AN ARRAY OF RECIPES AND TIPS
"IN THE STYLE OF" GRAHAM
Most of you may know this famous recipe from Dorie Greenspan...it is however one of my favorites so I had to share it. I first stumbled upon it last Christmas time when I was going to a cookie exchange; and it soon took place as my favorite "slice and bake" cookie. The cookie dough is amazing and there is no egg in the dough so I feel completely safe eating it!
Originally, the cookies were called Korova Cookies and were the brilliant creation of French pastry chef Pierre Hermé. Dorie Greenspan however renamed them World Peace Cookies when her neighbor took a bite and said he was "convinced that a daily dose of Pierre's cookies is all that is needed to ensure planetary peace and happiness." With that being said, I was convinced and quite possibly still am!
World Peace Cookies
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
Makes about 36 cookies
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips
Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.
With a mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, the salt and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes more.
Turn off the mixer. Pour in the flour. Now pulse with your mixer several times until flour is amlost incorporated into dough. Turn mixer to low and continue to mix for about 30 seconds more, just until the flour disappears into the dough — for the best texture, work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added, and don’t be concerned if the dough looks a little crumbly. Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it together and divide it in half. Working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Note: the diameter of the log you make will be the size of the cookie, the cookie doesn't change much in size once baked.
Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. If you’ve frozen the dough, you don't need to defrost it before baking — just slice the logs into cookies and bake the cookies 1 minute longer.)
GETTING READY TO BAKE: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Working with a sharp thin knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch thick. (The rounds are likely to crack as you’re cutting them — don’t be concerned, just squeeze the bits back onto each cookie.) Arrange the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between them.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes — they won’t look done, nor will they be firm, but that’s just the way they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies rest until they are only just warm, at which point you can serve them or let them reach room temperature. I think they taste best the day after you bake them, as with all things chocolate!
STORING: Packed airtight, cookies will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days; they can be frozen for up to 2 months.
My little Wilson spent the night in the slammer.
Lightning struck our house 2 weeks ago and knocked out the underground fence, it didn't take long for him and his sidekick Buddy...
to realize that the neighborhood was theirs for the taking.
Unfortunately, Wison's luck ran out the other night when he was picked up by the dog patrol and it was right at 4:30pm which meant by the time we called animal control for him it was after hours and we wouldn't be able to get him until 10am the next day. The worst part was my daughter sleeps with him every night and she was up until 10:30pm praying for her "princess puppy in prison" (that is the poor dog's nickname).
It was a happy reunion the next morning for my kids and Wilson...
but sad for me because I wanted to take each and every dog home that was locked up in those cages. I couldn't believe how many animals were locked up. If you want a pet please consider adoption instead of a breeder, there are so many wonderful pets out there just waiting for someone to take them home.
In celebration of Wilson's homecoming we made peanut butter and banana dog treats. They LOVED them!
Peanut Butter and Banana Dog Treats
Adapted slightly from www.allrecipes.com
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 mashed banana
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 egg white, lightly beaten, for brushing (optional)
I skipped brushing the tops with egg white. It will look shiny and nicer if you do.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Stir together the egg, peanut butter, banana in a medium bowl; blend thoroughly. Stir in the flour and rolled oats; mix well. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and roll to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes with a cookie cutter, place on prepared baking sheet, and brush tops with egg white.
Bake treats until dried and golden brown, about 30 minutes, depending on size. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
I am using up the last of my thyme on this recipe...sorry to see it go but it makes it that much more fun in the spring to replant and start over again. I am not sure what to do with my large rosemary plant, it is still going strong. I have read that you can freeze the rosemary leaves but I am not sure...I am going to have to research that one.
Red Potatoes and Thyme
Adapted from Rachael Ray
2 pounds small red skin potatoes, quartered
1 tablespoon, extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons, 5 or 6 sprigs, fresh thyme, leaves stripped and chopped
In a deep, medium skillet, bring water to a boil. Add quartered potatoes and simmer 12 minutes, until fork tender. Drain potatoes in a colander set over a pot.
Return the pan you cooked the potatoes in to heat over medium high. Add extra-virgin olive oil and butter.
When butter melts add potatoes. Season potatoes with salt, pepper and chopped thyme.
Coat and brown the potatoes, turning only occasionally, 7 or 8 minutes.
My husband bought 2 boxes of fruit the other night; one huge box filled with oranges and the other filled with grapefruit. Grapefruit alone is fabulous but grapefruit with warm sugar is magnificent...caramelized grapefruit it is! Next time I make it I am going to bust out the creme brulee torch (that is collecting dust in the cupboard) and torch the top of the sugar to make it beautifully caramelized on top while keeping the grapefruit cool.
Here is half of my grapefruits...I think I need to buy a juicer!
Turn the broiler on high and move the rack to the top shelf.
Cut the grapefruit in half and the membranes.
Sprinkle the top of the grapefruit heavily with sugar. I used brown sugar and white sugar. I really couldn't taste a big difference. Broil on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil for 3 minutes or until caramelized.
My daughter and I took a field trip to the apple orchard with her school last week and we brought home a bag filled with apples. I have a list of apple recipes so the tough part was narrowing it down. I figured a good place to start would be with one of the classics: applesauce. When I found an old roasted applesauce recipe with bourbon I knew that was it.
This was amazing: super sweet, warm and delicious. The smell in your house alone is worth making this. If you love sweet applesauce this is a great recipe for you.
Makes 2 cups
1/8 cup bourbon, brandy or cider
1/8 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
6 apples; peeled, cored, and cut into eighths
Heat the oven to 375 F degrees. Use a large roasting pan or large baking dish (I used a 12x14 inch baking dish) combine the bourbon, cinnamon, cloves, lemon juice and zest, and brown sugar. Add the apples and toss.
Roast until the apples are very soft and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Pour the apples and juices into a bowl and mash with a potato masher or for a smooth applesauce pour into a food processor and pulse until desired consistency.
Tastes amazing while still warm. If you have left over store in the fridge.
First off let me apologize for the above photo...it was late and my pie was almost eaten by the time I was able to get a photo. We had late night (after bar) company and one individual ate nearly the entire pie...yes that would include approximately 10 plums! I think he was hurting in more ways then one the next day!
Earlier in the day, I was staring at a pile of plums on my counter wondering what to make when I remembered I saw a Nigel recipe on smitten kitchen that looked amazing...and it was! Plums are sweet and delicious...what a wonderful alternative to my typical baked berry or apple pie!
Adapted from Nigel Slater
For the pastry:
butter, 100g (7 Tablespoons)
sugar, 100g (1/2 cup)
an egg, lightly beaten
plain flour, 175g (1 1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon)
baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon
For the filling:
ripe plums, 800g (2 pounds, about 10 plums)
sugar, 2-3 Tablespoons
ground cinnamon, a knifepoint
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the lightly beaten egg, mix and then gently add the flour and baking powder. Flour a clean work surfance. Take the dough out of the bowl and roll into a ball on the floured work surface. The dough will be sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and freeze for about 20 minutes.
Set the oven at 350 degrees F (180C/gas mark 4). Cut the ripe plums in half and remove their stones.
Cut the fruit into large pieces, toss with the sugar and cinnamon and put into a lightly buttered 8-inch pie dish or baking dish.
Roll out the pastry on a floured board,
then lift carefully onto the pie. There will be a little left over. The crust is very short and it really doesn't matter if it tears as you lower it over the fruit.
Sprinkle the pastry with sugar and bake for 40 minutes. The pastry should be pale-biscuit colored. Serve with fresh whipped cream or ice cream.
Roasted Garlic Cauliflower
Adapted from www.allrecipes.com
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large head cauliflower, separated into florets
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large casserole dish, toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and garlic.
Cover and bake for 25-35 minutes, stirring halfway through. Test for desired firmness. Season with salt and pepper.
Top with Parmesan cheese and parsley, and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown.