Christmas Divinity

This recipe really does best if you have TWO coooks working together!!

Ingredients:

4 cups granulated sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup of water

1/4 tsp salt

3 egg whites (room temperature)

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1 tsp vanilla

red food coloring

Directions:

Combine; sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt in heavy saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture starts to boil. Continue cooking until forms a soft ball when tested in bowl of ice cold water. Meantime, beat egg whites until stiff. Pour in half of the syrup over whites, beating fast.

Continue to cook remaining syrup while beating egg whites, until syrup reaches the light crack stage when dropped in cold water (This happens suddenly!  You know the syrup is done when it floats on the water.) When this happens pour the remaining syrup over the egg white mixture, beating all the while. Continue beating until candy begins to hold its shape. Stir in vanilla and nuts(optional) and drops of food coloring until you reach the color you like.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper. Makes 50-60 pieces of divinity. This is another great shipping treat for your family and friends near and far from home!

Mackinac Fudge

In Lee Bennings book, “Oh Fudge: A Celebration of America’s Favorite Candy” I discovered about the closest fudge to what I use to buy when we’d go to the  upper Mackinac Island,  Michigan. Here it is, and  be prepared for a treat!!

1/2 Cup milk, 1/2 cup butter. 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/8 tsp sa;t. 1 tspvanilla, 2 cup nuts (opt), 

Mix milk, butter, brown sugar granulated sugar, and salt in heavy pan. Cook at medium heat for exactly 6 minutes, stir constantly! Remove from heat. Add vanilly and concfectionary sugar. beat with mixure until smooth and thick. Add nuts if desired. Pur into buttered GLASS pan and freeze 20 minutes. Cut into pieces. Makes about 1 pound of fudge. If you want to make peanut butter fudge reduce butter to 1/4 cup, and add 1/2 cup peanut butter. If you want Chocolate Mackinac Fudge, add 1/2 cup cocoa with your confectioners sugar. PERFECT HEAVEN!

Versatile Vanilla Cake

2 1/2 c all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) at room temperature

1 1/2 c granulated sugar

2 eggs plus 3 egg yolks(whites saved)

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup buttermilk ( no buttermilk, use plain yogurt or sour cream)

Whipped frosting:

3 egg whites

3/4 cup granulated sugar

pinch of salt

1/3 cup water

1/4 tsp vanilla

To Make Cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 8 inch cake pans, tapping out excess flour. In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low speed, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Alternately beat in flour mixture: mix just until combined.

Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake until cakes pull away from pans, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges pf pans and invert cakes onto wire rack. Let cool completely.

To Make Frosting:

In a heat proof bowl set over (not in) saucepan of simmering water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved (or mixture registers 150 degrees on an instant thermometer) about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium high heat until glossy, stiff peaks form (don’t over beat), about 3 minutes; reduce speed to low, add vanilla and beat just until combined. Use immediately. Makes 5 cups.

Place one cooled cake layer bottom side up, on a cake stand. Tuck strips pf parchment paper underneath. Using an offset spatula or table knife, spread top with frosting. Top with remaining cake; frost top, then sides. Store un-frosted cakes at room temperature up to 1 day. Once frosted, serve within hours.

Chocolate Variation: Reduce flour to 2 cups and add 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa. Top frosted cakes with shaved dark chocolate

Lemon Variation: Add 1 Tbs grated lemon zest to flour mixture. Omit vanilla and beat in 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice with buttermilk. While cakes are baking, bring 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice. Using a tooth pick, poke holes in warm cakes on rack and brush with lemon syrup. For frosting, substitute 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice for vanilla. Frost cooled cake.

Butter Crust Cinnamon Treats

DSC04741When I was a little girl Sunday was the best day of the week. My Mother would spend the day making  “Sunday Dinner” The smell of her special breads in the early morning, the fruit salads, chilling in the refrigerator, the seasonal vegetables, She would make one cake and three different pies. early in the day, and there was always double the pie crust, to make sure there were plenty of her famous Butter Crust Cinnamon Treats.

Those Sunday dinners taught me how to set a formal table, how important a good conversation was, the importance of good manners, and instilled in me a gratitude to the parents who raised me.

When I grew up and started my family, I instilled  the same experiences in their life. Now I share those times not only with my children but also my grandchildren.

I hope that you hand down the special traditions you experienced growing up. Remember this, some of our best memories often center around the foods we grew up with. Be sure you pass on those traditions with your loved ones. So enjoy this delectible treat as much as I have!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chilled sweetened butter (1 cube)

1/2 cup chilled butter flavored Crisco

2Tbs sugar

1/3 cup cold water, chilled with ice cubes

2-2 1/4 cups sifted all purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1Tbs ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

3 Tbs  sugar

Directions:

In a large bowl sift flour, sugar and salt. Cut cold butter into chucks and add to flour. Add Crisco. With a pastry cutter, or two knives cut butter and crisco into pea sized bit with the flour. Slowly add water, 1 TBS at a time gently blending, until dough sticks together and pulls away from sides of bowl.  DO NOT OVER HANDLE DOUGH!!!. Form into ball and chill in refrigerator covered about 1 hour. Flour your pastry board, and roll into about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. In a small bowl mix the cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg. Spread sugar mixture over rolled out pie crust. Roll crust up jellyroll fashion, Pinch ends together. Arrange in pie tin in a “C'” shape. Bake in preheated 375 degree F. oven until golden brown. Cool thoroughly. Cut into i inch slices. These are best after setting overnight, but don’t be surprised to see them disappear before they have a chance to “set”!!

*PS* I have used this same recipe to make small shortbread,  jam filled cookies. In this case, simply cut the crust into about 4-5 inch circles; place a small amount  about 1/2 tsp your choice of jam or lemon curd. Fold the cirle in half, pinch the edges together. Bake in the oven about 15 to 20 minutes. These are wonderful. The picture  included is of the jam filled treats. YUMMY!!!DSC04745

Rhubarb Custard Cake

Makes 15 servings

Ingredients:

1 18 1/4 ounce box white cake mix(Duncan Hines is definitely the best)

1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg(optional)

3 cups diced rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 pint whipping cream (2 cups)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to according to cake mix directions.

2. Prepare cake as directed on package. Add nutmeg to batter. Pour batter into an 11X15 baking pan.(A 9X13 pan won’t work unless the pan is very deep; add 5 minutes to baking time.)

3. At the last minute, toss the sugar with the rhubarb and sprinkle over the cake batter. Drizzle the entire pint of whipping cream over the batter and fruit; do not mix it in.

4. Bake about 35 minutes, or until the top pf the cake turns a light golden brown and begins to leave the sides of the pan. A tooth pick stuck into the cake part of the dessert should come out clean.

NOTE: This recipe was tested with a glass baking dish. If you use a metal pan, increase the temperature 25 degrees.

This recipe came from The Oregonian. It is wonderful!!

Warm Berries ‘n’ Dumplings

Posted On June 10, 2009

Filed under Desserts and Snacks

Comments Dropped leave a response

1 pound frozen mixed berries

1 Tbs fresh lemmon juice

6 Tbs plus 1 tsp granulated sugar (divided)

1/4 cup water

1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

2 Tbs unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk

1/8tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

In a medium skillet, cook berries, lemon juice, 4 Tbs sugar, and 1/4 cup water over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 11 to 13 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 2 Tbs sugar; add melted butter and buttermilk, and stir until moist dough forms. Dividing evenly, spoon 6 dollops of dough over fruit. Combine cinnamon and remaining 1 tsp sugar and sprinkle over dough.

Cover pan tightly with foil and cook over medium heat until dumplings are set and tops are dry to touch, about 15 minutes. Serve warm. YUMMY!!!

Michelle Obama’s Shortbread Cookies

Here is Michelle Obama’s cookie from the Oregonian. It is a good variation of a European version served with tea.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened (3 sticks)

1 1/2 cups plus 2 Tbs granulated sugar (divided)

2 egg yolks

2 Tbs amaretto (almond liqueur)

1 tsp grated orange zest

1 tsp lemon zest

3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg white beaten

chopped nuts or dried fruit (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 17X12X1 inch baking pan with foil. Butter the foil, or spray with non stick cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, cream together butter, 1 1/2 cup sugar. Slowly add egg yolks, and beat well until smooth. Beat in amaretto, and zests. Stir in flour and salt until combined.

3. Spread dough evenly in pan. Brush top with egg white; sprinkle with nuts or fruit, and remaining 2 Tbs of sugar.

4. Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown. Turn off oven, and allow cookies to sit in oven (door ajar) for 15 minutes. Cut white slightly warm.  this is a gret shipping cookie!

Cindy Mc Cain’s Oatmeal-Butterscotch cookies

One of the last memories of the presidential candidates was the favorite cookies of the competing First Ladies. I have tried both of them, and there are pros and cons to each. However, since I enjoy a moist plump cookie, Cindy’s got that award. The two recipes appeared in the Orgonian just before election day. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, or margarine, softened (1 1/2 sticks)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp ground cinamon

1/2 tsp salt

3 cups old fashioned oatmeal, uncooked

1 2/3 cups butterscotch chips

Instructions:

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees F.

1. In large bowl, beat the butter or margarine, along with granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, beating well.

2. In a medium bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, sinamon, and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stir until blended. Stir in oatmeal and butterscotch chips.

3. Drop by tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes, until edges begin to brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Makes 5 to 6 dozen. these freeze great, and the kids love them in their lunches!

Carmelized Apple Tart

This Recipe is from Australia, and is a great topper after a meal. Enjoy it!  Serves 4-6

60z (1 1/2 cubes) butter
165g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
2 tbs water
4 apples, peeled, cored and quartered

1 pie crust rolled out to about 1/4 inch thickness

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6( Which means in US heat oven to 400 degrees F.) Place an 18cm frying pan with an ovenproof handle over medium heat. Add the butter and allow to melt. Add the sugar and water and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved. Continue to cook for 5 minutes or until golden and syrupy. Add the apples and cook for 5 minutes. Allow the bubbles to subside then arrange the apple pieces in a circular pattern, core-side up, over the base of the frying pan.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 3mm thickness. Cut out a 24cm circle and place over the apples, tucking the edge under. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden. To serve, invert the tart onto a plate.

The Best Creamy Chocolate Frosting Ever!!!

This recipe is so easy is shouldn’t even be classied as a recipe. Two ingredients. The portions are 1:1, which means one cup heavy whipping cream, one chocolate chips. To frost a cake use 2 cups chips ( milk chocolate, semi sweet, just make sure you get good quality!) and two cups heavy cream. Get glass bowl, pour whipping cream into bowl. Set power on microwave at five. Heat whipping cream until it begins to warm. Add 2 cups chips to whipping cream. Set time for 10 minutes in the microwave. Stir occassionally, as the chocolate chips melt, and blend well with whip cream. When 10 minutes is done in microwave, remove bowl. Stir mix until evenly blended. Cover bowl, and set in refrigerator about two hours. Frosting thickens while setting. The is a great frosting on brownies or a moist chocolate cake! What is really great is you canmake as small of an amount as you want. Oone cupcake to frost, use 1/2 cup each. PERFECT!!

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