November 19, 2011

Thoroughbred Pie

  • 1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1. Cover pie shell with plastic wrap and refrigerate 40 minutes, then freeze 20 minutes. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line chilled pie shell with two 12-inch squares parchment paper, letting parchment hang over edges of dough. Top with pie weights and bake until surface of dough no longer looks wet, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • 2. Remove pie from oven and reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Carefully remove parchment and weights and sprinkle chocolate over bottom of hot crust. Let sit 5 minutes, then spread chocolate into even layer; set aside.
  • 3. Melt butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until butter is nutty brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Off heat, slowly stir in bourbon (mixture will bubble strongly) and let cool 5 minutes.
  • 4. Whisk granulated sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt in large bowl until combined. Add eggs, yolk, and vanilla, whisking until smooth. Slowly whisk in warm butter mixture until incorporated. Stir in walnuts and pour filling into chocolate-lined crust. Bake until filling is puffed and center jiggles slightly when pie is gently shaken, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on wire rack 4 hours. Serve with Bourbon Whipped Cream. (Pie can be refrigerated, covered, for 2 days.)

Macadamia Eggnog Creams

Makes 5 dozen 3-inch star cookies
You can use cutters of various sizes and shapes for this cookie, but we prefer stars.
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 cup eggnog plus 2 additional tablespoons
  • 1 large egg
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened but still cool
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup whole macadamia nuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1. Whisk flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt together in medium bowl. Whisk 1/2 cup eggnog and egg together in measuring cup. With electric mixer, beat butter and granulated and brown sugars together on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add flour mixture and eggnog mixture alternately, in two batches, beating after each addition until incorporated. Divide dough into quarters and wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  • 2. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • 3. Using rolling pin, roll each dough quarter into 12-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Cut with 3-inch star cutter and transfer to prepared baking sheets (scraps can be re-rolled once). Bake until lightly browned around edges, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating rack position and direction of baking sheets halfway through baking time. Cool cookies completely on baking sheets. Use remaining dough to make second batch of cookies.
  • 4. When cookies have cooled, whisk remaining 2 tablespoons eggnog and rum together in medium bowl. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Spoon glaze over cookies and sprinkle with nuts. Do not touch until glaze sets, about 30 minutes.

Fluffy Make-Ahead Dinner Rolls

Makes 15 large rolls
Don't get the milk mixture too hot or the dough won't rise.
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons for bowl and baking dish
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 5-5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon yeast (rapid rise or instant)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large egg, plus1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When oven reaches 200 degrees, shut oven off. Grease large bowl with 1 tablespoon butter. Line 13 by 9-inch baking dish with foil, leaving overhang on all sides. Grease foil with 1 tablespoon butter.
  • 2. Place milk, honey, shortening, and remaining 3 tablespoons butter in large measuring cup. Microwave on high power until milk is warm (110 degrees) and butter and shortening begin to melt, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir well.
  • 3. Mix 4 1/2 cups flour, yeast, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn mixer to low and slowly add milk mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium, add 1 egg, and mix until dough is smooth, about 2 minutes. Add another 1/2 cup flour and knead until dough is shiny and smooth and comes away from sides of mixing bowl, 6 to 7 minutes (add up to 1/2 cup more flour if dough is too sticky). Turn dough onto unfloured surface and knead briefly to form smooth, cohesive ball. Transfer dough to buttered bowl and turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in turned-off oven until dough has doubled in size, 50 to 60 minutes.
  • 4. Punch down dough on floured surface and divide into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into thick cylinder and cut each cylinder into 5 equal pieces. Working one piece at a time (keep remaining pieces covered with plastic wrap) and following photos, form dough pieces into smooth, taut rounds and arrange in prepared baking dish. Lightly press on dough rounds so they just touch each other. Cover baking dish with plastic wrap and return to turned-off oven until dough rounds have doubled in size, 50 to 60 minutes.
  • 5. Remove dish from oven and heat oven to 375 degrees. Unwrap baking dish and brush rolls with egg-water mixture. Bake until rolls are deep golden brown, 25 to 27 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Using handles of foil sling, remove rolls from baking dish and cool on wire rack for 1 hour. Remove foil from rolls, return to rack, and cool completely, about 2 hours longer. Keeping rolls together, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then in foil; freeze for up to 1 month.
  • 6. To serve: Remove plastic wrap and foil (reserve foil) from rolls, wrap in reserved foil, and defrost at room temperature for 2 hours. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake foil-wrapped rolls on baking sheet until heated through, about 30 minutes. Serve.
  • Rolls without a Mixer
    In step 3, mix 4 1/2 cups flour, yeast, and salt in large bowl. Make well in flour, then add milk mixture and egg to well. Stir with wooden spoon until dough becomes shaggy and difficult to stir. Turn dough out onto floured work surface and knead, adding remaining 1/2 cup flour (or more as needed), until dough forms smooth, cohesive ball, about 10 minutes. Proceed as directed.

Molasses Spice Lemon Sandwich Cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  •   Table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 15 tablespoons unsalted butter, 12 tablespoons melted and cooled, 3 tablespoons softened
  • 3 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1. Whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and cloves together in medium bowl. In separate bowl, stir 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, molasses, egg, and melted butter together until combined. Add dry mixture to butter mixture in three batches, stirring after each addition. Cover bowl with plastic and refrigerate until dough is firm, about 1 hour.
  • 2. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • 3. Place remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar in small bowl. Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. Roll balls in granulated sugar, then transfer to prepared baking sheets, spacing balls 2 inches apart. Bake until tops are just beginning to crack, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating rack position and direction of baking sheets halfway through baking time. Cool cookies on baking sheets for 3 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Use remaining dough to make second batch of cookies.
  • 4. Whisk remaining 3 tablespoons softened butter, lemon juice, and pinch of salt together in medium bowl. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Turn half of cooled cookies over (bottom side up) and spread each with 1 teaspoon lemon filling. Sandwich with another cookie.

October 15, 2011

Sweet-and-Hot Cinnamon Applesauce

Red Hots—that's right, the candies—add both sweetness and heat to this applesauce.
Ingredients Instructions
  • Combine applesauce and Red Hots in medium saucepan. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring often, until candies have completely dissolved and applesauce has turned light pink, about 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sloppy Joes

Be careful not to cook the meat beyond pink in step 1; if you let it brown at this point it will end up dry and crumbly. The meat will finish cooking once the liquid ingredients are added. Serve, piled high on a bun, with your favorite pickles.
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 pound 85 percent lean ground beef
  •   Ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and salt and stir until coated with oil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 10 minutes (if onion begins to burn after 5 minutes, reduce heat to low). Add garlic and chili powder and cook, uncovered, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beef and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until just pink, about 3 minutes.
  • 2. Add 1/4 teaspoon pepper, brown sugar, tomato puree, ketchup, water, and hot sauce. Simmer until Sloppy Joe sauce is slightly thicker than ketchup, 8 to 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings. Spoon meat mixture onto hamburger buns and serve.
  • Make Ahead
  • If you find yourself with leftover Sloppy Joes or just feel like making a double batch, the meat mixture freezes well for up to one month. To return the meat mixture to its original consistency, you may need to add a little water when it is reheated.

Wacky Cake

This moist cake gets even better when served with vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup natural cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup water
  •   Confectioners' sugar
  • 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 8-inch-square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • 2. Whisk flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together in pan. As shown in photo 1, make 1 large and 2 small craters in dry ingredients. Add oil to large crater and vinegar and vanilla separately to remaining small craters. Pour water into pan (photo 2 below), and mix until just a few streaks of flour remain (photo 3 below). Immediately put pan in oven.
  • 3. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 30 minutes. Cool in pan, then dust with confectioners’ sugar. (If tightly wrapped, cake will keep for 3 days at room temperature.)