garlic Mayonnaise Dip
3 sweet potatoes, cut into French fries about 1-inch thick
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the sweet potato "fries" on a silicon mat or foil-lined baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and minced garlic. Bake until golden, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Meanwhile combine the basil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl to season fries fresh out of the oven. In another small bowl combine the dip: mayonnaise, garlic, and lemon juice, and stir to combine.

When the sweet potato fries come out of the oven, sprinkle with the basil salt. Serve with the garlic mayonnaise along side.

Here is my other pride and joy: Cinnamon Apple Cookie Swirls. This is truly a Fall cookie. You simmer diced apples with cinnamon red hot candies and a little sugar for 2 to 2 1/2 hours; stirring every so often. You could also throw this in the crock pot for a couple of hours. The idea is to cook all the liquid out, ending with a thick apple filling.

Cinnamon Apple Cookie Swirls


1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup shortening

3 eggs

4 cups sifted flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 apples, chopped fine

3/4 cup sugar

2/3 cup cinnamon candies


Mix apples, sugar, and cinnamon candies in a pot over medium low heat. You want to simmer until the apple filling is very thick. This process will take about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Check and stir periodically. When thickened, set aside to cool.

When filling is cool, mixture together the cookie dough. Start by creaming the shortening in the mixer. Add sugars gradually and blend until smooth. Add egg, flour,baking soda, salt and vanilla. Roll out to 1/4-1/2 inch thick.

Spread apple filling on dough. Roll up dough with filling like jelly roll. Chill for several hours.

Slice 1/4-inch thick slices. Place on greased baking sheet or silicon mat on baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes. Let cool on sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.


Flourchild said...

Oh my wnet overboard! I love all the treats and your Clafoutis looks wonderful! Thank you for baking with me this week! Your the best!

Beth said...

What a delicious post! I adore sweet potato fries (but I love sweet potatoes too). And those Clafoutis look irresistible!

Sweet and Savory said...

Shandy, you outdid yourself with thus yummy post. You are on overload.

Those mini pans are adorable. Do you know the size? I have never seen them but I am going to do some looking. Your clafouti must be the sweetest as a mini.

The apple cookies look like a sure winner. With all those apples, they have to be deliciuos and they are pretty.

I love sweet potato fries so you sold me on these.

I can stay inspired all week, thanks to your post.

rebecca said...

I like the individual sized skillets. I'm wondering heat else you'll cook up in them. my kids would love to get their corned beef hash in their own pan... I need to go on a hunt now.

Dessert looks great!

Jeannette said...

Oh how CUTE are those skillets?! I love the idea of individual servings!

And I hate sweet potatoes. Always did. Until I tried sweet potato fries from our local movie theatre/eatery and now I'm hooked. Although I tried them at home and I didn't get the result I was after. Try try again!

Hanaâ said...

Your mini clafoutis are super cute! The nice thing about those mini skillet pans is that you can use them again and again. Your other treats look wonderful too. I happen to like sweet potatoes :o) Those fries look yummy. How clever to add red hots to apples to color them. I like the spiral look in your cookies :o)

Btw, did you make the choc cake with caramel ganache? I halved the recipe and made it last night. It's super chocolaty. I also have a trick, in case you're impatient and don't like to wait for the ganache to set. Hopefully I get to post it tonight!! Stay tuned, haha.

Julie said...

I love the mini cast iron pans. I would love to have a set. The sweet potatoe fries look delicious, too!

Gloria said...

Shandy! You are a baking machine! Your mini cast skillets are so cute! Your clafoutis look perfect.

The fries and your apple cinnamon cookies look wonderful too! Good stuff!

Ms Fifikins said...

Wow! I so want those skillets! Everything looks amazing!

cherry chests said...

I also want some of that Sweet Plum. I am sure it tastes so good. Thank you for sharing this very delicious post. I will be visiting this post more often.

Shandy said...

Cherry chests, thank you =).

Ms. Fifikins, I love my miniature skillets. Fun to use and so versatile.

Gloria, you are so sweet, thank you.

Julie, thank you too.

Hanaa, thank you for all your wonderful comments. The caramel ganache is amazing!

Jeanette, you have a local theater with an eatery? How cool is that? Thank you for all your wonderful comments.

Rebecca, my hubby LOVES corned beef hash and I rarely make it for him. What a great idea! Thank you.

Sweet and Savory, thank you for all the sweet compliments! I caved and just baked to my heart's content this last week.

Beth, Thank you! =)

Michelle, Thank you for hosting, you rock!

Eliana said...

Did you save one of these Clafoutis for me? They look so perfect I can only imagine how great they taste.

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