Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Rotini and Cheese Salad

I have many of my favorite American Picnic Salads on the Blog. This is just another one added to the post under Macaroni Salad, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, All American Picnic Salads.

Rotini and Cheese Salad.

This is an iconic American Picnic Salad.

1 pound of Rotini Pasta (cooked, drained according to package directions) Refrigerate until completely cooled.
1 Red Bell Pepper, Diced
3 Ribs of Celery, chopped
8 oz. Sharp Cheddar Cheese, cubed into bite sized pieces
1/4 C Diced Sweet Onion
1 C Mayonnaise
1/4 C Granulated Sugar
2 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp dried Parsley

In a large mixing bowl:
Mayonnaise
Sugar
Vinegar
Pepper
Parsley
Whisk well.
Add Pasta and mix well to combine.
Fold in:
Bell Pepper
Celery
Cheese
Onion
Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip

Just another recipe for one of my favorite Dips. I've adapted it from Nell's Old Fashioned Recipes. I have my other favorites posted on the blog, but this just sounded like something I would make.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2 C Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 (10oz.) box of Frozen  Chopped Spinach, thaw and drain.
1 (14oz.) can of Artichoke Hearts, drain and chop.
2/3 C Sour Cream
1 (8oz.) package of Cream Cheese, softened  to room temperature.
1/3 C Mayonnaise
2 tsp Minced Garlic
1 small can of Water Chestnuts, chopped
Mix all ingredients well, by hand, in a large mixing bowl.
Pour into a 2 quart casserole dish.
Bake for 30 minutes.

NOTE:
I cream together the Cream Cheese, Sour Cream, Mayonnaise and Garlic in a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer and fold in the remaining ingredients, by hand.


Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!







Monday, December 29, 2014

Savory Ritz Crackers

I know this recipe is not new, it's available online and most people are familiar with it. I was not familiar with the recipe. I got it from a friend in Michigan. Thank you Linda for sharing this with me.
I've adapted it a bit without changing the integrity of the original recipe.
I have another favorite Savory Cracker Recipe on the blog called Firecrackers.


Savory Ritz Crackers.

8 TBS (1stick) Butter, melted
1 Box of Ritz Crackers
1 Packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
1/2 C Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 TBS Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp Garlic Powder

Pour Butter into a large mixing bowl.
Toss crackers in the butter to coat well.

In a separate bowl:
Ranch Dressing
Red Pepper Flakes
Garlic Powder
Parmesan Cheese
Stir to combine well.
Shake this over the crackers and gently toss to coal well.
Spread evenly onto a Parchment Paper Lined Sheet Pan.
Bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Rainbow Rocky Road Fudge Squares

I've taken the best recipes I found for Rocky Road Fudge , adapted them and came up with my favorite recipe.

Here's what you'll need:
1 - 9"X 9" pan lined with waxed paper, handing over the sides by 2".

Rainbow Rocky Road Fudge Squares

1 (10.5oz.) bag of Colored Miniature Marshmallows
2 C chopped Pecans
1 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 TBS Butter, softened to room temperature
2 C Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
2 TBS Vanilla

In a large mixing bowl:
Marshmallows
Pecans
Mix well and set aside.

In a saucepan on medium high heat:
Milk
Butter
Chocolate Chips
Heat, stirring constantly until melted and smooth.
Stir in Vanilla.
Set aside for 5 minutes.
Pour over the Marshmallow/Pecan mix.
Mix well.
Pour over evenly into the pan.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Lift out of the pan using the waxed paper overhang.
But into squares to serve.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Texas Pecan and Fig Macarons with Raspberry Cream Cheese / Fig Filling

Here's a Texas take on the iconic French Macaron.
This is definitely a Texas Macaron Y'all!

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
1 - Sheet Pan lined with 2 sheets of Parchment Paper. The bottom one will have the Macaron template, it will be removed just prior to baking. The circles should be 1 1/4" in diameter.

This recipe will make 4 dozen cookies. (serving size is 2 cookies) The final yield is 2 dozen sandwiched Macarons.


Macaron Batter:

1 C Chopped Pecans
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 tsp finely grated Orange Zest
1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
A dash of Salt
2 large Egg Whites
1 3/4 C of twice sifted Confectioner's Sugar, divided.
3/4 C Finely chopped Dried Mission Figs (about 8 Figs), stems removed and discarded.

In a Food Processor:
Pecans
Cinnamon
Process until finely ground.
Sift well onto a large piece of Parchment Paper through a sieve, discard the residue, don't press the remaining mixture through the sieve.
Place back into the Food Processor, add the Zest and pulse just until incorporated.
Set aside.

In a Stand Mixer with a Whisk Attachment:
Egg Whites
Cream of Tartar
Salt
On Medium speed, whisk just until foamy.
Increase speed to High, continue beating until stiff peak meringue.

Reserve 2 TBS of the Confectioner's Sugar into a small bowl and set aside.
Add remaining Sugar to the Meringue and beat on Low just until incorporated.

Fold in the Pecan Mixture by hand.

Add Figs to the reserved Sugar and toss to coat well.
Fold Figs into the batter by hand with a large Silicone Spatula.
Mix well until it slowly drips from the spatula.

Place a #12 Piping Tip into a Piping Bag and fill it with the batter.
Squeeze the batter down into the bag, eliminating any air pockets.
Cut the tip and pipe the batter onto the template lined parchment paper.
Firmly tap the bottom of the sheet pan onto a work surface to release any trapped air.
Allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Check for a light crust to form, they should not stick to your finger when lightly touched,

Bake for 10 - 15 minutes. If the top of the cookie begins to crack, then the temperature is too high.
You'll get to know your oven for baking Macarons.

Remove the pan and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Cooling the cookies is an important process.
Refrigerate the pan of cookies to oil completely before filling.

When you're ready to fill the cookies, peel the paper away from the cookie, don't pull the cookie away  from the paper. You can also use a small, metal offset spatula to gently loosen the cookies.

Prepare the Filling :

8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature.
8 TBS Seedless Raspberry Jam.
A jar of really good Fig Jam.

In a bowl with a hand mixer.
Cream Cheese
Raspberry
Beat until creamy smooth.
Refrigerate until completely cooled.

With an offset spatula, spread an equal amount of Raspberry filling onto half of the cookies.
Spread the other half of the cookies with equal amounts of Fig Jam.
Gently sandwich the two cookies together.


TIPS:
When piping the batter, keep the Macarons consistent in size, using a Parchment Paper template or a Silicone Mat template.
Keep the tip of the Pastry Bag about 1/2" away from the paper with the bag straight up, not angled.
Don't use a circular motion to pipe the batter.
Squeeze just until the template circle is filled to the edge. Pop the tip away to release it from the cookie.

Profitez!
Paix dans la Cuisine!









Caramel Apple Cookies

When there's a chill in the air and the Apples are ripe on the trees, enjoy the flavors of those Fall apples in a cookie.
I grew up in Michigan with an Apple Orchard at the end of our street. It was an annual event for our family to visit the Cider Mills too. My grandmother lived in Up State New York and had an Apple Farm. Apple Pie, Apple Cider, Caramel Apples and Apple Cobblers were all popular in Fall and Winter when we visited our grandmother.
Here's a recipe that evokes all of those flavors, in a cookie.

Caramel Apple Cookies:

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Sheet Pans lined with Parchment Paper  (Parchment is an important part of this recipe)
You can't use Sugar Free Cider Mix! This is an important part of the recipe too.

2 sticks (16 TBS) Butter, room temperature
1 C Granulated Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 - (7.4 oz.) Box of Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Instant Original Drink Mix. (10 packets)
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
3 C Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Allspice
1 - 14oz. bag of Kraft Caramels

In a Stand Mixer with a Paddle Attachment:
Butter
Sugar
Salt
10 Packets of Cider Mix
Beat just until combined.
Add:
Eggs, one at a time.
Vanilla
Mix just until combined.

In a medium mixing bowl:
Flour
Baking Soda
Baking Powder
Cinnamon
Allspice
Whisk together by hand.
Gradually add this to the wet ingredients in the mixer.
Beat just until combined.
Don't over mix the dough.

Use a 1 3/4" Cookie Scoop and scoop out the dough for each cookie.
Flatten the dough just enough to add 1 caramel in the center of the dough and seal the dough around it, completely.
Place them 2" apart on the Sheet Pan.
Bake for 12 - 14 minutes. (check at 12 minutes, it should be enough time) you don't want to over bake them.
When they're done, gently slide the Parchment Paper, along with the cookies, onto the counter or a Cooling Rack.
Allow them to cool, just until they're no longer soft, but still warm.
Gently twist the cookies to release them, turn them upside down on the Parchment Paper, to cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



                     




Hatch Chile Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies



This is a spicy Chile infused Chocolate Chip Cookie created for The Central Market Hatch Chile Contest and the Dallas Morning News Holiday Cookie Contest.

Hatch Chile Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 C + 2 TBS Flour
1/4 C Dark Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1 TBS Ancho Chile Powder ( or your favorite Chile Powder) I use a Chimayo Chile Powder that we get from Chimayo, New Mexico)
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ginger
1/4 tsp Instant Espresso Coffee (Medaglia D'oro)
8 oz. Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips, melted
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
5 TBS butter, softened
3/4 C Light Brown Sugar
1/4 C Granulated Sugar
1 C Dark Chocolate Chips
1/2 C Milk Chocolate Chips
1/2 C Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/4 C diced Hatch Chiles (not roasted)


In a mixing bowl, Sift the following ingredients well:
Flour
Cocoa Powder
Baking Powder
Salt
Ancho Chile Powder
Cinnamon
Ginger
Instant Espresso Coffee

In another bowl, whisk Eggs, Vanilla and Set Aside.

In the bowl of a Stand Mixer with a paddle attachment:
Butter
Brown Sugar
Granulated Sugar
Beat until creamy smooth, 2 -3 minutes.
Add Egg and Vanilla, beat until combined well.
Add melted Chocolate, beat until combined well.
Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients.
Fold in all of the Chocolate Chips, by hand.
Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.

Using a 1 3/4 inch Cookie Scoop , scoop the dough 2 inches apart onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool on the pan for 10 minutes.
Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!
.











Corn Cakes with Diced Green Chiles and Cheese served with Butter and Warm Maple Syrup


I'm a Texan, we love Corn Cakes!

Corn Cakes with Diced Green Chiles and Cheese served with Butter and Warm Maple Syrup!

Here's what you'll need:
1 - 10" Cast Iron Skillet greased with Vegetable Oil and preheated on the stove.


1 C Masa Harina
1/2 C Flour
3 TBS Cornstarch
1 TBS Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
2 Large Eggs
1 1/2 - 2 C Whole Milk, divided
2 TBS Sour Cream
2 TBS Vegetable Oil
1 C Corn , divided
1/2 C Grated Monterey Jack Cheese or Hatch Jack Cheese.
1- 4oz. can of Diced Green Chiles, drained.
1/2 tsp Cumin
3 TBS Chopped Fresh Chives
3 TBS Chopped Cilantro

Butter
Warm Maple Syrup


In a large mixing bowl:
Mas Harina
Flour
Cornstarch
Baking Powder
Salt
Whisk well.

In a blender on high speed:
Eggs
1 C Milk
Sour Cream
Oil
3 TBS Corn
Blend until liquified.
Add these wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients with the addition of enough remaining milk until a fairly thick batter comes together.

Fold in by hand:
Cheese
Chiles
Cumin
Chives
Cilantro

Spoon the batter into the skillet and just before flipping it, top it with 1 TBS of Corn.
Serve with Butter and Warm Maple Syrup.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tex - Mex Soup / an original recipe from The Hippy in the Kitchen

I started to create a new soup recipe yesterday. It was going to be something with a Tex  - Mex flavor. It began as an Enchilada base. It wasn't thick enough for my taste. I kept adding and adjusting and finally created this Crock Pot / Slow Cooker recipe. The only title I could come up with was Tex-Mex. I've always said that a recipe that starts with Tex-Mex usually turns out great.

Here's the final recipe:

6 Whole Roasted Hatch Chiles, chopped.(I use a canned  Whole Hatch Green Chiles)
 They're much easier that roasting, seeding and peeling fresh chiles..

1 TBS Vegetable Oil
1 large Onion, chopped
4 Cloves of Garlic, minced. I used 2 tsp of minced garlic from a jar.
2 - 15 oz. cans of Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed well.
2 - 14oz. cans of diced Tomatoes with the liquid.
1/2 tsp Cumin
2 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp Salt
1 TBS Adobo Seasoning
2 C Instant Refried Beans. (I buy it in the bulk section at a local grocery store)
1 C Nature's Burger Mix (I buy it in the bulk section at a local grocery store)
1 C Dried Pinto Beans

Topping options to garnish each bowl of soup:

Crushed Tortilla Chips
Grated Smoked Gouda Cheese
Sliced Black Olives
Sliced Green Onions
Sour Cream
Chopped Fresh Cilantro

In a skillet:
Heat Oil
Saute Onion for 10 minutes.
Add Garlic for an additional 2 minutes.

Transfer the Onion/Garlic mix to a Crock Pot / Slow Cooker.
Add all of the remaining ingredients.
Cover and cook on low for 4 - 6 hours.
Stir occasionally.

Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with your choice of toppings.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!




Monday, December 22, 2014

Cap'n Crunch Candy and Cap'n Crunch Crunch Cookies

My wife got this recipe from a friend in the late seventies. We made them this year. They are perfect for Christmas.
In the original recipe it refers to 2# of Chocolate. That's 2 pounds. Anne adapted it to bags of White Chocolate Chips.








Cap'n Crunch Candy

2 C Rice Krispies Cereal
2 C Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch Cereal (Christmas, I use Cap'n Crunch Christmas Cereal))
1 C Dry Roasted Peanuts, whole
2 C Miniature Marshmallows (Christmas, I use colored Miniature Marshmallows)
2 -(11oz) bags of White Chocolate Chips

In a large mixing bowl:
Rice Krispies
Cap'n Crunch
Peanuts
Marshmallows
Stir to combine well.

Melt the Chocolate, just until melted but not too hot.
Drizzle it over the mix, Gently fold it in.
Drop by the spoonful onto waxed paper.
Allow to cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!




A Christmas present from my son!



I happen to love Cap'n Crunch Cereal. It was always my favorite cereal as a child and continued to be as an adult.
What a perfect cookie recipe for me, and........ maybe for you too!

Cap'n Crunch's Crunch Berries Cereal Cookies:

1 1/4 C flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 C butter, softened
1 C granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp orange extract
2 C Cap'n Crunch's Crunch Berries Cereal. (for Halloween I use Peanut Butter Crunch Cereal and I make them for Christmas with Cap'n Crunch Christmas Cereal)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

In a bowl:
Flour
Baking Soda
Salt
Whisk well and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer:
Butter
Sugar
Beat until creamy.
Add:
Egg
Vanilla
Orange Extract
Beat well.

Gradually add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Fold in the cereal by hand.

Using a 1 1/2" cookie scoop, drop cookies 2" apart onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan.
Bake for 11 - 13 minutes.
Transfer the pan to a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
Transfer the cookies to the rack and cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!








Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Crock Pot Hot Chocolate

I have my favorite recipe for Hot Chocolate on the blog and I have never made another. However, we're having a Christmas Open House and this would be so easy to make and serve from the slow cooker. It stays hot and it's virtually, no fuss!
This recipe is an adaptation of my favorite one.

Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

In the Slow Cooker:
3 C Heavy Cream
2 cans (14oz. each) Sweetened Condensed Milk
12 C Whole Milk
2 tsp Vanilla
6 C Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

Miniature Marshmallows for garnish.
We serve it with Miniature Vanilla or Peppermint Marshmallows.

Cover and cook on low for 2 hours.
Stirring occasionally until the chocolate is completely melted.
Stir again during serving.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Mellow Mushroom's Esperanza Dressing

Mellow Mushroom is one of our favorite Pizza and Beer restaurants. As a Vegetarian I love their menu options for Vegetarians. This is their house salad dressing, however, to make it vegetarian I use a Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce. Typically, the sauce includes Anchovy Fish and I don't eat Seafood. I do eat Dairy, so I don't have a problem with the Egg Yolk. This recipe is not Vegan.
The restaurant offers a good variety of Salads including the new Build Your Own.
This recipe has been adapted without changing the integrity of the original one.

Esperanza Dressing from Mellow Mushroom!

1 1/2 C Vegetable Oil
1 Large Egg Yolk
1 TBS Dried Onion Flakes
1 tsp Granulated Garlic (not fresh minced and not garlic powder)
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce
1/3 C Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 TBS Freshly Minced Parsley
2 TBS Water
Fine Sea Salt, to taste

In the bowl of a Food Processor with the Chopping Blade:
Egg Yolk
Onion Flakes
Garlic
Oregano
Worcestershire Sauce
Vinegar
Pepper
Water
Salt
Pulse until smooth.
Slowly drizzle Oil through the tube of the Food Processor, with the machine running.
Remove to a serving bowl and fold in the Parsley.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Honey Gingerbread Cookies from Martha Stewart

This recipes was created for the Martha Stewart Gingerbread cookie mold pan. It has 12 wells with various holiday designs, Stocking, Snowflake, Stocking, Ornament, Gingerbread Man, Candy Cane, Star, Mitten, Christmas Tree, Santa, Wreath, Holly Leaf.
The dough is pressed into the molds and baked.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 - Cookie Mold Pan, brush each well with Pan Release Mix. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour) I start with 1 C of each, mixed well and refrigerated in a jar. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.

5 1/2 C Flour + additional for dusting.
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp Salt
4 tsp Ground Ginger
4 tsp Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1 tsp Nutmeg
16 TBS (2 sticks) unsalted Butter, room temperature
1 C Granulated Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 C Honey
1/2 C Molasses
2 1/2 C Royal Icing (recipes to follow)

In a medium bowl:
Flour
Baking Soda
Salt
Ginger
Cinnamon
Clove
Nutmeg
Whisk well.

In a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer on medium speed:
Butter
Sugar
Beat until well combined.

Add:
Eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.

Add:
Honey
Molasses
Beat just until combined.

Divide the dough into three portions and wrap them in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Use a 1 1/2" cookie scoop and press into the cookie pan molds.
Bake for 9 minutes. (depending on your oven, you may have to rotate the pan half way through the baking time)
Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 10 minutes.
Un mold the cookies.
Transfer to the rack to cool completely.
Decorate the cookies with Royal Icing.
Store the cookies in an airtight container between layers of parchment paper.

NOTE:
Use Icing immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Cover the top of the icing with a piece of plastic wrap to prevent drying.
Stir well with a rubber spatula just before using.


There are so many recipes for Royal Icing. It's the best icing to decorate detailed designs on a cookie. I use it for decorated Christmas Sugar Cookies and Gingerbread Cookies.
This recipe makes 2 1/2 C.
It can be separated into different bowls and tinted with food coloring to make creative designs. Since I'm The Hippy in the Kitchen and an Artist, I love to create cookie designs with my 60's looking Doodles. I have several Doodle Books that I am continuously updating with new designs.

This recipe is the consistency to be used for outlining and for detailed designs. To flood the cookie, thin the recipe with just a bit of warm water, a little at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. I also prefer this recipe because it doesn't use raw eggs.

Here's my favorite recipe for Royal Icing:
This is the recipe for decorating the cookies. (flooding recipe to follow)
1 pound of Confectioner's Sugar
5 TBS  Meringue Powder
1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 C Warm Water
Powdered Food Coloring

In a Stand Mixer with a Paddle attachment:
Stir together by hand:
Sugar
Meringue Powder
Cream of Tartar
Add:
Gradually add Water until desired consistency.
Vanilla
Beat on Low just until combined well.
Beat on High for 7 - 10 minutes.

Separate the icing into bowls and tint with food coloring.
If you're not using it immediately, gently lay a piece of damp paper towel onto the surface of the icing in each bowl.

Royal Icing for Flooding:

2 lbs. Confectioner's Sugar
3/4 C Water
4 tsp Meringue Powder
Whisk well, by hand until completely incorporated.
Use disposable piping bags to flood the cookies.
Outline the entire cookie with icing, fill in the center. Use a toothpick
and swirl the icing all over the cookie. Allow to sit and harden.

I took a French Macarons Class at Sur la Table in Dallas and they recommended:
Lorann's Gourmet Professional Quality Food Coloring. It's the only food coloring I use.




Enjoy!
Decorating your Holiday Cookies!













Red Velvet Crinkles

These are great Holiday Cookies. I'm making them for the Festival of Carols at our church this year.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
A Sheet Pan lined with Parchment Paper.

2 1/2 C Flour
1/3 C Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp  fine Seas Salt
1/2 C (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, softened
2 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1 1/2 C Granulated Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 1/2 - 2 tsp Red Food Coloring
1 tsp Vanila
1/2 C Confectioner's Sugar

In a medium Mixing Bow:
Flour
Cocoa
Baking Powder
Salt
Whisk well and set aside.

In a large Mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer:
Butter
Cream Cheese
Mix briefly, just to combine.

Add:
Sugar
Beat for 2 minutes.

Add:
Eggs
Food Coloring
Vanilla
Beat well to incorporate.

Fold in by hand, with a rubber spatula:
Flour / Cocoa mixture, in 2 batches. until completely incorporated.

Use a 1 1/2" Cookie Scoop to create balls.
Roll them in Confectioners' Sugar until completely covered.

Place them 2" apart on the Sheet Pan.
Bake 9 - 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and pull the Parchment Paper with the Cookies from the Sheet Pan onto a rack and cool allow to cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!







Thursday, December 11, 2014

Miniature Pie Cookies

Is it a Pie or is it a Cookie......... I don't know so I call them Pie Cookies.
This is really a recipe without a recipe and that makes it really easy.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Some Mini Muffin Tins sprayed with cooking spray. This makes about 72 cookies so you use however many pans you need.

Here are the basic ingredients:
Some cans of Fruit Pie Filling, pick your favorites, like Cherry, Blueberry, Apple, or Peach.....etc.
You'll need 2 boxes of pre made refrigerated Pie Crust, how easy is this, so far?
1 Egg
Some Water
Some granulated Sugar.
and a 1 1/2" round biscuit cutter or a juice glass, or Champagne glass.....!

I think that's it!

Here's what you do:
Cut a bunch of circles from the dough that's been rolled out onto a lightly floured surface.
Place a bit of fruit in the center of each circle, sprinkle with a bit of Sugar. (if you use Apple or Peach, sprinkle with a Cinnamon/Sugar mix.
Pinch the circle to create sort of a Taco bowl and make a pocket to hold the fruit.

Mix the egg and 1 tsp of water, whisk it a bit.
Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the edges of the cookie bowl.
Place each of them in the cups of the mini muffin tun.
Bake for 12 - 14 minutes.
Remove the pan and sprinkle again with either Sugar or Cinnamon/Sugar Mix.
Set on a rack to cool for 5 minutes.
Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely!

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Port Wine Walnuts with Stilton Cheese

I found this recipe in my archives and I don't know where it originated to give credit. It's not a recipe that I created.

Port Wine Walnuts with Stilton Cheese

2 1/2 C walnut halves
3/4 C sugar
3/4 C ruby port wine
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 wedge (1 pound) Stilton Cheese

Spread walnuts evenly on a rimmed sheet pan.
Toast for 8 minutes at 350 degrees.

In a saucepan on medium high heat:
Sugar
Wine
Pepper
Bay Leaf
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low , cover and simmer 3 - 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat.
Discard Bay Leaf.

Add:
Walnuts
Stir to coat well.
Remove the nuts with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the sheet pan. Keep the syrup in the saucepan and set it aside.
Spread the nuts in a single layer.
Bake for 12 minutes, stirring once.
Remove the pan to a rack to cool completely.
Separate any clusters.

Return the saucepan with the syrup to low heat and gently cook until it begins to thicken, about 3 minutes, or until it coats the back of a spoon.

Place the wedge of cheese on a serving platter and drizzle it with the syrup.
Scatter the Walnuts around the Cheese and serve with crackers.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Savory Palmiers from Ina Garten

I was asked to bring a Finger Food to the Artist's Reception at a Gallery, where I have a wallhanging on exhibit. I found this great savory recipe. I've adapted the recipe , without changing the integrity of the original.
We'll also serve this at our Christmas Open House.

Savory Palmiers

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Sheet Pans lined with Parchment Paper.

1 package of Frozen Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry, divided and thawed.
1/4 C Pesto
1/2 C Crumbled Goat Cheese
1/4 C Finely Chopped Sun dried Tomatoes in Oil, drained.
1/4 C Toasted Pine Nuts
Fine Sea Salt

Unfold one sheet of pastry on a lightly floured surface. Keep the second sheet refrigerated.
Roll it gently into a 9 1/2" X 11 1/2" rectangle.
Spread the sheet evenly with half of the Pesto.
Sprinkle with half of the Cheese.
Sprinkle with half of the Tomatoes.
Sprinkle with half of the Pine Nuts.
Sprinkle with Salt.

If you're unfamiliar with the folding process of a traditional French Palmier, research the method.
Here's a description of how to prepare the Palmiers.

Working with the long side of the sheet of pastry facing you, fold the front and back of the sheet half way to the center (1/4 of the sheet).
Continue and fold each side to meet the center of the sheet.
Fold again, in half.

Cover with Plastic Wrap and refrigerate. Keep the dough refrigerated until ready to use. It makes slicing easier.
Repeat the process with the second sheet of Pastry using the remaining ingredients.

Use a sharp knife and cut the cold rolls into 1/4" slices.
Place them 2" apart on the sheet pans.
Bake for 14 minutes.

Remove the pan to a cooling rack for 5 minutes.
Transfer the Palmiers to the rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


















Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Mini Mac and Cheese in a Mini Muffin Tin

I call this a "kid" Hors D'oeuvre. What a great idea to serve at any party so kids will have something fun to eat.. The adults might like it too!

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
4 - 12 cup nonstick Mini Muffin Tin, generously butter each cup.


1/2 pound of Elbow Macaroni (cooked according to package instructions and drained)
1 1/2 TBS Butter + additional to brush the pans
1/4 C Fresh grated Parmigiano - Reggiano Cheese
2 TBS Flour
3/4 C Whole Milk
1 well packed cup of Sharp Cheddar Cheese
4 oz. of Sliced American Cheese, chopped
1 large Egg Yolk
1/4 tsp Paprika

Sprinkle about 2 TBS of Parmesan Cheese in each cup of the Muffin Tin. Tap out excess.

In a saucepan:
1 1/2 TBS Butter, heat until melted.

Add:
Flour and whisk for 2 minutes.

Add:
Milk, whisking until boiling , about 5 minutes.

Add:
Cheddar and American Cheese.
Whisk until melted.

Remove from the heat.
Whisk in the Egg Yolk and Paprika.
Fold in the Macaroni.

Use a 1 1/2" cookie cutter and drop a scoop into each cup.
Sprinkle the tops with additional Paprika.
Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown and sizzling.
Remove the pans to a rack and col for 5 minutes.
Spoon out the Mini Macs and transfer them to a serving platter.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Cinnamon Sugar Mini Pretzels or Chex Cereal

Another tasty snack to make during the holidays.
I just made these for the first time. They are yummy!

Option:You can also use 9 C of Rice Chex or Corn Chex.

Cinnamon Sugar Mini Pretzels or Chex Cereal

Here's what you'll need:
1 large Jelly Roll Pan lined with Parchment Paper.

9 C Mini Twist Pretzels
1 1/2 C Cinnamon Chips
6 TBS  Butter
1 C + 1 tsp Confectioner's Sugar
1/2 C + 1 tsp Granulated Sugar
3 tsp Cinnamon

Pour Pretzels into a very large bowl.

In a medium mixing bowl:
Confectioner's Sugar
Granulated Sugar
Cinnamon
Whisk well.

In a saucepan on medium low heat:
Cinnamon Chips
Butter
Stir continuously until melted.
Remove from heat and quickly pour over the Pretzels.
Use a rubber spatula and gently fold until evenly coated.
Immediately add Confectioner's Sugar Mixture.
Fold until well coated
Spread out onto the Jelly Roll Pan and cool completely.




Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Peppermint Popcorn

This recipe is adapted from The Beekman Boys. It's a great snack to serve during the Christmas Holiday Season. I increase the recipe and make more, just because everyone loves it. We serve it in decorative Christmas Cellophane Bags sealed with a twist tie. The bags are placed in a Holiday serving bowl. It just seems easier than putting out a bowl of Popcorn.

Peppermint Popcorn:

1/4 C Un popped Corn. It makes about 2 quarts popped.
8 oz. White Chocolate, chopped or chips. I use Ghiraradelli.
4 large Peppermint Candy Canes (break into a few pieces so they're easier to pulverize)
1 TBS Sea Salt
2 TBS Granulated Sugar

Pop the corn, however you pop your corn!
Spread it evenly onto a Jelly Roll Pan.

In a Food Processor:
Candy Canes
Salt
Sugar
Pulse until coarsely ground. They'll be a bit clumpy and that's what you want. Don't over grind, they'll begin to clump.

Melt the Chocolate in a Microwave or a Double Boiler.
Drizzle evenly over the Popcorn and immediately sprinkle with the Candy Cane Mix..
Gently stir with a rubber spatula.
Allow to cool completely.

Transfer to a serving bowl or portion it into decorative Cellophane Bags and seal with a twist tie.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!




Holiday Cream Cheese Bars

Here's another Bar that we serve at our Christmas Open House.

Holiday Cream Cheese Bars

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
1 - 9" X 13" baking dish brushed well with Pan Release Mix or Non Stick Cooking Spray. I use Pan Release Mix. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour) I start with 1 C of each, mixed well and refrigerated in a jar. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.

Filling:

3 TBS Unsalted Butter
1/2 C Light Brown Sugar
1 Egg, beaten
1 tsp Cinnamon
A pinch of fine Sea Salt

In a saucepan on medium low heat:
Butter, heat until melted.
Add Brown Sugar and whisk until combined, about 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.




Crust and Cream Cheese Layer:

2 Cans of refrigerated Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations Dough

2 (8oz) packages of Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 Egg, beaten
1/2 C Granulated Sugar + additional for sprinkling.
1 tsp Vanilla


Roll out one can of dough in the bottom of the casserole dish.

In a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer:
Cream Cheese
Egg
Sugar
Vanilla
Beat until smooth and creamy.
Spread evenly over the dough.

Gently spread the filling evenly over the Cream Cheese. (I started by drizzling it evenly over the mixture and then gently spread it evenly over the mixture)

Carefully lay the next can of dough over the top.

Bake 30 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Remove the dish to a rack, immediately sprinkle with additional sugar. ( I sprinkled mine with the mixture left over from my Cinnamon Sugar Mini Pretzels)
Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares and place on a serving plate.






Cut into squares to serve

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Christmas Sugar Plums and Hazelnut Balls

We have a Christmas Open House every year. It's a time to share the scents, sounds, sights and flavors of the season with friends and family.
Every year the menu changes. We find new and unique treats to add to the traditional ones.
This year I'm adding these two new recipes.

Sugar Plums

1 1/4 C Roasted Almonds (roughly chopped)
1 1/2 C Prunes  (roughly cut into pieces)
1 1/2 C Dried Apricots (roughly cut into pieces)
3 TBS Honey
1 tsp Orange Zest
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg

Put all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
Scoop the mixture with a 1 1/4" cookie scoop to keep them the same size. Roll them in the palm of your hand to create a smooth ball.
Roll the balls in coarse sugar.







Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!




Hazelnut Balls

This is my cookie that won second place in the Easy Category at the 2015 Dallas Morning News Holiday Cookie Contest.

3/4 C Hazelnuts (finel chopped, leaving some small pieces)
1 C Rice Krispies
1/2 C Nutella
A bowl of Confectioner's Sugar for rolling the Balls.

Put all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and gently fold until everything is combined.
Scoop the mixture with a 1 1/4" cookie scoop to keep them the same size. Roll them in the palm of your hand to create a smooth ball.
Roll the balls in Confectioner's Sugar.

These were my favorite cookie this year.
I will definitely make these every year!


Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Gingerbread Muffins

Merry Christmas!
Nothing says Christmas in the kitchen like the aroma of Gingerbread!
Here's the perfect recipe to accomplish that. This recipe originated in England. I adapted it for the American baker.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
1 - 6 C Muffin Tin with paper liners, lightly brushed with Pan Release Mix (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil, Flour), meted well and refrigerated in a jar. I start with 1 C of each and always have it available for all of my baking needs.

These are my favorite Kitchen Supply Paper Muffin Molds.
You can get them from any Speciality Culinary Store.



Gingerbread Muffins


9 TBS Butter, room temperature
1/2 C packed Dark Brown Sugar
1 TBS Vanilla
2 Eggs
1 TBS Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix + additional for sprinkling.
1 TBS Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Ginger
A Pinch of Salt
1/4 C Whole Milk
1 C Self Rising Flour
Confectioner's Sugar for dusting when serving.

In a Stand Mixer with a paddle attachment:
Butter
Sugar
Salt
Beat until combined, about 3 minutes, don't over beat.

Add:
Eggs
Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix
Cinnamon
Ginger
Beat for 1 minute.

Add:
Milk
Flour
Beat just until incorporated.

Scoop into cups about 2/3 full.
Sprinkle with additional Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix.
Bake for 15 minutes, a toothpick in the center should come out clean.
Remove pan to a rack and cool completely.
Dust with Confectioner's Sugar just before serving.


Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice:

1/4 C Cinnamon
2 TBS Ground Ginger
1 TBS Ground Nutmeg
1 TBS Ground Clove
Mix all together and store in a jar.


Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!




Pralines

I live in Texas, we eat a lot of Pralines. Ours are typically found on the counter of every Mexican Restaurant in Texas. The Praline came to this country from France and made its way to Cajun Country in Louisiana. Mexico soon discovered this sugary confection and embraced it. Texas was next! The history of this sugary treat is fascinating. I only covered a bit of the history here!


French Settlers brought Pralines to Louisiana where Sugar and Pecan trees were plentiful.
During the 19th Century, New Orleans Chefs substituted Pecans for Almonds, added Cream to thicken the confection and created what became known throughout the American South as the Praline. They have the a creamy consistency similar to Fudge.
They're usually made by combining Sugar, Butter and Cream in a pot on medium high heat and stirring constantly until most of the water has evaporated and it reaches a brown color and a thick texture. The mixture is dropped by the spoonful onto waxed paper or aluminum foil (lightly buttered)
and allowed to cool completely.

Here's a sample of Praline recipes. There are easy recipes and more complicated ones.
Here's a variety to choose from.

Mexican Pralines

2 C Granulated Sugar
1 C Brown Sugar
1/2 C Whole Milk
A Pinch of Salt
2 C roughly chopped Pecans
1 tsp Vanilla

In a saucepan on medium high heat:
Granulated Sugar
Brown Sugar
Milk
Salt
Pecans
Boil for 4 minutes.
Add Vanilla and stir.
Drop by the spoonful onto waxed paper.
Allow to cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Creamy Pralines

1 Package of Butterscotch Pudding (not instant)
1 C Granulated Sugar
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1/2 C Evaporated Milk (not sweetened condensed milk)
1 TBS Butter
1 1/2 C roughly chopped Pecans.

In a saucepan on medium high heat:
Vanilla Pudding
Granulated Sugar
Brown Sugar
Evaporated Milk
Butter
Pecans
Stir well.
Boil for 4 minutes, stirring often.
Remove from heat and whisk well.
Drop by the spoonful onto waxed paper.
Allow to cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Maple Pralines

1/8 tsp Salt
1 C Water
1 C roughly chopped Pecans
1 3/4 C Granulated Sugar, divided
1 TBS Butter
1/4 tsp Maple Flavoring

In a Cast Iron Skillet on low high:
1/2 C Sugar
Stir constantly until it begins to turn into a light golden syrup.
Remove from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes to create a Caramel.
Add:
Salt
Water 
Remaining Sugar
Gently stir until the Caramel in the Skillet is dissolved.
Add:
Butter
Cook to softball stage , stirring constantly.(use a candy thermometer)
Remove from heat.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Add:
Maple Flavoring
Pecans
Stir until it becomes creamy.
Drop by the spoonful onto waxed paper.
Allow to cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Bourbon Pralines Cookies

1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1 C Brown Sugar
2 tsp Flour
A pinch of Salt
1 Egg White
1 TBS of the best Bourbon you can afford!
2 C roughly chopped Pecans

In a medium mixing bowl, Sift together:
Baking Soda
Brown Sugar
Flour
Salt
Whisk well.

In a small bowl:
Egg White
Whisk well.

Add Bourbon to the Flour mixture.
Fold Egg White into the mixture.
Fold Pecans into the mixture.
Use a 1 1/2" Cookie Scoop and drop 3" apart onto a Silpat lined or Non Stick Sheet Pan (lightly sprayed with a cooking spray)
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Royal Icing for Cookies

There are so many recipes for Royal Icing. It's the best icing to decorate detailed designs on a cookie. I use it for decorated Christmas Sugar Cookies and Gingerbread Cookies.
This recipe makes 2 1/2 C.
It can be separated into different bowls and tinted with food coloring to make creative designs. Since I'm The Hippy in the Kitchen and an Artist, I love to create cookie designs with my 60's looking Doodles. I have several Doodle Books that I am continuously updating with new designs.

This recipe is the consistency to be used for outlining and for detailed designs. To flood the cookie, thin the recipe with just a bit of warm water, a little at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. I also prefer this recipe because it doesn't use raw eggs.

Here's my favorite recipe for Royal Icing:
This is the recipe for decorating the cookies. (flooding recipe to follow)
1 pound of Confectioner's Sugar
5 TBS  Meringue Powder
1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 C Warm Water
Powdered Food Coloring

In a Stand Mixer with a Paddle attachment:
Stir together by hand:
Sugar
Meringue Powder
Cream of Tartar
Add:
Gradually add Water until desired consistency.
Vanilla
Beat on Low just until combined well.
Beat on High for 7 - 10 minutes.

Separate the icing into bowls and tint with food coloring.
If you're not using it immediately, gently lay a piece of damp paper towel onto the surface of the icing in each bowl.

Royal Icing for Flooding:

2 lbs. Confectioner's Sugar
3/4 C Water
4 tsp Meringue Powder
Whisk well, by hand until completely incorporated.
Use disposable piping bags to flood the cookies.
Outline the entire cookie with icing, fill in the center. Use a toothpick
and swirl the icing all over the cookie. Allow to sit and harden.

I took a French Macarons Class at Sur la Table in Dallas and they recommended:
Lorann's Gourmet Professional Quality Food Coloring. It's the only food coloring I use.




Enjoy!
Decorating your Holiday Cookies!







Friday, December 5, 2014

Cinnamon Scone Bread


I received this recipe from Food52. I tested a recipe for a Best Baked Good Recipe Contest and the following recipe was one of the two finalists. At the writing of this recipe I don't know if it won. I'll come back and update the post after the winner is chosen. I was not pleased with the recipe I tested and I would love to have chosen this one. Oh well........ at least I have this amazing recipe to blog about!

Today, I can post that this was the winning recipe and that makes me happy! I loved this recipe from the first time I read it.
I look forward to making it soon.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
1 - 9" X 5" Loaf Pan. Line with a piece of Parchment Paper that hangs over the long sides of the pan. Grease the paper.


Streusel:

4 TBS Flour
4 TBS Granulated Sugar
4 TBS Brown Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 TBS Heavy Cream


Dough:

2 1/2 C Flour
1/4 C Granulated Sugar + additional for sprinkling the top of the bread.
1 TBS Baking Powder
3/4 tsp Salt
6 TBS Cold Butter, cubed
1/2 C Currants
1/2 tsp of your choice: Cinnamon, Cocoa Powder or Espresso Powder.
1 C Heavy Cream + additional to brush on the dough.
1 Large Egg
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla

Directions.

Streusel:
In a small bowl:
Flour
Granulated Sugar
Brown Sugar
Cinnamon
Whisk well.
Stir in the Heavy Cream to create the Streusel. This should not be chunky. It should be a Blend.


Dough:
In a Food Processor:
Flour
Sugar
Baking Powder
Salt
Pulse just to combine.

Add Butter and pulse about 8 times.
Retain some small pieces of Butter.
Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

In a small bowl:
Cinnamon, Cocoa Powder or Espresso Powder (your choice)
Currants
Just mix together, add to the flour/butter mixture and stir gently.

In a large measuring cup:
Heavy Cream
Egg
Vanilla
Whisk well and pour it into the Flour mixture.

Use a blending fork, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Use a folding method, not stirring. Work the dough until it comes together. When the dough begins to gather, use a plastic bowl scraper to gently knead the dough into a ball shape. If there's still a lot of loose flour in the bottom of the bowl, drizzle a bit more cream, one teaspoon at a time, until the dough comes together. Shape it into a ball.
Transfer to a floured surface.
Pat it into a 6" X 14" Rectangle.
Cut it into 12 equal pieces.
Brush them all with cream.
Sprinkle 6 pieces with Streusel mixture.
Place a non - streuseled piece onto a streuseled piece.

This part gets tricky. Choose your method of putting it together. Here's the concept:
You'll Be lining the pan with the layers of dough from end to end. They're not laid flat in the pan.
Continue layering until the pan is completely filled from end to end.
Brush the top with cream and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake for 40 minutes.
Cover with foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.
A toothpick placed in the center of a bread layer should come out clean.
Remove and place on a rack to cool for 10 minutes.
Use the paper and pull out the bread and place it on the rack to cool completely.
You can either pull it apart or slice it.
It tastes really good if it's lightly heated in the microwave.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Lebkuchen Cookies........ an easier recipe than the traditional ones with wafers!

I have a couple of recipes for a traditional Lebkuchen Cookie. They can be intimidating to a new baker. However, this recipe is easier and tastes just as good.
I lived in Germany for a year and these cookies are a great Christmas memory from Germany. I visited the Cristkindle Market in Frankfurt when I was living there and Anne and I visited the German Christmas Market in Birmingham, England in 2012. It's an amazing experience.

Ich lebte in Deutschland für ein Jahr und erlebt ein traditionelles deutsches Weihnachten. Der Christkindlmarkt ist erstaunlich. Diese Cookies sind eine gute Erinnerung an Deutschland in der Weihnachtszeit.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Sheet Pan lined with Parchment Paper
1 recipe of Glaze. (recipe to follow)


1/2 C Honey
1/2 C Molasses
3/4 C Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1 TBS fresh Lemon Juice
1 tsp Lemon Zest
2 3/4 C Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Cloves
1 tsp Allspice
1 tsp Nutmeg
1/3 C diced Candy Citron (candied Lemon or Orange will work)
1/3 C Chopped Hazelnuts

Glaze ingredients:
1 C Granulated Sugar
1/2 C Water
1/4 C Confectioner's Sugar

In a saucepan on median low heat:
Honey
Molasses
Whisk well and bring to a boil.
Immediately remove from heat.

Add:
Brown Sugar
Egg
Lemon Juice
Lemon Zest
Stir to mix well.

In a Large Mixing Bowl:
Flour
Baking Soda
Cinnamon
Clove
Allspice
Nutmeg
Whisk well.

Add Molasses mixture to the Flour mixture.
Stir well by hand with a wooden spoon.
Fold in the Citron and Hazelnuts by hand with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough overnight.

Use small amounts of dough at a time and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4" thick.
Cut the dough into small rectangles and place them 1" apart on the Sheet Pan.
Bake for10 - 12 minutes.
Remove the pan to a rack and immediately brush the hot cookies with the glaze.
Transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.

NOTE:
I transfer the cookies to a cooling rack that has been placed in a sheet pan to collect the dripping glaze when brushed over the hot cookies.

They get better when stored in an airtight container for a few days before serving.

Glaze recipe:

In a saucepan on medium heat:
Sugar
Water
Use a candy thermometer and heat until between 234 and 240 degrees.
Immediately remove from heat and carefully stir in the Confectioner's sugar.
If it becomes crystalized while brushing the cookies, reheat slightly on the stove, adding a small amount of water until the crystals dissolve.



Frohe Weihnachten und Frieden in der Küche!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Orange Cranberry Bars

Just another Holiday Cookie Recipe.

Orange Cranberry Bars.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1- 15" X 10" X 1" Jelly Roll Pan brushed with Pan Release Mix. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour) I start with 1 C of each mixed well and refrigerated in a jar. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.

3/4 C Butter, melted
1 C Brown Sugar
1/2 C Granulated Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
2 1/2 C Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
1 (11oz.) bag of White Chocolate Chips
1 C Dried Cranberries
The Zest of 1 Large Navel Orange.

In a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer:
Butter
Brown Sugar
Granulated Sugar
Beat well.

Add:
Eggs
Vanilla
Beat just until combined.

Add:
Flour
Baking Soda
Salt
Orange Zest
Beat until incorporated.

Fold in, by hand:
Cranberries
White Chocolate Chips.

Press the dough evenly into the Sheet Pan.
Bake for 18 - 22 minutes.
Remove the pan to a rack and cool completely.
Cut into squares and transfer to a serving platter.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Goat Cheese Frittata


This is made in a 9" - 10" Cast Iron Skillet. It can be served as a main course or cut into squares as an appetizer. The recipe is adapted from Food52.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the Broiler.
1 - 9" - 10" Cast Iron Skillet



Goat Cheese Frittata

4 TBS Olive Oil, divided
2 finely chopped shallots
1 C chopped Mushrooms, your choice.
1 tsp chopped fresh Thyme
1 tsp chopped fresh Oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste
10 large Eggs
3 TBS Heavy Cream
1/4 lb. of Fresh Goat Cheese, crumbled.
1/3 C fresh grated Parmesan Cheese

In the skillet on medium high heat:
Heat 1 TBS of Olive Oil
Shallots
Mushrooms
Thyme
Oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste
Saute for 5 - 7 minutes, stirring often.
Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl:
Eggs
Cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
Whisk well.
Add:
Shallot/Mushroom Mixture
Goat Cheese
Stir to combine.
Set aside.


In the skillet on medium high heat:
Heat 3 TBS Olive Oil
Add:
Egg Mixture.
The eggs will begin to set around the edges. Loosen the edges with a rubber spatula and allow the center eggs mixture to run underneath and cook.
Cook for 10 minutes, loosening the bottom with the spatula. It should be almost non stick at this point.
Sprinkle with Parmesan and place under the broiler for 2 minutes.
The top should be golden brown.
Remove the skillet.
Loosen the edges one last time with the spatula.
Slide the Frittata onto a serving platter or serve from the Skillet.
Cut into wedges for a main course or small squares for an appetizer.


Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Sweet Cream Cheese and Pecan Brownies

Brownies, Brownies, Brownies........ how many recipes can we really have? Apparently not enough!

Sweet Cream Cheese and Pecan Brownies:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
1 - 9" X 13" baking pan brushed with Pan Release Mix. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour) I start with 1 C of each, well mixed in a jar and kept refrigerated. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.

1 C chopped Pecans

1/2 C Butter, melted
3 large Eggs, divided
1 (18.25oz.) box of Yellow Cake Mix
1 (8oz.) package of Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 (16oz.) bag of Confectioner's Sugar

In a large bowl, with a wooden spoon:
Butter
1 Egg
Cake Mix
Stir until incorporated.
Press evenly in the bottom of the dish.

In a large bowl, with an electric hand mixer:
2 Eggs
Cream Cheese
Sugar
Beat on medium speed until smooth.
Pour ove the cake layer.
Bake for 40 minutes.
Remove pan to a rack and cool completely.
Cut into squares to serve.
Or you can cut squares on the diagonal to make triangles.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Old Fashioned Broccoli Rice and Cheese Casserole

This is a vintage recipe from my Aunt Faye's collection of favorite recipes.

Old Fashioned Broccoli Rice and Cheese Casserole:

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
1 - 9" X 13" Casserole Dish sprayed with a Vegetable Cooking Spray

2 (10oz.) packages of frozen Broccoli. (cook according to package directions and drain)
1 C Instant Rice (uncooked)
1 can of Cream of  Mushroom Soup
1 can of Cream of Chicken Soup (Vegetarian version uses Cream of Celery Soup)
1 1/4 C Water
1 (16oz.) package of Processed American Cheese (Velveeta), cubed or 2 (16oz) Jars of Cheese Sauce.
1 TBS Butter
6 Ribs of Celery, finely chopped
1 Large Onion, diced
Salt and Pepper, to taste

In a medium saucepan on low heat:
Mushroom Soup
Chicken or Celery Soup
Water
Heat and gradually add Cheese until melted.

In a skillet on medium heat:
Celery
Onion
Saute until soft.

In a large Mixing bowl:
Cooked Broccoli
Rice
Soup/Cheese
Celery/Onion
Season to taste with Salt and Pepper.
Stir to mix well.
Pour into the Casserole Dish.
Bake for 45 minutes.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Double Chocolate Cookies

This doesn't need an introduction, it's Chocolate and Chocolate and that makes it Double Chocolate. No nuts, nothing fancy, just a lot of Chocolate flavor.

Double Chocolate Cookies:

8 oz. Semi Sweet Chocolate , roughly chopped
4 TBS unsalted Butter
3/4 C Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
2 large Eggs
3/4 C Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1 (12oz.) package of Nestle's Semi Sweet Chocolate Chunks

In a microwave safe glass bowl:
Chopped Chopped
Butter
Heat at 20 second intervals until melted. Stirring often.

In a medium bowl:
Flour
Baking Powder
Salt
Whisk well.

In a large mixing bowl, with an Electric Hand Mixer to in a Stand Mixer with a paddle attachment:
Eggs
Brown Sugar
Vanilla
Beat on high until light and fluffy.
Reduce speed to low.
Add:
Melted Chocolate until incorporated.
Gently add Flour mixture until incorporated.
Fold in Chocolate Chunks, by hand.

Use a 1 3/4" Cookie Scoop.
Drop cookies 3" apart on the sheet pan.
Bake 12 - 15 minutes.
Remove pan to a rack and cool for 10 minutes.
Transfer cookies to the rack and cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!