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Middleburg, FL, United States
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Heaven, I’m in Heaven… jelly pepper cheese cookies

March seems to be my month because this is the second cheese cookie/cracker recipe I ran across this month and when Michelle from BigBlackDog posted about a jelly pepper cheese cookie I knew I had to give it a try.
See not only can’t I resist a good cheese but I still have several jars of jelly pepper in my pantry that I made two seasons ago when we had a lot of peppers in our garden. I never had jelly pepper before and thought it would be a good time to make some and try it.
Try I did and we found that we are just not really sweet savory type of people. I do love my zucchini relish and zucchini chutney though despite the sweetness they do have.
Coming across this recipe was like a little gift. I mentioned before that we will be leaving Germany this summer so I have 2 month left to clear out my freezer and pantry. So much food, such little time.
May I present to you…..(drum roll)…..the lovely and versatile Jelly pepper cheese cookie!..(Applause)

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Ingredients

8 oz (2 cups) Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (I used a mixture of Havarti and Monterey Jack with Jalapeno peppers, I told you I am using up all I have)
6T (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened (next time I would reduce this to 4T)
1 cup flour
1/3 cup hot pepper jelly

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Cut cheese into some pieces and use a kitchen machine to cut mix the cheese with the flour until you have very small pieces. Add the butter and pulse or mix until the dough comes together.
Place the dough into a covered bowl and cool in the fridge for at least 40 min.
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Form balls (1tsp each) and places them on a covered cookie sheet (parchment etc.).
Heat your oven to 400F and bake cookies for 5 minutes.
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DSCF1336 Use the back of your rolling pin or wooden spoon and press the dough down. Fill with hot pepper jelly and return to the oven.
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Bake for 8 minutes more. You will have to check for color. They will have a nice golden glow when they are done. Each oven is different so check at around 8 minutes and judge from there.
Michelle mentioned that this makes about 20 cookies so her balls must have been much bigger than mine because I got double that. I found the size I made though perfect for a bite.
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These cookies are quite delicious especially when they are still warm. The recipe is very close to the other one I made so I would reduce the butter next time to match the other and possibly add a little water if need be.
They were just a little to buttery for my taste but I really did enjoy them right out of the oven after just cooling for a tad.
                         It was a little piece of Heaven right there.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Wednesday Cake “Blob cake”

I have been baking plenty of sheet cakes lately to take to all sort of events or just because ;). 
Tonight is my sons JROTC pie social that means another chance to fire up my oven and give it a workout.
Sheet cakes are usually the way I go when more than 8 slices are needed.          A sheet cake can make between 24-30 slices depending on how rich your cake is. Hurrah, for the sheet cake!
I ran across the term Wednesday cake (Mittwochs-Kuchen) when I looked through a German baking book for a recipe to make for today (Backvergnuegen wie noch nie). I had no idea where this term came from so I looked into the history of it. Unfortunately I was unable to come up with much.
There are two ways to go on this term but neither has a solid reference.

a) the term describes a cake that tastes better a few days after baking (bake it Wednesday and eat it Saturday like in the olden days). Often these types of cakes have streusel on them.
b) describes a cake that was baked after the weekend cake was polished of by  Tuesday

Both sound plausible so take your pick. I will dig deeper into this “mystery” in the future. Until than I don’t mind a cake in the middle of the week or any other day of the week.

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Blob cake

Ingredients:
DoughPoppy seed fillingCheese Cake fillingStreusel
500g flour250ml milk250g quark (farmers cheese, cream cheese)175g flour
2 1/4 tsp yeast20g butter4T milk100g sugar
80g sugar30g Griess (semolina, grit, cream of wheat)1 egg (separated)100g melted butter
250ml milk100g crushed poppy seed80g sugarJam
80g butter50g sugar2tsp vanilla sugar250g cherry jam or any other
1 egg1 egg
pinch of salt1T rummelted butter for baking sheet
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Dough:
Mix flour, yeast, sugar, salt and add scrambled egg.
Melt butter and add milk. Add lukewarm butter/milk mixture to flour mixture and knead until you have a nice soft slightly tacky dough.
Cover (rise until double) = the recipe mentions no rise but to place the dough onto the sheet right away. I always let my dough rise first. How about try it both ways.

Poppy seed filling:
Melt butter in the milk, add Griess (semolina etc.) and let soak for 5 minutes. Add poppy seeds, sugar, egg, rum and cinnamon and mix it well. Set aside.
PS: I only had non crushed poppy seeds. It’s more gritty this way though.

cheese cake filling:
Mix the quark (cream cheese etc.) with the milk, sugar, vanilla sugar and egg yolk.
Beat the egg white until it forms stiff peaks. Lift stiff egg white under the quark filling. Set aside.
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Streusel:
Melt the butter. Mix flour and sugar and with a fork mix melted butter under the flour mixture

Assembly:
Butter your baking sheet and roll out dough, add globs of the fillings (poppy seed, cheese cake and jam) onto the dough. I used Elderberry/Plum jam.
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                              Top with the Streusel and let rest for 15 minutes.
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                        Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes (golden color)
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Friday, March 19, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Nothing fishy about that… (Gold fish crackers)

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When I checked my “Feed” yesterday one particular recipe jumped out at me like a fish in the pond.
Crispy, Crunchy, Cheesy: Homemade Cheese Crackers it screamed from "The Kitchn". How could I resist this siren’s call? I don’t know about you but I can’t resist anything that is crispy, crunchy or cheesy and all together it had me in it’s fangs right there.
From “The Kitchn” you can follow the trail of this recipe to it’s origin in cyber space. Off to my own ‘Kitchn’ I go.



Flour: got it
Salt: what kind of baker would I be….
ground pepper: Yup, but I am planning on going a different route
Cold, unsalted butter: Is there any other kind?
grated cheddar cheese: Yup but I also have plenty of Havarti and Monterey Jack with Jalapeno peppers so that is what I will use
cold water: My faucet runneth over

Five Ingredients is all that stands between me and those crispy, crunchy, cheesy homemade cheese crackers. That and some time.

I skipped the cheese grating part and the part where the butter is being cut into small pieces. Big junks will do it what are Kitchen machines for otherwise?
DSCF1219 This is what my flour, salt, cheese and butter looked like when the kitchen machine was done with it. See, no grating needed.
The recipe said 3-4T water. I added 2 and found that this was all I needed so add one T after another.
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This dough is ready for it’s chill in the fridge. Yum, I could not resist the smell of this dough. I have to get a grip of myself or there will not be any left to bake!
                      Chill for at least 20 minutes. Heat oven to 350F.
DSCF1255    Roll out to about 1/8 inch thickness. I found that I like them a little thicker. DSCF1257 DSCF1256

















           Cut out small shapes (fish if you like, I used a small shamrock)
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Bake for about 15 minutes. Mine only took 12 minutes so watch after the 10 minute mark.
DSCF1259These are seriously good, so addictive. How in the world have I lived without them so long? These would be great at any party.
You can cut them in any shape and make them any size. Just adjust the baking time if you make them bigger.
My son just came home from school, they had just come out of the oven and his response was “they remind me of those fish crackers”. Ha, that’s exactly what they were to remind him off. 
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Update: I linked these crackers to Mommy's Kitchen Potluck Sunday 21. March 2010

PostHeaderIcon Nutty squirrels…(Buttermilk cake with walnut)

All throughout summer and fall squirrels are busy hoarding and hiding nuts and other items that are bound to help them survive the harsh winter onsets.
It’s amazing how they can locate them throughout winter most of the times. Some of those stashes though are not to be found and will eventually start to sprout when spring sets in.
Thinking of spring and much warmer weather I cleaned out my pantry and what do I find?  An assortment of forgotten nuts (walnut, almonds and pecans) some still in their shell. Saving them from demise was immediately on my agenda. A quick look in the fridge and seeing an open buttermilk I knew just what was to become of these nuts.
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Recipe
Dough:
500g Flour
300g Sugar
4tsp/16g Baking powder
2 Eggs
1 pinch of Salt
440g Buttermilk
Butter for the Baking sheet

Topping:
250g Walnuts (or assortment of nuts, whatever you have, Pecans and hazelnut make the cake darker, Walnuts give it a golden color)
200g Sugar
400g Heavy cream

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Crush the nuts (I used Walnuts and Pecans with a couple of Almonds in between) and mix them with the sugar. Set aside. Heat your oven to 350F.
Mix flour, sugar, salt and sugar and add the eggs and buttermilk.  DSCF1231                          Butter your Baking sheet (mine is 16x13 inch)
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                                                     Fill with batter
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                                      Sprinkle with sugar/nut mixture
DSCF1236 Bake for about 20 minutes (if you are using pecans be careful not to burn them) until golden or almost done.
Evenly cover entire cake with the heavy cream (NOT whipped) and bake for about 5 more minutes or until cake is done. The cake will soak in all the cream.
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                    Another quick and easy sheet cake German style
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

PostHeaderIcon With the luck of the Irish….(5 HBin5 –Pesto/Pine nut dough-)

I might never get to the end of the Rainbow but who needs that Pot of Gold anyhow when one has Havarti cheese with Jalapenos sitting in the fridge.
Even King Midas found out the hard way that you can’t eat gold.
Now cheese on the other hand, cheese you can eat in all sorts of ways and you are only restricted by your own imagination. The French love their cheese so much they even enjoy it for dessert.
What would go better with Pesto and pine nuts than some cheese? I first thought of Parmesan but that would have been to dry, Mozzarella would have been great because it melts into such a nice gooey mess. My choice however fell on the Havarti cheese with Jalapeno that I had sitting in my fridge waiting for it’s final destiny.
This is again a recipe from the HBin5 book and one of the recipes for this month challenge at Michelle’s blog Big black dog
This dough was sort of a pain to work with but it smells so good.
It’s very wet and I was thanking my bench knife for having found it’s way into my kitchen. I sure needed it’s help, that and a good helping of flour.
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DSCF1206Roll out the dough and place some cheese in the middle. Roll it up from the long side and coil it into a snail.DSCF1207                         Half of the dough went into this “snail” loaf
DSCF1208   The other half was turned into three rolls with a junk of cheese in the middle
DSCF1210 this dough is so wet that you can’t move the rolls after they have been placed on the baking sheet. Make sure you place them where you want them or use a piece of parchment paper under the rolls.
I let them rest about 20 minutes before baking them. Big mistake they spread quite a bit. Next time I would bake them right away. If I where to bake a loaf I would put it into a loaf pan to bake to avoid the spread.
Bake at 400F for 25-30 minutes.
DSCF1211This is the coiled roll. The dough is so soft it did not keep it’s shape but it does taste amazing.
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I liked this bread a lot. The jalapeno in the cheese gave it a kick which works perfect with the pesto.
This dough would be also great with some red pepper flakes and no cheese.
You have not baked this bread yet? All I can say is “you are missing out”!
Next HBin5 breads will be revealed on Aprils fool day.
Since I am no fool I will not be waiting for that day to heat up my oven to crank out some more delicious baked goods.
It’s getting closer to Easter and I have some great recipes I want to share with you. So come back often and check what’s new! Happy baking…
Tuesday, March 16, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Bagels anyone? (5 HBin5 –Avocado/Guacamole dough)

Yesterday I posted about my take on the Avocado/Guacamole dough making some awesome croissant that you should really try out for yourself. Those are long gone and only one of the buns remain. Time for drastic measures (well, not really but it sounds good, doesn’t it) “Nachschub” as we Germans like to say must be baked. This dough really is my favorite so far.
Just for clarification I did alter the recipe a little. I bake with spelt flour only (any of my baked goods, no wheat), I did not add garlic or tomatoes but I added roasted onions.
I made two bagels because we only have a small force eating here at this time (me).
The bagels where shaped into a roll first, rested for 20 minutes, shaped into a bagel (simply poke a hole in the middle with your fingers and shape it into a bagel), rested 20 minutes more and went into the fridge overnight to proof.
DSCF1159 This morning I got the bagels out of the fridge and set them in the kitchen to warm up about an hour. While you bring your water to a boil heat up the oven to 450F. I add a metal dish to the oven to heat up at the same time to hold the water to create the steam.
DSCF1162 This picture shows some boiling water with 1T baking soda. I left the bagel on the proofing paper because i found out in my earlier bagel baking adventures that the dough is so soft that it loses it’s form real easy. Cook it for 1 minute on each side or 2 if you like a more chewy bagel.
DSCF1166 simply turn it over after 1 minute and remove the paper (I flip it over holding the paper as I go)
DSCF1167 Gotta love well used silicon mats! Place the bagels on a baking sheet, add a cup of water to your metal dish to make steam and bake for five minutes, turn the sheet 180C if your oven bakes uneven and bake about 5 minutes more. They should have a nice color.
DSCF1171                                                  Bagels anyone?

It really worked! What I hold in my hand and eat at this exact time is a Bagel!      This so is my favorite dough so far, have I mentioned that before?

Come back tomorrow or Thursday to find out what I did with the       Pesto Pine Nut dough

These bagels will be Yeast spotted
Yeast spotters: If you don’t have the book and are not sure if you would like to get it try out this master recipe for the ABin5 which uses all white flour. You can find a link to the whole wheat recipe version here. From there add what you like. I added roasted onions and avocado.

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