Thursday, January 27, 2011

Root Beer Cookies

1 c. packed dark brown sugar
4 oz. canola oil margarine (see Note)
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 3/4 c. flour
2 t. root beer concentrate, such as McCormick's brand (see Note)

2 c. confectioners' sugar
2/3 stick (5 1/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 to 4 T. water
1 t. root beer concentrate

For the cookies: In a large bowl, using a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer on medium speed, beat the brown sugar, margarine, butter and egg for several minutes until well blended and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla extract, baking soda, salt, the flour in increments, and the root beer concentrate. The batter will be stiff. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line several large baking sheets with parchment paper (or just grease some). Drop the dough by teaspoonfuls, spaced about 2 inches apart (the cookies will spread), onto the prepared sheets. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the icing: In a medium bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar with the butter and mix well. In a measuring cup, combine the water and root beer concentrate; add to the sugar-butter mixture and mix well, adding more water as needed to reach the desired consistency. Spread on the cooled cookies. Let set for about 30 minutes before serving.

Notes: I have no idea what the canola oil margarine is, nor did I think these would be harmed if I omitted it. So instead of the 3/4 cups of fats it told me, I used one whole stick of butter. In addition, I could not find the concentrate at home, but found some "Root Beer Flavor Oil" at a Bosch store in Utah and used that. If you do that, I suggest using 3/4 t. of that in place of the 2 t. of concentrate in the cookies because it's stronger. I didn't ice the cookies, but a good way to eat these would be as a sandwich with vanilla ice cream in between (root beer float cookie anyone?). Trust me.  It should also be noted that the recipe I was following said it would yield 24 cookies; I got 38.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Marmalade Chicken

I admit I stole this from, but it is pretty delish!

4 servings

Total Time: 20 minutes

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 pound chicken tenders
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 large shallots, minced
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

Whisk broth, vinegar, marmalade, mustard and cornstarch in a medium bowl.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 4 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and shallots to the pan and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, about 30 seconds. Whisk the broth mixture and add it to the pan. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer; cook until the sauce is slightly reduced and thickened, 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Add the chicken; return to a simmer. Cook, turning once, until the chicken is heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in orange zest.

Per serving: 213 calories; 8 g fat (1 g sat, 5 g mono); 68 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrates; 27 g protein; 0 g fiber; 246 mg sodium; 55 mg potassium.

Exchanges: 1/2 other carbohydrate, 3 1/2 very lean meat

I did not use shallots, I used diced onion, and I did not add the orange zest at the end because I did not have an orange on hand.  Otherwise, we thought it was great!  I got a couple of frowns while it was cooking and even when we pre-tasted the sauce, but once you add the chicken and serve over rice, it was just right.  We'll definitely make this again!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Fruit Buckle

How have I never posted this before? It's such a great dessert that Chuck and I can eat the entire thing by ourselves (I didn't say we do, just that we can).

1/4 c. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 c. sugar
1 large egg
1 t. vanilla
3/4 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/3 c. milk
2 c. blueberries (1 pint) (See NOTE below)

1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. flour
1 t. cinnamon
6 T. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into dice

Preheat oven to 350. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish.

In the bowl of a electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix until combined.

In a small bowl, sift or whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients to the batter, alternating with the milk, mixing until smooth and blended.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread with a rubber spatula so that it evenly covers the pan. Sprinkle berries over batter.

To make topping, whisk together sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add butter and work with a fork or your fingers until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle topping over blueberries. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until berries are bubbling and topping is golden brown.

Let cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves about 6 buckle fiends.

NOTE: You can use whatever fruit you want. I've done blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and just last night, cherries. Not one has ended badly. If you're using frozen fruit, defrost first. Serve with ice cream if you want.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Some of you may have seen this on The Idea Room, but I tried it and am giving it a full endorsement by posting it here. You'll see that Rhett agrees.

Filling (and Topping):
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. light brown sugar
5 t. ground cinnamon

1/2 c. whole milk (I used 2%), heated on stove top to 110 degrees (or microwaved for 40-45 seconds)
4 T. unsalted butter, (3 of them melted)
3 large egg yolks
4 1/4 c. flour, plus more if needed (can do half white and half wheat)
2 1/4 t. rapid rise yeast (1 pkg.)
1 T. sugar
1 1/2 t. salt

1. In a small bowl, combine your filling/topping ingredients. Measure out 1/4 cup of your mixture and set the rest aside.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, melted butter, and egg yolks. Then, in the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the 1/4 cup of cinnamon mixture, 1 T. sugar, yeast, flour, and salt.

3. Using your dough hook, mix on low and slowly add the milk mixture. After the dough comes together, increase your speed to medium and mix the dough until it is smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl. Your dough should stick to the bottom of your bowl, but not too the sides. You may need to add more flour if needed.

4. Turn out your dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into a smooth round ball. Place in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about an hour, or until dough has doubled in size. [If using instant yeast, you can skip this.  Note that instant is different from rapid.]

5. Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray. On a lightly floured surface, press dough into a 20 x 8 inch rectangle, with the short side facing you. Using a spray bottle filled with water, lightly spray the dough. Sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar mixture (reserving about 2-3 T.), leaving a 2-inch border along the top to seal. Lightly spray the cinnamon sugar with the water.

6. Adjust oven rack to middle position, and heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 1 T. of butter and brush over top of dough. Sprinkle with remaining sugar, and bake until top is deep brown, about 45 to 60 minutes. Turn bread out and cool on wire rack.