Saturday, November 7, 2015

Biscotti

Bake a batch of crunchy deliciousness to dip in your coffee.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Line a baking sheet with parchment

2 cups AP flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C dried cherries
1 cup toasted walnuts (toast nuts in 350 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes; stirring occasionally)
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange extract


In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine the cherries and nuts. Mix two tablespoons of the flour/sugar mixture into the cherries and nuts. This will help prevent the fruit and nuts from clumping together

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla and orange extracts. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and, with a large spoon, stir eleven times. Add the nuts and dried fruit and stir 20 times. Mixture will be thick and sticky.

On the parchment-lined baking sheet, form the dough into a log about 12" x 4" x 1/2" in diameter. If you keep your hands wet it is easier to handle the sticky dough, so keep a bowl of cold water nearby to dip your hands into as needed.

Bake the log for 50 minutes.

While the the oven stays on at 300 degrees, cool the log on its baking pan for 15 minutes. Carefully slide the log onto a cutting board. If the log sticks to the parchment, gently pry it loose with a metal spatula. Using a serrated knife, cut the log into diagonal slices that are 1/2 "to 3/4" thick. Stand the slices on the baking sheet, allowing 1/2" of space between each slice. Toast in the oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from oven. Cool completely. I freeze the biscotti, removing cookies as needed (i.e., 1 or 2 every day!).

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Almond Flour Brownies



Fact: All brownies are good. And isn't it great that there is variety among brownies recipes? Flat, puffy, chewy, cakey; I like them all.

These almond flour, or meal, brownies are delicious and moist. The recipe uses a small pan, 8 x 8, which I find to be the right size for treats.

Ingredients

3/4 cup (84 grams) of Bob's Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour
2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp instant espresso powder

1/2 cup butter
7 ounces chocolate chips, divided

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil an 8 x 8 baking pan.

In a large, microwave safe bowl, combine the butter and 4 ounces of chocolate chips. Melt in the microwave and stir to combine. Allow to cool while assembling the remaining ingredients.

In a large bowl combine the almond flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large Pyrex measuring bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs vanilla and espresso powder. Slowly pour the sugar mixture into the butter and chocolate mixture.

Pour the sugar and chocolate mixture into the bowl with the almond flour and beat the ingredients together. Put the mixture into the prepared pan. Scatter the remaining chocolate chips over the dough and then lightly press them into the mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean.

Cool completely before enjoying!


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Apple Flavored Brandy


Fresh apples are now available at our Saturday farmers' market. I purchased three beautiful eating apples which I cored and diced. I then put the apples in a large glass jar, which has a twist on cap, along with 1/4 cup of sugar, a cinnamon stick, and Korbel brandy. I'll give the jar a good swirl twice a day for the next two weeks and then, voila, apple flavored brandy. Strained and poured back into the original Korbel bottle, this will be a treat to have in the winter months.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Perfect for Spring: Lemon Bars



There is a terrific bakery called The Ovens of Patagonia in the town of Patagonia, Arizona, that sells fabulous lemon bars. Patagonia is a beautiful community of about 800 - 900 folks. It is located 4,000 feet above sea level between the Santa Rita Mountains and the Patagonia Mountains. The area is a mecca for bird watchers and home to famous authors like Jim Harrison and Phil Caputo. It is, however, a bit to far away to satisfy my lemon bar longings. And so, inspired by The Ovens of Patagonia, I did what so many have done before me. I turned to Google.

And what I eventually found on Google is an excellent recipe by Jennifer Segal at her web site, Once Upon a Chef. This delicious recipe reproduces the great taste I recall from my Ovens of Patagonia experience.

I follow Segal's recipe exactly as written. The flaky crust is what elevates the quality of these bars. To ensure that my crust is magical, when preparing the crust I start by dicing the cold butter. Then I put the diced butter in the freezer while assembling the rest of the ingredients for the crust. Additionally, I am careful not to over mix the butter and flour mixture. Those chunks of cold, cold butter will result in a flaky, yummy crunch supporting the lemon custard.

If you get an opportunity to visit Patagonia, Arizona, and I encourage you to do so, by all means stop at the bakery for some delicious treats. And until you can get there, enjoy these lemon bars with your cup of coffee in the afternoon. The bars are fun to make and delicious to eat.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

From the Crock Pot: Sassy Chipotle Pork

The crock pot is convenient. But it can produce blah meals or meals that just taste the same as every other crock pot supper. That's not going to happen with the Sassy Chipotle Pork recipe. You will make tasty pulled pork sandwiches that will delight everyone.

Note that while this recipe involves little hands-on work, it does take time. The meat is refrigerated with its dry rub for 8 hours and then cooks in the crock pot for 14 (!) hours. So plan ahead when making this dish.

Buy some hard rolls and try serving pulled pork sandwiches for game day!

Sassy Chipotle Pork

Pork shoulder blade roast, about 3 pounds

Dry Rub
1 Tbs. cumin seeds
2 Tbs. ancho powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. dried parsley
salt

Liquid
3 chipotle peppers, canned in adoba sauce
Juice of one lime
1 Tbs. olive oil

1 large white onion, thickly sliced

Your favorite BB-Q sauce

Method

Toast the cumin seeds briefly in a pan on the stove top. Crush them in a grinder or using a mortal and pestle.

Mix the cumin, ancho, oregano and dried parsley together. Liberally salt the pork shoulder blade roast on both sides. Rub the dry spice mixture all over the roast, pressing to get the spices to adhere. Cover the plated meat with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours.

Put 3 chipotle peppers in a small food processor and pulse to liquefy. Add the lime juice and olive oil and pulse to combine.

When you are ready to cook the meat, layer the onion slices on the bottom of the crock pot. Place the meat in the pot and our the chipotle mix over both sides of the roast.

Cook for 14 hours. It will smell fabulous. Remove the meat from the pot. When it has cooled enough to handle, shred.

Combine shredded pork with BB-Q sauce and serve on rolls. Or roll pork with some shredded lettuce into a corn tortilla. Be creative with this tasty dish.

Enjoy!