Archive for August, 2007

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Spicy Macaroni & Cheese

August 22, 2007

Spicy Macaroni and Cheese

This is baking, but on the savory side! It gave Beth and I something to eat as we made everything else today! It does make quite a lot, too! we could have fed 4 people a whole meal of it and had plenty, so be prepared for leftovers! I found the recipe at http://www.foodnetwork.com a long time ago. I’m not sure if it is still there or not.

Here’s the recipe:

Spicy Macaroni and Cheese

Recipe Summary
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons minced pickled jalapeño chilies, to taste or 1 to 2 tablespoons of chipotle in adobo
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
5 cups milk
1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, juice discarded and tomatoes chopped and drained well
1 pound elbow macaroni
2 cups coarsely grated Monterey Jack (about 8ounces)
2 cups coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar (about 8 ounces)
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 1/4 pound)

In a large heavy saucepan cook the onion, the garlic, the jalapeños, or chipotle in butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until the onion is softened, stir in the flour, and cook the mixture, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the milk in a stream, whisking, bring the liquid to a boil, whisking, and whisk in the tomatoes. Simmer the mixture for 2 minutes and salt and pepper to taste.

In a kettle of boiling salted water cook the macaroni for 6 to 7 minutes, or until it is barely al dente, drain it well, and in a large bowl combine it with the tomato mixture. Stir in the Monterey Jack and the cheddar and transfer the mixture to a buttered 13 to 14 by 9-inch shallow baking dish or 3-quart gratin dish. In a bowl stir together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan, sprinkle the mixture evenly over the macaroni mixture, and bake the macaroni and cheese in the middle of a preheated 375 degree F. oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until it is golden and bubbly.

This recipe took a little time, but was well worth it! the mac ‘n’ cheese was fantastic! had just a little kick to it. I think I may try it again and put hamburger or a spicy sausage in it to make it a meal. And maybe a little cayenne pepper on top… Mmm!

Spicy Macaroni and Cheese

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Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies!

August 22, 2007

Oatmeal peanut butter chocolate cookies

phew! That’s a long title, but a darn tasty cookie! The cookies are very easy to make and you drop them on a pan like you would chocolate chip cookies. I found this recipe through Google. It came from a downloadable PDF file at http://base.google.com/base/a/1493989/D9449485058945114584. This PDF file has 604 different chocolate recipes! It was like looking through a treasure chest of tasty tidbits! I found several recipes I would like to try, but this one struck my fancy today.

Here’s the recipe:

Oatmeal, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Chunk Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup peanut butter
1-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2-2/3 cups rolled oats
1 10-ounce package miniature milk chocolate kisses

1. Beat butter and peanut butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric
mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar,
brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda; beat until combined, scraping
sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in
flour. Stir in rolled oats with a wooden spoon. Stir in chocolate kisses.

2. Drop dough from a #50 or #60 scoop, or from a tablespoon, 3
inches apart into an ungreased cookie sheet. Slightly flatten dough with your hand,
if desired.

img_0353.jpg

Bake in a 375 degree F oven about 8 to 10 minutes or until
edges are lightly browned. Transfer to wire racks and cool.

Store in an airtight container or plastic bag at room temperature up to 3 days.

Makes 60 to 72 cookies.

Make-Ahead Tip: Cool cookies completely. In an airtight or freezer
container, arrange cookies in a single layer; cover with a sheet of
waxed paper. Repeat layers, leaving enough air space to close
container easily. Freeze up to 1 month.

I loved this recipe because the only thing I had to go out and buy for it was the mini chocolate chips! Of course, the recipe calls for mini chocolate kisses, but I misread that! I’m sure they are just as tasty with the mini chips though they are probably not “chunk” cookies anymore!

The house smelled of these wonderful cookies for hours after they were finished. The cookie is unusual, in my opinion, because you can actually taste the different components. Often in “busy” cookies with lots of stuff in them the individual flavors get lost, but in this cookie you could really taste the oatmeal, the peanut butter, and the chocolate. I will definitely be using this recipe for my next cookie exchange! Or at least recommending it. I don’t go to that many cookie exchanges. Maybe I’ll start one!

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Chocolate Biscotti

August 21, 2007

Biscotti (with coffee!)

Continuing the Peabody’s blog theme from Katie’s earlier post today, I made her chocolate biscotti from the same site. Here’s the recipe:

Chocolate Biscotti
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 TBSP instant espresso powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 stick unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

White Chocolate for dipping

Preheat oven to 350F.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Working together with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until pale, about 2 minutes; the mixture may be crumbly. Scrape down the sides of the bowl , add the eggs and vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes; don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing only until dough forms. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the chopped nuts and chocolate, then turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead un any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, roll the dough into a 12 inch long logs. Flatten both logs with the palm of your hand, so that they are 1/2 to 1 inch high, about 2 inches across and sort of rectangular, then carefully lift the logs onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle each log with a little sugar.

Bake the logs for about 25 minutes, or until they are just slightly firm. The logs will spread and crack-and that’s fine.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven, put it on a cooling rack and cool the logs for about 20 minutes.(Leave oven on)
Working with one log at a time, using a long serrated knife, cut each log into slices between 1/2 and 3/4 inch thick. Stand the slices up on the baking sheet-you’ll have an army of biscotti-and bake the cookies again, this time for just 10 minutes.

Transfer the biscotti to a rack to cool.

If you want you can melt some white chocolate in a double boiler. Pour it into a shallow baking dish. Take the biscotti and dip which ever part you would like to be covered in chocolate. Set on a rack to harden.

Source: Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, Houghton Mifflin Company, Nov 2006

The biscotti came out pretty well, although not as dry and crunchy as the ones from the store. Which was fine with me, as the ones from the store hurt my poor gums. I’m sure I just need to bake them longer or something, but I kinda like the way they came out.

Biscotti

They tasted mighty fine with my coffee this morning! The only change I made was to use pecans for the nut, as I am a lover of pecans and Katie apparently prefers them as well. I also, fairly obviously, used a darker chocolate for the dipping portion. Bittersweet, to be exact. It was highly recommended to eat them topped with the whipped cream from the spray bottle – I am not a fan of the whipped cream from a bottle, but it wasn’t half bad.

And, of course, we didn’t let any of the left-over melted chocolate go to waste:

Chocolate-covered strawberries

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Blackberry Jam Cakes!

August 21, 2007

Blackberry Jam Cake

I tried to make Blackberry Jam cakes the other day. I used a recipe I found at Culinary Concoctions by Peabody (http://www.culinaryconcoctionsbypeabody.com/) The recipe was really easy! I don’t make too many cakes from scratch but these are pretty tasty! You don’t taste the jam much in the cake but the icing is very flavorful.

Here is her recipe:

Blackberry Jam Cake

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¾ cup sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups cake flour
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
½ tsp fresh nutmeg
¾ cup sour cream
1 cup blackberry preserves

Preheat oven to 300F˚.
Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time and scrape down the bowl after each egg. Add the vanilla a beat for another 30 seconds.
Sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking soda.
Add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beating after each addition. Fold in the blackberry preserves.
Pour into a buttered and floured 10-inch Bundt or tube pan (I used mini). Bake at 300F˚ for 15 minutes. Increase heat to 350F˚ and bake until done (40-50) minutes. If making the mini, bake about 10 minutes less. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire rack to finish cooling.

If you want to make the glaze (no real recipe) simply heat up some jam. Remove the jam from the heat when it has melted and sprinkle in some powdered sugar until you reach a consistency you are happy with.

I used regular all-purpose flour in mine, as my local Meijer didn’t have cake flour. The cakes were a bit dense for my taste, but that may be because of the flour difference. They are excellent with coffee as well as served warm with vanilla ice cream. Yum!

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KBK Bakery is experimenting!

August 17, 2007

 We’ve decided to start trying out new recipes and posting our results online! Fun, huh? Our first “foodie” post should be out tomorrow! Look for it and we’ll keep you posted!

KBK Bakery

Katie, Beth, & Karoline