Thursday, January 29, 2015

CRANBERRY SCONES WITH ALMOND CREAM


~ A Bountiful Kitchen

SCONES
1 c. fresh cranberries
1/4 c. sugar
3 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3 T. sugar
6 T. butter, softened
3/4 c. buttermilk
1 t. vanilla
1 egg, beaten
turbinado sugar
sugar

ALMOND CREAM
1 c. whipping cream
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 t. almond extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray cookie sheet.

Wash cranberries and remove any shriveled berries. Chop and coarsely and place in bowl with 1/4 cup sugar, then set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Cut in softened butter. Add buttermilk, vanilla, and egg. Mix well. Add cranberries and any juice, kneading a few times until dough has gathered and forms a ball.

Place dough on lightly floured surface and pat into two 5-inch or one 10-inch circle, about one inch thick. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar and cut each circle into eight wedges. Place wedges on greased cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until just beginning to turn golden.

While scones are baking, prepare almond cream. Whip cream until it starts to thicken. Add powdered sugar and extract, then continue whipping until stiff peaks form.

Remove scones from oven and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Serve with almond cream.

Makes eight large or sixteen small scones.

Notes: I use frozen cranberries (they're what we always have on hand and they happen to be easier to chop), and skip both the turbinado and granulated sugar sprinkled on top. Whipped cream takes shape faster if you put your bowl (a metal one) and beaters in the fridge or freezer to chill before you make your whipped cream. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

SWEET GREEN MUFFINS



~ Family Fun magazine - October 2014

1 c. flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 c. canola oil
3/4 c. milk
6 oz. (about 6 c.) fresh spinach
large banana
2 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray muffin tins

In a large bowl, whisk two flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. In a blender, puree oil, milk, and spinach until smooth. Add banana and vanilla to puree and blend thoroughly. Pour liquid mixture into dry mixture and stir until combined. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and bake 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Makes 16 muffins.

Notes: These are sweet, have a mild banana flavor, and have a fun color because of the spinach, but no spinach flavor. All the Ws like them. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

VANILLA CAKE


~ The Marion House Book

4 c. flour
2 T. baking powder
1 1/2 t. salt
1 1/4 c. unsalted butter at room temperature
2 1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 T. vanilla
2 1/4 c. milk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9x13 glass pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and spray again.

Sift flour with baking powder and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Mix in eggs and vanilla.

On low speed, add one third of the flour mixture, then one half of the milk. Repeat additions, ending with flour.

Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake in center of oven for 65-75 minutes or until deep golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. If cake becomes deep golden before it is done baking, then cover loosely with foil. Cool on rack 20-30 minutes, then flip onto serving tray.

Notes: Our family doesn't think this cake has much of a vanilla taste, but it's still good. Just a thick, moist, dense cake that could easily be dressed up or enjoyed in its simplicity. The original recipe includes an icing recipe and has you cover the iced cake in fresh fruit, which I'm sure would be delicious. I've never had parchment paper in the house, so I just sprayed and floured the pan. 


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

PUMPKIN ICE CREAM PIE WITH SALTED CARAMEL & A GINGERBREAD CRUST


~ Eat at Home

1 1/2 c. finely crushed gingersnap cookies
6 T. butter, melted
2 T. sugar
2 c. pumpkin ice cream, softened
2 c. vanilla ice cream, softened
1/2 c. salted caramel sauce
broken cookie pieces for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix crushed cookies, butter, and sugar in a bowl. Pour into a pie plate and press to form a crust. Bake 8 minutes. Cool completely before filling.

Spread pumpkin ice cream in bottom of crust. Drizzle with caramel sauce. Spread vanilla ice cream over top and drizzle with more sauce. Garnish with broken cookie pieces, if desired.

Freeze several hours until firm before serving.

Notes: A box of Nabisco gingersnaps makes three cups of crumbs when you run the cookies through the food processor, so you can make two pies without garnish with one box. I've only made this once, though I made two pies at once, but I learned some lessons about ice cream pies. One, I should spread one layer, freeze it, then spread the second layer. Two, I should soften my ice creams to the same consistency or have the top one by thinner than the second one. I did neither of those things, which meant my vanilla ice cream sunk in big chunks down into the pumpkin ice cream. It didn't look nearly as good Tiffany's pie pictures, linked above, but it still tasted great. Of course, you could make things really easy by just scooping the ice cream into a bowl, drizzling it with sauce, and grabbing a handful of cookies, but whatever.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

PESTO CHICKEN SALAD


~ my own little brain

lettuce and/or spinach, chopped or torn
pesto chicken, shredded
tomatoes, chopped

Layer desired amounts of each ingredient in a serving bowl or on a plate.


PESTO CHICKEN

~ my own little brain

3 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
22 oz. pesto

Place chicken and pesto in crockpot and cook on low for four hours or until chicken is cooked through. Serve as desired or freeze in ziploc bags.

Notes: We've shredded this chicken and used it in a green salad. Someone gave us several 11 oz. containers of store-bought pesto, which is what we've used for this recipe, but you could certainly use a homemade version.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

ALMOND BREAD

~ Torani

1/2 c. sliced almonds
1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. almond syrup
1 c. sour cream
1 egg
1 3/4 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 5x2-inch pans or one 9x5-inch loaf pan.

Place almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and bake eight minutes or until golden brown. Finely chop and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add syrup, sour cream, and egg, beating until combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together.

Add wet ingredients and chopped almonds to dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Pour batter into pan(s) and place in oven. Bake mini loaves 35-40 minutes, rotating once after 15 minutes, or one regular loaf for 45-50 minutes, removing when a toothpick inserted into the center of a loaf comes out clean. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Notes: The original Torani recipe includes making a glaze for the bread and then topping it with extra toasted almonds and maraschino cherries, which we don't do, but you could get the scoop on that by clicking the link at the top of this post. Torani obviously expects you to use their almond syrup in this recipe, but we've used homemade almond syrup and it tasted great.