I'm taking my kitchen paperless (at least as far as non-bound recipes go) so welcome to my cookbook in a blog!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Buttermilk Caramel Syrup



Buttermilk  Caramel Syrup
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter*
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
 
In a large saucepan, bring buttermilk, sugars, and butter to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and whisk  in soda and vanilla. It will bubble up a lot. Hopefully you used a large saucepan like I told you. As it cools, the bubbles will go away.
 
*Notes from Kara:
 
-The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup  butter. I cut back to 1/4 cup to save my waistline and my husband’s cholesterol, but you can feel free to use all of it if you so desire. I won’t stand in your way.

-This stuff is so delicious, we haven’t gone back to maple syrup. We also use it on buttermilk pancakes, waffles, and German pancakes. It can also be served over ice cream.

-Several readers have asked how long this will keep in the refrigerator. I’m not exactly sure because with 4 hungry boys we finish things off pretty fast. But I know we’ve kept some for at least 2-3 months and it was just fine.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbread

Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbread
from Smitten Kitchen


1 tbsp instant espresso powder
1 tbsp boiling water
8 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped OR 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

Dissolve espresso powder in boiling water. Set aside to cool to tepid.

Beat butter and confectioners’ sugar together on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth. Beat in vanilla and espresso, then reduce mixer speed to low and add flour, mixing only until it disappears into the dough. Don’t work the dough much once the flour is incorporated. Fold in the chopped chocolate or chips with a sturdy rubber spatula.

Using the spatula, transfer dough to a gallon-size zip-loc bag. Put bag on a flat surface, leaving the top open, and roll the dough into a 9 x 10 1/2 inch rectangle that’s 1/4 inch thick. As you roll, turn the bag occasionally and lift the plastic from the dough so it doesn’t cause creases. When you get the right size and thickness, seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible, and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, or for up to 2 days.

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Put the plastic bag on a cutting board and slit it open. Turn the firm dough out onto the board (discard the bag) and, using a ruler as a guide and a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1 1/2-inch squares. Transfer the squares to the baking sheets and carefully prick each one twice with a fork, gently pushing the tines through the cookies until they hit the sheet (rumour has it you can skip this and they turn out just fine).

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. The shortbreads will be very pale–they shouldn’t take on much color. Transfer the cookies to a rack. If you’d like, dust the cookies with confectioners’ sugar while they are still hot. Cool the cookies to room temperature before serving. Makes about 3 dozen.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Make Your Own Season-All

2 tablespoons black pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon granules
1 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon curry
1/3 cup salt

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

Find the original post here!


* Extra suggestion - don't run out the day before and wait until the next morning to make this.  It makes for a less than pleasant morning because you want to be drinking your pumpkin spice latte, not MAKING the syrup!  :)

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 cinnamon sticks or 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons pumpkin purée

Directions:

Combine water and sugar in a medium pot over medium heat. Cook until sugar has completely dissolved. Whisk in remaining ingredients. Cook for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Do not allow mixture to come to a boil. Strain syrup through cheesecloth into a large glass measuring cup. Transfer to bottle of your choice and store in the refrigerator.

To make a pumpkin spice latte, simply add about 1 1/2 tablespoons of syrup for each shot of espresso. For an iced latte, stir together syrup and espresso before adding desired amount of cold milk. For a hot latte, add frothed milk and stir to combine.  Top with whipped cream, if desired.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Heath Bar Crunch Cookie Bars

http://www.sweettoothsweetlife.com/2010/09/14/heath-bar-crunch-cookie-bars/
Heath Bar Crunch Cookie Bars
(Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe)

Ingredients:
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups Toffee Heath Bar Bits
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
    2.  
    3. Spray a 10x15x1 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray (a 9×13 pan will work as well). Spread cookie dough evenly in the pan.
    4.  
    5. Bake cookies 10-12 minutes. They will still be soft in the center. Remove from oven, and let pan cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into desired amount of bars. ENJOY!