Little Smokey Crinkle Cookies

DSCF3752

Little Smokey Crinkle Cookies

These little beauties came about because I’m currently at my one butt cabin kitchen and too far from a grocery to simply run down and get supplies. I used what was hanging around the cabin. They are light, chewy chocolateness (I’m saying that’s a word).

12 oz. chocolate chips, melted and slightly cooled

6 egg whites, room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 cup chopped toasted pecans

2 cups broken shortbread style cookies, the ones that I used were chocolate covered shortbread but any shortbread/vanilla wafer sort of cookie would work

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Beat the egg whites, vanilla and salt until frothy. Slowly add the sugar while beating the egg whites until they hold firm peaks. Fold in the slightly cooled melted chocolate until smooth. Stir in nuts and broken cookies. Using a ice cream scoop of about 1/4 cup capacity, drop cookie mounds onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. These do spread. Set the scooped out cookies on baking sheets out to set before baking for at least 30 minutes to dry out a bit. Bake for  15 minutes and allow to cool completely before carefully removing from parchment paper. These cookies would be awesome used for ice cream sandwiches. Makes about 3 dozen.

 

Baked Custard

DSCF3744

Baked Custard

6 egg yolks

5 oz. sugar

scant 1/2 teaspoon salt

1  cup half-and-half

2 cups  heavy cream

1 1/2 teaspoons  pure vanilla extract

nutmeg

9 custard cups or 2 quart baking dish large enough to hold all custard cups or baking dish and pan . Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl whisk together all the ingredients except nutmeg until well combined. Strain through a fine sieve into picture and pour evenly into custard cups placed in a large pan or pour into a 2 quart baking dish place into a larger pan. Sprinkle nutmeg over the top of the custards. Carefully pour into large pan with custard dishes inside, hot water 1 inch up the sides of the baking dish/dishes. Place in oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a sharp thin knife inserted into center comes out clean, Remove immediately from hot water and cool on rack.

This can be easily turned into crème brulee by sprinkling sugar over the top of the baked custards and then caramelizing the sugar using a torch or placing under a broiler.

Bananas Foster Sheet Cake

009 (5)

Bananas Foster Sheet Cake

Cake:

1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 1/4 cups sugar

6 eggs, room temperature

3 cups ripe mashed bananas

3/4 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon rum or rum extract

1 cup chopped toasted pecans or walnuts

Cake:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a 9×13 inch baking dish; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer beat until fluffy the butter and sugar.

In a bowl whisk together the remaining dry ingredients except the nuts; set aside.

Add the eggs one at a time and combine well between each addition to the cream butter /sugar mixture. In a bowl combine the mashed bananas, sour cream and rum/rum extract; set aside. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the banana mixture to the egg mixture. Evenly spread batter into prepared dish. Bake for about 1 hour or until done. It will be done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and cake springs back when lightly touched. Remove from oven. Place on rack. Using a fork poke holes all over the top of the cake.

Glaze:

1 -14oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1 -8oz. butterscotch topping

Combine all the glaze ingredients; mix well until combined.

While cake is still warm, gradually spread the glaze over the top of the warm cake. Give time for the glaze to be absorbed as you continue to add the glaze. Once all the glaze has been added to top of cake, allow to completely cool

Frosting:

1- 8oz. package cream cheese, room temperature

4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon rum or rum extract

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 -8oz. jar butterscotch topping

A few chopped nuts for garnish- optional

Frosting:

Combine the cinnamon, salt, powdered sugar, extracts and cream cheese. Beat until smooth. Add the heavy cream and beat until thickened. Spread on cooled cake.

Dollop the butterscotch topping and drizzle over the top of the frosted cake. Using a toothpick or sharp knife swirl around through the topping and frosting to create a marbled effect. Sprinkle top with nuts if desired. Store in refrigerator

This would also be good served with a sauce of sauteed bananas, brown sugar, butter and rum on the side.

Mixed Berry Almond Cobbler

006 (12)

Mixed Berry Almond Cobbler

Berry filling:

6 cups mixed berries fresh or frozen

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons pure almond extract

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Topping:

1 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 egg

1 teaspoon pure almond extract

4 tablespoons  crumbled almond paste

1/4 cup sliced almonds

2 tablespoons diced butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Toss berries with the filling ingredients and place into a 7×11 / 2quart baking dish.

In a bowl combine the dry ingredients for the topping except the sliced almonds. Mix until combined. Stir in the egg, cream , almond extract and almond paste. Stir to combine. Place topping in dollops over the berry filling. Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the top. Evenly distribute the diced butter over the topping. Bake for about 30 minutes or until filling is bubbling and topping is golden brown.

Lemon Blueberry Bars

003 (23)

Crust:

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 lb. plus 4 tablespoons chilled butter , cubed

Filling:

3 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

7 eggs, lightly beaten

grated zest and juice from 4 lemons

6 oz. blueberries

powdered sugar for dusting finished cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 17×12 inch x 1 inch jelly roll pan; set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the dry ingredients for the crust and pulse 2-3 times until combined. Add the chilled butter cubes and process until the mixture comes together into a dough ball. Press the dough evenly into the pan and 1/4 inch up the edges of the prepared pan. Bake for about 12 minutes or until beginning to turn golden brown and just slightly under done. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Meanwhile prepare the filling in a separate bowl. In a bowl whisk the eggs and sugar together until combined. Add the juice and zest and combine. Sift in the remaining filling ingredients except the berries and stir to combine. Pour the filling over the cooled crust . Sprinkle evenly over the filling the blueberries. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until set. Remove from the oven and allow to completely cool. Carefully cut into squares and dust them with powdered sugar.

For thicker bars these can also be made in a 9x13x2 inch pan . Complete as the recipe states except pat the dough half way up the sides and bake a little longer. The crust may puff up during baking; if this happens, remove from oven and gently press back down and continue to bake crust as directed. Once crust is filled with lemon/blueberry mixture bake as directed but as long as needed to become firm. Cool several hours before cutting.

Short Rib Red Sauce

004 (8)

This is a sauce I like to make LOTS of. I like to freeze it  for later. This is a recipe which I like to add sauteed cremini mushrooms to and or any lovely greens in season. I simply add to the fresh or thawed base sauce; you can create whatever you wish. This recipe is also easily divided if you don’t wish to make as big a batch but why not?

Short Rib Red Sauce

1/2 cup olive oil

6 oz. diced pancetta

2 1/2 lbs. short ribs or flanken style short ribs.

010 (3)

Flanken style short ribs pictured on the left. I prefer the flanken style because it has less fat and more meat.

3/4 cup flour

3 onions , small dice

3 carrots, peeled and 1/4 inch dice

1 bunch parsley chopped

6 cloves garlic , minced

1 head roasted garlic, pulp squeezed out

1 pint grape tomatoes

2 1/2 quarts tomato puree

012 (4)

3 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

3 teaspoons dried thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

3 bay leaves

7 1/2 cup beef broth

2 1/4 cups red wine

red pepper flakes; to taste

Additions

sauteed mushrooms

sauteed seasonal leafy greens

sauteed squash

Heat the olive oil in a 13 quart heavy pot. Cook the pancetta until crispy . Meanwhile, season the short ribs with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the short ribs ; do not over crowd pot and brown the short ribs on all sides.

014 (2)

Do not rush the browning process. It’s the browning and the luscious tiny bits left on the bottom of the pan known as the fond that add to the depth of flavor in the sauce.

Once all the short ribs are nice and brown, add the short ribs and crispy pancetta along with the remaining ingredients to the pot. Give the pot a stir ; make sure to scape the yummy bits from the bottom of the pot as you stir to combine.

016 (2)

Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer; cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. After 1 1/2 hours, remove the lid and continue to simmer for another hour. Using a slotted spoon remove the short ribs and the bay leaves. Allow the short ribs to cool enough to just handle and remove the bones. Place the short rib meat back into the simmering pot and continue to cook until short rib meat is tender enough that it shreds. Using the back of a spoon smash any grape tomatoes on the inside edge of the pan that have not fallen apart.   Shred the meat and place back into sauce simmer the sauce until thickened slightly. Serve this sauce over mashed potatoes or toothy pasta such as rigatoni, penne or tagliatelle.

004 (8)

Healthy Fruit and Berry Blast Granola with Flax Seed and Millet

003 (21)

Granola is so easy to make yourself. This recipe is just a guide. Follow it to the tee or add whatever your favorite fruit nuts and seeds are.

Healthy Fruit and Berry Blast Granola with Flax Seed and Millet

6 cups old fashioned rolled oats

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon table salt

1/2 cup coconut flakes

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1/2 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup flax seed

1/2 cup millet

1/4 cup freeze dried sliced strawberries

1/4 cup freeze dried blueberries

1/4 cup freeze dried raspberries

1/4 cup dried apples, coarsely chopped

1/8 cup dried cherries

1/8 cup dried apricots, chopped

1/8 cup dried raisins

1/8 cup dried cranberries

1/8 cup dried blueberries

1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

3/4 cup honey or to taste

3/4 cup egg whites

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with foil and oil them; set aside.

In a large bowl combine the oats, nuts, seeds and dried fruit; toss. In a separate bowl whisk together the melted coconut oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, vanilla extract, almond extract, honey and egg whites until combined well. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture and toss until evenly coated. Divide granola mixture in half between the two prepared baking sheets. Spread out granola in even layer on baking sheet. Bake each sheet for 25-35  minutes or until edges are crisp and golden brown. Allow to cool completely on rack. Once cooled, break into clumps and store in airtight container.