Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sugar Free Treats

Bananas Foster Crème Brulee
12 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar substitute or no calorie, sugar free sweetener
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon dark rum
3 tablespoons Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
2 bananas
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 tablespoons Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1 tablespoon dark rum

In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar substitute together until the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Set aside. Using a double boiler, bring the cream to a light simmer stirring constantly - do not boil. Remove the cream form heat, then slowly pour the cream into the egg mixture. Add vanilla and rum.

Pour the egg and cream mixture back into the double boiler over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the custard is thick, about 6 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and strain through a mesh colander or sieve into a clean bowl. Allow the mixture to cool some then chill for at least 6 hours.

Slice two ripe bananas and place in a bowl. Whisk together melted butter and brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add dark rum and mix well. Add bananas and coat with mixture. Spoon bananas into serving cups then top with chilled custard mixture. Sprinkle top with Splenda Brown Sugar Blend and caramelize with a kitchen torch just slightly and serve.

Angel Food Cake
1/2 cup sugar substitute or no calorie, sugar free sweetener
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups egg whites (12)
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup sugar substitute or no calorie, sugar free sweetener
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Move oven rack to lowest position and preheat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix 1/2 cup sugar substitute and flour; set aside. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in large bowl on medium speed until foamy. On high speed, beat in one cup of sugar substitute by adding two tablespoons at a time. Add vanilla, almond extract and salt with the last addition of sweetener. Continue beating until stiff and glossy meringue forms. Fold in 1/4 cup sugar-flour mixture at a time, just until sugar-flour mixture disappears. Gently spoon into an ungreased tube cake pan. Cut gently through batter with metal spatula or butter knife to remove any air bubbles and to spread batter gently against the side of the pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until the top springs back when touched lightly. Immediately turn pan upside down onto heatproof funnel or bottle. Let hang about 2 hours or until cake is completely cool. Loosen side of cake with knife or long, metal spatula and gently remove from pan.

Apple Cake
3 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup lite or no sugar added apple juice
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Fuji apples - peeled, cored and sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour one 9-inch round or square baking pan.Beat the eggs until thick and light. Continue beating and add in the oil, applesauce and the apple juice. Stir in the flour gradually until well blended. Add the baking soda, ginger and cinnamon. Place sliced apples on the bottom of the baking pan. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the cake tests done. Let cake cool on a rack for 15 minutes before turning out of pan.

Going Green-Organinc Food Recipes

Creamy White Polenta with Mushrooms and Mascarpone
3 chicken breasts
1 pound of pre-cooked polenta
1 lb assorted fresh mushrooms such as baby bella, white, portabella and shiitake
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 tablespoons fresh, finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 cup mascarpone cream cheese

Cut chicken beast into thin strips and sauté in olive oil until done and set aside. (For faster preparation, precook chicken the night before and refrigerate.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice polenta into 1/2-inch slices and place on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes. Coarsely chop mushrooms. Heat oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot. Sauté mushrooms, garlic, salt, and pepper in oil, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are golden, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add butter, lemon juice, and parsley and heat until butter melts and liquid forms a sauce. Slowly stir in cream and mascarpone and heat until sauce is warm and creamy. Remove from heat. Place a few slices of polenta on each plate and top with mushrooms, chicken and sauce. Serve immediately, sprinkled with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Tomato Basil Brushetta
24 slices (1/2 inch thick) baguette (about 8 oz)
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic
1 can (14.5 oz) organic diced tomatoes, drained thoroughly
2 ripe, red organic tomatoes
3/4 cup fresh mozzerlla cheese, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Slice baguette in long diagonal slices. Heat oven to 425°F. Place bread slices on ungreased cookie sheet, and brush with olive oil. Bake 4 to 5 minutes or until very light golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. While bread is baking, stir together all remaining ingredients except garlic. Cut garlic cloves in half. Rub cut sides of garlic over toasted bread slices. Spoon mixture onto bread slices. Serve immediately.

Little Sweethearts – Valentine Treats Kids Will Love

Chocolate Chip Heart Waffles
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, separated
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Special Equipment – Heart shaped waffle iron

Preheat waffle iron and grease with cooking spray, if necessary. Stir flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk in milk, butter, vanilla, and egg yolk into the flour mixture just until blended. Beat egg white and sugar with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold into flour mixture. Spoon batter onto hot waffle iron, using the same amount you usually fill the iron and sprinkle chocolate chips over the waffle before closing the iron. Cook each waffle about 3 to 5 minutes or until done. Serve topped with whipped cream, chocolate syrup and sprinkles, if desired.

Sweet Cinnamon Valentine Cookies
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 drops red food coloring

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cream powdered sugar, butter and vinegar in a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients, except food coloring. Divide dough in half. Mix food color into one half and leave the other half as is. Roll dough to about 1/8 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into heart shapes with cookie cutters. Mix and match sizes and colors as desired. Place cookies about two inches apart on a non-stick cookie sheet. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until set and very lightly browned. Cool slightly in pan, then transfer to cooking racks.

Valentine Brownie Hearts
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2/3 cup butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a jellyroll pan with parchment paper. Lightly spray the paper with cooking spray. Heat chocolate and butter in a double boiler, stirring frequently, until melted then remove from heat. While chocolate is cooling, cream sugar, vanilla, and eggs in a large mixing bowl on high speed for 5 minutes. Turn mixer speed down to low and slowly pour in chocolate. Stir in flour and chocolate chips until blended. Add nuts, if desired. Pour brownie batter into lined pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan then remove parchment to counter top and cut brownies with a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Sandwiches with Strawberries & Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
1 1/2 cups chopped hazelnuts
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil
6 to 8 cleaned and sliced strawberries
Whole wheat sandwich thins

Place the hazelnuts in a dry skillet and toast over medium heat 2 to 4 minutes or until just starting to brown. Place the hazelnuts and the chocolate chips in a large food processor and blend until smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add in one tablespoon of oil to chocolate and hazenuts while processing. Add another tablespoon of oil, if needed, until the mixture becomes smooth and easy to spread. Cut sandwich thins into heart shapes with a cookie cutter and spread the bottom piece with about one tablespoon of chocolate hazelnut spread. Top with strawberries and the top piece of the bread and serve.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Edible Wedding Favors Made With Love

Grandma Orth’s Peanut Butter Balls
Courtesy of Nancy Lee Zimpleman of Sumter, SC

2 cups of peanut butter
2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
1 stick of butter, melted
1/4 block of paraffin wax
1 package semi sweet chocolate chips

Mix peanut butter, powdered sugar and butter. Chill until firm. Roll into balls and chill again or freeze until ready to coat with chocolate. Melt paraffin wax in a double boiler. Add chocolate chips and stir until melted. Using round toothpicks, dip the balls into melted chocolate and place on wax paper. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Wedding Cake Cookies
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus some for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
Royal icing or cookie glaze for decorating

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the almond extract and mix slowly until blended. Slowly add the flour mixture and fold with a spatula until a ball of dough forms. Transfer half of the dough to a well-floured surface. Store the other half of the dough in the refrigerator to keep cool until ready to use. Cover the dough you’re going to roll out with waxed paper over half of the dough and roll out to about 1/4 inch thick. Using a butter knife, cut the dough into rectangle pieces that graduate in size for to make a three-tired wedding cake shape when placed next to each other. Place cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes. Leave on the cookie sheet to cool. Decorate as desired. Repeat with the other half of the dough.

Lemon-Raspberry Mini-Cakes
1 box lemon cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
6 tablespoons raspberry jam
1 container of classic white cake icing
Rolled fondant icing

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease bottoms and sides of two 12-cup muffin pans and lightly flour. Make cake mix as directed on box, using water, oil and eggs. Pour batter into baking pan about 1/3 full. Wisk jam in a small bowl just until is it is smooth. Spoon raspberry jam into the middle of the cups, then cover with more batter up to 2/3 of the cups. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans; remove cakes from pans to wire rack. Cool completely. Once cooled, turn the cupcake upside down and trim the sides until they are even . Cover the cake with a then layer of icing to help the fondant stick. Roll out a circle of fondant that is 2 to 3 inches in diameter larger than the cake. Cover the cake with the fondant and smooth any creases with a fingertip dipped in water. Decorate as desired with more fondant or gum paste decorations. Store covered in refrigerator.

Christmas Cocktail Mix Up Party

Gingerbread Eggnog
1 1/2 oz. caramel Irish cream
1 1/2 oz. Vodka or brandy
Ground ginger

Shake caramel Irish cream and Vodka in a cocktail shaker half full with crushed ice. Strain into small glass mug. Fill remainder of mug with eggnog and stir. Garnish with ginger.

Champagne Red Rooster
2 bottles of chilled champagne
4 containers of frozen cranberry juice concentrate (undiluted)
1 cup orange juice
Fresh oranges or candy oranges

Mix the punch just before serving to retain the champagne bubbles. Place cranberry juice into punch bowl. Pour champagne over the frozen juice. Wisk in the orange juice. Serve chilled and garnished with a sugared slice of orange on each punch cup. This can be served with breakfast to start if the party goes on past midnight. This can also be made with non-alcoholic champagne.

Hot Apple Toddy
2 oz. whisky or brandy
1 tsp honey
Hot apple cider

Pour whisky and honey into tall glass mugs and stir. Pour in hot apple cider into each mug. Serve garnished with a cinnamon stick or whole cloves.

Peppermint Martini Recipe
5 ounces of vodka
2 ounces of white Creme de Menthe (green)
1/2 ounce of Peppermint Schnapps
Candy cane sticks and crushed candy cane pieces

Pour all vodka, Crème de Menthe and peppermint schnapps into a shaker half full of crushed ice. Shake vigorously then let the shaker rest for a few seconds. Strain into chilled or frosted martini glasses. Add a candy cane stick and crushed peppermint in each glass to garnish.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Our featured recipe on Dish and Dine.com

Cranberry Walnut Coffeecake

1 can of whole cranberry relish
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup half and half
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pulse cranberries with orange zest and 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a food processor until finely chopped, but not puréed then stir in walnuts. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. Cream butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and remaining 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and half and half alternately, beginning and ending with flour, stirring until just blended. Spread one third of batter evenly in well-greased loaf pan, then spoon half of cranberry-walnut mixture evenly over center of batter. Top with another layer of batter and more cranberries, then cover with remaining batter. Top with any left over cranberry mixture. Bake for 1 to 1 hours 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in loaf pan on a rack for at least 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sweet Success: Making Candy at Home

Raspberry Orange Lollipops
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 of a 3-ounce box orange gelatin dessert
1/2 of a 3-ounce box raspberry gelatin dessert
Nonstick vegetable cooking spray
10-20 lollipop sticks
Candy molds, if desired

Butter or spray nonstick vegetable cooking spray onto a parchment-lined cookie sheets or candy molds. Arrange lollipop sticks a few inches apart on cookie sheet or place in mold. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add sugar, butter, and corn syrup together until sugar has dissolved. Slowly bring to a boil, stir frequently, and continue cooking until temperature reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat. Stir in gelatin until dissolved. Using a metal spoon and working quickly, drop heaping spoonfuls of lollipop syrup on the end of each lollipop stick on the cookie sheet or fill in the molds. Cool completely. Wrap each sucker in plastic wrap and store in an air tight container.

Kahlua Butter Caramels
Nonstick vegetable cooking spray
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus
1 teaspoon Kahlua liqueur

Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and spray with oil. Bring brown sugar, cream, butter, salt, and 1/4 cup Kahlua to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan. Boil over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until thermometer registers 248 degrees Fahrenheit or firm-ball stage. Remove from heat and stir in remaining teaspoon of liqueur. Carefully pour into baking pan and cool completely until firm. Invert caramel onto a cutting board, then discard parchment and turn caramel glossy side up. Cut into squares with a pizza cutter. Store in an air-tight container.

Peanut Butter Truffles
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
24 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Unsweetened cocoa powder

Heat cream and peanut butter in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, stirring frequently with a whisk to melt evenly. While cooking the peanut butter and cream mixture, melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler over simmering water. When both the chocolate and peanut butter mixtures are smooth, combine the two using a whisk. Press the combined mixture through a medium mesh colander or sieve into another bowl with a rubber spatula. Stir in vanilla. Let cool, then cover and chill 2 to 4 hours (or overnight).

Pour a moderate amount of cocoa in a small bowl. Line a large baking sheet or tray with waxed paper or 30 to 50, 1-inch paper candy cups. Let the truffle mixture sit out at room temperature 20 minutes (1 hour if chilled overnight) to soften. Using a teaspoon, scoop out small portions of the filling, press with your hands to warm the mixture and increase its ability to stick and form a ball. Roll truffle in cocoa mixture and place in candy cups. Keep chilled until ready to serve to maintain flavor and texture.