Sunday, March 20, 2016

Iced Raspberry Danish Braids

Plan ahead... needs to chill...twice...
Dough ready to chill

Dough:
1/4 c. warm water
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1/2 c. milk, room temperature
1 egg, room temperature
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
14 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cold

Raspberry Filling:
2 1/2 c. raspberries, fresh or frozen (I used half raspberry, half blueberry)
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. warm water
Rolling it out
2 tsp. cornstarch

Egg Wash:
1 egg
2 Tbsp. milk

Icing:
1 c. confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. heavy cream or whole milk

Dough recipe makes 2 braids.

To make the dough: Whisk the yeast and warm water together in a large bowl. Allow it to sit for 3 minutes until foamy. Add milk, egg, granulated sugar, and salt. Once these wet ingredients are mixed together, set the bowl aside and make your butter/flour mixture.

Cut butter into slices and add to a food processor or blender. Top with flour. Pulse the mixture 10-12 times, until butter is fairly crumbled.

Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Very gently fold the two mixtures together. Be very, very, very gentle when you are folding the two together. Fold just until the dry ingredients are moistened. The butter must remain in pieces, which creates a flaky pastry. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap the dough up tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

After 4-12 hours, take the dough out of the refrigerator to begin the "rolling and folding" process.

Flour a work surface. The dough will be sticky, so make sure you have flour nearby as you roll and fold. Using the palm of your hands, gently flatten the dough into a small square.  From there, roll out into a 15 inch long rectangle using your rolling pin. You may have to continue to lightly flour the counter as you are rolling. Fold the dough together as if it were a business letter. And roll it out into a 15 inch long rectangle again. Then, fold again into a business letter. You'll repeat rolling and folding 1 more time for a total of 3 times.

Fold the dough up tightly, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day. While the dough is chilling, make the filling.

To make the raspberry (or blueberry) filling: Whisk together the warm water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside.

Starting the braid
Combine the raspberries and sugar in a small saucepan over low-medium heat.  Stir and allow the raspberries to break down, about 4 minutes. Mix in the cornstarch/water. Gently simmer for 3 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Set aside to come to room temperature before using. 

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

After at least 30 minutes, take the dough from the refrigerator and cut it in half. Wrap 1 half up and keep chilled as you work with the first half. Roll out your dough on one of the prepared baking sheets to make a 12x6 inch rectangle.

Cut off two corners of the dough and then two small triangles at the other end.

Spread 1/2 of the filling down the length of the center of the strip. Cut slanting strips (3/4 inch - 1 inch each) along both sides. I used a pizza cutter, but a very sharp knife would work. Fold the bottom end up to "seal" the filling in and allow the braid to rest for 15-20 minutes as you preheat your oven. Repeat with the second half of the dough and the rest of the filling.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

To make the egg wash: Beat the egg wash ingredients together. Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash. There will be enough egg wash for both braids.

Raspberry
Bake each braid for 15-16 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure to rotate the pan at least two times to ensure the braid is browning evenly. Allow 10 minutes of cooling before drizzling with the icing.

Blueberry
To make the icing: As the braids are baking, prepare the icing by whisking all of the ingredients together. After 10 minutes of cooling, drizzle the braids with glaze and serve immediately.

I used two recipes from Sally for this. It was worth it. http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/homemade-danish-pastry-dough/ and http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/10/30/raspberry-danish-braid/.
Ready to eat!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Ham & Potato Soup

3 small potatoes, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
6 Tbsp. butter
5 1/2 Tbsp. flour
3/4 c. carrots, diced
1 1/4 c. fully cooked ham, diced
1/3 c. frozen corn
4 c. chicken broth
black pepper
garlic powder
coriander
1 1/4 c. cheddar cheese, grated
dash or two of chipotle tabasco

In a small skillet, cook the potatoes with olive oil over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

In a large pot, melt the butter over low heat. Add in the flour. Stir until smooth. Let bubble for 1 minute, stirring frequently.

Add in the carrots, ham, corn, and set aside potatoes. Stir.

Add in the broth and bring to a boil. While the soup is coming to the boil, add in the seasonings to taste. Let the soup boil for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat. Add in the cheese and chipotle tabasco. Stir until the cheese is melted. Serve hot. Maybe with bread or crackers.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home's Big Book of Soup

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Cranberry White Chocolate Fudge

Cooking spray
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. unsalted butter
3/4 c. sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. white chocolate, chopped
7 oz. jar of marshmallow creme
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 c. dried cranberries

Line a 9x13 baking pan with foil and spray with the cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large pot over medium heat, combine the sugar, butter, sour cream, and salt. Stirring rather frequently, bring to a boil. Continue cooking and stirring until the temperature reached the soft ball stage (238 degrees F). Don't skip over this step. Reaching this temperature is what will make your fudge hold together.

Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate until fully melted (it takes a few minutes).


Stir in the marshmallow creme and vanilla until smooth.

Then add in the cranberries until evenly distributed.

Pour into the prepared baking dish. Let cool to room temperature before chilling in the refrigerator overnight. Cut into squares. Store in an airtight container.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://www.momontimeout.com/2013/11/white-chocolate-cranberry-fudge/


Jalapeno Jelly

1 c. red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c. jalapeno peppers, chopped
5 c. white sugar
1 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
6 fl. oz. liquid pectin
8 oz. block of cream cheese, room temperature
crackers of your choice

Add the chopped bell pepper and jalapeno peppers to a food processor. Mince.

In a large pot over high heat, combine the peppers, sugar, and vinegar. Bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.

Stirring constantly, add in the pectin and let mixture continue to cool for 2 more minutes. Now stir for 1 minute.

Pour into a durable tupperware container. Store overnight in the fridge.

When ready to serve, put the block of soft cream cheese on a plate. Scoop 1/4 of the jelly onto and around the cream cheese block. Serve with your favorite crackers. I think Club Crackers work well.

Save the rest of the jelly for another day. Keep it refrigerated. This doesn't always have to be served with cream cheese, but it does make a delicious starter. We'll be making this again and again.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/19137/red-and-green-christmas-jalapeno-jelly/?internalSource=recipe%20hub&referringId=1961&referringContentType=recipe%20hubChristmas Jalapeno Jelly

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Sparkling Cider Pound Cake

1/2 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. flour
3/4 c. Martinelli's sparkling apple cider, divided
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Grease and flour a loaf pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening, and sugar together.

Beat in the eggs one at a time.

In a medium bowl, combine the salt, baking powder, and flour. Stir to evenly combine. Add alternately with 1/2 c. sparkling cider to the butter mixture, and beat until well incorporated.

Pour into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

While the cake is cooling, make a glaze.

In a medium bowl, whisk 1/4 c. sparkling cider and the powdered sugar together until smooth. Pour over the cooled cake. Enjoy!

This cake did not last long enough for me to get any pictures.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://www.chef-in-training.com/2012/08/sparkling-cider-pound-cake-with-sparkling-cider-glaze/


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Victoria Sponge Cake

Cake:
shortening for greasing 
1 c. self-rising flour
1 tsp. baking powder
14 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 c. caster sugar
4 eggs
2 Tbsp. milk

Filling:
1/2 c. + 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
1/4 c. caster sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. raspberry or strawberry preserves
icing sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease and line two 20 cm round cake tins with parchment paper. Grease the paper too.

To make the cake: In a large bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Whisk in all other ingredients, adding in the eggs one at a time.

Divide the batter between the tins.

Bake 20-25 minutes until the center is cooked through.

Cool 5-10 minutes in the tins before removing to a cooling rack. The cake needs to cool completely.

To make the filling: Whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla together in a medium sized bowl until firm peaks form.

Spread the jam on one side of one of the cakes. Spread the cream on top of the jam. Sandwich the other cake on top of the jam and cream.

Dust with icing sugar.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/6603/classic-sponge-sandwich

Friday, October 30, 2015

Homemade Mac & Cheese

1 lb. dried macaroni
1 egg
4 Tbsp. butter
1/4 c. flour
2 1/2 c. whole milk
2 tsp. dry mustard
1 lb. cheddar, grated, plus more for topping
salt
Red Robin salt
black pepper
cayenne powder
garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cook the macaroni until still slightly firm. Drain and set aside. 
 
Grease a baking dish. Set aside.

In a small bowl, beat the egg. 
 
In a large pot, melt the butter then sprinkle in the flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook for a couple of minutes, whisking constantly. Pour in the milk, add the mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook until very thick. Reduce the heat to low.

Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into the beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking the egg. Whisk together until smooth. Pour the egg into the sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth. Add in the cheese and stir to melt. 
 
Add all the seasonings to taste. Make sure to stir it in and taste it to make sure it is how you like it.

Pour in the drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine. Pour into prepared baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake until bubbly and golden on top, 20 to 25 minutes.
 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Super easy recipe. And tasty.


3/4 c. salted butter, melted
1 c. brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. mashed ripe bananas
2 3/4 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 c. semi sweet chocolate chips
 
Preheat oven to 350 F.
 
Line a baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper. Set aside.
 
In a large bowl, mix together butter, brown sugar, sugar, vanilla, and bananas until well combined.
 
Add the flour and cornstarch. Mix.
 
Stir in chocolate chips. Dough will be thick and sticky.
 
Scoop 2 tbsp per cookie onto the prepared baking sheet. Pat scoops down a bit to flatten them out a little. They'll spread a little when baking, but not much.
 
Bake for 12-14 minutes, until edges are lightly golden. The center will still look a little undercooked, but will continue cooking and firm up as it cools.
 
Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool for about a minute on cookie sheet.
 
Move cookies to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
 
Enjoy!
 
 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Digestive Biscuits

1/2 c. old fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 c. spelt flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 c. shortening, cold
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
1/3 c. heavy cream
flour for rolling out dough

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add the rolled oats, spelt flour, salt, powder, and brown sugar to a food processor. Pulse several times until the oats are just small bits.

Add in the shortening. Pulse a few times.

Add the butter and pulse again.


Move mixture to a large bowl. Slowly add in the cream, stirring the mixture with a spoon until the dough comes together. Knead it in the bowl a few times.

Lightly flour a clean surface and roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Use a small cookie cutter and cut out the biscuits, placing them on the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll the dough until all of the biscuits are cut.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until lightly golden with faintly browning edges. Allow to cool completely.

Serve the biscuits with black tea for dipping.


Here is a link to the recipe I used: http://www.savorysimple.net/digestive-biscuits/

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Fudge

2 1/2 c. mini marshmallows, divided
11 1/2 oz. semi-sweet choc chips
11 1/2 oz. milk choc chips
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
15 miniature Reese's peanut butter cups, roughly chopped

Line an 8 inch baking dish with parchment paper.

Spread 1 cup mini marshmallows onto the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

In a large bowl, combine the chocolate chips and peanut butter. Make sure the bowl is microwave safe. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir with a spatula. Continue cooking the fudge in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until the mixture is smooth.

Stir in the remaining marshmallows and peanut butter cups.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared baking dish. Use a spatula to spread it out evenly.

Chill in the refrigerator until firm; at least 2 hours. Cut into squares.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://www.ebay.com/gds/Peanut-Butter-Cup-Marshmallow-Fudge-/10000000205678098/g.html