Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Cherries

Prep Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 36


■2 sticks Butter, Softened
■½ cups Sugar
■2 whole Egg Yolks, Stirred
■1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
■Zest Of 1 Lemon
■Zest Of 1 Orange
■Juice Of 1 Lemon
■2 cups All-purpose Flour, Sifted Twice
■Candied Green And Red Cherries (sold Around The Holidays)

Preparation Instructions

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

Add egg yolks, vanilla, orange peel, lemon peel, and lemon juice, and mix until combined. Use rubber spatula to scrape bowl, then mix again.

Add sifted flour and mix until combined. Place dough in a ziploc bag and refrigerate for at least one hour, or until firm.

When ready to make the cookies, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cut candied cherries in half.

Roll dough into small balls and set on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat. Gently press the cherry halves, cut side down, into each ball.

Bake for 20 minutes, removing from oven before they start to brown. Cool on a wire rack.

*Adapted from a Helen Corbitt recipe.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Brandy Snaps

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 16



■1 stick Butter
■½ cups Molasses
■¼ cups Sugar
■¼ cups Brown Sugar
■1 Tablespoon Brandy
■¾ cups Flour
■⅛ teaspoons Salt
■¼ teaspoons Ground Ginger


■2 cups Heavy Cream
■⅓ cups Sugar
■2 Tablespoons Brandy (more To Taste)

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper.

To make the cookies/shells, melt butter in a skillet with molasses, sugar, and brown sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Allow to bubble and cook for one minute, then turn off heat.

Dump in flour, ginger, and salt. Stir together quickly until just combined, then stir in brandy.

Use a tablespoon to spoon mixture onto cookie sheet; do only eight cookies per sheet, as they will spread out in the oven.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until bubbling in the oven. Remove cookie sheet from oven and allow to cool on the pan for 2 to 3 minutes. Lift up circles one at a time and drape them over a cannoli mold (or a large metal handle of a whisk or potato masher!) The cookies will naturally drape over the mold; help it along by pressing the seal.

Slide cookies off the mold and set them on a cool plate. Repeat with remaining cookies. Be prepared to slightly reshape cookies as they cool. Fill with cream filling when completely cool.


Combine cream, sugar, and brandy (make sure cream is very cold.) Place into a cold mixing bowl (chill ahead of time) and mix on high until cream is very stiff. Place cream into a pastry bag fitted with a large tip. Carefully fill cooled brandy snaps. Serve within a couple of hours.

*Adapted from an old Helen Corbitt recipe


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Whiskey Maple Cream Sauce

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 12


■1-½ cup Heavy Cream
■5 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
■3 Tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
■1 Tablespoon Whiskey (can Add More If Desired)

Preparation Instructions

Combine cream, maple syrup, and corn syrup in a saucepan and stir to combine. Cook over medium-low to medium heat, stirring constantly, for 15 minutes or until sauce is reduced and thick (sauce should bubble slightly as it’s cooking.)

When sauce is thick, remove from heat and stir in whiskey. Return to heat for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly.

Pour into a container and refrigerate until completely chilled. Stir before serving.

Drizzle over pies!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

French Onion Soup Stuffed Mushrooms

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 8


■2 Tablespoons Butter
■2 whole Large Onions, Halved And Sliced Thin
■¼ cups Beef Broth
■7 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
■Splash Of Red Or White Wine
■½ cups Grated Gruyere Cheese (can Use Swiss)
■Kosher Salt
■24 whole White Or Crimini Mushrooms, Washed And Stems Removed
■Minced Parsley

Preparation Instructions

In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add onions and saute for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very soft. Splash in wine, broth, and Worcestershire. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until liquid is cooked down. Set aside.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Throw in mushrooms and toss around for 2 minutes, just to start the cooking process. Sprinkle mushrooms with salt.

Place mushroom caps face down in a baking dish. Heap cavity with sauteed mushrooms, then sprinkle Gruyere over the top. Bake at 10 minutes on 325 degrees. Turn on broiler and broil for a couple of minutes, until the top of the Gruyere starts to bubble and slightly turn brown.

Sprinkle minced parsley over the top and serve.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Nantucket Cranberry Pie

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 10


■Butter, For Greasing
■2 cups (heaping) Cranberries
■¾ cups Pecans, Chopped (measure, Then Chop)
■⅔ cups Sugar
■1 cup Flour
■1 cup Sugar
■1 stick Unsalted Butter, melted
■2 whole Eggs, Lightly Beaten
■1 teaspoon Pure Almond Extract
■¼ teaspoons Salt
■1 Tablespoon Sugar For Sprinkling

Preparation Instructions

*Adapted from a recipe by Laurie Colwin*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Generously butter a cake pan or pie pan. Add cranberries to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle on chopped pecans, then sprinkle on 2/3 cup sugar.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, 1 cup sugar, melted butter, eggs, almond extract, and salt. Stir gently to combine.

Pour batter slowly over the top in large “ribbons” in order to evenly cover the surface. Spread gently if necessary.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. 5 minutes before removing from oven, sprinkle surface with 1 tablespoon sugar for a little extra crunch.

Cut into wedges and serve with ice cream or freshly whipped cream.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pumpkin Cream Pie

Prep Time: 2 Hours
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 8



■1-½ package Graham Crackers (about 15 Cookie Sheets)
■½ cups Powdered Sugar
■1 stick Butter, Melted


■1 box (3 Oz. Box) Vanilla Pudding (Cook And Serve Variety)
■1 cup Half-and-half
■½ cups Heavy Cream
■Pinch Of Cinnamon
■Pinch Of Nutmeg
■Pinch Of Ground Cloves
■2 Tablespoons Whiskey (optional)
■½ cups (plus 3 Tablespoons) Pumpkin Puree
■½ cups (additional) Heavy Cream
■2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
■Extra Graham Cracker Crumbs, For Garnish

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Grind graham crackers in a food processor (or, if you don’t have a food processor, place them in a large ziploc and pound ‘em with a rolling pin.) Add powdered sugar and melted butter and process until totally combined. Press into the bottom and sides of a pie pan until nice and firm. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until warm and “set.” Remove from oven and allow crust to cool completely.

In a medium saucepan, mix dry pudding mix with half-and-half and cream. Add spices. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly and thick. Remove from heat and stir in whiskey, if using. Add pumpkin and stir to combine. Place lid on pot and set aside to cool. When cool enough, place pot in the fridge to cool completely.

When mixture is cool, remove from the fridge. In a mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup heavy cream and brown sugar. Beat until very light and fluffy. Fold in pumpkin cream mixture until combined. Pour into cooled crust.

Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight. Serve with graham crackers crumbled on top.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Dreamy Apple Pie

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 12


■1 whole Unbaked Pie Crust


■3 whole Large (4 Or 5 Small) Granny Smith Apples, Peeled, Cored, And Sliced Thin
■½ cups Brown Sugar
■½ cups Sugar
■1 Tablespoon All-purpose Flour
■1 cup Heavy Cream
■2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
■⅛ teaspoons Cinnamon


■7 Tablespoons Butter
■¾ cups All-purpose Flour
■½ cups Brown Sugar
■¼ cups Pecans (more To Taste)
■Dash Of Salt

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Roll out pie dough and place it in a pie pan. Decorate the edges as desired.

Add apple slices to a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together cream, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, vanilla, and cinnamon. Pour over apples. Pour apples into pie shell.

In the bowl of a food processor (or you can mix by hand) combine butter, flour, sugar, pecans (chop if you’re not using a food processor), and salt. Mix until everything comes together in clumps. Pour topping over apples.

Attach foil to the edges and lay a piece of flat foil loosely over the top of the pie. Place pie pan on top of a rimmed cookie sheet and bake for one hour. At the end, remove foil and allow to finish baking and browning. Can bake for up to 15 or 20 minutes more if necessary.

Remove from oven when pie is bubbly and golden brown.

Serve warm with hard sauce, whipped cream, or ice cream.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hard Sauce

Prep Time 5 Minutes
Cook Time
Servings 8
Difficulty Easy


■1 stick (1/2 Cup) Softened (not Room Temperature) Butter
■1-½ cup Powdered Sugar
■2 Tablespoons Whiskey (more Or Less To Taste)

Preparation Instructions

Beat butter in mixer with paddle attachment until fluffy. Add powdered sugar gradually until incorporated, scraping sides of the bowl twice during the process. Add whiskey and beat again, scraping the bowl to make sure everything gets mixed together.

Spoon into a bowl and serve, or keep in the fridge (it will last for days covered in plastic wrap) until you need it. NOTE: The hard sauce will harden in the fridge, so be sure to remove it at least a couple of hours before you want to serve. Hard sauce should be smooth and easily spooned onto desserts.

Serve on warm pie. Yum!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Green Bean Casserole

Prep Time 20 Minutes
Cook Time 30 Minutes
Servings 8
Difficulty Easy


■2 pounds Fresh Green Beans, Ends Cut Off
■4 slices Bacon, Cut Into 1/4 Inch Pieces
■3 cloves Garlic, Minced
■½ whole Large Onion, Chopped
■4 Tablespoons Butter
■4 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
■2-½ cups Whole Milk
■½ cups Half-and-half
■1-½ teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
■Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
■⅛ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
■1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
■1 jar (4 Ounce) Sliced Pimentoes, Drained
■Extra Milk For Thinning If Necessary
■1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs

Preparation Instructions

Cut green beans in half if you like pieces to be a little smaller.

Blanch the green beans: drop them into lightly salted boiling water and allow green beans to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain beans once they’re cool and set aside.

Add bacon pieces to a skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon for two minutes, then add diced onion and garlic and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, or until bacon is done (but not crisp) and onions are golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a separate skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into the pan and whisk immediately to evenly mix it into the butter. Cook for a minute or two, then pour in milk and half and half. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, while sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne then add the grated cheddar. Stir while cheese melts. Turn off heat.

Add pimentos to pan, then add bacon/onion mixture. Stir to combine. Pour over green beans and stir gently to combine. Pour into a baking dish and top with panko crumbs.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and panko crumbs are golden.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cranberry-Pomegranate Sauce

Prep Time 2 Minutes
Cook Time 15 Minutes
Servings 12
Difficulty Easy


■1 bag (about 12 To 16 Oz) Fresh Cranberries
■16 ounces, fluid Pomegranate Juice
■¾ cups Sugar, More Or Less To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Mixture will thicken as it cooks, and will thicken more as it cools.

Cool in a jar or bowl in the fridge. Serve with Thanksgiving turkey.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Parker House Rolls

Prep Time: 3 Hours
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Difficulty: Intermediate
Servings: 36


■4 cups Whole Milk
■2 sticks 1 Cup Butter
■1 cup Sugar
■4-½ teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
■8 cups All-purpose Flour
■1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
■1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
■1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
■1 cup (additional) All-purpose Flour
■2 sticks Melted Butter (additional)

Preparation Instructions

Combine 4 cups milk, 2 sticks butter, and sugar in a large pot. Bring to a simmer, and when the mixture is hot (but not boiling) turn off heat and allow to cool to warmer than lukewarm, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Sprinkle in the yeast and 8 cups of flour. Stir to combine, then cover and allow to rise for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, add baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 additional cup of flour. Stir to combine. Divide dough in half, then turn out onto floured surface. Knead dough for 8 to 10 minutes, then form into a ball and cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place. for 30 to 45 minutes. (Repeat with other half of dough, or store it for a later use.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt 2 sticks of butter in a saucepan.

Roll out dough 1/2 inch thick. Cut circles with a 2 1/2 inch cutter. Dunk each circle in melted butter, then immediately fold in half and place on a cookie sheet, flat side down. Press lightly to encourage sealing. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Cover with a towel and allow rolls to rise 30 to 45 minutes.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Pear Clafouti

Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 45 Minutes
Servings 12
Difficulty Easy


■2 whole Pears
■2 teaspoons Minced Or Grated Ginger
■2 Tablespoons Sugar
■2 teaspoons Brandy, Optional
■¾ cups All-purpose Flour
■½ teaspoons Salt
■½ cups Sugar
■3 whole Eggs, Beaten With A Fork
■2 cups Whole Milk (substitute Half With Cream If You Desire)
■1 teaspoon Vanilla

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Peel pears and slice in half. Core each half, then slice pears thinly. Arrange in a pinwheel design in a pie dish. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar and minced ginger over the top. Sprinkle brandy over the top if using.

Whisk together flour, salt, eggs, sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Pour over the top of the pears.

Bake for 45 minutes or until poufy and no longer overly jiggly. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve with freshly whipped cream flavored with sugar and cinnamon.

VERSION 2: Substitute 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream for 1 1/2 cups of milk.