Sunday, December 9, 2007
Here's a very good easy to make peanut brittle. Just like grandma made : )
Measure everything out ahead of time because once it starts going there's no going back : )
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups raw shelled spanish peanuts, skins on
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking soda
Heat sugar, syrup, water and salt to a rolling boil in a large, heavy saucepan (3 quarts or larger). Add peanuts. Reduce heat to medium and stir constantly. Cook to hard crack stage. (300- 310 degrees F. I went to 310) Stir in butter and vanilla. Add baking soda and stir rapidly. The baking soda will cause contents to quickly increase in size. Pour onto a very lightly greased or sprayed baking sheet. Spread to approximately 1/4 inch thickness. When cool, break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.
1/2 cup butter or margarine
4-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
3 cups crisp rice cereal, crushed
1 (12 oz.) pkg. semi sweet chocolate chips
To crush cereal place in a zip lock bag and go over it with a rolling pin.
Mix powdered sugar and rice cereal in a large bowl.
Melt peanut butter and butter in a medium sauce pan over low heat. Pour over cereal mixture. Blend together with hands. Dough will take some kneading so be patient! Form into 1 inch balls. Chill until firm.
Melt chocolate chips in top of a double boiler over hot water. Don't let water boil or chocolate will burn. Dip balls in chocolate coating; swirl tops remove with tongs. Place on waxed paper lined baking sheet.
Chill till firm. Makes about 100 balls.
3 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup of regular butter (2 sticks) Do not use margarine!
1 can (13 ounces) evaporated milk
4 cups of mini marshmallows or 20 large marshmallows, cut up
4 cups granulated sugar
Put your marshmallows, chips, butter and vanilla in a large bowl.
Bring this to a rolling boil and cook for exactly eight (8) minutes. (240 degrees F.)
Pour the milk and sugar over the marshmallows, chips, butter and vanilla and let it all sit for a minute.
Start stirring with a wooden spoon until the marshmallows have melted and add the nuts and stir until the fudge is smooth.
Pour into a 9x13 pan or a 15x13 sheet pan. (I use a 9x13 disposable aluminium pan.)
Cover your pan with aluminum foil. Let fudge rest and cure overnight or for at least several hours until firm to the touch.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
recipe origin: from Williams-Sonoma's Essentials of Baking
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup Dutch process cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup confectioners sugar
Cook, stirring occasionally, just until they are melted and the mixture is smooth.
Pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl and allow to cool slightly. Stir in the granulated sugar until evenly moistened.
Add the egg and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy.
Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat an oven to 375°F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator.
Shape the dough into ¾-inch balls.
then roll in the confectioners’ sugar to coat completely. Place the balls about 1 ½ inches apart on the prepared pans.
Bake the cookies until puffed and cracked on top, about 10 - 12 minutes. They may appear underdone in the center but will turn crisp as they cool. Allow to cool on the pans for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 42 cookies.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Today I'm going to show you how to make a keylime pie. It's one of the easiest to make and well it's just darn good! As you can see by the picture it only takes a few ingredients to make. And please please please do not add green food coloring! Real keylime pie is not... I repeat not... green! In this recipe I used fresh key limes but if you can't find them feel free to use the bottled stuff. But be sure it's real keylime juice and not regular lime juice. It does make a difference in the taste. I also made my crust from scratch but you can buy a premade one if you like. Hey, we all like to save some time now and then right?
Key Lime Pie
1 9 inch baked graham cracker crust
4 eggs yolks
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cups freshly squeezed key lime juice, strained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl whisk eggs yolks together until smooth. Slowly mix in the sweetened milk until creamy. Slowly whisk in the key lime juice until smooth and thickened. Pour filling in to pie crust and bake at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes. Cool on counter before refrigerating. To cut run a sharp kinfe under hot water. Dry knife and slice. Top with whipped cream if you so desire.
So I've got 1-1/2 cups of graham crackers crumbs (about 20 squares) mixed with 1/4 cup of sugar. Toss together with a fork and mix in 1/3 cup of butter until moistened. Check to see if your crumbs have enough butter by pressing some crumbs along the side of the bowl with a fork. If it stays you're doing good. If not well add more butter! Try 1 Tbsp. more. That oughta do it.
Pour the crumbs into a 9 inch pie tin. Using the bottom of a measuring cup, glass or even a spoon press crumbs along bottom and sides of pan.
Bake in a 350 degree F. oven for about 8 minutes. Place aside to cool.
While your crust is cooling add 4 egg yolks to a medium sized bowl and whisk just until the eggs are one.
Stir in 1 (14 oz.) can of sweetened condensed milk until smooth.
Slowly whisk in 2/3 cups of freshly squeezed key lime lime juice. Whisk until smooth.
As you can see it has thickened up from the reaction between the sweetened milk and lime juice.
Monday, December 3, 2007
All you need are raw almonds! For this recipe I used a 3 pound bag of almonds. ( hubby is an almond butter freak). But you can use as much as you like depending on how much you want. My cost was $9.79 for the bag at Costco. The jars shown are 16 oz. jars. So this worked out perfectly for me.
Did you know that almonds are one of the most nutritious of all nuts? It's true. One ounce of almonds contains 12 percent of your daily allowance of protein. And absolutely no cholesterol. You'll also get 35 percent of your daily allowance of vitamin E, the valuable antioxidant with so many cancer fighting qualities. And most of the fat in almonds is monounsaturated, also known as the "good" fat.
Almonds are also loaded with minerals like magnesium, phosphorus and zinc, as well as lots of healthy fiber. And don't forget calcium and folic acid! One study showed that three ounces of almonds a day actually lowered a person's cholesterol by 14 percent. Now how can you say no to this nutritious snack?
Well, enough bragging. Try it yourself and I'm sure you will agree that almond butter is the best!
Read below for step by step instructions.
First you will need to toast your almonds. I used a pie tin. You can also place them on a cookie sheet. This held about 2-1/2 cups of nuts. I put them in my toaster oven at 350 degrees F. for about 8-10 minutes stirring every couple of minutes or so so they toasted evenly. Then placed aside to cool.
The easiest way is with a food processor. Of course you can use a blender I suppose but I wouldn't recommend it. Imagine the clean up!
Turn your food processor on high. Slowly add handfuls at a time through the shoot. As it mixes it will make crumbs.
Pretty soon it will start to clump together.
Scrape down the sides every now and then.
After about 7 to 8 minutes you will have nice smooth almond butter. If you like your almond butter chunky add some crushed almonds and pulse a couple of times. That's it in a nutshell (pun intended) Store in a cool place or in the fridge. Enjoy!
Saturday, December 1, 2007
It's easier than you think! The key is room temperature ingredients, not over beating and a low temperature oven. The biggest mishap is over baking. Hence, the grand canyon in the center of your cheesecake. I goofed and forgot to get pictures of the mixing of the filling. Guess I was too eager to get that cake made! Anyway, you get the idea of how easy it is.
Classic New York Cheesecake
1 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs (about 15 or so squares)
3 Tbsp. sugar
4 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
5 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 cup Sour Cream
4 eggs, room temperature
9 inch springform pan
heavy duty foil
MIX crumbs, 3 Tbsp. sugar and butter; press firmly onto bottom of buttered and parchment lined 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 325°F for 8 minutes. (Bake at 300°F for 8 minutes if using dark nonstick springform pan.)
MIX cream cheese on low until smooth and lumps are gone. Slowly add 1 cup sugar, flour and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream, mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Do not over mix! Pour over crust.
Wrap two layers of heavy duty foil around bottom half of pan. Place in a roasting pan at least 2 inches deep. Pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up springform pan. Place on center rack of oven.
BAKE at 325°F for 1 hour 10 minutes or until center is almost set if using silver springform pan. (Bake at 300°F for 1 hour 10 minutes or until center is almost set if using dark nonstick springform pan.) Run knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim of pan. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Top with pie filling before serving if desired.
Remove ring and trace inner part of ring onto paper. Cut out circle. Replace ring and place circle in bottom of buttered pan. Cut out two strips 4 inches wide by inches long. Place each strip along inside of ring smoothing out wrinkles. Use butter to seal edges together.
To make crumbs: Break up grahams into a 1 gallon ziplock bag. Using a rolling pin or soup can roll and crumble crumbs until fine. Or if you prefer use a food processor. I think the bag is easier. No clean up!
Mix crumbs, sugar and butter. Toss until moist.
Check by pressing crumbs to side of bowl. If they hold shape Perfect! If too dry add a bit more butter.
Press crumbs firmly into bottom of pan using the bottom of a measuring cup or glass.
Add enough boiling water to come halfway up side of springform pan. Place on center rack of oven.
Cake is done when center 3 inches still jiggle a bit and internal temperature is around 150 degrees F.
Remove outer ring of pan. Using a flat spreader carefully loosen under the crust to remove from bottom of pan. Place on a cake disk or platter. Remove parchment strips.