Archive for the 'Lovin’ from the Oven!' Category

Recipe: Italian Traditions

|November 8, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

All Soul’s Day

November 2nd is ALL SOUL’S DAY – also know as the “Day of the Dead” – it is the day following All Saint’s Day.

All Soul’s Day is a Roman Catholic Holiday – a day of remembrance for those that have passed on. There are church services and festivals in honor those that have died.

In Italy, they begin selling special cookies starting before November. Ossa dei morti – known as bones of the dead – are cookies that are flavored with cloves (Sicilian), and from other areas they may use almonds, some using hazelnuts. These sweets are to meant to bring cheer, compensating for the sadness of All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day.

Different regions in Italy have different recipes:

And may I remind you – these are what Italian babies teethe on!

These are made with cornmeal:

Bring 2 quarts water to a rolling boil; sift in (about) 1 pound cornmeal, stirring constantly, until you have the consistency of soft mashed potatoes. Stop adding cornmeal at that point. Keep stirring. When done, let it rest a couple hours.

When ready to make the cookies: Whip it, adding salt and pepper (a good dose of pepper); work in wheat flour (a good handful) to give it a good consistency; remove dough from pot.

Form into breadsticks – wider in the middle and tapered at the ends. Place on lightly floured baking sheets. Bake in preheated 360* F. oven until hard and cracked – you’ll see fine cracks.

In some regions, bones of the dead are made from risen bread dough, that has butter and oil added to it, as well as sugar and anise seed. These can also be sweetened with honey. When using bread dough, shape into sticks shaped like fingers. These get baked twice. The first time for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on size), cooled and baked again.

You can also find these cookies made with sweet wine, spices, dried fruits, chocolate and pignoli.

Peel and grind ½ lb. almonds until they are half the size of a grain of rice, adding ½ cup sugar as grinding. Add 1 cup flour; work in 2 tablespoons butter and one large egg. Flavor with some lemon zest, or orange zest, or vanilla along with enough sweet liqueur to make a soft dough. Break dough into pieces the size of a fava bean, brush with egg yolk and place on floured baking sheet. Bake at 375* F. until done. Because of their size they bake quickly.

When Carmella made hers:

Cup* flour, half cup sugar, some pine nuts, blanched, peeled and finely chopped almonds**, lemon zest from half a lemon, cinnamon, and a shot glass of grappa. Pull off small pieces, roll and shape with floured hands, place on greased and floured baking sheets, brush with beaten egg, and bake at 350* F. until done.

**be careful not to grind to the point that the oils come out of the almonds

*Carmella didn’t own measuring cups – she used a cup from the dish set. Just like we all did in the family. No measuring cups, no measuring spoons. Our measuring cups were our tea cups, our measuring spoons are our teaspoons and dessertspoons from our silverware. I still use my hands to measure – it’s easier and it hasn’t failed me yet. I was raised to bake and cook by look and feel.

Like I said – every region has their own recipes for these – there are no set rules – it’s the thought that counts.

Recipe: Homemade pizza, ricotta cheese

|November 8, 2011|read comments (2)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Today I made some pizza dough to make a nice old-style Napolitan pizza.

Dissolved my yeast in warm water in a large bowl, added just a tiny bit of sugar, water, oil, flour and salt.

After the first rise, I separated the dough into portions. One went into a large (food grade) plastic bag – leaving plenty of room at both ends for it to rise in the refrigerator; placing a  twist tie at the very end of the bag for closure. Gently place on a tray and slide into the refrigerator and DO NOT DISTURB at all. That is for tomorrow's pizza.

Since it is dough for pizza – it doesn't need to rise a second time. So I spread my dough in my tin (today I used a jelly roll pan), greased (grease for a soft-bottomed crust, do not grease for a crunchier bottom), and drizzled a bit of olive oil over the top.

I opened a large can of crushed tomatoes and cooked them with diced onions; seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, parsley, basil, and a bit of marjoram. Simmered to thicken a bit; cool before spreading on pizza. The rest is in the refrigerator for tomorrow's pizza. A light sprinkle of grated Pecorino Romano and a sprinkle of dry bread crumbs.

Now that is the way pizza is supposed to be made!

While that was being made, I made my ricotta cheese. Look – I couldn't beat the price. I found whole milk for $1.68 per gallon at WalMart. I didn't have buttermilk so I used about 1/4 cup of white vinegar; stir and bring to simmer. By the time the temperature of the milk hits about 175 to 180* F. you will see the whey and the curds separate. Transfer curds to a cheesecloth-lined strained (several layers of cheesecloth) – drain off liquid but don't press the curds. Place over bowl and bring up ends of cheesecloth and tie; allow to drain overnight in the refrigerator (make sure to have a deep bowl so that the liquid is not touching the cheese). I'll have about 4 cups of homemade ricotta cheese for tomorrow's lasagna.

You can't beat homemade and you can't beat the price!

Since the oven will be on tomorrow, I'll make my homemade bread in the morning and time it so that it comes out of the oven just in time to slide the lasagna in. A large salad of greens with a nice homemade vinaigrette and we will be happy. I have our big meal planned for some time between noon and 1 in the afternoon; pizza for the later meal with chicken wings. Hey – it's a great way to watch a football game!

Recipe: How pumpkin pies are made –

|October 29, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

How pumpkin pies are made –

 
(don't ask)
 
and while I'm at it – I hope you don't mind if I MOON you!
 
 
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Recipe: oh that famous 3 ingredient peanut butter cookie recipe……..

|October 29, 2011|read comments (2)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Several years ago a chef came up with a very simple recipe for peanut butter cookies:

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg

Combine, mixing well, drop or shape into balls and bake in moderate oven until done (depending on size).

Easily doubles or triples with no problem.

And of course – the tweaking started:

Some added 1 teaspoon vanilla, while others wanted to add a pinch of salt – with or without the vanilla. Not to mention those that use brown sugar or granulated and brown sugar combined.

Which brings me to this:

There are the “blossomers” who like to add the chocolate kiss. But don’t forget the “upside-down blossomers” that want to insert the chocolate kiss upside-down into the cookie.

Of course, there are the “surprise fillers” that place a chocolate kiss or a chocolate wafer into the center of the cookie before baking. Try filling with a Rolo candy, Milk Dud, or other chocolate covered whatever; even chocolate (or regular) marshmallows.

We also have the “candy crazy” that enjoy adding M&M’s to their dough, or peanut M&M’s, or Butterfinger bits, toffee bits, Skittles – whatever satisfies your sweet tooth.

Don’t forget about the “nuts about nuts” that use the crunchy peanut butter, or roll the cookies in chopped nuts of choice before baking, or add a favorite nut to the center for a nice nutty surprise.

Remember the “chippers and chunkers” that add semi-sweet, dark chocolate, white chocolate, cinnamon or butterscotch morsels or chunks to the mix.

Then there are the “true PB lovers” that shape the dough around a mini Reese’s cup.

Even the “rollers” like to shape and roll the cookies in chocolate jimmies, chopped nuts, coconut, Rice Krispies, Cocoa Puffs or any cereal, graham cracker crumbs, or even sugar before baking.

The “healthy alternatives” will add raisins or other dried fruit, oatmeal or even flax seed! Some will use honey.

And there are the “icers” that need to cool the cookies before plunging into a vat of melted chocolate of choice, or drizzling with a chocolate, vanilla, caramel or butterscotch icing or ganache.

Oh what a simple 3-ingredient recipe can turn into!  And the possibilities are endless!

Recipe: Christmas cookie recipes

|October 9, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

 

 
At this time of the year with us being so busy, I' quite sure that sharing some Christmas cookie recipes would be welcomed!

If you are looking for a special recipe – just drop me a line – and I will go through all my recipes for you.

HAPPY BAKING!

These are very good and easy to make – also, great at any time of the year!

Amish Sugar Cookies

1 cup sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup cooking oil
2 eggs
4 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375* F.

Combine sugars, butter and oil, beat well. Add eggs and mix well. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar and vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator overnight. Make into small balls and flatten slightly with a fork. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Do not over cook.

Recipe: Butternut Balls

|October 9, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

1 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups mashed pecans (or walnuts)
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 300* F.

Cream butter thoroughly. Add remaining ingredients except powdered sugar. Roll into balls about walnut size. Place on ungreased cookie sheet for 35 minutes preheated oven. Roll in powdered sugar immediately and cool on waxed paper. (Cookies may be made in advance and frozen.)

Recipe: Ginger Balls

|October 9, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

These cookies are absolutely perfect for the holiday season.

I've watched many stand by the cookie platter just popping them in – one right after the other!

Preheat oven to 375* F.

Beat on low speed until well blended:
1 cup butter (not margarine), softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup (yes, at times I've used light)
1/2 cup mild molasses

Gradually beat in:
3 cups flour
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

Have a small bowl of granulated sugar on hand for rolling cookies in – about 1/4 cup

Roll into 1 1/2-inch balls; roll in sugar bowl to coat. Place on ungreased cookie sheets about 2-inches apart. Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 14 minutes. transfer to wire rack to cool about 2 minutes after removing from oven.

Store air tight.

Recipe: Some really good cookie recipes

|October 9, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

These are a few recipes I shared on my blog back in December 2010 –

This recipe is great for those that need to make cookies for a cookie exchange – or just big batch baking!

I hope you give this a try –

Basic Butter Cookie Dough Recipe with Variations

4 sticks (1 pound) salted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

Step 1: In a large bowl, with an electric mixer set on medium-high speed beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Step 2: Beat in egg yolks, one at a time.
Step 3: Beat in vanilla extract.
Step 4: Beat in flour gradually until just combined.

Makes enough dough to do two of the listed recipes below.

This dough can be wrapped and refrigerated for up to 48 hours before using. You can also freeze this dough about 3 weeks ahead of time.

Whenever working with butter dough if it should become to soft and sticky, just place it in the freezer for a few minutes until firm again.

Raspberry Hazelnut Triangles

1/2 prepared basic butter cookie dough
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
1/2 cup finely chopped hazelnuts

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 2: Roll out dough between two sheets of wax paper into an approximately 14-inch square, about 1/8 inch thick.
Step 3: Remove top sheet of wax paper and spread raspberry jam across dough.
Step 4: Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts.
Step 5: With a knife, cut dough into 2-inch squares, and halve each square diagonally to form triangles.
Step 6: Arrange triangles 1/2 inch part on ungreased cookie sheets.
Step 7: Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Let cookies remain on sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling surface.

Makes 96 cookies.

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Sticks

2 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, toasted golden and cooled
1/2 prepared basic butter cookie dough, at room temperature
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Step 1: In a large bowl, mix butter dough and coconut until just combined.
Step 2: Halve dough and on 2 pieces of waxed paper pat into 11 x 2 1/2-inch rectangles. Chill dough wrapped in wax paper for about 30 minutes or until firm.
Step 3: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 4: Working with one rectangle of dough at a time, cut dough crosswise into 1/4-inch slices.
Step 5: Arrange slices 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. With a sharp knife halve each slice lengthwise forming sticks; separating them slightly with knife.
Step 6: Bake for 12 minutes or until slightly golden. Leave cookies on sheets for 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling surface.
Step 7: In a medium microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate on medium-high setting until smooth.
Step 8: Gently dip one end of stick into bowl, wiping off excess on rim. Reheat chocolate occasionally if needed to keep thin. Place sticks on wax paper to cool.

Makes about 15 dozen cookies.

Orange Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup old fashion rolled oats
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1/2 prepared basic butter cookie dough, at room temperature
About 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Step 1: In a medium bowl, soak cranberries for 15 minutes in war water. Drain and chop fine; set aside.
Step 2: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 3: In a large bowl, beat cranberries, pats and grated orange peel into basic butter dough until just combined.
Step 4: Place 1/2 cup of granulated sugar in small bowl. Form dough into 1-inch balls and roll in sugar to coat. Arrange balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten each ball with drinking glass with bottom wrapped in wax paper to prevent sticking.
Step 5: Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Transfer cookies to cooling surface.
Makes 7 dozen cookies.

Spiced Icebox Butter Cookies

1/2 prepared basic butter cookie dough, room temperature
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons anise seeds, crushed lightly
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

Step 1: In a large bowl, with an electric mixer combine all cookie ingredients.
Step 2: Halve dough and on sheets of wax paper form each half into 12-inch log. Chill logs, wrapped in wax paper at least 2 hours or overnight.
Step 3: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 4: With sharp knife cut logs into 1/8-inch slices and arrange 1/2-inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Step 5: Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Transfer cookies to cooling surface.

Icing:
Step 1: In a small bowl, whisk together icing ingredients and transfer to a sealable plastic bag. With scissors cut a 1/8-inch opening in corner of bag.
Step 2: Drizzle each cookie with icing and let set to dry.

Makes about 10 dozen cookies.

Recipe: an incorrectly published pie recipe

|September 24, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

I am posting this once again – for those that may be recipe hoarders and never really take the time to read the recipe through until it is time to make it –

 

Okay – it's Sunday morning and we all look forward to enjoying the Sunday paper, reading ads, looking at sale papers and at this time of the year, we check out the recipes that are including in the coupon sections that they hand out with the paper.

Of course I am drawn to the recipes –

sure as shootin'

take a look at this recipe:

Pumpkin Apple Pie

Yield:
8 servings Prep Time:
10 minutes Bake Time:
50-55 minutes Chill Time:
2 hours

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon Karo® Corn Syrup OR Karo® Lite Syrup
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 can (5 fluid ounces) evaporated milk

1 can (21 ounces) Comstock® or Wilderness® Apple Pie Filling

1 (9-inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust

MIX sugar, salt and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl. Add egg and beat slightly. Add syrup, pumpkin and evaporated milk; blend well.

SPREAD apple pie filling in pie crust. Gently pour pumpkin filling over the apples.

BAKE in a 425°F preheated oven for 15 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350°F and continue baking for 35 to 40 minutes, or until knife inserted in pie center comes out clean.

CHILL a minimum of 2 hours before serving.

WHHHAAATTTTTT???

Am I THAT old that I don't understand this recipe?

Or do they need to find an editor that is not blind and knows something about baking pies?

Or is it me?

Did you read this recipe? Please take a look –

What am I looking at?

1/4 TEASPOON Karo syrup

????????????

If their Classic Pumpkin Pie has 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup Karo syrup in the ingredient list, why is this 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 TEASPOON Karo syrup – shouldn't it read 1/4 CUP???

To me – that cannot be right. So I called their customer service, which of course is closed today and I cannot call again until tomorrow – 9 to 4 Central time.

I honestly can't wait to hear their response on this one!

Do you realize – if this is incorrect – how many will follow that recipe because it is a Brand Name recipe and those that write them are supposed to put out correct recipes? Not only was it in the coupon section printed that way, but it is also on their site.

I know I am old(er), and I know I've been 'round the kitchen a few times (better than being 'round the block a few times!) but in all my years of baking – I have NEVER seen 1/4 TEASPOON of Karo in a pie recipe! Why use it to begin with at that measurement!!!!

Maybe it's me – but I will know tomorrow and I will edit this post and let you know what they say…………..

 

UPDATE –

I just got off the phone with customer service (they really appreciate me calling – NOT!) – the recipe was incorrectly printed in the paper and on their site. The customer service rep (what a way to start her day – with me – and thousands of other calls for the same reason) assured me that it WAS corrected on the site – as of our conversation – it wasn't – and I told her that it needed to be changed (she insisted it WAS corrected – until she checked and saw it for herself – but she was told they changed it). (Their proof-reader needs glasses!)

This is the correct recipe – and I was right – 1/4 cup not 1/4 teaspoon Karo syrup:

Pumpkin Apple Pie

Yield:
8 servings Prep Time:
10 minutes Bake Time:
50-55 minutes Chill Time:
2 hours

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 egg
1/4 cup Karo® Corn Syrup OR Karo® Lite Syrup
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 can (5 fluid ounces) evaporated milk

1 can (21 ounces) Comstock® or Wilderness® Apple Pie Filling

1 (9-inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust

MIX sugar, salt and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl. Add egg and beat slightly. Add syrup, pumpkin and evaporated milk; blend well.

SPREAD apple pie filling in pie crust. Gently pour pumpkin filling over the apples.

BAKE in a 425°F preheated oven for 15 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350°F and continue baking for 35 to 40 minutes, or until knife inserted in pie center comes out clean.

CHILL a minimum of 2 hours before serving.

So the recipe is supposed to be corrected on their site – and for those that are going to follow the recipe from the newspaper – oh well – Karo is not reprinting it for them.

Recipe: Back to the pantry!

|September 21, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Still checking out the pantry for the upcoming months!

Brownies are always good and I can't think of one person who does not enjoy them.

This is a mix, remember to label and date – store airtight in your pantry.

BROWNIE MIX

6 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder**
4 teaspoons salt
8 cups sugar
1 can (8 ounces) baking cocoa (use a good quality chocolate)
2 cups vegetable shortening

In a large bowl, combine first five ingredients. With a pastry blender,
cut in shortening until evenly distributed. Store in a large airtight
container in cupboard. Keeps 10-12 weeks. Yield: about 17 cups of mix.

When it's time to make brownies:

2 1/2 cups brownie mix
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract**
1/2 cup chopped nuts optional
Confectioners' sugar, optional**

In a mixing bowl, combine first four ingredients. Beat with spoon until
smooth. Spread into a greased 8-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350'F for
20-25 minutes or until top tests done. cut into squares while still
warm. Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired. Yield: 9 brownies.

You can easily make mini-muffins or use as a base for a large brownie cookie by spreading thin in a pizza tin. The aluminum pizza tins are nice to use. Adjust cooking time.