Monday, February 1, 2016

Cheddar Scones

I took these scones to an after-church potluck, cutting them into bite-sized pieces. They are yummy and fattening and have little redeeming value in terms of nutrition. When making them at a high elevation, use scant measures of the baking powder and baking soda.

Cheddar  Scones
Serves 8 or more

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, frozen
2 cups (8 ounces) sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 large eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk plus additional 2 tablespoons

1. In medium-sized bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, thyme, and salt.
2. Grate frozen butter into bowl. Stir.
3. Add shredded Cheddar cheese to bowl and stir.
4. In small bowl, whisk eggs. Then whisk in 2/3 cup buttermilk.
5. Add wet ingredients to well made in dry ingredients. Stir with fork just until dough holds together.
6. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for only about 10 times.
7. Pat to about 1-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes. For instance, small pieces for appetizers, wedges for dinner bread.
8. Place scones on large ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
9. Brush tops lightly with remaining buttermilk.
10. Bake scones for 12 to 20 minutes, depending on size of scones.

11. Serve warm.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Roasted Carrots and Shallots

Vegetables—one of my favorites foods. Try this recipe and see whether you don't agree.

Roasted  Carrots and Shallots
Serves 8

2 pounds carrots, peeled with stem ends removed
12 small to medium-sized shallots
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
4 tablespoons butter, melted
½ teaspoon salt plus more to taste
¼ ground black pepper plus more to taste

1. Cut carrots in half crosswise. Then lengthwise halve the fatter halves. Place in medium-large bowl.
2. To carrots, add shallots, thyme, butter, measured salt and pepper. Toss.
3. Line rimmed large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Place carrots in single layer on top of lining.
4. Cover baking sheet tightly with foil. Cook on middle rack of oven heated to 425°F. for 10 minutes.
5. Remove foil; continue to cook, stirring every 10 minutes, for 20 to 30 minutes or until carrots are both well-browned and tender. Toss with more salt and pepper if desired.

NOTE: Carrots are delicious hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Almond Butter Cake or Bars

These are easy and delicious. They are a riff on a Marion Cunningham recipe. Would be a great dessert to have on hand for drop-in holiday visitors, since it keeps for a week at room temperature and would be delicious served with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Also a great recipe for kids to learn baking.

Almond Butter Cake or Bars
Serves 12

¾ cup butter
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup almond meal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ cup sliced almonds

1. Using microwave, melt butter in medium-sized mixing bowl. Let butter cool until it is no longer hot—better yet, don’t let it get hot in the first place.
2. Add the 1 ½ cups granulated sugar and stir until smooth.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition.
4. Add salt, almond extract, and vanilla extract and stir until combined.
5. Add almond meal and stir well.
6. Add all-purpose flour and stir until combined.
7. Pour batter into buttered 9-inch cake pan to make thin cake slices or into buttered 11x7-inch cake pan to make bars that are thinner than cake.
8. Sprinkle cake or bars with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar.
9. Sprinkle sliced almonds over the sugar layer.
10. Bake in 350°F. oven for 30 to 40 minutes. When done, the cake or bars should be light brown on top and a few sticky crumbs should stick to toothpick inserted into center.
11. Let cool at least 30 minutes. However, the cake or bars are better after allowed to sit 12hours or more. Cut into thin wedges.
12. Leftovers store well if wrapped in foil or sealed in a plastic bag. Can freeze indefinitely.

NOTE: These were good when made in an 8-inch square pan, but they seemed too thick. If 11x7-inch pan doesn’t work well for bars, try a 9-inch square pan. Cake wedges can be served with fresh fruit, such as strawberries or apples. Might try cake wedges with a dollop of whipped cream.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Wild Cherry Hibiscus Soda

I've wanted to try this recipe for several months, and last week I finally assembled all the ingredients and made it!  (would you believe I had to go out of town for plain sparkling water??)

I ordered the exotic ingredients such as wild cherry bark and hibiscus flowers from a wholesale company, where I also got this recipe.  Let me know if you need help finding them and I'll see what I can do. 

I have been wondering about using frozen or even fresh cherries (thawed, then dried?) instead of the expensive dried cherries.  I was also wishing that the leftover solids could be used somehow, but not with bark in the mix...

I am not sure how many drinks this will end up making, I got almost a quart of concentrated extract, and have been using about one shot (just under 1 ounce) per drink.  They are refreshing and delicious and I'm so glad I have that extract in the fridge!

**They call it ale, I call it soda.**

Wild Cherry Hibiscus Soda
Recipe from Frontier Co-op

4 cups water
1 cup dried cherries, chopped into ¼ inch pieces (do not use vegetable oil treated cherries!)
1 tablespoon Frontier Wild Cherry Bark
1/4 cup Frontier Hibiscus Flowers
2 cups Frontier Organic Cane Sugar

Place water in pan and add dried cherries and wild cherry bark.
Bring pot to boil, reduce to simmer, cover and let simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Turn off heat, add hibiscus flowers and sugar and stir until dissolved. Cover and let steep until cool, about 1 1/2 hours.
Strain liquid through a fine mesh sieve, then through one or more coffee filters into a clean, sterile jar. Store concentrated extract in refrigerator for up to three months.

To mix: Use a 1:6 ratio of concentrate to sparkling water. Adjust the ratio for more or less sweetness 
 according to your personal dietary preferences and desired taste.

Serve over ice.  Garnish the drink with whole frozen, pitted cherries.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Wendy's Almond-Banana-Coconut Muffins

This recipe includes some of my favorite ingredients. It makes heavy muffins but ones that are delicious warm or at room temperature. I suspect the muffins would freeze well. I imagine adding chopped almonds or even another nut would make a delicious variation to this version, or one could try simply sticking a whole almond in each muffin top before baking.

Wendy’s  Almond-Banana-Coconut  Muffins
Makes 12

½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole-wheat flour
½ cup almond meal
½ cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup grated coconut
2 eggs
2 very ripe large bananas, mashed
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup almond milk, soy milk, or cow’s milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon almond extract

1. Combine all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, almond meal, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl.
2. Stir in grated coconut.
3. In medium-sized bowl, beat eggs.
4. Stir in mashed bananas, coconut oil, maple syrup, milk, vanilla extract, and almond extract, mixing well.
5. Add wet ingredients to well made in dry ingredients.
6. Divide batter among 12 full-sized muffin pans, filling about three-fourths full.
7. Bake in 350°F. oven for about 20 minutes.

8. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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