Spice of the Week!

White pepper: This tart, slightly sour pepper is great on fish and in soups. It looks really cool in a clear grinder with black lava salt.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Challah Sticky Bun With Vanilla Cinnamon Whipped Cream

My older brother loves making challah, he also loves taking his amazing challahs to our neighbors and friends--he has just one big problem, sometimes he forgets to take them. This past week we had one such incident and I decided I was gonna do something with the slightly stale challah. I had been craving sticky buns and challah seemed like a good bread for it and boy was I right.

You will need:

For the caramel sauce:
2 C Brown sugar
1/4 C Heavy cream
1/4 C Milk
1/3 Of a Large Challah
1/2 C Almonds

Heat the cream, milk, and brown sugar on high over a high stove till it is all melted. Add the cinnamon, coriander and almonds, mix thoroughly. Coat the Challah on all sides with caramel and put the extra caramel and the challah into a 3 inch deep pyrex dish and bake for 40 mins at 450F.

For the whipped cream:
1/2 C Heavy whipping cream
3 Tbs vanilla sugar
3/4 Tsp Cinnamon

Beat it all together on high speed till it forms stiff peaks. Enjoy!


Dark Chocolate Almond Caramels

I was so bored last night and felt that if I did not do something I would die, so, naturally, I made caramel bon bons. These little, almond flecked, melt in your mouth caramels made with dark brown sugar (to give it a more pronounced flavor) are as good of caramels as I've ever had. If you want to try them with pecans or walnuts, I am sure it would be great as well.

You will need:
1 C Dark chocolate(optional)
5 C. Dark brown sugar
3/4 C. Milk
1 C. Almonds(chopped)
1/2 C. Butter

Mix together the butter, milk, and brown sugar cook on high stirring constantly till every thing is melted. Add the almonds and mix them in thoroughly. Cook till at soft/firm ball stage you can test this by dropping a bit of caramel into a bowl of cool, clear water and seeing how it forms, it should feel like a laffy taffy. Now comes the hard part remove the caramel from the heat and let it cool in an oiled pan till you can touch it but it is still very hot get a big bowl of ice cold water and wet your hands. Form the caramels into any shape you want then place them in the bowl of water. Once they start to keep their shape well remove and place on a greased pan to chill. If desired melt the chocolate in a double boiler and dip the caramel in the chocolate and cover them in powdered sugar. Enjoy!


P.S. The forming process is messy, so wear an apron.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Gourmet Coconut Bars

Yet another recipe from the Gourmet Cookie Book. I've already made it twice. . . mostly because it's delicious, but also because my sister said that she'd pay me to make them for someone she owes a favor. Most enjoyable $20 bucks ever (she's a sucker, I know).
I doubled the recipe so we could eat some and give the rest away, and I've done so in this recipe as well. If you don't finish them all, your neighbors will appreciate the leftovers.

1 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
2 c. sifted flour
4 eggs
2 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. chopped walnuts (but I use roasted almonds)
1 c. shredded coconut tossed in scant 1/4 c. flour (which I also roast)
a large pinch of salt

Cream butter. Gradually add brown sugar and beat 'til smooth. Stir in sifted flour and spread batter into 2 8/8 pans lined with parchment. Bake at 375F for 17-20 min.

Beat eggs and brown sugar 'til smooth. stir in vanilla, almonds, coconut, and salt. Spread mixture over baked crust and bake for 20 min.


Thursday, February 24, 2011


My little jelly cookies, named after the little bear who loved orange marmalade! These buttery little thumb print cookies are such wonderful pieces of joy and gladness, I can hardly express it. Try this, imagine a melt in your mouth cookie, with a satisfying crunch, that also reminds you of presents and Christmas? Can you do that? I didn't think so.

You will need:

1 C Butter
1 C Powdered sugar
6 Egg yolks
1/4 Tsp Salt
Juice and Rind of Half an Orange
3 C sifted flour
Almonds (slivered)
Orange marmalade

Cream the butter till it is light. Add the powdered sugar gradually, re-creaming well after every addition. Add the egg yolks on at a time, the salt and the orange juice/rind. Gradually add the flour and knead until thoroughly blended. Roll the dough into balls about the circumference of quarters and press your thumb into the dough till you have a small indentation and place an almond in each indent. Bake at 350F for about 12-15 mins, or till golden brown. dab a generous amount of jelly on each cookie. Enjoy!


The Gourmet Best Cookie Book!

This past week I was the lucky recipient of Gourmet magazine's cook book with the best cookie recipe from 1941-2009, in short I am psyched! So over the next few months I am going to try to make every recipe in said book. So for the next little while I'm gonna make A LOT of cookies!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Spicy Mustard

I am really into making condiments right now. This mustard is spicy and delicious, the onions add a flavor you will not commonly find in mustard and the use of both honey and maple syrup add opposing sweetnesses and interest. If you want a less spicy mustard use regular mustard seeds rather then the spicy Chinese ones.

You will need:
3/4 C Chinese mustard seeds
1/4 C Brown mustard seeds
2/3 C White vinegar
1 Tbs Dark stout
1/2 Large onion(diced)
1/2 C Honey
1/4 C Maple syrup

Add all ingredients to a bowl and let sit for 3 hours. Blend to desired consistency, and store for up to 1 year in the fridge(I bet you could store it longer, I mean what is gonna expire in their? The onion?). Enjoy!