Thursday, December 27, 2007

Revel Bars...


1 cup butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 14-ounce can (1-1/4 cups) sweetened condensed milk
1 12-ounce package (2 cups) semisweet chocolate pieces
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla

1. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the butter. In a large mixing bowl beat the remaining butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar; beat until well mixed. Beat in eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla. In another large bowl stir together flour and baking soda; stir in oats. Gradually stir dry mixture into beaten mixture. Set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan combine the reserved butter or margarine, the sweetened condensed milk, and chocolate pieces. Cook over low heat until chocolate melts, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in walnuts and the 2 teaspoons vanilla.

3. Press two-thirds (about 3-1/3 cups) of the oat mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Spread chocolate mixture over the oat mixture. Using your fingers, dot remaining oat mixture over the chocolate.

4, Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 25 minutes or until top is lightly browned (chocolate mixture will still look moist). Cool on a wire rack. Cut into 2x1-inch bars. Makes about 75 bars.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Giada's Cinnamon Syrup


This was poured over a bread pudding . . . I think it'd be every bit as good on a plain old french toast.

1 cup water
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine 1 cup of water and brown sugar in a heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Boil until the syrup reduces to 1 cup, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream and cinnamon. Keep the syrup warm. (The syrup can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Re-warm before serving.)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Jam Thumbprint Cookies


3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
7 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
Raspberry and/or apricot jam

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until they are just combined and then add the vanilla. Separately, sift together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Dump on a floured board and roll together into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Dip each ball into the egg wash and then roll it in coconut. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and press a light indentation into the top of each with your finger. Drop 1/4 teaspoon of jam into each indentation. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the coconut is a golden brown. Cool and serve.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Parmesan Potato Pancake


I've always had trouble with a latke . . . I'm hoping Giada's hint to squeeze out the water from the shredded potatoes (wrapped up in a towel) is the key.

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
1 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Warm the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12-inch diameter) nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until tender and fragrant, about another 2 minutes. Season the onion
mixture with salt and pepper. Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl and set aside. Reserve the pan.

Meanwhile, grate the potatoes in a food processor using the grating attachment blade. Use a kitchen towel to help squeeze out the water from the grated potatoes. Add the potatoes to the bowl with the onion mixture. Add the Parmesan and the basil. Stir to combine and season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

Warm the remaining olive oil over high heat in the same pan that was used to cook the onions. When the pan is hot, but not smoking add the potato mixture. Use a spatula to press the mixture down into the pan firmly and evenly. Turn the heat down to medium and cook the potato mixture until the bottom is golden brown and the pancake can move in the pan, about 12 to 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-low if the pancake is browning too fast in places. Place a large plate on top of the pancake and flip the pancake out of the pan. Turn the heat on the pan back up to high. When the pan is hot slide the pancake back into the pan and cook until the bottom is golden and is cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes. Slide the pancake onto a serving platter, slice, and serve.