May you each have a blessed day!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
On to my Mini Pecan Tarts. I developed this recipe specifically for this guest blogging event. I'm a little OCD in the kitchen, so I tweaked and fussed and researched for what seemed like forever before I was satisfied with the finished recipe. Let me tell you, I have a whole new appreciation for cookbook authors after this little project! Anyway, the family absolutely devoured these little treasures, so I guess that means they turned out well. Let me know if you give them a try!
In a heat proof bowl, mix the granulated sugar and sugar cane syrup together. Microwave on high for 10-20 seconds until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is very liquidy. Quickly pour over nuts and toss to coat.
Place the nuts in a single layer on a silicone baking mat and toss them into the oven for 15 minutes; tossing once half way through the baking.
Use a fork to separate glazed nuts after they're removed from the oven. Allow to cool completely before using. Can be made a day or two ahead and stored in an airtight container.
Mini Pecan Tarts Topped with Mascarpone Frosting and Glazed Pecans
makes 24 tarts
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
pinch of fine sea salt
1 tablespoon cocoa powder for color (optional)
In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the flat beater, combine the butter and cream cheese. Slowly add the salt, confectioner's sugar, flour, and optional cocoa powder; combine. Divide into 24 equal portions, roll into ball shape; place in a greased mini muffin pan. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes before pressing dough into the mini muffin cups using fingers or a pastry tool dipped in flour. Refrigerate while making the filling.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup Lyle's Golden Syrup (or corn syrup)
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine everything but the vanilla extract. Bring to a boil for one full minute. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour mixture into prepared pastry, filling no more than 3/4 full. Place mini muffin pan on a larger sheet pan to catch any drips that might spill over. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes. Allow tarts to cool in pan for 25 minutes before removing. Trim excess caramel with kitchen scissors if needed (while the caramel is still pliable).
8 ounces Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar (or to taste)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Mix ingredients together by hand. Pipe or spoon onto completely cool tarts. Refrigerate. Don't add the glaze pecans until serving time.
1/2 cup pecans
1 tablespoon Lyle's Golden Syrup (or corn syrup)
1 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
pinch of fine sea salt
Preheat oven to 325F. Combine sugar cane syrup, salt, and granulated sugar in a heat safe bowl and microwave on high for 10-20 seconds until sugar dissolves and mixture is very liquidy. Immediately pour over nuts and stir to combine. Place nuts in a single layer on a silicone lined sheet pan (greased foil or non-stick foil will also work). Bake nuts for 15 minutes, tossing half way through baking. Remove nuts from the oven and use a fork to separate them from one another; cool completely. Can be made up to 2 days in advance. Store in an airtight container. Top tarts with glazed pecans just before service, otherwise the glaze will start to melt into the Mascarpone frosting.
Happy Baking, Roasting, and Hosting!!!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Requested by my hubby, who is indeed a serious chocolate lover, for his 40th birthday.
Believe me when I say this cake is extremely rich and a little goes a long way. We first had it at the The Trellis Restaurant in Williamsburg, Va. There they serve gigantic slices of this cake - enough for two. At home, this 9" cake can easily serve 16. Anything more than a 1 to 1 1/2-inch slice is too much.
Anyway, Hubby always orders this cake for dessert, and the last time we ate there, he purchased the cookbook for me (hint-hint). He was a happy birthday boy when he sank his teeth into his beloved DbC Cake.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Oh, you'd prefer 4 or 5. I gottcha. That's how many of them we eat too!
These delectable little biscuits are close to my heart for a couple of reasons. The first is obviously their size - who doesn't love tiny bites?!! But the second, most important reason, is because they were made by my daughter - she's a teen and enjoys making big messes in my kitchen. Her clean up skills still need some work, but she's really becoming quite a good baker.
(proud mother smiling)
Aren't they adorable! It sure is nice to enjoy her freshly baked yummies, and these itty-bitty cheesy bites are some of the yummiest yummies ever!
So, without further adieu... I'd like to introduce you to ButterYum Jr.
Hi. Anyone who's been to a certain popular seafood chain falls in love with that chains cheddar biscuits the minute they sink their teeth into them. No matter how many you eat, that wonderful flavor delights you again and again.... "if only I could have these every day." Well, now you can - and you'll wonder how something so easy could be so good.
Bite Size Cheddar Bay Biscuits with Garlic Butter and Parsley
Makes 24 half dollar size biscuits
2 cups biscuit mix (Mom's recipe below)
2/3 cup milk (any kind)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
chopped parsley (or dried flakes)
All you do is mix the milk, cheese, and biscuit mix in a medium bowl. Place them onto a sheet pan and pop 'em into a 450F oven for 8-10 minutes (two batches, 12 biscuits each). When they're done baking, combine the butter, garlic, and parsley in a small bowl. Then you simply brush the butter mixture over the hot biscuits and Ta-Daaaaaaaa! :)
Btw, a size 50 cookie dough scoop will make 24 of these bite-size tickets to heaven.
makes 6 cups (enough for 3 batches of the biscuit recipe above)
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup instant dry milk powder
1 1/8 cups shortening
Whisk the dry ingredients together. Cut in shortening until it is well incorporated. Store in an airtight container and use within 3 months.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
|Old Fashioned Pork Roast from Cook's Country - ButterYum|
Only one hitch to this recipe, you have to plan ahead because it takes 2 days to make**. Most of the cooking is actually done on day 1, then the roast rests in the fridge overnight, and finally the roast is sliced and briefly reheated on day 2. Great if you are expecting a large crowd and want to get a lot of the work done ahead of time.
**Technically speaking, you can serve this roast on day one, but it will shred apart when you try to carve it. The overnight stay in the fridge does something magical to the roast that enables you to carve the most beautiful slices.
Either way, I promise this recipe is worth every minute it takes to make!
Once you have your boneless roast, tie it well with kitchen twine. The idea is to make the roast compact and give it a nice roast like shape (otherwise it's kind of flat and it has a hole from removing the bone). Place in a lightly oiled roasting pan.
Yes, that's a total of 7 hours in the oven. This is a long, slow braise... resulting in the most tender pork imaginable (my hubby said it was as tender as prime rib - obviously it won't taste like prime rib, but you get the point).
Caution - make sure you have lots of yummy food prepared to feed your family while this is roasting because the smell is going to drive them bonkers all day long!
I served this roast with mashed potatoes and oven roasted Brussels sprouts.
(adapted from The Complete Cook's Country TV Show Cookbook)
Makes enough to feed 10-12 hungry guests
6 pound boneless Boston Butt (aka pork shoulder)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 large red onions, sliced into 1-inch thick wedges
Olive oil (for roasting pan and possibly needed to coat onions)
1/2 cup reserved pan drippings
Tie roast well with kitchen twine and place it in a lightly oiled roasting pan. Rub roast with mix of herbs and garlic. Pop it into a 300F oven for 3 hours, uncovered. Remove from oven and add onions; toss with pan drippings. If there isn't enough fat in the pan, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and toss onions to coat. Pop everything back in the 300F oven, again uncovered, for an additional 4 hours (check pan every hour to be sure the pan drippings don't evaporate - add 2 cups of water if necessary). Remove the roast from the roasting pan and place it in a glass baking dish and allow it to cool before you wrap the dish well with plastic and put it in the fridge overnight. Reserve the onions and pan drippings separately in the fridge overnight too. You should have about 1 1/2 cups of drippings (maybe 1 1/4 after you remove the fat). Add water to the drippings if you don't have enough.
Sauce from the pan drippings
makes approximately 1 cup
remaining pan drippings (fat removed)
reserved roasted onions
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup apple jelly
1 cup apple cider
Heat in a saucepan over med-high heat for 15-20 minutes until reduced and thickened. Strain onions and serve.
Note: this sauce recipe has a vinegary flavor that I wasn't very fond of. I much preferred the pan drippings straight from the roasting pan, but I might have liked it without the vinegar.
I also think that this recipe would be just fine without the sage and rosemary, so if you're in a hurry, or don't want to pay $6 for fresh herbs, feel free to make it using only garlic, salt, and pepper. Enjoy!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
This week's Heavenly Cake Bakers selection - Baby Chocolate Oblivion cakes from Rose's Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum.
All I can say is WOW - one tiny bite is every bit as good as the finest chocolate truffle. They absolutely melt in your mouth and evoke audible groans of deliciousness from all who sample them.
If you're a chocolate lover, you're going to adore these!
Start by by melting chocolate, butter, and sugar in a double boiler; set aside. Easy.
For the record, the recipe calls specifically for 60-62% cacao dark chocolate, but I used good ole Nestle's semi-sweet chocolate chips and they worked perfectly well.
Update - I had to send these to my son's office so I wouldn't keep eating them - they were dangerously delicious!!!