Friday, December 18, 2009

Streusel Coffee Cake

The holidays with my family often brings this streusel coffee cake. Direct from my Minneapolis great-grandparents Lutheran church cookbook, this is basically the perfect coffee cake recipe. We always double it, but I'll include the single and double measurements.

Streusel Coffee Cake

1 1/2 C flour
3 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
3/4 C sugar
1/4 C butter
1 egg
1/2 C milk
1 t vanilla

1/2 C brown sugar
2 T powdered sugar
1 T flour
1 t cinnamon
2 T soft of melted butter
nuts if you wish, I omit

Cream sugar, butter, egg, milk and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Mix dry mixture into creamed mixture.

In separate bowl, combine ingredients for filling.

In greased 8 x 8 pan, layer a little less than half the batter. Top with 3/4ths of the filling. Layer remaining batter (this is the hardest step because the batter is so thick, I try to drop and spread the batter without picking up the filling). Sprinkle remaining filling on top and bake 25 minutes in a 350 oven.

3 C flour
6 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 1/2 C sugar
1/2 C butter
2 eggs
1 C milk
2 t vanilla

1 C brown sugar
4 T powdered sugar
2 T flour
2 T cinnamon (Allspice is a good substitution, in addition to a pinch of nutmeg)
4 T soft butter

Double baking time is between 30 and 40 minutes, depending on your oven. Photo from

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas cookies - one to remind us of summer!

I don't know about everyone else but I for one love the taste of lemon in just about anything but especially desserts! So come time for Christmas cookies I always appreciate something lemon on the cookie tray- its a nice light addition plus the taste of lemon reminds me of summer which is nice when the Christmas snow is blowing outside. So for this year I found the following recipe I'm going to try...I hope they're as good as they sound!

Lemon Pistachio Cookies
4 dozen
1 stick butter (or half butter/ half crisco)
1 1/4 c sugar
1 egg
1 c chopped pistachios or macadamias
1 c white chocolate chunks or chips
2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
grated rind of one lemon
1/4 c lemon juice

Cream butter, sugar, and egg until smooth..add lemon juice and mix well.stir dry ingredients together with lemon rind and add thoroughly to butter mixture. Fold in white chocolate and pistachios. Chill for 15-20 minutes.Drop heaping teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on a silpat or parchment covered baking sheet. bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until just done and just turning color. Cool before storing.These will fall apart when they are warm..They firm on setting. Melt 1/4 c butter, and add 2 TBS lemon juice. Add enough confectioners sugar to make a thick frosting and spread on warm cookies.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New Recipes in the New Year

Yo! What's up? So not that its a big deal, but one of my intentions for 2010 is to bake AND make something new each week. I have plenty of recipes to try but I'm always looking for more inspiration. If you have any recipes you've seen/flagged/noted but haven't tried yet, let me know and I'll give 'em a whirl.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Peppermint Fudge

I got not one, but two requests for this recipe. The mint fudge recipe I’ve used before calls for cooking the chocolate, which I think leads to a harder, more bitter fudge. This is smooth and has a much lighter consistency.

Here’s the funny thing. The recipe calls for round peppermint candies (Everyday Foods always goes the anonymous route on naming candies), so I picked up York Peppermint Patties because that’s where my mind went automatically. It wasn’t until I turned the page over to make a copy that I realized they meant Starlight mints. You can decide (heck, you can even use Junior Mints), but I’m sticking with Yorks.

Peppermint Fudge
Nonstick spray
2 ¼ C (16 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1 C round peppermint candies, plus more for garnish
¾ C heavy cream
3 ½ C mini marshmallows
5 T unsalted butter
1 ¼ C sugar
1 t coarse salt

Lightly coat 8 or 9 inch square baking pan with nonstick spray. Line pan with two pieces parchment paper in both directions, leaving a 2 inch overhang on all sides.

Place chocolate chips in a bowl. In food processor, pulse candies until finely chopped. In medium saucepan, combine candies, cream, marshmallows, butter, sugar and salt over medium high. Whisk until smooth, 5-8 minutes.

Pour mixture through strainer (not necessary with Yorks) into bowl with chocolates. Let stand 1 minute, then stir until smooth. Pour into baking pan and refrigerate until set, about 3 hours. I place my garnish Yorks on about halfway through. Cut into squares.

Stores covered and refrigerated for 1 week.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Green Green Spring Vegetables

I made this last night, intending to use the haricots verts I'd picked up at Sam's Club which turned out to be moldy. Instead I improvised with just broccoli and asparagus. It is a simple dish, but big on flavor. The shallots really make this shine. Ideal for entertaining since you can do the vegetables earlier in the day and then heat them up right before serving.

Green Green Spring Vegetables from Barefoot Contessa
1/4 pound French string beans (haricots verts), ends removed
Kosher salt
1/4 pound sugar snap peas, ends and strings removed
1/4 pound asparagus, ends removed
1/2 pound broccolini, ends removed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon good olive oil
3 large shallots, sliced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Blanch the string beans in a large pot of boiling salted water for 1 minute only. Lift the beans from the water with a slotted spoon or sieve and immerse them in a bowl of ice water. Add the snap peas to the same boiling water and cook for 1 minute, until al dente, adding them to the ice water and the beans. Cut the asparagus into 2-inch lengths diagonally and cook in the boiling water for 2 minutes, and add to the ice water. Cut the broccolini in half, boil for 1 minute, and add to the ice water. When all the vegetables in the water are cold, drain well.

When ready to serve, heat the butter and oil in a very large saute pan or large pot. Saute the shallots over medium heat for 5 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned. Add the drained vegetables to the shallots with 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper and toss. Cook just until the vegetables are heated through. Serve hot.

Photo from

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cream of Turkey & Wild Rice Soup

I made this healthier version of Cream of Turkey & Wild Rice Soup from EatingWell last night with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. It was really good.

I didn't have mushrooms or shallots so I just used some onion. As it says in the recipe, you could always substitute chicken.