Wednesday, December 16, 2015

SCHOKILADEN-BUTTER-PLÄTZCHEN (CHOCOLATE-DIPPED SHORTBREAD COOKIES)

The recipe for these Christmas cookies comes from the bakery Rischart in Munich. 

Ingredients

12 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
14 cup sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
12 tsp. kosher salt
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted
Multicolored nonpareils, to decorate

Instructions

Heat oven to 400°. Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl with a hand mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add flour and salt; beat. Transfer dough to a floured work surface, form into a disk, and roll until 13" thick. Using a 1 34" star cutter, cut out cookies; transfer to parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spaced 2″ apart. Bake until brown, 6–8 minutes; cool. Dip top of each cookie in chocolate; decorate with nonpareils. Chill until set.

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Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

Servings: 26 macaroons
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

  • One 14-ounce bag sweetened shredded coconut (such as Baker's Angel Flake)
  • 7/8 cup sweetened condensed milk (just short of a full can)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces chocolate (2 parts Hershey's Special Dark to 1 part Hershey's milk chocolate)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the shredded coconut, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. Use a large rubber spatula to fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
  4. Using two spoons, form heaping tablespoons of the mixture into mounds on the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the tops are lightly golden and the bottoms and edges are deeply golden.
  5. If dipping the macaroons in chocolate, melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at medium power, stopping and stirring at 30 second intervals, until just smooth and creamy. (Alternatively, melt the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water.) Dip the bottoms of the macaroons in the chocolate, letting any excess drip back into the bowl, and return to the lined baking sheets. Place the macaroons in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to set. The cookies keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week.

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Sunday, December 13, 2015

Orange Cranberry Muffins

Follow recipe for Blueberry Muffins, substituting the lemon zest and blueberries with the zest of 2 navel oranges and a 5-oz. bag of craisins (that have been reconstituted in hot water for 20 minutes). Also, skip the coconut oil. Use unflavored oil.

Lasagne

Sauce:
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 2 TBSP oil
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed, tied in cheesecloth
  • Celery and carrot sticks (optional)
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
Add all ingredients to a sauce pan. Bring to gentle simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered. Towards the end, salt to taste. Remove vegetables. Set aside.

Filling:
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Parmesan, grated in food processor
  • One beaten egg
Combine and set aside.

Other:
  • 9 oven-ready lasagne noodles
  • 1 lb. cheese (I like provolone slices and shredded Italian blend)
  • Additional grated Parmesan.
Assembly:
  1. Spray casserole pan with cooking spray
  2. Spread a small amount of sauce over the bottom of the dish.
  3. Place three noodles side-by-side.
  4. Spread 1/2 of the filling over the noodles 
  5. Spread 1/3 remaining sauce over the filling
  6. Place 1/3 of the cheese over the sauce
  7. Repeat steps 3 - 6
  8. Place the last three noodles, remaining sauce and cheese.
  9. Cover with foil that has been sprayed with Pam.
  10. Bake at 375 for thirty minutes.
  11. Remove foil, sprinkle with additional Parmesan and bake for another 5 -10 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven and let lasagna rest at least 10 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Kettle Corn

Kettle Corn

From The Kitchn
Makes 6 to 8 servings (About 10 cups)

Ingredients
3 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/3 cup white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Prep the baking sheet: Line a baking sheet with parchment and set it near the stove. You will pour the popped corn out onto this sheet to cool.
  2. Warm the oil: Pour the oil into the pot and drop three kernels of corn over the top. These three kernels will be your indicator for when the oil is hot. Cover with the lid and set over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the corn kernels, sugar, and salt: When you hear one of the kernels pop, uncover the pot and pour in the rest of the kernels, sugar, and salt. Use 1/4 cup of sugar if you like slightly sweet kettle corn and more if you like sweeter. Quickly stir everything together to coat all the kernels and replace the lid.
  4. Shake the pan while the popcorn pops: Shake the pan occasionally as the popcorn starts to pop, and then more frequently and vigorously as the popping increases. Rest the pot on the burner every few seconds to maintain the heat. → Some wisps of steam toward the end of popping are normal — don't confuse this with smoke! However, if you smell smoke, stop popping and proceed with the next steps.
  5. Remove from heat when popping slows: Listen closely — when you hear the popping begin to slow, 1 to 2 seconds between pops, remove the pan from heat. Don't wait for every kernel to pop or you'll end up burning the popcorn; as soon as you think it might be starting to slow down, take it off the heat. Total popping time is about 2 to 3 minutes on my electric stove.
  6. Pour the popcorn onto the baking sheet: When the popping slows, immediately uncover the pot and pour the popcorn on the prepared baking sheet. Use the long-handled spoon and your fingers to spread the popcorn into an even layer to cool and pick out any burnt pieces (there are always a few in every batch!).
  7. Cool the Popcorn: Let the kettle corn cool for at least five minutes — the popcorn will crisp as it cools. Eat immediately or store in an airtight container for several days.

Recipe Notes

  • Cleaning the pan: Unless you have a Whirley Poppopcorn maker, I've found that you'll always get some burnt sugar on the bottom of the pan. This is normal. To clean the pan, follow these instructions.
  • Kettle corn with other sugars: Kettle corn is usually made with plain old white granulated sugar, but this shouldn't stop you from experimenting! Try any other granulated sugar, like turbinado or muscavado, or experiment with liquid sweeteners, like honey and maple syrup.
  • Unpopped kernels: Look out for unpopped kernels, which can get stuck to in the clusters and give your molars a nasty shock when you bite down. This is a good candidate for this trick for separating out unpopped kernels.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Baked Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 lb dry macaroni
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups cheese, shredded (sharp cheddar and/or gruyere)
  • 1 lb cheddar (sharp and/or extra sharp), cubed

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Heat salted pot of water for the macaroni.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
  4. Slowly whisk in flour (and salt); whisk until well blended. 
  5. Slowly add the half and half, stirring constantly.
  6. Stir the sauce continuously until it starts thickening.
  7. Gradually whisk in the shredded cheese; reduce heat to medium-low. Stir frequently.
  8. Cook and drain macaroni.
  9. Stir the cheese sauce into the macaroni; stir in cubed cheese. 
  10. Pour the contents into a greased baking dish.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

  • 28 oz can peeled crushed tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1-2 TBSP oil
  • finely diced onion
  • finely grated carrot
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • small palm full of celery flake
  • salt
  • pepper
  • basil, tiny pinch
  • garlic powder
Directions
  1. Heat butter and oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and red pepper and celery flakes; cook until onions are softened.
  3. Add grated carrots, tomato paste, garlic cloves, salt and pepper; cook until tomato paste is distributed evenly throughout the mixture.
  4. Add tomatoes. Next, add enough water to the can to remove any tomato left in the can; pour this in also.
  5. Add basil and garlic powder.
  6. Simmer on medium low for about 20 minutes.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Chewy Granola Bars

Chewy Granola Bars

Ingredients
·         2 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
·         ½ cup coarsely chopped almonds and/or seeds (sunflower or pumpkin)
·         1/3 cup honey or agave syrup
·         ¼ cup fat (diced butter, ghee, oil)
·         ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
·         ½ tsp. vanilla
·         ¼ tsp. kosher salt
·         ½ cup dried fruit
·         2 TBSP nut butter (cashew, peanut, almond)
·         ¼ cup semisweet mini chocolate chips

Directions

1.       Heat oven to 350. Place oats on a sheet pan and toast for 4 minutes.  Remove from oven and add nuts/seeds, stir and toast an additional 3 minutes. Pour toasted oats into a mixing bowl and add the dried fruit.
2.       Meanwhile, combine the fat, sugars, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
3.       Pour the sugar mixture over the oats/fruit and stir to combine. Let the mixture cool for 3 minutes.
4.       After three minutes, dot the mixture with nut butter and stir to combine. Next, add the chocolate chips and stir into mixture.
5.       Dump the mixture into a greased 8x8 pan. Using as much pressure as possible, press the granola mixture evenly in the pan.
6.       Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Yeast Rolls

Ingredients

1/2 c up milk
1/2 c up sugar
2 tsp kosher salt 
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
2 pkg  yeast
2 large eggs, beaten
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour, may need a bit more or less
additional butter for coating bowls used and brushing on tops of baked rolls

Directions

1. Scald milk (bring just to a boil and remove from heat immediately). Stir in sugar, salt, and butter. Set aside and allow to cool to lukewarm.

In a large bowl mix warm water and yeast. Stir until dissolved. Stir in lukewarm milk mixture, beaten eggs, and half the flour. Beat until smooth.

Add remaining flour gradually, mixing as you go. You may need a bit more or less than the total 4 1/2 cups called for in the recipe, depending on the humidity and other factors. Your dough should be elastic and slightly stiff but not dry.

2. Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead until smooth and very elastic. This usually takes 8-10 minutes. 

Butter the inside of a large mixing bowl. Put dough in bowl and turn dough over a couple of times to coat it all with the butter. 

Cover bowl and place in a warm place so it can rise. It will take about 1 hour to double in bulk. At that time punch dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured board to shape.

3. At this point you can shape and fill as desired.

TO MAKE DINNER ROLLS:
Pinch off about 2-3 tablespoons of dough and shape into a ball. Place each one in a buttered muffin tin or baking pan, barely touching each other, do not crowd rolls.

Cover prepared rolls and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, again about 1 hour. Rolls should now touch each other. (A little more rising will occur during baking.)
4 Preheat oven to 375 degrees when rolls are about 10 minutes from being ready for baking. 

When ready to bake place rolls in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Brush tops of rolls with melted butter immediately when removed from oven. Allow rolls to set for at least 10-15 minutes before eating.