Cupcakes for Chanukah! Recipes and more

Sorry for the lag in posting, lots of travel and family commitments but now, shes back…………………..

cup3 There are times in your life (like after eating a dozen latkes) when you just gotta have that certain something sweet BUT you really don’t want the guilt associated with gobbling up 5 bags of candy coins or a calorie laden mega doughnut topped with chocolate and filled with custard (granted, there aren’t too many times when I DON’T want that kind of doughnut). For me that’s when I reach for a cupcake. Just enough cake and frosting to satisfy but not so much as that I feel like I’ve over indulged and the “oh I blew my holiday diet AGAIN” remorse isn’t omnipresent.

The origin of the cupcake isn’t all that clear. Some historians say it’s because the original recipe contained 1 cup measurements (I cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar etc.) Another source I checked with said that long ago that cake batter was cooked in tea cups, hence the name, cup-cake. Either way it came about I’m just glad the recipes evolved into the sweet treats we love today.

Deciding what type of cupcakes to make and what to top them with can be truly a personal and existential experience. You can fill them, frost them, and dust them with powdered sugar or cocoa. Sprinkles are always nice and so is a couple of pieces of candy or chocolate stuck into the top of the batter just before baking. The possibilities are endless and the results are always irresistible.

With cupcakes you can indulge in your love of lemon, banana, chocolate or vanilla or both at the same time and not have to commit to eating a whole cake. One of the beauties of making cupcakes is that most cake recipes can be converted into cupcakes. There are, however, some exceptions, like angel and sponge cakes, they don’t have quite enough structure to pull off the smaller size, but those to obvious exceptions aside, I say go for whatever recipe you want and see how creative you can get. I prefer to use cupcake liners in my pans as I find it easier to take them out after they’ve been cooked and they help keep all those pesky crumbs from falling all over your lap or shirt.

 

Just a few cup cake rules before you get started.

 

1. Always grease or line you baking pan, easier to remove the cupcake

2. Never over fill the pan, it will make an overly large cupcake top

4. Once the pan or pans are full, put them in the preheated oven immediately. The longer they sit out, the less they will rise.

5. Cupcakes should be baked in at least a 350 so that the structure sets quickly and the cake doesn’t dry while it’s baking

3. Make sure you test the cupcake with a toothpick before you remove it from the oven to make sure it cooked throughout.

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Depending on how you decorate the following recipe they can be served as a snack or at a formal dinner and are equally at home at a 5 year olds birthday party or a wedding reception. I make the peanut butter ones every Chanukah and decorate them with chocolate candy coins.  Enjoy!

 

PEANUT BUTTER CUP CUPCAKES (dairy)

1/3 cup margarine or butter
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
16 miniature peanut butter cups

Preheat oven to 350. Place paper cup cake liners in the muffin pan and set it aside. In a mixing bowl of an electric mixer combine the margarine or butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar.  Mix to combine and then add the eggs and vanilla. Mix to combine. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Alternate adding the flour mixture to the egg mixture with the milk. Do not over mix or you’ll get air bubbles in the cup cake. Fill each muffin cups about 1/2 full of batter. Place a peanut butter cup into the center of each and push it down so it almost touches the bottom but so there is still some batter underneath the peanut butter cup. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or till toothpick comes out clean (be careful not to test where the candy is, you won’t get a true test of if the cupcake is done). Makes approx 14 to 16

 

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BANANA SPLIT CUPCAKES (dairy or pareve)

2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

2 mashed ripe bananas

1 cup warm water

1/2 cup milk or non dairy substitute

1/2 cup oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

 

Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese or pareve cream cheese, at room temperature

4 tablespoon soft butter

4 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Optional Toppings;

hot fudge sauce,

maraschino cherries

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 20 to 24 muffin cups or use paper liners. In a large bowl combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine. In another large bowl combine the eggs, mashed bananas, water, milk, oil, and vanilla and whisk to combine.  Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full, and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool on a rack.

 

In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar until blended.  Frost and top with fudge sauce and a maraschino cherry

 

Modified from the Joy of Baking

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ZUCCHINI AND PISTACHIO CUPCAKES (pareve)

This recipe uses self rising flour if you don’t have it for each cup of self rising flour use 1 cup of all-purpose flour and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

2 eggs

1 cup oil

1 cup granulated sugar

4 zucchinis, grated

1 cup shelled pistachio nuts, chopped

2 teaspoon lime zest

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups self-rising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup dried cranberries

 

Preheat the oven to 325. Grease or line 2 12 muffin tin pans. In a bowl combine the egg, oil, and sugar and whisk until combined.  Add the zucchini, lime zest and nuts and stir together until well mixed.  Add the flour, cinnamon and baking powder, into the zucchini mixture and gently fold it in. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and bake and for 18 to 20 minutes until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool on a rack and then dust the top with powdered sugar. Makes 24.

 

Modified from about.com

 

GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE CUPCAKES (dairy)

 

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup sugar

1 oz cream cheese

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

generous 1/3 cup potato flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon milk

 

Preheat the oven to 350.  In a bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and cocoa powder and beat until combined. Add the sugar and beat until combined.  Add the cream cheese, vanilla, milk and eggs and beat to combine.   Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda and beat until just combined.  Spoon the mixture into the paper liners and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool before frosting.

 

1 oz bittersweet chocolate

5 oz cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Melt the chocolate in the microwave but don’t over heat it, it should just be soft. Cool for about minutes. Place the softened cream cheese in a bowl and then pour the chocolate over the top. Add the vanilla and mix until the cheese and chocolate is combine. Add the powdered sugar and mix to combine. Frost and serve. Makes 12

 

Submitted by Roger Mancref and Cheryl Rodrego Naples FL

 

CANDIED CUPCAKES (dairy)

 

Topping

6 chocolate candy bars, chopped into pieces (your choice)

1, 12 oz bag of any kind of M&M’s you like

Crush, cut and mash into tiny pieces

Mix together in a bowl, set aside

 

Frosting

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup semi sweet chocolate

1/2 cup cream

 

Cupcakes

12 tablespoons softened butter

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 cup mini chocolate chips

 

 

Make the frosting first. In a microwave bowl melt the chocolate and cream together. Stir until smooth and then add the peanut butter and mix until combined. Cool in the refrigerator and when it is cool beat the frosting until it is spreadable.

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease or place paper liners in 24 cupcakes molds. In a bowl combine the butter, white sugar and brown sugar. Mix to combine. Add the buttermilk, vanilla and eggs and mix to combine. Add the salt, baking soda, flour, chocolate chips and mix to combine. Spoon the batter into the prepare tins filling each about 2/3 full. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool before frosting and then decorate with the chopped candy. Makes 24.

 

LUSCIOUS LEMON CUPCAKES (dairy or pareve)

 

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups sour cream or pareve substitute

 

FROSTING:

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

2 1/4 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon milk or pareve substitute

 

Preheat oven to 350 and grease or paper line 30 muffin tins. Set them aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and sugar. Mix to combine and then with the mixer running add the eggs. With the mixer still running add lemon zest and vanilla. In another bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  With the mixer running slowly add the flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. This will be a thick batter.  Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

 

In the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor combine the butter and powdered sugar. Mix until combined.  Add the lemon juice, vanilla, lemon zest and milk; beat until smooth. Frost the cooled cupcakes. Makes 30.

 

 

 

Be A Better Cook With Bisquick

I’m a big advocate of a periodic search and destroy (AKA throw out) foray into my pantry. Not so much because I’m a neat freak, rather because so much stuff gets shoved to the back of the shelf on a weekly basis that I kind of like to see what’s in there before it grows large enough to take over my kitchen. This “cleaning” is typically when I found that box of Bisquick  that I bought, last year, at my quasi adult children’s request. They say it’s a great way to help me when it’s their turn to do the cooking. Their zeal to help make meals the kitchen usually lasts only long enough for them get strangely creative and make something truly atrocious.

            I’m actually quite a fan of Bisquick (heretical to cooking purists, I know, but it is a really great cooking ingredient if you use it judiciously)  Bisquick® mix contains flour, shortening, baking powder and salt and saves both mixing and measuring time. Bisquick® Original Pancake and Baking Mix and Bisquick® Heart Smart™ Pancake and Baking Mix both work equally well.

It’s best to just spoon Bisquick® into the measuring cup (no sifting) and level it off with a knife. You shouldn’t press or tap the mix in the cup.  It’s best stored in a in a cool, dry place. You can also store it in the refrigerator or freezer up to a year (I keep it in my “extra” refrigerator in the garage). If it’s frozen, bring to room temperature before using.
           You can make your own mix but quite frankly, most of the time it’s easier to just buy the box.

HOMEMADE BISQUICK®

4 cups flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons non-fat dry milk powder
2 tbsp. baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup Crisco® (you can use any shortening you’d like)

In a large bowl combine the flour, milk powder, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the shortening with two knives or pastry blender until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Store in tightly closed covered container in a cool place. Makes about 5 cups.

COCONUT BANANA CREAM DESSERT

2 cups Bisquick® mix
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup firm butter or margarine
1 (4-serving size) package vanilla INSTANT pudding and pie filling mix
1 3/4 cups milk
2 medium bananas, sliced
2 cups whipped cream
1/2 cup toasted shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 375. In a bowl combine the Bisquick and sugar. Cut in the butter, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until crumbly. Press in bottom of ungreased 9x9x2-inch square pan. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until light brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Make pudding mix as directed on package for pudding, using 1 3/4 cups milk; spread over crust. Top with banana slices. Spread whipped cream over top. Sprinkle with toasted coconut. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour but no longer than 24 hours. Makes 12 to 14 servings.

BISQUICK® FRIED CHEESE

Vegetable oil
1 cup Bisquick® baking mix
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 lb. Monterey Jack, Cheddar, American, Swiss or Mozzarella cheese
Bisquick ® baking mix

Cut cheese into 3/4 inch cubes. Heat oil (2 inches deep) in deep fryer or saucepan to 375. Beat 1 cup baking mix, milk and egg with hand beater (or fork) until smooth. Coat cheese cubes lightly with dry baking mix and insert round wooden pick in each cube. Dip into batter, covering cheese completely. Fry several cubes at a time, turning carefully until golden brown (1 to 2 minutes). Drain on paper towel and serve immediately. Makes about 45. .

IMPOSSIBLE PINA COLADA PIE

4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoon rum extract + 2 tablespoons milk or 1/4 cup rum
2 tbsp. butter, softened
1 (15 oz.) can cream of coconut
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice, drained
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup Bisquick® baking mix
1 cup flaked coconut

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease pie plate, 10 x 1-1/2 inch. Beat all ingredients except the second cup of coconut until well blended. Pour the mixture into plate. Sprinkle with remaining coconut. Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean about 40 to 45 minutes. Cool and serve. Serves 8.

MACARONI AND CHEESE PIE

2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (8 oz.)
1 cup uncooked macaroni
2 1/4 cup milk
4 eggs
1/2 cup Bisquick®
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper sauce
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (1 oz.)

Preheat oven to 400. Grease pie plate 10 x 1 1/2 inches. Mix 2 cups cheese and the macaroni. Sprinkle in plate. Beat remaining ingredients except 1/4 cup cheese until smooth, 15 seconds in blender on high or 1 minute with hand beater. Pour into plate. Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean about 40 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Serves 6 to 8 people. 

QUICK BISQUICK® COOKIES

1 cup Bisquick®  baking mix
1 3-ounce package vanilla pudding mix
1 large egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup sugar for rolling, optional

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir together Bisquick, vanilla pudding mix, egg and vegetable oil until well-combined. Drop tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet, rolling each spoonful in sugar, if desired. Flatten cookies slightly with a finger. Bake for about 10 minutes, until just browned at the edges. Let cool on sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 1 1/2 doz. cookies
 
You can use lemon pudding mix in place of vanilla pudding mix for lemon cookies or add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract to dough for a more intensely flavored cookie. Adding the zest of an orange gives the dough a light citrus flavor.

IMPOSSIBLE FRENCH APPLE PIE

3 cups sliced peeled apples (3 large)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup original Bisquick® baking mix

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk

1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened

2 eggs

TOPPING:

1/2 cup original Bisquick® baking mix

1/4 cup chopped nuts

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons firm butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 325. Grease 9-inch glass pie plate. In medium bowl, mix apples, cinnamon and nutmeg; place in pie plate. In medium bowl, stir remaining filling ingredients until well blended. Pour over apple mixture in pie plate. In small bowl, mix all streusel ingredients until crumbly; sprinkle over filling. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Store in refrigerator.

Submitted by Katee Silson Fort Wayne, IN
ZUCCHINI AND PARMESAN BAKE
 
1 onion, grated
4 cups grated  zucchini, grated
1/2 cup grated  Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoon  chopped parsley
1 cup Bisquick ® baking mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon  pepper

2 sliced tomatoes

Parmesan cheese for topping
 
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a a 9×13 inch pan. In a bowl combine the onion, zucchini, cheese, parsley and Bisquick®. Mix to combine. In another bowl whisk together the oil and egg. Combine the two mixtures and pour them into the prepared pan. Top with sliced tomatoes and then sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Serves 8 to 10.

TUNA PIE

1 3 oz. can tuna, drained
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
3 ounces cream cheese, cut into squares

1 to 2 teaspoons dill
1/4 cup green onion slices
2 cups milk
1 cup Bisquick® baking mix
4 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a pie pan. In a bowl combine the tuna, Cheddar, cream cheeses. Mix to combine. Add the dill green onions, milk, Bisquick, eggs and salt. Mix to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie pan. Bake 35-40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serves 6.

GREEK SPINACH QUICHE

1/2 cup green onions, sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, drained and thawed
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 cup milk
1/2 cup Bisquick® baking mix
3 eggs
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons feta cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9-inch pie plate. In a skillet melt the butter or margarine and saute the onion and garlic for 3 to 4 minutes or until they are soft. Stir in the spinach. Place the spinach mixture on the bottom of the prepared pan and then layer the cottage cheese on top. In a bowl combine the milk, eggs, Bisquick and lemon juice and pepper and beat until smooth (15 seconds in a blender or 1 minute with hand beater). Pour the mixture over the top spinach/cottage cheese mixture. Sprinkle with feta cheese, Parmesan cheese and nutmeg. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. Garnish with olives, if desired.

PIZZA PIE BAKE

1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Bisquick® baking mix
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 (8 ounce) can pizza sauce
1/2 (3 1/2 ounce) package sliced pepperoni
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 400. Grease a 9-inch pie pan. Sprinkle onion and Parmesan cheese into the prepared pie pan. In a bowl combine the Bisquick, milk and eggs until blended. Pour the mixture on top of the onions. Bake 20 minutes and then remover the pan from the oven. Spread the top of the pie with the pizza sauce; top with the pepperoni, green pepper and cheese. Bake another 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is light brown. Cool 5 minutes. Cut and serve. Serves 6 to 8 servings. Serves 6 to 8.

BISQUICK CHOCOLATE CINNAMON CRINKLES

1 cup Bisquick® baking mix
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup chopped nuts
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a cookie sheet and set it . Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until dough forms. Drop the dough by rounded teaspoonfuls, about 2 inches apart, onto prepared cookie sheet.  Bake until set, 10 to 14 minutes. Cool 2 minutes before you remove the cookies from cookie sheet. Makes 2 dozen.
 

PEPPER PIE

10 oz grated Pepper Jack Cheese

1/2 cup diced red peppers

1/2 cup diced green peppers

2 cups milk

1 cup Bisquick® baking mix

1/2 teaspoon pepper

4 eggs

1/4 to 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on the top

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9X13 pan with vegetable spray. Spread grated cheese in pan. Sprinkle the diced peppers on top. In a bowl combine the milk, Bisquick, pepper and eggs. Pour the milk mixture on top of the cheese and peppers and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on the top. Bake 30-40 minutes or until firm. Serves 6 to 8.

Cheeseballs for Everyone and Then Some

CHECK OUT MY JOURNAL GAZETTE ARTICLE ON CHEESE BALLS

http://journalgazette.com/article/20101226/FEAT0103/312269990/1001/FOOD

It’s Chocolate Time

 

Chocolate has been the high on the top of the list of aphrodisiacs since it was discovered over 3,000 years ago in Mexico.  Montezuma (of the don’t drink the water fame) would drink 50 goblets of a chocolate drink a day to give himself stamina to handle his harem of over 600 women.

So with my quantum leap of food logic I say what better way to say I love you than giving or serving chocolate (for breakfast lunch AND dinner).

Hold on a second before you go rushing out to buy Godiva, Ghirardelli, Hershey’s or even Nestles. You need to know a little bit about the chocolate you’re about to use or eat. Not all chocolate or cocoa is created equally. Different recipes call for different types of chocolate.
          Unsweetened or baking chocolate is simply cooled, hardened chocolate liquor. It is used primarily as an ingredient in recipes, or as a garnish. Semi-sweet chocolate is also used primarily in recipes. It has extra cocoa butter and sugar added. Sweet cooking chocolate is basically the same, with more sugar for taste. Milk chocolate is chocolate liquor with extra cocoa butter, sugar, milk and vanilla added. Milk chocolate is the most popular form for chocolate. Cocoa is chocolate liquor with most of the cocoa butter removed, creating a fine powder. Each form of chocolate can create a different taste so make sure you’ve got the right ingredient for your recipe.

White chocolate is somewhat of a misnomer. In the United States, in order to be legally called ‘chocolate’ a product must contain cocoa solids. Most of the stuff you get in the market place today does not contain these solids so technically it’s not really chocolate. Real white chocolate is primarily cocoa butter, sugar, milk and vanilla.

Chocolate in its many forms is always welcome as an expression of love. The making or serving the following recipes won’t guarantee the love will be returned but they could give you a shot a few extra brownie points.
CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CHIP SCONES (dairy or pareve)

1 3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter or margarine, cut into chunks
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup whipping dream or non dairy substitute
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 bars (1.5 ounces each) Dark Chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
Coarse sugar

In bowl of a food processor, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Pulse until well blended. Add butter chunks and process for a few seconds, just until butter is size of peas. Transfer mixture to large bowl and stir in sugar.

In small bowl, whisk together heavy cream, eggs and vanilla extract. Pour cream mixture over dry ingredients. Add chopped chocolate and stir to form dough. Knead dough lightly in bowl about 10 times. Transfer dough onto lightly floured work surface and shape into 8-inch round disc. Transfer round to plate, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375. Remove dough from refrigerator and cut round into 8 wedges. Transfer scones to ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle tops with coarse sugar. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until set. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely. Or serve slightly warm. Makes 8

Modified from epicurious.com

CHOCOLATE CREPES (dairy or pareve)

2/3 cup flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon unsweetened chocolate powder

1 egg

1 egg white

1/4 cup oil

1/4 cup milk or non dairy substitute

strawberries or raspberries or sorbet

Mix all dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Add all liquid ingredients and stir until batter is smooth and creamy.  Let batter rest in the refrigerator until the air is settled, about 2 hours. When ready to prepare crepes, heat crepe pan over medium heat and pour 1/3 to 1/4 cup of the batter into hot pan. Rotate pan until batter is cooked through and then turn to cook the other side. When done remove from pan and let cool on a rack. Store until ready to serve. May be made one to two days ahead of time. Fill with berries, sorbet. Serves 2.

CHOCOLATE WAFFLES (dairy or pareve)

This recipe is a fun way to portion out cake mix into individual servings much like cupcakes, but with a much quicker bake time.

1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup of boiling water

2 cups of flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup of softened butter or margarine

1 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

In a bowl whisk together the cocoa and boiling water. Allow to cool to room temperature before using. In another bowl mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add 2 large eggs to the butter mixture, stirring between each egg to combine thoroughly. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the cocoa water mixture to the butter mixture, stirring until just mixed. Batter may be stored in the refrigerator until needed. Makes 4 waffles.

CHOCOLATE FRENCH TOAST PUFF (dairy)

This recipe should be started the night before you want to serve it as it has to sit for at last 4 to 5 hours before you cook it.
12 slices white bread, crusts removed
2 cups milk, divided
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (dairy or pareve)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 eggs
2 cups half and half

Topping
3/4 cup butter, very soft or melted
1 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup flaked coconut
3 tablespoons dark corn syrup
Whipped cream or maple syrup, optional
Generously grease a 9×13 baking dish that is at least 2 inches deep. Arrange trimmed bread slices on bottom of pan in 2 layers. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup milk, chocolate chips and sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring, until chips are melted and sugar is dissolved. Do not let mixture come to a boil. Stir in vanilla. Let cool. In a large bowl, beat eggs, remaining milk and half and half. Mix chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Pour over bread slices. Cover pan tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. In the morning, remove from refrigerator and prepare topping.

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, walnuts, coconut and dark corn syrup. Spread or spoon the topping over the bread slices. Bake, uncovered, 1 hour or until center is set. If edges are browning to fast, cover with foil. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes or so until cool enough to spoon or slice. Top with whipped cream or syrup, if desired. Serves 8

CHOCOLATE ORANGE BREAKFAST DRINK (dairy)

1 orange – peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/2 inch slices

2 tablespoons chocolate syrup

1 cup cold milk

1 cup crushed ice

Combine orange pieces, chocolate syrup, milk, and ice in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and serve. Makes 1 serving

COLOSSAL CHOCOLATE CINNAMON ROLLS (dairy or pareve)

2 loaves (1 pound each) frozen white yeast bread dough, thawed, divided

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 cups semi sweet or milk chocolate chips

1 cup chopped pecans, divided

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

3 tablespoons milk or non dairy substitute
Grease two 9-inch-round baking pans. Roll out 1 bread loaf into 16 x 10-inch rectangle on lightly floured surface. Combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl; sprinkle 2 tablespoons over dough leaving 1/2-inch border around sides. Sprinkle with 1 cup morsels and 1/2 cup nuts. Roll up the dough starting at short end; seal edges. Cut into 6 slices; place cut side up in prepared baking pan. Repeat with remaining bread loaf, sugar mixture, morsels and nuts; place in second prepared baking pan. Cover; let rise in warm place until dough almost fills pans. Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool slightly in pans on wire racks. In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar and milk and mix into a stiff glaze. Drizzle over warm cinnamon rolls. Serves 10 to 12.

PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS (pareve)

3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup oil

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 can of pumpkin (1 pound)

1 tablespoon cinnamon

3 cup of flour

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon allspice

8-12 oz. chocolate chips (miniature or regular)

Preheat oven to 375. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the sugar, oil, eggs, Mix to combine. Mix dry ingredients separately; then add slowly to wet ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips. Grease muffin pan and fill cups 2/3 full. For full size muffins bake 20 to 25 minutes. For mini muffins bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Makes 12.

© Eileen Goltz chocolate09a

Blue Cheese is really Blue

            This blog entry is dedicated to my friend Arlene and her love of blue cheese. Me not so much. In fact, on the scale of the cheeses that I love to eat and cook with (cheddar and brie among the top 5) blue is not even on the chart. When ever we eat lunch together and the opportunity to share a large Cobb salad comes up the first rule of our friendship is that the blue cheese ALWAYS goes on the side so I don’t even have to look at it, let alone smell it.

Blue cheese (also spelled bleu cheese) is a cow’s milk and/or goat’s milk cheeses with a vein of blue or blue-green mold running through it, Yeah, I know, eating mold, not so appetizing what you have to explain it. Much like wines, blue cheeses are a product of the areas in which they are created. True blue cheeses, like Roquefort, Gorgonzola, and Stilton are a “protected designation of origin” cheese. That means they can bear the particular cheese name ONLY if they have been made in a particular region in a particular country. Not surprising to me is the notion that Blue cheese is believed to have been discovered by accident. You think someone just said, oh yes, let’s put mold in cheese and eat it, yes, that’s a good idea? Me either.

Today most blue cheeses (bleu cheese) are either injected with the mold, as with Roquefort, or the mold is mixed right in with the curds, as it is with Gorgonzola, to insure even distribution of the mold throughout the cheese. Most of these cheeses are still aged in the original caves where they were first created.

The pungent flavor of blue cheeses tends to be sharp and salty. The smell of this cheese is widely considered to be strong, even compared to other smelly cheeses. It’s great (so some say) eaten all by itself or crumbled in or melted over different types of salads, breads, soups and meats.

Since Arlene is one of the best cooks I know I’ll take her word for it that blue cheese is actually tasty. I asked several cooking colleagues to point me towards and send me recipes that were tasty, easy and showcased how versatile blue cheese can be. I have not personally tested any of the following recipes (still don’t like blue cheese despite their reassurances) but have their guarantee that they’re delicious.

BLUE CHEESE DRESSING

1 package (4oz) blue cheese, crumbled
1 package (3oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup half and half

Reserve 1/3 cup of the crumbled blue cheese. In small mixer bowl, blend remaining blue cheese and the cream cheese on low speed. Add mayonnaise and half and half; beat on medium speed until creamy. Stir in reserved blue cheese. Cover; chill at least 3 hrs to blend flavors. About 1 2/3 cups.

Submitted by Ariel Weingart Washington DC

BABY GREENS, PEAR, WALNUT, AND BLUE CHEESE SALAD

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 medium shallot, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup olive oil
1 5-ounce bag mixed baby greens
2 large ripe pears, halved, cored, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped

In a small bowl combine the lemon juice, mustard, shallot and thyme. Whisk to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
Toss greens in large bowl with enough dressing to coat. Divide greens among 6 plates. Top with pear slices, dividing equally. Sprinkle with cheese and walnuts. Drizzle lightly with remaining dressing and serve. Makes 6 first-course servings.

Bon Appitit September 2002

BLUE CHEESE WALNUT CRACKERS

Appetizer crackers with a hint of blue cheese.

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon cracked pepper, or to taste

8 ounces blue cheese, (1/2 cup)

1/4 cup butter, do not use margarine

1 cup chopped walnuts or 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and 1/2 cup chopped pecans 

2 egg yolks, slightly beaten

In a bowl combine flour and pepper. Cut in cheese and butter with a pastry blender or fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add walnuts and egg yolks. Stir until combined. Form mixture into a ball; knead with hands until it clings together. (10-20 minutes) Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a log approximately 9 inches long. Wrap logs in plastic – chill for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 425. Cut each log into 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick slices. Place slices slightly apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until the bottoms and edges are golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store tightly, covered in the refrigerator for up to one week. Serves 10 to 12.

BLUE CHEESE BURGERS

2 tablespoon plain yogurt

2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese

1 tablespoon mayonnaise or salad dressing

1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef

3 green onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

6 Kaiser rolls, split

For sauce, in a small bowl stir together yogurt, blue cheese, mayonnaise or salad dressing, and mustard. Cover and chill until serving time. Crumble ground beef into a large bowl. Add green onions, bell pepper, salt and pepper; mix well. Shape mixture into six 3/4-inch-thick patties. Grill patties on an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 14 to 18 minutes or until meat in no longer pink, turning once. To serve, toast cut sides of Kaiser rolls on the grill. Serve patties in toasted rolls Top patties with sauce. Makes 6 servings.

STUFFED MUSHROOMS WITH BLUE CHEESE

16 large mushrooms
4 oz blue cheese
1 teaspoon minced garlic
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
2 tablespoons. butter
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Remove the mushroom stems and chop finely. Mix well the chopped stems, blue cheese, garlic, spinach, and salt and pepper. Melt the butter and coat the entire mushroom, inside and out. Stuff the mushrooms with as much stuffing as can fit. Bake at for 10 to 15 minutes until bubbly and browned. Makes 16.

From www.recipeland.com archives

APPLE SALAD WITH BLUE CHEESE

2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
2 tablespoon chopped red onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, chopped
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into eighths
1 head curly endive, washed, torn into pieces
1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted
4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled

Place orange juice in small nonreactive pan over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 35-40 minutes. Can be made 2-3 days in advance, and refrigerated. Place orange reduction, Marketplace Balsamic Vinegar, onion, and jalapeno in a food processor fitted with metal blade, process until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil until emulsified. Add the honey, salt and pepper, process 2 seconds.

Heat 3/4 cup of the orange vinaigrette in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add the apples, and saute until golden brown, turning until just cooked through, 2-3 minutes. Remove to plate and cool to room temperature. Can be made a day in advance, covered in refrigerator, bring to room temperature before serving.

Place endive in mixing bowl, toss with 4 tablespoons of the remaining orange vinaigrette, season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Pour remaining vinaigrette into squeeze bottle, if desired. Divide endive among 4 salad plates. Arrange 4 apple slices on each plate, garnish with pecans and Maytag blue cheese.

Drizzle with remaining orange vinaigrette.

Modified from Gourmet 1998

BUFFALO CHICKEN TENDERS WITH BLUE CHEESE COLESLAW

For the coleslaw:

6 medium celery stalks, trimmed

4 medium carrots, peeled and trimmed

1/2 medium head green cabbage

3 medium shallots, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1 cup crumbled blue cheese

For the chicken tenders:

4 pounds chicken tenders or boneless, skinless

4 cups panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

3 cups all-purpose flour

6 large eggs, lightly beaten

Peanut oil for frying

1 1/2 to 2 cups hot sauce

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)

For the coleslaw: Slice each celery stalk in half, then slice celery very thinly on a bias at a slight angle; you should have about 3 cups. Fit a mandoline or a food processor with a medium-toothed (about 1/8-inch) shredding blade. Cut carrots in half and shred them; you should have about 4 1/2 cups. Cut a v-shaped notch into the cabbage half on either side of the core to remove it then cut the cabbage in half again lengthwise. Slice cabbage pieces very thinly crosswise. Combine celery, carrots, cabbage, and shallots in a very large glass mixing bowl and set aside. In another bowl, combine vinegar, mayonnaise, and blue cheese, and mix well. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add dressing to vegetables, and mix until evenly coated. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

For the chicken tenders: Heat the oven to 200. If using chicken breasts, cut them on the bias into 1-1/2-inch-wide strips. In a large bowl, combine breadcrumbs and chopped parsley. Place flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumb mixture in three separate shallow bowls (cake pans or pie plates work well). Coat 6 or 7 chicken tenders with flour. Tap off any excess, and then dip in the eggs, then the breadcrumbs, being sure to get an even coating. Place breaded chicken on a large plate or baking sheet. Repeat for all the strips. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat, and fill the bottom of the pan with a 1/2 inch of peanut oil. (As you fry, add oil as needed to maintain the 1/2-inch depth.) Heat oil to 350.

Add 6 chicken strips to the hot oil, and cook until nicely browned on 1 side, about 3 1/2 minutes. Use a slotted spatula or tongs to carefully turn the strips, and allow to finish cooking, 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove chicken from the pan and place on a baking sheet (preferably lined with a cooling rack); season immediately with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Repeat for all strips. Keep finished chicken tenders in the oven turned to low to keep warm and crisp. Do not stack on top of each other, or they will lose their crunch. Combine hot sauce and butter in a small saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is completely melted. When ready to serve, put chicken tenders in a large bowl and pour the sauce over them. Toss, and serve immediately with the coleslaw. Servings: 8 to 12 servings

Adapted from a Scott Youkilis recipe of San Francisco’s Maverick restaurant

BLUE CHEESE LOG

Three kinds of cheese and some curry powder make this cheese log a little livelier than most.
 
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Assorted crackers

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese. Fold in cheddar cheese and blue cheese. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. In a small skillet, sauté curry powder in butter for 1-2 minutes. Stir in pecans; cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in parsley. Cool slightly. Roll cheese mixture into two logs, about 5 inches long. Roll in pecan mixture. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Serve with crackers. Makes 2 cheese logs.

From the Taste of Home’s Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook

CRISPY POTATO SALAD WITH BLUE CHEESE

1 1/2 lb small new potatoes

1 small green pepper– seeded and

3 tablespoon tarragon vinegar

Chopped

2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 medium carrot– shredded

1 teaspoon salt

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

1/8 teaspoon dried marjoram

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 eggs, hard-boiled — sliced

1/3 cup oil

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup radishes — sliced

1/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup cucumber — chopped

1/4 cup Blue cheese — crumbled

1 small onion– chopped

Tomato wedges, for garnish

Cook potatoes (unpeeled) in boiling salted water to cover until tender (25 to 30 minutes). Drain and slice while warm. Place in a large bowl. While potatoes cook, in a small bowl mix vinegar, mustard, salt, marjoram, pepper, and garlic. Using a whisk or fork, gradually beat in oil until well combined. Pour oil mixture over warm potatoes, stirring gently to coat potato slices. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or as long as overnight, if you wish). Lightly mix in radishes, cucumber, onion, pepper, carrot, celery, parsley and hard-cooked eggs. Mix mayonnaise and sour cream until smooth; stir in cheese. Fold mayonnaise mixture into potatoes. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours. Garnish with tomato wedges.

From the California Culinary Academy

WALDORF SALAD WITH CHICKEN AND BLUE CHEESE

1 Lime; juiced
3 tablespoon Light mayonnaise
2 oz Blue cheese; crumbled
1/4 cup Light sour cream
4 Boneless; skinless chicken breast halves, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 Granny Smith apples; cored and chopped into bite-sized pieces
4 Ribs celery; sliced
6 oz Leaf lettuce; preferably red
2 oz Walnuts; chopped, (about 1/2 cup) and toasted, if desired

Squeeze juice from lime into medium bowl; add mayonnaise, cheese and sour
cream. Whisk until well blended (or blend in food processor or blender).
Add chicken, apple and celery, stirring until coated with dressing. Divide
lettuce among 4 plates, mound quarter of chicken mixture in middle of each
plate, and top with quarter of walnuts. Serve salad with 4 wheat rolls,
warmed if desired, on side. Makes 4 servings.

Recipe from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel archives

TOMATOES WITH BLUE CHEESE DRESSING

1 1/4 cups fresh tomatoes

8 ounces package cream cheese

2 tablespoons blue cheese

Several lettuce leaves

1 onion, grated

Salt and pepper to taste

A handful parsley
Arrange a bed of lettuce and place sliced tomatoes on top. Mix cream cheese and crumbled blue cheese; add grated onion, salt, pepper. Use as a dressing for the tomatoes and garnish with parsley. Makes 4 servings.

Unknown author

RED ONION TART WITH BLUE CHEESE

Onion filling:
2 lbs. red onions or other onions, peeled, sliced
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
sprigs of chervil and a little reduced balsamic vinegar, for garnish

Pastry:
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup oatmeal (not instant or 5 min)
2 1/2 oz. softened butter
3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon cold water

Blue cheese topping:
4 oz. soft blue cheese
2 tablespoon plain yogurt

To prepare onion filling:
Place onions and vinegar in heavy saucepan. Cover with wax paper and lid. Cook gently for 30 minutes. Remove lid and paper, add honey and cook until liquid has almost evaporated. Season to taste. Keep warm.

To make pastry:
Blend flours, oatmeal, butter, cheese and salt in blender until consistency of fine crumbs. Add cold water and form a ball. Let pastry rest for 30 minutes, and then roll out. Line six 4 inch round fluted tins with pastry, prick with a fork, and then allow pastry to rest for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 325. Bake tarts until pale golden brown.

To prepare cheese:
Mash blue cheese with a fork and blend with the yogurt.

Remove warm baked pastry tarts from tins; place on large warm plates. Fill each with enough red-onion mixture to cover base, and place 1 spoonful of blue cheese mixture on top. Garnish with a drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar and chervil sprigs.  Makes 6 appetizer servings.

From http://www.about.com

BLT PASTA SALAD WITH BLUE CHEESE

8 oz. bow-tie pasta, cooked, rinsed and drained

1 pint cherry tomatoes, rinsed and halved

6 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced

1 cup packed arugula leaves, rinsed, thick stems removed

1/3 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoon red wine vinegar

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

8 thick cut slices of smoked bacon, cooked until crisp

4-6 oz blue cheese

In a bowl, combine the cooked pasta, tomatoes, scallions, and arugula. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, mustard, lemon juice and vinegar together until well combined. Season the dressing to taste with salt and pepper, and toss the pasta and vegetables. Crumble the crisp bacon and the blue cheese over the salad and toss to combine thoroughly. Serves 4 to 6.

Submitted by Gary and Cheryl Quinn Arlington Hts.IL