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Archive for December, 2011

Toffee crunch mini cupcakes

I made these mini for christmas and they were a huge hit! I used cute christmas mini muffin liners and dipped the top in the ganache. Oh, and I stirred in a few spoonfuls of leftover caramel into the ganache. Jacob ate it by the spoonful, haha. I halved the recipe and had like 50+ cupcakes. They baked at 350 anywhere from 9-11 minutes. The frosting, although a lot of work, was amazing. The texture was perfect and the caramel rocked. I think I added more caramel than it said to. The toffee bits soften after the first day, so I sprinkled them on top the day of serving. These cupcakes stayed moist for days, then I froze some, defrosted, and they were still moist after a few more days. I was concerned they would have a hint of coffee flavor because I could taste it in the batter, but there was no coffee taste in the cupcakes. I also burnt the caramel a teeny tiny bit but I went ahead with the frosting and it was unnoticeable.



Latkes in duck fat

These were really yummy! I found a nice ratio of potatoes to onions to eggs that pleases both me and Jacob. 1 1/2 lbs potatoes, 2 eggs, 1 small onion. Oh, and 3 big tbsp flour, 1 tsp ish salt, and lots of pepper. We did good at squeezing the liquid out of the potatoes. But after we mixed everything and the mixture sat for a few minutes, there was some stray liquid in the bowl. I used it when making the patties by hand (so they were pretty wet going in) and the finished latkes had a nice texture that was leaning a little towards a pancake and a little less towards hash browns. Perfect! Oh, and we fried in duck fat. Yum! So rich and delicious. And you can tell a difference when we fried the last few in regular oil. Our toppings? Horseradish sour cream sauce, hot smoked salmon, capers, regular old applesauce, and homemade apple butter. I forgot to add the dill to the sour cream sauce. Oh well! 


parsnip latkes with horseradish and dill

Chocolate peanut butter mousse tart

I used 1/2 of the Annie’s eats peanut butter cookie dough that I also used for peanut butter cookie cups filled with ganache. That made enough for 2 crusts, so I doubled the filling as well. It’s a simple dessert with basic flavors, that is good to make ahead several days. The mousse is more of a no-bake cheesecake, but it’s good. 


Salted caramels

A little chewy (I might have gone over or under by a few degrees) but the flavor was amazing. I used an 8×8 pan, and they were really thin. I would use something else next time and adjust the recipe. I would also use bigger salt than my fleur de sel, because it didn’t stand out enough. My caramel was a little lighter than pictures. Maybe because I didn’t use the golden syrup? 


Cheeseburger beer soup

This soup was great, and it was smooth and creamy. It reheated well over the stove. I thought about adding the apple like the Oktoberfest recipe stated, but forgot when actually making it. The soup was a tiny bit bitter for me, so I added sugar to taste until it mellowed out. I loved the mini burger patty idea (I used 1/4 lb ground beef), and I seasoned it with garlic powder, onion powder, worchestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. I didn’t stuff with cheese because I thought that would be overkill. I used a little less than 6 oz of cheese and adjusted the other amounts accordingly. I think I used close to 1/2 cup beer, 1+ cup chicken stock, and 1 cup mixed cream and milk. I added dashes of cayenne and dried mustard into the sauteing veggies. 

Cheeseburger Beer Soup

Apple Oktoberfest Cheese Soup

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Pretzel chicken tenders

Jacob requested these, and I’m so glad he did! This batch was particularly awesome. I used the big, thick sourdough pretzels and pulverized them in the food processor. I didn’t add any almonds, but I did add some fresh thyme. I marinated the chicken breast pieces (which I cut off of bone-in, skin-on chicken breast) in my standard buttermilk brine. Lots of salt and pepper, garlic, oregano, and basil. I also added dijon mustard and a beaten egg, to help bind the pretzel crumbs. I double battered my strips and that worked nicely. Each tender took about 5-6 minutes to cook. Basically when it was brown and pretty on both sides, it was done. The chicken was juicy and flavorful, and the very yummy breading stayed on pretty well. I would have made a honey mustard dipping sauce, or maybe a cheddar cheese sauce, but I didn’t because I made french fry salad.




Pumpkin yeast bread

Very yummy! Perfect for turkey sandwiches. My two variations – leftover thanksgiving turkey and gravy with cranberry sauce, and deli turkey, pesto mayo, cranberries, and cheese.  Half of a recipe made 1 9×5 loaf, that I was able to cut into about 12 slices. The whole loaf is 2000 calories (it would have been a little less if I had remembered to cut the amount of oil in half.) So each slice is 160-170 calories. I used a pinch of cinnamon and a smaller pinch of nutmeg only.