Valentine’s Chocolate Cassata Cake

Happy Valentine’s Day

We are now delivering to the Leland, North Carolina communities of Brunswick Forest, Magnolia Greens, and Waterford. $3.00 delivery fee.

Our cassata heart cakes come in 4″ and 6″ sizes. For larger cakes, please call for pricing, at 910-444-1916.

  • 4″  $28 chocolate
  • 4″  $26 vanilla
  • 6″  $38 chocolate
  • 6″  $36 vanilla

Please allow 3 days’ notice as each order is made fresh for you.

Cannoli, Cannoli, Cannoli – We love Cannoli in any shape or form!

If you enjoy cannoli as much as we do give ours a try. You won’t be disappointed!  You can place your order by text or phone call to 910-444-1916. Leave a message if we can’t pick up, we’re busy baking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Now Accepting Cannoli & Cannoli Cupcake Orders

Twiins in the Kitchen are excited to announce we are now accepting orders for our Cannoli and Cannoli Cupcakes, in the Leland, NC area.

We both missed our local Italian bakery on Long Island. We thought they made the best cannoli and pastries in our area. After repeatedly hearing from friends & family how delicious our cannoli are we decided it was time to offer them to our local community.

Our cannoli cream is naturally gluten-free and comes in 2 sizes, mini and large. We offer our mini cannoli with regular or gluten-free shells. Cupcakes are also available in regular and gluten-free. Large shells are regular only at this time. Just choose your favorite garnish and enjoy. Order early for the holiday season.

Did you know that a single cannoli is actually “cannolo” in Italian while the grammatically plural is cannoli? Here in the US, we usually use cannoli for the singular and cannolis for the plural. However, any way you want to say it they are a delicious dessert for any occasion!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Click on the arrow below to see what all the buzz is about…🐝🐝

Scroll down to see our pre-order form after the video.

 

 

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Traditional Italian Christmas Cookies – Twiins Style

It’s hard to believe we are at the end of the first week in December! Time to start baking our family’s traditional Christmas cookies to have ready to mail out to family members on the West Coast & beyond.

If you’ve never tried these recipes before, this is the time to start. Nothing says it’s the beginning of the holiday season like baking our Italian bakery-style cookies. They are delicious! My 8-year-old grandson is visiting from NY and he said the Rainbow Cookies are “Amazing”…music to our ears!

Make sure you have plenty of all-purpose flour, butter, almond paste, chopped pistachios, pignolias (pine nuts), chopped dates, and bittersweet chocolate chips on hand because these cookies fly off the plates.

Merry Christmas and enjoy!

Italian Rainbow Cookies

Zeppole

Pignoli Cookies

Replace pignoli with sliced almonds topped with a candied cherry or chopped pistachios

The Best Gluten-Free New York Style Black & White Cookies

Date Nut Bread

(not a cookie but a long-time Christmas Morning tradition)

Gluten-Free Apple Crisp 🍎

Gluten-Free Apple Crisp

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy

We're keeping things simple for Thanksgiving this year so we will forgo the traditional apple pie & pumpkin cheesecake for our (OH so simple & delicious) gluten-free apple crisp. Not having to make pie crust saves a lot of time in the kitchen with better than pie results! We use Gala apples for this recipe as they are juicy, sweet, and hold their shape well. It’s a big hit with our family by itself or topped with a little vanilla ice cream or a Klondike Heath Bar divided (pictured below).

Ingredients

    • cast-iron skillet (10-inch preferred but  12-inch will do)
    • 5-7 large Gala apples (approximately 1200 g), peeled, cored & cut into wedges
    • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1/3 cup white sugar
    • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
    • 1½ tsp cinnamon
    • 1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    • 3 Tablespoons salted butter
    • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/4 water
    • Crispy Topping
    • 3/4 cup gluten-free flour (we use Bob’s Redmill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour)
    • 2½ Tablespoons brown sugar
    • 2½ Tablespoons white sugar
    • 3/4 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp table salt
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) salted melted butter
    • 3/4 oats (regular old fashioned or Quaker 1 minute)
    • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. In a large bowl place the apples, lemon juice, white sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Toss until all apples are well coated and combined. Set aside.
  3. Melt 3 Tablespoons of butter in a heated cast-iron skillet.
  4. Add the 1/3 cup of brown sugar. Stir to combine well.
  5. Add the apple mixture to the skillet, mix well. On medium-low heat keep a simmer while preparing the topping.
  6. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the flour, 2½ Tablespoons of brown sugar, 2½ Tablespoons of white sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  7. Once combined, add the 8 Tablespoons of melted butter. Stir well to combine.
  8. Add the oats and chopped pecans.
  9. Stir the apples in the skillet, liquid should start to thicken. Add 1/4 cup of water over the apples and combine. It will create a syrupy mixture when done.
  10. Remove skillet from the heat and sprinkle the crispy topping mixture evenly over the top.
  11. Place the entire cast-iron skillet in a pre-heated 375º F over and bake for 35 minutes until the crispy top is golden brown edges are bubbling.
  12. Best served while hot but delicious cold or at room temperature too. Top with vanilla ice cream for an added treat!

Note: To cut your total prep time in half, peel, core & slice your apples ahead of time.  Sprinkle some lemon juice on them to prevent apples from turning brown then cover & refrigerate until you start the mixing portion of ingredients.

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Italian Rainbow Cookies – Twiins Style

Italian Rainbow Cookies - Twiins Style

  • Servings: 8 doz
  • Difficulty: Medium

It's our favorite time of year again as we start our holiday baking together. It doesn't matter if the holiday is Thanksgiving or Christmas, we have been baking together for over 40 years, a holiday tradition we love. Christmas music is playing in the background while we reminisce about our childhood & Christmas's of long ago. One of our family's favorite holiday cookie is the Italian Rainbow cookie that you see in every Italian bakery all year round. We also make this recipe Gluten-Free by substituting Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour for the all-purpose flour! They are the first to disappear from the holiday cookie tray...you, your family & friends will love them. ❤️❤️

Ingredients

  • 1 jar apricot preserves (12-16 ounces)
  • 1  12-ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1  12-ounce can of Solo almond paste
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted (for a gluten-free substitute use Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Food Coloring, red & green (if you want a more yellow layer, add yellow coloring to the 3rd bowl)
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs, separate yolks and whites
  • chocolate sprinkles (optional)
  • 3  9×12 baking pans

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Grease all three baking pans heavily with butter then line each pan with parchment paper or wax paper, leaving enough overhang to lift and slide out of the pan after baking.  Grease heavily again.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, break up the almond paste, butter, sugar, almond extract, sugar, and egg yolks. Beat until light & fluffy, about 10 minutes on a medium speed stand mixer.
  4. Beat in flour & salt.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. With a wooden spoon, fold in egg whites to the almond mixture until you no longer see the whites.
  6. Divide the mixture equally into 3 bowls. (To be accurate, weigh each mixture on a digital scale)
  7. Add food coloring to each bowl, leaving the 3rd bowl plain, or add yellow coloring if you prefer a more yellow layer. Mix color in well.
  8. Spoon each color into separate prepared baking sheets. Spread evenly then bake at 350º pre-heated oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Do not let the edges brown.
  9. Layers are done when you can gently touch the center and it bounces back. Remove from oven and place on cake racks for 5 minutes to cool.
  10. Holding the overhang ends of the parchment paper, carefully lift and slide the layer, supporting underneath, onto a flat surface (countertop).
  11. Cool completely.
  12. Use a large cookie sheet and invert the first layer (red) onto the cookie sheet. Carefully remove parchment paper.
  13. Heat the preserves until it bubbles. Using a fork mix well to loosen some of the chunks. Remove from heat and using a spatula, spread enough preserve to evenly cover the entire layer. Don’t worry if it drips down the sides.
  14. Repeat for the middle layer (plain or yellow).
  15. After inverting the last layer (green, do not spread with preserves). Cover with parchment paper and place a baking sheet on top. Weigh it down with some heavy books or cans for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator or overnight.
  16. Remove from the refrigerator when ready to add the chocolate layer.
  17. Trim all edges to be uniformed with a very sharp knife. (Don’t throw out the trimming…they are great to taste).
  18. Melt chocolate in the microwave* a little at a time until melted through.
  19. Spread melted chocolate over the top layer and down the sides. Add optional chocolate sprinkles while chocolate is still warm.  Refrigerate uncovered for at least one hour then cut into 6 or 7 even rows & bite-size pieces of your choice when ready to serve.
  20. Line an airtight container with parchment or wax paper and store layers in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Should last about 10 days if kept in the refrigerator.

Note:  It has been our experience that Nestlé’s chocolate chips will seize if melted using the double boiler method.  Nestlé’s appears to have changed their formula as we used to use the double boiler method up until last year. We recommend using the microwave for best results.

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twiinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

 

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The Best Gluten-Free New York Style Black & White Cookies

The Best Gluten-Free New York Style Black & White Cookies

  • Servings: 12 medium 3-inch cookies
  • Difficulty: Medium

If you grew up on Long Island or anywhere in NY, then you remember how delicious Black & White cookies are. They came in all different sizes from large to super large & then the mini's, with half vanilla and half chocolate glaze. To save on calories we decided to go with the medium 3-inch size. They can be found in just about any bakery or deli in NY. No one really knows their origin but some folks think Glaser's (Bavarian) brought them over when they came to the US in the early 1900's. Glaser's of Yorkville, opened up their bakery in 1902 (closed in 2018), Hemstrought’s Bakery in Utica, New York, opened around 1925. If you're a Seinfeld fan you will remember the 'Look to the Cookie Elaine' from Season 5 Episode 13 Dinner Party. Regardless of their origin, they are a staple cookie of New York and loved by all. I love the white half so I eat the chocolate side first saving the best for last while Teresa loves the chocolate so she eats the vanilla first (go figure). For years no one has really perfected a gluten-free version of these iconic NY cookies until now. We are happy to bring you the best Gluten-free black & whites ever. You would never know they are gluten-free. Enjoy! ❤️❤️

Ingredients

For Cookies:

  • 1¼ cups Bob’s Red Mill One to One Gluten-Free Flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk, well shaken
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (not imitation)
  • 1/2 tsp pure lemon extract (not imitation)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg

For Vanilla Icing:

  • 1½ cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (not imitation)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons hot water

For Chocolate Icing:

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (we use Dutch processed cocoa)
  • 2 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (not imitation)
  • 1/2 tsp light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1-2 Tablespoons hot water (add extra to get the correct consistency)

Directions

Cookie Directions:

  1. Place rack in the middle of your oven. Pre-heat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a large measuring cup, stir together the well-shaken buttermilk, vanilla, and lemon extract.
  5. Using the paddle attachment in a stand mixer, beat together the butter & sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add the egg and beat until well combined.
  7.  Beginning with flour mixture and ending with flour mixture, mix in flour mixture & buttermilk mixture alternately in batter at low speed until smooth.
  8. Place batter into a piping bag. Snip off the first 1-inch of bad to make a round hole.
  9. Starting in the center, pipe counterclockwise to about 2-inches diameter for medium size cookies. For larger cookie, pipe larger diameter.
  10. Place cookie sheet in preheated oven and bake 15 minutes for medium. Do not brown. Cookies are done when they spring back when touched.
  11. When done transfer to a cooling rack. In the meantime prepare the icings.
  12. Once completely cooled they are ready to ice.

Icing Directions Vanilla:

  1. Stir together confectioners sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and 1 Tablespoon hot water in a small bowl until smooth.

Icing Directions Chocolate:

  1. Combine hot water, melted butter, vanilla and corn syrup in a small bowl.
  2. Whisk together the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Slowing pour the liquid ingredients into dry ingredients, whisking continuously until smooth. (Add a tiny bit of hot water if needed)

Icing Technique:

  1. Turn cookies over as you will ice the flat side only.
  2. Using a tablespoon, take a spoonful of vanilla icing and start in the center and push spoon towards the edge, covering half the cookie. Place cookie on rack with paper towels underneath to catch drippings.
  3. When set, do the same for the chocolate side. Let set completely before serving.
  4. To speed up the setting, these can be refrigerated for about 30 minutes.

Notes: If you don’t have buttermilk you can use 1 cup milk + 1 Tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar.

Our cookies are medium size, about 3 inches round. You can make about 8 large 6-inch round cookies with this recipe.

 

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twiinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

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Barbara’s Berry Cream Pie🥈

Barbara's Berry Cream Pie

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Very Easy

If you ever paid a visit to Briermere Farms in Riverhead, Long Island then you know about their delicious pies. My favorite is their boysenberry! The tartness of the berries blending with the fluffy sweet cream filling is the perfect combination. Not being a pie maker I never heard of National Pie Day, which is celebrated every January 23rd. So, when the director of our Fitness Center sent a community-wide announcement about a pie contest to celebrate the event, I was intrigued. I decided to give it a try and make that boysenberry cream pie. I couldn't get fresh boysenberries here in NC so I decided to use fresh raspberries, blackberries, and canned boysenberries calling it Berry Cream Pie! I was thrilled with how it turned out. My husband Gary loves it and I'm happy to say my pie took 2nd Place 🥈 (Teresa's pie took 1st place🥇)

Ingredients

  1. 1 Sour Cream blind-baked pie crust
  2. 9-inch Pyrex pie dish

Berry Topping:

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 can boysenberries, reserve 3 Tablespoons of juice then drain well
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries
  • 1 pint fresh blackberries
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream Filling:

  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 (8 ounces) package full-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (full fat)

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Stir in the fruit, reserved boysenberry juice, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Set aside and let cool.
  3. Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, pour heavy cream into the bowl. Beat on medium until stiff peaks form. Transfer to another bowl.
  4. Replace the whisk attachment with a paddle attachment on the stand mixer. Combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla into the stand mixer bowl and beat until well combined, approximately 2 minutes.
  5. Fold in the whipped cream and sour cream until evenly incorporated.
  6. Spread cream filling into your blind-baked, cooled pie crust. Top with the cooled berry topping and place some fresh berries on top. Refrigerate pie at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.

Notes: You could also add strawberries & blueberries or whatever berries you love.

 

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Teresa’s Banana Cream Bourbon-Caramel Pie 🥇

Teresa's Banana Cream Bourbon-Caramel Pie

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Moderate

I always loved to bake & as a young bride baked many pies, cakes & desserts. I always chose the more difficult recipes as I loved the challenge. Since I hadn't made any pies for many years I almost backed out of our first community pie contest that Barbara so graciously entered us in. Let's just say I owed her, but that's a story for another time! My inspiration for this pie comes from a dessert our Dad used to make on some weekends while we were growing up. It was a delicious banana pudding & wafer dessert that he or Mom probably saw on the box of wafers or Jello pudding box. Wherever it came from we loved it. I'm excited to say my Banana Cream Bourbon Caramel pie took 1st place. {Barbara was sorry she talked me out of backing out because her berry cream pie took 2nd place!} 🤣🤣

Ingredients

Vanilla Pastry Cream:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

 Whipped Cream Garnish:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar

Bourbon Caramel Sauce :

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Bourbon
  • 1/2 tsp corn syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

Vanilla Pastry Cream:

  1.  In a medium saucepan bring milk and cream to a simmer.
  2.  In a large bowl whisk sugar, cornstarch, flour, and salt.
  3. Add egg yolks one at a time; whisk until smooth (mixture will be very thick).
  4. Whisking constantly, gradually add the milk mixture to the yolk mixture.
  5. Return to saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until thick, 2-3 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a blender and add butter and vanilla. Purée until smooth, 1-2 minutes.
  7. Transfer puréed mixture to a medium bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the vanilla cream pastry mixture. This will prevent a film from forming.
  8. Chill at least 2 hours or until set. This mixture can be made 1 or 2 days ahead and kept in the refrigerator until assembling the pie.
  9. Toast a handful of chopped walnuts in a small skillet until the aroma is released. Then add a tablespoon + of the caramel sauce and toss. Remove from heat and set aside to use as garnish.

Whipped Cream Topping:

  1. With an electric mixture, beat 1/2 cup cream and powdered sugar together until medium-stiff peaks form. Cover and chill.

Bourbon Caramel Sauce:

  1. In a medium saucepan stir sugar, bourbon, corn syrup, and 1 Tablespoon of water over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves.
  2. Increase heat and bring to a boil without stirring, cook, occasionally swirling saucepot until sugar is a deep amber color, 6-8 minutes. (you can use a wet pastry brush to push down the sides).
  3. Remove the caramel from the heat and whisk the remaining 1/4 cup of cream, butter, and salt. Let cool for about 5-6 minutes then whisk in vanilla. Let cool and set aside until ready to drizzle over pie at room temperature.
  4. Spread 1/4 cup vanilla pastry cream evenly over the bottom of the pastry crust.
  5. Slice bananas into 1/4 inch rounds and layer over the pastry cream. Top with 1½ cups vanilla pastry cream.  Arrange the remaining banana slices over the top. Top the bananas with the remaining pastry cream.  Garnish with whipped cream and caramelized walnuts. Drizzle with caramel sauce and serve.

 

 

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