Cardamom Granola

December 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

I hope everyone isn’t too depressed now that Christmas is over. The harsh reality of the Christmas station promptly playing normal music brought me down but I’m getting over it. Moving on.

This upcoming year I have decided to only post recipes I really love. Things I make multiple times, basics, really tasty ones and things I adapt or make that are great. So there may be a few less recipes that this year but I hope they’ll be quality.

This recipe has been a staple in my kitchen for a few weeks. I gave it as Christmas gifts and have made it four times now. In my mind it’s great as an afternoon snack with greek yogurt or with a cup of coffee on a cold winner morning.

Basic granola techniques makes it happen. You mix old fashioned oats, some nuts and spices. I really love unsalted pumpkin seeds and roasted sunflower seeds. Also, my favorite sweetener to use is brown sugar and agave but I think you could do honey or maple syrup too.

Make sure to toast it enough too. This granola is best with a little crisp on it. When you take it out from the oven if you let it cool on the pan it will form a few clumps if you like that too. Make this and enjoy.

Cardamom Granola
adapted from butter me up, Brooklyn

Ingredients

  • 3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups nuts (3/4 cup pumpkin seeds, 3/4 cup sunflower seeds)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup liquid sweetener (agave nectar)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup dried fruit (chopped apricots)

To Make

1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
2) In large bowl, combine oats, nuts, spices and brown sugar. In another bowl whisk together agave and canola oil. Pour over oat mixture and stir well, making sure it’s well mixed. Spread mixture on lined baking sheet.
3) Bake 45-50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes so it browns evenly. Remove from oven and let mixture cool. When cooled, add in dried fruit. Store in airtight container. Enjoy!

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Almond Rusks

December 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

The spice I most associate with Christmas is cardamom. The rich scent immediately brings me back to holiday treats. Cardamom is included in my dad’s famous kuchen (coffee bread with loads of cardamom and citrus zest) and these amazing rusks. My mom always made these, often gave them away, and let me eat the ends she cut off. What a treat.

In addition to cardamom we add almond extract and sliced almonds to give with a delicious nutty flavor. And they’re twice baked, making them dry and hard. I realize that sounds gross but trust me, they’re still amazing. It’s even better if you enjoy them with a cup of coffee.

Depending on how you cut these the recipe makes roughly 60 rusks so feel free to share with co-workers, neighbors or your mailman.

Almond Rusks

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tbsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 cup slivered almonds

To Make

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper
2) Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and almond extract. In another bowl whisk together flour, cardamom, baking soda, salt and flour. Using a mixer (or stand mixer), add flour and sour cream to butter mixture, alternating. Before you add the last of the flour, stir in almonds. Dough will be sticky.
3) Separate dough into four equal parts. Directly on parchment paper, shape dough into logs, roughly 12 inches long and 3-4 inches wide. Bake 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Cool on wire racks. Using serrated knife, slice into pieces roughly 3/4 inch wide.
4) Turn down oven to 225. Place rusks back on baking sheets and bake until crisp about 45 minutes. Cool and enjoy, dipped in coffee.

Coffee Shortbread from Maximum Flavor

December 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

It’s Christmas treat week here. A lot of baking has happened and it’s been intense, delicious and awesome. My stomach celebrates the sugar and butter and then I have a serious sugar crash by 3 pm and it’s all downhill from there. Oh well.

I want to introduce you guys to this awesome cookbook. It’s Maximum Flavor by Aki Kamozawa and H. Aleander Talbot. They’ve created a book celebrating science in the kitchen. Check out this review from The Kitchn to find out more about it. I’ve made a few of the recipes now and they’ve all been winners.

This week I slightly adapted their coffee shortbread recipe. It’s a crispy, shortbread cookie with a little something extra: espresso powder and white chocolate. Best part about this? You get to eat the scraps after you cut the shapes out!

We start out combining almonds and instant espresso granules into a powder, combine that with flour and set aside. Then we mix butter, brown sugar and sea salt using a mixer. Add in chopped white chocolate.

Dump in the dry ingredients, still until combined and you get this beautiful dough. It has to chill in the fridge for about an hour. Take it out, roll it out, bake it and cut shapes out and you are in business. I find it goes really well with a cup of coffee or a cold glass of milk. Enjoy!

Just as a heads up I found it easiest to do cookie shapes that didn’t have points (like a snowflake). Since you’re cutting them while dough is still warm the points broke off when transferring on some of them. A circle cookie cutter would work very well.Coffee Shortbread
from Maximum Flavor

Ingredients

  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3.5 oz white chocolate, chopped

1) In a food processor combine almond and espresso powder, pulsing until a find powder forms. Pour into separate bowl, whisk in flour and set aside.
2) Using paddle attachment on a stand mixer, stir butter, brown sugar and salt until light and fluffy 3-4 minutes. Add in white chocolate all at once, mixing just until combined. Pour in the flour mixture all at once and mix just until combined, making sure to scrape down the sides once. Put dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate about one hour.
3) Preheat oven to 325. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Take dough out of the fridge, using a large rolling pin roll dough into rough rectangle shape. It’s easiest if you keep dough on plastic wrap while rolling out. Dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer to baking sheet by lifting up plastic wrap from counter and flipping carefully onto baking sheet.
4) Bake 20-25 minutes until browned on edges slightly and cooked through. Cut out cookie shapes immediately and transfer to cooling rack. Enjoy!

Honey Rosemary Ice Cream with Cranberry Swirl

December 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

Ice cream in December seems a bit crazy to me. But I may be a bit nuts. A cold bowl of dessert when it’s freezing outside? Sure! For Thanksgiving a friend and I co-hosted and we both ended up making cranberry sauce. Somehow none of mine got eaten so I had to figure out some way to use it. Thus, this ice cream was born.

I slightly adapted this rosemary ice cream recipe from Epicurious added a cranberry swirl at the end. The tang really balanced out the creamy, herbed taste. To make, we’re going to heat the honey, cream and rosemary then leave for 30-60 minutes. Remove the rosemary then finish off making the custard.

Let that cool overnight, make the ice cream with your mixer, then add in the cranberry swirl before freezing for a few hours. Enjoy, maybe with a hot beverage, huddled under two warm blankets.Honey Rosemary Ice Cream with Cranberry Swirl

Ice Cream Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • large pinch sea salt

To Make Ice Cream:

1) Heat cream, milk, honey and rosemary over low heat until warm. Let the rosemary steep for 30-60 minutes depending on how strong you want the flavor. Remove the rosemary and reheat mixture just to a simmer.
2) In separate bowl, mix egg yolks and sea salt. Whisk continuously while you slowly pour in in 1/2 cup of milk mixture; this tempers the eggs to prevent scrambled eggs when you add them back to the bowl. Add another 1-2 cups, slowly, continuing to whisk.
3) Pour egg mixture back into saucepan. Heat over medium-low until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (165-170 degrees). Do not let mixture boil. Remove from heat, let cool to room temperature, then store in refrigerator overnight.
4) The next day, mix according to your ice cream mixer instructions. Pour in container. Spoon cranberry sauce over the top and swirl in with a knife. Freeze for about 4 hours or overnight, until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Cranberry sauce:

  • 6 oz fresh cranberries (typically half a bag)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

To make

1) Heat water and sugar in medium saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add cranberries and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes, or until cranberries begin to pop.
2) Remove from heat, mixture will thicken while it cools. Store into the refrigerator until ready to use.

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