Category Archives: Year Round

Quick Chocolate Wafers

Preheat oven to 350 F convection.

Sift together (through a strainer) 1 cup + 2 TBL flour, 2/3 cup cocoa and 1/2 tsp baking soda. In a medium saucepan, melt 11/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter. When thoroughly melted, add 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup corn syrup. Stir and remove from heat. Stir for one minute to help some of the heat dissipate. Add 1 beaten egg. When incorporated, add the dry ingredients. Add 11/2 tsp vanilla.

Form into 11/4” diameter balls (I have a 11/2 tsp scoop that does this), and place onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake for 11 minutes. Cookies will fall after they come out of oven and form chewy chocolate wafer. Baking them a little longer will produce crisper cookies. Let rest for 2-3 minutes before removing to a rack to cool. Makes about 5 dozen small cookies.

NOTE: the dough will get stiffer the longer it sits and this will change the way the cookies come out. I prefer to work quickly but the cookies are great either way.

Spinach-Feta-Egg Bake

Defrost 30 ounces chopped frozen spinach, and squeeze by handfuls to remove all moisture. Add the following: 3 beaten eggs, 1 cup chopped scallion, 8 ounces cottage cheese, 8 ounces crumbled feta, 2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 TBL fresh chopped dill and 4 TBL butter.

In blender jar, place 3 eggs (out of the shell, of course), 11/2 cups water, 11/2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp salt and 2 TBL oil. Process long enough to make a smooth batter. In a greased and floured 9×13-inch pan, pour half the batter, spread evenly. Drop small bits of the spinach mixture until it is evenly distributed; cover with remaining batter. Bake at 350 F 1 hour.

Cut into 24-30 pieces and serve warm. It’s also not bad served at room temperature.

Coffee Cake

Combine 41/2 cups flour, 21/4 cups brown sugar, 11/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp cinnamon and a generous 1/4 tsp nutmeg. Cut in 11/2 cups butter. Measure out 3 cups of the mixture and add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. In the rest of the mixture, add 11/2 tsp baking soda. When mixed, stir in 11/2 cups sour cream and 3 beaten eggs. Mix until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour into greased 9×13-inch pan. Sprinkle topping mixture over batter and press down gently. Bake at 350 F for 60 to 65 minutes.

Fluden

Make Hamentaschen Honey Dough. Roll into a 1/8-inch layer large enough to cover bottom and go up sides of pan; trim off all but 3/8 inch that hangs beyond edge of pan. (You can use a 13×9 or 9×9 pan, depending on how much you want to make.) Spread a layer of filling on the bottom. Roll a layer of dough, a bit thinner than the outside layer. It needs to be big enough to cover the bottom and just fit in side the pan without going up the sides (or just a bit).

Alternate layers of filling and dough, ending when the last layer is near the top of the pan. You want to use many different kinds of fillings, such as Poppy Seed Filling, Prune Filling, preserves, chopped nuts, chocolate bits, etc. Commercial pastry filling should give you a broad range of choices.

When you get to the last layer, fold outer layer that you first placed in the pan back over the top layer of dough and try to seal it. Brush top with a beaten egg, sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. Bake in oven at 325 F convection for 45-50 minutes. It will be a fairly dark brown on top.

Let cool and store covered. Cut into small squares. Fluden can also be frozen in chunks.

Polenta with Fried Egg

Place 1/2 cup Quaker corn meal (I prefer this because of the way it’s ground), 2 cups water and 1/2 tsp salt in a saucepan. Stir continuously until it comes to a boil. Lower heat to lowest setting and cover; let cook for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 TBL butter and 1/4 cup grated cheese, such as Grano Padano or Manchego. Add salt and pepper to taste — I like it peppery.

Place in each of two broad serving bowls or on plates. Top each with an egg cooked over easy.

Mascarpone Rice Pudding

Leftovers with leftovers.

Combine 2 cups of cooked rice and about 1 cup of milk. Heat in high-power microwave for 5 minutes: the rice will be softened and the milk will have come to a boil. Put it in the refrigerator until it’s cooled. (I was impatient and I transferred the mixture to a metal mixing bowl and chilled it in an ice-water bath; it took 5 minutes.) Combine 1 cup of Mascarpone Cream, the cooled milk-rice mixture and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Return to refrigerator to chill before serving.

It’s not low in calories, but it sure tastes good.

Fruit Crumble

Combine 1/3 cup walnuts, 1/3 cup flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 cup oatmeal, 1/2 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp baking powder and 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter. Mix until it’s crumbly.

Peel and cut up 4 cups of fresh fruit (peaches, apples, pears or whatever you like). Mix with 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 to 2 TBL cornstarch, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp nutmeg. Place fruit mixture in buttered casserole. Cover with crumb topping.

Bake at 375 degrees F until bubbly, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Anise Cornmeal Fingers

Cream 11/2 sticks butter until soft. Add 1 TBL Pernod, 1/2 tsp ground white pepper, 1 TBL fennel seeds (ground after measuring), 1/4 tsp salt. Add 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 eggs, 1 egg white. When mixed, add 13/4 cups flour and 2/3 cup cornmeal, blending just until mixed in. By hand, mix in grated lemon peel from 2 lemons.

Put dough into a pastry bag or plastic bag with a 1/2-inch opening cut at one corner. Pipe 3- to 4-inch cookies onto parchment-lined cookie sheets, about 11/2 inches apart. Bake at 325 F convection for about 20 to 25 minutes. (Bake at 325 F non-convection for 25 to 30 minutes.) Cookies will be golden and brown around the edges.

Maple Ice Cream

Put 2 cups heavy cream, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup Grade B maple syrup and a pinch of salt in a sauce pan. Add either 11/2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped into mixture. Include the pod in the mixture, too. Heat until steaming, but do not let boil.

In a bowl, combine 41/2 TBL (that’s a generous 1/4 cup) of corn starch and 3/4 cup milk. Stir with fingertips to confirm there are no lumps. Remove vanilla pod from pot. Add cornstarch mixture, cook, stirring until it reaches a boil. Reduce heat to low and let cook for 5 minutes or until thick, stirring so it won’t scorch.

Strain and chill a couple of hours and freeze in ice cream maker.