Boozy Orange Cranberry Sauce

November 23, 2017

IMG_6627Woah! Here it is Thanksgiving already and no doubt Christmas will be hot on its heels. Before we blink it will be upon us! I can’t believe I’m actually able to get this post off today because the Husband and I have been craaaa-zeee busy lately. But here you go – Boozy Orange Cranberry Sauce, just in time for the holiday. Yes…as I previously mentioned…I do know that Thanksgiving is today. I also would wager there are quite a few of you stuck in the kitchen right now saying ” Oh no! I’ve still gotta do the cranberry sauce”. Don’t reach for that can of cranberry jelly. You can have some lovely homemade cranberry goodness all made up in about 20 minutes or so! Easy peasy! And like a lot of things I make, this Cranberry sauce has a kick…namely Bourbon. Bet no one would notice if you took a wee nip or two while you were preparing this dish. I’m sure you need it about now if you’re cooking for the family. Consider it medicinal.

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Now I will admit, this is a bit of a cheat because I have published this recipe before but it was hidden within other recipes. Like this Thanksgiving Pie -Toffee Blonde Pie with Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust, Pumpkin Ganache and Boozy Cranberry Sauce for example:

img_3579This year, I decided it should get the limelight. (And I did mention that things have been nuts around here right…). Sweet, tangy and a bit boozy, it is the perfect complement to items on your Thanksgiving menu. Not to mention, it is wonderful to have around when you dig into all those Thanksgiving leftovers! What would the Thanksgiving leftover sandwich be without it? Or maybe you could make up these Holiday Leftover Pirozhkis that I told you about last year?

img_5322It is also wonderful stirred into yogurt or as an oatmeal topping. This Boozy Orange Cranberry Sauce it so fantastic and easy to make – which is very important since preparing holiday meals can be somewhat frantic to say the least – I bet it’ll show up on your Christmas table. There is no reason it should be relegated to Thanksgiving alone.

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This sauce can actually be made up several days before your holiday event as well and does just fine chilling in the fridge. So there you have it, a quick, easy and tasty Thanksgiving side dish, just in the nick of time. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Boozy Orange Cranberry Sauce

  • Servings: 2 1/2 cups yield, about 8 - 10 folks depending on their appetites...
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces, weight Fresh Cranberries
  • 3/4 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Loosely Packed Orange Zest
  • 1/2 cup Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 stick Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup quality Bourbon

Directions:

Pick through the cranberries, removing any stems or berries that don’t look plump and ripe. Rinse the remaining cranberries well, then place them in a heavy bottomed medium saucepan with the sugar, orange zest, orange juice, water and cinnamon stick. Stir to combine, then place the pan over medium heat. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.

After 15 minutes, the cranberries should all have burst. Remove the pan from the heat. The sauce will look very liquidy, but will thicken as it cools. After the sauce has cooled completely, stir in the bourbon. Remove the cinnamon stick and serve the cranberry sauce at room temperature or chilled.

Cranberry sauce can be made 2–3 days ahead of time.

Enjoy!

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Holiday Leftover Pies!

November 28, 2016

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Who out there has leftovers? I bet one or two of you do if your Thanksgiving feasts looked anything like ours did. Well boy oh boy do I have an awesome recipe for you today… Holiday Leftover Pies! Now I will admit, this might be a bit of a replay on my part, but I got the idea from those delicious Pirozhki’s that I blogged about a couple of weeks ago. Pirozhkis are little Russian yeast buns which have been stuffed with ground beef, leeks and cheddar. Quite yummy as you can imagine. So I was thinking about them. Well, them and the fact that the Husband loves the day-after Thanksgiving sandwich. You know – the Thanksgiving dinner -turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy – squished between two slices of bread. Yeah, well he loves it…quite possibly more than he likes the original Thanksgiving Day feast. So, combining the two thoughts, I stuffed these little Thanksgiving Pirozhkis with leftover turkey and all the trimmings, baked ’em up and let me tell you…They were Awesome! Dare I say even better than the sandwich version.

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And the fact that you are working with a filling that has spent at least one day in the fridge is a big benefit as well. I mean cutting off a slice of gravy to add to the filling rather than working with a hot liquid version when stuffing dough is a far superior experience. Just take a few moments to dice up any meat into bite sized cubes and the rest is easy-peasy. The total amount of filling, whatever leftovers you might have on hand, should be about 2 – 2 1/2 Tablespoons per bun. And I will say that when you pinch the folded over dough together to seal the bun, don’t hold back! Give it quite a pinch or use a fork like you would in making a pie crust to ensure that the bun edges stick together and don’t pop open in the oven. But if they do, no worries. I assure you, it won’t effect the taste one little bit!

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These Day-After Leftover Pies will be a tradition after every holiday feast from this day forward, I can assure you. We’re already thinking ahead to Christmas when we’ll have leftover prime rib, mushrooms, mashed potatoes and gravy. Drool, drool, drool! So I just had to share this with everyone. If you’ve already gobbled down all your Thanksgiving leftovers, keep these in mind for Christmas. You, and whomever you decide to share with, will be delighted!

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Holiday Leftover Pies

  • Servings: 16 pies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Holiday Leftover Pie dough recipe from: King Arthur Flour

Ingredients:

For the Dough:

  • 4 cups (17 oz /482 grams) All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz./28 grams) Vermont Cheese Powder (don’t have cheese powder? you can substitute grated parmesan or leave it out altogether.)
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz./113grams) sour cream
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons, 2 oz./57grams) soft unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz./113grams) warm water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons (7/8 oz./25grams) sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast

For the filling:

  • Whatever leftovers you have, such as: diced turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy & cranberry sauce

Directions:

To make the dough: Combine all the dough ingredients and mix and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — until a soft, smooth dough forms.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow to rest for about 90 minutes, until puffy but not necessarily doubled in bulk.

Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces; if you have a scale they’ll weigh about 2 ounces each. 

Shape the pieces into balls, and place them on lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving about an inch between them. 

Cover the dough balls, and allow them to rest for about 15 minutes.

Ready your leftovers. Don’t reheat them, leave them cold. They will be much easier to work with.Chop any large pieces of meat into a smaller dice.

Shape each ball into a flattened round about 5″ in diameter, brush the surface with some of the egg/water wash, and place 2 tablespoons of filling onto the center of each round. 

Pull the dough over the filling, pinching two opposite edges together tightly, to seal in the filling; it should look like a dumpling. 

Place the buns on two lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover the buns, and allow them to rise for 1 hour, or until puffy.

Towards the end of the rising time preheat the oven to 400°F.

Brush the buns with the remaining egg wash. Bake the buns for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. It’s OK if some of the seams have come undone and the filling is visible; they can be prettier that way!

Remove the buns from the oven and allow them to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Store any leftover buns in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

Holiday Leftover Pies brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Useful Links for Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Holiday Leftover Pies:

6 Quart Dough Rising Bucket

Norpro 2 Tablespoon Cookie Scoop

SAF Instant Yeast

Vermont Cheese Powder

 


Thanksgiving Pie – Toffee Blonde Pie with Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust, Pumpkin Ganache & Boozy Cranberry Sauce

November 22, 2016

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I’m sure you already know this but…Thanksgiving is upon us! It is time to get all your menus for the big day finalized and you just might want to start cooking! But before you make that final shopping run, I wanted to share a great dessert recipe with you. I call it “Thanksgiving Pie”. Now I’m sure there are a lot of folks out there who consider Pumpkin Pie or even Sweet Potato Pie to be their “Thanksgiving Pie”. I get that. But they haven’t tasted this Thanksgiving Pie. In fact, I’d wager that with one little forkful, this pie would be able to wrest that title away from any other contender. You see my Thanksgiving Pie is actually a Toffee Blonde Pie with Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust, and a Pumpkin Ganache topping. And as if that wasn’t enough, I serve it with a garnish of Boozy Cranberry Sauce drizzled over the top. You see….that title is ridiculously long winded. Hence, Thanksgiving Pie. Or maybe you could call it “Special Thanksgiving Pie”.

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It has got all of those iconic Thanksgiving flavors going on, the pumpkin, the cinnamon, the cranberry. Yum, yum yum! I got the idea for this amazing pie from Chef Christina Tosi in her Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook. If you look, you won’t see a recipe for this actual pie there. I cobbled it together from various recipes listed there. The cookbook is designed around “mother recipes” and then lists variations you can take to build on that recipe. There are definitely some tried and true Momufuku Milk Bar favorites listed there, but you can also get creative with the flavor profiles and come up with your own favorites.

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Now keep in mind, there are a few steps involved here in making this masterpiece. You definitely must plan ahead because I know things tend to get really hectic this time of year. But there is still plenty of time, no worries whatsoever. And you can make the Blonde Pie Filling and Pumpkin Ganache ahead of time and then just make the crust and assemble when you are ready. It can all be done the day before the big day and just be chilling somewhere.

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Once folks are just starting to slip into their Turkey Comas but still want a little dessert before completely losing consciousness, voila! You will be ready with the Thanksgiving Pie of their dreams!

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Thanksgiving Pie - Toffee Blonde Pie with Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust, Pumpkin Ganache & Boozy Cranberry Sauce

  • Servings: 1 Ten inch pie 8-10 slices
  • Difficulty: moderate - a lot of steps and recipes within recipes
  • Print

recipe cobbled together from various Christina Tosi recipes found in the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook

Ingredients:

For the Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 cups diced crusts and end pieces from 1 loaf of packaged white bread (10 ounces of crusts)

For the Blonde Pie filling:

  • 160 grams (5 1/2 oz.) white chocolate
  • 55 grams (4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 40 grams (3 Tablespoons) sugar
  • 105 grams (1/2 cup) heavy cream
  • 52 grams (1/3 cup) flour
  • 1 cup toffee chips
  • 4 grams (1 teaspoon) kosher salt

For the pumpkin ganache:

  • 150 grams (5 1/4 oz.) white chocolate
  • 25 grams (2 tablespoons) butter
  • 50 grams (2 tablespoons) glucose ( no glucose? substitute 18 grams (1 Tablespoon) corn syrup
  • 55 grams (1/4 cup) cold heavy cream
  • 75 grams (1/3 cup) Libby’s pumpkin puree
  • 4 grams (1 teaspoon) salt
  • 1 gram (1/2 teaspoon) cinnamon

For the garnish:

  • Fresh cranberry sauce (optional. You can use store-bought cranberry sauce or if you aren’t already spending enough time on this pie and you can’t bear to leave the kitchen yet – see Cranberry Sauce recipe below)

Directions:

Make the Crust:

Preheat the oven to 325° F. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the butter is golden brown, about 8 minutes; strain into a glass measuring cup.

Pour half of the melted butter into a bowl. Add the sugar, salt, cinnamon and chopped bread, and toss. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes, stirring once or twice, until golden. Let cool.

Rewarm the remaining butter. Place Cinnamon Crunch croutons in a food processor. Pour the remaining butter over the croutons. Pulse until fine crumbs form. Place the crumbs into a 10-inch pie plate. Refrigerate for 5 minutes. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Refrigerate the crust until chilled, 15 minutes.

Make the Toffee Blonde Pie Filling:

Combine the white chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and gently melt them on medium, in 30 second increments, stirring between blasts. Once melted, whisk the mixture until smooth.

Put the egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl and whisk together until smooth. Pour in the white chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in the heavy cream and whisk to combine.

Stir the flour, toffee chips, and salt together in a small bowl, then carefully fold them into the filling. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Make the Pumpkin Ganache:

Combine the white chocolate and butter in a microwave safe dish and gently melt them in the microwave in 15 second bursts, stirring between blasts. The result should be barely warm to the touch and totally homogeneous.

Transfer the chocolate mixture to a container that can accommodate and immersion blender (yes, it must be an immersion blender, Chef Tosi insists!) – something tall and narrow. Warm the glucose in the microwave for 15 seconds, then immediately add to the chocolate mixture and buzz with the hand blender. After a minute, stream in the heavy cream, with the hand blender running – the mixture will come together into something silky, shiny and smooth.

Blend in the pumpkin puree, salt and cinnamon. Put the ganache in the fridge to firm up before using, at least 4 hours, or ideally, overnight. Stored in an airtight container, pumpkin ganache will keep fresh in the fridge for 1 week.

Assemble the pie:

Once your Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust has chilled, fill it with the cooled Toffee Blonde Pie filling. Use a spatula to smooth top. Place cooled Pumpkin Ganache in a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe ganache over the top of the pie. If you would rather, you can simply use a spatula to smooth the ganache over the top of the Toffee Blonde Pie filling. Serve with a side of Boozy Cranberry Sauce if you desire. (and why wouldn’t you….)

Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Pie brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Boozy Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces, weight Fresh Cranberries
  • 3/4 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Loosely Packed Orange Zest
  • 1/2 cup Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
  • 1 stick Cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup quality Bourbon

Directions:

Pick through the cranberries, removing any stems or berries that don’t look plump and ripe. Rinse the remaining cranberries well, then place them in a heavy bottomed saucepan with the sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and cinnamon stick. Stir to combine, then place the pan over medium heat. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.

After 15 minutes, the cranberries should all have burst. Remove the pan from the heat. The sauce will look very liquidy, but will thicken as it cools. After the sauce has cooled completely, stir in the bourbon. Remove the cinnamon stick and serve the cranberry sauce at room temperature or chilled.

Cranberry sauce can be made 2–3 days ahead of time.

Links to Useful Kitchen tools and Ingredients for Thanksgiving Pie:

Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

Cuisinart Pro-Classic Food Processor

Kitchen Aid Hand Blender

Heath Bits O’Brickle Toffee Bits

Libby’s Pumpkin Puree (This link is for 6 -15 oz. cans. Way more than you need for this recipe. However, you can at least see what it looks like here and then maybe find it in your local market or heck, get all 6 and be ready anytime a pumpkin need arises)

Glucose

 


Halloween Cookies & Cream Owl Cupcakes

October 31, 2015

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Happy Halloween! And just look what I’ve got here…h’OWL’oween Cupcakes! Or I guess you could call them OreOwls! Sorry, I couldn’t resist. But really, aren’t these Cookies & Cream Owl Cupcakes adorable!

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Almost too cute to eat…but who am I kidding?!! I love cupcakes. So believe me they only got a very short pass before I gobbled them up! Last Halloween I baked up a batch of Mini Mummy Brownie Bite Cupcakes that were pretty fantastic. Just look at these tiny terrors!

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But back to these little owls… They are so easy to make that you could still get a batch done before this evenings festivities. Or maybe you could make them for Thanksgiving. They definitely have an autumn vibe.

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I give you a recipe for some very moist and chocolatey Cookies & Cream Cupcakes, but if you’re in a rush you could just make a box mix and fold some crushed Oreo cookies into the batter before baking. The chocolate ganache frosting is super easy to make. I dipped the cupcakes rather than actually frosting them. To be honest, the most difficult part of these cupcakes were trying to separate the cookies so that all of the white frosting cream remained on one cookie. Cutting the frosting-less Oreo to make the owl’s tufts was a bit challenging as well, but a few choice words later and Voila! Owl nirvana achieved! Happy Hauntings!

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Halloween Cookies & Cream Owl Cupcakes

  • Servings: 14 -16 cupcakes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: Once Upon a Chef (cupcakes) and Arctic Garden Studio (ganache)

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 1 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1/2 tablespoon instant coffee granules (optional, to enhance chocolate flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup chopped Oreos
  • 28 -32 Oreo cookies for decorating
  • 28 – 32 brown, blue or green plain chocolate M&M’s (I used Mega M&M’s but regular sized are fine)
  • 14 – 16 yellow or orange white chocolate M&M’s (or plain chocolate M&M’s if you prefer)

For the Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons corn syrup

Directions:

Prep Work: Count out 28 -32 Oreo cookies. Divide these cookies in half and attempt to keep all of the cream on one of the cookies. Using a small icing spatula helps. If you end up crack a few cookies, don’t despair – you can crumble them even further and use them in the cupcakes. Once you have the cookies successfully separated, cut 14 -16 of the non-icing side Oreos in half to make the owl tufts. 

Preheat oven to 350° F and line two 12-cup muffin tins.

Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and cook in the microwave in 20-second intervals, stirring in between, until about 3/4 of the way melted. Stir, allowing the residual heat in the bowl to melt the remaining chocolate completely. (If necessary, place the chocolate back in microwave for a few seconds.) Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, instant coffee (if using), baking soda and salt until well combined.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl and beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and lukewarm chocolate.

Add the dry ingredients in three separate additions, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the crushed Oreo cookies.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups until about 3/4 full (I think it’s easiest to use an ice cream scooper with a wire scraper). Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops look dry and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

For the frosting: Heat heavy cream and chocolate over medium low heat stirring constantly until chocolate has melted. Stir in corn syrup. Let ganache cool for about 10 minutes before assembling cupcakes.

Cupcake Assembly:

First complete the owl “ore-eyes” (the Oreo halves with the icing). Place brown, green or blue M&M’s into the inner edge of the white part of each owl eye. Press down gently (if you push too hard you will crack the cookie) to stick M&M to the cream filling. Or if it seems like it doesn’t want to stick, a little bit of ganache to the bottom of the M&M to “glue” it in place.

Now for the cupcakes. Dip each cupcake in the ganache so that the top is frosted. Place eyes just slightly below the center of the cupcake, this will make sure you have enough room for the tufts. Then place the tufts above the eyes. Add a sideways orange or yellow M&M for the nose. Repeat with each cupcake until complete.

Enjoy!

*These cupcakes are best on the day that they are made as far as looks go. The Oreo tufts do get moist on the following day and tend to break off easily if you are trying to transport cupcakes.

Halloween Cookies & Cream Owl Cupcakes brought to you by: Runcible Eats. (www.leaandjay.com)

 

 


Smoky Bacon Cream Biscuit Dressing

December 5, 2014

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Smoky Bacon Cream Biscuit Dressing. That’s right, what I’m talking about is a dressing in which Cream Biscuits are used in place of the run of the mill bread crumbs (croutons). You know, those decadent little gems I just mentioned in my last post? Although they are absolutely delicious on their own, truth be told I baked that batch up solely to use in this dressing.

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Now I might have had to have taken up a shotgun to stand guard over them for the two days leading up to Thanksgiving, but it was worth my vigilance to be able to make this essential Holiday dressing! ( By the way – Does anyone else have an issue with the term “dressing”. I really want to call this “stuffing”, but as I understand it, unless you actually stuff it into the bird, it is not stuffing. If it is cooked in a separate dish, it is dressing. Doesn’t sound right to me and I guess no one mentioned it to those folks over at Stove Top. 🙂 )

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Now the Cream Biscuits aren’t the only fantastic thing about this dressing.  As you might have guessed from the title, there is also a bunch (1 lbs. worth) of crispy smoky bacon thrown into the mix. Along with some lovely mushrooms and fresh herbs. So savory, so moist… It is, without a doubt, the best dressing I have ever tasted.

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At this point, I don’t know what the husband would do were we to have a Thanksgiving without it. Then I got to thinking, dressing isn’t only served at Thanksgiving and this dressing would certainly be welcome at any holiday meal (or any meal full stop for that matter). There are a lot of folks out there that serve turkey or goose for their Christmas Feast, so I thought I should go ahead and share this tasty recipe. Not to mention, Thanksgiving will surely turn up again next year and  you will be ready to go. I assure you, no matter when you happen to make this Smoky Bacon Cream Biscuit stuffing dressing, it will steal the show!

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Smoky Bacon Cream Biscuit Dressing

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: Williams Sonoma

Ingredients:

  • Twelve 4-inch cream biscuits, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 lb. smoky bacon
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 5 celery stalks, diced
  • 8 oz. white button mushrooms, brushed clean and sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups chicken stock

Directions:

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F.

Spread the biscuits out on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 375°F.

Cook the bacon until crisp, 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Chop or crumble into 1″ pieces.

Pour off all but 3 Tablespoons of the fat from the pan. Set the pan over medium heat and add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, mushrooms, parsley, sage and thyme and cook until the celery is soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl. Add the bacon to the bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the biscuits and 4 cups of the stock and stir gently to combine. (try not to break up the biscuit chunks) Let rest for 5 – 10 minutes or so and then add more stock if you think it looks too dry.

Transfer the dressing to a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake until the dressing is lightly browned, about 20 minutes more.

Enjoy!

Smoky Bacon Cream Biscuit Dressing brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 


Heavenly West Virginia Dinner Rolls

November 28, 2014

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I have a confession to make. I love bread. I LOVE it. When I did that South Beach Diet a few years ago and bread was completely out of the question, I thought I might die. I guess that is when I figured out South Beach was not really sustainable in my world. Nope. In my world there is a lot of fresh baked bread, preferably slathered in lovely salty butter.

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I guess I’ll have to hit the gym a little longer to make sure that in my world I can still get my britches buttoned. But if that’s what it takes to chow down on bread, then so be it. And these little dinner rolls that I’m about to talk about, well they are definitely worth undertaking a few extra revs in the gym. Moist, tender and slightly sweet, they are my go-to roll for all dinners. I probably should have let you know about these before Thanksgiving, but hey –  Christmas and New Year’s are right around the corner!

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You may wonder why I call them West Virginia Rolls. Well, I originally came across this recipe when I was looking for Pepperoni Roll recipe. The husband and I love to visit West Virginia every chance we get. Especially the town of Fayetteville, which I’ve told you all about in previous blogs. Pepperoni Rolls, soft white yeast roll which are stuffed with pepperoni, cheese and possibly some peppers, are like the State food of West Virginia. You can find them everywhere from bakeries to gas stations. I wanted to recreate them at home and found an absolutely to die for recipe on Martha Miller’s blog. Her recipe yielded up some truly Heavenly Pepperoni Rolls. The bread called for in that recipe, which was from Martha’s grandmother Yie’s dinner roll recipe, is the same bread used in these rolls. I called them Yie’s Rolls for a while, but everyone around here thought I was saying “yeast rolls” and they were wondering which yeast rolls I meant. Now, when I say West Virginia Rolls, everyone knows exactly what I mean and starts drooling immediately!

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I used to be intimidated by any recipe that had yeast in it. I was sure it was just too difficult to pull off. Now I know that baking with yeast is not really difficult at all, though it can be a bit persnickity, so it helps if you have a few tools on hand. You definitely need a good thermometer which will give you a fast read. And the type of yeast you use is important. Personally I love the SAF Instant Yeast I keep a canister of it in the freezer at all times. And a dough rising bucket is also nice to have. You could probably get by without these tools, but having them makes things go much more smoothly. So now you’re ready to make some lovely yeast dinner rolls. These flavourful little gems are easy to make, though I will admit they are a bit time-consuming with two separate rise times, so make sure you have plenty of time set aside for them on baking day. Now don’t get discouraged. I know you’re thinking “there is no way I have time for all that nonsense especially around the holidays.” But here is a great secret I am happy to pass along to you. Sometime prior to the big dinner you have planned, when you have some free time on your hands (yeah right, huh?) you can make a bunch of these rolls up and par-bake them. So that means you just bake them for 7 minutes, take them out of the oven to cool and then freeze them in heavy ziplock freezer bags. (They will keep in the freezer for several months.) Then, when the day of the big dinner arrives, you simply take them out of the freezer and pop them frozen right onto the baking tray and bake at 375° F for about 8 -10 minutes. And voila! Lovely dinner rolls, fresh from the oven, melt in your mouth, golden brown and irresistible. You will be amazed how quickly these little devils disappear from your table!

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Heavenly West Virginia Dinner Rolls

  • Servings: 3 dozen
  • Difficulty: easy - but time consuming
  • Print

recipe from: Martha J Miller

Note: This recipe makes a lot of rolls! My stand mixer is not even big enough to handle the full recipe. I usually make 1/2 of the recipe which yields about 18 -20 rolls.

Ingredients:

For the bread:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup oil (canola or vegetable)
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 packages instant yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons – a yeast packet contains 2 1/4 tsp. yeast)
  • 1 cup warm water (about 110°F)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 9-10 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Directions:

In a small saucepan, heat the milk over low heat until just before it comes to a boil (heat to about 190 – 195° F). Do not let the milk boil. In a small bowl, combine the warm milk, oil, salt and 3/4 cup sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves and let the mixture cool to lukewarm (98°F).

Meanwhile, in the bowl of stand mixer combine the two packages of yeast, sugar and warm cup of water. Stir gently with a fork to break up any clumps and let stand 5 minutes or until mixture becomes bubbly. Pour the lukewarm milk mixture into the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add the eggs one at a time and beat to combine.

On low speed, begin to slowly add the flour, one cup at a time until a loose dough forms. There is no precise measurement for the flour as it will vary depending on your individual environment’s humidity, elevation, etc. but it will be somewhere between 9 to 10 cups. The finished dough will pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl, be slightly sticky and slack, but still hold together well.

Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and knead, incorporating more flour to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands and the counter top. Knead by hand for 6 to 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Or you can just switch to your dough hook and let the mixer knead it for about 6 – 8 minutes. To test if the dough is ready, gently poke your finger into the dough and if the indentation remains but slowly comes back, you have kneaded long enough. Place dough in a rising bucket or if you don’t have one, a large lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Place in a warm draft-free place and let rise until dough doubles, about 2 hours.

After the first rise, gently remove the dough and knead lightly 2 or 3 times on a floured surface to remove any large air pockets. Next, divide the dough into 2 ounce pieces preferably using a kitchen scale. If you do not own a kitchen scale the dough should divide out into roughly 3 dozen small pieces and once shaped, be about 1-1.5 inches in diameter.

Shape dough pieces into rolls by pinching two opposite sides of the dough and then pinching together the other two sides to form a ball.

Place shaped rolls on greased sheet pans with enough room for them to rise without touching and lightly cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, approximately 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly beat one large egg with a splash of water and paint egg wash gently over each roll. Bake rolls for 12-20 minutes until golden brown. Cool finished rolls on a rack and re-warm before serving.

To par-bake the rolls simply remove the partially cooked rolls after 7 minutes, let cool, and freeze in heavy duty plastic bags. To finish, place frozen rolls on a greased sheet pan and cook at 375°F for 8-10 minutes. Frozen par-baked rolls will keep in your freezer for several months.

Enjoy!

Heavenly West Virginia Dinner Rolls brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 

 

 


Inside out Pumpkin Muffins filled with Cider Cinnamon Cream Cheese

November 25, 2014

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Thanksgiving is nearly upon us and I’m sure you probably feel as though you were drowning in a sea of pumpkin-y recipes. So what do I do, well how does that saying go, “if you can’t beat ’em…” I jumped right on the old band wagon and today bring you a recipe for Inside Out Pumpkin Muffins filled with Cider Cinnamon Cream Cheese.

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Now this isn’t you’re regular old pumpkin bread muffin, oh no. This moist muffin is just full of all of those wonderful flavours that you associate with Thanksgiving – like pumpkin (duh), sweet and tangy apple cider and warm cinnamon. As a bonus, they are stuffed with the most delicious Apple Cider Cinnamon Cream Cheese Spread. This cream cheese spread is made with that boiled cider that I’ve been talking up recently. And you only end up using about 1/2 of the Cider Cinnamon spread in these muffins, so you’ll have plenty around to spread on a bagel or English Muffin, or to dip apple slices or pita chips into, or to just schmear more all over the top of these pumpkin muffins. Hey, I know it is already baked into the middle, but believe me, this spread is amazing! You won’t be able to get enough of it! Yup, it definitely elevates these Pumpkin Muffins to a cut above the regular ones out there. I baked my muffins in an adorable Nordic Ware Maple Leaf Pan, which certainly adds to the harvest vibe.

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However, these muffins bake up brilliantly in regular muffin tins if you don’t have a Maple Leaf Pan. No worries! Perfect with a cup of tea on Thanksgiving morning as you gear up for your busy day or very welcome when passed around to folks as a pre-meal snack. Make up a batch today, Trust me, you will be so thankful you have these little treats on hand!

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Inside Out Pumpkin Muffins filled with Cider Cinnamon Cream Cheese

  • Servings: 12 - 16 muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: King Arthur Flour

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin purée (about half a standard 15-ounce can)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup boiled cider (for best flavor), or dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice; or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves + 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 batch of Apple Cider Cinnamon Spread (recipe below)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with muffin papers, and grease the papers. Or lightly grease a maple leaf pan.

To make the batter: Whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, oil, boiled cider or corn syrup, salt, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and milk. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Add the flour and mix until well combined.

Drop about 2 tablespoons of the batter (a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here) into each muffin cup, spreading it to cover the bottom. Dollop on a heaping tablespoon of filling, then cover with another 2 tablespoons of batter. Sprinkle a little Demerara sugar over the top if you like.

If you’re using maple leaf molds, drop about 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter into each of the 6 molds. Add a scant tablespoon of filling, and spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons batter on top. The recipe will make 16 maple leaves, so you’ll need to bake in batches.

Bake the standard muffins for 18 to 20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out crumb-free. Bake the leaf muffins for 16 to 18 minutes, testing them the same way.

Remove the muffins from the oven. After 5 minutes, gently loosen the edges of the leaf muffins, and turn the pan over onto a cooling rack; the muffins should drop out. For regular muffins, simply transfer them to a rack to cool.

Apple Cider Cinnamon Spread

You will only use about 1/2 of this spread in the pumpkin muffins, but it is great to have on hand. Use it as a delicious spread for bagels or English muffins or dip pita chips or apple slices into it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups cream cheese; low-fat is fine
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons boiled cider

Directions:

Beat the cream cheese until it’s light and airy.

Add the remaining ingredients and beat until well incorporated.

Enjoy!

Inside Out Pumpkin Muffins filled with Apple Cider Cinnamon Cream Cheese brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)


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