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Saturday, January 31, 2009

RASPBERRY TARTLETS

Ingredients:
* 2/3 cup butter
* 5 egg yolks (about 1/3 cup)
* 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar
* 1 tablespoon finely shredded orange peel
* 1 cup purchased lemon or lime curd
* 2 cups raspberries
* Powdered sugar

Directions:
1. Allow butter and egg yolks to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and granulated sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until light and pale, about 3 minutes. Add softened butter and orange peel. Beat on medium speed until well combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in flour mixture just until combined. Divide dough in half. Wrap dough in plastic wrap; chill for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours or until firm enough to handle.

3. Lightly grease twenty-four 1-3/4-inch muffin cups; set aside.

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough at a time until 1/4 inch thick. Using a 2-1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut dough into 12 rounds, rerolling as needed. Press a round into the bottom and up the sides of each prepared muffin cup. Repeat rolling and cutting with remaining half of dough.

5. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 8 to 9 minutes or until lightly browned (dough will puff). Remove from oven. Immediately make an indentation so as to form a tart shell (use the rounded bottom of a measuring teaspoon). Cool slightly in pan. Carefully transfer tart shells to a wire rack and let cool.

6. To serve, spoon a scant 1 tablespoon of Lemon Curd into each cooled tart shell. Arrange raspberries on top and dust tartlets with powdered sugar. Tartlets may be assembled up to 4 hours before serving, dusting with powdered sugar just before serving.

Makes 24 tartlets.

Friday, January 30, 2009

CHOCOLATE FLOURLESS TORTE

Ingredients:
* 16 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut up
* 1 pound unsalted butter or regular butter
* 1 cup whipping cream
* 1 cup sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon salt*
* 9 eggs
* 4 teaspoons vanilla
* 1 cup whipping cream
* 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut up
* 1 ounce white chocolate, melted (optional)

Directions:
1. For torte, grease bottom and side of a 10-inch springform pan; set aside.

2. In heavy, large saucepan, combine the 16 ounces chocolate, the butter, sugar, 1 cup whipping cream, and salt, if using. Cook over medium-low heat until chocolate and butter are melted; stir frequently. Remove from heat.

3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and vanilla together. Slowly stir half of the chocolate mixture into eggs. Return egg mixture to remaining chocolate mixture, stirring until combined.

4. Pour batter into prepared springform pan, placed on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until evenly puffed and a knife inserted near center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool thoroughly on a wire rack. Chill in the refrigerator about 4 hours or until firm.

5. For ganache, in a small saucepan, heat 1 cup whipping cream to just boiling. Place the 12 ounces chocolate in a medium bowl. Add hot whipping cream. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Cool to room temperature.

6. Set torte on serving plate. With a knife or narrow metal spatula, carefully loosen cake and remove side of pan. Spread ganache over top of torte, allowing some of the ganache to drizzle down sides. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for several minutes or until ganache is set.

7. If you like, pipe or drizzle stripes or other designs on the torte with melted white chocolate. For easier eating, let the torte stand at room temperature about 30 minutes before slicing it.

Makes 20 servings.

*Note: Omit salt if using regular butter.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

LEMON TEA CAKES

Ingredients:
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 6 eggs, slightly beaten
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* 2 teaspoons vanilla
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup unsalted butter (no substitutes), melted and cooled
* 1 tablespoon finely shredded lemon peel
* 4-1/2 cups granulated sugar
* 2-1/4 cups water
* 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* 6 to 6-3/4 cups sifted powdered sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Line the bottom with waxed paper. Set aside.

2. Place the 1 cup sugar and eggs in a 3- to 4-quart heatproof mixing bowl. Place bowl over 1 to 2 inches hot water in a large saucepan (bowl should not touch water). Heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes or until egg mixture is lukewarm (105 degree F to 110 degree F). Remove bowl from saucepan. Add the first 1 tablespoon lemon juice and vanilla.

3. Beat egg mixture with electric mixer on high speed for 10 minutes. Sift about one-third of the flour over egg mixture. Gently fold in flour. Repeat sifting and folding in one-third of the flour at a time. Gently fold in melted butter and lemon peel. Spread batter into prepared pan.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan; peel off paper. Cool thoroughly on rack.

5. Combine the 4-1/2 cups granulated sugar, the water, and cream of tartar in a 3-quart saucepan. Bring mixture to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low. Clip a candy thermometer to side of the saucepan. Cook until thermometer registers 226 degree F, stirring only when necessary to prevent sticking. Mixture should boil at a moderate, steady rate over the entire surface (this should take about 15 minutes). Remove saucepan from heat. Cool sugar mixture at room temperature, without stirring, to 110 degree F (allow about 1 hour). Stir in the 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Stir in enough powdered sugar to make icing that is easy to drizzle. If necessary, beat the icing with a rotary beater or a wire whisk to remove any lumps. If the icing gets too thick to drizzle, beat in a few drops hot water.

6. Using a serrated knife, trim sides and top of cake to make the edges smooth and straight. Cut cake into 1-1/2-inch squares, diamonds, triangles, and/or circles. Brush off crumbs. Place the cake pieces on wire racks with waxed paper underneath.

7. Insert a 2- or 3-prong, long-handled fork into the side of one cake piece. Holding the cake over the saucepan of icing, spoon on enough icing to cover sides and top. Place frosted cake piece back on the wire rack, making sure it doesn't touch other cake pieces. Repeat with remaining pieces. Let cakes dry 15 minutes. Repeat with a second layer of icing, except set cake pieces on top of the fork prongs (do not spear them). Repeat with a third layer of icing. If necessary, reuse the icing that has dripped onto the waxed paper, straining to remove crumbs. Tint any remaining icing with food coloring as desired and pipe or drizzle atop cakes.

Makes about 48.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

BANANA BREAD

Ingredients:
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 cup sugar
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup mashed ripe banana (2 to 3 medium)
* 1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
* 3 tablespoons milk
* 2 eggs
* 1 cup toasted walnuts

Directions:
1. In a large mixing bowl combine 1 cup of the flour, the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add mashed ripe banana, margarine or butter, and milk. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until blended. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs and remaining flour; beat until blended. Stir in walnuts.

2. Pour into two greased 8x4x2-inch loaf pans. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the centers comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool thoroughly on wire racks. Wrap and store overnight, for easier slicing.

Makes 2 loaves (32 servings).

Make-Ahead Tip: Up to 1 month ahead, make and bake banana bread. Cool completely. Place each loaf in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw for 1 hour at room temperature before using.

Nutrition Facts:
* Calories 115,
* Total Fat (g) 6,
* Saturated Fat (g) 1,
* Cholesterol (mg) 13,
* Sodium (mg) 101,
* Carbohydrate (g) 15,
* Fiber (g) 1,
* Protein (g) 2,
* Vitamin A (DV%) 4,
* Vitamin C (DV%) 2,
* Calcium (DV%) 3,
* Iron (DV%) 3,
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

BUTTERY YELLOW CITRUS CAKE

Ingredients:
* 3/4 cup butter
* 6 egg yolks or 3 whole eggs
* 2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 tsp. baking powder
* 1/4 tsp. baking soda
* 1-2/3 cups sugar
* 1 cup milk
* 2 tsp. finely shredded lemon or lime peel
* 1 tsp. finely shredded orange peel
* 2 Tbsp. lemon or lime juice
* 2 Tbsp. orange juice
* 1 recipe Lemony Whipped Cream Frosting

Directions:
1. Let butter and eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour two 9x2-inch round baking pans; set aside.

2. In medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, and baking soda; set aside. In large bowl beat butter on medium 30 seconds. Gradually beat in sugar until combined; beat 2 minutes more. Add yolks one at a time, beat well after each addition. Add flour mixture and milk alternately; beat on low after each just until combined. Stir in peels and juices. Spread batter in prepared pans.

3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until pick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool.

4. Prepare Lemony Frosting. Place one layer flat side down on plate; spread top with frosting. Stack second layer flat side down; spread remaining frosting. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate.

Makes 12 servings.

Lemony Whipped Cream Frosting: In large chilled bowl beat 2 cups whipping cream, 2 Tbps. powdered sugar, and 1 Tbsp. instant vanilla pudding on medium-high until stiff peaks form. Fold in 1 Tbsp. shredded lemon peel. If made ahead, chill 24 hours; stir before spreading. Makes 3-1/2 cups.

Monday, January 26, 2009

PISTACHIO-CHIVE CRISPS

Ingredients:
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/3 cup snipped fresh chives
* 3 Tbsp. water
* 3 Tbsp. olive oil
* 2 Tbsp. chopped pistachios or almonds
* 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
* 1 recipe Caper Mustard, below

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In medium bowl combine flour, chives, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. In another bowl combine water and oil. Drizzle oil mixture into flour mixture, stirring constantly (dough will appear dry but will come together when gently worked with hands). Form dough in a ball.

2. On a lightly floured surface roll dough in 12x7-1/2-inch rectangle. Prick all over with fork. Sprinkle with pistachios and cheese; press in nuts. Using a pizza cutter, cut dough in 3x1-1/2-inch rectangles. Transfer to large ungreased baking sheet.

3. Bake 20 to 23 minutes or until crisps begin to brown. Transfer to wire racks. Cool. Serve crisps with Caper Mustard.

Makes 20 crisps.

Caper Mustard: In small bowl combine 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard; 1/4 cup dairy sour cream, 1 tablespoon capers, drained; and 1 tablespoon snipped chives.

Nutrition Facts:
* Calories 51,
* Total Fat (g) 3,
* Saturated Fat (g) 0,
* Monounsaturated Fat (g) 2,
* Polyunsaturated Fat (g) 0,
* Cholesterol (mg) 0,
* Sodium (mg) 150,
* Carbohydrate (g) 5,
* Total Sugar (g) 0,
* Fiber (g) 0,
* Protein (g) 1,
* Vitamin C (DV%) 1,
* Calcium (DV%) 1,
* Iron (DV%) 2,
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Sunday, January 25, 2009

BANANA CUPCAKES

Ingredients:
* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1 cup mashed banana (about 3 medium)
* 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoon baking powder
* 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
* 1/4 cup mashed banana (1 small)
* 2 tablespoons butter, softened
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
* Yellow food coloring (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Line eighteen 2 1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat the 1/2 cup butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Beat in granulated sugar until well mixed. Beat in eggs and the 1 cup mashed banana. Beat in flour and baking powder until combined. (The batter will be thick.) Spoon into prepared muffin cups.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire rack.

For frosting: in a medium bowl, beat together powdered sugar, the 1/4 cup mashed banana, the 2 tablespoons butter, and the vanilla until smooth. Add several drops of yellow food coloring, if desired. Spread over cupcakes.

Makes 18 cupcakes.

Test Kitchen Tip: If all of the cupcakes do not fit in the oven at one time, refrigerate the remaining cupcakes while the first ones bake.

Nutrition Facts:
* Calories 220,
* Total Fat (g) 8,
* Saturated Fat (g) 4,
* Cholesterol (mg) 42,
* Sodium (mg) 121,
* Carbohydrate (g) 37,
* Fiber (g) 1,
* Protein (g) 2,
* Other Carbohydrates (d.e.) 2.5,
* Fat (d.e.) 1.5,
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Saturday, January 24, 2009

GINGERBREAD MUFFINS

Ingredients:
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* Dash salt
* 1 slightly beaten egg white
* 1/3 cup molasses
* 1/3 cup water
* 3 tablespoons cooking oil
* Sifted powdered sugar (optional)

Directions:
1. Line eight 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups; set aside. In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, soda, and salt; set aside.

2. In a small mixing bowl stir together the egg white, molasses, water, and oil. Stir molasses mixture into flour mixture just until blended. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin cups.

3. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when pressed lightly in center. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve warm or cool.

Makes 8 cupcakes (8 servings).

Make ahead tip: Bake and cook cupcakes but do not sprinkle with powdered sugar. Pack in an airtight freezer container; seal, label, and freeze up to 1 month. Thaw 30 minutes at room temperature before sprinkling with powdered sugar and serving.

Nutrition Facts:
* Calories 137,
* Total Fat (g) 5,
* Cholesterol (mg) 0,
* Sodium (mg) 82,
* Carbohydrate (g) 20,
* Fiber (g) 1,
* Protein (g) 2,
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Friday, January 23, 2009

DELICIOUS LEMON CUPCAKES

Ingredients:
* 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
* 2 tsp. vanilla
* 3 eggs
* 2 8-ounce cartons dairy sour cream
* 2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
* 3 tablespoon butter, softened
* 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice
* 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
* 1-1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
* Milk (2 to 3 teaspoons if necessary)
* 1 teaspoon shredded lemon peel

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Line thirty 2 1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar and vanilla; beat until well mixed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and sour cream alternately to beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. (The batter will be thick.) Stir in lemon peel.

3. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the batter into each prepared muffin cup.* Bake in the preheated oven about 18 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Makes 30 cupcakes.

Lemon Frosting: In a medium bowl, beat 3 tablespoons butter, softened, until fluffy. Gradually add 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, beating well. Gradually beat in 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 3/4 teaspoon vanilla. Gradually beat in 1 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar. If necessary, beat in enough additional milk (2 to 3 teaspoons) to rmake spreading consistency. Stir in 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel.

*Test Kitchen Tip: If all of the cupcakes do not fit in the oven at one time, refrigerate the remaining cupcakes while the first ones bake.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

SWEET POTATO CUPCAKES

Ingredients:
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 tsp. baking powder
* 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
* 1/2 tsp. baking soda
* 1/4 tsp. salt
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 1-1/2 cups sugar
* 3 eggs
* 1 (17.2-oz.) can vacuum-packed sweet potatoes (unsweetened), mashed
* 1/2 tsp. vanilla
* 1 Recipe Cream Cheese Frosting, below
* Finely shredded orange peel

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line twenty four 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups; set cups aside.

2. In medium bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

3. In large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition until combined. Add sweet potatoes and vanilla, beating until combined. Add flour mixture; beat until combined (batter will be thick).

4. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake about 20 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in pan on wire rack for 1 minute. Remove from pan and cool completely.

5. Place Cream Cheese Frosting in large resealable plastic bag. Cut a 1/4-inch opening in one corner of bag. Pipe frosting on top of cupcakes. Sprinkle with orange peel.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Mini Fluted Tube Variation: Coat 8 fluted individual tube pans with nonstick baking spray. Spoon batter into pans. Bake 30 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in pan on wire rack 1 minute. Remove from pan and cool completely. Omit Cream Cheese Frosting and finely shredded orange peel. Dust cooled cakes with powdered sugar.

Cream Cheese Frosting: In large mixing bowl beat one 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened, and 2/3 cup butter, softened, with electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add 2 tablespoons bourbon or milk and beat until combined. Beat in 8 cups powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, until smooth and of a good piping consistency. Makes 4-1/3 cups.

Make Ahead: Freeze unfrosted cupcakes in airtight containers up to 1 month. Store frosting in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 3 days.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

ASIAGO WAFERS

Ingredients:
* 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon finely snipped fresh rosemary
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
* 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 18 pieces
* 2 cups finely grated Asiago cheese (8 ounces)
* 2 tablespoons milk
* 1/2 cup dairy sour cream
* Fresh rosemary leaves (optional)
* 2 egg whites, slightly beaten (optional)

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, combine flour, snipped rosemary, salt, garlic powder, and white pepper. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until pieces are pea-size. Add Asiago cheese; toss well. Drizzle milk over flour mixture; gently toss with a fork.

2. Drop small dollops of sour cream over flour mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir until dough comes together and forms a ball.

3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Using your hands, roll each dough half back and forth, from center to edges, to form a 6 1/2-inch-long log about 1-1/2 inches in diameter.

4. Place one log along the bottom edge of a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper. Roll up paper and dough log. If needed, continue to roll log back and forth to create an even shape from end to end. Repeat with second log. Chill for 24 to 48 hours.

5. Preheat oven to 325F. Lightly grease a baking sheet; set aside. Unwrap logs. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut logs into 1/8- to 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place slices 1/2 inch apart on prepared baking sheet. If desired, dip rosemary leaves in egg whites and place in the centers of the slices.

6. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden (do not overbrown the edges). Transfer to a wire rack and cool.

Makes about 54 crackers.

Make Ahead: Prepare as directed through Step 4. Wrap logs in foil and freeze for up to 2 months. To serve, thaw for 30 to 60 minutes before slicing. Continue as directed in Step 5.

Bake Ahead: Prepare and bake as directed. Layer cooled crackers between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

GOUGERES

**A gougere is a French puff pastry flavored with Gruyere cheese. Pipe the little morsels with a pastry bag or dollop the dough from a spoon.

Ingredients:
* 1-1/2 cups water
* 1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 5 eggs
* 1-1/2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese (6 ounces)
* 4 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
* 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
* 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* Cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions:
1. Lightly grease two baking sheets; set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, and salt. Bring to boiling. Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously. Cook and stir until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Cool for 10 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1 minute after each addition. Stir in Gruyere cheese, mustard, white pepper, and the 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper.

2. Preheat oven to 400F. Using a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star tip, pipe batter in 1-inch mounds about 11/2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. (Or use 2 teaspoons batter for each puff.)

3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Serve warm. If desired, sprinkle with additional cayenne pepper.

Makes about 60 gougeres.

Make-Ahead: Bake gougeres as directed. Cool on wire racks. Place cooled gougeres in an airtight container and store in the freezer up to 1 month. To reheat, place frozen gougeres on a baking sheet and bake, uncovered, in a preheated 350F oven for 6 to 8 minutes or until heated.


Nutrition Facts:
* Calories 43,
* Total Fat (g) 3,
* Saturated Fat (g) 2,
* Cholesterol (mg) 25,
* Sodium (mg) 44,
* Carbohydrate (g) 2,
* Fiber (g) 0,
* Protein (g) 2,
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Monday, January 19, 2009

CHEESE TRIANGLES

Ingredients:
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 3/4 teaspoons ground red pepper (optional)
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3 tablespoons shortening
* 1/2 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese (2 ounces)
* 3/4 cup milk
* 1 tablespoon milk
* 1/2 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese (2 ounces)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Lightly grease baking sheets; set aside. In a large bowl stir together flour, baking powder, red pepper (if using), and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until the size of coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/2 cup finely shredded cheese. Add the 3/4 cup milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Form into a ball.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 10-inch square, 1/4 inch thick. Brush with the 1 tablespoon milk and sprinkle with 1/2 cup finely shredded cheese; press lightly. Cut into sixteen 2-1/2-inch squares. Cut each square in half diagonally to make 32 triangles. Place on the prepared baking sheets.

3. Bake about 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Makes 32 triangles.

Nutrition Facts:
* Calories 54,
* Total Fat (g) 3,
* Saturated Fat (g) 1,
* Cholesterol (mg) 4,
* Sodium (mg) 86,
* Carbohydrate (g) 6,
* Fiber (g) 0,
* Protein (g) 2,
* Vitamin A (DV%) 1,
* Vitamin C (DV%) ,
* Calcium (DV%) 5,
* Iron (DV%) 2,
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Sunday, January 18, 2009

ORANGE CHEESECAKE

Ingredients:
* 1-3/4 cups finely crushed graham crackers (about 22 crackers)
* 3 tablespoons sugar
* 6 tablespoons butter, melted
* 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
* 1-1/3 cups sugar
* 3 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 3 eggs, slightly beaten
* 1-1/2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel
* 1 8-ounce carton dairy sour cream
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
* Orange peel strips and sliced and/or whole kumquats (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For the crust: In a medium bowl, combine graham crackers and the 3 tablespoons sugar. Stir in melted butter. Press crumb mixture onto the bottom and 1 to 2 inches up the side of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while preparing filling.

2. For the filling: In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, the 1-1/3 cups sugar, the orange juice concentrate, and the 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Stir in eggs and orange peel just until combined.

3. Pour filling into crust-lined pan. Place springform pan in a shallow baking pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a 2-1/2-inch-wide area around the outside edge appears set when gently shaken. Remove springform pan from oven and set on a wire rack.

4. Meanwhile, stir together sour cream, the 1 tablespoon sugar, and the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Carefully spread sour cream mixture over the hot cheesecake.

5. Cool in springform pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a small thin knife, loosen crust from side of pan. Cool for 30 minutes more. Remove side of the pan. Cool for 2 hours. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.

6. If desired, garnish cheesecake with orange peel strips and kumquats.

Makes 12 to 16 servings

To bake ahead: Transfer cooled cheesecake (whole or pieces) to a freezer bag; seal. Freeze whole cheesecake for up to 1 month or pieces for up to 2 weeks. Thaw whole ccheeseake in the refrigerator overnight or pieces at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

MINI PUFFS WITH GOAT CHEESE AND HERBS

Ingredients:
* 1/4 cup water
* 1/4 cup milk
* 1/4 cup butter, cut up
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
* 3 eggs
* 1/2 of an 8-ounce container cream cheese with chive and onion
* 3 ounces soft goat cheese (chevre)
* 2 tablespoons milk
* 1 tablespoon snipped fresh parsley
* 2 teaspoons snipped fresh dill or basil
* 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a baking sheet; set aside. For pastry, in a medium saucepan, combine the water, milk, butter, salt, and nutmeg. Bring to boiling. Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously. Cook and stir until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. Cool for 5 minutes. Add two of the eggs, one at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon after each addition until smooth. Spoon batter into a pastry bag fitted with a round tip with a 1/2-inch opening.

2. Pipe twenty-four 1-inch mounds (or spoon batter with a rounded measuring teaspoon) 1 inch apart onto prepared baking sheet. Lightly beat the remaining egg and brush over tops of pastry mounds. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack and cool.

3. Slice puffs in half horizontally with a serrated knife. For filling, in a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, goat cheese, and milk; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add parsley, dill or basil, and pepper and mix well. Use a pastry bag to pipe filling into the bottom half of each puff (or spread each bottom half with a rounded teaspoon of the mixture). Replace tops. Serve immediately or cover and chill for up to 2 hours. Makes 20 to 24 puffs.

Make Ahead: Prepare as directed through Step 2. Place baked puffs in a freezer container. Seal, label, and freeze for up to 2 weeks. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Continue as directed in Step 3.

Friday, January 16, 2009

CRANBERRY NUT TART

Ingredients:
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/3 cup ground walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 cup butter (no substitutes)
* 1 beaten egg
* 12 ounces cranberries (3 cups)
* 1-1/4 cups orange juice
* 1-1/2 cups sugar
* 3 tablespoons cornstarch
* 1 ounce white baking bar with cocoa butter, chopped and melted
* Chopped hazelnuts (optional)
* Water

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine flour, ground nuts, the 1/4 cup sugar, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles small peas. Add egg and toss until just moist, adding 1 tablespoon water, if necessary.

2. Form dough into a ball; press evenly onto bottom and up sides of a 10-inch tart pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine cranberries, orange juice, and 1/3 cup water. Cook and stir over medium heat until skins of berries begin to pop. Stir together the 1-1/2 cups sugar and cornstarch; stir into berry mixture. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.

4. Spread berry mixture over partially baked crust. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Remove side of pan. Place tart on serving platter, and drizzle with melted white baking bar. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts, if desired.

Makes 10 servings.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

ORANGE CHIFFON CAKE

Ingredients:
* 3 oranges
* 2 egg whites
* 1-1/2 cups sugar
* 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1/3 cup cooking oil
* 2 egg yolks
* Orange Fluff Frosting (see recipe below)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Grease and flour two 9x1-1/2-inch round cake pans; set aside. Finely shred 1 tablespoon of peel from 1 orange. Squeeze juice from 2 oranges to measure 1/2 cup juice. Section remaining orange. In a large mixing bowl beat egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar, beating to stiff peaks. In another large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1 cup sugar.

2. Add milk and oil. Beat on low speed of electric mixer until combined. Add orange juice and egg yolks; beat 1 minute. Gently fold in egg white mixture until combined. Fold in orange peel. Divide batter evenly between pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the centers comes out clean. Cool completely on wire racks; remove from pans. Frost with Orange Fluff Frosting. Top with reserved orange sections. Makes 12 servings.

Orange Fluff Frosting: Finely shred 2 tablespoons orange peel; set aside. In small saucepan stir together 1/3 cup sugar and 4 teaspoons cornstarch. Stir in 1/2 cup orange juice. Cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens; cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat; stir in the reserved orange peel. Cover; chill 1 hour. Beat 2 cups whipping cream to stiff peaks; fold into chilled mixture.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

ORANGE AND MACADAMIA NUT COOKIES

Ingredients:
* 4 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
* 1 cup cornstarch
* 2 cups butter (no substitutes)
* 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts or toasted walnuts
* 2 egg yolks
* 1 tablespoon finely shredded orange peel
* 4 to 6 tablespoons orange juice
* Granulated sugar
* 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
* 3 tablespoons softened butter (no substitutes)
* 1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
* 2 to 3 tablespoons orange juice
* Finely chopped macadamia nuts (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.

2. Combine flour, powdered sugar, and cornstarch in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in 2 cups of butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the 1 cup nuts. Combine egg yolks, 1 tablespoon orange peel, and 4 tablespoons of the orange juice in a small mixing bowl; add to flour mixture, stirring until moistened. If necessary, add enough of the remaining 2 tablespoons orange juice to moisten.

3. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until it forms a ball. Arrange balls on an ungreased cookie sheet. Dip bottom of a fluted glass in granulated sugar, and use it to flatten one ball to 1/4-inch thickness. Repeat for remaining cookies.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.

5. Meanwhile in a small bowl stir together powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon orange peel and enough of the 2 to 3 tablespoons juice to make sauce of speading consistency.

6. If desired, sprinkle with finely chopped macadamia nuts.

Makes 72 cookies.


Nutrition Facts:
* Calories 117,
* Total Fat (g) 7,
* Saturated Fat (g) 4,
* Cholesterol (mg) 20,
* Sodium (mg) 58,
* Carbohydrate (g) 13,
* Fiber (g) 0,
* Protein (g) 1,
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Monday, January 12, 2009

ORANGE-YOGURT MUFFINS

Ingredients:
* 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 egg
* 1 8-ounce carton orange-flavored yogurt
* 1/3 cup cooking oil
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
* 1 to 2 teaspoons orange juice

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Lightly grease thirty-six 1-3/4-inch muffin cups or line them with paper bake cups. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, granulated sugar, orange peel, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of flour mixture; set aside.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, slightly beat egg. Stir in yogurt, oil, and vanilla. Add egg mixture all at once to the flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy).

3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake in the preheated oven about 10 minutes or until tops of muffins are golden. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from muffin cups and cool completely.

4. In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar and enough orange juice to make a glaze of drizzling consistency. Drizzle or brush glaze over muffins. Serve immediately.

Makes 36 muffins.

To Make Ahead: Place baked, glazed muffins in airtight containers; cover. Store in a cool, dry place up to 24 hours. Or place baked, unglazed muffins in a freezer container; seal. Freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw muffins at room temperature, then glaze.

Nutrition Facts:
* Calories 65,
* Total Fat (g) 2,
* Saturated Fat (g) 0,
* Cholesterol (mg) 6,
* Sodium (mg) 46,
* Carbohydrate (g) 10,
* Fiber (g) 0,
* Protein (g) 1,
* Vitamin C (DV%) 0,
* Calcium (DV%) 1,
* Iron (DV%) 2,
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Sunday, January 11, 2009

ALMOND TWIRL BREAD

Ingredients:
* 3-3/4 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 package active dry yeast
* 1 cup milk
* 1/3 cup granulated sugar
* 1/3 cup margarine or butter
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 eggs
* 1 recipe Almond Filling
* 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
* 1 to 2 teaspoons milk
* 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Directions:
1. In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups of the flour and the yeast. In a small saucepan heat and stir milk, sugar, margarine or butter, and salt just until warm (120 degree F to 130 degree F) and margarine almost melts. Add to dry mixture in mixing bowl; add eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping the side of the bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface of dough. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 hour).

3. Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease a large baking sheet.

4. Roll dough to an 18x12-inch rectangle. Sprinkle with Almond Filling. Roll up, jelly-roll style, starting from a long side. Seal seam. Place seam side down, on prepared baking sheet. Shape into a ring; press ends together to seal. Using kitchen scissors, snip at 1-inch intervals, making each cut two-thirds of the way to center. Gently turn each section slightly to a side. Cover and let rise in warm place until nearly double in size (about 30 minutes).

5. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

6. For icing, in a small bowl combine the powdered sugar, vanilla, and enough of the 1 to 2 teaspoons milk to make of drizzling consistency. Drizzle over bread. Top with sliced almonds.

Makes 1 ring (18 servings).

Almond Filling: In a small mixing bowl beat 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons margarine or butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Stir in 1/2 cup ground almonds.

Nutrition Facts:
* Calories 203,
* Total Fat (g) 8,
* Saturated Fat (g) 0,
* Cholesterol (mg) 25,
* Sodium (mg) 128,
* Carbohydrate (g) 28,
* Fiber (g) 1,
* Protein (g) 5,
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Saturday, January 10, 2009

PUMPKIN-DATE BREAD

Ingredients:
* Nonstick cooking spray
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1-1/3 cups whole wheat flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 4 eggs
* 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
* 3/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute blend* equivalent to 3/4 cup sugar*
* 1/2 cup honey
* 1/3 cup cooking oil
* 1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
* 1/3 cup orange juice
* 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
* 1/2 cup snipped pitted dates or raisins

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of two 8x4x2-inch loaf pans; set aside. In a large bowl, stir together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together pumpkin, sugar, egg, honey, oil, orange peel, and orange juice. Using a wooden spoon, stir pumpkin mixture into flour mixture just until combined. Stir in nuts and dates or raisins. Divide mixture between the prepared pans.

3. Bake about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks.

Makes 2 loaves (32 slices).

*Sugar Substitutes: Choose from Splenda Sugar Blend for Baking or Equal Sugar Lite. Follow the package directions to use the product amount equivalent to 3/4 cup sugar.

Make-Ahead Directions: Prepare as directed. Place each loaf of bread in a freezer container or bag. Seal, label, and freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw the wrapped bread at room temperature.

Nutrition Facts:
* Calories 129,
* Total Fat (g) 4,
* Saturated Fat (g) 1,
* Cholesterol (mg) 0,
* Sodium (mg) 87,
* Carbohydrate (g) 22,
* Fiber (g) 2,
* Protein (g) 3,
* Starch (d.e.) .5,
* Other Carbohydrates (d.e.) 1,
* Fat (d.e.) .5,
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Friday, January 9, 2009

FUDGY PEANUT BUTTER BITES

Ingredients:
* 1/2 of an 18-ounce roll refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough
* 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
* 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
* 2 tablespoons finely chopped peanuts (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat 1-3/4-inch muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Cut dough into six equal pieces. Cut each piece into four equal slices. Place each slice in a prepared cup.

2. Bake 9 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and dough is slightly firm. Remove from oven. Indent each cookie shell with the back of a 1/2-teaspoon measuring spoon. Bake 2 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool 15 minutes. Remove shells from cups. Cool.

3. Place chocolate pieces and condensed milk in a heavy small saucepan; stir over medium heat until chocolate melts. Spoon filling into each shell. If desired, sprinkle with peanuts. Cool.

Makes 24.

Monday, January 5, 2009

MINI CRANBERRY PHYLLO TARTS

Ingredients:
* Nonstick cooking spray
* 4 sheets frozen phyllo dough (14x9-inch rectangles)*
* 3/4 cup fresh cranberries
* 1/2 cup water
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 1/3 cup canned whole cranberry sauce
* 1/3 cup lemon fat-free yogurt
* 3 tablespoons frozen light whipped dessert topping, thawed
* Fresh mint leaves (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Coat fifteen 1-3/4-inch muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Unfold phyllo dough. Remove one sheet of the phyllo dough; lightly coat phyllo sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Working quickly, top with the remaining phyllo sheets, coating each sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Cut phyllo stack lengthwise into three 3-inch-wide strips. Cut each strip crosswise into five rectangles. Press each rectangle into a prepared cup, pleating as needed to fit. Bake about 8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in muffin cups for 5 minutes. Carefully remove phyllo cups from muffin cups; cool on a wire rack.

3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine cranberries, the water, and sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until boiling. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Cool for 15 minutes; drain off liquid. Place in a small bowl; cover and chill for 4 hours.

4. In a small bowl, stir cranberry sauce to break up the sauce. In another small bowl, fold together yogurt and whipped dessert topping. Just before serving, place 1 teaspoon of the cranberry sauce in each phyllo cup. Spoon in yogurt mixture and top each with about three of the cooked cranberries. If desired, garnish with fresh mint leaves. Makes 15 tarts.

*Test Kitchen Tip: To shortcut this recipe, substitute one 2.1-ounce package baked miniature phyllo dough shells (15) for the phyllo dough. Prepare as directed, starting with step 3.

Make-Ahead Directions: Prepare as directed through step 3. Place phyllo cups in a single layer in an airtight container; store at room temperature for up to 2 days. Cover and chill the cooked cranberries for up to 2 days. Continue as directed in step 4.

LEMON BEEHIVE MERINGUES

Ingredients:
* 2 egg whites
* 1 teaspoon lemon juice
* 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 1/2 cup purchased lemon curd
* 1 cup fresh loganberries, blackberries, or other berries

Directions:
1. Let egg whites stand at room temperature in a large mixing bowl for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a pencil, draw eight 2-1/4-inch circles and eight 1-3/4-inch circles about 1 inch apart on the paper.* Turn paper pencil-side down on baking sheet; set aside. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

2. Add lemon juice and cream of tartar to egg whites. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed about 7 minutes or until very stiff peaks form (tips stand straight) and sugar is almost dissolved.

3. Using a pastry bag fitted with a medium (1/4-inch) round tip, pipe a flat base of meringue onto all of the circles on the paper. Pipe a ring of meringue onto edges of each of the 8 larger meringue rounds, building the sides 3/4 inch tall by piping a continuous coil of meringue to form a small shell. For tops, pipe a coil of meringue on smaller rounds to make a cone shape that resembles the top of a beehive.

4. Bake 30 minutes. Turn off oven. Let meringues dry in oven, with door closed, at least 1 hour. Remove from paper. Place in an airtight container. Store in a cool, dry place up to 1 week.

5. Just before serving, spoon 1 tablespoon of lemon curd into each bottom meringue shell. Place a few berries on lemon curd. Prop top of meringue beehive next to bottom.

Makes 8 servings.

*Note: For free-form meringue shells without tops, make eight 3-inch circles on parchment. Use back of a large spoon to spread meringue over circles, building up sides to form shells. Bake as directed.