Saturday, October 30, 2010

Homemade Candy Corn

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After watching the latest episode of "Good Eats" hubby and I decided it was time for us to make some candy corn.  Due to copyright infringement, you will have to find the recipe for it here.  Here are some pictures that I took along the way of making.... enjoy!
First you need to carefully weigh out your ingredients
 After the liquids have reached the proper temperature, add the powder sugar and dry milk.
allow the mixture to cool and cut into thirds.  You will color one third yellow, one third orange and the last third leave white.
roll into 1/2 inch thick strips and press rolls together.  cut into pieces.
Pieces will likely get misshapen so you will have to help them out a bit.... Allow the pieces to firm up and then Voila, you have candy corn!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Cookie Carnival: October Challenge 2010- Pumpkin Oatmeal Chip Cookies

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I put up a buch of pumpkin puree in the freezer last fall (2009)... I'm not kidding, it was a TON! I still have some to use up so I was excited that one of the options for this months Cookie Carnival challenge was for something that used pumpkin.  I hope more challenges come up using pumpkin.... just between you and me, I bought four sugar pumpkins this week that I will be steaming and putting up ;-)  One day my freezer will completely break down and I'll be in a world of trouble with all the vegies and fruits I have put up.

Any way, back to the cookies!  The recipe for Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies, is found on this wonderful blog run by Jamie of  My Baking Addiction.   I made a few changes but all in all this is a fabulous cookie recipe!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

yield   48 cookies
  my changes are found in italics
2 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter; softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar  (I used dark brown sugar)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup pure pumpkin puree ( if using frozen puree, like I had, be sure to thaw and allow puree to drain, using cheese cloth, to removed built up moisture from the freezing process)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cherries; roughly chopped   ( I used Craisins as I always seem to have those on hand)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line your baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
2. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter, Brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy. I generally find this process to take about five to seven minutes.
3. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract; mix well. Add flour mixture; combine until all ingredients are incorporated. Fold in white chocolate chips and dried cherries (or Craisins).
4. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets.
5. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
     Storage: Cookies store well in an airtight container for up to three days.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Daring Baker: October challeng; Doh!!! Its doughnuts!!!

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The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious

Mmmmmmm... doughnuts.  Glazed, frosted, sprinkled, you name it and I'm there!  While I have been looking for an amazing baked doughnut recipe for this spiffy pan I got, this month's Daring Bakers Challenge was to make cake or yeast doughnuts, baked or fried.  If you're going to splurge then you might as well splurge big.  So, yeah baby - I went fried all the way!

I'm a huge Alton Brown fan so I decided to go with his recipe.  Thankfully, the recipe was rated with high reviews so I knew I was in for a treat.  The recipes for both the chocolate and vanilla glazes are from Alton, too.

Yeast Doughnuts
adapted from Alton Brown

1 1/2 cups milk
2 1/2 ounces butter
2 packages instant yeast
1/3 cup warm water (95 to 105 degrees F)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
23 ounces all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting surface
Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
     Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the butter. Place the shortening in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.
     In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and butter mixture, first making sure the milk and butter mixture has cooled to lukewarm. Add the eggs, sugar, salt, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment, combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined. Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well. Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth; dough will be sticky. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or two until doubled in size.
     On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch thick. Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch doughnut cutter or pastry ring and using a 7/8-inch ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
     Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 degrees F. Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for
1 minute per side. Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired.

Vanilla Glaze
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar

     Combine milk and vanilla in a medium saucepan and heat over low heat until warm. Sift confectioners' sugar into milk mixture. Whisk slowly, until well combined. Remove the glaze from the heat and set over a bowl of warm water. Dip doughnuts into the glaze, 1 at a time, and set on a draining rack placed in a half sheet pan for 5 minutes before serving.
Yield: enough glaze for 20 to 25 doughnuts
Chocolate Doughnut Glaze
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup whole milk, warmed
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

     mbine butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla in medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until butter is melted. Decrease the heat to low, add the chocolate, and whisk until melted. Turn off heat, add the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Place the mixture over a bowl of warm water and dip the doughnuts immediately. Allow glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving.
Yield: enough glaze for 20 to 25 doughnuts

Friday, October 22, 2010

tomato soup

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I'm still on China time and trying to get back in to the groove of things.  China was fabulous and I'll post some pics after I get them organized.  The weather is supposed to become wet and ugly for us, here in North Idaho that is, so I figured that now is a great time to share this fabulous tomato soup recipe I have.  Not even my vita mix could get it to come out completely smooth, but the flavor is stupendous!

Cream of Tomato Soup

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained reserving
3 cups of the juice
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons flour
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large pot or dutch oven, over medium heat. Add the onion and slightly carmalized.  Add the tomatoes and allow the onions to complete carmalization process. 
Stir in the flour, cook one minute.  Slowly add the broth and the reserved juice from the tomatoes.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook ten minutes.  Puree the soup using either a blender or immersion blender.  Return pureed soup to pot and stir in the cream.  bring to a simmer and season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to your taste preference.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Off to China!

Leaving for a ten day trip to China.  Will share some pics of the cuisine when I return.  Going to be an amazing  trip and am so excited!  Been so busy preparing for the trip that I haven't posted anything new on the blog.  Sorry!