Easter Bunny Bait

Here bunny bunny bunny….I have a treat for you. I know it is a long road down the bunny trail to get to my house and I wanted to make sure by the time you get here you don’t pass out. That’s right. I’ve tied it in a nice little bundle for you so you don’t spill it along the way hopping along the trail.

I came across this recipe last year RIGHT after Easter and was so bummed I did not find it before. This addictive mix of salty sweet is for sure going to be a winner in your house; whether it be for the Easter bunny or for one of your little gremlins.  A nice bribe, errr I mean incentive to be quiet in church. It will take you all of 15 minutes to whip it up. Once it cools package it in bags and give the extra away to your friends. Original recipe for bunny bait  by Bake at 350.

 I realized after I took this picture I forgot to include the M&M’s in the shot…But you get the idea.  

Easter Bunny Bait 

One package Wilton White Candy Melts

2 packages “Tender White” Micro wave Popcorn

3 handfuls pastel M&M’s

3 handfuls salted party peanuts

2 handfuls mini twig style pretzels snapped into 3rd’s

confetti confectionery sprinkles of your choice.

Directions: Microwave the popcorn and sort through it to pick out any unpopped kernels; discard. In a large bowl place the popcorn, M&M’s, peanuts, and pretzels. Place the candy melts in a glass measuring container and microwave on high and checking every 30 seconds stir and reheat until the coating is melted. Pour the melted candy melts over the popcorn mixture and working quickly mix the contents making sure to get down on the bottom of the bowl and mix thoroughly make sure all the peanuts and twigs get incorporated. Sprinkle on the confetti a little at a time and stir and repeat until you are satisfied with the amount. Once its mixed dump out onto a Silpat lined sheet tray or a tray lined with baking paper. I’m not sure if this would stick so I used the Silpat just in case.

Happy Trails.


Apples In A Blanket

I came across this recipe by another blogger. I thought it was quite genius. Simple and delicious. Perfect party fare. Check out her blog; do you not just love her with a name like this?? her blog is: www.justgetoffyourbuttandbake.com Her name is Jonna. Go sister! Do you find it daunting sometimes to come up with a recipe to bring to party? Sure, you can bring brownies or cookies. I just thought this was such a darn cute idea. These are perfect finger party food. If you want to guild the lilly you could make some salted caramel sauce and dip them in caramel. Yum.

Apples In A Blanket

(yield: 16 apple bites)

(recipe adapted from Jonna at www.justgetoffyourbuttandbake.com)

Ingredients:

Your favorite pie crust recipe. (enough for a double crust pie) (See my recipe for “Fearless pie crust” if you need a recipe).

2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, and cut with an apple core/slicer to equal 16 equal pieces.

1-2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 Cup sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 Tbsp. heavy cream

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl place the apple wedges and toss with the lemon juice; this is to prevent the apples from oxidizing. Take 1/2 cup of the sugar-cinnamon mixture and combine with the apples. Reserve the rest of the 1/2 cup sugar mixture for step 4 of the recipe.

3. Roll out your pie dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut strips of dough about 2 1/2 inches wide x 4 inches long. Place each apple wedge at the end of and on top of one strip of pie dough and roll up like a pig in a blanket. Pinch the end where the crust comes together to form a seal.

4. Take each “apple blanket” and roll in the reserved sugar-cinnamon mixture. Place each apple blanket on a parchment lined baking sheet or Silpat lined baking sheet to prevent sticking. Chill for 30 minutes. Brush each apple blanket with heavy cream. Sprinkle with more cinnamon-sugar.

5. Bake the blankets at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes or until they are golden brown. Cool and serve.


Sweet Spiced Almonds

Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t…

I feel like a nut

Yes, I am a nut 😉

I want a nut.

I want a sweet, spicy, salty crunchy nut.

This recipe rings all my nut bells. Sweet, spicy, super crunchy, and the best of all? super easy.

 

Sweet Spiced Almonds

(recipe from America’s test kitchen “All Time Best Holiday Recipes”)

1 large egg white

1 Tablespoon water

1 tsp. salt (I used 2 tsp. instead)

1 lb. raw unsalted almonds

1/2 Cup sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon (preferable saigon cinnamon)

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. ground coriander

1. Adjust oven racks to that you have one rack on each upper position and one at middle position. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with non-stick spray.

3. Whisk together egg white, water, and salt in a large bowl. Add the nuts and toss to coat. Let the nuts drain thoroughly in a colander for 4-5 minutes.

4. Mix sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and coriander in a large bowl. Add the drained nuts and toss to coat with the sugar/spice mixture. Spread the nuts evenly onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes on upper rack. After 20 minutes move the sheet to the middle rack and continue backing 20-25 minutes until the nuts are dry and crisp. Cool nuts completely.

Printable Recipe:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nm9BziTqG7piZpHse6lxjTyl_Y6IvnEI–vh8lbwsss/edit


Churros

Fried dough of any type brings out my call of the wild.

AWwww ye aw ye aw ye awwwW..

Beignets, elephant ears, doughnuts, funnel cake. It’s all good, but there is something about a churro.

Churros and hot chocolate. Mmmm.

The weather this summer in San Francisco is really- how shall I put this delicately- SUCKING BIGTIME.  Basically just like any other fog laden summer here in “The City” but this summer’s fog linger is really hanging on. The active button on my direct Tv says the temp in my neighborhood is 57 with a footnote that exclaims “feels like 57”.  Err- yeah, thanks for that clarifier Direct Tv because I would not have been able to distinguish that on  my own.  Churros + 57 degree weather + hot chocolate =  a really freakin lazy ass Sunday. I have spent way too much time in my flannel pajamas lately…

Good thing for Oscar, because the dog gives me a reason to actually leave the house. Yes, I have walked the dog in my pajamas. No I’m not proud of it.  Yes, I did at least put a coat on over the jammies. And just for the record, I do not go to Safeway in my pajama pants. I do have limitations. My coat is not long enough. That’s the limitation. Hee hee.

Churros are one of those comfort foods that evokes a warm toasty feeling in you. Maybe it’s  the smell of frying dough, maybe it’s the cinnamon smell. Maybe it’s the smell of  frying dough 🙂  Yeah, I think that’s it.  Definitely the smell of dough frying. The beauty of making churros yourself is that you can enjoy them when they are still super crisp and hot. They are mucho easy too, and people will think you are a rock star. Try it the next time you are having a lazy Sunday. I like to make hot chocolate and add in a pinch of cinnamon to go along with them.  I highly recommend it.

Churros

(recipe from Mark Bittman from New York Times)

yield: 1 dozen 4-6 inch churros

Corn, grapeseed, canola or other neutral oil for frying

1/2 Cup plus 1 Tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 stick butter

1/4 tsp. salt

1 C water

1 C all-purpose flour

3 eggs

1. Mix 1/2 C sugar and cinnamon in  a shallow bowl or plate. Set aside.

2. Combine 1 Tbsp. sugar, butter, salt and 1 Cup water in a saucepan over high heat, and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, and add flour, all at once. Stir constantly until the mixture forms a ball, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat, and beat in eggs one at a time stirring until smooth after each addition. heat the oil in a large saucepan (3-4 quart) or deep skillet to come to a depth of at least 2 inches; heat to 350 º degrees.

3. Spoon dough into a pastry bag with a large star tip (or you can drop spoons full of batter into oil). Drop strips of dough about 4 inches long into the hot oil and press the tip against the side of the pan to “cut off” the end or use a sharp knife and cut off the dough so the strip lands in the oil. Cook for about 7-10 minutes, turning with a fork or tongs every now and then to ensure even browning.

4. Remove the churros from the oil, and drain on paper towels for a few seconds, then roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Serve hot or warm.

 


S’mores with Salted Caramel and Ganache

I love not camping.

Please don’t send me hate mail. It’s just not my thing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a nature hater, I just don’t fancy sleeping in a small bag for more than 48 hours. The Husband and I have an agreement. I will camp for 3 days max and then I need a hotel. Or a motel. You see, I prefer to take a shower without bugs dangling from a shower head. Call me crazy. Maybe if I was one of those kids that camped when I was growing up it would make a difference.

Or not.

There are some things about camping that I do love. I like meeting new people and the easy conversation that you usually find in people who camp. A total stranger will loan you almost anything you forgot to bring. I love that. I wish people could be like this all the time.

I dig the whole fire thing.  It brings out my primal side.  I dig sipping a good Merlot while watching the fire. Okay, that part may not be exactly primal, but I do love grilling or cooking over the fire and of course, MAKING S’MORES.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not exactly the camping type.

The Husband is total camping type. Like hard core camping. Like camping in Death Valley in the dead of spring in 115 degree heat camping. Yeah….that’s a story for another time. The marriage survived that one some how.

The Husband caught me making home-made marshmallows in preparation for our camping trip once. He thought I was a little crazy.

Husband: “Uh, honey, what are you doing???”

Me: “Making marshmallows” “We need to have stuff for s’mores”.

Husband: “Why do we need s’mores?” (we’ll cut him some slack on this- he grew up in Taiwan, and s’mores are not exactly part of his childhood).

Me: “Because….it’s like camping law. You just don’t go camping without s’more product.  You need to have marshmallows if you go camping”.

Husband: “Yeah, that’s why they have Safeway”. “You buy them”.

Never go camping with a pastry chef.

This recipe for home-made marshmallows is from Alton Brown from “Good Eats” and it is tried and true. I have made it several times.

Enjoy!

Suzie

Home-made marshmallows (Recipe by Alton Brown)

Ingredients

  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup ice cold water, divided
  • 12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Nonstick spray

Directions

Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.

In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.

Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.

Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.

When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares. {Alton says to use a pizza wheel, but I actually like to use kitchen scissors and cut long strips and then cut into squares of your choice}. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

S’more assembly~

graham crackers or cookies of your choice {I found these really groovy cookies the other day that are vanilla and chocolate swirl and thought they were kinda cool.}

• marshmallows

• salted caramel

• chocolate ganache

• fire/flame/blowtorch {your choice} personally I like the blow torch- silly pastry chefs!

Toast your mallow. Set aside. Smear one cookie/cracker with about 1 tsp. of caramel. Smear one cookie/cracker with 1 tsp. of ganache. Place the toasted mallow on top of the caramel cookie {It’s easier to assemble this way} then top with the other cookie.

Enjoy!

Printable Recipe:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/15WhmresdDnJn8Re04-IadSDAnXTpyxKr117Iep5vaQI/edit?hl=en_US


Raspberry Pate de Fruits (fruit jellies)

 

 

Candy was simple and fun in the 60’s. Candy buttons, necco wafers, pixi sticks…ah the list goes on….

For some reason I’m having a 60’s flashback kind of day…I’m talkin’ Leave it to Beaver, Lost in Space, Twilight Zone and chuckles. All good memories from the 60’s.

You know…. chuckles the fruit jellied candies that came stuck together in a row of flavors. Delicious fruit flavored jellies…and the one weird anomalous licorice dude  stuck in for good measure… Fruit imposter!

Fruit jellies are “Pâte de Fruits” it  just depends on whether you are American or French  🙂

As a kid I loved chuckles.  Now truth be told, they are a bit sweet; but still tasty none the less. If someone offered me one I would still eat it; except for the licorice dude…definitely not him.

Pâte de Fruits are wonderfully different in that they are very potent, and rich in fruit flavor.

Power up the Twilight Zone Netflix reruns and sit down with your sweetie and enjoy a good pâte de fruit ala  chuckle or two… 🙂

Recipe adapted from  “The Art Of The Chocolatier” by Ewald Notter

Raspberry Pâte de Fruits

595 gms. Sugar

25 gms. Pectin (powdered kind)

510 gms. Raspberry puree [takes about 4 (6 oz.) small containers of fruit] (Puree the washed and drained fruit in a food processor, and strain through a fine mesh wire strainer)

100 gms. Light Corn syrup

8 gms.  Tartaric acid  (optional-can be found in a cake supply store)

Sugar, for coating

1) Prepare an 8×8 square pan lined with a parchment paper sling.  Whisk together the sugar and the pectin. (This will prevent any lumps forming when it is added to the puree.)

2) Bring the puree to a simmer. Stir in the sugar and pectin mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil, then add the corn syrup.

3) Cook to 225° on a candy thermometer (this takes about 15-20 minutes)

4) Meanwhile, mix  the tartaric acid with equal amount of boiling water. (you can skip this step; the acid gives the candy a nice tang)

5) Remove the puree mixture from the heat and stir in the tartaric acid solution.

6) Pour the mixture into small silicone candy molds or a 8×8 inch pan. If using a silicone candy mold; I like to pour the mixture first into a glass measuring cup so it is easier to pour into the individual areas of the candy  mold.

7) Let the candies cool until firm and set to room temperature. (Takes about 2 hours). Pop out of the mold, or if using a pan, cut into small squares.

8) Toss the candies in sugar to coat all sides. Store at room temperature.

Printable Recipe:

  https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1JyFq7bDQxIjmevYwON4eT-gpsTwVKvPs80ux5S2wWWc

Suzie

 

 

 


Blueberry Cherry Granola

 

MOTHERS CAN BE QUITE PREDICTABLE CAN’T THEY….

It comes as no surprise to me that my Mother asked if I was going to make anything “healthy” for my blog.

I knew this was coming. I just didn’t expect it so [gulp] soon.

My Mother likes to eat pretty healthy. No scratch that.

She eats very healthy.

I swear I am her daughter.

We do share the same DNA, yes.

It’s not that I don’t understand these things. I am a Nurse after all. 🙂

I do try to incorporate more healthy choices in my diet.

I SWEAR MOM, IT’S TRUE!!

I know right now, my Mother is at home laughing hysterically as she reads this.

I was thinking about my Mom and Dad especially when I formulated this healthy recipe.

My Dad just recently recovered from heart surgery and is doing great  🙂 so more than ever they are trying to make healthy choices a daily part of their lives.

So Mom and Dad, this is for you. I know, who’d of thunk it?

Blueberry Cherry Granola

Ingredients:

4 Cups Rolled oats (also known as old fashioned)

3/4 C sliced almonds

1/3 C sunflower seeds (roasted, unsalted or raw is fine too)

1/3 C vegetable oil

3/4 C honey

1/4 C hot water

1/4 C dark brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or 1 tsp. vanilla is fine)

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 C  dried tart cherries; chopped fine

1/2 C dried blueberries

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300 °

Prepare a 1/2 sheet pan or rimmed cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper or a silicone silpat if you have one.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, nuts and seeds. Set aside.

In a 4 Cup glass measuring cup, place the oil, honey, water, dk. brown sugar,cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Microwave on high for one minute.

Pour the hot mixture over the oat mixture and stir to combine thoroughly. Spread the granola out on a 1/2 sheet pan or a rimmed cookie sheet and bake at 300 ° for 30 minutes. Remove the granola from the oven and right on the same pan, stir in the dried berries.

Bake for an additional 45 minutes. Cool completely and enjoy over your favorite yogurt [it’s amazing with Greek yogurt] or with milk.

Happy healthy heart Dad! ♥ (of course, you too Mom!)

Printable recipe:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/17S2UANxzakM5a9TZtC8XUKT5XXvF_92CVlu9RB-BkMI/edit?hl=en_US&authkey=CO_QiIIO

Suzie