Thursday, January 26, 2012

Spiked Mulled Cider

When I was making Cider Doughnuts over Martin Luther King Weekend, I had a half gallon and cider minus one cup and I needed something to do with it or it would sit in my fridge forever.  I took to the internet and found a recipe on one of my favorite sites, Simply Recipes for Hot Mulled Cider.   It meet the main requirement of having alcohol in it since I was told one should not be frying things with out a drink in hand.  (FYI: I was not drunk when I burned my wrist and it is looking like it might not scar.) 

It was so good that Kurt next door bought another half gallon to make more the next day.  I modified the spices and used clementines instead of oranges.  The second round I added star anise to the mixture.  We tried it with both brandy and bourbon.  I like it either way and since we tend to have bourbon on hand in the building somewhere, it will probably be the go to in the future.   I didn't put the alcohol in it until it was in a glass so that people could make it as strong as they wanted.  In all cases it was good and you should definitely give it a try. 

Spiked Mulled Cider
Makes 8 servings

Guess what's missing from this picture.

  • 1/2 gallon of fresh, unfiltered apple cider
  • 1 clementines
  • 2 teaspoons cloves
  • 4 3-inch sticks of cinnamon
  • 15 allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 7 pods of cardamon
  • 2 or 3 star anise
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  1. Pour apple cider into a 3-quart saucepan, cover, turn the heat on medium-high. 
  2. While cider is heating up,cut the clementines in half.  Place clementines, cloves, and the rest of the ingredients into the sauce pan with the cider. Keep covered and heat the mulled cider mixture to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes on low heat.
  3. Use a fine mesh sieve to strain the hot mulled cider away from the clementines, cloves, and other spices. 
  4. Add a shot or so bourbon or brandyto spike it up. Serve hot. Add a cinnamon stick to each cup if desired.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Carrot Soup

It has finally started to get cold here.  It even snowed for the first time since Halloween this weekend.  I have been on a bit of a soup kick and I like to have it for lunch since I spend most of the morning in my office typing in mittens.  I have been wanting to try a carrot soup for a while, but have never got around to it until last weekend.  Big Girls Small Kitchen posted up a recipe for Roasted Carrot Red Curry Soup and it sounded delicious and not too time consuming.   
I personally did not think the recipe had enough curry paste in it.  After I doubled the amount, I just keep tossing in teaspoons until I decided it was enough- I think I probably quadrupled it.  That was the only thing I really changed in the recipe.  It was a bit cool for my liking, so I would suggest warming it more before serving, or at least testing it before hand. I also have to keep stealing the neighbors blender/processor since mine broke and then I have to repay them in soup.  I might need to invest in an attachment for my Kitchenaid sooner than later...

Roasted Carrot Red Curry Soup
Makes 4 servings

  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces 
  • 2 small red onions, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1 to 2  tablespoons Thai red curry paste (some of you may want to start with less and do taste test as you go adding more. 
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • One 15-ounce can coconut milk 
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, toss carrot and onion with oil, sugar, and salt. 
  3. Spread the veggies evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until browned and tender, stirring once halfway through.
  4. Transfer the vegetables to a food processor or blender along with the ginger, 1 teaspoon curry paste, and the stock.  Blend until incorporated. 
  5. Add coconut milk and blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add salt and additional curry paste if you like. 
  6. Reheat and serve. 

Angeletti Cookies- Round Two

Remember this post from Thanksgiving two years ago?  And then this semi failure first round?  Well I finally got around to trying another recipe that I found on Real Simple, but this one's frosting did not have any anise in it.  I made it up by dividing the amount of vanilla in half and using anise extract for the other half.  
I had to get these sprinkles, they were so pretty! 
The frosting was really tasty, but I didn't mix up enough of it.  I always have too much most of the time so I halved it.  I don't advise it on this recipe.  It's too tasty to not have the cookies completely covered.  I think these cookies without the frosting were better than my Thanksgiving mother's cookies.  Maybe if I had the frosting right, they might have been close to perfection.  Much better than round one. 

Angeletti Cookies
makes about 24 cookies

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter,
  • melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and
  • leveled, plus more for rolling the dough
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon anise extract plus a teanny bit more- overflow
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • sprinkles, for decoration (optional)

  1.  Heat oven to 375° F. 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and eggs until blended.  Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix until just combined (do not over mix).  
  3. With floured hands, roll level tablespoonfuls of the dough into balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. 
  4. Bake until puffed and the bottoms are pale golden, 7 to 8 minutes.  Transfer to a rack to cool completely. 
  5. Make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons water, and the vanilla until the mixture forms a thick but pourable glaze (add more water if necessary). 
  6. Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze and let set, rounded side up, on a rack set over a piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle the tops.   Allow the glaze to set, about 20 minutes.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Currant Scones

I don't know why I thought scones were difficult to make.  So far they have been easy and so delicious and these Dreamy Cream Scones from Smitten Kitchen are the best yet.  So light and absolutely yummy.  The freeze and bake method is still working fine.  I have been enjoying these all week and am going to make them again for next week since I have extra currants.  I might try them with dried cranberries like she did.  If I do that though,  I want them to be orange cranberry... I might have to email her to if she knows how do to that.  Anyone here know how?  

Until I figure it out, you should waste no time making these.

Currant Scones
makes 6 to 8
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose f lour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  1. If baking right away- adjust oven rack to middle posit ion and heat oven to 425°F. 
  2. Place f lour, baking powder, sugar and salt in large bowl and whisk together.
  3. If making by hand, use your fingers (or if you have one, a pastry blender) to quickly cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few slightly larger butter lumps. 
  4. Stir in currants. 
  5. Stir in heavy cream with a rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.
  6. Transfer dough and all bits to countertop and knead dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds. 
  7. Form scones by patting the dough onto a lightly f loured work surface into a 3/4-inch thick circle and cutting pieces into about 3" circles. (you can, of course, us a biscuit cutter if you have one.)  Press remaining scraps back into another piece and cut until dough has been used up. 
  8. If you're baking them right away place rounds or wedges on ungreased baking sheet and bake unt il scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
  9. If not, wrap individually in parchment paper and freeze.  Bake when ready for 15 to 20 minutes. 
  10. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Apple Cider Doughnuts

I would like to start by saying that this is one of the yummiest things I have made to date.  Seriously- it was worth all the pain.  I promise.  I saw the Apple Cider Doughnut recipe back in December on The SoHo and have been wanting to make them every weekend since.   They made me think of the one and only thing that I think Starbucks had right and then discontinued, (probably for my good since I was eating way to many of them), an apple doughnut.  Every time I go into a Starbucks, I look for them and get disappointed with only the sight of an apple fritter.  NOT the same thing.  These apple doughnuts being made from scratch are so much better.  So.  Much.  Better.  
Enjoy with some mulled cider! 

See, it's not so bad
The only thing that will keep me from making them all the time is how long they take to make and all the oil you have to use to fry them.  Oh and the possibility of burning myself again.  Yep that picture there is the aftermath of my doughnut making experience, beyond the few pounds I have gained.  Just pay attention to what the thermometer is doing when you are trying to flip over the doughnuts.  It might flip out and catch you on the arm and then you do some cussing and wait to see how bad you burned your skin.  Never leave the doughnuts unattended no matter how much pain you are in.  They are worth  the pain.  Just so you know, it didn't really hurt that bad. 

A few notes beyond how not to burn yourself with a thermometer.  I don't have a doughnut cutter, so I used a drinking glass for the large circle that was around 3" in diameter and a shot glass that was about 1" in diameter for the center hole.  It worked fine, some of the holes may have not been perfectly centered, but I swear the tasted the same.  You should definitely try a few of these plain with no glaze or sugar.  They are absolutely tasty even plain.  I agree with the Southern Hostess on using the glaze for the doughnuts and the sugar mix for the holes.  Last, I used canola oil instead of vegetable, my southern fry king roommate said its better for such things. 

Now- take this recipe to your kitchen and get baking.

Apple Cider Doughnuts
Makes about 18 doughnuts and doughnut holes

For the doughnuts:

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 3 1/2 cups flour, plus additional for the work surface
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk 
  • Canola oil for frying
For the glaze:
  • 1 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider
For cinnamon-sugar mixture:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon

  1. In a saucepan over medium or medium-low heat, gently reduce the apple cider to about 1/4 cup, 20 to 30 minutes. 
  2. Set aside to cool.  Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.  Set aside. 
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed (with the paddle attachment, if using a standing mixer) beat the butter and granulated sugar until the mixture is smooth.  
  4. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat until the eggs are completely incorporated.  Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. 
  5. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the reduced apple cider and the buttermilk, mixing just until combined. 
  6. Add the flour mixture and continue to mix just until the dough comes together. 
  7. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or wax paper and sprinkle them generously with flour. 
  8. Turn the dough onto 1 of the sheets and sprinkle the top with flour.  Flatten the dough with your hands until it is about 1/2 inch thick.  Use more flour if the dough is still wet.  Place the dough to the freezer until it is slightly hardened, about 20 minutes.  Pull the dough out of the freezer. 
  9. Using a 3-inch doughnut cutter, (or your glasses), cut out doughnut shapes.  Place the cut doughnuts and doughnut holes onto the second sheet pan.  Refrigerate the doughnuts for 20 to 30 minutes.  (You may re-roll the scraps of dough, refrigerate them briefly and cut additional doughnuts from the dough.) 
  10. While the dough is in the fridge mix up the glaze and sugar mixture.  Make the glaze by whisking together the confectioners' sugar and the cider until the mixture is smooth.  Set aside.  For cinnamon-sugar mixture, combine cinnamon and sugar in small bowl.  Set aside.
  11. Add enough oil to a deep-sided pan to measure a depth of about 3 inches. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and heat over medium heat until the oil reaches 350 degrees. Have a plate lined with several paper towels ready. 
  12. Carefully add a few doughnuts to the oil, being careful not to crowd the pan, and fry first side until golden brown, about 60 seconds.  Turn the doughnuts over and fry until the other side is golden, 30 to 60 seconds.  (They will be very brown, I was concerned they were over done, but the one I pulled out earlier, they were a little doughy.)      
  13. Drain on paper towels after the doughnuts are fried.  
  14. Dip the top of the warm doughnuts into the glaze or cinnamon-sugar and serve immediately.  
  15. Follow steps 12 to 14 for the doughnut holes as well. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Swirl Blondies

I needed a recipe to try out my new Kitchen Aid mixer last Wednesday, I mean it couldn't sit on the counter for more than 24 hours without use.   I also needed one that I had all the ingredients for.  I still have not done any real grocery shopping since returning to New York, like, two weeks ago.  Opps.  Luckily Eat Live Run came to my rescue with these Blondies

They were quick and delicious and the perfect balance of sweet and salty.  I don't know if that was because of the peanut butter I used, or if they are always like that, but they were perfect.  The only change I made was the peanut butter because I didn't have any creamy.  I was also concerned that I did not brown the butter enough, but it was fine.  I whipped these up in less than an hour, perfect for a week night. 

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies
Makes 20 bars
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 and butter an 8-inch square pan.
  2. Brown your butter by melting it over medium heat on the stove until it becomes a golden caramel color.  Be careful not to burn the butter—you only want to brown it.  This will take several minutes and it’s easiest to keep swirling the pan with your hand while it browns.
  3. Pour the browned butter into the bowl and add the brown sugar.  Beat for about four minutes, until creamy. 
  4. Add the egg and beat again. Then, add the flour, salt and vanilla extract.  Beat until combined, then add peanut butter and gently mix so the batter is just swirled.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips. 
  6. Spread out mixture in your buttered pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  7. Let cool before slicing into squares.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Year Buttermilk Pancakes

After our awesome New Year's Eve party, the tenants of 731 needed a bit of recovery time and a delicious brunch to start the new year.  Plus it was Melissa's 26th birthday, she needed pancakes and I love making pancakes.   After cleaning up the mess from the night before and getting some coffee in our systems, I started mixing.

We had buttermilk leftover from the night before, so I decided to use it up and make buttermilk pancakes from the great Betty Crocker Cookbook.  I also needed to make the gluten free, so instead of doubling a batch I made one gluten free and one whole wheat batch of pancakes.  Both were absolutely delicious, as a pancake should be.  To make the Gluten free pancakes I used Bob's Red Mill all purpose flour in place of all flour.  

Regular on the left and GF on the right.

Buttermilk Whole Wheat Pancakes 
Makes 3 servings

Perfect circle.
  • 1egg
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 

  1. Beat egg. Add remaining ingredients in order listed and beat with whisk until smooth. 
  2. Grease heated griddle with a bit of butter. 
  3. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto hot griddle. 
  4. Turn pancakes as soon as they are puffed and full of bubbles break. 
  5. Bake on other side until golden brown.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Best Christmas Present Ever. EVER.

I have been wanting this gift for as long as I can remember.  Once I opened the little package of a box with a picture of this taped on it,  I told my mom I now had no reason to get married, (cause I had everything I could want out a wedding, except maybe the honeymoon).   She thought about taking it back and not letting me order one.  

Are you ready for this? 

taking over my counter space:)


Pretty sure my life will easily be broken in to life pre-Kitchenaid Mixer and post-Kitchenaid Mixer.   I'll try not to make you too jealous in future posts, talking about it too much, taking to many pictures, etc.  
On its first run making blondies!

Now I just need to decide which accessories to purchase...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year's Eve Fried Celebration

I am looking forward to the year of 2012.  I feel like the past couple years have been mediocre.  Some really great things have happened, some really crappy things, and a lot of nothing.  Some of it out of my control some of it not.  I am ready for a bit of excitement or a change up.  Let's just hope it happens, whether it's a happy accident or by my own creation.  So far, the year is off to a good start.  Our New Year's Eve party was awesome.  

Invitation (Background)
Champagne Tower. Serious business.
Some of us decided we didn't want to spend and insane amount of money at a bar and no, we would never, ever consider going to Time Square.  So we decided to host our own party split between my and my neighbors apartment.   We wanted to keep it simple since most of us would be return to New York on the 30th or 31st and didn't want to spend too much money.  We also knew we needed a champagne tower.  It was great, especially since we were all sure that tower was going to make a mess.  We also had a New Year's Resolution Board for people to write their resolutions on.  By the end of the night we had some pretty good range of resolutions, some serious, some not so serious. 

Now on to the food: 
Champagne Cupcakes & Jello Shots

Since the party was not starting till late, we stuck to finger foods and simple snacks.  My lovely co-hosts made Champagne CupcakesChampagne Jello Shots, (she used 1 cup of water and 2.5 cups of champagne), and a delicious spinach dip.  Since my roommate enjoys frying things, we made sure he was going to be around to provide us with some tasty treats like Fried Oreos, Fried Twinkies and Hush Puppies.  Somehow we did not make it to the twinkies and they are now waiting for their chance in the fridge and did fry deviled eggs.  I did not try those. 

Will frying away. 

I fully admit that Will (roommate) was completely responsible for the finding the Fried Oreo and Hush Puppy recipes and making them.  They were sooo good.  The next morning when we found out that one of our friends decided to help Will make the batter for the oreos and made his own contribution of beer.  Not quite sure how much, but if you want try it, pour a bit in.  This would also probably be good in the hush puppies.  

Fried Oreos

about 39 servings- one cookie each
  • 2 quarts vegetable oil for frying 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil 
  • 1 cup pancake mix
  • 1  package Oreos
  • a bit of beer (optional)
  • powdered sugar

  1. Heat oil in deep-fryer to 375 degrees F. 
  2. Whisk together the egg, milk, and 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a bowl until smooth. 
  3. Stir in the pancake mix until no dry lumps remain.  Add beer.
  4. Dip the cookies into the batter one at a time, and carefully place into the hot frying oil. 
  5. Fry only 4 or 5 at a time to avoid overcrowding the deep fryer. Cook until the cookies are golden-brown, about 2 minutes. 
  6. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate before serving.  Once cooled slightly, sprinkle with powdered sugar. 
Hush Puppies  
the true thing should never be perfectly shaped:)
about 35 puppies  
  • 6 cups peanut oil 
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising cornmeal 
  • 1/2 cup self-rising flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 small onion, chopped 
  • 1 cup buttermilk 
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten 
  1. Using a deep pot, preheat oil for frying to 350 degrees F.
  2. Using a mixing bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the onion. 
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk and egg. 
  4. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until blended. 
  5. Drop the batter, 1 teaspoon at a time, into the oil. 
  6. Dip the spoon in a glass of water after each hush puppy is dropped in the oil. Fry until golden brown, turning the hushpuppies during the cooking process.
  7. Let drain and cool slightly on a paper towel before serving.