Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunny Morning Doughnuts

These are easy and delicious cake-style doughnuts. I made the dough Saturday night and then we fried them this morning for a yummy Sunday breakfast. The recipe calls for a dusting of powdered sugar, but I made a glaze of powdered sugar, milk and orange extract. The doughnut holes were everyone's favorites. I halved the recipe and it made more than enough to fill our family. The extras actually improved during the day and made yummy snacking treats!

-Taste of Home, Sherry Flaquel

Full recipe:
4-1/2 - 5 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
2 Tbsp. orange juice
4 tsp. grated orange peel
Oil for deep-fat frying
Confectioner's sugar (or glaze using powdered sugar, milk, orange extract)

In a large bowl, combine 4-1/2 cups flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. combine the eggs, milk, oil, orange juice and peel; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Overnight)

Turn onto a floured surface, roll to 1/2-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 2-1/2-in. doughnut cutter. In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375. Fry doughnuts, a few at a time, until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Dust with confectioners' sugar (or dip in glaze).

Crisp Crust Pizza

I have made my fair share of homemade pizzas - as you can see by the well-used pizza stone pictured above. However; I was always missing the perfect crisp crust. Either the crust was soft all the way through, or it was crisp all the way through and tasted more like a cracker - not really what I like in a pizza. I have been studying several bread books, mostly trying to learn how to make a great baguette. This recipe comes from the Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. For the sauce we used 6-and-1 tomatoes - they make all the difference! Saying that this got rave reviews would be an understatement - we all loved it!

Personal notes: Best flavor if the dough is refrigerated for 24 hours. Remove it from the fridge, and start process 1 1/2 hours before you want to eat.

1 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp. King Arthur Italian-style or All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp. instant yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup water, room temp (70-90 degrees)
olive oil

1 - One hour before shaping (or for best flavor development, 8-24 hrs ahead), mix the dough. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, instant yeast, and sugar. Whisk in the salt (this keeps the yeast from coming into direct contact with the yeast, which would kill it). Make a well in the center and pour in the water. Using a rubber spatula or woden spoon, gradually stir in the four into the water until all the flour is moistened and a dough just begins to form, about 20 seconds. It should come away from the bowl but still stick to it a little, and be a little rough looking, not silky smooth. Do not overmix, as this wil cause the dough to become stickier.

2-Let the dough rise. Oil bottom and sides of a 4-cup bowl (to give the dough room to double in size). Place dough in bowl and turn to coat all sides with oil. Cover it tightly. If you want to use it soon, allow it to sit at room temperature for 1 hour or until doubled. For best flavor development, make the dough at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours ahead, and allow it to sit at room temperature for only 30 minutes or until slightly puffy. Then set the dough, still in the bowl, in the refrigerator. Remove it 1 hour before you want to put it in the oven.

3-Prepare the sauce. (We used 6-in-1 tomatoes, 2 tsp. finely shredded fresh basil, 1 tsp. dried oregano, salt to taste. This makes enough for 3-4 pizzas.)

4-Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 475 1 hour before baking. Have an oven shelf at the lowest level and place a baking sone on it before preheating.

5-Shape the pizza and let it rise. With oiled fingers, lift the dough out of the bowl. (I shaped our pizza on a piece of parchment). Press down with your fingers to deflate it gently. Shape it into a smooth round by tucking under the edges. if there are any holes, knead it very lighty until smooth. Allow the dough to sit for 15 minutes, covered, to relax it.

Using your fingertips, press the dough from the center to the outer edge to stretch it into a 15-inch circle, leaving the outer 1/2" thicker than the rest to form a lip. If the dough resists stretching, cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for a few minues longer before proceeding. Brush the surface of the dough with any remaining olive oil. Cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to sit for 30-45 minutes, until it becomes light and slightly puffy with air.

6- Bake the pizza. Set the pizza pan directly on the hot stone and bake for 5 minutes. (I transfered the dough + parchment to the stone with a flat baking sheet)

7-Add the toppings. Remove the pizza & parchment from the oven and spread the tomato sauce on the dough, leaving a narrow border. Add shredded mozzarella. Top with additional toppings - we used ham and pepperoni. (I removed the parchment and put the pizza directly on the pizza stone using the flat baking sheet.) Bake for 5-10 minutes more or until cheese is melted and the crust golden.

8-Serve the pizza. Transfer the pizza to a cutting board and cut with a pizza wheel, sharp knife, or scissors.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Piggie Cookies

I saw these on a magazine cover while trying to usher my children out of Home Depot. I believe it was a Taste of Home booklet, but I'm not sure. Super cute!

Tint your sugar cookie dough and frosting pink.
Use 2 1/2" biscuit or cookie cutter.
Mini chocolate chips for eyes.
Halve a large marshmallow for snout and cut small holes for nostrils.
Butterscotch chips for nostrils
Cut corners off strawberry wafer cookies for ears.

Sugar Cookie Tip

I think I originally saw this on Martha Stewart and it has revolutionized my sugar cookie making. Roll your dough directly on a Silpat. Cut your shapes, keeping in mind space for spreading. Remove excess and transfer Silpat to baking pan and bake as normal. No more smashed and distorted shapes!

Quick Cobbler

I can't believe I haven't posted this recipe. It's one of my favorites and comes from my mom, via my aunt from a Pinetop Ward cookbook. I recently tried a new recipe from a Relief Society pamphlet I got from our Stake at BYU and it was also delicious. The batter is essentially the same, but I'll include both here.

Quick Peach Cobbler
- Pinetop Ward

While preheating oven to 375.
Melt 1 stick of margarine in 8-inch square baking dish. (If you prefer a thin crust, use a 9x13 pan).

Meanwhile mix together:
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Mix until batter is smooth. Remove pan from oven after margarine has melted. Evenly pour batter mixture into the pan.

Add: 1 large can sliced peaches (28 oz - juice and all) * 1 qt. home-canned peaches are best
Sprinkle with: 1/4 cup sugar and some cinnamon over the top.

Bake until crust is golden brown and cooked thoroughly - about 45 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

Fruit Cobbler
-BYU 6th Stake

Heat together:
2 cups fruit (I used a whole package of frozen mixed berries 3 cups)
3 tsp. margarine or butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder

Pour the batter into a buttered 3-quart casserole dish, or a 9x13 baking pan. Top with the heated fruit mixture. Bake 350 degrees, 35-45 minutes. (Fruit will be very runny, but will thicken upon cooling).

Picasso Pops

These pops are super fun and easy! The kids and I did a test run before Paige's birthday party and they were a big hit. Make sure you leave room for spreading and the sticks.

-Better Homes and Gardens

Hard candies - we used lifesavers
Lollipop sticks

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil; set aside. Leave some candies whole. To coarsely crush some hard candies, place some in a large heavy resealable plastic bag. Place bag on a cutting board. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to crush candies into small chunks.

2. Arrange the crushed candies and whole candies 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick on the prepared baking sheet in varying shapes and sizes. Or, fill the inside of a metal cookie cutter with crushed candies for a more defined shape; carefully lift cutter from baking sheet before baking. Or arrange whole pieces of candy in varying designs and shapes. Make only three or four lollipops at a time; space them at least 2 inches apart on the baking sheet to allow room to insert the sticks after they bake.

3. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until candies completely melt. Remove from oven and immediately attach a stick to the base of each shape, twisting the stick to cover the end with melted candy. If desired, press additional small decorative candies into the hot lollipops. Cool completely on the foil. When the lollipops are cool, peel off the foil. Makes 8 to 10 lollipops.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Petite Sticky Buns

I love my Taste of Home magazine! This recipe comes from the May 2009 issue. I've had lots of sticky buns before, but loved the ease of making these in muffin tins. Right out of the oven, these are light and airy and I liked the addition of maple flavoring to the sugar mixture. This makes 24 and I only had muffin tins for 18, so mine had a little more 'bun' than they are supposed to, but they were a big hit and perfect for our Sunday breakfast.

-Taste of Home, Lisa Naugle

3 to 3-¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 pkg. active dry yeast (2 ½ tsp)
1 tsp. salt
1 ¼ cups milk
¼ cup butter, cubed
1 egg

1 cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup butter, cubed
¾ cup chopped pecans, toasted
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. maple flavoring

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add egg; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a firm dough (dough will be sticky). Do not knead. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.

In a small saucepan over low heat, cook topping ingredients until butter is melted. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls into 24 well-greased muffin cups.

Stir dough down. Fill greased muffin cups half-full. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Place muffin cups on foil-lined baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. (Remember if you have dark pans to reduce temperature 25°.) Cool for 2 minutes before inverting onto baking sheets. Transfer to serving platters. Serve warm.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Flower Cup Quiche

How cute are these?! These particular flowers have a quiche filling, but I think it would also be great to make a sweet version using lemon pie filling.

I didn't have any sugar snap peas or celery, so I just cut leaves out of some romaine lettuce with my kitchen shears.

-Fairies Cookbook, via Gourmet Mom on-the-go

Filling Ingredients:
1/4 c. grated parmesean cheese
1/4 c. grated cheese, any flavor (we used a cheddar blend)
3 eggs
2 T. light sour cream
2 T. fat free half & half (or milk)
dash salt & pepper, to taste
any other finely chopped ingredients you want (ham, peppers, sausage, onion, mushrooms, whatever)

Other Ingredients:
1 package refrigerated piecrusts (2 in a pack)
4 Cherry tomatoes, sliced
Sugar Snap Peas or celery, for stems
Flower Cookie Cutter (My Wilton flower cookie cutter worked great)

Preheat oven to 375. In a medium bowl, mix all filling ingredients. Set aside. Spray nonstick cooking spray on a mini-muffin pan. Unroll piecrusts and use cookie cutter to cut flowers.

Gently press flowers into mini-muffin pan, leaving some space between each one. Fill with about 1 T. filling mixture. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes, until crust is lightly browned and filling is set.

Let cool slightly, remove from pan and garnish with a slice of cherry tomato and sugar snap peas for the stem/leaves.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Cheese Sauce over Cauliflower

For some people, comfort food is mac & cheese or fried chicken. For me, nothing makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside like a good meatloaf served with cheese sauce over cauliflower and a fresh garden salad. Brandon was not too crazy about this one making the food blog, but I looove this - maybe you will too.

-Mom Pulsipher

1 large head cauliflower
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
1-1/2 to 2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp. white pepper

Cut cauliflower florets and steam until tender. Salt lightly.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add flour and stir until blended. Slowly whisk in milk and continue whisking until thickened. Add cheese and stir until melted. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed.

Place cauliflower in serving dish and top with cheese sauce.