Thursday, December 3, 2015

Cyber Monday Continues: 2 Recipes for the Price of 1!

By: Amy Weinberg

This time of the year is all about a good deal (among a few other things), and what better deal than a 2 for 1? Entering Winter means leaving behind the pumpkins and picking up just about everything else. But because we do love pumpkin so much in this country, I have for you 2 INCREDIBLY easy sauces to begin the pumpkin swan song.

There are few flavor combinations out there that are more flavorful, and more classic than pumpkin and chocolate.

Chocolate ganache is one of those things you hear about everywhere but sounds way fancier and more complicated than it really is. All you really need is some chocolate, heavy cream, and a set of eyeballs. The first, and basically only, step is to boil a cup of the heavy cream over medium high heat. You need to make sure to watch the pot because as soon as the cream starts to boil, it'll boil right out of the pot (this is where your eyeballs will come in handy). Once the cream starts to boil, pour it over 9oz of semi-sweet chocolate morsels and mix until completely combined. 

Let that settle in the fridge for a few minutes and viola! Fancy chocolate ganache. 

In the few minutes the ganache is in the fridge, you be able to quickly whip up the second sauce. I swear, these have to be the 2 simplest ways to take our coffee cakes to an even higher level. The maple pecan glaze may be even easier to make. The recipe call for a whole 3 ingredients: maple syrup, powdered sugar, and pecans. First, pour 2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup into a bowl and gradually start mixing in the sugar. Once it is completely mixed and you have the right maple-to-sugar ratio for your taste, let it hang out with the chocolate ganache in the fridge for a few minutes. The outcome will be a beautiful neutral color to match my neutral colored countertop and yellow kitchen lighting. 

While your sauces chill, finely chop up a handful of pecans to top off your dessert. Once your sauces are chilled and your pecans are chopped, use a spoon to drizzle on to the pumpkin spice coffee cake. 

I decorated the chocolate ganache slice with some whipped cream and white chocolate. 

And whipped cream and pecans for your maple pumpkin dessert! 

Thursday, November 26, 2015


By: Amy Weinberg

'Tis the season for giving, spiked eggnog, and overeating. It's time to chuck the sagging pumpkin face and toss up those holiday lights. Growing up a Jew, I can't speak to the religious aspect of Christmas lights (we stick to 9 candles), but man are they pretty to look at. 

BUT, I am getting a little ahead of myself because tonight is the night that kicks off this 5 week party. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday not because my birthday falls on it every few years, but because of the atmosphere. Delicious aromas fill the air, every imaginable dog breed is on television, and unbuttoning your pants after dinner is no longer 'frowned upon'. Thanksgiving is for everyone! At a time where tensions are high across the world, it's nice to have a true American holiday. Black or White, Christian or Muslim, West Coast or East Coast, Thanksgiving is for you. Whether you love dog shows (me), football (me), or stuffing yourself with food (me), Thanksgiving is for you. The only qualifications for Thanksgiving are a giving heart and an empty stomach.

(Special shout-out to the Native Americans who let us 'discover' their land)

At the risk of sounding corny, one thing for which I am very thankful is My Grandma's of New England. And no, I'm not talking about the coffee cakes (my waistband certainly isn't thankful for those), but the people who make My Grandma's what it is. I am thankful for the wonderful opportunity provided to me by wonderful people. Coffee cakes aside, this is the sweetest job I've ever had.

A few other things I am thankful for:

  • All of the beautiful cheese you see on that potato above
  • The fact that my entire family somehow prefers white meat 
  • The increasing acceptance of sarcasm as my second language 
  • The air in my lungs and the blood in my veins

Now that the turkey has been (somewhat) consumed and everyone is in a food coma, is it time to start getting in the Christmas Spirit. Whether you see this time of the year as a religious one or not, one thing remains true: no one is kinder than they are in the month of December. 

With that being said, I'll leave you with this challenge:

Never lose that 'Christmas Spirit', whatever that means to you. I know it's hard because the climax that is the end of each year is always followed by the drag of a long winter (for most of us). The only thing shorter than patience during this time is daylight. I get it. Unless you absolutely thrive in below freezing temperatures and snow-walls the size of my house, the first few months of the year are always the toughest. But don't lose that warm, giving spirit on January 1st. It's so easy for your outlook to match the bitterness of the weather, but never lose that warmth. Never lose the generous, loving, inclusive feeling you have right now.

Your prize? A blog next week on what to do with all of that left over coffee cake!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Delightful Delectables: Pumpkin Meringue

By: Amy Weinberg

'Tis the season for pumpkin, am I right? In a world where pumpkin rules the months of September, October, and November, blogging without this orange fruit almost felt blasphemous. 

I decided to take a swing at some meringue after seeing an adorable pumpkin meringue recipe online. I've only every experienced meringue on top of pies and didn't even know that it could stand on its own as a cookie. 

Meringue is not as complicated as one may think. With only 4 simple ingredients, the only headache you'll run into is the preparation. As is the case with most baking, patience is key. Patience will transform OK meringue into thick, stiff, beautiful peaks. Patience is something I do not have. 

Along with your patience, the other 4 ingredients you will need are 2 eggs,  1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1/2 cup sugar, and food coloring. 

Step 1: Preheat your over to 275 degrees and place wax paper on a cookie sheet.

Step 2: Separate the yolk from the whites and mix the egg whites in a bowl with the cream of tartar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium-high until stiff peaks begin to form.

**This is when you will find out if you really have patience**

You will beat and beat and beat until you can hardly hold the mixer and you still may not see results. I can't even give you an accurate timeframe of how long it will take for the stiff peaks to form. Let's just say, don't attempt this recipe when you're pinched for time. 

Note: If there is ANY trace of yolk mixed in with the whites, you will not get those highly-covetted stiff peaks. 

Step 3: Slowly (1 teaspoon at a time) beat in all of the sugar until your mixture is stiff and glossy.

Step 4: Gently fold in your food dye and place your mixture into a pastry bag.

Step 5: Step 5 is piping your meringue onto the cookie sheet in a pumpkin form. This is where the recipe lost me. While my peaks were stiff and my meringue was holding, I had no idea how to pipe it into the form of a pumpkin. 

Step 6: Bake your cookies for 40 minutes. Once the 40 minutes is up, turn off your oven, but LEAVE IN your meringue for another hour. 

Some of you may be thinking "Hey Amy, your meringue came out looking not so pumpkin-like, can you eat them at least?"and the short answer is yes. Long answer? I personally put meringue I the same category as fondant: edible for all, enjoyable for few. 

In order to jazz these up a bit and avoid having the cookies look like orange-brown blobs, I decided to use them as a cake topper. I grabbed the closest My Grandma's Pumpkin Spice coffee cake and some cream cheese frosting and went to work. 

All in all, if someone can show me how to make a pumpkin out of meringue, I'll show you a pretty sweet cake topper. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Delightful Delectables - Coffee Cake Granola!

By: Amy Weinberg

As the last of the ice finally melted from my car on my way to the gym this morning, I thought about what it felt like to be warm again. I thought about summer and all of the grilled coffee cake I was eating just last month. By the time I got to the gym, I was almost in tears.

But I prevailed.

Through tear soaked cheeks I exercised and asked “God, how can I make this better?” God simply responded, “Coffee Cake Granola”.

(Edit: no real lines of communication were drafted between God and I)

What You’ll Need:

1 ½ cups old fashioned oats
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup Rice Krispie cereal
1/3 cup honey
¼ cup coconut oil (or EVOO)
2 tablespoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons brown sugar

And a coffee cake of your choice. I went with the banana walnut to add that extra banana element. 

Now let me put this recipe on pause for a quick pop-quiz.
What is the best part of our coffee cakes?

Correct answer: The streusel on top

Only other acceptable answer: All of it

Once you preheat your oven to 350 degrees and combine the above ingredients, it’s time to mix in the coffee cake. You’re going to want to break up the streusel, but not too much. The amount you mix in with your granola is up to you, but I used somewhere between ½ cup and 1 cup. Once all of your ingredients are combined, spread the mixture evenly across a baking sheet. Set your timer for 30 minutes and grab yourself a blanket because you’ve been in the bitter cold far too long.

Once your timer goes off and you regain feeling in your hands, it is time to let the granola cool. Some chunks may be more stuck together than others but the great taste is prevalent throughout. With this perfect post-workout snack in hand I am ready to curl up on the couch and dream about a warmer life!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Delightful Delectables - Sautéed Banana Grilled Coffee Cake!

By: Amy Weinberg

My goal every time I come up with a recipe for this blog is to create something that will enhance the already delicious coffee cake from My Grandma's of New England. Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I fail. Sometimes I give up and just make little sugar figures to display next to the cake. This was not one of those times.

For the most part, the dessert ideas here are very simple and very delicious (with the exception of the Kahlua Soaked Coffee Cake Sundae, which was both very delicious and very complicated). I am not a baker. I am just a kid with a sweet tooth and an education (still up for debate), so anything I can bake, you can probably bake better!

Sometimes I make something that has out-of-this-world flavor just to look at the clock and see that it is already 9:00 pm. Sometimes I whip something up quick and easy but it doesn't do much for the coffee cake. Sometimes I stumble upon the winning combination of both ease and flavor. 
This is that dessert.

I suggested this dessert idea to our wholesale customers and because of such a great response, I bring you the Sautéed Banana Grilled Coffee Cake. 

I already had a Banana Walnut coffee cake from My Grandma's but I would suggest going with the Original Cinnamon Walnut just to balance out the banana flavor a little bit. Once you have your coffee cake, the only other ingredients you need are bananas, sugars, butter, and some spices. The first thing I did was melt about 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan while tossing slices of the bananas in the sugars and spices. Once the butter was all melted, I dropped in the bananas and remaining spices and brought the heat down to a medium-low simmer. A perfect way to step this dessert up even more is to sauté the coffee cake. 

After about 10 minutes for the bananas and another 5 for the cake, you are pretty much done! I placed the coffee cake in a bowl with the bananas on top and gave it to my Mom. The only thing it was missing was a little bit of whipped cream.

So whether you are cooking for a date, or a party, or just because it's Monday and you're alive, this banana-fest is the PERFECT 15 minute dessert. Remember the whipped cream and GET CREATIVE. This dessert is delicious but there is so much room for you to make it your own!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Delightful Delectables - Fall Fondant Fun!

By: Amy Weinberg

Wednesday is the first day of Fall and there are mixed feelings flowing through the air. On one hand, Fall is awesome. The foliage is beautiful, the pies are delicious, and the beers have pumpkin in them. On the other hand: impending doom. Is there anything better than the autumn atmosphere?

Only acceptable answer: The atmosphere of never again having to experience this past winter.

You would be hard pressed to find a native New Englander who doesn’t love Autumn, but I think we still have some snow melting so it’s hard to get excited. BUT instead of focusing on the implementation of snow tunnel routes for transportation, let’s instead bask in all the glory that is Autumn. Apples, spices, pumpkins, squash, football, playoff baseball, corn mazes, Halloween, haunted houses, Thanksgiving, AND (my personal favorite) my 23rd birthday.
Autumn is everything it needs to be before the pale, frostbitten, ice-hell that is Winter.
Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm (Newbury, MA). Photo by Bethany Groff

I mentioned football because if there is one thing that the Northeast lacks, it is not football teams. The defending champion New England Patriots no doubt being the favorite here at My Grandma's. I, on the other hand, am the black sheep New Yorker who is a Giants and * gasp * Yankees fan. Needless to say, Autumn is fun around the office.

In the spirit of Autumn and football and My Grandma’s, I decided to kick off Week 1 with some cake pops shaped like NFL helmets. Now, you could say “Hey Amy, it’s already week 3…”, and you would be correct. I ran into some technical difficulties. Taste-wise? Superb. I simply rolled a mixture of Cinnamon No-Nut coffee cake and some buttercream icing into little balls. How could it taste anything less than amazing?

I would also like it to be known that this is not my first time making cake pops. They are tiny and they are delicious but they are not that easy to make. The problem I keep running into is that the lollipop sticks wont stick to the cake pop, making it really hard to dip into the melted chocolate. 

After hours of feverishly slaving in the kitchen, I came out with 4 cake pops with pipe-cleaner helmets that made them look like ducks.
But, like I said, they tasted great so that’s all that mattered.

I’m sure everyone knows the outcomes to both of these games by now. The Patriots unsurprisingly won by a touchdown and the Giants unsurprisingly did something stupid and lost the game.  

But because the cake pops didn't come out the way I would have hoped, the picture-lighting wasn’t great, and my team is the Giants, I held off on posting that blog. That left me with 10 lbs of fondant and no blog, so I decided to make a few more fall fondant figures. My ego took a hit with the cake pop football helmets but I think I redeemed myself with the witch’s hat and pumpkin.

I’m going to spend Fall 2015 eating coffee cake and choosing a new football team to root for. How are you going to spend it?

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Happy Labor Day!

By: Amy Weinberg (9/7/15)

Break out the barbecues and the white shorts one last time this summer because today is Labor Day! 

How are you going to celebrate all of the achievements of the American Workforce? My mother is celebrating this morning by doing yard work while I sit in this nice air-conditioned house listening to music and brainstorming dessert shooter ideas. The only laboring I will be doing today is moving my fork from my plate to my mouth.

If you’re not wearing Red White & Blue, you’re not doing Labor Day right. I think today is the perfect day to rock my American flag shorts (they’re mostly white so today is their last hurrah anyways). Whether it’s on your shorts or on your plate, today is a day to represent America.

And what better way to represent?

Now, it wouldn't be a holiday or a barbecue or America with out My Grandma's. I didn't want to labor myself too much today (always up for a good pun though), so I kept this dessert extremely simple. I was going to make an icing for this cake but I’ve been making a lot of icings and glazes lately. Plus, our cakes are too good to be hidden under a delicious layer of sugar every single time.

(Maybe every other time?)

I broke out Nana's nice China, slapped down an Original Cinnamon Walnut Coffee Cake, and called it a day. 

Just kidding, that's too easy. To go with the coffee cake, I quickly whipped up some red white & blue shooters. All you need is a blue fruit (blueberries), a red fruit (I chose raspberries), and some freshly whipped cream. These shooters are quick, easy, and most importantly, CUTE. 

Whoever came up with the idea of putting desserts into shot glasses deserves a medal of some sort.
Maybe even his/her own holiday.
I mean come on, Chewing Gum has its own day (September 30th). 


Anyways, dessert shooters, along with everyone involved in the American Labor Movement, will be honored today in the Weinberg household. How did you celebrate your end-of-sumer day off?