Thursday, January 24, 2008

Stuffed Peppers

My mom actually requests that I make this. If that isn't a compliment, I don't know what is!

Adapted from the Joy of Cooking
Serves 4
Bake 10-15 minutes @ 350F

2 peppers, green or red (I prefer red.)
1/3 cp bulgur wheat
2/3 cp boiling water
1/4 - 1/2 lb hamburger
1 T oil
3 T minced onion
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika, at least
2 T Worcestershire sauce, at least

Cut peppers in half long-ways (so that they are like boats) and clean them out. Put them in boiling water (parboil them) and let them cook for about 8-10 minutes. Remove with tongs and put them in cold water to stop them cooking any further.

While the peppers are cooking, put the bulgur into the boiling water and cover. Cook on low for about 10 minutes, or till done (not crunchy). Remove from heat to cool a bit.

Brown the hamburger with the onion. Set aside to cool a bit.

Mix all the filling ingredients together except for the eggs. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add egg and mix. Place pepper cases in greased baking pan and fill them. If there is any filling left over, just put it in the pan around the peppers.

Bake. Let cool a few minutes before serving.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Pie Crust

(Jim Fobel's Old-Fashioned Baking Book)

Makes 2 9" crusts

2 1/4 cp (270g) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cp (5 oz/144g) shortening (I like to use butter-flavored Crisco if I'm not going to have time to refrigerate the dough.) or 6 T each shortening (72g) and butter (3 oz) (refrigerate dough for at least 1/2 hour)
5-6 T ice water

I always cut the fat into the flour in two parts--the first part until it resembles cornmeal and the second part till there are pea-sized bits of shortening/butter left. In adding the water, it helped me greatly when I finally realized that pie crust should be on the dry side and biscuits on the wet side. Sprinkle 3 T of ice water over the flour mixture and then mix using a lifting motion with a fork. Sprinkle 2 more T of water and continue lifting motion till the liquid seems well-distributed. Set the fork aside and use your hand to pull the mixture together into a ball, squeezing very gently. Sprinkle a bit of water, using as little as possible, onto any dry flour mixture under the ball of dough or inside it if it is coming together yet falling apart at the same time. The object is to get the dough into a ball using as little water and squeezing as possible. Divide the mixture into two equal portions and place each on a piece of plastic wrap. (I keep mine in the fridge and use them over and over in my effort to be environmentally-friendly.) Flatten each ball into a disc about 5" in diameter, pull up the plastic wrap around it and place in the fridge.

Whole Wheat Biscuits

(1975 Joy of Cooking)

Whisk together:
7/8 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt

Add and mix well:
1 cup whole-wheat flour

Cut into flour:
1/3 cup butter and shortening

Add 1 cup sour cream (esp. delicious) or buttermilk

Roll or pat out and cut.
Bake at 400F, 12-15 min

Sunset Biscuits

Sunset Magazine Cookbook

Whisk together:
2 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Cut in:
1/3 cup shortening and butter

Add and mix lightly:
3/4 cup buttermilk

Lightly grease 8" pan.
Pat dough in pan and cut in pan.
Bake at 400F, 15-20 min.

Moosewood Fudge Brownies

(From Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook)

5 oz unsweetened chocolate (or 15T cocoa and 5 T oil)
1/2 lb (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 3/4 cp packed light brown sugar
5 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cp flour
1 cp chopped walnuts

Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Preheat oven to 350F.

Gently melt the chocolate and then let it cool about 10 minutes -or- mix cocoa and oil.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Stir in the vanilla.

Stir constantly as you drizzle in the melted chocolate. After all the chocolate is in, beat well for a minute or two.

Stir in flour and walnuts. Mix just enough to blend thoroughly.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cut into squares while still hot, then allow to cool for at least 10 minutes, if you can wait that long. :-)

Less-Sweet Pecan Pie

Simply Recipes

2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 T molasses
2 T melted butter
2 T flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups pecans, coarsely chopped

1 9-inch pie shell, unbaked, chilled for an hour if freshly made, defrosted for 10 minutes if frozen

Preheat oven to 375F. Spread pecans along the bottom of the pie shell. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over pecans. The pecans will rise to the surface of the pie.

Bake for 45-50 minutes until the filling has set. About 20 minutes into the cooking you may want to use a pie crust protector, or tent the edges of the pie crust with aluminum foil to prevent the pie crust edges from burning.

Remove pie from oven and let cool completely.

Cinnamon Rolls

I used to use a recipe called T J Cinnamon's Cinnamon Rolls, but after much experimentation, I've finally decided to change my favorite recipe. I'll put the old one below, too, so you can compare. The new one is based on two recipes: the Kuchen Dough with Dry Yeast recipe (pg. 394, minus the lemon zest) from The Settlement Cookbook from 1947 and the filling recipe from the KitchenAid manual. I don't usually put any icing on my cinnamon rolls because "enough is enough and too much is superfluity," to quote my Grandma Beisler. However, I discovered that if you put a bit of Lorann's Buttery Sweet Dough Flavor to powdered sugar/cream icing, it becomes absolutely to die for! (That was really the only way I discovered to use this product that I felt I could recommend. I didn't feel that it gave anything else any particularly different flavor.)

Makes 18 rolls.
2 packages active dry yeast
2 cp scalded milk, cooled to 110F
1/2 cp butter-flavored Crisco (or a bit more is ok)
1 tsp salt
3/4 cp sugar
2 eggs
8 cp flour, about

1 cp granulated sugar
1 cp light brown sugar
1/4 flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 T cinnamon

Dissolve yeast in cooled milk, ca. 5-8 minutes. Cream Crisco, sugar, and salt. Stir in eggs, 2 cups flour and milk/yeast mixture. Keep working in flour until dough can be kneaded. It will be a softer dough than for bread--try to keep it as sticky as bearable. Knead until smooth and elastic. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next morning mix the filling together. Take the dough out of the fridge, punch it down and cut it in half. Roll each half out to a rectangle 1/4" thick, folding edges over a bit to make sure they stay straight. Sprinkle with filling, roll up (away from you) and cut in 1 1/4" pieces. Place cut side up in a greased 9 x 11" pan or on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Let rise 1 hour or till doubled. Bake at 325F for ca. 30 minutes, or till nicely browned. Remove from oven. Let rest in pan on rack for ca. 6 minutes. Turn out onto rack and then flip onto cutting board so rolls are right-side up. Separate with knife while still warm.

T.J. Cinnamon's Cinnamon Rolls

Posted by liz at - May 15, 2001

Source: Insiders Recipes For Brand Name Foods

2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk, scalded and cooled to 110 degrees F
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, room temperature

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons warm milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For dough, dissolve yeast in water with 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Let stand 5 minutes.

In mixing bowl, combine 3 cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar and salt. At low speed, gradually beat in milk, oil, eggs, and yeast mixture; beat until well blended. Beat in additional flour until dough pulls away from sides of bowl.

On floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise
in warm, draft-free area until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

For filling, beat all ingredients together until smooth. Set aside. Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans. On lightly floured surface, roll dough into an 18 x 10-inch rectangle. Spread with filling. Roll tightly from long side. Cut into 14 (1 1/4-inch) slices. Place 1 roll cut side up in center of each pan. Arrange remaining rolls in a circle of 6 around center roll. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, 30 to 40 minutes.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool in pans 10 minutes.

Invert onto wire racks, then invert again to cool. For icing, whisk all ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over cooled rolls.

Bridget's Mock Pumpkin Pie

3 cp (735 g)  sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed (I boil them in a bit of water.)
2 cp (460 g) butternut squash, cooked and mashed  *
4 eggs
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cp half & half
1 heaping T flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
2 unbaked 9-inch pie crusts

1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
2. In a very large bowl whisk the wet ingredients together.
3. In a small bowl whisk the dry ingredients together.
4. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
5. Pour the mixture into the pie crusts, dividing evenly.
6. Bake 15 minutes at 425F. Reduce heat to 350F. Bake until a knife inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

*Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Cover a half-sheet pan (or cookie sheet with edges) with foil and lightly oil it. Place squash cut side down. Bake at 350F for 30-45 min or till soft when pierced with a fork. When cool to the touch, peel and puree in a food processor or mash by hand.


(Originally from Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook but now sort of my own concoction)

3 cloves garlic (center taken out), sliced
1/2 cp packed curly-leaf parsley
3 scallions, cut in 1-inch pieces
3 cp cooked chick peas (2 15.5-oz cans, rinsed and drained or 1/2 lb dried)
8 T tahini
6 T lemon juice
1 tsp salt (depending how much was in chick peas)
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp cumin
1 T soy sauce
1/2 - 3/4 cp yogurt
1/2 - 3/4 cp sour cream
1/4 tsp sembal oelik (chili-garlic paste)
1/4 - 1/2 cp olive oil

Place garlic, parsley and scallions in a food processor and mince.

Add next ingredients down to and including the soy sauce and puree till smooth.

Add rest of ingredients starting with smaller amounts and puree, increasing amounts of whatever you think your humus needs more of.

Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate.

Princess Tea Cakes

Eating Well Magazine article:
Working on this makeover of a classic Russian Tea Cake made Bridget Klein feel closer to her late sister, Gina, because they are “a great match for her personality: delicate and refined, pretty to look at, and yet a definite character that inspires adoration and loyalty.” Gina's middle name, Sarah, means “princess,” in Hebrew; hence the name of these confections. Klein's mom “swore these cookies couldn't be made without butter,” she says, “until she tasted them.” Klein continues: “Gina was a traditionalist, too, but I think I might have been able to fool her with these.”

Makes 3 dozen cookies
ACTIVE TIME: 40 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours
3/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white whole-wheat flour
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, divided
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup very finely chopped nuts, such as pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Pour oil into a medium bowl. Whisk all-purpose flour, white whole-wheat flour, 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, cornstarch and salt in another bowl.
  3. Mix half the dry ingredients into the oil by spoonfuls. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add vanilla. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients by spoonfuls until thoroughly combined. (The mixture will resemble creamed butter and brown sugar.) Stir in nuts.
  4. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls; place about 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
  5. Bake the cookies until just set, being careful not to let the bottoms get too brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on the pan for 2 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.
  6. When the cookies are still warm, but no longer hot, roll them in the remaining 1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar and place them back on the rack to continue cooling. (Reserve the sugar.) When the cookies are completely cool, roll them in the sugar again.
NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per cookie: 105 calories; 7 g fat (0 g sat, 4 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 11 g carbohydrate; 1 g protein; 1 g fiber; 8 mg sodium; 19 mg potassium.
1 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1 other carbohydrate, 1 fat
MAKE AHEAD TIP: Prepare the dough (Steps 2 and 3), cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Roll in the second coating of confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

Grandma Beisler’s Molasses Taffy

1 (1 lb) box brown sugar
1 bottle dark Karo (2 cups)
2 T butter

Stir continuously.
Boil to hard crack (stringy): 300ºF
Pour onto marble. Pick up (when cool enough) and pull till pale brown.

Grandma Beisler’s Sugar Cookies

(also called Aunt Dot’s Sugar Cookies b/c she made them for Gma)
1 cp Crisco
2 cp sugar
4 eggs (room temp)
1 T vanilla
5 - 5 1/4 cp flour
2 heaping tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cp milk

Cream sugar and Crisco.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add vanilla.
Sift flour, bp and salt together. Add alternately with milk.
Chill dough overnight.
Roll on well-floured board.
Bake at 350ºF for 10 - 15 minutes.



2 cp sugar
2 cp heavy cream
2 T butter
1 1/4 cp white corn syrup
Pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 pound marshmallows, cut in half with scissors (or see recipe below)

Combine sugar, 1 cup of the cream, butter, syrup and salt in a heavy 3- or 4-quart sauce pan. Put remaining 1 cup cream in a small pan and heat it separately. Bring sugar-cream-butter mixture to boil, stirring constantly. Wipe down sides of pan with wet cloth or cover with lid briefly to dissolve remaining sugar crystals.

When it begins a rolling boil, dribble the hot cup of cream into the boiling mixture, stirring. Don’t let the boiling stop. Cook over medium heat, stirring as necessary to prevent scorching, until thermometer registers 238 degrees. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Allow cooked caramel to stand 10 minutes before starting to dip. Drop marshmallow half into caramel, then, with a fork, turn it over to coat completely and lift out, pulling the fork over edge of pan so surplus runs back into pan.

Place each piece on buttered or oiled surface, such as cookie sheets or clean counter top. When set, wrap each piece separately in square of waxed paper.


2 T gelatin (2 envelopes)
1/2 cp cold water
2 cp sugar
3/4 cp light corn syrup
1/2 cp hot water
2 tsp vanilla
Confectioners’ sugar

Put gelatin in an electric mixer bowl. Pour in water and mix well. Let stand. Put sugar, corn syrup and hot water into a saucepan and blend well with a wooden spoon. Place over low heat until sugar is all dissolved and then increase the heat. When mixture boils, put in candy thermometer and continue cooking without stirring. When thermometer registers 244º to 246º, remove from heat and pour into gelatin, beating all the while. Continue beating until candy thickens and is slightly warm. At least 15 minutes is required. Blend in vanilla and our into two pans (7 x 7) that have been lightly buttered and dusted with cornstarch. Set in a cool place or refrigerator until firm. Remove from pan and cut into pieces, dusting each piece well with confectioners’ sugar. Scissors can be used if dipped in confectioners’ sugar between cuttings.



1 lb powdered sugar (3 1/2 - 4 cp)
4 eggs (room temp)
1 T + 1 tsp butter
1 T corn syrup
1 lb flour (3 1/2 cp)
1 1/2 tsp anise oil

Beat eggs till light yellow and thick. Add sugar, beating well after each addition. Add remaining ingredients.

Roll out with a normal rolling pin to about 3/8" thick. Dust dough with cornstarch to keep it from sticking to the rolling pin. Roll out with springerle rolling pin to about 1/4" thick. Cut apart and place towels to dry out overnight. Transfer cookies to greased cookie sheets.

Bake at 300º - 325º for about 15 minutes. They should be white, not yellow or brown.

These are soft. If you would like them hard, leave out the butter and corn syrup.

Bourbon Balls (Aunt Angie's)

1 (1 lb) box (3 1/2 - 4 cp) powdered sugar
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cp)
1/3 cp bourbon (Old Forester)

Mix sugar and butter with fork.
Add bourbon and mix.
Roll into balls and place on waxed paper.
Chill in fridge. Reroll if necessary--may have been too soft and blobbed out.
Dip in dark chocolate (also delicious with some Creme de Menthe oil added). Note that confectionery coating should not be heated over 115F.
Place on wax paper to harden. They do not need to be refrigerated again.

Chocolate Syrup

From Chocolate on the Brain by Kevin and Nancy Mills

Makes: 1 cup
Prep time: 5 min
Cooking time: 5 min

1/2 cp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cp brown sugar
1/2 cp water
1/3 cp light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Put the cocoa, brown sugar, water and corn syrup in a small pot and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring continually. Cook for 1 minute. Remove form the heat and let cool. Stir in the vanilla. Serve immediately or when needed.

Marble Cake Supreme (Grandma Beisler’s recipe)

2 3/4 cp (330g) sifted cake flour
1 3/4 cp (350g) sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cp vegetable shortening
3/4 cp (180g) milk
2 tsp vanilla
3 unbeaten eggs
1 unbeaten egg yolk
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/16 tsp cloves
3/8 tsp allspice
3/8 tsp nutmeg
3/4 T cocoa

Preheat oven to 370 F. Grease and flour a 10-in tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add shortening, milk, vanilla, and 1 egg. Beat 2 min on low. Scrape bowl. Add remaining 2 unbeaten eggs and the egg yolk. Beat 2 more min.

Put 1/3 batter in a smaller mixing bowl. Add cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and cocoa.

Spoon both batters alternately by tablespoonfuls into prepared tube pan. Run spatula through batter several times to marble.

Bake for 60 – 70 min or until cake tests done. Cool in pan and then remove. When completely cool, spread with Lemon Cream Icing.

Lemon Cream Icing:
2 T shortening
1 T butter or margarine
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp grated lemon rind
1 T lemon juice
3 cp (340g) confectioner’s sugar
5 T scalded light cream
Yellow food coloring, optional

Blend together shortening, butter, salt, juice, and rind. Beat in 1/2 cp confectioner’s sugar, and then add alternately remaining sugar and cream, beating well after each addition.

Grandma's Devil's Food Cake

My grandmother was famous for this light chocolate cake, its cocoa-rich layers spread with sinfully rich, fudgy frosting. My friends maintain that it gets better as it keeps in the refrigerator, but I'll never know for sure because mine always disappears too quickly to find out. --Jim Fobel's Old-Fashioned Baking Book.

Makes one 8-inch 2 layer cake (cut recipe in half for one 6-inch 2 layer cake)

1/2 cp unsweetened cocoa
1 cp boiling water
1 1/2 cp sifted cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
8 T unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cp granulated sugar
2 lg eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.

Place the cocoa in a bowl and pour in the boiling water; stir to dissolve the cocoa and cool slightly.

In a medium-sized bowl stir together the cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat the butter until fluffy, about 1 minute, then gradually beat in the sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time; add the vanilla and beat until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the dry ingredients alternately with the cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Divide batter between the prepared pans, smoothing the tops. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until the tops spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it; do not overbake or the cakes will become too dry. Cool in the pans on a rack for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to loosen from the pans and turn layers out on the rack, placing one upside down and the other right side up.

Brush any loose crumbs from the layers and place one upside down on a serving plate. Spread with about 1 1/4 cp of the frosting. Center the remaining layer, right side up, over the top. Frost the top and sides with the remaining frosting, making decorative swirls around the sides and over the top. Chill to set the frosting but return to room temperature before serving.

Grandma's Fudge Frosting

This thick, fudgy, not too sweet frosting begins with a granulated sugar and heavy cream mixture that is simmered for ten minutes before the chocolate is added, and then cooled to an ideal spreading consistency.

Makes 3 cups.

1 1/2 cp granulated sugar
1 cp heavy cream
6 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
8 T unsalted butter, sliced
2 tsp vanilla extract

In a heavy medium-sized saucepan combine the sugar and heavy cream. Place over moderate heat and, stirring constantly, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes without stirring. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate, butter, and vanilla, continuing to stir until chocolate and butter melt. Turn into a bowl and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate, stirring frequently, until thickened and of a good spreading consistency. Use to frost a cake before the frosting sets completely.

**I beat the frosting when it gets thick so that it is light and fluffy.