What’s great about this recipe is that it’s uniquely scaled for you, a duo, or a whole damn crew. The blackberry jam keeps nicely in the refrigerator for about two weeks, so this is a toast you can remake countless times. It’s hearty enough for a meal, delicate enough as a snack, and downright georgous as an appetizer.
- 1 1/2 cups blackberries
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
- 3 Tablespoons water
- 1 – 2 teaspoons cornstarch, sifted
- 8 oz challah bread, sliced (or your bread of choice!)
- 4 oz goat cheese
- Fresh mint to garnish
- In a medium-sized saucepan combine the blackberries, blueberries, vanilla, sugar, and water (covered) over a medium low flame. Once simmering and the fruit begins to burst (about 5 minutes) gently mash with a fork or potato masher, then whisk in the cornstarch until well incorporated.* Cover once more and simmer over a low flame until needed.
- Meanwhile, toast the challah bread as desired — I recommend extra crispy.
- When ready, smear each slice of challah bread with a thick layer of goat cheese, then spoon over with the smashed blackberries. Garnish with mint, then eat!
* Add 1 teaspoon if you want the blackberries more runny, 2 teaspoons for a thicker texture!
- If eating for one, still follow the recipe! the leftover blackberries can be refrigerated in a glass container for up to two weeks, so you make this toast even quicker the next time you crave it.
You can portion and freeze these gougères in advance, then bake them just before guests arrive (you may need to add a few minutes of baking time). This recipe makes soft gougères that are custardy in the center. If you prefer a firmer puff, use 4 eggs.
- 2/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 1 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 cups (6 oz.) coarsely grated Comté, gruyere, or white cheddar cheeses
- In a small, heavy-bottomed skillet, add the walnuts over medium heat. Cook, stirring or shaking the pan occasionally, until lightly toasted, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Pour into a bowl and set aside.
- Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 425°.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- In a medium saucepan, add the milk, water, butter, and salt; bring to a rapid boil over high heat.
- Add the flour all at once, lower the heat and stir rapidly with a heavy spoon or whisk. The dough will form a ball and there will be a light film on the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring to dry the dough slightly, 1 to 2 minutes more.
- Turn the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a medium mixing bowl. Let the dough sit for a minute, then add the eggs one by one, beating with the mixer or a wooden spoon until each egg is incorporated before adding the next. (The dough may look as though it’s separating or falling apart – just keep working; it will come together by the time the last egg goes in.)
- Beat in the mustard followed by the cheeses and the chopped pecans.
- Using a small (1 1/2 teaspoon) cookie scoop or spoon, scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each.
- Transfer to the oven and immediately turn down the temperature to 375°F.
- Bake for 12 minutes, then rotate the pans from front to back and top to bottom.
- Continue baking until the gougères are puffed, golden and firm enough to pick up, 15-20 minutes more.
- Remove and serve immediately.
These easy 4-ingredient Pecan Balls (5 for a chocolate version) make a great game day snack, appetizer or anytime treat!
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 heaping cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Optional chocolate drizzle
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 275.
- Cream together the butter, sugar and flour with a hand mixer or stand mixer.
- Fold in the pecans and salt and stir until combined. The mixture will be crumbly but will stick to itself.
- Roll the dough into small balls (about 1/2-inch across) and place on an ungreased baking sheet. (You can wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking to you.)
- Bake at 275 for 45 minutes.
- Let cool completely on the baking sheet before transferring to an airtight container. These pecan puffs keep for up to a week on the counter or in the pantry.
- To make the chocolate sauce: Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir and microwave in 30 seconds intervals until chocolate is melted and can be stirred together. Drizzle melted chocolate over cooled pecan balls or dunk balls in the chocolate sauce.
- If your butter isn’t at room temperature — mine never is — you can microwave it for about 20 seconds to soften it. You don’t want it melted.
- I buy pecan pieces – they are cheaper than whole, in-tact pecans, and they just need a rough chop to break up the big pieces for this recipe.
- The mixture is crumbly but the dough does stick to itself to be able to roll into balls. You can wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking to you.
- These are crumbly straight out of the oven, too, so be sure to let them cool on the pan so they can set up. Then they’re ready to share or transport!