February 9, 2018

JELLY DONUTS


When I was a little kid, my mother would make donuts from biscuits.  She would cut a hole out of the middle of the biscuit, fry them in vegetable oil, and pull them out of the oil and place them in a paper bag partially filled with sugar.   She would then shake the donuts in the sugar.   I would stand by her at the stove and watch her make them.  We would all get a warm, sugary, lovely little donut.


I have never, ever made donuts from biscuits . . . until now.  I opted to make a jelly-filled donut.  I used Grand Size Biscuits.  Now here's a disclaimer for you:  when I make them again, and I will, I will use the regular-sized biscuits.  These were still slightly doughy in the center (which is okay by me) but some of you (if you make these) may not like that.  So, I want you to know up front, mine were still doughy.


They were absolutely scrumptious.  So much fun and so easy to make.  These are particularly good  to make for kids, and I will be making these for my grandkids ASAP.


I fried the biscuits in a couple of inches of Canola Oil.  They browned up pretty quickly, and I didn't actually time the process.  I just turned them when they were a golden brown.  After frying them, I put them on a paper towel-lined plate.  I filled a pastry bag with a piping tip with seedless raspberry preserves.   I stuck the tip into the side of the donut and squeezed the jelly into the donut.  I then rolled them in granulated sugar.  So delicious.


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Jelly Donuts

1 can of biscuits (I used the Grand Biscuits)
Canola oil for frying
Seedless Raspberry Preserves for filling
Granulated Sugar 

1.  Heat oil in a dutch oven.  It was approximately two inches deep.  You will know it is hot enough if you pinch off a small piece of the biscuit and drop it in the oil.  (If or when it beings to cook, remove it.)

2.  Place biscuits in oil (without overcrowding) and fry donuts until each side is golden brown.

3.  Remove from oil and place on a paper-towel lined plate.  Let the biscuits cool enough to handle.  

4.  Fit a pastry bag with a piping tip and partially fill with Raspberry Jelly.  Push tip into the side of the fried biscuit and fill with jelly.  (This step was a bit messy for me.)

5.  Roll donuts in granulated sugar.

Serve to hungry family and friends!!

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January 30, 2018

CHOCOLATE HEART SHORTBREAD COOKIES




Valentine's Day will be here soon, and these shortbread cookies with chocolate hearts are the perfect cookie to make for your sweetheart or your kiddos.  I really like shortbread cookies.  They aren't quite as sweet as regular cookies, which I think is why I do like them.


I made this recipe for shortbread cookies in December for a Christmas party.   I made a thumbprint version and filled the indentation with seedless raspberry preserves.


These Chocolate Hearts are Hershey's Chocolate Hearts.  I found them on the candy aisle with all the Valentine's Day Candy.


This recipe is also very easy.  It only takes a few ingredients, which I always have on hand . . . except for the chocolate hearts.  I used a cookie scoop and scooped the dough and then rolled it into a ball and flattened the cookie on the baking sheet.  I baked the cookies for about half the cooking time, pulled them out of the oven, pressed the hearts in the center of the cookie, placed them back in the oven and continued cooking until they were done.


I suppose you could press them in before placing the cookie into the oven and bake the chocolate on the cookie for the full time, or press the heart on the cookie after they are baked for the entire time.   I didn't try to do it either way, but it may work just fine.

They are truly delicious, and for me, always best eaten warm!!  

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Chocolate Heart Shortbread Cookies

1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
Hershey's Chocolate Hearts

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  

2.  In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour and salt.  Set aside.

3.  In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, on high speed, blend butter and sugar together until combined, approximately two minutes.  Be sure to occasionally stop mixer and scrape sides and bottom of bowl.

4.  Mix in vanilla.

5.  On low speed of mixer, add in flour mixture until all ingredients are combined.

6.  Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on cookie sheet.  I flattened the ball a bit. 

7.  Place the dough in freezer for 10 minutes. 

7.  Bake for about half the baking time.  Pull cookies out and press chocolate hearts into center of cookie, place bake in oven and
 continue baking until done.  Bake in oven for 15 minutes.

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I only wanted to make a dozen cookies, but this recipe can easily be doubled.
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January 22, 2018

BANANA STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING




What to do with two clearly overripe bananas that are hanging out in my kitchen?  Banana Sticky Toffee Pudding.  Even the name sounds wonderful.  This delectable little dessert tastes part banana bread and part bread pudding.  Pretty ingenious, don't you think?


It is baked in the oven (just like banana bread)  and has overripe bananas in it (just like banana bread), but has a sauce that is added after the baking process is done.  And . . . more (warm) sauce added before serving (also known as eating), which makes it like bread pudding.


Each yummy piece is served with a generous topping of unsweetened whipped cream.  I mean, this is heavenly.


I made this yesterday.  I poured the remaining sauce over the top of the remaining cake, covered the pan with aluminum foil and placed it in the refrigerator.  I also refrigerated the whipped cream.  You can then cut a piece and place it on a microwave-safe plate and microwave it for 15 to 20 seconds.  Spoon some whipped cream on top, and there you have it:  Perfection.


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Banana Sticky Toffee Pudding

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
Butter for greasing pan
1/3 cup boiling water
1 cup (or less) of raisins
1/4 to 1/2 cup of bourbon (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1-3/4 cups light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 medium-size overripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup heavy cream

Unsweetened whipped cream for serving.

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9 x 9 inch metal baking pan with butter.

2.   Soak raisins in a bowl with bourbon.  After soaking, pour any excess bourbon off.  

3.  In a small (heatproof) mixing bowl, pour the boiling over the raisins.  Stir in the baking soda.  

4.  In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder together.
In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat 1/4 cup of butter with 3/4 cup of brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, for 4 minutes.  Beat eggs in, one at a time.  Turn mixer on low speed and add flour mixture a little at a time until just combined.  Add in the raisin mixture and bananas and beat on low speed until just incorporated.

5.  Scrape and spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes (or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).

4.  In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup of butter, 1/2 cup of heavy cream, and 1 cup of brown sugar.  Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat and cook until slightly thickened and golden.  (Approximately 3 minutes).

5.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack.  Using a toothpick, poke holes over the top of the cake.  Pour half of the sauce over the cake and let stand until the sauce is absorbed.  Serve warm with the remaining sauce and whipped cream.

I made my unsweetened whipped cream by pouring some heavy cream into the mixing bowl on my stand mixer and whipped it until it made whipped cream.  I stored what was left over in the refrigerator.

Soaking the raisins in bourbon is entirely optional, and this step can be skipped.

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Slightly adapted from FOOD & WINE Magazine.

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