Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Toffee-Coated Almonds

This toffee coating was delicious, but I had problems with it sticking to the nuts. I've heard of people making the coating in a sauce pan then pouring it over the nuts, or perhaps I should have let it cool longer on the pan. Regardless, the taste was great!

1/4 C sugar
2 T butter, melted
2 T corn syrup
1-1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups unsalted almonds

In a large bowl, combine sugar, butter, corns syrup, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Add almonds, toss to coat. Transfer to greased 15x10x1 baking pan. Bake at 300 for 20-25 minutes or until bubble and golden brown, stirring once. Cool on wire rack (maybe I was supposed to put the whole pan on the rack?); break apart if necessary. Store in airtight container.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Cranberry Granola

4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
1 cup unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon*
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom*
3/4 cup chopped dried cranberries or chopped dried cherries**

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  In large bowl, combine oats, almonds, coconut, maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom.  Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until golden brown and well toasted.  Transfer granola to a large bowl and add cranberries, tossing to combine.

*For the best flavor, I highly recommend using Penzeys brand cinnamon and cardamom.
**I prefer the cherries.

This recipe was adapted by my friend Phyllis from a granola recipe printed in the NY Times.  I think you can basically do any combination of ingredients as long as you keep the ratio of dry to wet ingredients the same.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cadbury Egg Cookies

This recipe and the two pictures are from ourbestbites.com.

Cadbury Egg Cookies

1/2 C Crisco
1/2 C Butter
1 C brown sugar
1 C white sugar
2 Eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 1/2 C flour
6T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 10 oz bag Cadbury Mini-Eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Chop up the Cadbury Eggs.  Cream together the butter, crisco, brown sugar and white sugar. Add in eggs one at at a time and the vanilla. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Add to the butter mixture to combine and then mix in the candies.
Drop onto a cookie sheet and bake for about 8-10 minutes.

I used Peanut Butter M&Ms, which were yummy, too.  These would be so festive with the holiday candies that come in red, white, and green.

Don't forget, if you want your cookies to look pretty, save a few egg pieces for the tops of the cookies instead of putting them all in the dough.  And don't push the candies too far into the cookies before baking them, or they will be flat.

Charlotte Cook's Caramels

2 c. sugar
2 c. corn syrup
1 c. butter
2 c. whipping cream, scalded
sprinkle of salt

Add sugar and corn syrup to heavy pot and bring to a boil. Add a sprinkle of salt. Add butter and bring back to a boil, stirring often. Slowly add scalded cream to mixture making sure boiling doesn't stop. Cook to:

232 degrees for rolls
234 degrees for turtles
236 degrees for dipping
238 degrees for cut caramels

Pour into buttered pan. When cool, cut into squares and wrap in waxed paper.

Raised Doughnuts

1 T. yeast
3/4 c. warm milk
1/4 c. margarine
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
approx. 3 1/2 c. flour

Warm milk and margarine in a small saucepan on the stove - do not boil. In mixer bowl, combine sugar, yeast, and about half the flour. With mixer on low, add milk to flour. Then add the salt and egg and remaining flour until dough reaches the right consistency (dough should be slightly sticky). Remove dough hook/beater, cover bowl and let dough rise until double in size. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface til 1/3-inch thick and cut out doughnuts. Allow doughnuts and holes to rise uncovered for 30-40 minutes. Fry in at least 1 1/2 inches of oil until browned. Dredge doughnuts in powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, etc.