This is the Horde. Below are our Recipes. Thanks for sharing our Kitchen

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Homemade Nutella

Over the holidays I had a craving for Nutella.  I love Nutella as do my kids.  The stores were all closed so I decided to play with some new toys I'd gotten for Christmas and try and make some.  I found a recipe online that is allowed to be shared and the credit for this goes to Su Good Sweets Here    I have to say it was excellent.  The kids have really enjoyed it and I used in the the Aebelskiver Recipe posted below...totally yummy

Here is the recipe

Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread (easy version)

Yield: about 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups)

2 cups whole raw hazelnuts
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
up to 1/4 cup vegetable or nut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place hazelnuts in a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Toast until the skins are almost black and the meat is dark brown, about 15 minutes. Stir the nuts halfway through baking to ensure an even color.

2.Since the skin is bitter, you’ll want to discard them. Wrap the cooled hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel or paper towel, and rub until most of the skins have come off. Don’t fret if you can’t get off all the skins.

3.Process nuts in a food processor, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until they have liquefied, about 5 minutes. First, you will get coarsely chopped nuts, then a fine meal. After a little while, the nuts will form a ball around the blade, and it will seem like you only have a solid mass. Keep processing. The heat and friction will extract the natural oils, and you will get hazelnut butter!

4.When the nuts are liquified, add in the sugar, cocoa and vanilla. Slowly drizzle in enough oil to make a spreadable consistency. Since the mixture is warm, it will be more fluid now than at room temperature.

5.Transfer the spread to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator for1-2 months. For best results, stir the chocolate-hazelnut spread before using.

Danish Aebleskiver - Pancake Balls with fillings

My mother in law is Danish.   She makes all kinds of traditional Danish dishes, desserts and meals.  I've learned how to make Danish soup but that's about it.  I'm going to get her to teach me how to make a couple of desserts while she is visiting.

She made something called Aebelskiver years ago in a little pan.  Basically they are round ball shaped pancakes and you need a special pan for them.  I've seen some cheapy ones on infomercials but have been told to stay away from them from the expert.  

My husband found me an awesome pan for Christmas and bought it for me along with a cookbook.  I tried to make some the other day and I did quite well for my first kick at the can I think.  I made another batch tonight as well.  I filled these ones with nutella and then some with apples/cinnamon.  These are made as a snack in Denmark...a very yummy snack I might add.

I used a basic recipe tonight.

1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs seperated
1 cup milk (I used skim)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks, milk, melted butter and vanilla.  Add the yolk mixture to the flour mixture and using a wooden spoon mix until well blended (it may be a little lumpy)

Using an electric mixer in a seperate bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff but not dry peaks form.  Using a rubber spatula fold half the egg whites into the flour mixture to lighten it.  Add the other half and fold it in until no white streaks remain.  The egg whites give them their light airy appearance and taste.  Use the batter immediately.

Heat the pan over medium low heat.  Brush butter into each cup and fill with about a tablespoon of batter.  Working quickly drop the filling into the center and cover with another dab of the batter.  Using wooden skewers flip the batter over while still pretty liquidy to cook the other side.  Keep flipping until fully cooked.  It only takes but a minute or two.

Fill each cup
and add filling quickly

After more batter has been added

After a quick flip with the wooden skewers

Sprinkle with icing sugar or dip in maple syrup

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Grandma Buddy's Famous Polish Pierogy

I am blessed with a range of cultures in my ancestry.  Holidays are when these cultures would emerge at the dinner table.  Christmas was never complete without Grandma's Pierogy.  Everyone requested them and she never failed.  At 80 years old she would roll out the dough by hand, and make these delicious mainstays of our family gatherings.  As we got older we'd have limits though.. ONLY TWO EACH!!! or she'd whack you with a wooden spoon.

My grandma taught us to make pierogy many times.  She'd host Pierogy making parties to teach us all but it always fell on her lap.  I knew how to make them but they are very labour intensive and there was just something about grandma's pierogy that was better.  (Other than the year she deviated from tradition and put shrimp in them...blech).

Now that Gran is gone, Christmas just doesn't seem like Christmas without her pierogy so one year I pulled out my recipe collection and found my hand written scratchily written Grandma recipe.  I imagine she is smiling down as we labour over them and somehow, making all these foods that my grans' made, makes it seem like they are here with us.  

We take a few shortcuts that make it easier, but I always get the kids involved.  We have our pierogy assembly line.  Usually get a few hundred made in about 2 hours working the way we do.  This year?  Oldest at work, youngest sick with fever, I made them with my two middle kids.  We just finished an hour and a bit and we got about 100 or so made.

Without Further adieu...the recipe.  It's sort of one of those handful of this, and "to taste" of that but I've tried to ballpark measurements for you.  In the end of the day, the best part is tasting the filling and adjusting as you go along but the essentials are potato, onion, and cheese.

Grandma Buddy's Ingredients.
8-10 medium to large size new white potato
3-4 cups shredded sharp ("old") cheese
1 large shredded onion (pureed is even better)
pepper to taste

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup water

Peel and boil potatos until thoroughly cooked.  Drain and mash until smooth.  I use a kitchenaid mixer.  Add the shredded cheese while the potato is still hot, as well as the onion, and mix on low-medium until smooth.  Add pepper to taste.  Taste periodically to see if it needs more cheese or not, pepper etc to your liking.

For the wrappers.  In the mixer place the flour and salt.  In a seperate bowl lightly scramble the eggs with the water and pour slowly into the mixer.  I use the triangular paddle for this on low speed.   Let the mixer combine and beat it until well combined.  Remove from the mixer and knead until smooth.  Cut the dough into small sections (maybe 5ths). can roll it out by hand until thin, cut with a mason jar lid and carry on, or do what we do.  We use an old fashioned hand cranked Pasta maker.

We start off rolling it at setting seven and finish at setting 5.  This gives it enough thickness to allow it to be pulled a bit for pinching.

Once rolled it goes to the board and is cut out with Mason Jar lids.  A heaping teaspoon of filling added and then you fold up the edges pulling a bit as you do and pinch them closed. 

Just like above.  Prepare a cookie sheet by spreading flour all over it.  Place the Pierogy in lines and when full, place in the freezer while the next tray is filled.  Once filled remove the semi frozen ones and place in a ziploc bag, sealing and placing back in the freezer.  Best part of this is they don't stick together and are now ready whenever you are.

To cook.   Have a large pot of boiling water ready.  Place about 12-15 in the water one at time and reduce the boil to about 8 once they start to boil up again (remember, they are frozen). Let them boil until they float.  Remove with a slotted spoon, and place on a readied skillet with butter.  Fry for just a few minutes on medium low heat until desired.   My grandma always fried them with Butter, Bacon, and onions.  We don't do the onions but bacon is a must.  I usually precook the bacon and add it after the fact though.  Serve with sour cream and love every savory bite.

Some people like them just boiled with butter...I'm a grandma purist. 

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Nunsfarts AKA Pet de Soeurs

My grandma passed away without passing on the secret to nun's farts.  This is a traditional Canadian treat with a rather interesting name.  There are lots of references to how they got their name, but one is not quite sure how the name really came about.  I always just thought it was cute and funny, and even my Catholic school Sister nun's had a sense of humour about them.

I have tried to figure them out.  They are really quite simple, but today I failed miserably. Given I have said I will even post my failures here they are. They taste amazing but look well...awful.  I took a pic of the best of the lot, but most of them have pretty much fallen apart.

This is the best of the bunch.  They do/did taste really good though.  Since they have all disappeared I figure looks can be deceiving.  I will figure this out at some point though.

I have always made these with premade pie dough, and I've been trying to make my own pie dough for the first time this year.  I made a couple of good batches of pie dough.  This one was not quite up to snuff which may have made the difference.

I'm pretty sure my kids are going to be totally devasted by the fact that we'll have to eat them vs. giving them away.  LOL.

I have zero measurements for this but maybe if someone has them they can send them to me and I'll credit you with an actual real recipe.

This is how I make them.  Roll out Pie dough to 1/4 inch thick.  Spread out a couple tablespoons of soft butter, sprinkle generously with brown sugar and cinnamon.  Roll it up, cut into 1 inch sections and transfer to a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes.   Let cool on the cookie sheet for about 3 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.

They taste divine.  Although I blew this batch, (and the last one), I will keep trying.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies, Peppermint Cream Cheese Filling

I have to tell all my readers.  I saw this in the Better Homes and Gardens magazine and just HAD to try them.  I love Red Velvet cake and have a recipe posted for it Here .   I thought...Wow, these would make fabulous cookie gifts sure to wow if they tasted as good as they looked.  I can say, Indeed they do!!

The end result is a cakey type cookie with a delicious filling.  Vibrant red (even though my picture may not reflect that).

Without further adieu.  The directions.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons red food colouring (I use Spectre gel)

Peppermint and Cream Cheese Filling (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside.  In a large bowl beat the butter for 30 seconds, add the brown sugar, baking powder, cocoa, and salt.  Beat until well combined.  Add the egg and vanilla, scraping the sides occasionally until combined.  Alternately add flour and buttermilk, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined.  Stir in the red food colouring.

Spoon dough from a rounded teaspoon (I used cookie ice cream scoops) onto the cookie sheets approx 2 inches apart.  Bake in the preheated oven for 7-9 minutes or until the edges are set.  Cool on cookie sheet for two minutes then remove to wire rack and let cool.

Spread Peppermint Cream cheese filling on the flat side of a cookie.  Top with remaining cookies, flat side down pressing very lightly together.

If desired sprinkle with crushed candy canes. ( I sprinkled the candy canes on half of them while they were  just out of the oven to ensure they held.

Peppermint Cream Cheese Filling
In a large bowl, combine two 3 oz packages cream cheese, softened, with 3 tablespoons of butter.  Beat on medium to high speed until light and fluffy.  Add 1 tsp of Peppermint extract.    Gradually,beat in 3 cups powdered sugar.  Add milk (I use whipping cream because I find it whips better), I tsp at a time to make a filling of spreading consistency.

To store:  Layer cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container, cover.  Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.  Let cookies stand at room temp for 15 minutes before serving.

10 fingers and toes up for this one!!!!  They are tasty and look delightful!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Buttertarts and Buttertart Mini's ~ A Canadian Classic

This is one of those Very Canadian treats.  Buttertarts!  My grandma used to make them all the time and it was always a fight over who would get the last one. 

I think the best thing I can equate it to is it's similar to a Pecan Pie for my American friends and readers.  You really must try this recipe.  You will never regret it.

My gran's recipe disappeared after she passed away.  Try as I might to find a copy I've not been able to.  So, I scoured the net looking for one, asked friends for their gran's recipe if they had one.
I wanted to make a tried and true recipe.  My friend JDurnford passed along her Grandma's recipe, and I ended up combining it with several others I found online to pretty much come up with a version I thought might work.  INDEED it did!!  I made them as mini's because they will be going into the cookie gift tins.  
The recipe makes approx 24 regular muffin cup buttertarts, or 48 mini ones. These bake up really quickly so if you are in a hurry use a premade shells or dough.

Pastry Shells (as taken off the back of my lard box)
1 lb lard
6 cups pastry flour (5 1/2 all purpose flour)
2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tbsp vinegar
Cold Water

Mix together flour and salt
Cut in lard with pastry blender or 2 knives until a course oatmeal like texture is achieved
In a one cup measure lightly beat the egg, add the vinegar and cold water to bring it to 1 cup (250 ml)
Gradually stir the liquid into the flour mixture. Add only enough water to make the dough cling together.

Gather into a ball and divide into 6 equal sized portions.  If desired, wrap unused portions and freeze.  Roll out the dough on a pastry cloth or lightly floured surface.  Chill for 1-2 hours if sticking.

Roll dough to approx 1//8-1/4 inch thick depending on the size of the muffin tins. (1/8 for mini, 1/4 for standard).   Cut dough with a round glass or cookie cutter and mold them into greased muffin tin (I use Pam)

1 egg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans (if desired)
1/2 cup raisins (if desired)

Combine all the ingredients and mix well.  Spoon mixture into the prepared shells.  If using mini's about a teaspoon worked well for me.  For larger ones, fill the cup to a little more than 1/2 full.  No more than that.

Mini's I baked at 375 F for 10 minutes, removing from oven and letting cool to touch before transfering them to a cooling rack.  This avoided them setting and sticking to the pan if any of the filling had expanded above my dough line.

Standard one instructions were to bake anywhere from 375-400 F for 10 minutes.

These were so good.  A+ in this house.  The kids walked in the door and tasted them immediately.  Two thumbs up from the junior contingent.
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