Monday, October 31, 2011

Witch Fingers

A Halloween necessity at our house.

Makes 3 to 4 Dozen

pretzel dough
green and yellow food coloring
large pot of boiling water
1/4 c honey
1 egg beaten with 1 T water
roasted pumpkin seeds
rosemary
salt

Add food coloring to pretzel recipe.  Let dough rise as directed.  Roll pretzel dough into long ropes.  Cut slightly longer than size of finger.  Squish dough in the spots for knuckles, twice in the middle and again at one end.  Add honey to boiling water.  Drop fingers in boiling water.  After fingers rise to the surface place on parchment lined cookie sheets.  Cut slits in knuckles.  Brush with egg wash.  Add seeds for finger nailes and rosemary for hair.  Sprinkle with salt.  Bake at 450F for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on finger size.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pastry Pocket Dough

The filling should be cooked ahead of time so that it isn't too runny.
For these, I mixed apple slices with lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon and let sit close to an hour.
I drained and reserved the juice.  Sauteed the apples on the stove top.
Added the juice, mixed with corn starch.  Cooked until thick.
Then, I stirred in a little apple sauce and vanilla.
You could also make cherry pie filling or any other fruit filling.
Makes 12

8 oz cream cheese
16 oz unsalted butter
1 tsp kosher salt
3 c flour
1 egg white
1 T water

Cream cheese and butter with salt in mixer using paddle attachment.  Add flour and mix on low, just until combinded.  Chill in fridge for 4 or more hours.  Roll into a 8"x15" rectangle.  Fold top and bottom of rectangle over, like a letter.  Turn a quarter turn.  Roll again to 8"x15", fold, and rotate.  Do this 4 times, total.  Chill again for at least an hour.  Divide dough in half.  Roll out and cut 6 6" circles from each half.  Chill again for at least 30 minutes.  Fill with prepared pie filling.  Gather ends and tie with string.  Freeze for at least 30 minutes.  Mix egg white with water in a small bowl.  Dip tops and bottoms of pastries in wash or brush on.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 40 minutes on parchment lined cookie sheets for 40 minutes.  Tent tops with foil if browning too quickly.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Summer Vege Sandwich (Tian)

This is my favorite way to use garden zucchini and tomatoes.
These are as good cold on the second day
as they are straight out of the oven.

Ingredients
1 crusty loaf of bread
olive oil
caramelized onions
roasted red peppers
1 to 2 zucchini, sliced thin
3 to 4 tomatoes, sliced thin
sea salt
cracked pepper
thyme

Slice bread open.  Drizzle oil in a 9x13 pan or other of desired shape and size.
Pack bread slices, cut side up, very close together so they are touching but not on top of each other. Drizzle bread tops with more oil.  Top with caramelized onions.  Lay roasted peppers on top of onions.  (Or mix onions and peppers, if sliced, together and then top bread.)  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Layer zucchini and tomatoes on top, alternating, and being sure to keep a little of the outside of the bread slices showing. Drizzle with a little more olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt, cracked pepper, and thyme.  Cover with foil and bake at 350F for 1.5 hours.  Uncover and bake another 10 minutes.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

Makes 2 9x13 pans

Dough
4 1/1 tsp yeast
2 1/4 c milk, warmed
1 c 2 T sugar
2 c mashed potatoes
1/2 c butter
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
8 c a.p. flour

Filling
1/2 c butter, melted
2 1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
3 T cinnamon

Icing
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 c butter
1 tsp almond extact
1 tsp vanilla
4 c powdered sugar

Warm milk to 110F.  In a mixing bowl, whisk milk with yeast and 2 T sugar.  Let sit until foamy.  In a medium saucepan, warm 1 c sugar, potatoes, stick of butter, and salt just until butter melts.  Making sure the potato mixture is under 125F, add to yeast mix.  Add eggs and half of flour.  Using a dough hook, mix until smooth.  Add remaining flour and mix until a somewhat smooth dough is formed.  Grease a large bowl, empty dough into bowl, turn to cover all sides with oil, cover with plastic wrap or towel and let rise 1 to 2 hours.
Divide dough in half.  On a floured surface shape dough into two large rectanges.  Mix filling ingredients and spread evenly on top.  Roll and cut, placing rolls in two buttered 9x13 glass pans.
Let rise 45 minutes to an hour.  Bake at 350F for 29 minutes.  I like to check the center with a thermometer.  The dough should be 190F when it is done.  Immediately flip rolls onto a cookie sheet or serving dish.  While rolls are baking mix the icing ingredients until smooth.  Spread on rolls while they are still warm.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Nutella Cookies


Makes 2 dozen

1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup Nutella
Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter, peanut butter, sugars, salt, soda, egg, and vanilla. Mix until well blended. Stir in flour until dough is crumbly. Drizzle Nutella on top of the dough then swirl it through the dough with a butter knife. Chill dough 15 minutes in the refrigerator. Roll into balls by hand. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Using a fork, press down the balls to flatten slightly. Bake until edges are very lightly browned (about 7 to 10 minutes). Allow to rest 2 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring cookies to a cooling rack.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Snickerdoodle Bars

These are really, really good.
Much easier than rolling and baking the cookies too.
Adapted from Tasty Kitchen

Makes a 9x13 pan

Dough
1 c unsalted butter
1 3/4 c sugar
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 c flour

Filling
1 1/2 T cinnamon
2 T sugar

Glaze
1 1/4 c powdered sugar
2 T milk
1 tsp vanilla

Cream butter with sugar and other ingredients through salt.  Beat in eggs one at a time and vanilla.  Stir in flour.  Spread half of dough in a greased 9x13 pan.  Mix sugar and cinnamon for filling and spread on top.  Drop remaining dough by spoonfuls on top.  Bake 30-35 minutes at 350F.  Bang pan when you take out to get rid of air.  Mix glaze ingredients and drizzle on top.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bagel Dogs

Makes 10

Dough
1 1/2 c warm water
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1/4 c sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 T honey
1 lg egg white
3 T oil
1 tsp malt powder (or brown sugar)
3 c white whole wheat flour
3 c a.p. flour

Water Bath
1/4 c honey

Additional
10 hot dogs
5 slices American cheese, halved
10 slices bacon
Salt, seeds, onion flakes

Mix dough ingredients with a dough hook until a smooth dough forms.  Let rise two+ hours.
Microwave bacon 2 minutes on high.
Using a paper towel, dry hot dog juice off hot dogs and cut deep slits down hot dogs. Fold cheese to fit into slits and stuff.
Preheat oven to 450F.
Fill a large pot 3/4 full of water.  Bring to a boil and add the 1/4 cup honey.
While you wait for the pot to boil, divide dough into 10 pieces.  Roll pieces into large enough rectangles to fit dogs in.  Wrap each dog in a piece of bacon and then roll dough around bacon dog to cover.  Pinch seams to hold.  Once all the dogs are wrapped and sealed.  Boil dogs for 1 1/2 minutes.  The water should be more of a simmer than full boil.  The dogs will pop up to the surface when they are ready to come out.
Place dogs on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and toppings.
Place dogs in oven.  Reduce heat to 425F and bake 15 to 20 minutes.
Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Pie Bars

This cuts up nicer and is a bit more portable than the normal pie.
Makes a 10"x15" Pan

Crust
2 1/2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
1/4 c milk

Filling
8 c fruit
sugar
flour/corn starch
lemon juice, vanilla, almond extract
butter

Glaze
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
milk
vanilla, almond extract

Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt.  Cut in butter to pea size.  Mix egg yolk with 1/4 c milk.  Blend in flour mix.  If dough isn't starting to come together, add more milk.  Wrap in two disks and chill 3+ hours.  Meanwhile combine fruit, sugar, flour or cornstarch in pan.  (Here, I used a combo of sour and sweet cherries, sugar, corn starch, and Amaretto.) Cook until thick and bubbly.  It should be thick like a pie filling if not add more thickening or liquid to get it right.  Add butter and flavorings as desired.  Let cool.  Roll one disk in a rectangle large enough to place in a jelly roll pan.  Put crust in pan.  Sprinkle with flour and sugar.  Top with filling.  Roll out second crust and place on top.  Bake 1 hour at 375F.
While still hot, mix powdered sugar with enough milk and flavorings to make a glaze.  Drizzle on top.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

Jack ate these faster than noodles.
Makes 32 Cookies

1 c raisins
boiling water
2/3 c unsalted butter
1 1/3 c sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c molasses
1/2 c oil
1 c pumpkin
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4 c flour

Pour boiling water over raisins.  Let sit for a few minutes, then drain and cool.
Cream butter with sugar, soda, and spices through salt until fluffy.  Beat in molasses and oil.  Then beat in pumpkin and vanilla.  Stir in flour and raisins.  Using a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop, drop balls on baking sheets.  Bake at 350F for 11 to 12 minutes.  Remove from cookie sheets and cool completely on cooling racks.

2 c powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
2 T butter
1 T milk

Beat together, using more milk or sugar to make a spreadable frosting.  Frost.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Oatmeal Sandwiches

Modified from Martha Stewart Oatmeal Cream Pies

Makes 18 Sandwiches


  • Cookie Ingredients
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup dark-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 T molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins
Cream salt, powder, soda, cinnamon, butter, and sugars until fluffy.  Beat in molasses, eggs one at a time, and vanilla.  Stir in flour, oats, and raisins.  Scoop 2 tablespoons of dough on prepared sheets.  Bake 11 minutes at 350F.  These will spread a lot.  Cool on racks.

Filling
3 T gelatin
1 1/2 c cool water, divided
3 c sugar
1/4 c corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract

In a mixing bowl, combine 3/4 c water with gelatin.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile combine remaining water, sugar, syrup, and salt in a medium sized saucepan.  Heat until soft ball stage.  Using a mixer whisk attachment, beating on low speed, pour hot syrup mixture in a steady stream.  Raise speed to high and beat until fluffy and cool.  Beat in vanilla and almond extract.  Using a greased spoon, scoop two tablespoons onto cookies and sandwich together.

Wrap individually and freeze if you don't eat them all right away.  They're good frozen too.

You will have lots leftover.  I poured the extra in a greased 9" square pan.  Will use for marshmallows, later.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Banana Bread

Rob has tried to eat this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Makes a 9"x5" Loaf

2 c old fashioned oats
1/2 c butter
1 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3 medium bananas
1/4 c white whole wheat flour
1 c chocolate chips

Grind oats in a coffee grinder.
Using a mixer cream butter, sugar, powder, soda, and salt until fluffy.  Beat in vanilla and eggs, one at a time.  Beat in bananas.  Stir in oats, flour, and chips.  Bake 1 hour at 350F.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rhubarb Bread

Next time, I'll make two because this is all
that's left after everyone's breakfast.
Makes 1 Loaf

1 orange, zest only
2 1/2 c rhubarb, diced
1 1/4 c sugar
1/2 c oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 c flour, a.p. or white whole wheat
1 c oats (or walnuts if your not in our house)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Microwave rhubarb until it is fully cooked and falling apart.  Cool.  Mix in zest, sugar, oil, vanilla, and eggs.  In a separate bowl, whisk flour, oats, soda, and salt.  Combine wet with dry and pour in a greased 9"x5" bread pan.  Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour at 350F until baked through.  Let rest overnight, before eating.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Post Egg Hunt Magic Bars

Makes a 9x13 Pan

Preheat oven to 350F
Place 1 stick butter in a 9x13 dish.
Stick the dish in the oven until butter melts.
Stir in 2 c graham cracker crumbs and flatten.
In a separate bowl, mix 5 cups of chocolate, nuts, and coconut with ratios of your choice.  (I used 1 c M&Ms, 1 c chopped chocolate eggs, 1 c chopped peanut butter cups, 1 c white chips, and 1 c coconut.)
Spread all but 1/2 c of mixture over graham crackers.
Drizzle over 1 can sweetened condensed milk.
Sprinkle last bit of mix over top.
Press down on gently with palms.
Bake 25 minutes.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Homemade Oreos

Adapted from MyBakingAddiction

Next time, I might make a double batch of the cookie dough because I had way too much filling.  I used the extra filling with graham crackers.  Whatever you do, you have to use the filling right away.

I refuse to use Crisco or any other form of shortening.  So I came up with this filling recipe.  It has a very similar texture store bought.

Makes 24 Cookies

Cookie Dough
10 T unsalted butter
Charlie's reaction, "Wow!  These are my favorite thing ever!"
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 c sugar

1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c cocoa powder
1 1/4 c flour


Using a mixer, cream butter, soda, powder, salt and sugar until light and fluffy on medium-high speed.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  With mixer on low, stir in cocoa powder, then flour.  Using rounded teaspoons of dough, roll in balls and place on baking sheets.  Bake 9 minutes at 350F.


Filling
10 T unsalted butter
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 c powdered sugar
2 T cold water
1 1/4 tsp gelatin


Place 2 T water in a small metal measuring cup.  Sprinkle gelatin over and let sit 5 minutes.  Beat butter, salt, vanilla, and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.  If it is too dry, add a little more butter.  Place the measuring cup on a stove burner, gently stirring until the gelatin just melts.  Remove from heat and let the mixture cool back to room temp.  With mixer running, slowly pour gelatin into butter mixture.  Put in a piping bag and squeeze onto cookies, immediately sandwiching together.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Corn Buns

These are light and soft. A really good sandwich bun.
Makes 18 Large Buns

1 can corn, drained
2 c milk
1 c corn meal
1/2 c warm water
2 T yeast
1/2 c butter
1/2 c sugar
3 large eggs
2 1/2 tsp salt
1 c whole wheat flour
2 c white whole wheat flour
2 c ap flour

In a medium saucepan, cook corn meal with milk until it thickens.  Remove from heat.  Add butter, stir briefly to melt.

In a mixer bowl, combine yeast and warm water.  Let sit to bubble.

If you do not want whole corn kernels, add canned corn, sugar, salt, and eggs to the corn meal mixture.  Puree with a hand blender.  If you prefer whole kernels, skip the pureeing.  Add to the yeast mixture.

Using a dough hook, add flours and knead 5 to 8 minutes.  Let dough rise 2 hours.  Divide into 18 pieces.  On a floured surface roll pieces into ovals.  Place on baking sheets dusted with corn meal.  Cover with towels and let rise 30 to 40 minutes.  Bake 20 minutes at 350F.  Remove from sheets and cool on racks.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

PW Strawberry Shortcake Cake

This is really good.  Click here for recipe.  I used to 8" pans because I didn't have one with high enough sides.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Chocolate Chip Bars

One bowl.  Very easy. Very good.  Enough said.
Makes a 9"x13" or 10"x15" Pan

2/3 c unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 c light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 T vanilla
2 1/2 baking powder
2 3/4 c flour

In a 2 quart pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Remove from stove.  Stir in salt and sugar.  Stir in eggs one at a time and vanilla.  Stir in baking powder, then flour.  Add chips.  Spread in preferred pan.  Bake 9"x13" for 35 to 40 minutes at 350F or jelly roll for 25 minutes.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lemon Bars

Makes a 9" Square Pan

Crust
1 1/3 c cake flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 T powdered sugar
2 T granulated sugar
1/2 c unsalted butter
2 T half and half

Top
1 c lemon juice
1/4 c unsalted butter
2 T cream
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla
powdered sugar, for decoration

Whisk dry crust ingredients.  Cut in 1/2 cup butter to pea size.  Stir in half and half.  Press in a 9" square pan.  Bake for 25 minutes at 350F.

While crust bakes, whisk juice, butter, cream, and salt in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk sugar and eggs in a separate bowl.  Whisk hot juice mix into eggs.  Return to saucepan and cook over medium heat until it starts to thicken, 8 minutes.  Pour over crust and bake another 15 minutes.  Cool completely.  Dust with powdered sugar.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sugar Cookies

Charlie and Jack helped make these, today.  
They serenaded me with Jack singing, "Hosanna!"
and Charlie singing, "When I take my bath, I think of you, Lord."
They were rehearsing for their upcoming church performance.
These are soft in the centers and crisp on the outside.

Makes 24 Cookies

1 c unsalted butter
1/2 c powdered sugar
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 c flour
additional sugar for rolling

Cream butter, sugars, tartar, powder, and salt until fluffy.  Beat in vanilla, almond extract, and egg.  Stir in flour.  Shape into balls using a 1 1/2" cookie scoop.  Roll in sugar.  Bake for 11 minutes at 350F.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cafe Latte Cake

Mike said this was even better, chilled.
Makes a 9"x13" Cake

First Batter
3 eggs
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla
2 c flour

Second Batter
3 eggs
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c espresso, or strong coffee
2 c flour

Glaze & Topping
1/2 c espresso
1 T instant coffee
1 c powdered sugar
2 T corn syrup

Make first batter.  Using a whisk attachment, beat eggs, sugar, and salt on medium high until mousselike.  Beat in 3/4 c melted butter, and 2 teaspoons vanilla.  Stir in 2 cups flour.  Spread in a 9"x13" pan.

Make second batter.  Do the same thing as with the first batter, only adding 1/2 c espresso with the vanilla.  Stir in the 2 cups flour.  Pour over the first batter.

Run a knife through to marbleize. Bake 35 minutes at 325.  While cake bakes, stir together the 1/2 cup espresso and 1 tablespoon instant coffee.  Stir together the 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons corn syrup.  Add enough of the espresso/coffee teaspoon by teaspoon to form a smooth glaze.  While the cake is still warm, pour the remaining espresso/coffee over the cake.  Drizzle powdered sugar glaze over the top.  Smooth with a spatula (or your finger as I did.)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hot Ham & Cheese Sandwiches

We had these for Grandma Gentle's birthday party, last night.
Makes 16 Sandwiches

16 Rustic Rolls, halfed

Side 1
1 c mayo1/4 c Dijon, combined
48 thin slices ham
8 sandwich slices swiss cheese, halved

For Side 2

Mushroom Topping
In a large skillet, saute 20 oz. of thinly sliced baby bella mushrooms and 4 diced shallots with 1 tablespoon thyme.  Cool.

Morney Sauce
Melt 1 T butter in a small saucepan.  Whisk 2 T flour with 1 cup milk.  Add milk mix with 1 tablespoon thyme and a dash of nutmeg to saucepan.  Cook until thick.  Stir in 1/2 c Parmesan cheese and hot sauce, salt, and pepper as desired.

Split Rustic Rolls in half.  Place on a baking sheet with cut sides up.  Top one side of each roll with mayo/mustard mix.  Place three slices of cheese on top, followed by one slice of Swiss cheese.  On the other side, spread Morney Sauce.  Top Morney  with drained mushroom mix.  Sprinkle additional Paremsan on top of mushrooms.

Place in a 400F oven for 8 minutes.  Broil an additional 2 minutes to melt cheese. Reassemble sandwich halves and eat.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Jumbo Breakfast Cookies

I adapted this from a "Skinny Jean Cookie" recipe.
My intention is to fill in Jack and Mike's jeans with this version
.
I have used Bob's Red Mill old country style and IKEA papaya muesli.  Both work well.

Makes 12

18 oz or 5 cups muesli
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 c whole wheat flour
2 T corn starch
1 1/3 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c canola oil
1/2 c orange juice
1 T vanilla

Mix all dry ingredients.  Mix all wet ingredients.  Mix wet with dry.  Form into 12 flattened balls on cookie sheets, jumbo muffin tins, or muffin top tins.  Bake 17 to 20 minutes at 350F.  Cool on pans.

S'mores Bars II

I will now always have a box of graham crackers,
a bag of marshmallows, a bag of chips, and a can
of sweetened condensed milk in the pantry.
Makes 18 squares.

Place enough graham crackers to cover the bottom of a 9" x 13" pan.  Toast crackers in the oven at 400F for 8 minutes.

While the crackers are in the oven, mix 1 can sweetened condensed milk with 12 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips in a microwave safe dish.  Microwave 2 minutes at 50% power.  Stir to combine.

Top graham crackers with half of a 16 oz. bag mini marshmallows.  Bake another 4 minutes or until the marshmallows start to get puffy.

Spread melted chocolate mixture over the top of marshmallows.  Sprinkle another quarter of the bag of marshmallows on top of the chocolate.  Broil until the marshmallows start to brown.  Smear them slightly using a spatula.

These are actually I think better the second day after sitting in the fridge.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

White Chocolate Butterscotchers

I made these for Rob who loves all things
 white chocolate and butterscotch.
These are slightly crisp on the outside and soft in the centers.

Makes 30 Cookies

3/4 c butter
1 1/4 c packed dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 T vanilla
2 1/2 c flour
12 oz white chocolate chips

With mixer on medium-high and paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar, soda and salt until fluffy.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Beat in vanilla scraping bowl as needed.  Stir in flour and chips.  Using a 1 1/2" cookie scoop, place level spoonfuls flat side down on cookie sheet.  Bake 12 minutes at 350F, rotating pans half way through.  Tap pan on counter with a few minutes left and once again when you remove them from the oven.

PB&J Buns

I came up with these to take on the "uncrustables."
Makes 15 Buns

1 c 2 T warm water
3 T honey
2 1/4 tsp yeast
4 T unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c mashed potato flakes
1/4 c dry milk
1 c rolled oats
1/2 c wheat bran
1 c white whole wheat flour
1 c a.p. flour, plus more if needed

15 T peanut butter
15 T strawberry jelly

Mix warm water and honey in mixer bowl.  Whisk in yeast.  Let sit 5 minutes.  Add other dough ingredients and knead using a mixer dough hook on low 8 minutes.  The dough should slightly pull away from the sides of the mixer bowl.  If not, gradually add more flour.  Coat dough with oil.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise 2 hours.  Divide into 15 balls.  Smash dough into flat circles.  Spread peanut butter and jam on top.  Fold in half to seal edges.  Pinch sealed edges together and place seam side down in an oiled 9"x13" pan.  Gently cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise one hour.  Bake 25 minutes at 350F.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Rye Beer Buns

From Cooking Books
Makes 24 Rolls or 18 Sandwiches

Dough
12 oz beer
1/3 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c molasses
2 T unsalted butter
4 1/2 tsp yeast
2 tsp salt
3 c a.p. flour
2 1/2 c rye flour
1 T fennel seeds (anise or caraway would work too)
1 T tangerine zest (I used orange)

Egg Wash
1 egg mixed with 1 T water

Filling
1.5 lb thinly sliced and chopped corned beef
2 c swiss cheese, shredded
1 c sauerkraut
1/2 c mayo
2 T vinegar
1 T sugar
salt

Heat beer with sugar, molasses and butter to 110F.  Mix with yeast.  Wait until foamy.  Knead in remaining dough ingredients.  Cover and let rise 2 hours.

Divide into 18 pieces for sandwiches or 24 for rolls.  For sandwiches, combine filling ingredients.  Roll dough into think circles.  Place filling on top.  Pull sides together, pinching to seal.  Place on a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal.  Let rise 1 hour.  For rolls, form into balls on baking sheet and let rise 1 hour.  Brush with egg wash.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes at 375F.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Irish Soda Breads

The only part of supper we didn't have to remind Jack to eat.
8 Mini Loaves

1 c white whole wheat flour
1 c a.p. flour
1/4 c wheat bran
1/4 c rye flour
6 T sugar
1 T caraway seeds
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 lemon
4 T unsalted butter
1 egg
3/4 c half and half

Whisk together flour through soda.  Zest lemon.  Whisk zest into flour mixture.  Cut in butter.  Juice lemon in a small measuring glass.  Add egg and whisk to mix.  Pour in enough half and half to reach the 1 c mark.  Add  wet to dry and stir until just combined.  Shape into a 1" thick rectangle.  Cut into 4 squares.  Cut squares in half.  Brush tops with water and sprinkle with more wheat bran.  Bake 20 minutes at 375F.

Whiskey Brownies

These are supposed to be Irish, but the only thing
slightly Irish are the green looking raisins.
Makes a 10" x 15" Jelly Roll Pan

1 c walnuts, toasted at 325F for 10 minutes
1 1/2 c raisins
1 1/4 c whiskey, Irish if you have
12 oz bittersweet chocolate
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 c sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 c flour

In a small saucepan, simmer 1 cup of whiskey with raisins until they start to get syrupy.  Microwave chocolate and butter on half power until melted.  Cool these two concoctions, slightly.

In a mixer bowl, using a whisk attachment, beat sugar, salt, and eggs until thick like a mousse.  Slowly whisk flour in, making three additions.  Stir in chocolate, raisins, nuts, and remaining 1/4 c whiskey.  Pour onto a greased and floured jelly roll pan.  Bake at 350F for 25 minutes.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Chicken, Bacon, & Barley Soup

Not sure what's wrong with the camera.
Makes a 4-Quart Pot

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped
5 slices bacon, chopped
3 medium onions, sliced thin
16 oz baby portabella mushrooms, sliced thin
4 stalks celery, chopped
5 large carrots, chopped
1/4 c white wine
4 c chicken stock
4 c beef broth
2 c water
1 1/4 c dried pearl barley, rinced
1 T dried herbs 'd provence
1 T sugar
1 T lemon juice
cracked pepper

Saute chicken and bacon over medium-high heat to brown.  Remove from pan and chill until later.  Add onions and mushrooms to pan.  Cook to soften, scrapping brown bits from bottom of pan.  Add carrots and celery.  Saute 5 minutes longer.  Add wine and cook to reduce.  Add broth, stock, herbs, and barley.  Simmer over low heat for 45 minutes, covered.  Add chicken, bacon, sugar, lemon juice, and cracked pepper.  Simmer 5 more minutes.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Buttery Crackers

The boys all love these.
These are so flaky that the floor
always ends up covered with crumbs.
Makes 4 Cookie Sheets

1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c a.p. flour
2 T sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
10 T unsalted butter, cold
1 c and 3 T milk
1 T lemon juice
water in a spray bottle
toppings such as sea salt, pepper, poppy seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, rosemary, onion flakes, garlic, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, etc.

Whisk flours through salt.  Cut in butter.  Mix in milk and juice.  Wrap and chill for 3+ hours.  Divide in four chunks.  Roll out as thin as possible.  Place on four cookie sheets.  Chill at least another 30 minutes.  Spray with water and add desired toppings.  Bake 30 minutes at 350F.  Cool on cookie sheets.  If the centers aren't crisp, tear into pieces, and return to the oven until they are crisp.  Break and serve.  If you don't use them all in the first day or two, you can toast them in the oven.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Charlie's Blueberry Muffins

Charlie made these for Christmas 2010.
The red and green sprinkles weren't the most attractive toppings.
But everyone remembered them.
Makes 16 Medium Muffins

1/4 c unsalted butter, melted
1/4 c Canola oil
1 1/2 sugar
2 large eggs
1 T vanilla
2 1/2 c flour, divided
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c milk
1/4 c sour cream
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries

Whisk butter, oil, and 1 1/2 cups sugar.  Whisk in eggs and vanilla. Whisk 2 cups flour with powder, soda, and salt.  Gently fold into egg mixture.  Mix sour cream and milk.  Fold into batter.  Mix 1/2 c flour with 1 1/2 cups blueberries.  Gently stir into batter.  Scoop batter into 16 regular sized muffin tins.  Sprinkle tops with extra blueberries and sugar.  Bake10 minutes at 425F.  Reduce oven   to 350F bake 14 to 16 minutes longer.  Test centers with a toothpick.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Artichoke, Pepper, and Tomato Strata

Makes a 9"x13" Pan
Charlie said, "Can I have this for my birthday?"

3.5 oz sun dried tomatoes
8 c rustic bread, cut in large chunks
1 T olive oil
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz jar artichoke quarters
12 oz jar roasted red peppers
6 oz can black olives
8 oz fresh mozzarella
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
1 c milk
6 lg eggs
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp Sriracha chili sauce
1 T lemon juice
6 c fresh spinach

Cover tomatoes in a microwave safe dish with water.  Microwave to boiling.  Let soak.
Saute onions in olive oil a few minutes on medium heat.  Add garlic and artichokes.  Saute a few more minutes.  Mix in bread, olives, and cheeses. Drain tomatoes.  Combine with milk, eggs, salt, chili sauce, and lemon juice.  Puree to cut up tomatoes.  Mix with bread mixture.  Stir in spinach.  Spray a 9" x 13" pan with cooking spray.  Spread into pan.  Bake covered for 30 minutes at 375F.  Uncover and bake 15 minutes longer.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Molasses Cookies

Makes 38

1 c unsalted butter
2/3 c light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1 egg, divided
1/2 c molasses
3 c flour
1 c powdered sugar
1 T lemon juice

Cream butter with brown sugar, salt, soda, cinnamon, and ginger to fluffy.  Beat in egg yolk.  Beat in molasses.  Fold in flour.  Using a 1 1/2" scoop smash level spoon fulls into scoop and drop flat side down on cookie sheets.  Flatten tops with your palm.  Whisk egg white with powdered sugar.  Beat with a whisk until it gets fluffy and holds streaks.  Beat in lemon juice.  Cover tops of cookies with egg white mixture.  Bake 15 minutes at 325F.  Cool on cooling racks.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rustic Rolls

If I could only keep one bread recipe, this would be it.  Just in case something happens to Macheesmo's Rustic Roll site, I'm documenting it here.

Makes 16 Rolls
I made these, last night.  I'm mixing another batch, tonight.
2 1/6 c water (I used whey from leftover yogurt.)
1/3 tsp yeast (I used 1/2 tsp)
2 c bread flour (I used a.p.)
2 c whole wheat flour
2 tsp Kosher salt (I used 1 tsp table.)

Mix up ingredients, but don't knead.  Cover and leave on the counter overnight, 12 to 18 hours.  Dust top with flour.  Dump onto a baking sheet generously dusted with cornmeal or semolina.  Sprinkle with flour and shape into a square.  Let rise another 2 hours.  Cut into 16 rolls.  The original recipe says to bake at 500F for 35 to 40 minutes.  I think these were only in the oven for 15-18 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

This week's cold lunch sandwich -
 peanut butter spread on two slices with a sliced banana in between.
Makes One 9"x4" Loaf

Dough
1 c warm water
1 T yeast
5 T sugar
1/3 c mashed potato flakes
1/4 c milk powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
2 T butter, melted
2 eggs
1 1/2 c white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c a.p. flour

Filling
1 c raisins
2 T cinnamon
4 T sugar

Whisk warm water with yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar.  Once bubbly, add the remaining dough ingredients.  Knead with a dough hook on mixer for 8 minutes.  Place dough in a greased bowl for 1 hour, covered with a towel or plastic wrap.  Cover raisins in water and microwave until water boils.  Let the raisins sit a few minutes in water, then drain.  Blend or puree raisins with cinnamon and sugar.  Shape dough on floured counter in a rectangle.  Spread raisin mix on top.  Roll.  Place in greased pan.  Let rise 45 minutes, covered.  Bake 45 minutes at 350F.  Cool five minutes in pan.  Remove and cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes 36 Cookies

1/4 c unsalted butter
3/4 c creamy peanut butter
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 c flour
2 c chopped Dove chocolates

Cream butter with peanut butter.  Beat in sugars, salt, and soda.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla.  Stir in flour and chips.  Using a 1 1/2" cookie scoop, smash, flatten, and level dough in scoop.  Place dough balls, flat side down on baking sheets.  Bake 8 minutes at 350F.  Take cookie sheets out and flatten dough balls slightly.  Place in the oven for another 3 minutes or until slightly browned.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Lemon Sugar Cookies

We first tasted a cookie like this at Apples Bakery in Peoria.
This is a close competitor.
Makes 28 Cookies

Dough
1 c unsalted butter
1 c sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp citric acid
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
zest from 2 lemons
1 large egg
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp almond extract
3 c flour

Icing
3 c powdered sugar
3 T lemon juice
1 T corn syrup
1/4 tsp almond extract

Cream butter with sugar, tartar, acid, soda, and salt.  Beat in zest.  Beat in egg, juice, and extract.  Stir in flour.  Using a 1 1/2" cookie scoop, gather dough on scoop pressing to flatten and level.  Place on cookie sheets with rounded sides up, flattening tops slightly.  Bake for 11 minutes at 350F rotating pans half way through.  Cool.

Mix icing ingredients, adding juice or sugar to proper consistency.  Pour over cookie tops.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wheat Dinner Rolls

Grandma Gentle first made these.  They are my standard dinner roll.
1 c half & half
6 T unsalted butter
1/3 c sugar
2 c whole wheat flour
2 c a.p. flour
1 tsp salt
1 T yeast
3 lg eggs

Melt butter in half and half.  Cool to 110F.  Whisk sugar, flours, salt, and yeast.  Add half and half and eggs.  Knead 2 minutes.  Let rise 1 hour. Butter a 9"x13" glass pan.   Shape into 12 balls.  Let rise 45 minutes.  Bake 20 minutes at 375F.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Strawberry Rhuabarb Lemon Bars

Makes a 10" x 15" Pan

Crust
8 T unsalted butter
1/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 c flour

Cream butter with sugar and salt.  Beat in vanilla and eggs.  Stir in flour.  Press in a jelly roll pan.  Bake 8 minutes at 350F.  I baked it 10 minutes in an air bake pan.

Lemon Layer
1 1/4 c sugar
2 T corn meal
2 T corn starch
1/2 tsp citric acid
1/2 tsp salt
4 lg eggs (I used 6 medium)
8 T unsalted butter, melted
1/2 c lemon juice

While crust bakes, whisk sugar through salt in the same mixing bowl.  Whisk in eggs, then butter, then juice.  Poor on crust when baked.  Return to oven for 28 minutes.  Let cool.

Rhubarb Strawberry Top
4 c chopped rhubarb
1 1/2 c sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 c corn starch
1/4 c water
red food coloring
1 to 2 c diced strawberries

Mix rhubarb, sugar, and salt in a saucepan.  Cook until the rhubarb softens and breaks up.  Mix water and corn starch.  Add slurry to saucepan and cook until thick.  Stir in food coloring.  Cool over an ice water bath.  Gently fold in strawberries.  Spoon over lemon layer after it is cool.

S'mores Bars

Charlie looked at this picture and said, "I want that, again, tonight."
The original recipe was found on BAKINGBLONDE'S WEBLOG.  I'm not sure why mine look so different.  These were so very easy to make.  I added salt and used more marshmallows on top.
Makes a 9"x9" Pan

1 bag graham crackers, 9 large crushed
1 1/2 c marshmallows, plus more for top
3/4 c chocolate chips
1/2 c sugar
1/3 c unsalted butter
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Mix cracker crumbs with 3/4 c marshmallows and 1/2 c chocolate chips.  Melt butter in a saucepan.  Add sugar, egg, salt, and vanilla.  Cook until it starts to boil, stirring constantly.  Mix into the crumb mix.  Add 3/4 c marshmallows and 1/4 c chocolate chips.  Press into a square pan lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray.  Press mixture down to flatten.  Sprinkle additional marshmallows over the top.  Broil to brown.  Place in the freezer for a 1/2 hour to set.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Peach Oatmeal Muffins

The kids have been asking for these for breakfast and snacktime.
Turns out to be a good recipe for Grandma Ruth's frozen peaches.
Makes 24 Regular Sized Muffins

6 c frozen peaches or 2 c fresh
1/2 c unsalted butter
1 1/3 c sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
zest from 1 orange
2 lg eggs
1 T vanilla
1 c oatmeal
3 c white whole wheat flour
1 c sour cream
milk, up to 1 cup if needed

2 c powdered sugar
2 T orange juice, or more

Defrost peaches, drain and reserve juice from peaches.

Cream butter and sugar.  Beat in baking powder, soda, salt, and zest.  Add vanilla and eggs, beating eggs in one at a time.  Measure one cup of reserved peach juice and mix with sour cream.  If there isn't enough juice use milk in place.  Beat in oats.  Mix in one cup of flour, one cup of juice/cream, one cup of flour, remaining juice/cream, and then the last cup of flour.

Scoop into 24 muffin cups.  Bake at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes.  Cool pans on cooling racks.  Remove muffins.  Combine orange juice and sugar.  Add orange juice or sugar to make proper glace consistency.  Drizzle over muffin tops.

My Other Pie Crust

This is the Martha Stewart crust with sugar added.
This crust works better if you're concerned about the shape.
Double 9" Pie Crust

2 1/2 c flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 c sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter
ice water

Blend flour, salt, and sugar.  Cut in butter.  Stir in enough ice water until the dough starts to hold.  Form two discs, wrapping with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate at least 3 hours. 

I bake pies at 425F for 20 minutes.  Then lower the temp to 375F and bake at least another hour until bubbling in the middle, covering sides with foil.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stuffed Greek Sandwich

I made this sandwich for the teachers' parent conference night.
I sent them in a medium sized pizza box.
Makes One 12" by 16" Sandwich

Bread Dough
1 3/4 c warm water
1 T yeast
1 T sugar
2 lg eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c olive oil
1 c whole wheat flour
2 c white whole wheat flour
2 c bread flour

Filling
2 28 oz cans whole tomatoes
3 tsp garlic
olive oil
1/2 lb chopped salami
3 tsp garlic, minced
8 oz feta cheese, crumbled
12 oz jar artichoke hearts, drained
6 oz container olives, drained chopped
coarse sea salt
cracked pepper

Dissolve yeast in warm water with sugar.  Let rest 5 minutes.  Add remaining bread dough ingredients.  Knead 8 to 10 minutes to form a soft dough.  The dough should pull away from the bowl's side.  If not, add more flour.  Let rise 2 hours.

Meanwhile, empty 2 cans of tomatoes in a roasting pan.  Break tomatoes in half.  Sprinkle with 3 teaspoons garlic and olive oil.  Roast at 400F for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Saute salami over medium heat.  Drain on a paper towel.  Chop artichokes and olives.  Mix salami with artichokes, olives, and cheese.  Season mixture with salt and pepper.

Role dough out to form a 15" by 20" rectangle.  Lay tomatoes in a single layer on dough.  You will have lots of extra tomatoes to use for something else.  Spread half the salami mix on top of the tomatoes.  Roll dough up like a jelly roll.  Flatten and roll out to another 15" by 20" rectangle.  Spread remaining salami mix on top.  Roll again.  And roll out to a 12" by 16" rectangle, or to your preferred thickness.  Sprinkle a baking sheet with corn meal or semolina flour.  Place sandwich on top of baking sheet.  Brush top and sides with olive oil.  Season top with sea salt and pepper.  Cover and let rise 30 minutes.  Bake at 350F for 35 minutes.  Cool and cut into squares.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Coconut Caramel Bars

These are like the Girl Scout Samoas only about 10 times better.
Makes a 9" x 13" Pan

1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 c sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 stick unsweetened butter
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1 1/4 c a.p. flour
1 c semi sweet chocolate chips

Taking paper off the can, boil can of sweetened condensed milk in water for 3 hours.  Cool in pan.

Toast coconut in oven at 325F, stirring frequently until brown.  Cool on pan.

Using a mixer, beat butter and brown sugar with salt and powder to fluffy.  Add vanilla and egg, beating again.  With mixer on low, add 2 1/2 cups of the coconut, then all the flour.

Press in a 9"x13" baking pan.  Bake 15 minutes at 350F.  Remove from oven and pour sweetened condensed milk on top.  Gently spread caramel with a spatula as to not disturb the cookie layer.  Bake another 12 minutes.  Remove and immediately sprinkle chips on top.  Wait until chips have melted and spread.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup coconut.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Banana Cream Pie

This is Grandma Gentle's recipe. 
I just added a little salt, almond extract, and half-n-half.
Makes a 9" Pie
1 graham cracker crust, cooled
bananas
1 c milk
1 c half-n-half
3 egg yolks
3 T cornstarch
3/4 c sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 T unsalted butter
whipped cream, for serving

Mix 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium size saucepan.  Add milk and half-n-half whisking to prevent lumps.  Mix egg yolks with remaining 1/4 cup sugar.  Bring milk to a boil, stirring constantly.  Once thickened, slowly add to egg yolks.  Return yolks to saucepan and cook over medium heat for a couple more minutes.  Remove from stove top.  Add vanilla, extract, and butter.  Chill. 

Once custard is room temp, slice bananas and place on crust.  Pour custard over the top.  Chill pie.  Serve with whipped cream.