Sunday, December 30, 2007

Holiday Leftovers

IMG_6605, originally uploaded by mud pie gourmet.

We still have the tree up, wreath hanging, and a list of people I need to get presents to, but I know the end of the holidays is here. Now what am I going to do with all those CANDY CANES? They SEEMED like a good idea when I saw them for 88 cents, but I am not the biggest fan, and I definitely don't want the munchkins eating all those cavity-canes. So, I came up with a recipe to get rid of them--Candy Cane Chocolate Cookies. I plan on giving them to friends and bringing them to our "Mediterranean New Years" tomorrow night (I know, not very Greek, but I need to get them out of our house).

I used bread flour for these cookies--something I learned from S.'s Aunt JoAn. They make the cookies so fluffy. Also, I rarely use margarine (like Crisco, it freaks me out), but there is a little in these, also learned from Aunt JoAn (man, we love when she visits--not just for her fun personality, but she always brings her perfectly made cookies). So, make these before you start those New Year's resolutions! Time is ticking...

Candy Cane Chocolate Cookies

2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 T vanilla
6 T margarine (softened)
12 T butter (softened)
3 cups bread flour (I use King Arthur)
3/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
24 candy canes (about two cups), broken into small pieces

Unwrap candy canes and put into a ziplock bag. Break into pieces using a rolling pin.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine sugars, vanilla, eggs, butter and margarine. Beat in a mixer until fluffy. Combine flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and soda in another bowl. Add slowly to the butter mixture.

Add the candy cane pieces to the dough. Using a cookie scoop get dough, but then roll into a ball in your hand so they all look the same. Cook for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cookies sit for 5 minutes before removing them from the pan.

Note: Aunt JoAn also swears by Air Bake pans, and I went and bought some--LOVE THEM! I've had perfect cookies since.

Caution: I wouldn't advise using Spree candy canes, or Jolly Rancher candy canes in place of the peppermint.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hanukkah, Chanukah, Xanuka

Golden Latkes, originally uploaded by mud pie gourmet.

There are 16 different ways to spell Hanukkah. How would you like that on your spelling test? You'd be sure to get at least one of them!

Seeing as tonight is the last night of Hanukkah I thought I should post a latkes recipe. We had S.'s parents over for some beef brisket and latkes in celebration of the miracle of the oil last night.

I think celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas is a little confusing for Boo. Yesterday she was making a picture using a foam cut-out of the Star of David, but said it was the Star of Bethlehem and a cut-out of a menorah. She told me that they were leading the Shepherds to Baby Jesus.

Every year when we have latkes I wonder why I don't make them more throughout the year. They are so dang good. And of course, you have to serve them with applesauce and sour cream to get the full effect.

Mom Mud's Latkes
Serves 4-5

6 medium-sized potatoes
1 small onion
1 tsp salt
1 egg
3 T flour, matza meal or bread crumbs
1⁄2 tsp baking powder

Wash, peel and grate raw (I use a food processor, the grater attachment--it helps you do it faster so you don't discolor the potatoes). Strain, but not too dry. Grate and add the onion; add salt and the egg. Beat well. Mix remaining ingredients and beat into potatoes; mix well. Drop by spoonfuls onto hot oil that is deep enough to almost cover the cake. Drain on paper towels.
Serve with applesauce and sour cream.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Can we still be friends?

Gma's Orange Rolls, originally uploaded by mud pie gourmet.

We went to see Jim Gaffigan last night. One of his jokes was about when you haven't returned someone's telephone call for so long, what do you do? You think, "we weren't that close anyway" and do you just end the friendship because it would be so awkward once you called? Made me think of my food blog (flog) which I have neglected for so long. Want my excuses like I would give you if I hadn't returned your phone call? Well, for starters--teaching seminary at 6am, but still getting to bed at 11:30 and being over 6 months pregnant, a funeral, family in town (both sides)... But, can't we just be friends the way we used to be?

My grandmother recently celebrated her 99th birthday (yes, I know I already wrote about it on my family blog). For just about every family get-together that I can remember she was the one who brought the rolls. Our favorites were the Orange Rolls. I would eat about 5 within a couple minutes of dinner starting. Now that she is 99 she would have still made the rolls for Thanksgiving, but she had a cold that knocked her out (hopefully not from my kids!). I made them instead. I made them for both families (yes, we eat 2 Thanksgiving dinners--and I am wondering why my belly is getting huge). My mother-in-law gave me a recipe she had of Martha Stewart's. I made a batch of each, and I have to say, my grandma's are better!

These are fabulous because you make the dough the night before and put it in the fridge. It made my morning go a lot smoother (especially since S. was playing tag football for three hours and I had pies to make, too with the kids running around). I have only changed the recipe by using butter instead of shortening (does shortening freak anyone else out?).

My two year old definitely takes after me as he ate 5 rolls within minutes. And I'm pretty sure his cousin, Michael had even more than him.

Grandma's Orange Rolls


2 T. dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup hot water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter (melted)
3 well beaten eggs
4-4 1/2 cups flour

Orange filling:

1/3 cup softened butter
1/3 cup sugar
rind of 1 orange (about 2 T)
1/2 tsp almond extract.

Orange glaze:

Juice of 1 orange
1 lb powdered sugar

Sprinkle yeast over 1/4 cup warm water. Set aside. Combine sugar, butter and salt with hot water and stir. Add beaten eggs and 1 cup flour. Mix well. Stir in dissolved yeast thoroughly. Add remaining flour and stir until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Turn dough onto a floured board. Divide into 2 portions. Roll each portion into a rectangle 1/4 inch thick and spread with half of orange filling. Roll up as for a jelly rolls and cut into 1 inch slices and place in buttered muffin tins. Let rise until double. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Pour orange glaze of the top of rolls.