Category Archives: snack

Homemade Marshmallows

Another sweet treat I pumped out over the holiday was a crap ton of marshmallows. A friend of mine has made marshmallows before and I’ve always wanted to make them, I just never put the effort and time towards it. I finally mustard up the courage to make the marshmallows. I was armed with two recipes. They were both fairly similar, just two very minor differences. The first recipe I used was from How Sweet Eats. She made bourbon marshmallows a while back and of COURSE I had to get on that train. The second recipe was from Alton Brown. Traditional homemade marshmallows.

Both required gelatin, white sugar, corn syrup, ice cold water, confectioners sugar and patience.  How Sweet’s halved the water quantity, making it half water and half bourbon.  She also used egg whites.

The above picture was gelatin and melted sugars doing their thing.

This is where the two recipes differ. How Sweets says to add whipped egg whites into this. This is also where I made a HUGE, MESSY MISTAKE.  I didn’t read the recipe thoroughly. I had to remove the soft marshmallow blob from the mixing bowl and whisk, whip up my egg whites and combine everything. Don’t do this. Please. The mallow started to harden and it was a mess. I got it everywhere. It was a PITA to clean up surfaces I couldn’t soak in a sink full of hot water. Also, whipping the egg whites back into this mess was also painful to watch. If you choose How Sweets recipe, arm yourself with a second mixing bowl or whip your whites before the mallow. Learn from my mistakes.

Alton doesn’t use egg whites. Point for Alton, one bowl mess! He uses the same amount of ingredients as How Sweets, so you can easily sub in your bourbon.

Once your mallow is whipped to perfection, dump it into a well greased and dusted pan to set for at least three hours. I let mine sit overnight.

Once the pan of marshmallows has firmed up, transfer it to a cutting board and cut into whatever size marshmallows you desire. Dust all freshly cut sides of the marshmallows with confectioners sugar so they don’t stick to everything. Also dust your knife/kitchen shears to make it easy. I went with a smaller size to go along with a homemade hot chocolate mix.

The egg whites in How Sweet’s recipe made the marshmallows lighter and airy, but it wasn’t a needed step. It caused more of a messy headache than anything. I wish I took a photo of the mess but I’m pretty sure I got marshmallow goo all over my phone and didn’t want to get more on it. They still tasted delish, but you can achieve a great marshmallow with Alton’s recipe. I’m giving Alton the win on this round.

I got great reviews on the marshmallows. They didn’t melt too fast into coffee or hot chocolate, leaving you with a nice treat at the end of your drink. Yay!

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Apple Turnovers

So over the weekend I made the compote de pommes as part of French Fridays with Dorie.  The bonne idee for the compote was to use it in some turnovers/hand pies.  What a bonne idee it was.  And so stinking EASY. The compote was super easy to begin with and why not make two things out of one recipe?  Consider me sold.

Thaw the puff pastry, roll it out and cut some circles.


Stuff this with some compote, close it, crimp it and add a little egg wash for shine.


Let it do it’s thing in the oven for 20-25 minutes and boom.  Turnovers/handpies.


So simple! The puff pastry had a lightness to it but still buttery and delicious.  The apple filling is simple and tasty.  Personally, I enjoyed this turnover cold.  There’s something about cold applesauce and that buttery crust that makes me happy.  Now, what else can I stuff in these?!

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French Friday with Dorie – Compote de Pommes

It’s been a while since I’ve participated in a French Friday with Dorie recipe. I could list excuses but I’m not going to.  I’ll just get back in it! I love reading the posts the others in the group share and the camaraderie this group has created and I’ve missed contributing to it.  This past Friday’s FFwD recipe is Compote de Pommes two ways.  That is applesauce for you who don’t know the lingo.  There is a straight forward recipe and the second one is a thicker, gussied up version with butter.  I opted for the first go at it and will make the turnovers tomorrow for a fancy breakfast.

Apples, peeled, cored and chopped up.

About halfway there.

Dorie suggests milling, pushing the apples through a sieve or leave them whole. I don’t have a mill, no patience for the sieve and I don’t like an overly chunky applesauce. To the food processor it goes!

Finished compote de pommes.

I took a taste. Delish.  I didn’t add the butter or vanilla, which were optional.  I thought this was good as is.  The compote is now chilling in the fridge waiting to be tucked in some puff pastry and enjoyed as a hand pie.  But Dorie also suggests adding some creme fraîche and enjoying it as a delicious dessert.  Perhaps I’ll do both.  Perhaps I’ll try to nestle this in to something for thanksgiving … Hmm… Posts to come!

Check out the other FFwD compote de pommes posts from fellow bloggers!

PS – It feels good to be back to FFwD! 🙂

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Raisin Bread

Raisin bread? Yes.  Raisin bread. I’ve been wanting to make another bread and raisin bread spoke to me.  I don’t know why, but it did.  So I went with it.  My grandfather also likes a good raisin bread so why not make something that I can share?

I found this recipe on food.com.  Yes, world’s best raisin bread, NO bread machine!

You’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup warm water (must be between 110-115 degrees)
  • 2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted (approx.)

Directions:

  • Warm the milk in a small sauce pan on the stove until it just starts to bubble, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool until lukewarm, about 120-125 degrees.
  • Dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside until yeast is frothy, about 10 minutes or so. Mix in eggs, sugar, butter, salt and raisins. Add the flour gradually to make a stiff dough.
  • Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes until smooth.
  • Place in a large, buttered, mixing bowl and turn to grease the surface of the dough.
  • Cover with a warm, damp cloth and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle 1/2 inch thick.
  • Moisten the dough with 2 tablespoons milk and rub all over the dough with your hands.
  • Mix together 1 cup of sugar and 3 tablespoons cinnamon and sprinkle mixture evenly on top of the moistened dough.
  • Roll up tightly (the long way).
  • The roll should be about 3 inches in diameter.
  • Cut into thirds, and tuck under ends and pinch bottom together.
  • Place loaves into well greased 9 x 5 inch pans and lightly grease tops of loaves. Let rise in warm place, uncovered, again for about an hour.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until loaves are lightly browned and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from oven and let cool on rack.
  • Take melted butter and spread over tops of loaves.
  • After about 20 minutes, lay loaves on their sides and remove from pans. Allow to cool before slicing.

20130127091405364

The loaf.

20130127150456298The loaf, upon sharing.

This was the first time I made any kind of sweet bread.  I liked it! A lot! And so did my grandfather and other family members that were able to try it.  Although it was time consuming, it was pretty simple.  If you’re looking to try a sweet bread, I suggest making this one.  Try subbing the raisins for other dried fruit if you’re not a raisin fan.  This went well with a little bit of butter and a cup of coffee.  Just thinking about this makes me want to make it again. Here’s to sweet breads! 😀

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Spent Grain Pretzel Rolls

Yes.  MORE SPENT GRAIN!!!

Also – HEY I’M BACK. Sorry. I love you!

I am dabbing my big toe into the baking realm.   And by that I mean bread.  I’ve done cookies and what not.  But not breads.  There was something about making my own dough that just intimidated me.  I think it’s the rising dough that freaks me out.  A ball of mush that doubles in size just by sitting there?  It’s like a monster!

So as I already told you about, I tried my hand at beer.  My first one came out delicious.  Second, not so much.  But hey, I’m learning.  A plus from any batch of brew is the spent grain.

spent grain on the left

And with that you can make all sorts of things.  This time is spent grain PRETZEL ROLLS.  The recipe comes from the company that makes the beer kit I use (here).


I was a little iffy about making it since I haven’t done bread OR pretzels.  So might as well just do it one big swoop, right? Right.

You need:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 packet dry active yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup of Spent Grain Flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1/4 cup baking soda

Directions:

1. In a stand mixer add the warm water and sprinkle yeast on top. Let stand five minutes until small bubbles appear.

2. Combine flours, sugar, and salt.

3. Using the dough hook attachment dump in flour mixture and mix on low until the dough comes together. Increase speed to medium and mix until dough is elastic and smooth (about 6 more minutes).

4. Remove dough from mixer, form into a ball and place in oiled mixing bowl, turning once to coat. Let rise 30 minutes covered in a damp dish towel.

5. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 1 minute. Divide dough into 8 balls. Place on an oiled baking sheet or cupcake tin, score top of each roll, cover with a damp dish towel and let rise a second time (about 20 minutes).

6. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bring water and beer to a boil in a large pot on the stove top. We recommend using at least a two gallon pot as the water tends to boil over with the addition of the baking soda.

7. When rolls have risen, add the baking soda to the boil (it will foam up a bit). Using a slotted spoon boil rolls for 2 minutes per side.

8. Transfer to baking sheet with rolls scored side up. Sprinkle with salt and bake 12 minutes. Enjoy.


And here’s the final outcome:

I am no longer afraid of dough and breads and baking and OMG were they DELICIOUS.

I loved making these. Simple. Easy. Different. Yummy. Easy.

Now I need to try making beer again after my failed chocolate donut stout. That was a sad, dark time.  I must remedy that.

Make beer and beer pretzel rolls NOW!

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Pull Apart Pizza Bread

So Pinterest. I love you and hate you at the same time.  There are SO MANY THINGS that I want to re-create and I don’t have enough time in my life to do so.  Also, I sometimes question how good some of these pins will turn out…. Will my craft be as cute? Will my kitchen creations come out as beautiful as they do in the photos?  Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

This one was a 98% yes, with 2% of it being my fault and putting too much in the pan.  I’ll explain later.


So I saw this recipe pinned a trillion times on Pinterest all leading back to Just a Taste. Doesn’t it look AMAZE? Yeah, it does. So I pinned it along with about 30 others. I usually forget about my pins after pinning, but not this one. This one was stuck in my head. I think I even dreamed about it. I had to do something about it, so I did.

I bought everything I needed because, let’s be honest here, I don’t do a lot of bread baking. I buy my doughs pre-made for pizza or I support a local bakery.  Perhaps this will change my tune.  I may or may not have scoured the grocery store for yeast because … I’ve never bought yeast. BUT! I found it! All was well in my world and it was fine.


Onto the recipe and more photos:

Pepperoni Pizza Pull-Apart Bread from Just a Taste

Prep Time: 2 hours (includes proofing)
Cook Time: 30 min

Ingredients:

For the dough:

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (1 envelope)
1/3 cup whole milk
6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs, at room temperature

For the toppings:
1/2 cup pizza or marinara sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup sliced pepperoni
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together 2 cups of the flour with the sugar, salt and yeast. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine the milk and 6 tablespoons butter over low heat until melted. Remove the saucepan from the stove and stir in the water. Let set until it reaches 120-130ºF.

Pour the milk mixture over the dry ingredients, using a spatula to fold them together just until combined.

Attach the dough hook to your stand mixer and knead the dough on low speed until fully incorporated, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, kneading in between each addition so that the eggs are fully incorporated.

Stop the mixer and add 1/2 cup of the remaining flour, kneading it on low speed until the dough is smooth, about 2 minutes. Add 3 more tablespoons flour and knead just until the dough is soft, but still slightly sticky.

Lightly flour your work surface, and then turn the dough out onto the surface, kneading it 5 or 6 times just until it comes together into a ball.
Lightly grease a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and secure it tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to proof in a warm, dry place for one hour, or until it doubles in size.

Gently deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll it into a rectangle measuring roughly 20″x11″. Brush the dough with the sauce, sprinkle it with the cheese and top it with the pepperoni.

Trim the edges, discarding any scraps, to make straight sides along the rectangle.

Cut the rectangle (width-wise) into 5 equal strips. Stack the strips atop one another and then cut the strips into 4 equal parts to make a total of 20 squares.

Lightly butter a 9″x5″ loaf pan. Stack the squares against each other, cut-sides down. (There will be extra space on both sides.) Lightly cover the pan with plastic wrap and let it proof for 30 minutes or until it doubles in size.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Stir together the melted butter and minced garlic.

Place the loaf pan on a baking sheet and bake it for 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, brush the top of the loaf with the garlic butter, and then return it to the oven to continue baking for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

Remove the pan from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before turning the loaf out onto a serving plate.


Here’s where I went wrong. I put TOO MANY squares of dough in my baking dish. I probably should have put about half in. I ended up leaving the bread in the oven for probably another hour. I KNOW.  Totally my fault. But it was still delish!


See?! Doesn’t it still look amazing? It did. And it tasted delish. I’m making this again. Next time I’ll do a sweet version… can we say nutella? I die.

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Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies & Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Double whammy cookie post!!!

I found the Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe over at Beth Michelle and the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies over at Smitten Kitchen.

I made BOTH for Mother’s Day.  My gram LOVES potato chip cookies (I’ll make those sometime soon!) so I figured she may like the bacon chocolate chip cookies.  On the other hand, my pap can’t eat chocolate so I made the oatmeal cookies with him in mind.  Each grandparent got their own batch and were thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

For Caramelized Bacon

10 Strips Bacon
1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar

For Cookies

1 Stick Butter, plus 2 Tablespoons
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Egg
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/ 8 Cup Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Heaping Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
Caramelized Bacon (above)

Directions

For Caramelized Bacon

Pre heat oven to 380F
Line a baking sheet with tin foil and lay strips of bacon on top.
Sprinkle bacon with half the brown sugar.
Bake for 5-7 minutes and flip the bacon.
Sprinkle bacon with the rest of the brown sugar.
Bake for another 5-7 minutes or until a deep brown color.
Make sure the bacon does not burn!
Remove from oven and cool.
Once cooled, chop bacon into small pieces.

For Cookies

Pre heat oven to 350F and grease baking sheets.
In a small bowl whisk together flour and baking soda and set aside.
In a large bowl beat together butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, slowly and mix until combined.
Mix in chocolate chips and caramelized bacon.
Place small tablespoon sized balls of dough onto greased baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart.
Bake for 12-15 (varies) minutes or until a light golden color.
Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

This is a half recipe. It makes a couple dozen standard-size cookies.

1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, raisins and walnuts, if using them.

Chill the dough for a bit in the fridge and then scoop it.

The cookies should be two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes (your baking time will vary, depending on your oven and how cold the cookies were going in), taking them out when golden at the edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.

oatmeal raisin in the foreground, bacon chocolate chip in the background.

Both cookies were amazingly tasty.  I gave one to Brad and didn’t tell him about the bacon.  He could smell it and asked, in a slightly concerned tone, “Is there… bacon in this?”  Eat it and find out!  He liked it.  I couldn’t stop myself from eating them.  Thank goodness they were for Mother’s Day and I pawned them off on to other people 🙂

Happy (belated) Mother’s Day!

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