Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lemon Bars

Makes a 9" Square Pan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.