Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Prepare to be amazed!

I got this cookbook for Christmas and I plan to make good use of it. More to follow.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mini Quiche

1 box refrigerated pie crust

3 eggs
1 cup heavy cream

Bacon bits
Caramelized onions
Fresh spinach, chiffonade
Steamed broccoli, finely chopped
Shredded cheese
Anything else you may want

Unroll pie crusts and cut rounds from them with a 2-1/2 inch round cutter; press rounds into mini muffin pan. Place ~1 tsp. of filling in each crust. Whisk together eggs and cream, pour into crusts to fill. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cranberry Pecan Bread

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped coarse(optional)
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
2/3 cup buttermilk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups cranberries, coarse chopped
Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan; dust with flour, tapping out extra.

Stir together the orange zest, orange juice, buttermilk, butter, and egg in a small bowl. Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients with a spatula until just moistened. Gently stir in the cranberries and pecans. Do not overmix. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° F; continue to bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes longer. Cool in the pan 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool at least 1 hour before serving. The bread can then be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for several days.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Espresso Hazelnut Toffee

1 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1-1/2 tsp. molasses
1-1/2 tsp. espresso powder
6 oz semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts

In a saucepan combine butter, sugars, salt, molasses, and espresso powder. Stir occasionally until you reach 250 degrees; then stir constantly until it reaches 300 degrees, remove from the heat and spread on a silicone mat. Score and let cool. Melt the chocolate and spread over the toffee, sprinkle with hazelnuts, let cool and break into pieces.

Fleur de Sel Toffee

8 oz. salted butter
8 oz. sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp. water
1 tsp. vanilla
Fleur de Sel

Combine butter, sugar, salt, and water in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until it reaches 300 degrees, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour onto a silicone mat or parchment and spread thin, sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel. Score, let cool and break into pieces.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Nog Logs

Cream together:
1 c butter/margarine
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp rum flavoring

Add and mix:
3/4 c sugar
1 egg

Sift together and add:
1/4 tsp salt
3 c flour
1 tsp nutmeg
1/3 c butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cream
2 tsp rum
2 c powdered sugar

Shape into rolls, 1/2" diameter.
Cut into 3" lengths.
Ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 12-15 min.

Frost (best to use cake
decorating tube).

Sprinkle with nutmeg.

SOURCE: Dawn Pfitzer

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Alton Brown's Macaroon Delights

14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of kosher salt
2 ounces sweetened condensed milk
Mix together by hand.

In a separate bowl:
Beat 4 large egg whites until they're "relatively frothy."
Slowly incorporate 5 ounces (3/4 cup minus 1 tbls.) sugar.
Beat to medium peaks.

Fold meringue into coconut. Gently - so you don't crush the structure!

Scoop, by tablespoons, onto parchment paper. Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes. I used my small cookie scoop.

12 ounces chocolate chips
1 ounce shortening
Melt in a double boiler and dip the tops of the cooled cookies in it.

Store in a tin and separate the layers with waxed paper.

Keeps about 2 weeks.
NOTES: Watch the video to get a visual of what he means by "relatively frothy" and "medium peaks."
I used 4 large farm eggs (bigger than large store eggs) and ended up with too much meringue. I didn't realize this until I'd mixed everything together, so I ended up with something more like Meringues with lots of coconut in them than Macaroons. Good nonetheless!