Saturday, June 27, 2009

Recipe: Strawberry-Shortcake Cookies

12 ounces (2 cups) strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup heavy cream
sanding sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 7 tablespoons granulated sugar in a large bowl.

Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, or rub in with your fingers, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Stir in cream until dough starts to come together, then stir in strawberry mixture.

Using a 1 1/2 inch ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, spacing evenly apart.

Sprinkle with sanding sugar, and bake until golden brown 24-25 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool.

Cookies are best served immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.

Makes about 3 dozen.
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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Recipe: Million-dollar Caramel Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour, plus 1/4 cup
3/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 Heath candy bars
1 bag Rolo chewy caramels

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, beat butter and sugars until fluffy, then add eggs and vanilla and beat well.

In a separate bowl, mix 2 1/2 cups flour, cocoa, and baking soda.

Add flour mixture to sugar mixture a little bit at a time and blend well.

If the dough feels too sticky, sprinkle in a little extra flour.

Cover and chill dough in fridge for about 30 minutes.

Chop Heath bars into small pieces.

Place in a small bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon sugar.

Once dough has chilled, wrap a piece around each caramel, forming a 1-inch ball and covering the candy completely.

Dip top of the dough ball into the candy topping and place on parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 7 to 10 minutes.

Cookies will look quite soft, but do not overbake.

Cool in pan slightly, then move to a rack or the counter to finish cooling.

Store in a covered container.

Makes about 4 dozen. December/January 2009
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Recipe: Rigatoni with Cheese and Italian Sausage

1/2 pound rigatoni
1/4 pound spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
Extra-virgin olive oil

Cook rigatoni in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally.

Drain pasta.

Meanwhile, preheat broiler.

Cook sausage in heavy large pot over medium-high heat until no longer pink, stirring frequently and breaking up with back of wooden spoon.

Add garlic and saute until soft, about 2 minutes.

Drain off excess oil and return pot to medium-high heat.

Stir in marinara sauce and crushed red pepper, then pasta.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide pasta among four 1 1/4 cup souffle dishes or custard cups.

Sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan over.

Place in broiler until cheese melts and begins to brown, watching closely to prevent burning, about 1 1/2 minutes.

Sprinkle rigatoni with parsley, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.

Makes 4 appetizer servings.

Bon Appetit September 2004
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Recipe: Open Face Ham, Cheese, and Apple Butter Sandwiches

3 Ciabatta rolls, halved horizontally, or 6 1/2 inch thick slices country-style bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons apple butter 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/4 pounds Black Forest ham, thinly sliced
12 ounces pepper jack cheese, sliced
1 bunch fresh chives, chopped

Brush cut side of ciabatta rolls with oil.

Place rolls, cut side up, on baking sheet.

Broil until rolls begin to brown around edges, about 2 minutes.

Spread apple butter and mustard on each roll half.

Top with ham, then cheese.

Broil until cheese melts and begins to brown in spots, about 2 minutes.

Sprinkle with chives and serve.

Makes 6

Bon Appetit October 2004
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Sunday, June 7, 2009


"Instead of complaining that the rosebush is full of thorns, be happy that the thornbush has roses."
-German Proverb
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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Recipe: Heath Bar Brownies

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 2/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup walnut pieces (about 4 ounces), toasted, cooled
5 1.4 ounce Heath English toffee candy bars, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour 13x9x2 inch metal baking pan.

Stir butter and chocolate in heavy small saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth.

Cool to lukewarm.

Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda in small bowl to blend.

Using electric mixer, beat sugar, eggs, and vanilla in large bowl until thick and billowy, about 3 minutes.

Beat in chocolate mixture, then flour mixture.

Fold in walnuts.

Transfer to pan.

Bake brownies until puffed and tester inserted into center comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 28 minutes.

Sprinkle brownies evenly with chopped toffee bars.

Cool in pan on rack.

Cut into squares.

Makes about 18.

NOTE: Brownies can be made 1 day ahead. Cover, store at room temperature.)
Bon Appetit September 2004
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Kitchen Tip: Uses of a Veggie Peeler

For many kitchen tasks, it's handier than a knife (and because the sharp edges face inward, it's safer too).

Here are a few new uses with a veggie peeler:

  • Create elegant chocolate curls or coconut shavings to garnish cakes and other desserts.

  • Garnish your Caesar salad with wisps of Parmesan or Romano cheese. Thinly slice semi-hard cheeses, like Cheddar or Gouda, for grilled cheese sandwiches and panini.

  • Don't stop at the peel. Slice zucchini or carrots lengthwise; saute in a bit of butter till tender for a yummy side.

Good Housekeeping November 2008

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Recipe: Milk Chocolate Pudding

2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 ounces fine-quality milk chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Accompanient: lightly sweetened whipped cream

Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and a pinch of salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then gradually whisk in milk and cream.

Bring to a boil over moderly high heat, whisking constantly, then boil, whisking, 2 minutes. (Mixture will be thick.)

Remove from heat.

Whisk in chocoalte and vanilla until smooth.

Transfer to a bowl and chill pudding, its surface covered with wax paper (to prevent skin from forming), until cold, at least 2 hours.

Serves 4 to 6

Note: Pudding can be chilled, covered with plastic wrap after 2 hours, up to 3 days.
Gourmet February 2007
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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Recipe: Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Coconut Cookies

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups packaged finely shredded sweetened coconut
12 ounces (about 2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cups almonds with skins, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat together butter and sugars in a bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until fluffy.

Add eggs and beat until just blended, then beat in vanilla, baking soda, and salt.

Add flour and mix at low speed until just blended.

Stir in oats, coconut, chocolate, and almonds.

Arrange 2 tablespoons mound of cookie dough about 3 inches apart on a large baking sheet, then gently pat down each mound.

Bake on middle rack for about 15 minutes.

Cool cookies on sheets 1 minute, then transfer with a spatula to racks to cool completely.

Makes about 24 large cookies.
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Recipe: Braised Chicken with Onions, Garlic, and Balsamic Vinegar

6 bacon slices, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch wide strips
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pound white onion, diced
1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Cook bacon in a deep 12 inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring, until crisp, about 8 minutes.

Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain and reserve bacon fat in skillet.

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper.

Brown chicken in 2 batches in bacon fat over moderately high heat, turning about 8 minutes.

Transfer chicken as browned with tongs to a plate and pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet.

Add onions to skillet and cook over moderately low heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft and pale golden, about 10 minutes.

Remove lid and cook onions, stirring until deep golden, about 10 minutes more.

Add garlic and 1 cup water to skillet and boil, stirring, 1 minute.

Return chicken to skillet, turning pieces to coat, and gently simmer, until chicken is cooked through and garlic is tender, about 20 minutes.

Transfer chicken to a serving dish.

Add vinegar to sauce and boil, uncovered, mashing garlic with back of spoon, until slightly thickened.

Season sauce with salt and pepper and pour over chicken, then sprinkle with bacon.

Serves 4.

NOTE: I like to cut my chicken breasts into strips. Also, mashed potatoes are the ideal accomaniment to this dish.
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Monday, June 1, 2009

Recipe: Butterscotch Drop Scones

2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced
1 cup butterscotch chips (about 6 ounces)
1/2 cup (or more) chilled whipping cream
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Sift all purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl.

Add chilled butter; using fingertips, rub in until coarse meal forms.

Mix in chips.

Whisk 1/2 cup cream and egg in small bowl to blend.

Gradually add cream mixture to dry ingredients, tossing with fork until dough comes together in moist clumps.

Add more cream by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry.

Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls onto large rimmed baking sheet, spacing apart.

Bake scones until golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes about 14 scones.

Bon Appetit October 2004
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