Butter

English Muffins with Strawberry Butter !!!

 

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It took a few tries before I could perfect these bad boys . The recipe which I was trying to follow was not up to mark so had to tweak it a little .

So here I am presenting you English muffins along with home made strawberry butter .

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English Muffins

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45
degrees C)
1/2 cup melted shortening
6 cups all-purpose flour
1+1/2 teaspoon salt
DIRECTION
1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Mix in the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Let cool until lukewarm. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, combine the milk, yeast mixture, shortening and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Add salt and rest of flour, or enough to make a soft dough ( mine was done in 4 1/2 cups ) Knead. Place in greased bowl, cover, and let rise.
3. Punch down. Roll out to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut rounds with biscuit cutter, drinking glass, or empty tuna can. Sprinkle waxed paper with cornmeal and set the rounds on this to rise. Dust tops of muffins with cornmeal also. Cover and let rise 1/2 hour.
4. Heat greased griddle. Cook muffins on griddle about 10 minutes on each side on medium heat. Keep baked muffins in a warm oven until all have been cooked. Allow to cool and place in plastic bags for storage. To use, split and toast. Great with butter and jams .

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Now lets go onto making Strawberry butter .
I used
2 sticks of room temperature unsalted butter
1/2 cup or to taste confectioner’s sugar
1 cup washed , hulled and coarsely chopped fresh strawberries .

IN a medium bowl or stand mixer mix butter and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy , Fold in the crushed strawberries and combine.
Transfer the butter in a container and refrigerate , Alternatively yo can even roll it into a log .

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Taking these English Muffins to Sarika’s Bread collective ..

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“Cooking is like love: It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” — Harriet van Horne

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Peanut butter cookie blossoms …Tis The Season…

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These cookie blossoms are packed with peanut butter flavor, a crowd pleaser and quick and easy to prepare …
I have used less amount if sugar as we are not a big fan of overly sweet cookies . You can add sugar as per taste.
The recipe says you can scoop and bake the cookies right away without chilling but I Prefer to refrigerate for sometime as it holds the shape better….
Cookies do not spread, so you can bake them pretty close together. If you are not using a cookie scoop, roll cookie dough into a 1″ ball, then continue with recipe.
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DO AHEAD : I have even made the dough a few days ahead and have kept in the freezer, however I Scooped the dough, made them into the balls so that they can directly go in the oven from the freezer ( after letting them sit on the counter for 30 mins )

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Peanut butter cookie blossoms …

Ingredients
All purpose flour – 1cup
Peanut butter 1 cup
Powder Sugar – 1/2 cup or to taste
Butter, unsalted – 1/2 cup, softened at room temperature
Salt – a small pinch
Milk – 1 tbsp
Vanilla Essence – 1/2 tsp
Chocolate kisses as needed
Granulated sugar for rolling the dough 1/4 cup, Optional

Method
1. Take the mixing bowl. Add peanut butter, butter and sugar to it and cream together till smooth and creamy ( I used a hand mixer )
2. Add flour and salt to the bowl. Incorporate well and bring the ingredients together in a crumbly dough. Don’t knead or else we will not get a good flakey texture. If it is too crumbly, add 1 tbsp milk to bind it.
3.Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for half an hour.
Preheat the oven at 375*F / 190*C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon sheet .
4.Divide the cookie dough in small 1 inch balls, roll in granulated sugar & flatten them in the center with the help of your thumb..
5.Place cookies on cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes (until barely golden brown around the edges). Meanwhile unwrap candy kisses. Set aside.
5.Remove from oven and place a chocolate kiss on top of each cookie ball, pressing down slightly. The cookies will crack a little around the edges.
7.Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

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French Mex toast….

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This is an open faced Cinnamon sugar French toast on the bed of sweet and spicy ripe mango & avocado salsa along with Mexican chipotle chile & adobo sauce marinaded grilled chicken breast with crumbled chocolate covered bacon to give it some crunch …
Vegetarians can marinade paneer Or Tofu in chipotle sauce and bacon can be replaced with crispy french fries or onion rings for that extra crunch …

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This recipe is created in four parts ….

Mango salsa

– 1 large ripped mango , peeled and diced
– 1/2 avocado, diced
– 1/4 medium red onion, chopped
– 1/4 cup Cilantro leaves, chopped
– 1 tbs chili flakes or to taste
– juice of 1 lime or too taste
1/2 Jalapeño minced
1tsp fresh cumin powder

Procedure:

1. Dice mangoes into quarter inch cubes.

2. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl .

Add chopped Cilantro leaves.

5. Mix lime juice with the fruits and serve chilled.

CHOCOLATE COVERD BACON

Ingredients

8 slices bacon, thick cut, cooked crisp and cooled .
1 1/2 bars semisweet chocolate, chopped (recommended: Ghirardelli)

DIRECTION :

Melt both the semisweet chocolate double boilers. Whisk until completely smooth. Remove from the heat.

Dunk the bacon into the semisweet chocolate and make sure it is completely coated. ( alternatively With pastry brushes, coat bacon on both sides with melted coatings) lay on a parchment or waxed paper lined plate or tray. Repeat with all the bacon slices. Put in the refrigerator to set, about 20 to 30 minutes before serving …

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CHIPOTLE CHICKEN …

This marinade gives its firepower to chipotle chiles, which are smoked jalapeños. I have used canned chipotles in adobo, so you can add some of the sauce from the can to the mixture. This marinade also goes well with pork and beef ..

Ingredients

8-10 dried ancho chiles, soaked at least 3 hrs or overnight in warm water( 1/4 c. Ancho Chili Pepper powder (such as McCormick brand) may be substituted for the dried Ancho chiles. Skip step 1 and add the powder with the other spices in Step 3.)
2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce ( gives delicious smoky flavor).
1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic
2 tsp. cumin
Salt 1 tsp or as per taste
2 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ c. Cooking oil, divided
boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed ( this paste is good for around 5Lbs or 2 kgs of chicken )

Split open each softened ancho chile and rinse the inside to the stem and remove seeds . Place in the bowl of a food processor or blender.

Strain adobo sauce into a small bowl, discarding peppers or reserving for another use. Press down on the peppers to extract as much liquid as possible . For spicy dish, add chipotle pepper to taste. Add strained liquid to the food processor

Add onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, 5 tsp. salt, and 2 tsp. pepper to the food processor. Pulse several times until a coarse paste is made .

Pour ¼ c.oil through the feeding tube and continue to process until smooth. You should have around two cups of marinade. Reserve one cup for use and freeze the remaining for future use.

Place the chicken in a large freezer-safe plastic bag. Spoon in the marinade, close the bag, and rub the chicken until all chicken is evenly coated with the marinade . Place the plastic bag in a dish and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

To cook, preheat cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Coat with 2 Oil . Grill the chicken in batches, turning occasionally until the internal temperature reaches 160°F on a thermometer .

Remove to a cutting board and chop into pieces. Season to taste with salt.

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Cinnamon Sugar Crusted French Toast
INGREDIENTS:

1/4cup Granulated Sugar
1 tablespoons ground Cinnamon
2 whole Eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1 pinch Salt
6 slices thick bread slices
Butter for the griddle

Method :

Preheat a griddle or non-stick pan over medium heat.

Spread with a little butter before laying down the French toast slices.

Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and set aside

In a shallow dish whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla extract and kosher salt.

Dip both sides of the bread in the egg/ milk mixture . Sprinkle one side of the bread with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Once the griddle is hot; place the french toast, cinnamon-sugar side down, and cook for 4-5 minutes or until a sugary crust forms..

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TO ASSEMBLE :

Take a tablespoon of Mango Salsa and spread on your plate .
Now add a french toast slice . Add one grilled chicken breast ( whole or sliced ) & again top with another tablespoon of Mango salsa along with crumbled or whole Chocolate covered bacon strips … or make a sandwich and Enjoy !!!

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Christmas Fruit Cake with Rum ….

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“Through the window I see snowflakes
My Mama’s making fruitcakes
Our tree all lit up makes us feel love and cheer
So kiss me beneath the mistletoe ’cause Christmas is here”

On the 12th day & Grand Finale of my Bakes and Treats I bring to you Classic Christmas Fruit Cake ..
Have You Made Your Christmas Cake Yet ???

This Fruit cake is full of fruit and nuts soaked in rum for more then a month. I especially love this fruit cake for its wonderful combination of nuts and dried fruits with barely enough cake batter to hold it all together.
This fruit cake is full of raisins, currants, dried cranberries, dried apricots, and candied fruits and peels…
This cake can be frozen so it might be a good idea to make two and then you can freeze one for later in the year.

For Soaking the Fruits

Dry fruits – 3 cups (I used Golden raisins,Black Currants,Prunes,Glazed Cherries ,Pineapple, Apricot, Cashews,orange peels & lemon peels )
RUM ( I Used dark Rum) it should completely cover all the dry fruits ..

Caramel Syrup (to be used in the Cake)

Sugar – 1½ cups
Water – 1 tbslp
Hot Water – ¾ cup

Spice mix for the cake

Cinnamon powder – ½ tsp
Clove powder – ½ tsp
Cardamom powder – ½ tsp
Nutmeg powder – ½ tsp
Dried ginger powder – ½ tsp

Ingredients for the cake

For Fruit Cake

Butter – 1 cup or 2 sticks (at room temperature)
Powdered OR confectioners sugar 2 ½ cups (OR 1 cup of dark brown sugar )
Eggs 3

All purpose flour – 2 ½ cups
Baking powder – 2 tsp
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Salt – 1/4 tsp
All the above mentioned Spice mix
Small pieces of walnuts and Almonds – 1 cup ( or nuts of your choice)

All of the Rum soaked fruits

Directions:

For Soaking the fruits

I soak my dry fruits at least 1 month in advance .
Chop all the dry fruits and place them in an airtight container, soaking them in required amount of Rum. Make sure that all the dried fruits are completely covered with rum ..

For Caramel Syrup

Mix 1.5 cups of sugar with 1 tblsp water on medium heat in a deep bottomed saucepan. Keep on stirring until the caramel syrup looks almost dark brown or black in color.
Take it off the stove and add hot water . Stir well ..

To Bake the Fruit Cake

1. Preheat Oven to 350F and
2. Grease your Cake pan/ bunt pan (I used a non-stick Bundt cake pan)
2. Sift all the dry ingredients at least twice to get rid of all the lumps – (Flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and Spices.)
3.Add the nuts ( almonds & walnuts ) mix well and keep aside.
4. Beat the butter with powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time until well incorporated.
5.Add in the dry ingredients slowly and mix until combined.
6. Add the Vanilla essence and Caramel syrup and combine everything together.
7.Strain the rum soaked dry fruits saving the rum to be used later , and coat them with sall-purpose flour so that the fruits don’t sink to the bottom of cake
8. Add the fruits into the cake batter , Using wooden spoon to mix the fruits into the cake evenly.
9. Pour the cake batter into your prepared cake pan bake for an hour.
10. I did a cake test at 55 mins by inserting a chopstick into the cake center.
If the chopstick comes clean, the cake is ready.

After Baking

1. Use a skewer to poke a few holes almost all the way through the cake immediately after getting it out of the oven . & pour 3 Tbs of the saved rum over the cake
2.Allow the cake to cool and then flip the onto a wire-rack.
3. Once the cake is released from the pan brush it all over with reserved rum .

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I hear sleigh bells are ringing
My whole family singing
We know Santa’s bringing
Special presents this year
So kiss me beneath the mistletoe ’cause Christmas is here

Christmas Fruit Cake with Orange Juice …

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On the 10Th day of my Christmas Bakes and treats I bring to you another one of my kids favorite Fruit cake … This fruit and nuts cake is full of citrusy flavors
I have been making this fruit cake at Christmas time for my kids and friends who do not like traditional rum Christmas Cake . My whole family loves this cake especially for its citrusy Flavor …

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup candied pineapple chunks
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup candied cherries
2 tablespoons dried currants
1/4 cup candied orange peel
1/4 cup candied citron / lemon peel
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1egg
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chopped mixed nuts
1cup sifted all-purpose flour

DIRECTIONS:

Chop pineapple, raisins, and cherries. Combine chopped fruit with currants, orange peel, and citron peel .

Soak in orange juice overnight.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F .

Line small loaf pan with parchment or waxed paper.

In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioner’s sugar.

Stir in beaten egg .fruit, juice, and nuts . Mix in sifted flour with baking powder .

Bake for 45 mins to an hour until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

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