Turkish Delight Bars – A Narnia Recipe

Since starting this blog, I have tried and failed multiple times to make Turkish delight. I won’t even tell you how many times. All of my attempts have come out absolutely inedible, and definitely not worthy of sharing with anyone! I knew I couldn’t give up, though, because what’s a Fantasy food blog without Turkish delight, am I right?

Turkish Delight Bars - A Narnia Recipe

So, I figured instead of trying to make authentic Turkish delight, I’d instead make a dessert inspired by Turkish delight. I got to thinking, what desserts do I enjoy that have a gooey texture and are covered in powdered sugar? Then it hit me: lemon bars! I love lemon bars, and I knew that with a few changes I could turn them into Turkish delight bars, so here we are! I made a few changes to this lemon bar recipe from I Am Baker to come up with my Turkish delight bar recipe, and I think it turned out great!

Next time you’re looking for a magical dessert or treat, I hope you consider making some Turkish delight bars inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia.

Turkish Delight Bars – A Narnia Recipe

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour

For the Filling:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 4 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 drops rosewater (optional)
  • 1 to 2 drops red food coloring (optional)
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Directions

  1. Mix together the ingredients for the crust, and press into the bottom of a greased 8 x 8 baking pan.
  2. Bake the crust at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.
  3. Mix together the filling ingredients and pour over the crust.
  4. Bake for 20 more minutes.
  5. Allow the bars to cool completely.
  6. Dust the bars with powdered sugar and slice into squares.

A note on the rosewater and food coloring: this is what makes these bars reminiscent of Turkish delight, but it is optional if you just want plain lemon bars. If you’re not fond of the flavor of rosewater, you can leave it out but still dye the bars pink so they at least look like Turkish delight.

As for the powdered sugar: Dust on as much as you want! Turkish delight is usually quite well covered in powdered sugar, so this is another element that really ties in the Narnia theme.

I hope you enjoy this enchanting treat!

Bombur’s Blackberry Salad – A Hobbit Recipe

In the middle of Bilbo’s Unexpected Party at the beginning of the Hobbit, while the dwarves are eating practically everything in sight, Bombur requests pork pie and salad.

I don’t know about you, but when I think of dwarf or hobbit feasts, I don’t usually think of salad, so I had to think and search for a long time before I found a salad that seemed sufficiently “hobbit-y”.

Bombur's Blackberry Salad - A Hobbit Recipe

It’s a well-known fact that hobbits love berries, particularly blackberries, so when I saw this Blackberries and Greens Salad recipe, I knew I had found the perfect addition to the Unexpected Party menu. I made a few changes to this salad recipe to make it a bit more rustic in nature.

Purple and green lettuce adds lovely color, and I can just see Bilbo picking lettuce much like this from his garden. Goat cheese, probably purchased from Farmer Maggot, adds a bit of sharpness. Pecans give some crunch, and of course, juicy blackberries, fresh picked, top it off to make a salad any hobbit would be proud to serve guests for any meal of the day.

Bombur’s Blackberry Salad – A Hobbit Recipe

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 3 cups purple and green lettuce
  • 1 pint blackberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

For the dressing

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Directions

  1. Wash and dry the lettuce and blackberries.
  2. Tear the lettuce into bite-size pieces and put it in a large serving bowl.
  3. Add the blackberries and pecans to the bowl.
  4. Crumbled the goat cheese on top, and toss all the ingredients together.
  5. Combine the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad.

 

As a side note, this blackberry salad would also be a wonderful addition to a Redwall-inspired menu, as Redwallers love nuts, cheese, and berries.

Mrs. Beaver’s Orange Rolls – A Narnia Recipe

Mrs. Beaver's Orange Rolls - A Narnia Recipe

And when they had finished the fish Mrs. Beaver brought unexpectedly out of the oven a great and gloriously sticky marmalade roll, steaming hot…”

-The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe-

I have tried and failed a bunch of times to make a traditional English (er, Narnian) marmalade roll. Each time I tried, the roll turned out so hideously ugly that I couldn’t bring myself to photograph it. On top of that, I realized that I don’t like orange marmalade. It’s too bitter for my taste. But I was not willing to give up on this concept, since the sticky marmalade roll described in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe just sounded delightful.

So, I decided to take an interpretive approach to this recipe. I kept the sticky roll concept and even included orange as a flavor, but I went with a more American recipe: orange cinnamon rolls! I’ve always loved orange rolls, but have never tried making them from scratch. I used this orange roll recipe and added cinnamon to it. So good! I do think this is something the Pevensie children would have enjoyed eating while sitting around Mr. and Mrs. Beaver’s cozy dinner table.

Mrs. Beaver’s Orange Rolls

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 cups flour (more may be needed, see directions for details)

For the filling

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons orange zest
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

For the glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 teaspoons melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • 4 teaspoons milk

Directions

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the water.
  2. Add the milk, shortening, sugar, salt, egg, and flour.
  3. Beat the ingredients together until it forms a smooth dough. If the dough is too sticky or wet, you may need to add a little bit more flour, but only add a little bit at a time.
  4. Knead the dough for about 7 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
  5. Place the dough in a greased bowl and allow it to rise for about an hour.
  6. Divide the dough into two pieces, and roll each piece out into a rectangle.
  7. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, and orange zest for the filling.
  8. Brush each dough rectangle with melted butter, then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar filling on top.
  9. Roll the dough up length-wise, and cut each roll into pieces that are about 2 inches wide. I use unflavored dental floss to do this.
  10. Place the rolls into a greased baking pan.
  11. Cover the rolls loosely and let them rise for about 45 minutes.
  12. Bake the rolls at 375 degrees F for about 20 minutes.
  13. Mix together the glaze ingredients.
  14. Pour the glaze over the rolls, and serve warm.

 

Simon’s Peanut Butter Birthday Cake – A Firefly Recipe

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Simon's Birthday Cake - A Firefly Recipe

“Couldn’t get a hold of no flour, so it’s mostly protein. In fact, it’s pretty much what we just had for dinner. But I tried to get the frosting as chocolate-y tasting as possible.”

-Kaylee, Firefly

It’s Simon’s birthday cake! In the Firefly episode, “Out of Gas,” Kaylee makes a birthday cake for Simon. It’s a sweet moment when she tries to make the day special for him even though she couldn’t find the proper birthday cake ingredients or real birthday candles.

In recreating this cake, I didn’t want to go fully authentic because I did want the cake to actually taste good, and let’s be honest, the cake Kaylee describes doesn’t sound like the most appetizing thing in the ‘Verse. But I took elements from the description to create a cake that I think fits the bill pretty well.

When thinking about protein to use in a cake, I immediately decided that peanut butter was the way to go. I adapted this peanut butter cake recipe for the cake layers. Since the frosting seems to be a mix of protein and chocolate, I went with this Nutella buttercream frosting. The protein from the hazelnuts is minimal, but it’s there.

This cake turned out awesome, I thought! The frosting was particularly yummy. As Kaylee says to Simon, “I hope you like it.”

Simon’s Birthday Cake – A Firefly Recipe

Ingredients

For the cake

For the frosting

Directions

For the cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and grease two round cake tins.
  2. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the oil, peanut butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
  4. Add the flour and milk, alternating between the two, and stir until just incorporated.
  5. Divide the batter between the two pans, and bake for about 25 minutes.
  6. Allow the cake to cool before attempting to frost it.

For the frosting

  1. Stir together the butter, powdered sugar, and Nutella.
  2. Slowly beat in the milk until the frosting reaches the desired consistency. You may need a little more or a little less than called for. If you accidentally overdo it and the frosting becomes too runny, just add more powdered sugar.

This cake isn’t fancy, but it sure tastes good!

#FireflyFeast : Celebrating the Food of Firefly and Serenity

FireflyFeast

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I am so excited to be hosting Fandom Foodies this month! Fandom Foodies is a group of people who enjoy cooking yummy foods based off their favorite fandoms. Every month, there’s a different fandom theme. For this month’s theme, I chose Firefly!

For those of you who may not know, Firefly was a short-lived TV show in the early 2000s. It’s a sci-fi western (yeah, you read that right!) and it was cancelled after only one season. It quickly gained a cult following, though, and that fanbase continues to this day. In 2005, they made a movie sequel to the show to give fans “closure”. This movie was called Serenity, and it is equally awesome! If you’ve never seen Firefly or Serenity, I highly recommend you watch them both.

Below is a link-up where you can submit your recipes inspired by Firefly or Serenity. If you’re sharing on social media, use #FireflyFeast so we can find your recipe 🙂 Keep checking back here all month to see all the new recipes added. I’ll be cooking up a few myself. Can’t wait!

 


Blackberry Sponge Cake – A Redwall Recipe

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Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like there’s something very rustic about blackberries. Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries get a lot of attention and seem to have a lot of modern uses, but I don’t often see recipes involving blackberries. That’s why, when I came across a reference to a blackberry sponge cake in one of the Redwall books, I knew I had to get baking.

I baked this cake in the Fall, but I never got around to posting it until now. I know it can be hard to find fresh blackberries to use this time of year, but I think frozen berries could work well, too. You can also substitute for a different kind of berry, or just save this recipe for the summer when you can find fresh blackberries.

I had a hard time finding a blackberry sponge cake recipe to follow, but I finally found this recipe. A note about the measurements for my fellow American cooks: You’ll notice I’ve kept the ingredient measurements in weight measurements (grams) instead of cups. Usually, I like to convert British recipes to American baking measurements since I know not everyone has a kitchen scale. However, I’ve discovered the hard way that sponge cake really does turn out best when the ingredients are measured in grams rather than cups, since it’s more precise. You can find a kitchen scale for around $10 to $15, so it’s a relatively inexpensive addition to your kitchen, and I think you’ll find a lot of other uses for it, too, in addition to making delicious sponge cakes.

Blackberry Sponge Cake – A Redwall Recipe

Ingredients

  • 125 grams unsalted butter, cubed and softened
  • 125 grams sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 125 grams flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Splash of milk (any kind)
  • 12 ounces blackberries

Directions

  1. Beat together the butter and sugar.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  3. Sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add a splash of milk and mix until just incorporated.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased round cake tin.
  6. Lightly coat the blackberries with flour and scatter them over the top of the batter.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees F.

You can serve this cake with ice cream or whipped cream, but it’s also delicious on its own. A dusting of powdered sugar is yummy, too.

My Top 5 Favorite Recipes

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Last month, I celebrated the one-year anniversary of this blog! I started this blog because I wanted to reconnect with two passions of mine: fantasy stories and food! What started as just a fun little hobby has turned into much more than that. Through re-reading my favorite books, rewatching my favorite movies, and creating delicious new foods, I really feel like I have rediscovered a piece of myself that I had previously let fall by the wayside. In addition to that, I’ve met lots of wonderful people and discovered that there are tons of fans out there who love recreating fantasy foods as much as I do!

As part of my celebration of blogging for one whole year, I decided to make a list of my top 5 favorite recipes on this blog. These are all recipes that just felt so magical to me, like I was stepping straight into a fairy tale. If you’re a more recent follower, some of these recipes may be new to you. Regardless, I think they are all worth revisiting. Enjoy!

Apple Dumpling Recipe - Disney's The Apple Dumpling Gang

The Apple Dumpling Gang was one of my favorite movies as a kid. When I started up this blog, I realized I had never tasted an apple dumpling, let alone made one, so I knew I had to turn it into a blog post. I’m so glad I did! Apple dumplings are so easy to make and they have that “down home cooking” taste. Even if you’re not familiar with the movie, give this recipe a try!

Another favorite story from my childhood! I’ve always loved English muffins, but had never even attempted to make them from home until I wrote this post. These English muffins may not be much to look at, and the dough can be a bit tricky to work with, but don’t let that put you off. Homemade English muffins taste infinitely better than the store bought kind! They were so flavorful that I could eat them plain, without any jam or even butter. Couldn’t do that with a store bought English muffin.

Bilbo Baggins Seedcake Recipe Hobbit Lord of the Rings

I absolutely felt like I had stepped into the pages of a storybook when I created and ate this seedcake, and you all seem to agree! This recipe for Bilbo’s seedcake is by far the most popular recipe on my blog. If you haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for? It will make you feel like a hobbit, I promise.

I got this recipe from the official Narnia cookbook. I just love official fandom cookbooks, don’t you? These cakes were like a more rustic fantasy version of an oatmeal cookie. They were so yummy and sweet, but with really simple ingredients. In fact, if you bake often, you probably have all the ingredients you need to make these oatcakes right now. Go for it!

As a girl, I loved all the American Girl books, and my American Girl Doll, Kirsten, went everywhere with me (seriously no exaggeration! I have a very vivid memory of flying home after visiting my grandparents, and I had to place Kirsten on the security belt to be x-rayed at airport security. I was so worried to let her out of my sight!) I have a copy of Kirsten’s cookbook that I received as a gift when I was a little girl, and it is well worn because the recipes in it are out of this world. One of those recipes is for a traditional Swedish spice cookie called Pepparkakor. My whole family loves Pepparkakor cookies so much that the cookbook automatically opens to that page after over two decades of use. Even if you couldn’t care less about American Girl dolls or books, check out this recipe. It’s a perfect Christmas cookie.

 

So there you have it! My favorite recipes on this blog (so far). I look forward to spending another year reading enchanting books, watching awesome movies, and cooking and eating delicious food. Won’t you join me?

Oat Farls – A Redwall Recipe

Oats are a common food in Mossflower Country. Whether cooked into a porridge, baked into a scone, or sprinkled on a berry crumble, oats provide hearty nourishment for all creatures at Redwall Abbey. When reading in one of the Redwall books about the adventures of a travelling band of creatures, I saw that they ate a lot of oat farls.

Oat Farls - A Redwall Recipe

I had never heard of oat farls, only soda farls, so I looked it up. It turns out, “farl” is just the word used to describe the shape of a type of bread or scone, rather than describing the actual ingredients or method. A farl is a scone cut into a sort of triangular shape before it’s baked.

As the base of the farls, I adapted this recipe for Scottish Oat Scones. I changed up the ingredients slightly and shaped them accordingly to earn the name “farl.” These oat farls are sweet and hearty, perfect for any time of the day, and they travel well, too, as they’re not too crumbly.

 

Oat Farls – A Redwall Recipe

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Mix together the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Add the egg, butter, and buttermilk to the dry ingredients, and mix until just incorporated.
  3. On a floured surface, pat the dough into a circle, about 1/2-inch thick.
  4. Cut the circle of dough into 6 farls (triangular pieces).
  5. Place the farls on a baking sheet, using a silicone baking mat.
  6. Bake at 425 degrees F for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Notes

You may use either rolled oats or quick oats, but I prefer quick oats because they incorporate into the dough better. The rolled oats will give you a chewier texture, so it’s really up to personal preference.

 

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A Hobbit Thanksgiving Menu

Besides being all about gratitude, Thanksgiving is also all about the food! The way to properly celebrate Thanksgiving is with a huge feast full of delicious foods, shared amongst family and friends. There’s possibly nothing a Hobbit likes more than a good feast, so I think Hobbits and Thanksgiving were a match made in heaven. That’s why I decided to put together a Hobbit-themed Thanksgiving menu for you all. If you want to throw a Hobbit Thanksgiving feast, just follow the links below for all the recipes you’ll need!

A Hobbit Thanksgiving Menu

Main Course

Side Dishes

Salads and Veggies

Dessert

Miscellaneous

Mix and match any of these components to plan your very own Hobbit Thanksgiving menu, or check out all the other Lord of the Rings recipes I’ve posted on the blog. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sam’s Mashed Taters – A Lord of the Rings Recipe

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Sams Mashed taters - A Lord of the Rings Recipe

“Boil ’em, mash ’em, stick ’em in a stew.” I like to think that if Samwise Gamgee made mashed potatoes (or “taters” as he calls them), they’d taste a little something like this. I knew that I wanted these potatoes to be bursting with flavor, so I turned to the Lord of the Rings Online game for inspiration.

In LOTRO, the “Masterful Mash” dish is made with potatoes, cheese, and Shire seasonings. I chose sharp cheddar cheese, as it gives the dish a nice flavor and a bit of color, too. As for the seasonings, parsley is a flavor that can be found in many Shire dishes, and the nice green color really stands out.

These mashed taters are super easy to make, and they make a perfect side dish to any Shire feast.

Samwise Gamgee’s Mashed Taters – A Lord of the Rings Recipe

Ingredients

  • 5 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. dried parsley

Directions

  1. Boil the potatoes in water until they are tender.
  2. Drain the water from the pan, and mash the potatoes with a potato masher.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients, and mix well until smooth.