Saturday, December 16, 2006

Ginger Spice Cookies

Ginger Spice Cookies (a.k.a. the best ginger cookies evah) adapted from

makes about 30 cookies

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup crystallized ginger
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1/4 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses

Turbinado sugar

Combine first 7 ingredients in medium bowl; whisk to blend. Chop the crystallized ginger finely; mix into dry ingredients. (To keep the ginger from clumping together, sprinkle pieces across the top of the flour mixture, then fold in.) With an electric mixer, beat brown sugar and butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add egg and molasses and beat until blended. Add flour mixture; stir just until blended. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter baking sheet. Pour turbinado sugar into a thick layer on a small plate. (Regular granulated sugar will work for this, too, though the larger crystals of the turbinado add an extra crunch to the cookie.) Using wet hands, form dough into 1 1/4-inch balls; roll in sugar to coat completely. Place dough balls on cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. (I made my balls more like 1-inch, and ended up with about 48 cookies.)

Bake cookies until tops are cracked but still soft to the touch, 11-12 minutes. Cool on sheets for a minute or two, then transfer to racks and cool. Store in airtight container to maintain outer shell’s crunch… if they last that long.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Emeril's Coconut Indulgences

5 ounces condensed milk (I ended up using about 3/4 of a can)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 package sweetened flaked coconut -- (14-ounce)
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate for dipping)

In a large bowl, combine the condensed milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Stir well until thoroughly incorporated and smooth. Add the coconut and stir well to combine. With a tablespoon, scoop out portions of the candy mixture onto a baking sheet. With wet hands roll the candies into rounds. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

In the top of a double boiler or metal bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate chips. Pour the chocolate into a shallow bowl and, using 2 forks or toothpicks, dip the coconut balls into the chocolate and roll to coat completely. Shake off the excess, and place on a rack set over a baking sheet covered with waxed paper. Repeat with the remaining candies and let air dry, or refrigerate to harden

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Erika's Coquito

2 cans Coconut milk
1 1/2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup dark rum
10 ounces Coco Real (found in liquor dept. by pina colada mix)(or cream of coconut)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup Egg Beaters® 99% egg substitute (I used two of the cups from a 6 egg package)
1/2 cup brandy
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Combine Egg Beaters and rum in a mixing bowl and mix with a handheld mixer for about a minute. Add the coconut milk, condensed milk, evaporated milk, and Coco Real. Mix well with the beater. Add the cinnamon, vanilla, and brandy again mix well.

Store refrigerated in a glass bottle or glass pitcher (Leftover rum bottles work really well for this). Allow to rest for at least two days before consuming, shake well before serving. Serve well chilled.

** Your coquito should be consumed by the "best by" date on your Egg Beaters carton.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Perfect Maple Walnut Fudge

2 cups packed brown sugar
5 oz evaporated milk
1/2 pound butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup walnuts
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring

Butter a 9x13-inch pan and set aside. (9x13 will produce very thin fudge. use a smaller pan if you like thicker pieces.) lining the pan with foil or paper and buttering that makes cutting and removing much easier.

n a medium saucepan, combine sugar, butter and milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat very slightly and boil 10 minutes while stirring constantly. No longer! (I didn't stir constantly. I was fairly good about it, but I left it every now and then and that turned out to be ok.)

Remove from heat and add powdered sugar, vanilla and maple flavoring. Mix thoroughly with hand mixer on medium until thick and glossy - just a couple of minutes. Fold in walnuts and pour in prepared pan.

Note: This recipe also doubles easily. For thicker fudge double and still use the one pan.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Pork Roast with White Beans and Cranberries

1 pound dried navy beans (about 2 cups) (1 cup dried beans= 2 1/2 cups canned or pre-soaked)
1 (5-pound) pork shoulder blade roast, trimmed
1 1/2
teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage, divided
Cooking spray
1 1/2 cups sliced shallots (about 8 medium)
5 cups water
3 fresh sage sprigs
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Sort and wash beans; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours. Drain.

Preheat oven to 350º.

Sprinkle pork roast with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Rub surface of roast with 4 teaspoons minced sage. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add roast to pan; cook for 15 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove roast from pan. Add sliced shallots to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Return roast to pan. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, beans, 5 cups water, and sage sprigs to pan; bring to a simmer. Cover and bake at 350° for 2 hours. Add dried cranberries to pan; bake an additional 30 minutes or until roast is tender. Remove sage sprigs; discard. Remove roast from pan; shred pork with 2 forks. Sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons minced sage. Serve roast with bean mixture.

Yield: 13 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces roast and 1/2 cup beans)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Choco-Marshmallow Cookies

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 whole egg
1/4 cup coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
24 marshmallows -- cut in half
Chocolate buttercream frosting

Preheat oven to 350º.

Cream together shortening and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg. Add vanilla and coffee, mix to combine.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda. Add dry mixture to wet mixture, stirring to combine.

Drop dough by tablespoon onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 9 minutes. Remove from oven, and working quickly, press a half of a marshmallow- cut side down, onto the top of each cookie. Place back into the oven, bake for another 3 minutes.

Remove cookies to a rack to cool completely. Once cooled, frost cookies with your choice of chocolate buttercream frosting. Top with sprinkles or nuts if desired.

Makes about 48 cookies.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Caramel Almond Wafers

Caramel Almond Wafers

1/2 cup butter -- softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup sliced almonds

In large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter and the 1 cup sugar until creamy; add vanilla and egg and beat until smooth. In another bowl, stir together flour and baking powder; add to butter mixture, blending thoroughly. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until next day.

Preheat oven to 325F.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place 3 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Grease bottom of a glass, dip in sugar, and flatten each ball to a thickness of about 1/4 inch.

In a 2-quart pan, bring cream and the 2 teaspoons sugar to a boil; continue to boil until reduced by half. Remove from heat and stir in almonds. Spread 1 teaspoon of the almond mixture on top of each cookie.

Bake in a 325° oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer cookies to racks and let
cool. Store airtight. Makes about 48 cookies.

"Traditional cookie from the city of Bremen, Germany."