December 29, 2008
December 27, 2008
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 whole star anise
- 5 large ruby red or pink grapefruit
- 4 blood oranges
Dissolve sugar in water in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring. Add star anise and simmer 5 minutes. Let stand off heat 30 minutes.
Cut peel, including white pith, from fruit with a sharp knife. Cut segments free from membranes into a bowl. Squeeze juice from membranes into bowl.
Add syrup with star anise to fruit and juice and stir gently. Remove star anise before serving if desired.
*Can be made 1 day ahead and chilled.
December 25, 2008
- 1 cup oatmeal stout or Guinness Stout (I used Guinness Stout)
- 1 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch of ground cardamom
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar (I used light)
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3/8 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 3/8 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter two 8 x 8 brownie pans and dust with flour, knocking out excess.
Bring stout and molasses to a boil in a large saucepan and remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda, then cool to room temperature.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs and sugars. Whisk in applesauce, oil, then molasses mixture. Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.
Divide batter evenly between pans and rap pan sharply on counter to eliminate air bubbles (oops I did not do this). Bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs adhering, about 35 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack, cool completely and cut into squares.
December 21, 2008
Aside from being delicious, these cookies are also really easy to make and always come out well. Crunchy on the outside and coated with raw sugar and chewy in the middle with tiny pieces of crystalized ginger. You really can't go wrong (er, except for the fact that they are made with Crisco... but they are so good...). I actually can't stand crystalized ginger or any ginger for that matter by itself, but in these cookies, it's delicious.
Here's a photograph of the boxes of cookies I sent my boyfriend's family for the holidays. I included another picture in my post about madeleines. Anyway, if you love baking, homemade cookies, candies or anything always makes a great holiday gift. I think people, especially those who don't bake, love getting things like this because it shows you put a good amount of time, energy and thought into their gift. It's also a lot more personal than just going to the store and buying something. You can make them look really professional.
December 19, 2008
Here is a link to the original recipe of no knead, which uses all white flour. The only change I made from that was to use half white and half whole wheat to get a heartier, healthier bread. I also used oat bran and a little bit of flour to coat the bread, if you were wondering what those little specs were. But there are many other modifications you can make as this article by Mark Bittman discusses. So I'm not going to post the recipe because it's all over the place, just follow the link and in about 24 hours you'll be able to enjoy great bread too.
December 18, 2008
My bark turned out a bit marbled because the white chocolate I used didn't melt to the same consistency as the dark; instead it turned into more of a paste, which required more spreading. So even though I had refrigerated and hardened the dark chocolate before I put the white over top, the spreading I had to do melted some of the dark chocolate and I got a marbled finish. It still looks ok though and the taste was not effected at all.
You can use any kind of chocolate you want, just make sure it's something you would want to eat plain since this isn't going to be melted and put into a cake or chopped and added to cookies. Also aside from peppermint you could add pretty much anything you want to chocolate bark. I was thinking about doing a dark chocolate, dried cherry and sliced almond one as well but then got a bit lazy.
December 17, 2008
My mom has a recipe for coconut madeleines and as much as I love coconut the flavor isn't really what I'm in the mood for around the holidays. I found this recipe on 101 Cookbooks and it looked perfect. Simple, flavorful and reliable. Heidi says her friend Lahna has been using this recipe for years.
December 16, 2008
December 8, 2008
Adapted from Bon Appétit
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3) - I just used 3 large ones without measuring
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 16 muffin cups with foil muffin papers. Sift first 4 ingredients into medium bowl. Mix in wheat germ. Combine bananas, milk, eggs, oil and vanilla extract in large bowl and whisk to blend. Mix in dry ingredients. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, dividing equally.
Bake muffins until tops are golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.