Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Here is the recipe
Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread (easy version)
Yield: about 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups)
2 cups whole raw hazelnuts
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
up to 1/4 cup vegetable or nut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place hazelnuts in a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Toast until the skins are almost black and the meat is dark brown, about 15 minutes. Stir the nuts halfway through baking to ensure an even color.
2.Since the skin is bitter, you’ll want to discard them. Wrap the cooled hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel or paper towel, and rub until most of the skins have come off. Don’t fret if you can’t get off all the skins.
3.Process nuts in a food processor, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until they have liquefied, about 5 minutes. First, you will get coarsely chopped nuts, then a fine meal. After a little while, the nuts will form a ball around the blade, and it will seem like you only have a solid mass. Keep processing. The heat and friction will extract the natural oils, and you will get hazelnut butter!
My mother in law is Danish. She makes all kinds of traditional Danish dishes, desserts and meals. I've learned how to make Danish soup but that's about it. I'm going to get her to teach me how to make a couple of desserts while she is visiting.
She made something called Aebelskiver years ago in a little pan. Basically they are round ball shaped pancakes and you need a special pan for them. I've seen some cheapy ones on infomercials but have been told to stay away from them from the expert.
My husband found me an awesome pan for Christmas and bought it for me along with a cookbook. I tried to make some the other day and I did quite well for my first kick at the can I think. I made another batch tonight as well. I filled these ones with nutella and then some with apples/cinnamon. These are made as a snack in Denmark...a very yummy snack I might add.
I used a basic recipe tonight.
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs seperated
1 cup milk (I used skim)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks, milk, melted butter and vanilla. Add the yolk mixture to the flour mixture and using a wooden spoon mix until well blended (it may be a little lumpy)
Using an electric mixer in a seperate bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff but not dry peaks form. Using a rubber spatula fold half the egg whites into the flour mixture to lighten it. Add the other half and fold it in until no white streaks remain. The egg whites give them their light airy appearance and taste. Use the batter immediately.
Heat the pan over medium low heat. Brush butter into each cup and fill with about a tablespoon of batter. Working quickly drop the filling into the center and cover with another dab of the batter. Using wooden skewers flip the batter over while still pretty liquidy to cook the other side. Keep flipping until fully cooked. It only takes but a minute or two.
Fill each cup
and add filling quickly
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
My grandma taught us to make pierogy many times. She'd host Pierogy making parties to teach us all but it always fell on her lap. I knew how to make them but they are very labour intensive and there was just something about grandma's pierogy that was better. (Other than the year she deviated from tradition and put shrimp in them...blech).
Now that Gran is gone, Christmas just doesn't seem like Christmas without her pierogy so one year I pulled out my recipe collection and found my hand written scratchily written Grandma recipe. I imagine she is smiling down as we labour over them and somehow, making all these foods that my grans' made, makes it seem like they are here with us.
We take a few shortcuts that make it easier, but I always get the kids involved. We have our pierogy assembly line. Usually get a few hundred made in about 2 hours working the way we do. This year? Oldest at work, youngest sick with fever, I made them with my two middle kids. We just finished an hour and a bit and we got about 100 or so made.
Without Further adieu...the recipe. It's sort of one of those handful of this, and "to taste" of that but I've tried to ballpark measurements for you. In the end of the day, the best part is tasting the filling and adjusting as you go along but the essentials are potato, onion, and cheese.
Grandma Buddy's Ingredients.
8-10 medium to large size new white potato
3-4 cups shredded sharp ("old") cheese
1 large shredded onion (pureed is even better)
pepper to taste
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
Peel and boil potatos until thoroughly cooked. Drain and mash until smooth. I use a kitchenaid mixer. Add the shredded cheese while the potato is still hot, as well as the onion, and mix on low-medium until smooth. Add pepper to taste. Taste periodically to see if it needs more cheese or not, pepper etc to your liking.
For the wrappers. In the mixer place the flour and salt. In a seperate bowl lightly scramble the eggs with the water and pour slowly into the mixer. I use the triangular paddle for this on low speed. Let the mixer combine and beat it until well combined. Remove from the mixer and knead until smooth. Cut the dough into small sections (maybe 5ths). Now...you can roll it out by hand until thin, cut with a mason jar lid and carry on, or do what we do. We use an old fashioned hand cranked Pasta maker.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
I have tried to figure them out. They are really quite simple, but today I failed miserably. Given I have said I will even post my failures here they are. They taste amazing but look well...awful. I took a pic of the best of the lot, but most of them have pretty much fallen apart.
This is the best of the bunch. They do/did taste really good though. Since they have all disappeared I figure looks can be deceiving. I will figure this out at some point though.
I have always made these with premade pie dough, and I've been trying to make my own pie dough for the first time this year. I made a couple of good batches of pie dough. This one was not quite up to snuff which may have made the difference.
I'm pretty sure my kids are going to be totally devasted by the fact that we'll have to eat them vs. giving them away. LOL.
I have zero measurements for this but maybe if someone has them they can send them to me and I'll credit you with an actual real recipe.
This is how I make them. Roll out Pie dough to 1/4 inch thick. Spread out a couple tablespoons of soft butter, sprinkle generously with brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll it up, cut into 1 inch sections and transfer to a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet for about 3 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.
They taste divine. Although I blew this batch, (and the last one), I will keep trying.
Friday, December 4, 2009
The end result is a cakey type cookie with a delicious filling. Vibrant red (even though my picture may not reflect that).
Without further adieu. The directions.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons red food colouring (I use Spectre gel)
Peppermint and Cream Cheese Filling (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 375 F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside. In a large bowl beat the butter for 30 seconds, add the brown sugar, baking powder, cocoa, and salt. Beat until well combined. Add the egg and vanilla, scraping the sides occasionally until combined. Alternately add flour and buttermilk, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Stir in the red food colouring.
Spoon dough from a rounded teaspoon (I used cookie scoops...like ice cream scoops) onto the cookie sheets approx 2 inches apart. Bake in the preheated oven for 7-9 minutes or until the edges are set. Cool on cookie sheet for two minutes then remove to wire rack and let cool.
Spread Peppermint Cream cheese filling on the flat side of a cookie. Top with remaining cookies, flat side down pressing very lightly together.
If desired sprinkle with crushed candy canes. ( I sprinkled the candy canes on half of them while they were just out of the oven to ensure they held.
Peppermint Cream Cheese Filling
In a large bowl, combine two 3 oz packages cream cheese, softened, with 3 tablespoons of butter. Beat on medium to high speed until light and fluffy. Add 1 tsp of Peppermint extract. Gradually,beat in 3 cups powdered sugar. Add milk (I use whipping cream because I find it whips better), I tsp at a time to make a filling of spreading consistency.
To store: Layer cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container, cover. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Let cookies stand at room temp for 15 minutes before serving.
10 fingers and toes up for this one!!!! They are tasty and look delightful!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I think the best thing I can equate it to is it's similar to a Pecan Pie for my American friends and readers. You really must try this recipe. You will never regret it.
My gran's recipe disappeared after she passed away. Try as I might to find a copy I've not been able to. So, I scoured the net looking for one, asked friends for their gran's recipe if they had one.
I wanted to make a tried and true recipe. My friend JDurnford passed along her Grandma's recipe, and I ended up combining it with several others I found online to pretty much come up with a version I thought might work. INDEED it did!! I made them as mini's because they will be going into the cookie gift tins.
The recipe makes approx 24 regular muffin cup buttertarts, or 48 mini ones. These bake up really quickly so if you are in a hurry use a premade shells or dough.
Pastry Shells (as taken off the back of my lard box)
1 lb lard
6 cups pastry flour (5 1/2 all purpose flour)
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vinegar
Mix together flour and salt
Cut in lard with pastry blender or 2 knives until a course oatmeal like texture is achieved
In a one cup measure lightly beat the egg, add the vinegar and cold water to bring it to 1 cup (250 ml)
Gradually stir the liquid into the flour mixture. Add only enough water to make the dough cling together.
Gather into a ball and divide into 6 equal sized portions. If desired, wrap unused portions and freeze. Roll out the dough on a pastry cloth or lightly floured surface. Chill for 1-2 hours if sticking.
Roll dough to approx 1//8-1/4 inch thick depending on the size of the muffin tins. (1/8 for mini, 1/4 for standard). Cut dough with a round glass or cookie cutter and mold them into greased muffin tin (I use Pam)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans (if desired)
1/2 cup raisins (if desired)
Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Spoon mixture into the prepared shells. If using mini's about a teaspoon worked well for me. For larger ones, fill the cup to a little more than 1/2 full. No more than that.
Mini's I baked at 375 F for 10 minutes, removing from oven and letting cool to touch before transfering them to a cooling rack. This avoided them setting and sticking to the pan if any of the filling had expanded above my dough line.
Standard one instructions were to bake anywhere from 375-400 F for 10 minutes.
These were so good. A+ in this house. The kids walked in the door and tasted them immediately. Two thumbs up from the junior contingent.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I decided I wanted to try a few new cookies this year. As we give about 90% of the cookies we make away as gifts, I wanted to add something new.
First up this year was the Eggnog Nutmeg Sugar Cookie. I usually buy the Better Homes and Gardens Christmas cookie magazine every year, and it didn't disappoint. I find one or two recipe that become a classic.
I find the icing on this one a smidgeon sweet so I may to play with it a bit for our own tastes. The recipe called for 3-4 tablespoons of eggnog in the icing. I increased it about 6 tablespoons for easier spreading and a thinner layer.
My daughter (aged 9) and spent the afternoon in the kitchen making these.
½ of a vanilla bean split in half lengthwise or 2 tsp vanilla (I used the seeds of the whole vanilla pod)1 ¼ cups butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg or ½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp dairy or canned eggnog
3 ¼ cup all purpose flour
Coarse sugar (optional)
- Using the tip of a sharp knife, scrape pulp from the vanilla bean pod and set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high for approx 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, eggnog, and vanilla pulp or vanilla until well combined. Beat in the flour slowly until well combined. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the dough balls to ¼ inch thick. Using fluted round 3 inch cookie cutter, cut out dough. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper ½ inch apart. Bake in preheated oven for approx 8 minutes or just lightly browned. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Spread cookies with Eggnog Icing and sprinkle with sugar if desired. Makes approx 24 cookies.
Where I deviated (as I always do). I used a whole pod of vanilla seeds, and I like my sugar cookies thin and smaller. I rolled mine a little thinner that ¼ inch, and found baking them for 5 ½ minutes PERFECT! Oven temps vary so keep an eye on them. My first batch I put in for 7 minutes and they nearly burned. I used a smaller cookie cutter about 2 inch diameter which yielded about 75 cookies.
Eggnog Icing. In a medium bowl, stir together 3 cups powdered icing sugar with ½ tsp vanilla. Stir in enough eggnog to make and icing of spreading consistency. The recipe called for 3-4 tablespoon of eggnog. I used approx 6 tablespoons.
To store: Layer cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container: cover. Store and room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
These are a fabulous recipe that have become a standard Christmas cookie in our house. I don't even like biscotti but this one is delish. Makes a wonderful homemade gift to anyone. I always package them up and include the recipe.
Bittersweet Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti.
1/3 cup butter (softened)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 2/3 cup flour
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, chopped
4 oz bittersweet chocolate chopped
6 oz bittersweet chocolate chopped
Preheat oven to 375 - lightly grease cookie sheet. (I generally always use Pam or parchement paper)
Beat butter on mdm/hi for 30 seconds, add brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and cocoa powder and finally beat in the flour until well combined. Add in hazelnuts and chocolate pieces (4 oz) and mix well until thoroughly blended. Divide the dough in half.
On a floured surfave shape each into a roll (however long...around 9-10 inches) so they are about 1.5 inches in width. Place rolls 4 " apart on prepped cookie sheet for and slightly flatten the rolls so they are about 2 inches wide.
Bake for 20-25 minutes can cool on cookie sheet for 45 minutes. Reduce temp in oven to 300 Once cooled....cut each roll diagonally into 1/2" thick pieces. Cut carefully with a serrated knife. Place back on cookie sheet flat.
Bake at 300 for 8-10 minutes and then turn them all over and bake again for another 7-9 minutes until moisture is removed. Transfer to wire rack and cool for about an hour.
You can use the microwave and melt the 6 oz of chocolate and shortening on 1/2 power for 1-2 minutes but I prefer to do it on the stove.
If you don't have a double boiler what I do is use a metal mixing bowl and small saucepan. Pop some water in the saucepan and place the metal mixing bowl on top. Turn on the element and get the water boiling in the saucepan with the metal bowl and chocolate pieces in place. Keep stirring until melted and combined with the shortening.
Dip the end of the biscotti into melted chocolate and place on waxed paper or parchment paper and let stand until it's well set.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup (a stick and a half) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/2 cup of all-vegetable shortening (8 Tbsp)
6-8 Tablespoons ice water (please note I only used 2 tbsp Ice water)
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Pizza was requested for dinner tonight so I'm posting my version of Pizza for you instead.
A friend of mine passed along a Foccacia Bread recipe years ago and while I rarely make it to use as bread (sometime pannini) I do use it as my base for Pizza dough. I make my dough in a breakmaker under dough setting.
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white sugar
1 tsp chopped or minced garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 pinch ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup water
1 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 tbsp bread machine yeast
Bake in oven for 8 minutes at 425 degrees F.
If you make the bread without pizza toppings, place dough on greased baking sheet, and pat it down to 1/2 thick rectangle, brush the top with olive oil and spring parmesan cheese and cup of mozzarella cheese. Preheat oven.
For Pizza I take the dough and usually divide it into two. I allow it to rise for about 1/2 hour, and then form the round dough bases on a well floured surface. I place two Pizza Stones in the oven for about 10 minutes while preheating and working on the pizza's themselves. Preheat oven to 425 F when you start to make the pizza's.
Spread some cornmeal on the pizza stone and transfer the pizza onto the stone. Bake for approx 11-13 minutes.
Roll your dough to approx 1/4 inch thick. Pinch around the sides to ensure the ingredients don't slide out. Spread pizza sauce on the dough
Add ingredients as desired. I use cooked chicken, pepperoni, green and red peppers, and mushrooms, and course plenty of mozzarella cheese. Please note, I usually double the recipe above and divide into three for our family. I also substitute one third of the white flour for whole wheat, and use both regular mozzarella and soya mozzarella for a bit of a healthier option.
Sprinkle more cheese over the top of the ingredients.
Here is the pizza all baked up. Note the dough rises quite a bit so making it as thin as you can prior to baking will give you a thinner crust.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Once cakes have cooled you may remove them from the pans carefully.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
This pound cake is a little extravagant...okay, a lot extravagant. If you are looking for a simple pound cake this will also do the trick but it was my 16th anniversary today so I wanted it a little fancier.
I have never made pound cake before, but I've seen them use it so much on Cake Boss and various cake decorating shows I decided to try it. In trying to find a good recipe I learned pound cake is named as such because it uses a pound of flour, a pound of butter, pound of egg, and pound of sugar. I even weighed my eggs once cracked just to check. Sure enough...it totalled a pound.
This recipe is fantastic. I will credit Soul Food for the recipe as this is where I found it and it's simply perfect as is. No changes necessary.
Here is the recipe
3 cups cake flour
6 large eggs
1 pound butter, room temperature, softened
1 pound sugar
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
I always use a kitchenaid mixer for baking.
Sift the flour, baking soda,and baking powder
into a large mixing bowl.
Stir in salt and the sugar. Add the butter. Add the eggs, whole. At this
point I break out my mixer and begin mixing on
slow. Slowly add the buttermilk and vanilla. After it's thoroughly combined turn up the mixer to medium, and high for a few minutes each. If it's a little
thick add just a touch more buttermilk but it should be thick. If you don't
mix things thoroughly you will have lumps that will form air bubbles in your mixture and leave holes in your finished cake.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
This recipe makes quite a bit of cake. I used a medium and small hex shape deep pan, and still had a bit of batter left over. A large Bundt cake pan, plus a loaf pan would probably work too. Spray the pans with Pam cooking spray, and bake for about an hour to one hour 20 minutes. Check the cakes at the hour mark. When a nice golden brown they are complete and toothpicks come out clean.
For my extravagance I made the Italian Butter cream that I posted about yesterday. Cut the cakes into layers and used custard and strawberries between the layers. Iced the layers with the butter cream icing and topped with blueberries and strawberries. I refrigerated the cake and it was mouthwateringly good.Pound cake is great for carved cakes, or you can just slice a piece plain. You can dress it up really any way you wish.
I wish I could make my cakes look like Cake Boss' but at least they taste divine!!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
Monday, September 7, 2009
Chicken with shredded carrots, celery, and bacon bits added.
Now on the homemade buns with lettuce
Sandwich all Packed up in the nifty Starfrit containers.