Thursday, October 29, 2009

Starbucks Pumpkin Scone


INGREDIENTS:

2 cups all-purpose flour
7 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 tablespoons half-and-half
1 large egg
6 tablespoons cold butter

Glaze

1 cup plus 1 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk

Spiced Icing

1 cup plus 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch ground ginger
pinch ground cloves

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon ginger in a large bowl.
3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half-and-half, and eggs.
4. Cut butter into cubes then add it to the dry ingredients. Use a pastry knife or a fork to combine butter with dry ingredients. Continue mixing until no chunks of butter are visible. You can also use a food processor: Pulse butter into dry ingredients until it is the texture of cornmeal or coarse sand.
5. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, then form the dough into a ball. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1 -inch thick rectangle that is about 9 inches long and 3 inches wide. Use a large knife or a pizza wheel to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut those three slices diagonally so that you have 6 triangular slices of dough.
6. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes on a baking sheet that has been lightly oiled or lined with parchment paper. Scones should begin to turn light brown.
7. While scones cool, prepare plain glaze by combining ingredients in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed. Mix until smooth.
8.When scones are cool, use a brush to paint a coating of the glaze over the top of each scone.
9. As that white glaze firms up, prepare spiced icing by combining ingredients in another medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed. Drizzle this thicker icing over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving (at least 1 hour). A squirt bottle works great for this, or you can drizzle with a whisk. Makes 6 scones.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Just Chicken Pie


A chicken pie with no peas or carrots - by Deena Stovall, as printed in America's Best Lost Recipes. I didn't trust, so I skipped the cheese in this recipe. I'm just traditional when it comes to some recipes. I will make this over and over again.

Ingredients

* 2 1/2 lbs chicken breasts, with skin and bone
* 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1 celery rib, chopped fine
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

* 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
* 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
* 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
* 3 scallions, chopped
* 2 refrigerated pie crusts, 9-inch
* 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
* 1 large egg, beaten

Directions

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Place on the prepared baking sheet, skin-side up, and roast 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, remove and discard the skin, and cut the meat from the bone and shred the chicken into 2-inch pieces. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the celery until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the flour and cook until it begins to brown, about 1 minute. Stir in the milk, broth, and zest and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Strain the sauce into a large bowl, discarding the vegetables. Stir in the chicken and scallions, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the filling cool until just warm, about 30 minutes.

4. Spoon the chicken mixture into the pie shell and sprinkle with the cheese. Top with the remaining circle of dough. Trim all but 1/2 inch of the dough overhanging the edge of the pie, using your fingers.

5. Cut four 2-inch slits in the top of the dough, brush with the beaten egg, and bake until the crust is deep golden brown, 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Serve.

Want to make this easier? Just buy that roast chicken at Costco.

Photo courtesy of Minnesota Public Radio.

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Brown Sugar Fudge


Perfect for that holiday box of goodies you're tying up with baker's twine...

3 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt

Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil, leaving overhang on all sides. Grease the foil. Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the the heat to medium-low and cook until the mixture reaches the soft-ball stage on a candy thermometer, about 234 degrees, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool until just warm (about 120 degrees) and not yet firm, 35 to 45 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir vigorously until the mixture lightens and is no longer shiny, 6 to 10 minutes. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and let sit until firm, about an hour. Using the foil overhang, remove the fudge from the pan and cut into 1 inch squares. The fudge can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Bailey's Hot Fudge


Bailey's of Boston might be long gone but their hot fudge recipe lives on. Their silver bowls just made the hot fudge sundae taste that much better.

* 1/2 cup butter
* 2 unsweetened chocolate squares
* 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
* 3/4 cup evaporated milk

Slowly melt butter and chocolate in a saucepan. Remove from heat. Alternately add the sugar and evaporated milk. Stir till smooth. Return to heat. Simmer 8-10 mins. Makes 2 cups.

Thank you, Betsy, for lighting a fire under me to get my hands on the recipe. I owe you.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Caramel Corn


1 lb. brown sugar
1 cup light Karo syrup
1 stick butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Cook brown sugar and Karo together until lightly boils. Add 1 stick butter and 1 can sweetened condensed milk and continue to cook until edges simmer. Pour over prepared popcorn.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pound Cake


Oh a good pound cake . . . especially one with a crunchy, buttery crust. This recipe is a keeper.

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 cups softened butter
1/2 cup milk
1 t. vanilla
1 t. almond extract
6 eggs

350 for 1 hour, 15 minutes. Kitchen Aid recipe.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Elegant Bars


1 lb. powdered sugar
1 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cup melted peanut butter
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 12 oz. package milk chocolate chips

Mix powdered sugar, melted butter, melted peanut butter and graham cracker crumbs together and place in 8 x 10 glass dish. Press into dish. Melt chocolate chips and spread over peanut butter mixture. Refrigerate and cut into squares.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting . . .


I've been making this cake for many years, albeit usually only once a year - it's rich. And great. "We" prefer no fruit or nuts in our version, but add what you will.

2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups finely grated peeled carrots (about 1 pound)

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 lb. confectioners sugar
1 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly grease three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line bottom of pans with waxed paper. Lightly grease waxed paper. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and vegetable oil in bowl until combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into sugar and oil mixture. Stir in carrots.

Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing equally. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean and cakes begin to pull away from sides of pans, about 45 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks and cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap tightly in plastic and store at room temperature.)

For frosting:

Using electric mixer, beat all ingredients in medium bowl until smooth and creamy. Serve cake cold or at room temperature.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Almond Danish Puff



A pate choux on top of an almond flavored crust. I've been making this for years . . . it's yummy.

Pastry

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 t. almond extract
2 tablespoons water

Topping

1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup flour
3 eggs

Glaze


1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 to 2 tablespoons warm milk or heavy cream
Chopped toasted almonds

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Place 1 cup flour in medium bowl. Cut in 1/2 cup softened butter, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of coarse crumbs. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons water and the almond extract over mixture; toss with fork.

2. Gather pastry into a ball; divide in half. Pat each half into 12x3-inch rectangle, about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

3. In 2-quart saucepan, heat 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup water to rolling boil; remove from heat. Quickly stir in almond extract and 1 cup flour. Stir vigorously over low heat about 1 minute or until mixture forms a ball; remove from heat. Add eggs; beat until smooth. Spread half of the topping over each rectangle.

4. Bake about 1 hour or until topping is crisp and brown; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely.

5. In medium bowl, mix all glaze ingredients except nuts until smooth and spreadable. Spread over top of pastry; sprinkle with nuts.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

"The Best Shortbread" from Cook's Illustrated


We love a rich buttery shortbread in my house. That Walker's tin they sell at Costco . . . we can't have it in the house. Self-control issues. It's a very simple thing to create, typically with just four basic ingredients. My November/December Cook's Illustrated talked about a baking technique using a springform pan. I decided to give it a try. If you're like me and you want the demonstration, look here. I made the basic recipe as follows:

1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 t. table salt
14 T. unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/8" thick slices

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Pulse oats in spice grinder or blender until reduced to fine powder, about ten 5-second pulses (you should have ¼ to 1/3 cup oat flour). In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix oat flour, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt on low speed until combined, about 5 seconds. Add butter to dry ingredients and continue to mix on low speed until dough just forms and pulls away from sides of bowl, 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Place upside-down (grooved edge should be at top) collar of 9- or 9 1/2-inch springform pan on parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet (do not use springform pan bottom). Press dough into collar in even 1/2-inch-thick layer, smoothing top of dough with back of spoon. Place 2-inch biscuit cutter in center of dough and cut out center. Place extracted round alongside springform collar on baking sheet and replace cutter in center of dough. Open springform collar, but leave it in place.

3. Bake shortbread 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees. Continue to bake until edges turn pale golden, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Remove baking sheet from oven; turn off oven. Remove springform pan collar; use chef’s knife to score surface of shortbread into 16 even wedges, cutting halfway through shortbread. Using wooden skewer, poke 8 to 10 holes in each wedge. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over surface of shortbread, then return it to oven and prop door open with handle of wooden spoon, leaving 1-inch gap at top. Allow shortbread to dry in turned-off oven until pale golden in center (shortbread should be firm but giving to touch), about 1 hour.

4. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool shortbread to room temperature, at least 2 hours. Cut shortbread at scored marks to separate and serve.

The technique is to allow the shortbread to expand as it bakes - otherwise it loses its shape as the edges flatten out. I've seen evidence of this, even when using a shortbread mold. The barrier the springform collar makes it the perfect solution.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Anna Mason's Apple Cake


This is a light cake (lots of oil) that forms a slight crunch on the top . . . I like it best with some fresh whipped cream on top, but vanilla ice cream will suffice.

2 cups sugar
1.5 cups oil
3 eggs
2 t. vanilla
3 cups flour
1 t. soda
1 t. salt
1/4 t. ground cloves
1 t. cinnamon
5 cups diced apples

Cream sugar and oil. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients and add creamed mixture. Add apples. Bake at 325 in 9 x 13 pan for 60 minutes. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar and serve with whipped cream.

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Apple Crisp


Oh this is good. It isn't your typical oatmeal sort of apple crisp . . . it's more like a lazy apple pie. I can't have this around without wanting to eat the entire yummy dish.

8 apples
1 cup brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup water

Pare and quarter apples and cut lengthwise into four slices. Put sliced apples in bottom of buttered dish. Add water. Combine sugar, cinnamon and flour and rub in butter to make crumbs. Spread crumbs over apples evenly and bake at 375 for 40 minutes.

Previously blogged about here, but worth posting again.

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Pillows, Pumpkins and Frye Boots


There were several trips to Pottery Barn this weekend before settling on a Fall color pallet/palette of oranges,rusts,reds and yellows for the family room and kitchen, including an autumn paisley table runner and matching oblong pillow. I feel as if I've decorated for Fall, right through Thanksgiving.

The bedroom is still all white and beige . . . nothing seemed to work in there. I'm still thinking.

I thought I'd be smart and buy the pillow inserts at Ross and just buy the pillow covers at Pottery Barn. I found six feather and down pillows at Ross, dimensions perfect. Technically I saved a bundle, right? Except I checked out the shoe aisle. I walked away with these:

I didn't save a bundle, did I? In my head I did . . . they were a steal.

. . . . .

My November Issue of Bon Appetit arrived Saturday full of Thanksgiving menu options defined by strategies including everything from "Quick & Easy" to "Show Off". It's fun. As if the issue wasn't spectacular enough, the Editor in Chief, Barbara Fairchild (hero of mine), mentions Trader Joe's cranberry relish, my personal favorite and the reason why I no longer make my own cranberry sauce. Awesome. One more Trader Joe's plug . . . when their Almond SnowMan Cookies hit the shelves, do yourself a favor and splurge a little ($4.99 a box) and buy yourself a box of these cookies. They are an almond shortbread cookie and they are spectacular.

. . . . .


My pursuit of balance has me thinking it'd be simpler to achieve if I could just give up television. I did it once for a year. I added up the time I spend on those 'must see' shows. Shouldn't I be out living my life rather than sitting in front of a DVR? Just a question.

. . . . .

Weekend culinary inspiration comes from all things butternut squash. It will roast in the oven with some sweet potatoes, quartered onions, a little olive oil and lots of salt and pepper.

. . . . .

I leave you with pictures from a Saturday stop at Leopold's Bakery, where I bought my man an almond bar, a napolean and an eclair. Over and out...



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Friday, October 2, 2009

best laid plans, evidence of beige, candy ...

Yesterday someone in my office made an observation about me that was amusing. She pointed out I will drive and drive all over the city for the right bakery item. Her tendency is to stay in her neighborhood and I'm off to Water Street or Summerlin or Boulder City for the right cookie made with marzipan. It's true. Cookies call out my name.

. . . . .

Last Saturday I received a voicemail from Ticketmaster ... don't go to the M Resort tonight because that Crosby, Stills and Nash concert is canceled. I'm a planner. I drive even myself crazy. As it turns out the concert was poolside - and last Saturday happened to be a triple digit day. Not so much did I mind. See? I can be flexible.

Right.

I am not going to Salt Lake City today.

Instead I will work on the vast beige that is my house and try to add some color? Any suggestions? I can add fall colors and use them for October and November . . . then switch things up with Christmas colors. What say you?


I downloaded a book for our ride to Salt Lake. We are not car travelers. Instead we are like children when it comes to a road trip - there is whining involved and lots of 'how much longer?' kinds of questions. We were hoping our Beatles Remastered Boxed Set would arrive before we left . . . backorder. What's up with that? All that hype and everybody is backordered? So instead of singing our way to Utah we decided to just give that 'book on CD' thing a shot. Has this worked for you? I'm driving to Idaho in November . . . help me.


I have my stark white bed back and I love it . . . but I need a splash of color. It's time to introduce something, even if it's just a pillow. Help.

. . . . .

This looks like a fun basket of candy, no? Actually, it's not even a basket of candy. It's the definition of BRIBERY. And it works. Doubtful education classes extol the virtues of bribery in a classroom, but it works. I had 26 kids pass off on a three-verse scripture mastery this morning, all for a Starburst. Life is good. Part of the morning was also about this. I have leftovers in the beginning of the year - they're more reserved in October than they are in January. It amuses me. In January I will probably blog about teenage boys taking plates of O Henry Bars to school.

. . . . .

Many years ago The Mayor was explaining his approach to his baldness. "Would I rather have hair, Patti? Yes, I would. Am I losing sleep over the fact that I don't? No." This is a man who follows his bliss. Because he inspires me, today, just like always, I am in pursuit of balance. He has it. I'm not going to whine about finding that balance (insert exercise, sleep, office demands, home demands, eating healthy, lists, lists, lists) because, first, that's what MySpace is all about (whining girls) and this is a blog about meatloaf and bakeries. Mature things. Second, I have a really great life. How many people can say they don't have a temporal need in the world? And I have so much more than that.

So I'm headed to a yoga class and the beast that is known as Walmart. Yoga + Walmart = Balance. Not even. I'm still pursuing

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