28 November 2005

cranberry amaretto sauce

This recipe is a family holiday tradition, given to us by a friend and neighbor of my grandmother's.

one lemon
4 T unsalted butter
2 c sugar (can use slightly less for a more tart sauce)
1 (12 oz) bag fresh cranberries
3 T orange marmalade
1/3 c amaretto liqueur

Wash and pick over cranberries. Zest the lemon, set the zest aside; juice the lemon. In a thick-bottomed saucepan, slowly melt the butter over low heat, add the lemon juice and sugar when partly melted. Stir well to combine; when sugar mixture is more liquid than solid, add the cranberries and continue to cook over medium low heat until most of the berries have popped. Remove from the heat, add the lemon zest, marmalade and amaretto.

Makes around 3 cups. Keeps well in the fridge in a jar for weeks, possibly months.

ginger cake

1 c stout (Sam Smith Imperial Stout is excellent for this)
1/3 c molasses
2/2 c golden syrup (if you can't find golden syrup, use molasses instead)
1/2 T baking soda
1/2 T baking powder
1/2 c dark brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
1 c butter, softened
3 eggs
2 3/4 c all-purpose flour
2 T ginger
1 T cinnamon
1/2 t cloves
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2-3/4 c stem ginger (soft ginger in syrup, crystallized ginger would do in a pinch)

Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Grease two loaf pans, line the bottom with parchment, and grease the parchment. Alternately, butter and flour a Bundt pan.

In a good sized saucepan over high heat, combine stout, molasses, and golden syrup. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, carefully add baking soda and baking powder (mixture will foam up violently). Allow to sit until foam dissipates and mixture cools enough to touch.

Cream together butter and sugar until pale. Add eggs one at a time, beat til fully incorporated. In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg. Combine the stout mixture with the egg mixture, then add to flour mixture in batches until combined, mixing at medium speed. Batter will be thin.

Chop stem ginger or soft ginger into small bits and stir into batter. Pour into prepared pans and bake for about an hour, until tester comes out almost clean, or until the top springs back when gently pressed. Do not open the oven to test until at least 45 minutes have elapsed, or the center may fall slightly.

Let cool on racks for at least an hour, then turn out and continue to cool as needed. Keeps well for several days wrapped in foil. Would be good with a glaze or icing, but is also excellent all by itself.

This recipe was created by combining bits of four or five other gingerbread/cake recipes that we thought were interesting. As far as I know, the proportions are unique to us, and success may or may not depend largely on using the same brand of ingredients.

17 November 2005

split pea soup

buy a ham butt, carve it into three piles: one for bits of ham you would like to eat, one for bits of ham to use for stock, one for bits of ham that are solid fat. throw the bits of fat away.

boil the bone and the stock bits with 10 cups water, 3-4 chopped onions, 1 lb split peas (rinsed & picked over) for about two hours, until peas begin to soften. remove from heat, take out bone and other bits of ham that you wouldn't want to eat. put in fridge overnight.

the next day, skim off fat and jelly. reheat and continue to cook until peas have fallen apart completely and soup has thickened. at some point in this process, season with salt, white pepper, a dash of nutmeg and some red pepper flakes. add some of the bits from the first (good) pile of ham, heat through, and serve, garnished with finely chopped chives or scallions.

13 November 2005

chocolate delight cookies

Makes about 48 cookies

12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 c whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 c unsalted utter, softened
1 1/3 c sugar
2 large eggs
2 t vanilla
48 chocolate-covered almonds

Place chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and melt in the microwave on medium in 30 second bursts, stirring after each burst to ensure even melting, until completely melted.

Meanwhile, whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar until well-combined. Add eggs and vanilla, beat until creamy. Add the melted chocolate, beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients with a spoon until just combined. Refrigerate the dough until barely chilled, 15 minutes.

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Roll dough into 1" balls and place on the prepared baking sheet, 2" apart. Bake the cookies, one batch at a time, until puffed and slightly dried on top, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently press an almond into the center of each cookie. Let cool for 5 minutes on the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Allow the pan to cool slightly between batches.

12 November 2005

Lebkuchen (German Spice Cookies)

1 egg
1 cup honey
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 cups flour
1 cup walnuts, chopped
Grated zest from 1 small orange
1-1/4 cups confectioner's sugar
5 teaspoons water1 teaspoon vanilla
In a large bowl, mix first 10 ingredients and 1-1/2 cups of flour. Mix well with wooden spoon, stir in walnuts, orange zest and rest of flour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two cookie sheets. Drop heaping
tablespoon, 1/2 inch apart. Bake 20 minutes, or until toothpick in center
comes out clean. Remove and cool.

In a small bowl, mix confectioner's sugar,
water and vanilla. Brush cookies when dry. Store in container.

01 November 2005

pumpkin apple bread

preheat oven to 350, grease two loaf pans well.

3 c flour
3/4 t salt
2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1/4 t cloves
1/4 t allspice
1/4 t ginger
1 can (15 oz) solid-packed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 c applesauce
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 apples, peeled, cored, chopped

sift together dry ingredients in medium bowl. in large bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, oil, applesauce, sugar. mix in dry ingredients. fold in apples. put in pans.

combine 5 T sugar, 1 T softened butter, 1 T flour, 1 t cinnamon with fingers until consistency of coarse meal. sprinkle on top of batter.

bake for around 60 minutes until tester comes out clean. let cool in rack for 45 minutes, turn out and continue to cool at least another 45 minutes before cutting.