Posts Tagged 'holidays'

IMPORTANT STEP NOT – Homemade Ladyfingers

ladyfingers

Don’t miss this! This recipe is an essential part of tomorrow’s pumpkin tiramisu recipe, which is pretty rich, if I do say so myself. So much for easing into things this week.

Here’s the thing, you can totally skip this step and buy ladyfingers at your grocer. Whatever, I was just trying to be double cool.  Don’t know if it was worth it. You might try doubling the recipe also. I found myself wishing for a few more ladyfingers for the tiramisu.

So important, not,

L

Ladyfingers

Adapted from Joy of Baking

1/2 cup (65 grams) cake flour, sifted

3 large egg yolks, room temperature

2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated white sugar, divided

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large egg whites, room temperature

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

3 tablespoons (36 grams) granulated white sugar

Powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Have ready a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch round tip, or just snip a medium-sized bit off the end of a piping bag.

Wipe out the bowl of the electric mixer with a vinegar-soaked paper towel. Using with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until foamy.  Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form.  Gradually add the 3 tablespoons white sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Remove the egg whites to a bowl.

In the electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons (25 grams) white sugar on high speed for about 5 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick and pale yellow.  (When you raise the beaters the batter should fall back into the bowl in a slow ribbon.)  Beat in the vanilla extract.  Sift the cake flour over the batter but do not fold in yet. Add the egg whites, then fold the whites into the egg yolk and flour mixture in three additions, mixing only until incorporated. 

Pipe the batter in 3 inch sections, leaving about a 1 inch space between the cookies.  

Place the powdered sugar in a wire strainer, and sift over the tops of the cookies.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the ladyfingers are firm but barely browned and are still spongy when pressed.

Remove the baking sheets from the oven and slide the parchment paper from the baking sheets onto a wire rack.  Let the ladyfingers cool for a few minutes and release them from the parchment paper, with a  spatula.  Finish cooling on a wire rack.  If you are not using the ladyfingers right away, freeze them in a plastic bag.

Makes about 4 1/2 dozen 3 -inch ladyfingers.

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Pipe Dream #162: To Get Fibrous – Coconut Oatmeal Chewy Cookies

Hm, these cookies. They were pretty simple. I figured we could ease back in to things after the holidays, you see. Wouldn’t want to make you sick thinking of things like this chocolate peanut butter cake I busted out while I was away…

reeses cake 1

Mostly I just wanted an excuse to try this frosting. Now. Cookies. I made them after work, and was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked them. Normally I don’t think much of coconut, but it added a nice texture to these cookies. Combined with oats, they are practically health food. Mid-week fiber, man.

Typical cookie prep. Mix ’til fluffy Dry ingredients. Scoop. Bake. Eat while warm. Or cool.

Here for all your mid-week cravings/nutrient needs,

L

Coconut Oatmeal Chewy Cookies

Slightly adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

2/3 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup (2 sticks), butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoons salt
2-½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup quick oats

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the dry ingredients (if you’re really on top of things, you could sift the dry ingredients together first), and mix until combined. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased or lined baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until the cookies are set but not overly browned. If you want them crispy, you could go a few minutes longer…but why would you want that?

Pipe Dream #153: To De-Frag – Creamy Peanut Butter Desert Fudge

I had a few concerns about posting this recipe. Ok, I had just one concern.

I felt that the visuals were below par. You may note the extremely fragged top of these fudge squares. FraggED due to my impatience and disinterest in being perfect.

But here’s the thing. I got over my concern pretty quickly, given the fact that this recipe is  a must-make for your next holiday gathering. Must. 1) It is super simple and no-fail. 2) It is highly, highly addictive, which means that you have to make it for an occasion or you will be eating all of it alone. I took mine to work, and people kept shooting me nasty emails like, “Lauren, why did you bring this in??? I’m on my third piece. I’m dying.” Or something like that.

Besides, I figured posting it would be good for my humility.

These are a few of my favorite things. White on white on white, which I hear is “fresh” these days.

And of course, my most favorite things. Combined. I am smiling just looking at those two together. Everyone knows they are such a great couple. Made for each other, probably.

Wonk-esque.

Now, all you have to do in order to make vast improvements on my fail of this recipe is to wait until the fudge is all the way set before you cut it. Just wait! Unless you are somewhat attracted to the arty cracks. You could, like, build a food landscape or something. Ooh! You could also dress up this fudge a little bit, sprinkling the tops with pralines or chocolate or drizzling with peanut butter before it is set. Wild.

Humbled ever and anon,

L

Creamy Peanut Butter Fudge

Adapted from Shugary Sweets

3 cups white sugar
¾ cups unsalted butter
1 pinch salt
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups white chocolate chips
7 ounces marshmallow cream
¾ cups creamy peanut butter

Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang of foil/paper on two sides of the pan to use as a handle later. Set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the sugar, butter, salt and heavy cream until combined. Bring to a rolling boil and stir continuously for 4 minutes.

While that mixture is heating, mix the white chocolate, marshmallow cream and peanut butter until well-blended.

After four minutes, immediately remove boiling mixture from heat.  Whisk in white chocolate/marshmallow cream/peanut butter mixture. Pour fudge into prepared pan and refrigerate for 3 hours. Do not be like me and become impatient, or you will have desert fudge on your hands.

Remove fudge from pan using the paper handles. Cut into pieces and store in an airtight container between wax paper layers.

Pipe Dream #97: To Raise Beautiful Chocolate Children – Whisky Truffles

Making candy is like raising a child. You’ve got to put a lot of love into it, you don’t always know what you’re doing, and sometimes you just have to cross your fingers and hope that things turn out. I say that like I  know anything about raising children. I’ve heard that is what raising children is like. Hi, Mom.

I pretty much faked my way through this recipe. It was 2 in the morning, I was making truffles for about 200 people, and I was distracted by the help. The recipe you will find below is lovely–I didn’t follow it. I added more chocolate (and whisky) to the ganache than I should have, I spent ages forming the not-so-excellent balls, and I dipped the truffles in more chocolate rather than coating them with nuts or cocoa.

Dipping the truffles turned out to be a challenge. In the first, perfect truffle you can see above and below, we managed a beautiful little chocolate swirl tail because the chocolate was at just the right temperature. (Never you mind the chocolate-encrusted fingernails–all of this was very sanitary. :]) Also, can I say that metallic food spray is the best? It makes everything better.

For the majority though, the chocolate was not quite at the right temp, so…

We birthed little baby birds. They were perfect.

Crossing my fingers,

L

Chocolate Whisky Truffles

Adapted pretty heavily from Joy of Baking

16 ounces (454 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces

1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream (double cream) (35-40% butterfat)

2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons whisky (cognac, brandy, Grand Marnier, kirsch, or rum would work also)

Place 8 ounces of chopped chocolate in a medium sized heatproof bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil.  Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for a minute or two. Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. (If the chocolate doesn’t melt completely, place in the microwave for about 20 seconds, or over a saucepan of simmering water, just until melted.) If desired, add the liqueur. Cover and place in the refrigerator until the truffle mixture is firm (this will take several hours or overnight). I think I added more chocolate than I should have, making the ganache firm up a little too well. If you make your ganache correctly, follow the next steps to the tee. If you mess up, you’ll have to scrunch the chocolate together with your fingers. 

Place your coatings for the truffles on a plate. Remove the truffle mixture from the refrigerator. With your hands, a small ice cream scoop, a melon baller, or a small spoon form the chocolate into round or mis-shaped bite-sized balls. Immediately roll the truffle in the coating (or dip in melted chocolate) and place on a parchment lined baking sheet or tray. Cover and place in the refrigerator until firm. Truffles can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks or else frozen for a couple of months. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Makes 30 small truffles.


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