Monthly Archives: December 2010

Yum 2010

 

Brooklyn…

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Pizza Pie at Ignazio's by Brooklyn Bridge

 

 

NYC…

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Ny trip 113

Giant Cookie and Chocolate and Pear Tart

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at Think Coffee Shop across from NYU

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Main Store – Soho

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Italian Restaurant in Hell's Kitchen 

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China Town …

Ny trip 173Ny trip 180
 

 

Hoboken, NJ …

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Carlo's Bakery from "The Cake Boss" on TLC

 

Milford …

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Columbus, Indiana …

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Nashville, Indiana …

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At Home …

 

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Chocolate Eclair Dessert

 

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No Bake Cookies

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Alyssa loves these no bake cookies.  And evidently many other people do too because she got this from All Recipes where over 12,000 people saved this recipe.  And over 400 bothered to submit a "review". 

Are you kidding me?  Why?  How much can you say about the following recipe?

No Bake Cookies
Compliments of JennaDish

from Denise on AllRecipes.com under "No Bake Cookies I"

1 3/4 cups white sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 to 3/4 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
3 cups 1-minute quick-cooking oats
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa. Bring to a boil, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in peanut butter, oats, and vanilla. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper. Let cool until hardened.

They start out shiny but they will dull after storing a few hours.

Panettone French Toast

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This is a baby Panettone.  It's a popular Italian holiday sweet yeast bread with raisins in it and another dried fruit or two.  It is NOT fruit cake for Pete's Sake! 

Anyway.  It makes great French Toast.  (or just toast it if yer lazy)

French Toast directions:

Cut it into slices, duh.  Heat a little butter or olive oil in a non-stick skillet on medium heat. 

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In a shallow bowl beat 1 or 2 eggs and a little milk or cream, dip both sides of bread in mixture, put in pan and fry until golden brown about 2-3 minutes on each side.  Sprinkle with cinnamon or light sugar if desired and pour on some maple syrup! 

You're still here.  Why?  Oh, yeah.

Get a drink like coffee or hot chocolate, pick up a fork and napkin, take your plate and drink and go sit somewhere comfortably,  Eat the food.  Jeez.

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Brown Sugar Pound Cake

 Brown Sugar Pound Cake
Merry Christmas, Charis.  I hear you like Pound Cake!

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This was really easy to make and wrap up as a gift.  The bottom and sides were firm and crusty so I just put it on a piece of fresh parchment paper after it cooled, wrapped it in plastic wrap, and tied a bow.  Tada!  A yummy gift.

Brown Sugar Pound Cake
Compliments of JennaDish

from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook

MAKES ONE 9" LOAF, SERVES 8

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. with a rack in the center.  Butter a 9" loaf pan; line with parchment paper, and butter and flour the paper; tap out the excess flour.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 4 minutes.  Add vanilla and almond extracts; mix until combined.  Drizzle in beaten eggs, a little at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition.

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

Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and mix, on low speed, just until the flour is incorporated.  Using a spatula, spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake until richly browned on top and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.  Run a knife around inside of pan, and turn out cake and remove the parchment.  Wrap in plastic wrap, store at room temperature up to 2 days.

Tip to Self: I only cooled it in the pan on a wire rack about 10 minutes before lifting it out of the pan by the parchment.  Then I placed it back on the rack which helped it to cool faster out of the pan.  Also, it did take the full 45 minutes using the regular oven setting (not convection).  After 35 and even 40 minutes, it was still soft and jiggly in the middle.

Gingerbread Elephants Walking Through Seafoam Rice Krispie Treats

 

Rice Krispie Treats

I know.  I know.  You're thinking, "Oh, she just named this post 'Gingerbread Elephants Walking Through Seafoam Rice Krispie Treats' because it's such a popular phrase in the search engines."

Well, now, believe it or not, it's not as popular as you would think.

Whoops.  Before I forget…

Happy Birthday Alyssa! 

This strange concoction is the result of Alyssa requesting Rice Krispie Treats for her birthday and me trying to pimp it out to look more fun!  I happened to be making Gingersnaps for Jill to take to a Winter Solstice Party when the following stupendous idea popped into my head…  Hey!  I have elephant cookie cutters!  Hey!  Alyssa loves elephants!!  Hey!  Why don't I make elephant cookies and somehow (key word here) incorporate them into boring old Rice Krispie Treats! and Hey! Maybe I could tint the marshmallow mixture. 

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Rice Krispie Treats are extremely complicated to make and should be attempted only by the most talented artisans, like myself. 

However, for those brave enough to engage in this bold venture, you will find the recipe on the side of a box of Rice Krispies Cereal.  Basically, you need some unsalted butter to melt in a pan (add a few drops of food coloring during this step), a bag of marshmallows to stir into the melted butter, remove pan from heat, stir in box of cereal, plop into a buttered 13×9 dish and press down gently and evenly.

I feel goofy even explaining how to make this treat, but I did hear of someone the other day who didn't know how they were made.  So there.  Now you know.

 

 

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Gingersnaps or Pepparkakor

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This is a great cookie to make if you don't want a sickeningly sweet dessert, or if you are sending a variety of cookies as a gift and the others are heavier, such as chocolate or iced.

They have a definite "snap" – ooh, good for dunking.

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Perfect for making the dough ahead and freezing.  Thawing is very quick and working with very cold dough is so much easier than simply chilling it for an hour.

 

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You can use any shape but I would stick with a small, simple shape, about 3 inches.  Why?  Well, if you use a gingerbread man shape, remember these cookies are a bit harder on purpose.  Some people might think you are serving them hard gingerbread men rather than ginger snaps. 

You need to be really careful with humans. They're so fragile and easily confused. 

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Flour your surface generously, especially the middle of your dough.  It tends to stick more.

So, is it Ginger Snaps or Gingersnaps?  Oh, Hell's Bells, I don't know.

 
Ginger Snaps (Pepparkakor)
Compliments of JennaDish

from A Baker's Field Guide to Christmas Cookies

Makes 100 3" cookies

3 1/2 cups all -purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 large egg
3/4 cup unsulfured molasses
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest

Whisk flour and baking soda together in a small bowl.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes.  Add sugar gradually, beating until light and sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in spices, then beat in egg, molasses, and orange zest until well blended.  Add about onethird of flour mixture and mix on low speed.  Gradually add remaining flour, mixin just until blended.  Scrape dough onto large piece of plastic wrap.  Use wrap to help shape into 3 flat discs, then cover completely with wrap.  Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to develop.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Roll out one disc at a time to 1/8" thickness on lightly floured surface; you may need to flour the rolling pin too.  Make sure they are rolled out this thinly, as the quality – the "snap" – of the finished cookie depends on it.  Cut out cookies with cutters and place 1 inch apart on cookie sheets.  Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake until dry and light golden brown on bottom and can be gently lifted from the sheet, about 9 minutes.  Let cool on sheets on racks for a couple of minutes, then carefully transfer to racks to cool completely.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
No you don't have to put red hots and sprinkles on your cookies.  Or you can.  Your call.

These are from a Martha Stewart recipe that uses toasted wheat germ to make them "hearty." 

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Compliments of JennaDish

from Martha Stewart's Cookies

MAKES ABOUT 5 DOZEN

Martha says you can substitute dried cranberries, sour cherries or chopped apricots for the raisins.  To make oatmeal-chocolate chunk cookies, substitute 12 ounces good-quality chocolate, coarsely chopped, for the raisins.

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Stir together oats, flour, wheat germ, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.

Put butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Mix in eggs and vanilla.  Reduce speed to low.  Add oat mixture; mix until just combined.  Mix in raisins.

Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart.  Flatten slightly.

Bake until golden and just set, about 14 minutes, rotating halfway through.  Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes.  Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely.  Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

 

 

Gingerbread Cookies

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Although Jillian is a talented artist who is part of an ensemble of student artists associated with the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, she finds it amazingly difficult to decorate a cookie.

(These were decorated by Alyssa and myself except for one. Read on.)

She put icing on an angel and covered it in black sugar.  I remember buying some black decorating sugar  for Halloween and never using it).  A Dark Angel for Christmas.  Really Jillian?  She did do a great job, however, with the candy cane above, incorporating black sugar in with all the bright-colored jimmies and non-pareils.  I need to remember that next year.

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But basically Jillian was encouraged to go relax on the couch while Alyssa and I finished up.

 
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Why is there a picture of a candle and cookie decorations?

Well, some dumb arse collided into a metro bus a couple blocks away, which collided into a utility pole, which knocked out the electricity to our entire 25-story building.  So Alyssa decorated awhile by candlelight.

We make these every single year.  We can't not make gingerbread cookies for Christmas.  It cannot be done.

Gingerbread People
Compliments of JennaDish

from A Baker's Field Guide to Christmas Cookies by Dede Wilson

Makes about 45 3" cookies

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed dark or light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
1 large egg

Decoration:  The downright easiest icing is to take about 1 cup of confectioner's sugar and mix with a teaspoon or two of milk until very thick, adding a tiny bit of milk as needed.  Drizzle on cookies and sprinkle with colored sugar or other decorations while wet.  This icing dries well but will never harden like royal icing. The trick is to cover with sprinkles enough to firm it up.  You still need to be careful to not smash or smear the icing.

Cookie Directions:

Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes.  Add brown sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes; beat in spices.  Beat in molasses and egg, beating well after each.  Add about one-third of flour and mix on low speed.  Gradually add remaining flour, mixing just until blended.  Scrape dough onto large piece of plastic wrap.  Use wrap to help shape into a large, flat disc then cover with wrap.  Refrigerate until firm enough to roll out, at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 2 cookies sheets with parchment paper.

Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness on lightly floured surface.  Cut out gingerbread people or any other shape of your choice.  Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.  Place similar-sized cookies on same sheet.

Bake until just light golden brown around edges and the edges feel dry and firm to touch, about 12 minutes, depending on size. Cool in pans on racks for a few minutes, then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.

For decorations, place royal icing in a parchment cone, snip a tiny opening, and pipe small dotes of icing where you would like the cinnamon red-hot candies to go.