18 February 2007

chocolate-orange Guinness cake

8 oz butter, room temperature
8 oz dark brown sugar
10 oz self-rising flour
1 t baking powder
pinch of salt
2 T cocoa (heaping)
grated rind of one orange
4 eggs
1/2 c Guinness

8 oz icing sugar
4 oz butter
freshly squeezed orange juice

preheat oven to 375F. grease two 8" cake pans. cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa into a bowl. add the orange rind to the creamed butter and beat in the eggs, one at a time, including a spoonful of the measured flour mixture with each one, and beating well between additions. gently mix in the Guinness, a tablespoonful at a time, including another spoonful of flour with each addition. if there's any flour left over, fold it in gently to mix; blend thoroughly without over-beating. divide the mixture between the tins, smooth down, and put the cakes into the center of the preheated oven. reduce the heat to 350F and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the cakes are springy to the touch and shrinking slightly in the pans. turn out and cool on a wire rack.

meanwhile, make the icing. cream the softened butter and icing sugar together thoroughly, then blend in the grated orange rind and enough juice to make an icing that is soft enough to spread. when the cakes are cold, use half the icing to sandwich them together, and spread the rest on top.

12 February 2007

polish raspberry treats

2 c all-purpose flour
1 c brown sugar
1 c rolled oats
3/4 c walnuts, ground
1 c coconut
3/4 t salt
12 T unsalted butter, melted
1 lb raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a large rectangular pan (13x9" or thereabouts) with foil and butter the foil.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Break up any clumps of sugar with your finger tips and work the ingredients to mix them. Add the melted butter and work with fingers to combine well (if the mixture is too dry and doesn't stick together easily, add up to 2 T butter). Press half of dough in the foil-lined pan, working well into edges and pressing down to compact. Spread out the jam evenly to within 1/2" of edges of pan.

Take handfuls of remaining dough mixture and crumble it over pan, distributing evenly. Press down with palms of hand to compact - but not too hard. Bake until golden-brown, about 45 minutes.

Cool completely before cutting. Cut into 12 pieces.

caramel corn

18 c popped corn
2 c brown sugar
1 c butter or margarine
1/2 c light corn syrup
1 pinch salt
1/2 t baking soda

mix sugar, butter, syrup, and salt. boil over medium heat for 5 minutes. add soda and mix well. pour over corn, stir until evenly coated. spread on cookie sheets and bake for 1 hour at 205-225 degrees F, stirring every 15 minutes. spread on wax paper sheets on counter to cool.

11 February 2007

refried beans

2 15oz cans pinto beans
3/4 cup chicken broth
3-4 strips bacon
1 small onion, minced
1 medium jalapeno, minced
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t salt
2 cloves garlic, minced

food process pinto beans and broth for 15 seconds, then a series of 1 second pulses to achieve desired consistency

brown bacon in non-stick skillet, remove all but one tablespoon of fat, add the onion and jalapeno, cumin, salt. add garlic after onion begins to soften, cook another couple of minutes.

add the bean mixture and continue to cook, mixing it all together with a wooden spoon. if mixture is too thin, just continue to cook the extra liquid off.