Sunday, November 30, 2008

Premade Cookie Mix - A great gift

One of my friend's Grandma used to run a Boarding House and her huge collection of recipes have been given me to go through at my leisure. It is evident that she needed good recipes that were large scale, economic and easy to make. This recipe makes 16 to 17 cups... BUT...the good thing is that it is a basic cookie mix that you can put in a sealed canister on your counter and use at will. It has a shelf life of up to 8 weeks at room temp. This is a great gift to give to someone you know who loves to bake...but doesn't always have the time. Simply pop it into a sealed canister or split up into smaller amounts and add the variation recipes for a gift this season.


Pre-made Cookie Mix
(Basic Recipe - Makes 16-17 cups, 4 to 6 batches of cookies)

8 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. soda
3 cups shortening
4 tsp salt

Measure dry ingredients into a bowl with a tight seal. Seal and tip up and down until thoroughly mixed. Drop in shortening by spoonfuls. cut in with pastry blender or with food processor in batches until evenly blended and no large lumps. Store in a sealed canister. Do not refrigerate. Mix will keep up to 6 to 8 weeks at room temp. To measure for following recipes, spoon lightly into a cup as you would with any premix.

Vanilla Drops (3 to 4 doz)
3 cups Cookie Mix above 1 1/2 tsp vanilla 1 egg

Mix by hand or mixer till smooth and fluffy. Drop by small tsp about 1" apart on ungreased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10 to 12 minutes until light brown. Move to rack to cool. (I ended up shaping mine into balls.)

Chocolate Chip Drops (3 to 4 doz.)Follow recipe for Vanilla Drops above adding 1 tbsp milk to batter.
Stir in 1 cup or a 6 oz. pkg of semi-sweet chocolate chips or chocolate pieces and 1/2 cup chopped nuts.

Date Clusters (3 to 4 doz)Make Vanilla Drop batter, then mix with 1 cup cut dates, 1/2 cup chopped nuts and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar.

Lemon-Nut Thins (3 doz)
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp. grated lemon rind
1/8 tsp almond flavouring
2 cups Cookie Mix
1/3 cup chopped nuts

Mix first four ingredients with fork. Blend in cookie mix, then the nuts. Form into a roll. Wrap in wax paper and chill several hours or overnight. Slice into thin slices and baked on ungreased or parchment lined cookie sheet at 375 for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on rack.

Chocolate Thins (3 doz)

Omit lemon rind and almond flavouring in Lemon-Nut thins.
Add 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1 sq. (1 oz.) melted unsweetened chocolate.

TIP#1: Stand rolled dough in wax paper on its end in a cup .....it will help the dough from flattening out. Make sure it is one with enough support that the dough won't tip over in the fridge.
TIP #2: Take cookies off of hot pan as soon as possible to cool on rack individually. If using parchment paper, just slide the whole thing onto the cooling rack. With higher oven temperatures you run the risk of a burnt bottom.

Corn and Cheese Biscuits

What goes better with a big pot of chili, soup or stew than a BIG batch of light fluffy biscuits that are buttery and flaky. I hope you try this variation that our family enjoys very much. I have no idea where I got this recipe as I have been making these about 25 years.....probably a magazine since at that time no one in my world made biscuits.

3 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. dry mustard
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups grated old cheese
(the stronger the cheese the more flavour in the biscuit)
you may use a combination of Jalapeno or other strong flavours, mix it up a bit
1-14 oz. can creamed corn
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp. milk to brush on top
Combine all dry ingredients. Cut in butter, stir in cheese, corn and eggs.
Knead 10-12 times.
Roll out to 1" thick.
Brush tops with milk.
Bake @ 425 for 20 minutes or until golden brown (each oven varies)
These are very quick and easy to mix up and fresh hot out of the oven is always best!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Easy Bourbon Balls - chocolate gifts from the kitchen

Here I am...still working on making all my Christmas gifts. Chocolates are something you don't want to make toooo far in advance as they have a fridge life of about two weeks. So if you are beginning to attend parties and need those hostess gifts...this is the time to start. Here is one of the recipes I am making this afternoon. I'll share the other recipe on a future post.

These are old recipes half-written down and made and remade over the years so much so that I can't remember where I exactly got them. I do remember getting together with a couple of girlfriends years gone by though, and making these in mega amounts before Christmas....over good conversation and laughter. You might just want to have such a party...it was fun!

First..... Eat a HUGE salad of healthy stuff so that you will be tooooo stuffed to sample more than you should...sigh.

Bourbon Balls
(makes about 3 1/2 doz.)
(As I remember this 'out of my head' I thot I would consult a similar recipe to make sure the amounts were right to put down for you to try. This one is from 'The Best of Fine Cooking'-Vol. 23. The ingredients were basically the same as I use so I followed this one for this posting to make sure it turned out as I good as the one I usually make. Yep...spoon licking good!)

  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup bourbon (I don't know a substitute if you want to go non-alcholic but I would welcome any suggestions so post your comments.)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2- 170 gram boxes of bittersweet (not semi-sweet) chocolate, chopped(about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups toasted pecans
  • 2 1/2 cups of pound cake in cubes (homemade or bought)
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
In a heavy saucepan bring the cream to a boil over medium heat. Remove and stir in the bourbon and the vanilla. Sprinkle the chopped chocolate all over the cream but do not stir. Let sit for 5 minutes or so. Meanwhile pulse the pecans in a food processor until they are coarsely chopped. Add the pound cake and pulse til finely ground. Stir the chocolate in the cream until smooth and creamy. Pour in food processor with crumbs and combine thoroughly. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate about an hour or until you can scoop into balls.

Sift the cocoa and icing sugar together into a medium to large bowl. Line a jelly pan baking sheet with wax paper. Scoop out a heaping tbsp (or if you prefer a one-bite truffle, use only a heaping tsp.) of the chocolate mixture and roll in hands to form a ball. Place the ball in the coating and roll around til all coated. Transfer to the wax paper lined sheet. Repeat until done. Sift the remaking coating over the balls to dust them. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Put in wax lined tins or tupperware containers in wax paper layers for up to two weeks. Give as gifts in beautiful foil mini cups or Christmas paper cups. Pack in pretty boxes or tins for hostess gifts or a gift to someone special.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Breakfast Oat 'n Nut Bars

I love homemade granola bars and like my passion to make new chocolate chip cookies every week, I also like to try new G-bar (as we call them) recipes. This is one I cut out of a health store magazine called 'Alive'. I had forgotten about it until this weekend. Yum....it is all nuts and dried fruits and healthy...except maybe for the condensed milk. However, it sticks together marvelously and the colours are great and what can I say...the boys had them all week in their lunch and loved them!

Very Easy Ingredients
(mix and match)


  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup shredded or flake coconut
  • 1 cup dried fruit - (chopped if using apricots or dates). I used 1/2 cup cranberries and 1/2 cup chopped apricots for colour and variety
  • 1 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup unsalted chopped almonds - or other unsalted nuts
  • 2- 8 oz cans of unsweetened condensed milk
  1. In a cookie sheet spread out the oats and pumpkin seeds and toast under a 350 to 375 oven for about ten minutes...don't burn.
  2. Turn oven down to 250.
  3. Warm the condensed milk in a pot.
  4. Mix all dry ingredients in a big bowl.
  5. Slowly stir in condensed milk and stir until all coated.
  6. Pour into a lined or greased cookie sheet with sides.
  7. Pat down with greased hands until even firmness.
  8. Bake in oven for 1 hour.
  9. Using the handy dandy bench scraper Lovella talks about...cut into bars lunch box size after fifteen minutes.
  10. Leave in pan and cool completely...I mean completely.
  11. Remove from pan and re-cut on cut lines made earlier.
  12. Store in cookie tin lined with wax paper or wrap each bar in wax paper or put in Ziploc(s) and pop in freezer to take out as needed.

Stella's Chocolate Chiffon Cake

I started making this chocolate cake back in 1992 when I found it in a church cookbook. The contributor of the recipe is actually my friend Shirley's mom. I have made it countless times and as she suggests in the recipe. . ."Always turns out good!". It makes a large angel food pan but I have kept a little batter back to make a dozen cupcakes and the cake it still plenty big enough if you are planning on slicing it and filling it. A chiffon cake has a very tender, moist crumb.

Stella's Chocolate Chiffon Cake


  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups hot coffee
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup light vegetable oil
  • 8 farm fresh eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Mix together the cocoa and the boiling water or coffee and allow to cool.
  2. On a large sheet of waxed paper, take a sieve and run your flour, 1 1/4 cups sugar, baking soda, and salt through it. . .I run mine though a few times to make it nice and light.
  3. When you separate your eggs. . .please break the egg white into a small bowl first and then add it to the rest of the egg white in a large glass or metal bowl that you have rinsed in hot water to make sure there is no grease in it. Put the egg yolks into a medium sized bowl.
  4. Beat the egg whites with the remainder 1/2 cup sugar until stiff peaks form.
  5. Put the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
  6. Add the oil, the egg yolks, the cocoa mixture and the vanilla.
  7. Slowly stir in the egg whites with a spatula. . put in a bit at a time, and be gentle.
  8. Pour the batter into a angel food pan. . .keep a bit for cupcakes if you want.
  9. Bake the full cake at 375 for about 60 to 70 minutes. . .Poke a toothpick into the crack to make sure it comes out clean.
  10. For cupcakes. . .bake about 15 minutes and then poke with a toothpick. .
For the chocolate pudding icing.
  • I use 1 small package of chocolate instant pudding
  • 1 package of dream whip
  • 1/1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup of whipping cream
  • Beat it together until nice and thick. . .
I layer the pudding icing with layers of whipped cream and broken toblerone bars. . .pretty yummy.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

My Wareneki (Perogies) Gluten-free


I really missed Wareneki on the gluten-free diet and tried several recipes, but couldn't get them to work for me. I finally came up with my own recipe , combining and modifing the recipes I had.
Here is the one that I am happy with and my husband will also quite happily eat! That's important because I really don't care to make two meals. What I usually end up doing in that case is making his meal and I just eat 'whatever' !

Making this recipe today for lunch, I had to smile as I thought... "No one ever told our Mennonite grandmothers , who really knew how to cook, that 'Ach, das schmeckt aber gut!' (oh, but that tastes good!) translates to.. 'Oh my, what a lot of calories !!!' "
But we have found a way to have our Mennonite traditional dishes and still be healthy! Olive oil to the rescue!! smile

WARENEKI (PEROGIES)

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup cream-style cottage cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp oil

1/2 cup brown (or white) rice flour
1/4 cup pototo flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp. xanthun gum
1/2 tsp salt

(alternate flour mix that I like is 1/2 cup of white corn flour, 1/4 cup white bean flour,

1/4 cup of potato starch, 1/4 cup tapioca starch)

METHOD
1. place first 4 ingredients into blender and mix until totally smooth
2. put dry ingredients in plastic bag and mix thoroughly
3. pour liquid ingredients into bowl and add the dry ingredients
mix thoroughly , turn out onto dusted counter and knead until smooth - redust as needed until dough is non-sticky. I like sweet rice flour for rolling gluten-free dough but you can also use tapioca flour (Because of the cottage cheese in the dough the dough has a bit of a different texture but it handles well.)
4. Roll dough out as thin as possible and cut out your circles using cookie cutter or tumbler.
5. add your prefered filling and pinch edges of wareneki firmly.


TIP- always freeze your wareniki before cooking - keeps a better seal on edges
Drop frozen wareniki into boiling salted water with a tbsp of oil added... Boil for about 5 minutes. Drain and brown in butter in frying pan -- then serve with cream gravy and fried onions.
We love them with Mennonite Farmer Sausage
*************************

Variation On The Theme (Wareneki noodles)

I also like (actually prefer) to use the dough in the following way.



Roll out your dough as thin as possible , then roll it up and cut the roll off. The bigger the roll you roll the longer your noodles will be



Then slice the roll the width you want your noodles to be.. I find between a 1/4 to an 1/8 " works well.
The noodles uncurl easily
Boil them for several mintues in salted water, then drain well in collander.
Transfer to frying pan and brown noodles in olive oil and butter.

Sauce
fry onions (1/2 onion) in butter until crispy , then add 1 cup milk and thickener- I really like the new product Thicken-Thin ....but you can use cornstarch or sweet rice flour
Add 1/2 cup dry cottage cheese and heat through.
Spoon onto golden noodles
ENJOY!

PS. Leftovers reheat well in the microwave.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lemon Cookies

These cookies were one of the treats served at my daughter's baby shower. This recipe comes from her friend Chelsea who hosted the shower. They are very moist and lemony.

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups white sugar

1/2 cup butter

2 eggs

1 15 oz. container ricotta cheese

zest and juice of 1 lemon

Cream together butter, eggs, and sugar. Add zest and lemon juice, and ricotta cheese and blend well. Add remaining ingredients and beat until well combined. Drop by small spoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheets and bake @375 for 12-14 minutes. Cookies will remain very light creamy in color. Do not over bake. ( I used a small ice cream scoop to make uniform sizes. If you put the dough in the fridge for about 1/2 hour to chill it is easier using the scoop)

Remove cookies to cooling rack and glaze while still warm.

Glaze

1 1/2 cups icing sugar

zest and juice of 1 lemon

The glaze will set almost immediately.




Dutch Red Cabbage with Apples

I am grateful to Lana S. for this recipe. Our family loves it with chicken, turkey or pork roast dinners. I say, people who don’t care for it haven’t tasted it!

1/2 onion, chopped
1 small or 1/2 large red cabbage
2 apples, chopped
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt

Saute onion in a small amt. of oil and stir frequently, cooking on med. heat, for about 10 minutes. Cut cabbage into wedges and chop thinly. Add cabbage, vinegar, sugar, salt and then the apples. Continue cooking, (turn down heat) stirring every once in a while, until cabbage is soft and apples have totally discolored. (about 1 hr)
You can make this a day ahead and reheat. Enjoy!

Seven Layer Salad


I can't remember who it was...but someone noted this salad in a post this past summer. I remember throwing out the question...what is a seven layer salad?! Like Char's Rumaki....I had never heard of it. As Christmas potlucks are filling my calendar I thought ... Hmmmm...what can I take that I can eat and eat and not feel toooo guilty about. Salad of course. Well...I looked up this salad and I am not sure it is totally guilt free but....I know I will have seconds of this salad. Just look at the ingredients! Every recipe I found had so many different ways of making it and all looked good. I settled on a combination of layers that appealed to me to try out tonight. I am thinking I am going to get kudos for this from my guys!


INGREDIENTS:
(Remember substitutions are just as good - let your inner salad side out!)
  • Lettuce torn into bite size pieces (Romaine, Iceberg, Red and/or layer with Spinach)
  • 1 cup celery thinly sliced
  • (1/2 cup mushrooms thinly sliced - if using spinach)
  • 1/2 cup red or green peppers thinly sliced (or not if you don't like them - they DO add colour)
  • 1/4 cup green onion chopped (or use thinly sliced red onion for fantastic colour and crunch)
  • 10 slices of bacon - cooked crisp and chopped (you can use chopped ham instead - as you wish - if you wish to keep it meatless use sliced hard boiled egg, especially tasty with spinach)
  • 1-10 oz package of frozen peas (defrosted but not cooked)
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups mayo (you all know by now that I love Hellamans light but you can use your fav.)
  • 2 tsp sugar

  • What to do:
    Use a clear glass trifle dish or deep salad bowl....layers should be visible

    First layer - lettuce or spinach to cover bottom of bowl
    Next- layer the celery or mushrooms
    Next - layer peppers
    Next - layer the bacon, ham or meat substitute
    Next - layer the peas
    Next - combine the mayo and sugar...spread evenly over all.
    Next - top with grated cheese.
Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours but overnight is better.
Toss only just before serving.
It is sooooo delish you will make it again the next day!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Baked Caramel Corn

I make Caramel Corn every year for Christmas. It is great for snacks! Use cellophane bags or festive tins and you have a great gift to give. This recipe is found in the 'Carillon Festive Food Recipes' cookbook.

Baked Caramel Corn
First of all I got out my trusty old popper and popped up some popcorn. You will need:
24 cups of popped corn
2 cups of shelled peanuts..I didn't have any in the house this time but usually do add them..next batch!!)
In a 2 qt saucepan melt:
1 cup butter
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
Bring to boil stirring constantly, turn heat down to med heat and boil 5 min without stirring.
Remove from heat and stir in:
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
This will bubble up..gradually pour over the popped corn, mixing well. Put in 2 large shallow pans, I have a large bakery size pan that fits my oven exactly so I use that.
Bake at 250 oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 min.
Remove from oven and cool completely. Break apart and store in airtight containers.

Creamy Spinach and Ground Beef Lasagna


This is pure and simple just how I make lasagna and how the boys like it. Not compared, not borrowed, not ethnic...just how we eat it. And as we haven't eaten if for a very long time...I thought tonight was as good as any. Everyone has their own recipe for Lasagna but not everyone makes it the same way. So I decided I would share my beef/spinach recipe. Yum...I am anxious to start it just talking.

Ingredients:
(for a 9 x 13 pan - use glass if you can as it cooks better)

  • 3 cups lean ground beef
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-14 oz cans of tomato sauce (spaghetti style - I usually use the garlic and herb)
  • 1 pkg froz. spinach
  • 1 cup cream cottage cheese (or ricotta but then increase your sour cream by 1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup fresh shredded parmesan or asiago cheese
  • 4 tbsp prepared pesto sauce (of course, I use my own- see pesto post)
  • 10 slices mozzarella - optional
  • 1 box oven ready lasagna noodles (you may use whole wheat...I sometimes do but not for this post)
  • Thaw spinach over colander. Squeeze juice out of spinach. It is okay if some remains as the oven ready noodles will absorb it.
  • Brown ground beef and break into small pieces. Drain. Add fresh ground pepper and salt to taste. Add 1 1/4 can of tomato sauce. Heat through and take off burner.
  • Put spinach, sour cream, cottage cheese (or ricotta), pesto and parmesan in a food processor. Give it a whirl until well blended.
  • Here is the key....Bring water to a boil. Put all the lasagna noodles in. Boil for three minutes and remove from hot water. Rinse but don't pat dry.
  • Pour several tablespoons of water on the bottom of the pan. Lay out three or four noodles to cover bottom of pan. Spread meat sauce over noodles. Put noodles on top. Put layer of creamed spinach mixture on top of noodles, layer with noodles, put meat sauce on top, noodles, cream mixture, noodles and then top with the remaining 3/4 can of plain sauce. Spread all over. Layer mozza slices on the sauce if you so desire.
  • Bake in 350 degree oven for 55 minutes. Let sit and cool for proper slices. It is better to let it cool completely and then individually heat the serving plates. This will keep the slices in layers.
Enjoy...I served mine tonight with the 7 layer salad being posted soon.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Roast Chicken Dinner

You can find all kinds of wonderful ways to do roast chicken on different cooking sites. There are recipes that call for spreads to be put under the skin, savory bastes, ideas on how to add flavor etc and I know they are very good. The only problem I have with most of what I’ve seen is that they don’t give you enough roasting time. The reason being (I think) is that you don’t want the meat to dry out. I have found, however that if you roast the chicken on its tummy (breast down) it does not dry out and it tastes so much better. My recipe is very basic, but it gives you a good start if you’ve never roasted a chicken, and you’ll find it surprisingly flavorful too. This is one of my favorite meals.

What you will need:
a roasting pan ( I like the black, speckled ones best)

Directions:
Spray roasting pan with Cooking Spray
Wash small (about 3 lb) chicken and remove any extra fat.
Season inside and outside with 1 tsp salt, pepper and some Lawry’s seasoning salt.
Place, breast down, in roaster and roast with lid OFF for 1/2 hour at 375F. Turn down temp to 325F or 350F and continue roasting with lid ON for another 1 – 1/12 hours, during which time you can also add vegetables such as: potatoes, yams and/or carrots. (broccoli only needs about the last 20 minutes) Sprinkle vegetables with a little salt and pepper.
Remove chicken from pan, using a large lifter, place on cutting board. If you’re also roasting vegetables, transfer them to a serving dish (I like to use a Corning ware dish so that I can keep these warm in the oven while making the gravy etc. (turn oven down to 200F)
Easy Gravy:
Place pan on stove top element. Mix 2 Tbsp flour and 1 cup water well in a small sealed container and add to hot gravy drippings in roasting pan, cooking and stirring continuously, until done. To thicken add more flour water mix, to thin add more water.

How to serve or cut up the chicken:
You can serve it whole (I call it family style) or carved.
Basically, to carve a small chicken like this you are just removing the skin and bones. Lay the chicken on a cutting board on its tummy. Remove wings and legs. Cut through each leg at joint to separate into drumsticks and thigh. Remove any small parts of meat on the back and then discard the bones. Turn over and take the breast meat off the bone and slice. If the chicken is well done it will all come off very easily.
Drizzle with a small amount of gravy and serve.
Cut up chicken can also be put in an oven proof dish, covered with some of the gravy and aluminum foil (or lid) and put back in the oven to keep warm.

Tip: If you plan to do a large roasting chicken for company, count ½ hour/lb for roasting. Plan to have it ready 30 min. before serving time so you can make gravy etc. while it rests. This way you’re not trying to do five different things at once when your company walks in.

Bread Pudding with Orange Creme Anglaise

Oh I am literally rubbing my hands in glee for coming across this recipe. Several requests circulated amongst a few of us to get a good Bread Pudding recipe. My friend emailed me this one and it is simply delightful!




Ingredients:

  • 16 slices or about a loaf of egg bread (what? that is what the recipe says but I used regular bread...)
  • 1 1/2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen
  • 1 tbsp grated orange rind
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Orange Creme Anglaise:

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 strip orange rind (about 1 inch wide - for infused flavour)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange flavoured liqueur or you can use equal amount concentrate orange juice .
Trim off bread crusts. Cut bread into 1 inch cubes. Arrange half of the bread cubes in lightly greased 12 inch oval baking dish. Scatter two thirds each of the cranberries and orange rind over top. Cover mixture with remaining bread cubes, then top with remaining cranberries and orange rind.


In large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, vanilla and sugar and pour over the bread mixture. Let stand for about 20 minutes...basting every so often with the juice. You could cover this with saran then refrigerate up to 24 hours if this is handier in your meal prep.

Bake uncovered in the centre of the oven at 375 for 45 to 60 minutes or until puffed and golden and until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Orange Creme Anglaise:

In a small saucepan heat the cream with the orange rind over medium heat just until it is steaming. Remove from heat and discard the orange rind.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks with sugar until pale; slowly whisk in the cream. Return it all to the saucepan, cook, stirring constantly for 3 to 5 minutes or until thick enough to coat back of wooden spoon.....careful...don't let it boil. Strain into a pitcher. Stir in liqueur. Serve warm with the pudding.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

First Rule for the Budding Chef

My two granddaughters are beginning to enjoy baking in the kitchen and my daughter is quite happy for them to learn.
This afternoon my ten year old wanted to make cookies , all by herself. So my daughter showed her the recipe and laid out the ingredients for her.
All seemed to be going well.. and soon the cookies were in the oven.
After some time my granddaughter came to her mother and said... "Mom, I think I made a mistake in the recipe ... the cookies taste a little salty!"

The recipe called for 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. vanilla....
My granddaughter had put in 1/4 CUP of salt, and 1/4 CUP of vanilla !!!!

Rule - ALWAYS check your ingredient measurements !! smile

Potato-Chip Cookies

Been looking for this recipe for some time now, having had it at a friend's house many moons ago. She moved on and I forgot. Then...sitting in a fogged in airport (and buying a cookie magazine - of course) I finally found it. This recipe is from "Best & Loved Cookies and Bars - A Taste of Home) and is called Potato-Chip Crunchies. Its not quite the same as the one I remember but it is equally as good. You will see that I changed it up a bit...not having all the ingredients.

Ingredients:

2 cups butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour ( I was running low so I used 3 1/4 cups flour and 3/4 cup ground almonds...okay...that is not quite flour but it turned it into a nice thick dough. So expect your cookie to spread a bit more than mine did if you follow the original recipe.)
1 cup crushed potato chips
1 cup chopped pecans (you might note that there are no pecan chunks in my photo. As I did not have pecans I could 'part' with that day...I used chopped skinless baking almonds...I am thinking the pecans would be a more pretty presentation.)

In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and gradually add the flour while beating. Fold in potato chips and pecans. Drop by tablespoons 1 1/2 apart on baking sheet with parchment paper. I found the dough was thick enough for me to do my usually 'hands-on' rolling into uniform balls. Bake at 350 for 12 to 14 minutes until golden brown. Remove to racks to cool.

NB: As I was afraid the cookies might look a bit plain I took my shortbread stamper...a drinking glass with a pinwheel impression on the bottom .. dipped it in a bowl of sugar and 'flattened' my rolled cookies.