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Entries in recipes (629)

Monday
Dec202010

Silly Goose: A Trompe L'oeil Cake Made to Look Like a Christmas Goose, For Serious Eats

We could go round in circles discussing which treat is the ultimate Christmas sweet—is it cookies? Bûche de Noël? Or perhaps fruitcake?

But instead of engaging in this wild goose chase, why not make a Christmas Goose Cake?

Paying homage to a classic Christmas dinner, this treat isn't meat—it's totally sweet! It's a trompe l'oeil designed to look like a Christmas goose, made from decadent cake crumbled with frosting and covered with rich marzipan. Extra points for serving it on an equally sweet bed of either candy salad or artfully arranged batch of cornflake wreath batter!

For the full recipe and entry, click on over to Serious Eats!

Sunday
Dec192010

Bread and Circus: Molded Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

Christmas is all about sharing.

Of course, some things are more fun to share than others--for instance, SpyMom's Molded Gingerbread cookies recipe, which yields pretty and delicious cookies showcasing vivid scenes from her collection of old-school cookie molds from House on the Hill.

Of course, while the recipe is fun to share, I wouldn't blame you if you couldn't bring yourself to share the actual cookies. 

Gingerbread Recipe from SpyMom

 

  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger

 

Procedure

Preheat oven to 350 and butter cookie sheets. Heat the molasses to the boiling point, then add the sugar, butter, and milk. Mix the flour with the baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and rest of the spices. Add to the first mixture and blend well. Add a few tablespoons of water, enough so that the dough holds together and handles easily. Roll or pat out the dough about 1/4 inch thick. Press into molds, or cut out in whatever shapes you'd like (Ninjabread men, anyone?). SpyMom doesn't specify if it's best to let them chill before baking, but the recipe calls for baking these babies for 5-7 minutes. Garnish as desired, confectioners' sugar might be nice. 

Thursday
Dec162010

You Mochi My Day: Mochi Cake Recipe from CS Buddy Cindy

Dinner parties rule for many reasons:

  1. You get to hang out with cool people, and sometimes meet new people.
  2. You get to eat a bunch of delicious things.
  3. IMPORTANTLY: Dessert is pretty much inevitable.

And after a recent dinner party at CS buddy Cindy's house, after being very impressed with her delightfully dense, lightly but not excessively sweet, almond-y Mochi Cake, she was a kind and generous hostess indeed and even sent the recipe:

As promised here is the recipe for the "Mochi Cake" (for lack of a more appropriate name). I checked the rice cup I was using and it is roughly the equivalent of 3/4 (wet) cup. Let me know if you have any questions and I hope it's rather straightforward.

Mochi Cake

*1 cup = 1 rice cup or 3/4 standard (wet) cup

Ingredients:

  • 1 box (16 oz) Mochiko (sweet rice flour - I use the Koda Farms one, which can be purchased at most Asian grocery stores)
  • 2 cup Milk (or Milk substitute, I used Almond Milk for the one you guys had)
  • 1 scant cup vegetable oil (I tend to use slightly less to avoid excess oil)
  • 1 to 1.5 cup sugar
  • 1 generous tbsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs (if you only 3 eggs or want to use up to 5 eggs that works okay too but 4 seems to be the best ratio)

Optional ingredients:

  • dried fruits (eg. longan, raisins, etc.)
  • rice wine (enough to cover and rehydrate fruits)
  • can of cooked red beans (again can be purchased at the Asian grocery store, be sure to get one that has the beans in it and not completely mashed - Shirakiku Anko Red Bean Ogura)

Procedure

  1. If using dried fruits, add enough rice wine to cover and rehydrate dried fruits
  2. While fruits are rehydrating, mix together mochiko, milk, oil, sugar, baking powder and eggs thoroughly
  3. Line a baking pan (I use a rectangular baking pan, approx. 9" X 13") with aluminum foil & brush lightly with oil
  4. Fill baking pan with batter
  5. If including dried fruits or cooked red beans, use spoon to drop dollops on top of batter, then use finger or butter knife to stir/distribute throughout batter (you can make swirls with the pattern if desired)
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes @ 390 - 400F (until when pierced with toothpick comes out clean)
Thursday
Dec162010

Sweetly Intoxicating: Christmas Cookie Cocktail Recipes

Everyone knows that the winter holidays are the most intoxicating time of the year.

Wait--that wasn't quite right. What I meant was, the holidays are the best time of the year to get intoxicated. (I mean, let's be honest) And what better way to get toasted--and stay toasty--than with Christmas cookie-inspired cocktails?

Well, Partida tequila was kind enough to send on the SpyStaff some tasty tequila samples (also officially marking the first time we've ever received a fedex parcel fulla tequila) and recipes--and here are our two favorites for you to (*hic!*) enjoy.

Seven Layer Cookie (pictured top)

Spy notes: This delectable cocktail confection tastes sweet and goes down almost too easily--but be warned, it's a stiff drink and moderation is key!

  • 3/4oz Godiva Liqueur
  • 3/4oz Coconut Rum
  • 1/2oz Butterscotch Schnapps
  • 1/2oz Partida Anejo Tequila
  • 1/4oz Frangelico
  • 1/2oz Baileys
  • 1/2oz Amaretto

Garnish rim of a martini glass with crushed cookie crumbs.  Shake all ingredients in a shaker with ice and strain into martini glass. 

Toasted Macaroon

  • 1 oz Coconut Milk
  • 1-1/2oz Coconut Rum
  • 1/4oz Licor 43
  • 1/2oz Partida Blanco Tequila
  • 1/2oz Frangelico

Combine ingredients in a shaker and shake with ice.  Strain into a glass filled with ice and garnish with toasted coconut shavings on top. 

Tuesday
Dec142010

Apple of My Eye: Applescotch Cookies Made With Jiffy Baking Mix

I've always had a soft spot for "Jiffy" brand baking mixes. Not necessarily because of their superior taste (though I think they're perfectly serviceable) but because of their packaging. These petite packages have a distinctly retro look, but not in an ironic way--more like they've never changed the initial 1930 design (why mess with a good thing?). 

Unable to resist the packaging, I recently found myself in possession of a box of Jiffy Apple Cinnamon Muffin Mix. Two questions occurred to me:

  1. Where did these mixes come from?
  2. What can I make with this mix that is not muffins?

Where the magic happens! Photo: Chelsea MillingHappily, the Chelsea Milling website (their parent company) was able to shed light on both of these pressing questions. As for the history? Here it is, from their site:

Chelsea Milling Company is operated by a family whose roots in the flour milling business date back to the early 1800’s. We have been milling flour here in Chelsea for over 120 years.

Mabel White Holmes, grandmother of our President, Howdy S. Holmes, developed and introduced to the homemaker the first prepared baking mix product, “JIFFY” Baking Mix, in the spring of 1930. Currently we offer 22 “JIFFY” Mixes. Our mixes provide you, our consumer, with the best value available.

Chelsea Milling Company is a complete manufacturer. We store wheat. We mill wheat in to flour. We use that flour for our own mixes. We make our own “little blue” boxes. We do it all-that’s why our mixes provide you with the best possible value. Value is using the highest quality ingredients and the best price!

Our entire operation is located in Chelsea, Michigan and our product is shipped out to all 50 states, as well as some foreign countries through the United States Military.

Finding this pretty fascinating, I'd like to state for the record that if they invited me to come and tour their factory, it would be like the awesomest thing ever.

As for a recipe? Happily, they have a handy recipe finder by mix--and I quickly settled on the delectable-sounding "Applescotch Cookies". Incredibly easy to make, these cookies fall somewhere between cakey and chewy, and the mellow, buttery butterscotch flavor works extremely well with the apple-spice flavor from the mix. Here's the recipe.

Applescotch Cookies

  • 1 pkg. "JIFFY" Apple Cinnamon Muffin Mix
  • 1 Tbsp. instant butterscotch pudding
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp. quick oats
  • 1 Tbsp. margarine or butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup butterscotch pieces

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 375°, grease baking sheet. 
  2. Mix together muffin mix, pudding and nutmeg.
  3. Cut in softened margarine or butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add oats.
  4. Mix in egg until well blended. Add butterscotch pieces.
  5. Roll into 3/4 to 1" balls and place on cookie sheet.
  6. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned on the edges.
Friday
Dec102010

Cookies, Cakes, Oh My: Sweetness from JustJenn Recipes and Designs

Photo: JustJenn DesignsSo, two things.

First, this recipe comes from the same person who designed the pins to the left. They say "I Like Big Bundts". Now that is hilarious!

But wait, there's more!

When Jenn sent me a parcel of said pins, she also sent a four-pack of some of the most amazing things I've put in my mouth recently: Cookie Cupcakes.

What are they, exactly? Cookie? Cupcake? The answer is YES. And deliciously so, on both counts. Served in cupcake liners, these are cakey, decadent cookies that are so full of butter and chocolate chips that you'll totally be ok with the lack of frosting. For reals.

Want a recipe? OK. You can also find it on JustJenn Recipes (that and so many more!).

Cookie Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon chips

Procedure

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prep a cupcake pan with liners.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Once combined, add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla.
  4. Alternate the flour mixture with the milk until combined. This will look like cookie batter!
  5. JustJenn Note: Cinnamon Chips are hard to find, but so worth the hunt. They are made by Hershey’s and as far as I can tell in the Los Angeles area they are only sold at Alberton’s. So weird! If you can find them – get them, you won’t be disappointed.
  6. Now fold in the chocolate chips and cinnamon chips.
  7. Fill your liners about 3/4 of the way full.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes until toothpick test says they’re done! Let cool on a wire rack.
Thursday
Dec092010

Gingerbread in the House: Gingerbread Crepes Recipe from Macrina Bakery

Gingerbread cookies are perfect for later on in the day, but what about for breakfast?

Howsabout these delicious Gingerbread Crepes, the recipe of the month from Macrina Bakery?

Here's the intro and recipe from their newsletter:

Jeanine Riss, one of our former chefs created these crêpes for a special Christmas Eve brunch at our café. They were a big hit, selling out earlier than expected. Jeanine found it best to prepare and fill the crêpes one day in advance. That way all she had to do in the morning was prepare the compote and syrup and reheat the crêpes before serving.

For the crêpes:
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1-1/3 cups whole milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons molasses
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Canola oil

For the citron ricotta filling:
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup candied citron*
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

For the cranberry compote:
2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the vanilla syrup:
1 cup pure maple syrup
1vanilla bean

Powdered sugar

Preparing the crêpes:

  • Combine flour, sugar, ginger, cinnamon and cloves in a medium bowl. Toss together and set aside.
  • In a separate medium bowl combine milk, eggs, and molasses mixing together with a whisk. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture into the bowl of flour, whisking as you pour. When ingredients are fully combined, whisk in 1 tablespoon of the melted butter. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  • Heat a small (7-inch) nonstick sauté pan over medium heat and brush with a little canola oil. Ladle in just enough crêpe batter to eventually cover the bottom of the pan, about 2 tablespoons. Lift and tilt the pan to spread out the batter more quickly. Cook until edges start to turn brown, about 1 minute, then flip the crêpe over with a spatula and cook the other side. Transfer finished crêpe to a large plate and cover with a piece of parchment paper. Repeat with the rest of the batter, placing paper between each crêpe as you finish. You should have 8 crêpes.

Preparing the citron ricotta filling and assembling the crêpes:

  • Combine ricotta cheese, sugar, candied citron, and orange zest in a medium bowl mixing well with a wooden spoon.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Lay the crêpe out on a work surface and scoop equal portions of citron filling into the center of each crêpe. Roll each of the crépes into a log and place them seam sides down, on the prepared baking sheet. Brush tops with the remaining melted butter.  (It may be necessary to reheat the butter.)
  • At this point the crêpes can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator overnight. If you are ready to eat, move on to the next step.

Preparing the cranberry compote:

  • Combine cranberries, water, sugar, and orange zest in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until cranberries begin to burst, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove pan from heat and drop in butter, stirring until butter is melted and evenly distributed. Set aside.

Preparing the vanilla syrup:

  • Pour maple syrup into a medium saucepan. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise and using the tip of a sharp knife, scrape the seeds out of each half and add them to the pan.
  • Drop opened bean pods into the syrup for extra flavor and simmer over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove bean pods and set aside.

Finishing the crêpes:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Place baking sheet of crêpes on center rack of oven and bake for 10 minutes. Crêpes will be heated through and golden brown on the edges.
  • While crêpes are baking, reheat the cranberry compote and the vanilla syrup.
  • Place 2 crêpes in the center of each plate and top with a generous scoop of compote. Drizzle warm syrup around the edges of the crêpes, and garnish the plate with a little powder sugar. Serve while still warm.
Thursday
Dec092010

Peppermint Party: Peppermint Nanaimo Bars on Candy Cane Sleds for Butter Is Best

Fill in the blank. You know you're a big deal when....

For me, this moment was "when I was asked by the Wisonsin Butter Board to come up with a holiday recipe for their blog". Like, OMG! I love butter!

Naturally, the choice was a holiday riff on my favorite Canadian treat, the Nanaimo Bar. 

If you've ever tried a Nanaimo bar, you know that they're a singular sensation of a treat: unforgivingly rich, unbelievably indulgent, and completely irresistible. That is to say, the perfect holiday treat!

And here's a version which embodies the festive flavors of the holiday season: the Peppermint Nanaimo Bar. It takes the classic bar and gives it a minty makeover, yielding a rich, creamy, buttery and refreshing treat that is the kind of confection that peppermint patties hope to be when they grow up.

Even sweeter? Serving them on adorable sleds made from popsicle sticks and candy canes--the perfect vehicle to deliver these rich treats!

These bars are truly the stuff that dreams (and New Year's resolutions) are made of--and a treat that you'll find hard to resist!

For the full post and recipe (including a tutorial on cute candy cane sleds!), visit the official Wisconsin Butter Board Blog at ButterIsBest.com! Oh, and you should follow them on Twitter too.

Tuesday
Dec072010

Tate's-Off: A Tasteoff Featuring Homemade Vs. Purchased Tate's Chocolate Chip Cookies

For your consideration: Tate's Bake Shop, in Southhampton, NY. As their website invites, 

If you're in the Hamptons and walk around the charming little Atlantic coast town of Southampton, you'll see a celadon green Victorian structure with white shutters, framed in flowers, that seems to attract people like bees to a hive. It's Tate's Bake Shop, the fairytale culmination of a dream that got started when 11-year-old Kathleen King began baking cookies to sell at her family's farm stand not far out of town.

Sounds pretty idyllic, huh? But wait, there's more: in addition to having a full-fledged retail store, retail mail order business and wholesale division, they also have a cookbook, released a couple of years ago: Tate's Bake Shop Cookbook: The Best Recipes from Southampton's Favorite Bakery for Homestyle Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Muffins, and Breads

And even more recently, they sent me a parcel of samples, containing aforementioned cookbook, as well as a variety of mail-order cookies (in three flavors: macadamia, oatmeal raisin, and their bestselling item, chocolate chip cookies). Now, of course I am thankful for these goodies--I mean, who doesn't love free stuff? But at the same time, every time I receive something like this, the mischievous side of me can't help but cry out to be heard.

And so I decided to put these cookies to the test by doing a taste-off: Tate's Versus Tate's. I made a batch of their bestselling item--the chocolate chip cookies--and then my friend Danny and I did a taste-test of the mail-order version versus the homemade version. Which would win?

Now, I realize that I probably had the home-team advantage here: my cookies would be slightly fresher, warmer, and we both would have known that someone superbly cute had made them. So to level the playing field, I did make sure to fully cool the cookies before serving, and then to lightly warm both specimens on the still-warm oven before serving. The results?

Appearance:

Tate's Mail Order: More perfectly formed than the homemade version, and the chocolate chips must have been different, because they were slightly flatter in this version.

Tate's Homemade: Slightly irregular, but not displeasing in appearance. Also the centers were slightly lighter, probably because if anything I err toward slight underbaking.

Texture:

Tate's Mail Order: Very crunchy--crackery, even.

Tate's Homemade: Crunchy on the outside and mostly through, but lightly chewy in the center even when cooled.

Taste:

Tate's Mail Order: Dry, but not stale--still very buttery, and redolent of brown sugar and deep chocolate flavor.

Tate's Homemade: More moist, even when cooled and crunchy. Pleasingly salty, and although they used less chocolate than the original recipe, they still tasted like they had more chocolate chips. Perhaps uneven distribution? Or perhaps the fact that although they had cooled, they still retained that chocolatey glow of taste from the oven permeations?

All said and done: While it was clear that these were variations of the same cookie, the homemade version definitely won. Obviously, even though I tried to level the playing field, one thing holds true: just-baked cookies always win. There's a certain something that comes from home baking that can't be beat. Nonetheless, I feel as if it might have been a slightly different outcome had we just scored the Tate's mail-order ones on the same day they had been baked.

Final word: Unless you're in the tri-state area and can go to the source, buy the book and make 'em yourself.

Tate's Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (I used Rodelle--they recently sent me some as a sample and I am very impressed!)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease or line two baking sheets with parchment or Silpat.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In another large bowl, cream the butter and sugars. Add the water and vanilla. Mix the ingredients just until combined.
  4. Add the eggs and mix them lightly. Stir in the flour mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips. Don't overmix the dough.
  5. Drop the cookies 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets using two tablespoons or an ice cream scoop.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes or until the edges and centers are brown. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool.
Tuesday
Nov302010

Bang a Gong: Harvey Wallbanger Cake from Booze Cakes by Krystina Castella

The holiday season has begun its assault on our senses. But I know how to dull the sensory overload: indulge in a big slice of boozy cake. Don't judge me.

(Note: curious about that patent? I was too. Learn more here.)

This one comes from Krystina Castella's Booze Cakes: Confections Spiked With Spirits, Wine, and Beer, a fine release from Quirk Books this year. This book is full of fun boozy cake recipes, plenty of which are great for a holiday crowd; I won't lie, I chose the Harvey Wallbanger because of its funny name and interesting recipe lead-up:

All the rage in the 1970s, the Harvey Wallbanger cocktail is a groovy twist on the classic Screwdriver: it adds a splash of the smooth vanilla Italian liqueur Galliano to the vodka and orange juice. In the 70s spirit, this is one drunk Bundt cake that is dead easy to make. It's a light, moist, absolutely booze-drenched crowd pleaser.

And happily, I wasn't let down. Citrusy, festive, and very boozy, this one is party-perfect.

Harvey Wallbanger Cake

From Booze Cakes by Krystina Castella

For the cake

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 (3.3 ounce) box vanilla instant pudding
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1/4 cup Galliano liqueur
  • 3/4 cup orange juice

Boozy Orange Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon vodka
  • 1 tablespoon Galliano liqueur

Finishing: original recipe  suggests orange slices and confectioners' sugar; I garnished with toasted almonds.

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat cake mix, pudding powder, vetetable oil, eggs, vodka, Galliano, and OJ for 4 minutes, or until smooth. Pour batter into pan. Bake 45-50 minutes, until golden brown.
  3. Make the glaze. In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until smooth and creamy. Drizzle over cake. Give it a few minutes to sink into the cake for extra boozy goodness and moisture. Finish with whatever garnish you'd like.

Warning: Do not share Harvey Wallbanger cake batter with pugs.

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