Archive for the ‘recipe’ Category

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Paczki Day

February 11, 2013

Lent starts tomorrow.  I’m still trying to figure out what I’ll be sacrificing.  I have time because today is all about indulging.  It’s all about Fat Tuesday, or around here Paczki Day.

I love a good paczki.

The ones of my childhood, though, are nothing like the ones I see now.  The paczki of my youth are small, like the size of a donut hole.  Sometimes they are filled with jelly, sometimes they are plain.  There was a Polish-Irish restaurant that served the best paczki at the end of every meal near my hometown. It was called Paczki-Dunn or Dunn-Paczki.  I’m not sure it it’s still there.

The ones I see now are too big.  Too doughy.  Not light enough.  These paczki are just right.

I made these in honor of Lent.  I hope you try them, they are totally worth all of the steps.  I used a shot glass to cut out the dough, but if you want them bigger-go for it.  I stuffed some with raspberry filling, some with almond and some I left plain.

Paczki

  • 1/2 C Butter
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1 C warm (room temperature) milk
  • 1/2 C white sugar
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 4 ½ to 5 C flour
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying

Melt the butter and set it aside to cool.  Pour the yeast into a small bowl. Pour the warm milk into the bowl and stir until the yeast dissolves. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine sugar, nutmeg, eggs and vanilla. Mix. Add the butter to the large bowl and mix until it is well blended.  Add the milk and yeast to the large bowl. Mix well.  Slowly add flour. When you have four cups of flour mixed in, the dough should not be sticky. If it’s still sticky, add a little more. (Remember, the eggs help make the paczki light, but too much flour can quickly weigh the dough down. Use only as much flour as needed.)

Knead the dough gently with your fists until it no longer sticks to your knuckles.  Put the bowl of dough in a warm place; cover it with a clean, damp kitchen towel. Let it  double in size.  Once it has doubled, punch it down.  Let it rise again. This should take about an hour.

When the dough has risen a second time, dump the dough onto a lightly floured counter and roll it out to about one half-inch thickness. Using a two and one half inch round (oblong is better) cookie cutter or regular canning jar ring, cut the dough. Carefully place the dough cutouts on greased cookie sheets, in a warm room.   Let the dough rise until about double in size.

While the dough is rising, heat the oil to about 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Fry each paczki for about two minutes per side, or until deep brown. Use the slotted spoon to turn the paczki and lift each one from the oil carefully. Place the paczki on the paper towels lined cookie sheet to drain. The more grease that is drained away from the paczki the better the paczki will taste.  While they are still warm, dipped them in a powdered sugar glaze.  I used 2 C powdered sugar, 1 t Vanilla Extract (or Almond), and 1/3 C milk.  Once they’ve been dipped, you can fill them with jelly.  They are light and airy enough to be shot with a pastry filler and stuffed.

Paczki can also be frozen.

Here’s were I found it.

Meeshiesmom's Blog

 

Lent starts tomorrow.  I’m still trying to figure out what I’ll be sacrificing.  I have time because today is all about indulging.  It’s all about Fat Tuesday, or around here Paczki Day. 

I love a good paczki. 

The ones of my childhood, though, are nothing like the ones I see now.  The paczki of my youth are small, like the size of a donut hole.  Sometimes they are filled with jelly, sometimes they are plain.  There was a Polish-Irish restaurant that served the best paczki at the end of every meal near my hometown. It was called Paczki-Dunn or Dunn-Paczki.  I’m not sure it it’s still there.

The ones I see now are too big.  Too doughy.  Not light enough.  These paczki are just right.

I made these in honor of Lent.  I hope you try them, they are totally worth all of the steps.  I used a shot glass to cut out…

View original post 423 more words

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A Peppermint Treat

February 10, 2013

peppermint cookie iiiI made these cookies for Christmas.  I found them in the Every Day Food Christmas edition.  I had planned to post in December about them, then realized I hadn’t.  Sorry.

These cookies are a little crisper than I like, but it didn’t take away from the greatness of this cookie.  Meeshie loved them.  So did I, and I’m not generally a fan of chocolate and peppermint.  It always makes me think of York Peppermint Patties and I’ve never liked them.

Don’t let the candy garnish prevent you from making these year round.  You could easily substitute the Starlite Candies with buttermints at Easter.  Or use green Starlite Candies in March.  Or better yet, use white peppermint candy and a few drops of food coloring.

These cookies, as is, are perfect for your favorite valentine.  Use a heart-shaped stencil to sprinkle for the candy sprinkles.  And use your own judgement on how finely you want to crush the candy.  I made the pieces larger for Christmas, but making a candy dust for Valentine’s Day would be perfect, too.

peppermint cookiePeppermint-Chocolate Sugar Cookies

  • 2 1/2 C Flour
  • 1 T Baking Powder
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • 1 C Butter, softened
  • 2 C Sugar
  • 1/4 t Peppermint Extract
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 C Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 C Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 3-5 T Half and Half
  • 12 Round Peppermint Candies, crushed (Starlite Candies or Candy Canes)

Combine first three ingredients in a medium bowl.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the peppermint extract.  Beat again for three minutes.  Beat in egg.  Slowly add flour mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Roll the dough into quarter sized balls.  Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  Let cool for five minutes before transferring off the cookie sheet.

Stir the confectioner’s sugar and enough cream to make a spreadable glaze.  Spread a thin layer of glaze on top of each cookie (or dip the top of the cookies in the glaze) and sprinkle with the crushed candy.

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Another Great Dip

January 15, 2013

artichoke spinach dipMy sister and her family came over last week.  My niece went to San Diego during the Christmas break with her high school band and they came over to watch it.  My niece’s band participated in the Balloon Parade and the Holiday Bowl’s half-time.  The Balloon Parade was televised, but the half-time performance was not.

We had a good time watching the parade and enjoying some great snacks.  One of those snacks was this artichoke spinach dip.  It makes a nice size portion, but I’ve found that if a I place the dip in smaller containers it works better.  Maybe because it makes me feel less of a glutton.

I’ve been making this dip for years, but it had moved out of my rotation.  Until now.  I knew I needed to make this after I saw the jumbo jars of artichoke hearts at Costco.   I suppose you could make this dip with regular cream cheese, but I never have.  It has just the right amount of garlic, spinach and artichoke heart ratio.  Serve this at your next get together or football party and watch it disappear.

artichoke spinach dip iiArtichoke Spinach Dip

  • 1/2 C Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1-10 oz package Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove all moisture
  • 1 C Artichoke Hearts in oil, drained
  • 1-8 oz container of soft garlic-chive cream cheese
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 C Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
  • Pepper, fresh ground
  • Bread Crumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In blender or food processor, add parmesan cheese, garlic, spinach, artichoke, cream cheese, and eggs.  Blend thoroughly.  Add mixture to medium-sized bowl.  Fold in Mozzarella cheese.  Transfer to a baking dish.  Garnish with pepper and bread crumbs.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until heated trough.  Serve with your favorite tortilla chips, crackers or pita chips.

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Happy New Year and A Much Awaited Post

January 1, 2013

pancake muffin iiHappy New Year!

I’ve been baking, of course, and I hope to share some wonderful recipes with you in 2013. I love finding a new recipe, or uncovering an old one and sharing.

I must apologize.  I’ve been meaning to post for quite some time and things just keep getting in the way.  The holidays for one.  This year they really seemed to consume much of my time.  Between baking and cooking, not to mention shopping, I lost track of time.

Plus Meeshie’s been busy too.  She joined the orchestra.  My little girl plays the viola.  That means practice three times a week, two of those times translates to an even earlier morning.  .

I’ve been making this simple recipe that I call pancake muffins.  Basically, they are pancakes made in a muffin tin.  Perfect for those early mornings on the go or for your daughter’s lunch.  They store well in a Ziploc bag in the freezer.  They can easily be adapted to incorporate any filling you like in a pancake.

 

muffin pancake iiiPancake Muffins

  • Pancake batter (I use this recipe, but use whatever you like)
  • Maple Syrup
  • Fruit or Sausage

Prepare the pancake batter and set aside.  Lightly grease your muffin tin.  Spoon about 1 1/2 to 2 T of batter in the bottom of the muffin tin.  Drizzle the batter with maple syrup, top with either fruit or sausage, or both.  I use the sausage links from Costco that are precooked.  Top with 1 1/2 to 2 T of batter to cover most of the filling.  The batter will spread.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes or until firm to the touch.

Makes about 2 dozen muffins.

 

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More Snacks!

October 24, 2012

I’m a sucker for Reese’s Pieces.  I don’t want to say that a certain movie with a loveable alien changed my life, but maybe it did.  This snack is like puppy chow on steroids.  It’s just as simple and just as addicting.  I would suggest using either pretzel sticks or the snaps, but really use whatever you prefer.

The original recipe calls for more white chocolate, but I didn’t really miss it.

Oh, and make this as often as you can, it’s going to go as quickly as you make it.

Peanut Butter Snack Mix

  • 4 C Golden Grahams cereal
  • 2 C Cocoa Puffs cereal
  • 2 C Pretzels
  • 1 C  Reese’s Pieces
  • 1 C Dry-Roasted Peanuts
  • 5 oz white chocolate baking bars or squares, chopped
  • 1 T butter
  • 1/2 C Powdered Sugar

In large bowl, mix cereals, pretzels, peanut butter candies, peanuts and powdered sugar; set aside.  In a microwavable bowl, microwave white chocolate and butter uncovered on high about 1 minute, until melted and chocolate can be stirred smooth. Pour over cereal mixture, stirring until evenly coated. I but the lid on the container and toss. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

This is another recipe I found via Pinterest.   Here’s the original.

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Let Them Eat Cake

October 16, 2012

 

 

Cathy talked about making the cake with orange and cranberry.  She loves that combination.  I’m not sure if she’ll make it for Thanksgiving, but I’m sure if she did it would be a hit.

I made the cake with the pumpkin.  I loved that I could just through the ingredients together so quickly.  I made this before work the other morning and just loaded it into the car.  The smell during my commute was heavenly.

My only complaint is that I don’t have a picture of the new cakes.

What variation can you think of?  What about the chocolate cake mix?

Butterscotch Coffee Cake

  • 1 box (18.25 Oz. Box) Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 box (3.4 Oz. Box) Instant Vanilla Pudding or Butterscotch Pudding
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • Topping:
  • ⅓ C Sugar
  • ¾ C Chopped Pecans
  • ¾ C Butterscotch Morsels

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the pudding as directed and let set. Add the cake mix and eggs to the pudding. Mix until blended and pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Mix the ingredients together for the topping, sprinkle on top of the cake. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

  • 1 box (18.25 Oz. Box) Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1  15 oz Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 2 t Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Topping:
  • ⅓ C Brown Sugar
  • ¾ C Chopped Pecans
  • 1 t Pumpkin Pie Spice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the pudding as directed and let set. Add the cake mix, eggs and pumpkin puree. Mix until blended and pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Mix the ingredients together for the topping, sprinkle on top of the cake. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Cranberry Orange Cake

  • 1 box (18.25 Oz. Box) Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 box (3.4 Oz. Box) Instant Vanilla Pudding
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • zest from 1/2 an Orange
  • Topping:
  • ⅓ C Sugar
  • ¾ C Chopped Cranberries
  • 1/2 C White Chocolate Morsels
  • 1/2 C Chopped Pecans
  • Orange Zest, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the pudding as directed and let set. Add the cake mix and eggs to the pudding.  Add the orange zest and mix until blended and pour into a greased 9×13 pan. Mix the ingredients together for the topping, sprinkle on top of the cake.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.

 

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Let’s Snack!

October 8, 2012

I love a good snack.  I especially love one that’s easy to make but also twisted.

Take these pretzels.  They are so good.  Meeshie and my husband can’t stop eating them.  It’s that salty sweet thing.

These are not only a perfect snack, but a perfect gift.  Put these in a mason jar with a bow and give it to your child’s teacher.  Or give as a hostess gift.  Put these out during a party and see them disappear.

Truly, the hardest part of making these is deciding the pretzel shape.  Mix it up by  halving the white chocolate and using some milk chocolate too.  Or sprinkling with red and green sugar for holiday cheer.

But let’s not forget the wonderful aroma of the cinnamon.  This snack smells as good as it looks.  That’s probably why it moves out of the house so quickly.

White Chocolate Cinnamon Pretzels
  • 1  16- 18 oz Bag of Pretzels
  • 2/3 C Oil
  • 1/3 C Sugar
  • 1 ½ t Cinnamon
  • ½ Cup Cinnamon Sugar for sprinkling
  • 1 C White Chocolate Chips
Whisk together oil, sugar, and cinnamon.  Pour the pretzels into a microwave safe bowl and pour oil mixture in.  Stir until coated.  Microwave for 1 minute, remove and stir.  Microwave 45 seconds more.  Spread pretzels evenly onto two cookie sheets covered in parchment paper.  While still warm, sprinkle cinnamon sugar generously.   Pour the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave at 30 second increments until melted.  Drizzle over cooled pretzels.
Here’s the original.
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Salted Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

September 19, 2012

I started a new job this summer.  I love it.  For my first day, I decided to bring in some baked goods.  I made whopper bars, lemon triangles and these babies.  I wanted to have a good variety since I didn’t know anyone.  I’m glad I did.  Although, I’ve been there long enough now, that no one is shy about requests.

These salty and sweet bars are simple.  Don’t let the steps scare you.  It’s a great bar that packs a great wow factor.  Plus it’s the salty sweet thing that I love.  These are a perfect treat now that the weather is starting to get cooler.  But then again, I made them in the summer, so they are a perfect treat for summer too.  I used coarse Kosher salt, but the recipe called for Fleur de sel.

Salted Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

Shortbread:
2 C Flour
2 t Baking Powder
1/4 t Salt
1 C Butter, softened
1/2 C Sugar

Caramel:
1/2 C Butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 C Sugar
2 T Light  Corn Syrup
1 14-oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk

Chocolate:
8 oz Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
1 t Light Corn Syrup
1/2 C Butter, cut into 8 pieces
Salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

To make the shortbread layer: Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well combined, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients and beat just until combined. Transfer the dough to the prepared
pan and press into an even layer over the bottom (it’ll be a fairly thin layer).  Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool completely.

To make the caramel layer: Combine the butter, sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk in a medium saucepan. Set the pan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the butter is melted. Increase the heat to medium-high, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and turns
a light caramel color. This may take 10 minutes or more, so be patient. Pour the caramel mixture over the cooled shortbread and spread in an even layer. Allow to cool completely, then chill briefly.

To make the chocolate layer: Add the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter to a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until everything is melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy. Pour the chocolate over the chilled caramel and spread into an even layer with an offset spatula. Let cool for a few minutes, then sprinkle the top with the salt. Let the chocolate set completely before slicing and serving.

Here’s the original.  I’ve shared this site in the past, and it just gets better and better.

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Civil War Mac and Cheese Revisted

September 10, 2012

I’m revisiting some of the best mac and cheese I’ve ever had.  This is my go to recipe.  I love that it’s unique.  I also love that depending on what you boil the  noodles in, this dish can be a one pot casserole.  I say that because I’ve been making it in a wonderful deep skillet that I picked up on vacation this past summer.  It’s a Le Creuset 12″ cast iron skillet.  (Thank you outlet mall.) It’s perfect for a one pot casserole.

The other reason I love this recipe is that it’s simple.  Most everything you need is already in the house, well it’s in mine anyway.  It’s a fairly quick recipe that reheats well, if you have any leftover.  It can be made with cheddar, the sharper the better, but you can also make it with Gruyère, or a combination of both.  I’ve also made it with cheddar and gouda.  I like gouda because it melts so well.

I’ve also made this with shells instead of elbow maccaroni.  Or better yet, I’ve also made it with wagon wheel pasta.  Who doesn’t like wagon wheel pasta?  It’s the perfect complement to melted cheese.  Crumple up some crushed Cheese-Its on the pasta instead of breadcrumbs.  This is perfect for this time of year.  Make it as a side, or just enjoy it as a main dish.

Civil War Mac and Cheese

  • 4 C Milk
  • 2 C Elbow Macaroni
  • 2 C- 3C, packed, grated cheddar cheese
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 t Nutmeg
  • 1/4 C Cheese-Its, crushed
  • Salt, for the macaroni

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Heat the milk and salt in a large saucepan until steamy. Stir in the dry macaroni and let the milk come to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer.  Pay attention while the macaroni is cooking in the milk as the milk may foam up and boil over.  Cook the macaroni for about 15 minutes or until done, the macaroni will absorb most of the milk.  Make sure that there is still milk left in the pan.   As soon as the macaroni is done, add the grated cheese, pepper and nutmeg and stir.  Sprinkle with Cheese-Its and bake for 20 minutes or until top is lightly browned.

Here’s my original post.  As you can see, I’ve stop using the butter because I leave enough milk in the pot to help melt the cheese.

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More Blondies!

August 29, 2012

Now that school has started, I’m baking more.  I love baking treats and then having on hand for Meeshie’s school lunch.  This a great and simple treat for anyone’s lunch.  It can work well with any other fresh fruit.  I think the only thing to change up would be using white chocolate depending on the fruit choice.  But then I love white chocolate almost as much as I love browned butter.  Feel free to add pecans.  I didn’t, but you could.

Cut these up, wrap them individually and stick them in the freezer.  They’ll be ready to add to lunch.  That’s the beauty of a blondie, or a brownie.  Small effort for a great treat.

Chocolate Cherry Blondies

  • 1/2 C Butter
  • 1 C Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 t Vanilla
  • 1/8 t Salt
  • 1 C Flour
  • 1/2 C Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 C Cherries, fresh, pitted and chopped

Grease a 8×8 pan.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt.  Melt and brown the butter, let cool.  In a large bowl, add the brown sugar and the butter and whisk until smooth.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.  Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture.  Fold in the chocolate chips and then the cherries.  Pour into prepared pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until set in the middle.

Makes 16 squares.

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