16 September 2020

Spiced Rice Pudding - Women in the Kitchen Review and Giveaway

Spiced Rice Pudding - Women in the Kitchen Review and Giveaway / www.delightfulrepast.com

Spiced Rice Pudding is the first recipe I've made from Anne Willan's latest book, Women in the Kitchen. You might say the recipe below is my adaptation of Anne's adaptation of Amelia Simmons' recipe (likely an adaptation!) in her book American Cookery published in 1796.

And it isn't the oldest recipe in Women in the Kitchen, which tells the stories of 12 female cookbook authors, from 1661 right up to the present, who shaped and influenced home cooking. Not simply a cookbook writer, Anne is known for her prize-winning literary food writing. 

People of many interests—not just cooking, but history as well as writing and publishing—can enjoy this book. It would be a great resource for writers of historical novels.

I've always been interested in historical foods. Here are a few of the ones I've posted over the years: Sally Lunn Buns, Bakewell Tart, Indian Pudding, Steamed Jam Sponge Pudding, Yorkshire Pudding. So I was fascinated to learn more about the early writers. 

And three of my favorite modern-day female cookbook authors—Julia Child, Edna Lewis, and Alice Waters—are featured in the book. The first of the book's Edna Lewis recipes I'll be trying is Crispy Biscuits, not the light soft biscuits one would expect from a Southerner and which she excelled at. I am intrigued!

I hope you'll enter the Women in the Kitchen giveaway below, whether you want the book for yourself or for gifting. And do let me know in the comments who your favorite cookbook writers are. 

Spiced Rice Pudding - Women in the Kitchen Review and Giveaway / www.delightfulrepast.com
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Spiced Rice Pudding


Adapted from Women in the Kitchen by Anne Willan, which was an adaptation from American Cookery by Amelia Simmons

Amelia Simmons
American Cookery
1796
Rice Pudding No. 3

(I halved the recipe, making 6 to 8 servings)

1/2 cup (3.5 ounces/99 grams) Arborio or other short-grain white rice
1 quart (32 fluid ounces/946 ml) milk
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces/99 grams) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
4 large eggs (medium, in UK)
4 tablespoons (2 ounces/57 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces/59 ml) red, rosé or white wine

1 In a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan, bring the rice and milk to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Remove from heat and let cool.

2 Preheat the oven to 300F/150C/Gas2. Butter a 1.5-quart baking dish.

3 In a 1.5- to 2-quart bowl, with an electric mixer, combine the sugar, salt and spices; beat in the softened butter. Add the eggs and beat for 2 to 3 minutes, until thick and light.

4 With a spoon, stir the egg mixture into the cooled rice mixture, followed by the wine. Pour into the buttered baking dish and bake for about 1 1/4 hours, until pudding is set and top is browned.

5 Allow to cool at least 30 minutes before serving warm. Even longer if you prefer it at room temperature. It's also good cold. Whatever you like. Keeps, covered, in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Serve plain or with berries or other fruit.

Spiced Rice Pudding - Women in the Kitchen Review and Giveaway / www.delightfulrepast.com


Women in the Kitchen Giveaway 



This giveaway is open to US residents* (See next paragraph, international friends!) 18 years of age or older. Leave a comment below (one entry per person). Please include your email address in the body of your comment; I don't have time to track you down. Enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday September 30. 

* If you are outside the US but would like to have this sent to someone in the US (you would have to send them a gift card separately on your own), go ahead and enter! 

Winner will be chosen by random drawing and be announced here in the comments before noon Eastern time on Thursday October 1. If I don't hear back from the winner of the random drawing by noon Eastern time Saturday October 3, another drawing will be held and a new winner selected from the original entrants (those who commented before the giveaway deadline).

Disclosure: Scribner provided a book for review purposes and for the giveaway. The views expressed here are entirely my own. I always tell my readers what I really think!

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

03 September 2020

Simple Roasted Tomatoes for the Freezer

Simple Roasted Tomatoes for the Freezer / www.delightfulrepast.com

Freezing oven-roasted tomatoes is one way to take advantage of a bumper crop. Of course, if you're growing a lot of tomatoes, you might need to can them. 

Simple Roasted Tomatoes for the Freezer (this image, a watercolor sketch) / www.delightfulrepast.com
My watercolor sketch of a tomato from the garden

But for me it was just a matter of having several pounds more than I needed all ripe at the same time. So early this morning before it got hot, I preheated the oven and roasted two half sheet pans of tomatoes yielding 5 half-pint jars. I'll likely be doing another batch in a few days.

You can freeze the roasted tomatoes in whatever size portion you need for the recipes you make. In my case, I went with half-pint jars. Whatever size you choose, be sure they are straight-sided jars. Jars with "shoulders" are more prone to breaking in the freezer.

Why nothing more than extra virgin olive oil, salt and coarsely ground pepper on the tomatoes? Because I'll be using them in American, British, Indian, Italian and Mexican dishes, each requiring different aromatics, herbs and spices. So just keeping it simple! 

Simple Roasted Tomatoes for the Freezer / www.delightfulrepast.com
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Oven-Roasted Tomatoes


(Makes 1 half sheet pan, 2 or 3 half-pint jars)

2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce/30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
About 2.5 to 2.75 pounds/1.13 to 1.25 kg ripe tomatoes
1/8 teaspoon or more salt
1/8 teaspoon or more coarsely ground black pepper

1 Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. Brush with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Preheat oven to 400F/205C/Gas6.

2 Wash and dry tomatoes, cut away the stem and stem scar. Slice tomatoes about 1/3 inch/1 cm thick. Place in a single layer on the parchment-lined and oiled half sheet pan. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the tomatoes, rubbing it around with your fingers, or brush it on. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3 Place in preheated oven for about 45 minutes or more, depending on the thickness and juiciness of the tomato slices. When they are done to your liking, at least shrunken and a bit shriveled, let them cool on the pan for a few minutes. Spoon them into jars, leaving about 1/2 inch of headroom, put on the lids.

Simple Roasted Tomatoes for the Freezer / www.delightfulrepast.com


Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

20 August 2020

Tomato Tart Squares

Tomato Tart Squares - a perfect hors d'oeuvre / www.delightfulrepast.com

It seemed like my tomatoes would never turn red. Now they all are! Of course, they're wonderful in sandwiches, soups, salads and pasta; but there's nothing quite like a tomato tart. This is one I cut into 2-inch squares for hors d'oeuvre. 

Someday there will be parties again, and these tomato tart squares will be the first hors d'oeuvre I trot out. Of course, I'll probably take the time to pretty them up with a bit of basil chiffonade, but I had no fresh basil on hand so we "made-do" without garnish.

I used a simple all-butter pie dough that comes together quickly, but you could also use puff pastry as I do for my Tomato Tart. No garden tomatoes? Time in the oven makes even bland store-bought tomatoes taste good, as the flavor is condensed.


Just having a little fun making watercolor sketches of
 things from the garden. I don't know what I'm going to
do with all these tomatoes, but you'll be hearing about it!

To ensure a crisp crust, I give the tomato slices a bit of a roast beforehand to take out some of the moisture as well as intensify the flavor. And I use the tiniest bit of shallot and no garlic so that nothing overshadows the bright and deep tomato flavor.

Allow the tomatoes to shine. Don't let the simple, pantry-staples ingredient list fool you into thinking you need to add something else or more of something. This is a very tasty little hors d'oeuvre or teatime savory.

What do you do with a bumper crop of tomatoes? 

Tomato Tart Squares - a perfect hors d'oeuvre / www.delightfulrepast.com
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Tomato Tart Squares


(Makes one 12x8-inch tart, 24 2-inch squares)

The Pastry


1 dip-and-sweep cup (5 ounces/142 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour 
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons (2.5 ounces/71 grams) cold unsalted butter, coarsely shredded3 tablespoons (1.5 fluid ounces/44 ml) ice water plus 1 tablespoon, only if needed
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

The Tomatoes


2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce/30 ml) extra virgin olive oil, divided
About 3/4 pound (12 ounces/340 grams) tomatoes
1/16 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
3 tablespoons 0.75 ounce/21 grams) finely grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 cup (1 ounce/28 grams) finely shredded mozzarella

1 Preheat oven to 450F/230C/Gas8. Line a 13x9x1-inch quarter sheet pan with baking parchment paper and brush it with a teaspoon of the olive oil. 

2 In 1.5- to 2-quart mixing bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Using a coarse grater, shred the butter into the bowl. With your fingers lightly toss and coat the cold shredded butter with the flour, working it gently, leaving lots of big pieces. Combine the 3 tablespoons water with the apple cider vinegar and sprinkle over the flour mixture. With large fork, stir to form a dough that will clump together. Only if necessary, sprinkle on a bit more water. Wrap the dough in a square of plastic wrap and flatten it slightly into a 5x3-inch rectangle; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes while you proceed with recipe.

3 Slice tomatoes somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 inch (5 to 6 mm) thick. Place them on the prepared quarter sheet pan; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool a bit while you proceed with the recipe. 

4 Preheat oven to 400F/20C/Gas6. In small pan, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil and sauté shallot; cool. Measure Parmesan and mozzarella.

5 On lightly floured 12x8-inch piece of baking parchment paper, roll out chilled dough. This recipe makes just enough dough to roll out to that size with no waste. Place the pastry on its parchment paper onto quarter sheet pan or other baking sheet.

6 Spread shallot and oil over pastry. Sprinkle Parmesan over pastry. Place cooled roasted tomato slices over pastry. Sprinkle with dried basil and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Scatter shredded mozzarella over top, not completely hiding the tomatoes.

7 Bake for about 25 minutes, or until crust is crisp and golden. Transfer to wire rack to cool for 10 minutes before *cutting and serving. Cut into 24 2-inch squares for an hors d'oeuvre or afternoon tea savory. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

06 August 2020

Crispy-Skinned Fluffy Baked Potatoes - Jacket Potatoes

Crispy-Skinned Fluffy Baked Potatoes - Jacket Potatoes / www.delightfulrepast.com

Baked potatoes (in the UK, jacket potatoes) are simply wonderful when done well and horrid if done wrong. There are all sorts of methods to achieving the "perfect" baked potato, some of which do not result in my idea of the perfect potato but might make your perfect potato.

First, you must select the proper baking potato, which is a starchy, floury (rather than waxy) potato. In the US, that means the russet potato (I always buy organic). In the UK, try Maris Piper, King Edward, or Estima. Wherever you are, you need a proper baking potato.

If you don't like eating the potato skin, it might not be important to you to achieve a crisp skin. But we enjoy a delicious crisp, slightly salty potato skin, without a leathery bottom, so this particular method works for us.


Crispy-Skinned Fluffy Baked Potatoes - Jacket Potatoes (this image, a watercolor sketch) / www.delightfulrepast.com
Couldn't resist doing a quick little watercolor sketch, since I've never
painted a potato, baked or otherwise, in my life!


The brining step is something I picked up when I was flipping through YouTube one day and happened onto the channel of Kent Rollins, a charming chuck wagon cook in Oklahoma. He was baking some really big potatoes, so made more brine than this. Brining is the only thing I did differently than usual, and it makes a difference.

Since we're not hardworking cowboys here, I consider the 7-ounce potatoes I used to be the perfect size baked potato. But if you like to use larger potatoes, you'll need to extend the initial baking time. 

But I hate serving people a huge potato they might not be able to finish. Scraping wasted food into the bin hurts my heart, so I'd rather leave 'em wanting more! Hey, dessert's still coming, they're going to be happy!

And someday, when we can have people over again, I think a baked potato bar would be fun, with a selection of toppings to suit everyone's taste: sour cream, shredded cheese, nacho cheese sauce, caramelized onions, snipped chives, green onions, fresh herbs, chili. What's your favorite topping? 

Crispy-Skinned Fluffy Baked Potatoes - Jacket Potatoes / www.delightfulrepast.com
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Crispy-Skinned Fluffy Baked Potatoes


(Makes 4, can be doubled)

The Potatoes

4 medium (6- to 8-ounce/170 to 227 grams) russet potatoes (outside US, choose another starchy, floury potato meant for baking)

The Brine

1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces/118 ml) water
2 tablespoons salt

The Finish

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 With oven rack in middle of oven, preheat oven to 450F/230C/Gas8. Line a 13x9x1-inch quarter sheet pan with foil. Place a wire rack over the pan and rub a bit of oil on the rack.

Note: You might have a wire cooling rack that fits inside a quarter sheet pan, but I don't; mine just fits over it. If I were baking 8 medium potatoes, I'd use my 18x13x1-inch half sheet pan which does have a wire rack that fits down in it.

Crispy-Skinned Fluffy Baked Potatoes - Jacket Potatoes / www.delightfulrepast.com


2 Scrub the potatoes very well since you will want to eat the lovely crispy potato skin. Prick them all over with a fork. I always do 8 on this size potato, 3 on top, 3 on bottom and 1 on each side. In a bowl large enough to hold a potato, stir together the water and salt. Dip each potato in the brine, rolling it around to coat all surfaces. Place on the rack.

3 Bake for 45 minutes, at which point the potatoes should be done (though we're not going to stop there). Check one of the potatoes for doneness by your favorite method. An instant-read thermometer (Thermapen or ThermoPop) inserted in the center should register 205 to 210F/96 to 99C. If you use the same type, shape and size potato every time, you'll find the perfect timing for your oven.

4 Remove from oven. Brush tops and sides with the olive oil (or bacon grease, duck fat, goose fat, etc). Return to oven for an additional 10 minutes. As soon as you take them out of the oven after the second bake, slit the tops and give the ends a bit of a squeeze. Serve immediately.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

23 July 2020

Banana Nut Cookies

Banana Nut Cookies - Banana Nut Oatmeal Cookies / www.delightfulrepast.com

Banana nut cookies, or more specifically, banana nut oatmeal cookies, popped into my head a few days ago when I noticed the bananas ripening much faster than usual. So I quickly mashed them, measured them into portions for this recipe, and popped the half-pint jars in the freezer. 

Then I moved a jar from freezer to refrigerator the night before to thaw. I always bring out the cold bananas along with the eggs and butter an hour before making the dough so that all ingredients are at cool room temperature.

Banana Nut Cookies (this is my watercolor painting of the bananas) / www.delightfulrepast.com
I've been painting the groceries again!


Mr Delightful, who also loves my regular Oatmeal Cookies, says these are the best cookies he's ever had in his whole life! So I hope you'll give them a try and let me know what you think.

Pairing beautifully with a cup of tea, they are perfect for elevenses; with coffee, for a coffee break; with milk, for a more-wholesome-than-most lunchbox or afternoon snack. 

Banana Nut Cookies - Banana Nut Oatmeal Cookies / www.delightfulrepast.com

Banana Nut Oatmeal Cookies


(Makes 3 1/2 dozen)

1 1/2 dip-and-sweep cups (7.5 ounces/213 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups (10.5 ounces/300 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup (4 ounces/113 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans
1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter, cool room temperature
3/4 firmly packed cup (5.25 ounces/149 grams) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces/99 grams) sugar
2 large eggs (medium in UK)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (6.5 ounces/184 grams) mashed very ripe bananas

1 In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir in oats and nuts.

2 In large bowl with electric hand mixer, beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Use a wooden spoon if you need to; mixture must be smooth and well creamed. Beat in eggs and vanilla, then the mashed banana. Stir in the flour-oat mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to a few days. (Very cold dough will need to sit at room temperature for a bit to become more scoopable.)

3 Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. Drop #40 scoops* (0.8 ounces or approximately 1.5 tablespoons) of dough 3 inches apart on parchment-lined cookie sheets. With a glass (I use a 2 1/4-inch diameter flat-bottomed 1/3-cup from my stainless steel measuring cup sets), press each scoop into a 2 1/4-inch round. Bake for about 13 to 15 minutes, or until brown around the edges but still a little soft in the center.

Banana Nut Cookies - Banana Nut Oatmeal Cookies / www.delightfulrepast.com

4 Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Store in airtight container. I use these Pyrex 11-cup rectangular storage dishes with lids as cookie jars, among other things. One holds half a batch of these cookies.

* If you don't have one of these #40 scoops, you need to get one now! How do people make cookies without it!

To freeze dough: Drop scoops of dough on foil-lined cookie sheet and flatten slightly, as directed above. Freeze, then wrap.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

16 July 2020

Quick and Easy Toaster Oven Dinner Rolls

Quick and Easy Toaster Oven (or Regular Oven) Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls / www.delightfulrepast.com

Quick and Easy Toaster Oven Dinner Rolls can, of course, be made in a regular oven as well.

We love homemade dinner rolls all year round, but in hot weather I hate the way running the oven heats up the kitchen. So that's when it's time to break out the toaster oven.

As I was trying to decide which part of the counter to give over to it for the summer, Mr Delightful got the brilliant idea of not bringing it into the kitchen at all. Instead, he said, just bring it out of the garage as needed and bake on the covered patio between the garage and kitchen. Is he brilliant or what?!

My kitchen would look like an appliance showroom if I kept them all on the counters, so I keep all but the electric tea kettle and toaster in the garage. I have a dozen appliances lined up out there, to be brought in only when needed. I call the area my Butler's Pantry!

We always cook bacon out there as well, in the Cuisinart Griddler. Bacon might smell wonderful as it is cooking, but nobody likes it stinking up the house for three days afterward! Anyway, back to the rolls.


Quick and Easy Toaster Oven (or Regular Oven) Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls / www.delightfulrepast.com


I've always baked my Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls in a 13x9x2-inch Pyrex baking dish, but Pyrex is not meant for toaster ovens (though many people have done it without incident) and that size Pyrex dish won't fit in even my huge toaster oven.

So I scaled my recipe down to work in an 8x8x2-inch baking tin. And, because "it's summertime and the livin' is easy," I made changes to speed up the whole process so you can get these rolls on the table in just a couple no-muss-no-fuss hours. 

No need for a stand mixer; just stir up the dough with a spoon. No need to knead. Just let it rest in the bowl, then shape the rolls and let them rise for about 30 minutes, then bake.

If you're gluten-free, try my Gluten-Free Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls.


Quick and Easy Toaster Oven (or Regular Oven) Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls / www.delightfulrepast.com
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Quick and Easy Toaster Oven Dinner Rolls


(Makes 9 2.5-ounce rolls)

2 1/2 dip-and-sweep cups (12.5 ounces/354 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
2 tablespoons (0.875 ounces/25 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (7 fluid ounces/207 ml) water, or half water half milk
3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces/43 grams) unsalted butter
1 large egg, slightly beaten

1 In a 2- to 2.5-quart mixing bowl, measure or weigh the flour. Take out 1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) and set it aside for later. Whisk in the sugar, yeast and salt. 

2 In a 1-cup glass measure, measure the water, or water and milk; heat in the microwave until hot but not boiling. Stir in the butter until it is melted. Check that the temperature of the mixture is very warm (120 to 130F/49 to 54C).

3 Make a well in the center of the flour, then add warm liquid and egg to the well. With dough whisk or large wooden spoon, slowly stir until soft, shaggy dough comes together. Stir vigorously for a minute or two.

4 Cover the bowl and let rest for 20 minutes. Grease well an 8x8x2-inch square metal pan with butter. Line the bottom and two sides with parchment paper; butter it as well.

5 Now's the time for the reserved 2 tablespoons of flour. Scrape dough onto lightly floured work surface and use more of the reserved flour as needed to make the sticky dough easier to handle. With a bench scraper, divide dough into 9 equal portions and roll each into a smooth ball. Place in prepared pan. 

Note: To turn a piece of dough into a smooth ball, roll it between your palms and then on the counter with your hand cupped over it, making a motion like moving a computer mouse around. 


Quick and Easy Toaster Oven (or Regular Oven) Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls - in this photo, shaped and rising / www.delightfulrepast.com


6 Cover (I use my Nordic Ware Microwave Splatter Cover and a towel) and let rise until they are crowded together and puffy, 30 to 45 minutes or so. During last 10 or 15 minutes (you know your oven) preheat toaster oven (my toaster oven takes about 5 minutes) or oven to 350F/180C/Gas4.

Note: If using my regular gas oven, I go with 375F/190C/Gas5. The lower temperature for the toaster oven ensures that tops won't overbrown before rolls are done. Bake for a shorter time at the higher temperature. I've baked the rolls in the toaster oven at 375F for 18 to 20 minutes, and they were perfect. But, like every oven, every toaster oven is different. Experiment!

7 Bake for about 25 to 28 minutes, or until well browned. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Turn out of pan, pull apart and serve. 

Note: To freeze the rolls for a later date, remove rolls from baking dish in one piece and cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Double-wrap with foil (probably one layer of heavy-duty would be sufficient); freeze for up to 1 month. To serve, remove from freezer 2 1/2 hours before serving time. Defrost, wrapped, at room temperature for 2 hours. During last 15 minutes, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place foil-wrapped rolls on a cookie sheet and bake about 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

02 July 2020

Hildesheimer Pumpernickel Kekse Revisited - A Traditional German Cookie

Hildesheimer Pumpernickel Kekse Revisited - A Traditional German Cookie / www.delightfulrepast.com

Hildesheimer Pumpernickel Cookies came to my attention four years ago when our friend Bill, who may well be our most uncookingest friend ever, sent me the recipe, which he got from a friend of his from Hildesheim, Germany, who sends him a batch every year at the holidays.

He said, "I'm not really sure what it is about them that's gotten such a hold of me, or whether this is just yet another eccentricity on my part ..." (I am a huge fan of eccentricity!), but he eagerly awaits the annual shipment from Brigitte. And with an introduction like that, I simply had to try them. 

Though Bill has never made either Brigitte's recipe or my translation of it, or even tasted mine, he knew from my photo that something was off. Mine were pale, tiny diamonds. He said his cookies were darker, larger and, rather than perfect diamonds, parallelograms. Go ahead, I'll pause while you look that up!


Hildesheimer Pumpernickel Kekse - A Traditional German Cookie (this photo is of the "not quite right" version / www.delightfulrepast.com


So four years later Bill sent me a link to an in-German recipe with photos. Just as I suspected, the paleness of my cookies resulted from using a smaller amount of the dark spices and skipping the egg wash. Also, perhaps, because my almond flour is made from blanched almonds.

So this is my Hildesheimer Pumpernickel do-over, though I still stand by the quality of my first less authentic version!

This was only my second German recipe on the blog--the first was Golumpkis. So I didn't know whether to call them cookies, as in the US, or biscuits, as in the UK; so I Googled it and came up with "kekse." 

Have you ever even heard of this cookie? I'm sure you'd like it. Guten Appetit! Or, as Bill signed his last missive, Semper Famelicus!


Hildesheimer Pumpernickel Kekse Revisited - A Traditional German Cookie / www.delightfulrepast.com
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Hildesheimer Pumpernickel Kekse 


(Makes about 4 to 5 dozen ) 

2 dip-and-sweep cups (10 ounces/283 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour*
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon crushed anise seed
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons (2.5 ounces/71 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (5.25 ounces/149 grams) sugar
2 large (2.19 ounces/62 grams in shell) eggs, divided
3/4 packed cup + 2 tablespoons (3.5 ounces/100 grams) ground hazelnuts or almonds (nut flour/meal) or half of each (I used Bob's Red Mill Super-Fine Almond Flour)

A little water, only if needed (See Note below Step 2) 

* For gluten-free: use 3/4 cup sorghum flour, 3/4 cup potato starch, 1/2 cup tapioca flour, 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum in place of flour. 



1 In small bowl, whisk together flour (or gluten-free ingredients above), baking powder, spices and salt. 

2 In a large mixing bowl, with either a wooden spoon or electric mixer, cream butter well. Add sugar; continue creaming. Beat in 1 whole egg and 1 egg white (reserving the yolk for the egg wash) until well mixed. Beat in almond and/or hazelnut meal, then beat in flour. If dough is too dry, mix in a little water (see Note below) just a teaspoon at a time. Scrape out onto piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap, shape into a rectangle about 5x7 inches/13x18 cm, wrap and chill for about an hour. 

Note: Even when the dough is "right," it won't be a cohesive dough without using your hand; so don't be too quick to add water. Squeeze it with your hand to see when it will hold together. My dough was a bit dry, so I added just a teaspoon of water, working the dough with my hand, getting up all the dry bits. The dough should be quite stiff and leave a clean bowl. 

3 When the dough has chilled for an hour, preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. On very lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll dough into 1/8- to 3/16-inch/3 to 4 mm thick rectangle, about 11x16-inch/28x41 cm (trimmed; you can reroll the trimmings or leave them in place to bake rough "cook's treats"). Cut lengthwise into 9 or 10 strips 1.125- to 1.25-inch strips (but don't get too fussy about the measurement since these aren't going to be perfect little diamonds!), then cut across strips diagonally to form parallelograms 2.5 inches long. Slide the sheet of cut dough onto an 18x13-inch half sheet pan.

Note: I just made the strips 1.125-inch wide because that happens to be the width of my 18-inch metal kitchen ruler. I think that just makes life simpler, don't you?!

Hildesheimer Pumpernickel Kekse Revisited - A Traditional German Cookie / www.delightfulrepast.com


Note: I love my OXO Good Grips Pizza Wheel for Nonstick Pans for tasks like this. It doesn't cut through the parchment paper and doesn't mar countertops or pans.

4 Beat the reserved egg yolk with a teaspoon of water. Brush the top of the cut dough. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes. While still warm, cut again, if necessary. Cool completely on wire rack.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 


Jean

18 June 2020

Olive Oil Carrot Cake - Cream Cheese Frosting

Olive Oil Carrot Cake - Cream Cheese Frosting / www.delightfulrepast.com

Olive Oil Carrot Cake can, of course, be made with another oil; but I only ever have on hand extra virgin olive oil. I use it for everything, even frying (not deep fat). This isn't the place for a sharp, bitter, or super expensive oil; use a nice fruity extra virgin olive oil. 

My recipe calls for a different technique than you usually find in carrot cake recipes. Instead of mixing completely by hand, I use an electric hand mixer for part of the recipe (as in Olive Oil Apple Cake). 

It is an easy cake, but special care must be taken when mixing in the olive oil. Be sure to add it in a slow, steady stream, fully incorporating it as you go. This eliminates the thing some people don't like about carrot cake, the oiliness of it.

Olive Oil Carrot Cake - Cream Cheese Frosting / www.delightfulrepast.com


Cream Cheese Frosting is the classic frosting for any carrot cake, and there's a reason for that--it's really good! I don't go crazy with the cream cheese, though. Just a little 3-ounce package gives the frosting plenty of cream cheese flavor.

Olive Oil Carrot Cake - Cream Cheese Frosting (this picture - a quick watercolor sketch of carrots) / www.delightfulrepast.com
Found a "practice" sheet of carrots done a year ago and thought it would be fun
 to crop it for this post.

It would have been delightful to show you a picture of a beautifully frosted layer cake here, but I frosted the two layers separately so that I could drop one off for friends who are without an oven just now.

When we're out of lockdown and attending large gatherings again, you might want to make my easily transportable, serve-it-from-the-pan, feeds-a-crowd Carrot Sheet Cake. Happy summer!

Olive Oil Carrot Cake - Cream Cheese Frosting / www.delightfulrepast.com

Olive Oil Carrot Cake - Cream Cheese Frosting


(Makes one 13x9x2-inch cake or two 8-inch round layers)

The Cake

2 dip-and-sweep cups (10 ounces/283 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (5.6 ounces/160 grams) raisins
1 cup (4 ounces/113 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans
1 1/2 cups (10.5 ounces/298 grams) sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup (8 fluid ounces/237 ml or 7.5 ounces/213 grams) extra virgin olive oil

2 firmly packed cups peeled and coarsely shredded* carrots (from 12 ounces/340 grams carrots)

* Peel and shred the carrots just before making the cake so that they do not lose moisture. Don't buy pre-shredded carrots for this; they are too dry to use in cakes.

The Frosting

1 3-ounce (85 grams) package cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons (2 ounces/57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
3 firmly packed cups (12 ounces/340 grams) unsifted powdered sugar

About 2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce/30 ml) milk

1 Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. Grease and flour one 13x9x2-inch baking dish or two 8-inch round layer pans.

Note: You need 2-inch-deep 8-inch round layer pans; this is too much batter for shallower pans.

2 In 1.5-quart bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In small bowl, measure out raisins and nuts. Remove a tablespoon of the flour mixture to mix into the raisins and nuts, being sure to separate all the raisins.

3 In 4-quart mixing bowl, combine sugar and eggs. With electric mixer on medium speed, beat for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.

4 With hand mixer running on medium speed, gradually pour the olive oil in a thin stream into the egg mixture, so that it is completely incorporated. This can take up to 7 minutes; don't rush it.

5 By hand, fold in the flour mixture. Then gently stir in the carrots, raisins and nuts. Pour into prepared pan(s). Bake single cake about 45 to 55 minutes, layers about 40 minutes. Cool in pan(s) on wire rack(s) about 10 minutes; remove from pan(s) and continue cooling on rack(s). Must be completely cool before frosting.

6 In bowl of stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract and salt. Gradually add powdered sugar (no need to sift) and mix until thoroughly combined, adding milk at the end. 

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

04 June 2020

Fig Rolls - Fig Newtons

Fig Rolls - Classic British Biscuit - In US, Fig Newtons / www.delightfulrepast.com

Fig Rolls were something I hadn't made since I was a teenager, and they popped into my head one day when I was painting a pair of figs. But I didn't want to "waste" my fresh figs on a recipe that is best made with dried figs, so it went on the backburner for a while.


Fig Rolls - Fig Newtons (this photo - my watercolor sketch of two figs) / www.delightfulrepast.com

In recent months, during "all this" (and that's all I'm going to say about the pan*em*c), many grocery items have been hard to find. I was so happy to get my hands on some lovely organic soft dried figs last week, so at last, fig rolls. 

So many recipes out there have grossly mismatched amounts of dough and filling. What's the point of having massive amounts of filling left over? My recipe uses all the filling, and I make three round cookies out of the pastry trimmings, so there's no waste.


Fig Rolls - Classic British Biscuit - In US, Fig Newtons (in a lovely tin)  / www.delightfulrepast.com


My dough recipe is adapted from Paul Hollywood's, but I was on my own for the filling because his and so many other recipes make too much for the amount of dough and are not to my taste in one way or another

If you're used to Fig Newtons, you'll find these are not quite as sweet (and they have no corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, unhealthy oils or additives). A trivia question for you: Were Fig Newtons named after a) Sir Isaac Newton, b) another person named Newton, c) a town in Massachusetts?


Fig Rolls - Classic British Biscuit - In US, Fig Newtons / www,delightfulrepast.com

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Fig Rolls - Fig Newtons


(Makes 12)

The Dough

1 1/4 dip-and-sweep cups (6.25 ounces/177 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon non-GMO baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (2 ounces/57 grams) unsalted butter, softened
3 firmly packed tablespoons (1.31 ounces/37 grams) dark brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten (medium in UK)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

The Filling

3/4 packed cup (5 ounces/142 grams) coarsely chopped soft dried figs
1 firmly packed tablespoon (0.44 ounces/12 grams) dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/3 cup (2.67 fluid ounces/79 ml) water

1 tablespoon lemon juice



1 In small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

2 In medium mixing bowl with electric hand mixer, cream butter and brown sugar well, about 2 minutes. Mix in the egg and vanilla extract until combined; it will look curdled. 

3 On low speed, add the flour mixture in two or three batches until thoroughly combined. Scrape dough out onto a square of plastic wrap (clingfilm), forming it into a smooth square as you wrap it. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

4 Make the filling. In a 1-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring chopped figs, brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and water to a boil. Reduce heat, cover (lid slightly ajar) and simmer for 10 minutes, until mixture is thick and water is absorbed. Transfer* to a 2-cup glass measure, use an immersion blender to make a paste, stir in lemon juice, and let cool.

* The mixture will not be sufficiently deep even in the small saucepan to use the immersion blender, so you need to transfer it to a deeper, narrower container, such as the 2-cup glass measure. 

5 Preheat oven to 375F/190C/Gas5. On a lightly floured piece of baking parchment paper, roll out chilled dough to a rectangle over 10x8 inches (25x20 cm) and 1/8 inch (1/3 cm) thick. Trim* rectangle to 10x8 inches (25x20 cm). Cut in half lengthwise to make two 10x4-inch (25x10 cm) strips of dough. Also, cut the parchment paper in half because you'll be using it to help you fold over the dough after filling. 

* I save the trimmings and make them into 3 round cookies.

6 Spread half the fig filling down the center of each dough strip and carefully fold in one side of the dough, using the parchment to help you; run a wet finger over the edge of the dough over the filling. Using the parchment, fold over the other side of the dough, overlapping the first side a bit and pressing to seal. Turn the two logs over, seam-side down. Trim the ends and cut each into 6 equal slices. Place them on the baking sheet on their parchment. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

Note: Before trimming the ends and cutting the slices, you can press the two logs down a bit to make a flat top, as I do, or leave them round as some do. 


Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean
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