Monday, October 30, 2006

Meyer Lemon Scones

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into 10-12 small pieces
8-10 tbsp fresh meyer lemon juice
1-2 tsp meyer lemon zest

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add butter and toss to coat. Using your finger tips, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles very coarse sand. A few large bits are ok, but most should be smaller than a pea.
Add 5-6 tablespoons of orange juice and zest and stir dought with a fork. Add remaining juice until dough comes together into a not-too-moist ball. Divide dough in to two balls and flatten onto baking sheet to for discs about 1-inch thick. Divide each disc into quarters and separate slightly.
Bake for 20-22 minutes, until scones are a light golden color. A toothpick should come out clean, but color is a reliable indicator for these.
Makes 8.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Dulce de Leche Cookies

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup quality Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa
3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons cayenne
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Whisk the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne, salt, and pepper together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Put sugar, vanilla, and egg into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until thick and pale, about three minutes. Add butter and continue to beat on high speed until smooth, about three minutes more. Using your fingers work flour mixture into butter mixture until dough is just combined. Divide dough in half and roll each half into a 9-inch log. Wrap each log in parchment paper, twisting ends tightly to make a uniform cylinder. Freeze dough logs for at least eight hours and as long as overnight.

Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Unwrap dough and slice each log into rounds 1/3-inch thick. Place rounds one inch apart on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. Bake cookies until slightly puffed and tiny cracks appear on surface, about eight minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to let cool. Makes about four dozen cookies.

To make the dulce de leche cookies, follow recipe as above, but instead of freezing dough, chill in refrigerator. Slice rounds as directed, but flatten rounds and scoop a generous 1/4 teaspoonful (which is really about a half teaspoon) ball of dulce de leche in the middle of one round. Lay a second round over dulce de leche, pinching edges tightly and smoothing out and rolling gently between balls to make a smooth mound. Bake for 9 minutes.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Rex's Waffles

1 3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3 eggs
7 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups milk

Preheat the waffle iron. Sift the dry indredients into a medium sized bowl. Separate the eggs, putting the egg whites in smaller bowl. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff. (If you are using an electric mixer, you can beat the egg whites first, then beat the batter without having to wash the beaters. The reverse is not true. If you beat the batter first and you have to wash the beaters before beating the egg whites.) Add the egg yolks, oil and milk all at one time to the dry indredients. Beat until there are no lumps in the batter. Fold the egg whites into the other batter using a spatula or other flat utinsel. Put a full 1/2 cup of batter in your waffle iron to make a 9-inch round waffle. This recipe makes about eight 9 inch waffles.

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chunky peanut butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
1 cup sifted all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ginger

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Beat together butter, salt and peanut butter. Beat in both sugars and eggs and continue beating until fluffy. Beat in milk. Mix together flour, soda, and ginger. Add to butter mixture and stir, by hand, until incorporated. Drop by rounds onto ungreased cookie sheets. Press into criss-cross pattern and bake for 12-14 minutes. Makes 5-6 dozen. These need some refrigeration before being baked.

Anna, Cookie Madness

Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie Cookies

2 slices frozen or prepared pecan pie
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour or if you have it, bread flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
4 ounces dark chocolate, cut into chunks

Cut frozen or pecan pie into bite size pieces and place in freezer until frozen or, if using already frozen, until ready to use.

In a medium bowl, stir together melted butter, sugar and dark brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Stir until smooth.

Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and
salt. Stir into sugar mixture. Fold in frozen pecan pie pieces and chocolate chunks.

Using a quarter cup measure, scoop and shape dough into balls and place on a dish. Chill shaped dough balls for at least 1 hour or until ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place thoroughly chilled dough balls about 3 inches apart on an ungreased non-stick or parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake cookies for 15 minutes, covering loosely with sheet of foil after
first 10 minutes to prevent over browning. Cool on cookie sheet for 3 minutes, then remove.

Makes 12 big cookies

*16 minutes is really the max cooking time

Anna Cookie Madness

Friday, October 13, 2006

Chopped Veggie Salad with Feta and Olives

1 large head romaine lettuce, finely chopped (about 8 cups)
4 medium plum tomatoes, seeded, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, finely chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 roasted red bell pepper
1/4 cup olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup pitted halved Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives

Combine first 5 ingredients in large bowl. Drizzle oil and vinegar over. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Mix in feta cheese and olives and serve.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Vanilla Bundt Cake

3 1/3 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter, room temp
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla (or almond) extract

Preheat oven to 325, butter and flour bundt pan. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in bowl.

With mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each, then add sour cream and extract. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing well after each addition.

Pour batter into bundt pan, bake for 75-90 minutes, until skewer comes out with a few crumbs. Cool for 10 minutes and then invert onto cooling rack.
Snap Peas with Toasted Sesame Seeds

1 pound sugar snap peas, stringed
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon oriental sesame oil

Steam sugar snap peas until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Toss with seeds and oil. Season with salt.
Wasabi-Crusted Chicken Breasts

1 1/4 cups fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless French bread
4 teaspoons wasabi powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs, beaten to blend
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves, flattened to 1/3-inch thickness between plastic wrap

4 tablespoons peanut oil

3 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
3 tablespoons sake
3 tablespoons low-salt chicken broth
3 green onions, thinly sliced

Combine panko, wasabi powder, salt, and pepper in large shallow dish. Place eggs in pie dish. Dip chicken, 1 breast at a time, in egg, then in panko mixture. Turn to coat completely.

Heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté 2 chicken breasts until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to platter. Repeat with remaining oil and chicken.

Add teriyaki sauce, sake, and chicken broth to skillet; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Drizzle sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with sliced green onions and serve.
Garlic Croutons

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1/4 cup olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, pressed
4 French bread slices, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt 2 tablespoons butter with olive oil and garlic in small saucepan. Place bread cubes on baking sheet. Pour butter mixture over and toss well. Bake until bread cubes are golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Cool completely. (Croutons can be prepared 1 day ahead. Store at room temperature in airtight container.)
Cinnamon and Apple Crisp

1 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced (I used unpeeled Gala)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 450°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in large bowl. Add apples and toss to coat. Transfer apple mixture to prepared dish.

Combine flour, 1 cup sugar and butter in medium bowl. Using pastry blender or fingertips, blend ingredients until coarse meal forms. Spread flour mixture evenly over apples.

Bake crisp 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake crisp until apples are tender and topping is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.