Saturday, February 20, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
This cheeseball had a fairly mild taste, but can be adjusted in so many different ways to accomodate your personal preference. Try different spices or cheeses or cover it in different nuts, or leave nuts off altogether. I think it tastes best to make it a day ahead to give the flavors a chance to meld. Make one for your next party and have a "ball"! (sorry, had to throw another one in there! :)
Cheese Ball (adapted from my kitchen aide recipe book)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cups (roughly) shredded cheese, I used sharp cheddar
2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
sprinkling of paprika
1/4 c (roughly) finely chopped pecans
(I usually add a dash or two of hot sauce, but forgot with this one)
*Combine all the ingredients except for the pecans and mix well, either by hand or with a mixer.
*Shape the mixture into a ball (sometimes I just use my hands, sometimes I use wax paper or seran wrap, its a little messy, just do the best you can and dont worry, the pecans do a great job of smoothing it all out)
*Roll and scoop the chopped pecans all around the cheese ball.
*Wrap in seran wrap and finish shaping if necessary. Place in fridge until ready to serve.
*Let it come to room temp. before serving so it is easier to spread or dip (about 30 min).
Thursday, February 11, 2010
If you are a die hard oreo fan, you may not like these because they may not stack up. But if you are looking for a cookie similar to an oreo and aren't too particular, these were very tasty, fun to make and look great. I would recommend making them, just don't judge them too harshly against the real deal!
Homemade Oreos (from www.smittenkitchen.com)
For the cookie:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 T. softened butter
For the filling:
1/4 cup softened butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
*In a mixer thouroughly combine all the dry ingredients for the cookie.
*With the mixer running on low add the butter then the egg and mix until it comes together in a lump.
*Take small pieces of the dough form a rough teaspoon sized ball of dough and flatten slightly.
*Bake at 375 degrees for about 9 min. Allow to cool before filling.
To make the cream filling:
*Place the butter and shortening in a mixer bowl and combine.
*On low speed gradually add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2-3 min until light and fluffy.
*Spoon or pipe about a teaspoon size of cream on one cookie and top with another, smooshing the cream evenly to the edges.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Now I'm not a candy maker and so attempting these was a bit scary, especially when I poured them into the pan and the top had this crater-like look that pooled with the melted butter. I thought I had cooked it too long and it was going to shatter when I tried to cut it. But to my surprise and delight they were fabulous!! Perfectly chewy and creamy and down right delicious!
2 cups sugar
8 oz. butter
1 3/4 cup light corn syrup (or dark if you want darker, richer caramels)
14.5 oz. evaporated milk
1 1/2 T. vanilla
*Butter a 9x13 pan and set aside.
*Place the sugar, butter, corn syrup and evaporated milk in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan (no smaller than 3 qrts) and cook over high heat, constantly stirring until it reaches 210 degrees on a candy thermometer.
*Reduce the temperature to medium heat and continue to cook and stir until it reaches 245 degrees. (This will take awhile, just be patient and dont turn up the heat)
*Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla, stirring quickly.
*Pour the caramel into the prepared pan and allow to cool several hours or better, overnight.
*Work the whole slab of caramel out of the pan when cooled completely and cut into small squares.
*Wrap in pieces of wax paper.
Friday, February 5, 2010
And I am so glad I did because these babies are fantastic and really quite easy! They are extremely soft with a wonderful chewiness to them a delicious buttery taste! Yum! Try them, I dont think you will be disappointed! I've actually made them twice now and I'm sure I will make them again. I think the potato flakes, although a seemingly unusual ingredient, is a key factor in making them soft. All of the recipes I have tried this winter that called for potato flakes have turned out terrifically soft.
This is another fantastic recipe from King Arthur Flour.
Soft White Dinner Rolls
1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) dry active yeast
7/8- 1 1/8 cup lukewarm water (7-9 ounces)
3 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
3 T sugar
6 T softened butter
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes
*Sprinkle a pinch of sugar into 2 T. of warm water, add the yeast and allow to proof until dissolved and bubbly, about 15 min.
*Combine the yeast mixture with all the other ingredients in your mixer bowl. Knead for about 5-7 min. in your mixer, with a dough hook, or a little longer if kneading by hand.
*Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with lightly greased plastic wrap, allow to double, about 1 hr.
*Punch down and turn dough out onto a very lightly greased surface. Divide into 16 equal parts.
*Take each piece and roll in a cupped hand on top of an ungreased and unfloured surface, keeping your pinky always in contact with the counter until you have a smooth ball.
*Place 8 rolls each in two lightly greased 9 or 8 inch round cake pans. (or make 15 rolls and place in a 9x13)
*Cover and allow to rise until they puff and touch eachother, about an hour (Im sorry Betsy!!)
*Bake at 350 degrees for 25 min. Brush with melted butter immediately when after taking them out to create a soft top.