Sweet Potato and Cottage Cheese Tart

The only way I ate cottage cheese growing up was with salt and pepper or in my mom’s lasagna. That’s the only way I thought you could eat it.  One day, however, that all changed.

One sunny winter day, my husband and I met his Aunt for a day of downhill skiing.   We had packed our lunches and after a morning of hitting the slopes we took a much needed lunch break in the chalet.  That’s when his Aunt pulled out her lunch of cottage cheese with mixed berries.  Cottage cheese with something sweet?  I never would have thought!

Sweet Potato & Cottage Cheese Tart | A Sweet Baker

Ever since that day I love eating my cottage cheese with any kind of fruit, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of chia seeds.  It’s a perfect meal to wake up to or a protein-packed snack in the afternoon.  I may even try it with some nuts next time just because I’m sure it would be delicious.

Sweet Potato & Cottage Cheese Tart | A Sweet Baker

I wanted to make a tart that somehow incorporated Gay Lea cottage cheese but I needed it to be with something that my kids would love. That’s when I knew that if I made it with sweet potatoes and put it in a pie crust that they would love it.  This Sweet Potato and Cottage Cheese Tart was the perfect weeknight dinner that I made ahead of time and just heated up after work.

Sweet Potato & Cottage Cheese Tart | A Sweet Baker

This tart cooked up perfectly and the kids loved it!  If you use a crust made with vegetable shortening then this meal would be a perfect vegetarian dish.  Although we aren’t vegetarians it was nice to have a meatless meal that everyone enjoyed!

Sweet Potato Tart with Cottage Cheese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 premade pie crust (if you use a vegetable shortening pie crust, this dish can be classified as vegetarian)
  • 3 medium size sweet potatoes, diced
  • 3-4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp, butter
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • ½ cup sharp/old cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅓ cup parsley, roughly chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • ⅓ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Place pie crust in a tart pan and mold with hands to fit. Place in the fridge until ready to use. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add sweet potatoes, 3-4 Tbsp. olive oil and salt and pepper. Toss to coat well. Spread evenly on the lined baking sheet and cook for 20-25 minutes (until sweet potatoes are still slightly firm).
  3. While sweet potatoes are cooking, fry diced onions in a frying pan with the 1 Tbsp. olive oil and 1 Tbsp. butter until onions are golden brown. Remove from heat.
  4. In a medium size bowl, add cottage cheese, shredded cheese, 3 eggs, parsley and salt and pepper. Mix well until all ingredients are combined. Fold in onions and set mixture aside.
  5. Once sweet potatoes are done, remove from oven and lower oven temperature to 350 F.
  6. Remove tart pan from fridge and spread sweet potatoes evenly on the bottom of the dough.
  7. Take cheese mixture and spread evenly on top of sweet potatoes.
  8. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and 1 Tbsp. butter. Sprinkle evenly on top of tart and bake for 35 minutes or until the middle of the tart is set.
  9. Remove from oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting into it.
  10. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from here.

“Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Ambassador Program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”

Blackberry Citrus Crostata #LMDConnector

I can never get enough of pies.  As long as the crust is flaky and the filling is tasty I can eat just about any kind of pie. Even though this is a Blackberry Citrus Crostata, it tastes just like a pie but it’s so much easier to make.  If you need a quick but delicious dessert then this recipe is for you! Blackberry Citrus Crostata | A Sweet Baker In the past week I’ve ate a Rhubarb pie that I made and an Apple Pie that my mother-in-law made.  I could have made something other than a crostata today but I can never get sick of fresh fruit wrapped in flaky, rich pastry.  This Blackberry Citrus Crostata is quick and easy to make that you’ll have it on your plate in 30 minutes!  Perfect for when company stops by unexpectedly! Blackberry Citrus Crostata | A Sweet Baker Blackberry Citrus Crostata | A Sweet Baker I don’t mind making my own crust but when I don’t have the time or want to make a big mess I use Pillsbury’s Pie Crusts.  You get two crusts rolled up in a box so you can do whatever you want with them.  You can make hand pies, tarts, pie pops and pies that are both savoury and sweet. For this crostata I used fresh blackberries but I know I will be trying different kinds of berries once our local crop is ready.   You can also experiment with the kind of jam/marmalade that you use as well.   I used a marmalade that had a mixture of grapefruit, orange and lemon.  It added the perfect amount of sweetness to the berries and my kids loved the different flavors throughout their dessert. Blackberry Citrus Crostata

Blackberry Citrus Crostata

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

A delicious blend of fresh berries and a citrus marmalade wrapped in a delicious, flaky Pillsbury crust.

Ingredients

  • 1 Pillsbury Pie Crust
  • 1/2 cup jam/marmalade (I used marmalade that contained grapefruit, orange and lemon)
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 cups blackberries
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. water
  • coarse sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and roll out one Pillsbury Pie Crust.
In a medium size bowl, mix together jam/marmalade, flour and cinnamon.
Gently fold in blackberries until well coated.
Pour mixture into the center of the pie crust and spread evenly over crust to within 2 inches of edge.
Fold up crust toward the center, pleating as necessary.
In a small bowl, mix together egg yolk and water. Brush it evenly over the pie crust; sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes before serving.
Enjoy!
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Recipe adapted from Life Made Delicious   “Disclosure: I am a part of the Life Made Delicious Blogger Program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”

Strawberry Napoleons #GayLeaFoods

One of my favorite desserts growing up were some store-bought puff pastries filled with a jam-like filling and a sweet cream, also known as Flakies.  They obviously got their name from their flaky pastry that always melted in your mouth.

I tried to recreate those delicious pastries at home and I think I made them better than the store-bought ones!  These Strawberry Napoleons will bring back childhood memories and make you want more than just one!

Strawberry Napoleons | A Sweet Baker

These Strawberry Napoleons are super easy to make because you’ll be using store-bought puff pastry to start with.  Next time I’m going to attempt to make my own puff pastry but for these I went ahead and cheated.

The filling is made with fresh pureed strawberries and topped with Gay Lea’s Whipped Cream (which is made with real cream).  It’s rich, creamy and so delicious!  Pairing the two together was a match made in heaven!

Strawberry Napoleons | A Sweet Baker

Strawberry Napoleons | A Sweet Baker

Just because these Strawberry Napoleons are easy to make don’t think that compromises their taste. You can serve them to your friends and family and they’ll think you spent all day in the kitchen. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

If you have any leftover whipped cream you can do what my kids love to do – spray it directly into your mouth!  As much as I should be the role model for them, I enjoy doing it just as much as they do – so good!

Strawberry Napoleons | A Sweet Baker

Strawberry Napoleons | A Sweet Baker

Homemade Strawberry Napoleons

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 16 pastries

Flaky puffed pastry is filled with fresh strawberries and Gay Lea's Real Whipped Cream!

Ingredients

    For the Puff Pastry:
  • 1 box puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • Table sugar for sprinkling on top
  • For the Strawberry Filling:
  • 2 cups strawberries, cleaned and chopped
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. corn starch
  • 1 can Gay Lea Whipped Cream

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Lightly flour counter space. Divide puff pastry into two pieces (the kind I used had a line already scored down the middle). Take one piece and roll into a square about 12"X12".
In a small bow, whisk together the one egg and 2 Tbsp. water to make an egg-wash. Brush egg-wash onto rolled out square of pastry and place on the prepared baking sheet.
Roll out the other square of pastry to match the first and lay directly on top of the first piece. Brush egg-wash over the top piece and sprinkle with table sugar.
Cut pastry into 16 equal pieces. I used my pizza cutter which worked perfectly.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool completely on baking sheet.
In the meantime you can start making your Strawberry Sauce.
Strawberry Sauce:
In a small bowl, combine strawberries and sugar and puree with a hand blender until smooth.
Pour strawberry puree into a small saucepan and heat on medium-low heat until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the corn starch and bring mixture to a boil until it thickens.
Remove from heat and pour into a small bowl and let cool until room temperature.
Once filling is cooled, refrigerate until you're ready to use.
Assembling the Strawberry Napoleons:
Using a sharp knife, cut puff pastry squares in half.
Spread 1-2 Tbsp. of the strawberry filling on the bottom half of the pastry.
Top with a spray of Gay Lea's Whipped Cream and replace the top half of the puff pastry.
Enjoy!
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There were so many desserts I could have made using Gay Lea’s Whipped Cream, so I picked out a few for you to see!

Chocolate Hazelnut Pizza with Strawberries and Bananas

  Chocolate Hazelnut Pizza with Strawberries and Bananas

3-Step Strawberry Parfaits

3-Step Strawberry Parfaits

Cappuccino Dessert Cups

Cappuccino Dessert Cups

If you want to see even more delicious recipes you can visit Gay Lea Foods website, follow them on TwitterFacebook or YouTube.

 

“Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”

Maple Glazed Pumpkin Hand Pies

All summer I had this great idea that I was going to make some flaky, mouthwatering hand pies with fresh berries.  Well, that never happened!  So I made it happen this weekend with these Maple Glazed Pumpkin Hand Pies.  It’s not berries, but they were just as good!

Maple Glazed Pumpkin Hand Pies | A Sweet Baker

Any time I make crust, whether it be for a pie or tarts, I never seem to roll it out thin enough.  I think I have the dough-making down, it’s just the rolling out I have trouble with.  Rolling it out too thin and it tears, rolling out too thick and it’s doughy.  Every time I’m at the counter with my rolling pin I always think I should get my husband’s measuring tape out and measure the thickness of my dough.   I can just imagine my husband walking into the kitchen and wonder what the heck I’m doing!

Maple Glazed Pumpkin Handpies | A Sweet Baker

Maple Glazed Pumpkin Hand Pies | A Sweet Baker

My mother-in-law is probably the best crust-maker in our family (my sister claims to have some pretty good crust but I won’t be tasting hers until Thanksgiving).  She even gave me a private lesson at the cottage one summer and it turned out great.  When I returned home and tried to make it though, it didn’t turn out the same.   Figures!  I swear she adds a secret ingredient in her crust that she’s forgetting to tell me about!

Maple Glazed Pumpkin Hand Pies | A Sweet Baker

The filling for these hand pies is the same filling I use for my pumpkin pies, I just halved the recipe for these.  My son says my pumpkin pie is his favorite so I knew that he would like these, especially being able to eat them with his hands.  I hope you like them as well!

Maple Glazed Pumpkin Hand Pies | A Sweet Baker

 

Maple Glazed Pumpkin Hand Pies

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 12 hand pies

These festive hand pies are filled with a creamy pumpkin pie filling and then glazed with pure maple syrup and brown sugar.

Ingredients

    For the Dough:
  • 3 & 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 - 1 cup ice cold water (use as much as you need just until dough comes together)
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 egg
  • heaping 3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup half and half cream
  • For the Glaze:
  • 3-4 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • Brown sugar

Instructions

For the Dough:
In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Whisk together.
Add pieces of cold butter and, using a pastry blender, cut butter in to flour until crumbly.
Slowly add a little water at a time and, using your hands, mix dough until it stays together in a ball.
Cover and refrigerate until you're done making your filling.
For the Filling:
In another medium-sized bowl, add all the filling ingredients and whisk together until creamy and combined.
To Assemble the Hand Pies:
Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Remove dough from fridge and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out until dough is 1/8" thick, using flour when needed so as dough doesn't stick to the counter.
Cut dough into 3" X 5" pieces and place onto cookie sheet.
Spoon about one heaping tablespoon into the center of each poptart and cover with another rectangle of dough. Use a fork to close the edges of the dough or you can use your hands.
Cook for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and brush with maple syrup. Rub brown sugar over the maple syrup.
Let cool and enjoy!
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Dough recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest

Apple Pie Chimichangas with Salted Caramel Sauce

With all the delicious Fall apples in season, there’s so many recipes I want to make with them.  Here’s my first of many that I’m sharing with you – Apple Pie Chimichangas with Salted Caramel Sauce.

Apple Pie Chimichangas with Salted Caramel Sauce | A Sweet Baker

I had my first chimichangas about a month ago at one of our local restaurants while out with a bunch of girlfriends.  Before I ordered them I had never heard of chimichangas and I was happy that the menu explained what the were.   The ones I ordered were filled with Mexican braised shredded chicken and then smothered in fresh tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.  They were so good that I’ve been craving them ever since.

Apple Pie Chimichangas with Salted Caramel Sauce  | A Sweet Baker

Salted Caramel Sauce | A Sweet Baker

First thing I needed to make, though, were these Apple Pie Chimichangas.  My oldest son loves apple pie and since apples are in season I wanted to make these for him.  I made the filling like I would for an apple pie, spread that into some tortillas, fried them up, rolled them in cinnamon-sugar and smothered them in Salted Caramel Sauce.

Apple Pie Chimichangas with Salted Caramel Sauce | A Sweet Baker

In my opinion these are way better than apple pie.  My son also thought they were pretty awesome but he’ll never say they’re better than apple pie (his Nanny’s apple pie, anyway).

Apple Pie Chimichangas with Salted Caramel Sauce | A Sweet Baker

Apple Pie Chimichangas with Salted Caramel Sauce

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 8 Chimichangas, 2 cups Salted Caramel Sauce

Delicious apple pie filled chimichangas served with warm Salted Caramel Sauce. Perfect for a cool Fall day!

Ingredients

    For the Apple Pie Chimichangas:
  • 8 small flour tortillas
  • 4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • For the Salted Caramel Sauce:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup 35% Whipping Cream, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt

Instructions

For the Apple Pie Chimichangas:
In a medium-size saucepan, add chopped apples, water, sugar, flour and cinnamon.
On low heat allow the apples to cook until almost soft, stirring often.
Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Spoon two spoonfuls of filling onto flour tortillas on the bottom third of the tortilla.
Fold the bottom up, then the two sides toward the center, and finally the top down and secure with toothpicks.
Using a large saucepan, add 3-4 inches of oil and heat over medium-high heat until you reach 360 F.
Place 3-4 chimichangas gently in the saucepan and fry until golden-brown, turning as needed.
Transfer chimichangas to a paper towel-lined plate for about 1 minute and then roll in a cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Continue frying the remainder of the chimichangas once the oil heats back up to 360 F.
Remove all toothpicks and drizzle (or smother) with Salted Caramel Sauce.
For the Salted Caramel Sauce:
In a heavy bottom saucepan, over medium heat, heat the sugar.
While the sugar is melting use a whisk and continue to stir the sugar. It will start to clump but continue to whisk it because it will melt.
Once the sugar is melted, stop whisking and continue cooking until sugar is a deep amber color.
Be careful not to burn it at this stage. You want it to reach 350 F so you might want to use a thermometer if you have one.
As soon as your sugar is the desired color, add your butter and continue to stir with a silicone spoon or spatula until butter is melted.
Remove the pan from heat and slowly pour in the whipping cream. Whisk until cream is incorporated and caramel is smooth. Whisk in the sea salt and stir until salt is dissolved.
Let salted caramel sauce cool for 10-15 minutes and pour into a glass jar. Pour over warm chimichangas and serve immediately.
Refrigerate remaining caramel sauce in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Enjoy!
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