Nutella Biscuits

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The other morning, one of my sons asked me what I was planning to make for breakfast. I almost always offer them something homemade. Since it was a weekend morning and we didn’t have to worry about getting to school, I asked if he wanted to help me make something. It’s unusual that one of the boys wants to help me cook, so I was excited. We looked for an interesting looking breakfast recipe and came across this one. Biscuits are traditionally very easy to make, and the swirl of Nutella really appealed to him.

Three out of my four boys like Nutella. When done, we presented the biscuits as chocolate-swirl biscuits, and guess what – the one who claims he doesn’t like Nutella had no idea he was eating it. He’s the pickiest eater we have. I’m wondering if I can somehow present healthy things with new names and get him to try them. Somehow I doubt it, but if you have any ideas, please let me know.

I’m not a huge Nutella fan, but these biscuits are really delicious. The biscuits themselves are not sweet at all. The Nutella gives them a nice hint of chocolaty sweetness. They disappeared from the kitchen in record time. I’m lucky that we had time to snap a photo of the last three before they were scarfed down.

Nutella Biscuits
Recipe slightly adapted from Two Peas and their Pod

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup Nutella
Sea salt, for sprinkling on biscuits, optional

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper for a Silpat liner and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Mix in cold butter with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir with a spatula until combined. Roll the dough into a rectangle and spread the Nutella on it. Roll the dough into a log and slice it into 8 or 9 pieces (think cinnamon rolls.)

Place the sliced dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the biscuits with sea salt, if desired. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until tops are slightly golden brown. Remove from oven, let cool to room temperature and serve.

Yield: 8 or 9 biscuits

 

One year ago: Polish Cabbage, Bacon and Potato Casserole
Two years ago: Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Chocolate Cinnamon Swirl
Three years ago: Sugar Cookies with Nutella and Sea Salt
Four years ago: Chocolate and Meringue Angel Pie
Five years ago: Pad Thai with Chicken and Shrimp
Six years ago: Herbed Basmati Rice
Seven years ago: Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

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Coconut Chocolate Chip Magic Granola Bars

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I’m always on the lookout for healthy snacks for the boys to eat. As snack foods go, these bars aren’t terrible. They’re still a sweet snack, but they’re preservative free, unlike many of the granola bars that you buy at the supermarket. Three out of the four boys liked these. My husband and I liked them too, as did my mother. This recipe made 9 bars, and they didn’t last long. You have to be a fan of coconut to like these, you can definitely taste the coconut in them. Next time I make these, I might try to make them with unsweetened coconut.

This recipe gives you a number of options. For the sweetener, you can use honey, maple syrup or agave. I used maple syrup. It also calls for oat flour. I don’t ever have oat flour in my kitchen, so I took some oats, threw them in the food processor and blended away until I had a fine powder. That became my oat flour.

These granola bars are reminiscent of the Magic Cookie Bars, or 7-Layer Bars, as we sometimes called them, that I made years ago.

The boys have requested that I make these again, which I will. That’s always a great endorsement for a recipe.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Magic Granola Bars
Recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie

1 cup quick oats
1/4 cup shredded coconut (I used the sweetened kind)
1/4 cup oat flour, or grind up rolled oats in a food processor, then measure out 1/4 cup
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons agave, honey or pure maple syrup
2 Tablespoons of milk, if using agave or maple syrup. If using honey, use 1/4 cup of milk.
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Grease a loaf pan and preheat oven to 400 F. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients until evenly incorporated. Transfer the mixture to the loaf pan, spread out, and press down VERY firmly with a sheet of wax paper or a small spatula. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and press them down very firmly again. Wait for the bars to cool completely before trying to invert the loaf pan onto a plate. If you don’t, they might crumble. When cooled completely, they should come out of the pan in one big piece. Cut into bars. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers for optimal freshness.

Yield: ~9 bars

One year ago: Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup
Two years ago: Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Three years ago: Chipotle Quinoa with Corn and Black Beans
Four years ago: Oatmeal Cranberry and Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Five years ago: Crisp Roasted Potatoes
Six years ago: Dinner Spanakopita
Seven years ago: Grandma Sachs’ Crumb Cake

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Lemon Herb Quinoa with Spring Peas and Basil

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I have made this quinoa dish several times now, always serving it with chicken dishes (we eat a lot of chicken in our house). The original recipe calls for adding 1/4 cup of shelled hemp seeds. To date, I have not found hemp seeds in any of the markets in which I shop, so I left them out of the recipe. Perhaps I’ll be able to find them in a health food store. Even without the hemp seeds, this recipe is delicious. It’s the sweet mustard dressing that does it for me. It’s great served both warm or cold (although I slightly prefer it warm.) It’s great as a leftover as well. The fresh basil will get dark overnight in the fridge, but the taste won’t change.

The boys, as usual, wanted nothing to do with this recipe. My vegetarian son tried it under duress, and claimed he didn’t like it. Tonight I’m going to make some plain quinoa and try to get the boys to eat that. I’ve tried it a number of times in the past, and no one liked it, but I think it’s high time to try it again. Plain quinoa with a little melted butter and some salt – yum! Now if I can only convince the boys…


Lemon Herb Quinoa with Spring Peas and Basil

Adapted ever so slightly from Food52.com

1 cup Quinoa, dry
2 cups Water, cold
1 cup Green peas, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup Fresh basil, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon Sea salt (plus a little extra)
1 dash Black pepper

Rinse quinoa in a mesh strainer with cold water. Transfer to a pot and add the 2 cups cold water and a nice pinch of salt. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer, and leave the lid of the pot slightly ajar while cooking. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until quinoa is plump, the water is absorbed, and you see the tiny little outer “shells” of the quinoa grain coming loose in the pot.

Remove quinoa from heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes or so. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

While quinoa is cooking, boil fresh or frozen peas till warm and tender. Drain and set aside.

Mix quinoa, peas and basil in a large bowl. Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp sea salt, and black pepper. Pour over the quinoa salad mixture, and serve warm or cold. Dish will keep very well (though the basil might turn a little dark) in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Yield: 4 servings

One year ago: Cinnamon Streusel Baked French Toast Sticks
Two years ago: Coconut Bread
Three years ago: Salted Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars
Four years ago: Spanakopita Lasagna
Five years ago: Chocolate Chip Waffles
Six years ago: Chive Risotto Cakes
Seven years ago: Cheddar Corn Chowder

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Surprise Cookies

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The boys are off for spring break, so we spent some time on Shelter Island where I have a single cookbook, Martha Stewart’s Cookies. I wanted to make the boys a treat to eat during our movie night, so I perused the book. The boys love marshmallows, and so do I, so this cookie was the winner. It reminded me of one of my all-time favorite cookies, the Mallomar. I keep Malomars in the freezer because they’re great frozen.

Of course the boys didn’t like the delicious mashed potatoes I made for dinner the other night. I’ll definitely make them again – the addition of smoked gouda made them really tasty and creamy. They didn’t like the shaved brussels sprouts salad, quinoa salad or slow-roasted chicken either, all of which I thought were delicious. Instead, one ate a peanut butter sandwich, another had plain, pan-fried tofu, another had a slice of cheese quiche and the fourth had a breaded chicken breast and some peas. Nice.

Back to the cookies. Of course the boys loved these cookies. They’re big fans of chocolate and marshmallow, as am I. The cookie part of this recipe isn’t terribly sweet, but the marshmallow and frosting sweeten it right up. The boys have already asked me to make them another tray of these.

If you compare my cookie photo to Martha Stewart’s you’ll notice that she doesn’t have a single bit of chocolate on her marshmallow. I cut a couple of cookies, had my frosting smear on the marshmallow each time and decided to give up. Now that I look more closely at Martha’s photograph, I see that she cut her cookie before she frosted it! She added the frosting after the cookie was cut in half, making her photo look much nicer. Ah, the tricks that food photographers use.

Surprise Cookies
Recipe from MarthaStewart.com

Cookies:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
~14 large marshmallows, cut in half horizontally

Frosting:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg, milk, and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Add reserved flour mixture; mix on low speed until combined.

Using a tablespoon or 1 3/4-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto ungreased baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies begin to spread and become firm, 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove baking sheets from oven, and place a marshmallow, cut-side down, in the center of each cookie, pressing down slightly. Return to oven, and continue baking until marshmallows begin to melt, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. Place confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk in melted butter and cocoa powder. Add milk and vanilla, and whisk until well combined.

Spread about 1 tablespoon of frosting over each marshmallow, starting in the center and continuing outward until marshmallow is covered.

Yield: ~28 cookies

One year ago: Orange-Glazed Shrimp
Two years ago: Macaroni and Cheese with Black Beans and Chipotle
Three years ago: Oreo Rice Krispie Treats
Four years ago: Homemade Cheez-It Crackers
Five years ago: Breakfast Tart with Pancetta and Green Onions
Six years ago: Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Seven years ago: Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

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Lemon Fusilli with Arugula

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I know I have said this before, but I love Ina Garten recipes. I think I have every one of her cookbooks, and I have had great success with everything I’ve tried. This pasta dish is no exception.

The recipe indicates that it serves 4 – 5. I’d say it serves 6 – 7. It makes a LOT of pasta. Delicious pasta, but a LOT of it.

I am typically not a huge arugula fan, but it gives this recipe a nice bite. We had some (a LOT) left over (have I mentioned that our boys are really picky eaters?), and I noticed that the arugula flavor mellowed overnight.

For the tomatoes, I used a small container of heirloom tomatoes from Trader Joe’s. Yum! I also used Trader Joe’s whole wheat fusilli. Do make sure you use Kosher salt. If you don’t, definitely cut down on the salt called for in the recipe.

I loved all of the fresh vegetables in the pasta, and I also loved the lemon flavor in the sauce. It’s a great vegetarian meal. If you want to make it a little heavier, I think it would be nice with some chunks of chicken in it. This recipe is definitely a keeper, but next time I’ll make half the recipe so we’re not eating it for days on end.

Lemon Fusilli with Arugula
Recipe from Barefoot Contessa at Home

1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 cups heavy cream
2 lemons
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch broccoli
1 pound dried fusilli pasta
1/2 pound baby arugula (or 2 bunches of common arugula, leaves cut in thirds)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic, and cook for 60 seconds. Add the cream, the zest from 2 lemons, the juice of 2 lemons, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it starts to thicken.

Meanwhile, cut the broccoli in florets and discard the stem. Cook the florets in a pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain the broccoli and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the package, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta in a colander and place it back into the pot. Immediately add the cream mixture and cook it over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until most of the sauce has been absorbed in the pasta. Pour the hot pasta into a large bowl, add the arugula, Parmesan, tomatoes, and cooked broccoli. Toss well, season to taste, and serve hot.

Yield: ~6 servings

Two years ago: Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Muffins
Three years ago: Soft Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter Frosting
Four years ago: Chicken and Rice Stoup
Five years ago: Sugar-Crusted Popovers
Six years ago: Whoopie Pies!
Seven years ago: Chocolate White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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Mini Churros

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Yesterday was the first day of spring, and it snowed almost all day! We have had quite a winter here in NYC. I thought for sure our snowstorms were over for the year, but Mother Nature had other ideas. We probably got a good 4″ when all was said and done. The city looked beautiful both last night and this morning.

Our boys had some friends come over after school yesterday. With the snow falling heavily outside, I decided to try this recipe, which I had torn out of an old version of Food Network magazine. Our boys LOVE churros. What’s a churro? It’s a pastry make of fried dough dipped in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. A woman sets up a stand selling churros outside the boys’ schoolyard after school, and they always want to buy one.

This is a recipe that needs a bit of equipment to make. You’ll need a deep-fry thermometer to make sure the oil is hot enough to fry the churros correctly. If the oil is not hot enough, you’ll end up with an oily, soggy mess. If it’s too hot, the outside will brown quickly, leaving the inside raw. Ideally, the churros should be light and crispy. You’ll also need a pastry bag with a 1/2″ star shaped tip. In other recipes, I have recommended using a ziploc bag and cutting a hole in the corner if you don’t have a pastry bag. Definitely don’t try that with this recipe. The dough is hot when it comes out of the pan. I think it might melt right through a ziploc bag.

These were a lot of fun to make on a very snowy afternoon, and the kids loved them!

Mini Churros
Recipe from FoodNetwork.com

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup cake flour
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and fit a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch star tip; set aside. Combine 1 cup water, the butter, shortening, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and the salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon, then reduce the heat to low and stir vigorously until the mixture forms a ball, about 1 minute. Let cool slightly (the dough is very hot when it comes out of the pan), then transfer the dough to the pastry bag. Pipe 1-inch logs onto the prepared baking sheet, using kitchen shears to snip off each piece (you should have approximately 26 to 28 churros). Let them rest at room temperature for 15 – 20 minutes.

Heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a Dutch oven or pot until a deep-fry thermometer registers 360 degrees F. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar and ground cinnamon in a large bowl. Working in three batches, fry the churros until golden and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a rack set over a baking sheet. Let cool about 5 minutes, then add to the cinnamon sugar and toss to coat.

Yield: ~26 – 28 churros

One year ago: Broccoli, Cheddar and Wild Rice Casserole
Two years ago: Meyer Lemon Gelato
Three years ago: Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad
Four years ago: Alfajores
Five years ago: Pineapple and Meyer Lemon Sorbet
Six years ago: Peanut Butter Cookies
Seven years ago: Smashed Sweet Potatoes

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Nonna Luna's Rice

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I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I usually have a 2-lb bag of frozen shrimp in my freezer. I get a bag every time I go to Costco. The shrimp come frozen, peeled and deveined. They still have the tail on them, and you can choose to cook with the tails on or without them. I typically take them off, unless I’m using the shrimp for shrimp cocktail, in which case the tail becomes a nice little handle. Shrimp are very quick to cook, so they’re handy if you’re looking to make a last minute meal.

This is a simple meal to cook, and if you’re looking for a meatless meal, you can substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth. I made a couple of small substitutions to allow me to use the ingredients that I had in my cabinets. I only had Arborio rice, which is the kind used for risotto. I didn’t have any long grain rice on hand, so I gave the Arborio a shot. It worked out very well. I thought the rice was delicious. I also didn’t have any hot sauce on hand, so I made some of my own. I mixed two teaspoons of white vinegar with one teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper. I considered this to be the equivalent of one Tablespoon of hot sauce. I mixed enough for the recipe, and then added some extra because my husband and I like things that are spicy.

I will definitely make this again because it’s so easy, and it has quite a bit of flavor, despite the short and simple ingredient list. My husband loved it, but next time he asked me to make more of the cream sauce. If you’re just cooking for two, you can easily cut this recipe in half.


Nonna Luna’s Rice

Recipe from Giada deLaurentiis via Food Network

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, divided, at room temperature
2 cups parboiled long grain rice, such as Uncle Ben’s
3 ½ cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 clove garlic
2 pounds small shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 cup whipping cream
Freshly ground black pepper

In a medium non-stick saucepan, heat 1/2 of the butter over medium-low heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add the chicken stock and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer covered for 20 to 25 minutes until the rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat and rest covered for 5 minutes.

In a large skillet, melt the remaining butter over medium heat. Add the garlic clove and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes until aromatic. Add the shrimp, lemon juice, and hot sauce. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the shrimp is pink and cooked through. Stir in the cream and heat through. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Using a fork, fluff the rice and arrange on a platter. Spoon the shrimp cream sauce over the rice and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

One year ago: Chocolate Nudges
Two years ago: Sugar Saucers
Three years ago: Banana Bars with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Four years ago: Avocado Fries
Five years ago: Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
Six years ago: Black and White Cookies
Seven years ago: Lasagna with Pink Sauce, Leeks and Sausage

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Sour Cream Corn Bread

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I have made this corn bread several times now. We’ll eat it with dinner, then I’ll serve it again as toast for breakfast. Making cornbread in a loaf pan allows you to easily slice it into toaster-friendly pieces. This recipe is delicious toasted, and spread with butter. This is a very moist cornbread, so you don’t have to worry about it drying out overnight, as long as you keep it covered.

I received Make It Ahead by Ina Garten for Christmas from my parents. Ina’s recipes have almost never failed me. I find that they’re straightforward, and one tastes better than the next. Sometimes I find that she’s a little heavy-handed with the salt for my taste, but I find that these days I typically cut her suggested amount of salt in half. In this recipe, I didn’t, and the bread was delicious. Not salty at all.

In the book, this recipe calls for a specific type of cornmeal: Bob’s Red Mill medium-grind cornmeal. I did not stray from the instructions. I found a store in my neighborhood that sold it, and didn’t try the recipe until I purchased it. I’m not sure how this recipe would turn out if fine-grind cornmeal were used.

The recipe calls for two 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-2-inch loaf pans. I decided to cut the recipe in half and make one loaf in a slightly larger loaf pan, which is why my slices look more rectangular than square. The recipe calls for extra-large eggs. Many of Ina’s recipes do. I used large eggs, and they worked fine.

Sour Cream Corn Bread
Recipe from Ina Garten’s Make It Ahead Cookbook

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to grease the pan
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill medium-grind yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder (see note)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sour cream
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
Salted butter and strawberry jam, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line the bottom of two 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-2-inch loaf pans with parchment paper.

Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, sour cream, and eggs and then slowly whisk in the melted butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix them together with a rubber spatula, until combined. Don’t overmix! Pour the batter into the prepared pans, smooth the top, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Place the pans on a rack and cool completely.

When ready to serve, slice the corn bread, toast it, and serve with salted butter and strawberry jam.

Note: Check the expiration date of your baking powder to make sure it’s still active.

Make It Ahead: Bake the corn breads, cool completely, wrap tightly, and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost, if necessary, slice 1/2 inch thick, and toast.

Yield: 2 loaves

One year ago: Easy, Cold Sesame Noodles with Shredded Chicken
Two years ago: Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Muffins
Three years ago: Easy Black Beans and Rice
Four years ago: Jerk Shrimp Mini Pies
Five years ago: Chocolate Pancakes
Six years ago: Baked Shrimp Scampi
Seven years ago:
Chicken Piccata

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Candied Orange Peel

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One of my sons has been asking me to make candied citrus peels for a couple of years now, but I was never able to find a recipe that received consistently good reviews. The reviews were all over the map. Last week I received a box of tangelos from Harry and David (a wonderful Christmas present that I receive from my sister-in-law every year) and my son asked again about the candied peel, so I decided to try to make them. I combined the technique from two different recipes and I was very pleased with the results. To me, these taste exactly like those orange slice candies that my grandmother used to buy me when I was little. To this day, I still love them. They’re one of the very few non-chocolate candies that I like. I might even say love. They take me back to the days when my grandmother would take me to Woolworth’s (which she called the five-and-ten) and let me buy a bag, which was a big deal because when I was growing up, our general rule at home was that we weren’t allowed to have candy unless we were bleeding.

This recipe is not difficult, just a little time consuming because you have to boil/blanch the orange peels three separate times. Next time, I might make my segments slightly thinner.

Next, the boys want me to try lemon and grapefruit peel. They’d also like me to dip some of them in chocolate!


Candied Orange Peel

Recipe adapted from Epicurious and Food Network

2 large oranges, washed
2 1/2 – 3 cups sugar, divided
Water

Cut 1/4″ off the top and bottom of the oranges. Score the orange peel into quarters. Remove the peel including the pith. Slice the peel into 1/4″-wide pieces, lengthwise.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Boil the orange peel for 15 minutes, then drain.

Put the peel back into a pot of cool water. Bring the water to a boil. When the water has reached a boil, remove the peel and drain. Repeat this step again then set the peel aside.

Pour 2 cups of sugar into a saucepan. Add 1 cup of water. Bring the solution to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is gently boiling, add the orange peel. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, drain the peel.

Just before the peel is boiled in the sugar syrup, pour 1/2 – 1 cup of sugar into a shallow bowl. Toss a couple of pieces of peel in the sugar at a time to coat them. Once coated, place the sugared peels individually on a piece of aluminum foil. Don’t let them touch or they’ll stick together. Let them dry for several hours until they’re no longer sticky.

Yield: ~32 pieces

Seven Years Ago:
Zucchini Gratin

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Graham Cracker Bites

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Graham Cracker Bites

My boys LOVE this recipe. Well, three out of four do. The other one likes these, but doesn’t go crazy over them. One of my sons asks me to make these all the time. The boys can’t decide if they like them dipped in dark or white chocolate better. These are reminiscent of s’mores, with their graham crackers and chocolate, but they’re not as messy, and nicely bite-sized.

I use Honey Maid graham crackers for this recipe. The box comes with three packages of graham crackers, each wrapped in waxed paper. This recipe calls for two of those three packages. Do make sure that once you grind the graham crackers, you have 2 1/2 cups of very fine crumbs. If you don’t have enough, your mixture won’t be firm enough. Once you pour the liquid ingredients into the crumbs, it takes a little elbow grease to get everything mixed together smoothly.

It’s important that once you form the mixture into balls that you chill them. I notice that mine tend to sag a little after I get them rolled and before I get them into the refrigerator or freezer (I used the freezer the last time I made them to speed up the chilling process.) Once chilled, you can re-roll them if they’ve sagged a bit. Make sure you have a parchment-lined baking sheet available once you start dipping the balls. Once dipped, they want to go immediately onto the parchment. If you’re using candy melts, which I did, the chocolate will become firm very quickly, so make sure that as soon as each ball is dropped onto the parchment, you’re ready to sprinkle them with a little salt.

 

Graham Cracker Bites
Recipe from Mother Daughter Dishes via Serious Eats

2 packages graham crackers, crushed finely (approximately 2 1/2 cups)
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 bag chocolate melts or dark chocolate chips (for dipping)
Coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Grind approximately 2 packages of graham crackers in a food processor to form fine crumbs. You should make enough crumbs to equal 2 1/2 cups. Transfer the cracker crumbs into a medium-sized mixing bowl.

Add sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and salt to the graham cracker crumbs. Mix with a firm rubber spatula until completely combined.

Scoop out the mixture using a small cookie scoop and roll into balls. I like them to be about an inch in diameter.

Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate until they are firm.

Melt the chocolate chips or chocolate melts in the microwave until smooth. Remove the balls from the fridge and drop them, one at a time, into the melted chocolate—use a fork to completely coat each candy.

Carefully place the coated bites on parchment paper then immediately sprinkle with kosher or sea salt. Allow the candies to sit at room temperature until the chocolate sets—it won’t take long.

Keep refrigerated.

Yield: ~36 pieces

Seven years ago: Chewy Sugar Cookies

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