Archive for June, 2009

Raspberry Chiffon Pie

June 25, 2009
Raspberry Chiffon Pie

Raspberry Chiffon Pie

Last winter I purchased a copy of “The Best of America’s Test Kitchen, Best Recipes and Reviews 2008”. I think I bought it solely for the recipe for Raspberry Chiffon Pie, but then there is a gorgeous photo of a Lemon Layer Cake on the cover that was probably a draw as well. So, here we are six or more months later and I haven’t made a single recipe out of that magazine.

We still have raspberries in the freezer from our bumper crop last summer so when my husband asked me what I wanted for my recent birthday the Raspberry Chiffon Pie immediately came to mind. I was a bit hesitant to ask him to make it because he is more of a cook than a baker. The science of measuring ingredients is something that I think he finds tedious and he often wings it instead of measuring carefully. Sometimes you can get by with that, and sometimes you can’t, but I knew he really wanted to make something for me, and he was willing to go for it.

The results are fantastic. This is quite possibly the most wonderful raspberry pie I’ve ever had! It was really hot here the day he made it so I encouraged him to use a no bake ‘Nilla Wafer crust, and since there were only two of us to celebrate we opted for a can of Redi-Whip. We’ve been topping individual pieces as we eat our way through the pie. We could share with friends and neighbors, but we’ve been keeping it to ourselves. I know I’ll be making extra trips to the gym to work off this indulgence!

Click here for the full recipe on the Cook’s Country website.

And thank you to my husband for making this for me. It is a big treat!!

Super Simple Sticky Buns

June 22, 2009
Super Simple Sticky Buns

Super Simple Sticky Buns

PJ Hamel from King Arthur Flour recently wrote about these rolls on the Baker’s Banter blog. As soon as I read her entry I knew I would have to make these sooner rather than later. I believe the recipe was inspired by one  in the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Last winter I made numerous loaves of bread from the book, but I haven’t tried any of the sweeter breads from there until now.

This recipe is “ridiculously” simple to make. I didn’t have any of the Sticky Bun Sugar, or Baker’s Cinnamon Sugar so I made the substitutions suggested in the recipe. You’ll find the recipe here. PJ’s blog entry about how to make them is here. You’ll also notice she recorded a You Tube video about making them.

You can  mix these up with a big spoon and a 6 quart container. No kneading. No kidding. I chose to leave my pecans in halves instead of chopping them. I knew that not everyone would want the nuts and they would be easier to pick off that way and share. I recommend only making what you’ll serve warm. We all agreed that they’re excellent warm out of the oven, but I didn’t like the texture of the topping when I reheated one to eat the next day. I will definitely make these again, and my 19 year old son wondered if he could make them on his own in his new apartment. The answer is, definitely! Go for it!!

I have more dough in the fridge that I could use to make challah bread, more sticky buns, or I might see what I think of regular cinnamon rolls out of the dough. They are so good and so easy! I might not ever make sticky buns the ‘hard’ way again. Thanks to PJ from King Arthur Flour, and Jeff and Zöe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

A twist on corn muffins

June 9, 2009
Savory Corn Muffins

Savory Corn Muffins

These muffins are based on Bobby Flay’s, Mesa Grill, Blue Corn Muffins. I found the original recipe here, but I made a lot of changes based on what I had available.

For starters I traded out the red onions for chives from our garden. The chives are beautiful this year and I’ve been trying to dream up ways to use them. I omitted the red bell peppers because they don’t agree with either of us, and I accidentally omitted the corn. I would like to make them again and I’ll be sure to put the corn in next time, even though they are excellent without it. My local grocery store doesn’t carry blue corn meal so I subbed some course ground yellow corn meal.

Historically I’ve leaned toward sweeter corn breads while my husband has always preferred less sweet corn breads. These are great because they don’t have much sweetness but the savory additions made it so that I didn’t miss the sugar.

The cilantro came up on it’s own this year, and that makes me happy because last year we hardly got any cilantro from the garden. I was a bit timid with the jalapeno and seeded it because I was afraid it would be overpowering but next time I’m using seeds and all because while the jalapeno was there, the cilantro was the dominant flavor despite the amount of garlic and jalapeno in the recipe.

Here is the recipe as I made it, and I’m going to rename it Savory Corn Muffins.

Savory Corn Muffins

3/4 c. coarsely ground yellow corn meal (I used stone ground Hodgson Mill)

1/2 c. all purpose flour

1 1/2 t. baking powder

1/4 t. baking soda

1/4 t. salt

1/2 stick of butter (4 tablespoons)

1/4 c. chopped chives (I was quite generous with this measurement)

1/2 c. milk

2 large eggs

1 jalapeno, finely diced

1 T. finely chopped cilantro

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a six cup muffin tin with non stick cooking spray.

In a small bowl stir together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the chives and the garlic and saute until the garlic just starts to turn golden on some of the edges.

In a large bowl whisk together the milk, eggs, butter mixture, honey, jalapeno and cilantro.

Add the dry ingredients to the milk and egg mixture, and mix until just combined.

Divide the batter evenly to make six muffins. Bake for 14-16 minutes.

Tex Mex Chocolate Cookies

June 9, 2009

Tex Mex Chocolate Cookies 004Try these cookies! They’re like drinking a fine wine. There is a complex layer of tastes. A first taste, a mouth taste, and a lingering after taste. They might even pair well with a good red wine, but I didn’t have any around to try out that notion.  The recipe comes from Anna at Cookie Madness. I’m a devoted reader of her blog, and I don’t know why I waited so long to try these.

There is a surprise ingredient and it’s fun to let people guess what it is. Out of twelve friends only one came close when she guessed chili powder. The surprise ingredient is chipotle powder so she was very close!

I took these cookies on a retreat and everyone loved them. I also left some at home for my husband and his reaction was sort of humorous. His comment was that he wasn’t sure he liked them but he enjoyed every last one of them while trying to decide. He says I’ll have to make more! Too funny!!

I live in central Minnesota and chipotle powder was not to be found at any of the local grocery stores, so I got mine at Penzey’s in Minneapolis. If you can’t find it where you live you might consider ordering it from Penzey’s.

The recipe can be found here. I didn’t make any changes. When you look at Anna’s photo you’ll notice that she didn’t chop her nuts as finely as I did. Next time I’ll leave mine a little bigger too.