Friday, November 27, 2009

Pumpkin Cookies

1 large can of pumpkin
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups of sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
Combine wet ingredients and add to:
5 cups of flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
3 tsp. pumpkin spice
Cook at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes or until edges are LIGHTLY browned.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cube of butter (1/2 cup)
8 oz. of cream cheese
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
soften butter and cream cheese. Blend ingredients until smooth. Sprinkle with chopped nuts if desired.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Favorite Rolls

A couple of years ago, I set forth on a mission to find the perfect roll recipe. I was disappointed by several (even Martha's! For shame!) before my friend, Wendy, invited me (OK, so I invited myself) to her home to make rolls with her. And? Mission accomplished! These are now my go-to rolls for Thanksgiving and any other roll occasion.

The recipe:

Combine 2 cups warm water (about 104 deg.), 2 tablespoons yeast, and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let sit 5 minutes. Add 2 sticks butter (melted and cooled--again about 104 deg.), 3 beaten eggs, 1 cup sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 8 cups flour. Mix and knead dough. Let sit until doubled. Punch down.

(I let mine rise in the fridge overnight. If you do this, you have to get the dough to warm up a bit before rolling it out or it is too difficult to work with.)

Take a grapefruit-sized wad of dough and roll it out on a floured surface into a circle that is 1/4-inch thick. With a pizza cutter, cut the circle into 12 triangles. (You'll do this 4 times, making 48 rolls total.)
Roll triangles up from wide end. Place point down onto a greased baking sheet. (You've practiced this technique with Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, right?!) Cover and let rise until doubled. Bake at 375 for 12-14 minutes, until golden.

Enjoy! Savor! Eat as many as you want--it's the holidays!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Oatmeal Carmelitas

oatmeal carmelitas

64 caramels (I always throw in a few more)
2/3 c. minus 2TB (10 TB total) canned milk or cream

Melt caramels in cream in a double boiler. (I don't have a double boiler so I just put them in a saucepan on low heat.)

Dough: (mix 2x for top and bottom... or just double and split in half)
1 c. flour
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. quick oats
3/4 c. melted butter
1/4 tsp. salt

2 c. (12 oz) chocolate chips
1 c. chopped nuts

Mix dough. Stir until butter is absorbed and mixture is crumbly. Press in cookie pan 10x15. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts. Cover with caramel mixture, spreading carefully. Sprinkle with second dough mixture. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Cut into squares.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Perfect Apple Pie

by Jenny

Pie Dough
2 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
1 tsp salt
2 T. sugar
½ c. vegetable shortening, chilled
12 T. cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼ -inch pieces
6-8 T. ice water

I usually make my crust in a food processor, but I used a mixer this day, both work well. Just remember that an overworked crust is a yucky crust. The first step in making this crust is to combine the flour, salt and sugar in the food processor. Add the shortening and process it until the mixture has the texture of coarse sand. Scatter the butter pieces into the mixture and mix in until you have the texture of coarse crumbs (keep the butter bits about pea size). After this you can add the ice cold water a couple of tablespoons at a time until the mixture sticks together. Divide the dough into two parts and flatten them each into small disks, then wrap each one in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour (you can use it for up to two days after you make it). Not only is it easier to work with dough when it’s cool, but it also makes for a flakier crust.

Apple Pie Filling
2 T. unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
6 or 7 large apples (choose three varieties, such as Fuji, Honey Crisp, Granny Smith etc)
1 T. juice and 1 tsp grated zest from 1 lemon
¾ c. plus 1 T. sugar
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
¼ tsp salt
1 large egg white, beaten lightly

Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position in the oven, place a rimmed baking sheet on it, and heat the oven to 500 degrees. Remove one piece of dough from the refrigerator and roll it out (I usually roll out my dough between two pieces of plastic wrap so it doesn’t slide around, and so it’s easier to move to the pan.). Transfer the dough to a 9 inch pie plate, let the dough overhang a little so you have room to seal the edge. Refigerate the dough-lined pie plate.

Peel, core and slice the apples and toss with lemon juice and zest. In a smaller bowl combine the flour, sugar and spices and then add it to the apples. Turn the apples (and the juices) into the chilled pie shell and mound it slightly in the center (I personally think apple pie should highlight the apples so I tend to use a lot of apples in my pies, but I won’t be offended if you use less).

Roll out the second piece of pie dough and place it over the filling. Tuck the folds of dough underneath itself and then flute the edges or press with the tines of a fork to seal it. Cut 4 slits on the top of the pie to let out steam. Brush egg white over the top and sprinkle lightly with sugar.

Place the pie on the baking sheet and lower the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Bake the pie until the top crust is golden, about 20 minutes. Rotate the pie from front to back and reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees; continue baking until the juices bubble and the crust is deep golden brown, about 30 minutes longer. Remove from the oven (and don’t drop it on the floor like I did recently) and let it cool (I’m always impatient about this and never last long, although this pie tastes especially good the day after it’s made). ENJOY!