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Dec. 10th, 2004 @ 03:35 pm (no subject)
A tender Italian cookie packs a crunch with all-American corn flakes in this super simple recipe.

Recipe Summary
Yield: About 34 cookies
Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 14 to 18 minutes
Inactive prep time: 10 minutes
Ease of preparation: Easy

Ingredients
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon anise extract, optional
2 large eggs, room temperature

Decoration
1 cup cornflakes
1 large egg white, beaten
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Instructions
Whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In another bowl, beat the butter with a handheld electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla, and anise to the butter and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes more. Add the eggs 1 at a time to the butter mixture and mix until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Stir the flour-cornmeal mixture into the wet ingredients with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.

Divide the dough into 34 (1-inch) balls (3/4-ounce). Arrange the cookies on 2 parchment-lined cookie sheets about 1-inch apart. Make a hole in the center of each ball with your finger or the tip of a wooden spoon. Work each piece of dough by hand into a doughnut-like shape with a 1-inch hole and about 2 inches wide. Use scissors to snip 1/2-inch long angled cuts, about 1/2-inch apart around the outside ring of each cookie. Freeze cookies on the sheet until firm, about 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Toss a few of the cornflakes at a time with the egg whites and arrange on the surface of the cookies in a leaf like pattern. Bake until just golden around the edges, about 14 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

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Cook's Notes
• It is easier to apply the cornflakes to the wreaths if you let them soak for a bit in the egg whites.

Copyright (c) 2004 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved.
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Dec. 9th, 2004 @ 03:46 pm Czech Squares (Day 7)~
A walnut crust and cherry jam will make these cookie bars a hit at your holiday table.

Recipe Summary
Yield: 24 squares
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 40 to 45 minutes
Inactive prep time: 30 minutes
Ease of preparation: Intermediate

Ingredients
1 cup walnut pieces
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
Pinch fine salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, diced and slightly chilled
5 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons brandy

Filling
1 cup cherry jam
1/2 lemon, zest finely grated
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 egg white, for brushing

Instructions
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

Spread the nuts out on a baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 8 minutes. Cool completely.

Butter a 9 by 12 1/2-inch baking sheet pan, then cover bottom with parchment paper.

Pulse the walnuts with the sugar, in a food processor until fine and powdery, about 2 minutes. Add the flour, spices, and salt, pulsing until evenly combined. Add the butter, yolks, and brandy and pulse until the mixture starts to come together. Stop mixing and pull the dough together by hand, press and roll into a thick log about 8 inches long.

Cut the log crosswise into 12 equal pieces. (If the dough is very sticky, refrigerate it until easier to work with, about 30 minutes.) Lay 8 pieces of the dough on the bottom of the pan. Press and spread the pieces together with your fingertips to cover the pan evenly.

Stir the cherry jam, lemon zest and juice together in a bowl. Spread the mixture evenly over the surface of the dough with the back of a spoon.

Roll the remaining dough out on a well-floured surface about 1/8-inch thick. Use a small decorative cutter, such as a leaf, tree, or star, to cut the dough into 24 pieces. Evenly place the pieces on top of the filling in 6 rows of 4. Alternatively cut the dough into long strips with a pizza wheel or knife, and place them on the filling in a lattice pattern; or cut the dough into ovals and lay them on the filling in a decorative pattern. Brush decorative layer of dough with egg white.

Bake the squares until golden brown, about 40 to 45 minutes.

Cool completely in the pan on a rack. Cut with a serrated knife into 2-inch squares.

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Cook's Notes
• If you can't find cherry jam, raspberry or strawberry would be a fine substitute.

Copyright (c) 2004 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved.
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Dec. 8th, 2004 @ 03:12 pm Mixed-Nut Honey Baklava (Day 6)~
I love Baklava, I have a friend who has a family recipe for Baklava that is just wonderful, but since I'm not a family member he won't share the recipe with me but maybe this one might be as good as his.

Recipe Summary
Yield: 96 (1 1/2-inch) pieces
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Inactive prep time: 30 minutes
Ease of preparation: Intermediate

Ingredients
Baklava:
12 dried calamyra figs, diced 1/4-inch
1/2 cup dark rum
1 1/2 cups toasted walnut pieces, chopped
1 1/2 cups toasted unblanched almonds, chopped
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, diced 1/4-inch
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 (1 pound) box phyllo dough (about 48 sheets)

Syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup honey (preferably orange blossom), plus more for drizzling
1/2 cup water
Juice of 1 large lemon (about 3 tablespoons)

Instructions
Soak the diced figs in the rum in a large bowl for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the walnuts and almonds out on a baking sheet and toast until darkened and fragrant, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool. Toss the nuts, chocolate, sugar, and spices with the figs and the rum.

Bring the butter to a simmer over low heat. Skim and discard the foamy solids that rise to the top until the butter is clear, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Lightly butter a 16 1/2 by 11 1/2-inch sheet pan. Remove the phyllo from the package, unroll and lay it on the counter next to the pan and cover with a kitchen towel. Lay 1 sheet of the phyllo on the pan and brush lightly with butter. Repeat with 11 more sheets of phyllo working quickly and keeping the phyllo covered, as you assemble the baklava. Scatter 1/3 of the nut mixture (about 1 1/2 cups) evenly over the layers of phyllo. Repeat 2 more times and top with the remaining 12 sheets of dough. Carefully, cut 3/4 of the way through the phyllo and nut filling to make about 96 (1 1/2-inch) squares.

Bake the baklava until light brown and cooked through, about 1 hour. Raise the temperature to 450 degrees F and bake until golden crisp, about 5 to 8 more minutes.

While the baklava crisps make the syrup: Heat the sugar, honey, and water in a saucepan over high heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon juice and carefully pour the hot syrup over the just baked baklava, making sure to get into all the cuts. Let cool. Complete the pre-made cuts in the baklava and serve with some honey drizzled on top.

Store the baklava in a sealed container for up to 1 week.

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Cook's Notes
• Defrost frozen phyllo completely, either at room temperature for a couple hours or in the
refrigerator overnight.


• Buy dried figs that are still supple and moist.

Copyright (c) 2004 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved.
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Dec. 7th, 2004 @ 05:19 pm Ribbon or Swirl Cookies (Day 5)~
A great make-ahead freezer dough that will impress all your guests throughout the holiday season.

Recipe Summary
Yield: Approximately 6 dozen cookies
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 14 to 16 minutes
Inactive prep time: 3 hours
Ease of preparation: Intermediate

Ingredients
Vanilla Dough:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 large egg
1 to 1 1/4 teaspoons mint extract
1 cup unsalted butter, (2 sticks), room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour

Chocolate Dough:
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup natural cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup unsalted butter, (2 sticks) room temperature
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions
For the vanilla dough: Mix the 2 sugars and the salt together in a medium bowl. In another small bowl, whisk the egg and mint extract and set aside. With a hand held mixer beat the butter until smooth in a large bowl. While mixing, gradually add the sugar mixture, and continue beating until lightly colored and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stop mixing and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg mixture and beat until smooth. Gradually add the flour, mixing slowly until blended.

Turn the dough out of the bowl, divide in half. Place the halves between 2 pieces of lightly floured parchment or waxed paper. Roll into a 10 by 12 by 1/4 inch rectangle. Slide the sheets of dough/parchment sheets onto a baking sheet, and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.

For the chocolate dough: Whisk the sugar, cocoa, salt in a medium bowl. With a hand held mixer beat the butter until smooth in a large bowl. While mixing, add the cocoa mixture, and continue beating until lightly colored and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Stop mixing and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and beat until smooth. Gradually add the flour, mixing slowly until blended.

Turn the dough out of the bowl, divide in half. Place the halves between 2 pieces of lightly floured parchment or waxed paper. Roll into a 10 by 12 by 1/4 inch rectangle. Slide the sheets of dough/parchment sheets onto a baking sheet, and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.

For a spiral cookie: Put 1 of the chocolate doughs on the workspace and remove the top sheet of parchment. Brush dough lightly with cold water. Place a sheet of vanilla dough on the workspace, and remove top sheet of paper. Using the bottom piece of the paper to lift the dough, place the vanilla dough on top of the chocolate dough. Take care to line up the edges of the 2 doughs and trim as needed. Lightly press to smooth and seal the doughs together. Remove the top piece of paper. Brush the surface of the dough lightly with cold water. Position the sandwiched doughs with the long edge facing you. Using the edge of the paper as a guide, roll the doughs into a tight cylinder, 2 inches wide. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour. Repeat with remaining 2 sheets of dough.

Evenly position racks in the oven, and preheat to 325 degrees F.

Slice the dough crosswise into 1/4-inch thick cookies. Lay about 1/2-inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until just golden - not too dark you'll lose the definition of the spiral, about 14 to 16 minutes.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Cook's Notes
• For the perfect spiral, make sure the first roll is very tight. If there are gaps, they will show up in the final cookies. If the dough gets too soft, simply refrigerate until malleable but not so dry that it cracks.

Copyright (c) 2004 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved.
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Dec. 7th, 2004 @ 05:16 pm Welsh Cookies (Day 4)~
These unique cookies are great when cooked on a griddle. Similar to a sweet scone with currants, they're perfect for an impromptu tea.

Recipe Summary
Yield: About 2 1/2 dozen
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 14 to 18 minutes
Inactive prep time: 1 hour
Ease of preparation: Easy

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick),
cold and diced, plus more for cooking
3/4 cup currants
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 to 3 tablespoons buttermilk
Melted butter, for cooking


Instructions
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, zest, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks sandy. Stir in the currants. Beat the eggs and 2 tablespoons of the buttermilk together. Stir into the dry ingredients to make a shaggy dough, add more buttermilk if the dough is dry. Gather dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Roll the dough on a floured workspace into a piece about 1/4-inch thick. Cut into 2 to 3- inch rounds.

Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium-low heat. Brush the pan surface with butter. Cook the cookies until slightly brown and cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to a rack, sprinkle with sugar and cool. Store in a cookie tin.
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Cook's Notes
• You can re-roll the trimmed pieces to make more cookies, but take care not to
overwork the dough or they'll come out tough.

Copyright (c) 2004 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved.
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Dec. 7th, 2004 @ 05:15 pm Citrus Shortbreads (Day 3)~
Crispy, buttery-rich shortbread is kicked up with a refreshing hit of citrus in this quick and easy take on a holiday classic.

Recipe Summary
Yield: 32 cookies
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 10 to 1 hour 20 minutes
Ease of preparation: Easy

Ingredients
3 clementine oranges or small tangerines, washed and dried
3/4 cup sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 pound unsalted butter (3 sticks), softened

Instructions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 12 1/2-inch baking sheet pan, line with parchment paper, and butter the paper.

Finely grate the skin (zest) off all 3 clementines, making sure you peel only the orange skin and not the bitter white pith. Puree the zest with 1/4 cup of the sugar in a food processor until minced, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Whisk the flour, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar on medium, until light and fluffy, about 8 minutes. Add the clementine-sugar mixture and beat for another minute. While mixing on low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Do not overwork the dough. Transfer dough to prepared pan, spreading it out as evenly as possible. Cover with plastic wrap, then press and flatten using your hands over the top to smooth and even out the dough. Cut the dough into bars about 1 by 3 inches with a sharp knife, while still in the pan. Prick a decorative pattern in the shortbreads with a fork or a wooden skewer. Bake until golden, about 1 hour and 10 to 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes and then re-cut the bars along the previous cuts. Let cool completely on racks. Store the cookies in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.
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Cook's Notes
• Use a pizza wheel to cut the shortbread into pieces.

Copyright (c) 2004 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved.
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Dec. 7th, 2004 @ 05:06 pm Maamoul: Stuffed Date-Orange Cookies (Day 2)~
Filling:
1/2 pound pitted soft Medjool dates
2 tablespoons water
Pinch fine salt
1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
Dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar, plus about 1/2 to 2 cups more for dusting
Pinch fine salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), plus 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons neutral flavored oil, such as canola
1/4 cup milk


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
To make the filling: Puree the filling ingredients in a food processor until evenly combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and set aside. Clean the processor bowl.

Put the flour, baking powder, the 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar, and salt in the bowl of food processor and pulse 3 to 4 times to mix. Add the butter, oil, and milk pulsing until the dough just comes together. Take care not to overwork the dough; it will be slightly wet.

Remove dough from the processor, and roll into 20 equally sized balls. In the palm of your hand, press and pat each ball of dough into a 2 3/4-inch round. Place a rounded teaspoon of filling in the center of each round and draw the edges up and around the filling. Pinch the dough together to make a sealed ball, and then carefully roll the cookie between your palms to make a smooth round ball. Press gently to flatten the cookie slightly, then place them seamed side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Gently prick the cookies with a fork or a wooden skewer in a decorative pattern taking care not to pierce the dough to the filling.

Bake the cookies until firm and slightly puffed, and the tops are pale but the bottoms are just beginning to turn slightly golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. Dust generously with confectioners' sugar, cool and dust again.


Other fillings we love:
Apricot Golden Raisin Nut Filling:
1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped (other nuts can be substituted)
1/3 cup golden raisins
3 tablespoons apricot jam
Pinch fine salt

Puree in a food processor until evenly combined.


Quince-Walnut Filling:
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/3 cup quince jam
Pinch fine salt
Puree in a food processor until evenly combined.


Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Medium
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 20 cookies

Copyright (c) 2004 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved.
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Dec. 7th, 2004 @ 05:00 pm Ginger Spice Cookies (Day 1)~
These crisp cookies, made with fresh ginger and molasses, are perfect for decorating.

Recipe Summary
Yield: About 3 dozen cookies, depending upon shape
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 14 to 18 minutes
Inactive prep time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Ease of preparation: Intermediate

Ingredients
1-inch knob peeled fresh ginger or 2 tablespoons
prepared ginger juice
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon freshly and finely ground black pepper
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature cut into pieces
1 cup superfine sugar
2/3 cup molasses, preferably sorghum

Icing:
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons egg white powder
2 cups confectioners' sugar
Food coloring, sprinkles, candies, or colored sugars
as desired

Instructions
Puree the ginger in a mini food processor with 2 tablespoons water. Squeeze and strain juice through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer. Discard the ginger pulp. Reserve the juice.

Sift the flour, baking soda, salt and spices into a medium bowl, then whisk in the pepper; set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar with a handheld mixer until light and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the molasses and ginger juice and beat until evenly incorporated, about 2 minutes. (Stir together with a spatula if needed.) Gradually blend the dry ingredients on low speed into the butter mixture until you have a crumbly mixture. Bring the dough together by hand pressing and kneading lightly until moist, but not tacky. Divide into 2 equal portions, press into disks about 1/2-inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Position racks evenly in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

Dust the dough and a work surface with flour. Roll the dough about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out cookies into desired shapes. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until the cookies are a rich tawny brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. Cool on a rack.

For decorating: Whisk the water and egg white powder in a medium bowl until foamy and smooth. Gradually whisk in the confectioners' sugar to make a smooth icing. For multiple colors divide the icing into batches and add a food coloring as desired. Spread or pipe the icing onto the cookies. Finish with sprinkles, or candies. Let rest on a rack until the icing sets, about 30 minutes.


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Cook's Notes
• For a chewier cookie, roll them 1/3 to 1/2-inch thick and bake for 16 to 20 minutes.

• Decorating holiday cookies is a great way to indulge your creative spirit while making something sweet.
Crushed candy canes and chopped nuts are perfect holiday stand-ins for sprinkles and dragees.

• When adding food coloring to royal icing, add it slowly, drop by drop.
Since it's potent stuff, your icing could quickly resemble a neon light.

• If you don't have a pastry bag and tip, use a plastic sandwich bag.
Drop icing into the bag, push it to the corner, and snip off the corner tip.

Copyright (c) 2004 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved.
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Dec. 7th, 2004 @ 04:58 pm 12 days of Cookies~
Since The Food Network is doing 12 days of cookies I thought I'd share the recipes with people. So maybe they can use them in their holiday cookies. So liets get started.
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Nov. 19th, 2004 @ 10:59 am Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cake~
Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cake

1 package of devil's food cake mix (I bought Duncan
Hines)
1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure almond extract

Place rack in center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Lightly mist a 13" x 9" baking pan with vegetable oil spray and lightly flour. Set pan aside.

Place all ingredients into large mixing bowl and
beat with electric mixer on low for 1 minute. Stop the
machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a
rubber spatula. Increase speed to medium and beat for
2 minutes more. The batter should look thick and well
blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan,
smoothing the top with a spatula. Place the pan in the
oven.

Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes. Remove the pan
from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool.

After letting it cool, top with whip cream.
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