Butterscotch sauce, and Crunchy Butterscotch Sundaes

Butterscotch Sauce

Combine 1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar, 2/3 cups corn syrup, and dash salt.Heat stirring occasionally, til mixture comes to a full rolling boil.

Remove from heat : cool slightly   Gradually stir in 1 can 6 ounce can  (2/3 cup) evaporated milk.   Serve warm or cool.   Makes 2 cups sauce.

Crunchy Butterscotch Sundaes

Mix 1 and 1/2 cups sugar coated crisp rice or wheat cereal ( ie. Rice Crispys)

with 1/2 cup flaked coconut.

Form 1 quart vanilla ice cream in 10 balls.  Coat with cereal mixture , pressing it on.    Place in freezer until serving time.  ( To keep coating crisp, store only 1 to 4 hours.)  Serve with butterscotch sauce.   Makes 10 servings.

Note:  You can scale this down on your own to 2  servings.

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Cookie Crumb Coffee cake

Crumbled cookies make a different fun topper for Hurry Up Hot Breads!

2 cups packaged biscuit mix

1/3 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons soft butter or margarine

2 eggs

2/3 cups milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup fine vanilla cookie crumbs (9 cookies)

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup broken California walnuts

3 Tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:

Combine the first 6 ingredients.  Beat at medium speed 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl often.

Turn half the batter into a greased 10 x 6 x 1 3/4 inch baking dish. ( do they still sell this size? This is from an early 70’s cookbook.

Combine last 4 ingredients; mix til crumbly. Reserve 1/2 cup mixture for topping;sprinkle remainder over batter into pan.

Spoon remaining batter over. ; add reserved topping.

Bake at 350 degrees F. 30 minutes until done.

recipe-dessert

Best Cocoa Brownies
Adapted from Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet     and reposted from  Smitten Kitchen.

Makes 16 larger or 25 smaller brownies (the size you see pictured yielded 25)

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks, 5 ounces or 141 grams) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (9 7/8 ounces, 280 grams) sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 7/8 ounces, 82 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
1/4 teaspoon salt (or a heaping 1/4 teaspoon flaky salt, as I used)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold
1/2 cup (66 grams, 2 3/8 ounces) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup walnut or pecan pieces (optional)

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.

Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heat-proof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot. It looks fairly gritty at this point, but don’t fret — it smooths out once the eggs and flour are added. [Note, many people who have tried this recipe have found that this step works just fine in the microwave. Couldn’t test this because we don’t have one, but it sounds like it would work.]

Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan.

Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes is Medrich’s suggestion but it took me at least 10 minutes longer to get them set. Let cool completely on a rack. (I go further and throw mine in the fridge or freezer for a while; it’s the only way I can get them to cut with clean lines.)

Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 or 25 squares.

Recipe for Peach Cobbler

Peach Cobbler

5-6 cups FRESH peaches
2 cups flour
3 cups sugar (divided in half, set 1.5 cups aside)
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt (divided in half, set 1/2 teaspoon aside)
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 and 1/2 cups BOILING water (Yes you read that correctly this is key in the making of this cobbler)

Peel and slice peaches, spread in greased 2 quart shallow baking dish. Let sit until syrup forms ( I let it sit while oven heats up and I prepare the “dough”).

In medium bowl, stir flour, 1 1/2 cups of sugar,milk, butter, baking powder and 1/2 tsp of salt. Batter will be thick. Spoon batter over peaches, spread to edges of the dish. Set aside. In a small bowl,mix well the rest of the sugar (1 1/2 cups), cornstarch & the rest of the salt (1/2 tsp). Sprinkle this mixture over the batter. Then pour 1 1/2 cups of BOILING water over all of it. It will look VERY watery. Do not stir. Place carefully in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until golden brown and glazed. (If knife inserted into cobbler comes out clean, it is done). Serve warm or cool with whip cream or vanilla ice cream.

Serves 12 normal people or 6 big teenage boys.

From :  Sandy Trefger

Sandy

Dessert-cake

Good afternoon, everyone.  A while back, my co-worker Desiree baked this delicious pecan cake, for our  Thanksgiving themed ,” Give Thanks” celebration luncheon for our staff , it was complemented as “so light and moist”  by our boss.

Shortly thereafter, I bought a pecan cake mix at William Sonoma store, and have been “saving” it for just the right occasion.  Well, here it is.

I’ve found a  recipe that I’m reposting.

One of the purposes of my blog is to book mark recipes that I find that I plan to make.  After I bake the cake in the bundt pan, , I’ll come back to this page and upload a photo of my cake.
This is so easy and delish that I have to share…

Butter Pecan Bundt Cake

· 1 package butter pecan cake mix

· 3 eggs

· 1/2 cup oil

· 1 cup water

· 1/4 cup maple syrup

· 1 (15 ounce) container coconut pecan frosting

Preheat oven to 350. Spray bundt pans with Pam and sprinkle the bottom of the pan with sugar.

Mix all ingredients together and pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 40-45 minutes.

Remove and let cool for 5-10 minutes then invert onto cake plate.

Stand back and wait for the praise.

by Beckie of Knoxville, Tennessee.

Saint Lucia Day is December 13, 2010

Saint Lucia day is December 13, 1010 and my dad’s cousin Lucy’s birthday is today!

Happy birthday, cousin Lucy!

Saint Lucia Coffee cake wreath:

Saint Lucia Wreath

A Saint Lucia coffeecake is the traditional offering on Dec. 13. The rich dough is colored and flavored with saffron. Either a large wreath or a plate of individual buns — formed in the shapes of wreaths, crowns and cats — is perfect for a holiday brunch or when guests come to call. This authentic recipe is from Beatrice Ojakangas’s “Scandinavian Feasts” (University of Minnesota Press). If yours is a small household, divide the dough in half and make two smaller wreaths.

1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup (1 stick ) butter, melted
1 teaspoon saffron threads (a good pinch)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup currants
2 eggs, warmed
4 to 4 1/2 cups flour
1 large egg, beaten
Sugar sprinkles, optional

To make the dough: In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water. Add a pinch of sugar. Heat the milk and add the melted butter to it; cool until the mixture is lukewarm.

Pulverize the saffron with 1 teaspoon of the sugar, using a mortar and pestle or with the back of a spoon in a small dish. Add 1 tablespoon of the warm milk-and-butter mixture and allow the saffron to steep for 5 minutes.

Add the saffron mixture, milk-and-butter mixture, sugar, salt, currants and eggs to the yeast. Using an electric blender on medium speed, beat until blended. Add 2 cups flour and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of the remaining flour and mix with a wooden spoon to make a medium-stiff dough. Let dough rest for 15 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Knead for 8 minutes or until the dough is smooth and satiny. Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Turn the dough over to lightly oil the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

To make a braided wreath: Punch the dough down and divide into 3 parts. With the palms of your hands, roll and shape each part into a rope-like strand about 36 inches long. Braid the strands by aligning them vertically and alternately crossing each outer strand over the center strand. Shape the braid into a circle and place on a greased or parchment-covered baking sheet. Pinch the ends together where they meet to seal the strands and to conceal the beginning and end of the braid.

Transfer to the baking sheet. Brush with the beaten egg. Sprinkle with sugar sprinkles if using. Let rise for about 45 minutes or just until puffy.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly browned, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the dough comes out clean and dry. Cool on a rack. Makes 16 servings.

Note: To make two smaller wreaths: Divide the dough into 2 parts and braid as above. Place each wreath on a baking sheet, allow to rise and bake for about 20 minutes.

NOTES:
reposted from another blog, POST Gazette.com from Pittsburg.
As far as weather, my mother always says, “whatever Pittsburg, Pa gets, that we’re going to get”; for example SNOW is coming our way, since Pittsburgh has it.

Saint Lucia was Italian

Oddly, Saint Lucia was Italian, a Sicilian martyr. So how did an Italian girl-turned-saint come to be honored in Sweden?

There are several legends about the real Saint Lucia. One of the most common is that she was born of wealthy, noble parents about 283 AD in Syracuse, Sicily. Her father died when she was very young.

When her mother fell ill and her death appeared imminent, the desperate Lucia took her on a pilgrimage to the tomb of Saint Agatha, where miraculous healings were rumored to take place. The mother was healed and both women embraced Christianity. Together they pledged to use their wealth to help the sick and the poor.

At the time, Sicily was under the rule of an emperor, and Christianity was forbidden in favor of pagan gods. But the devout young Sicilian virgin held to her faith and distributed food to the homeless and starving.

Many of those poor families sought refuge in caves, and Lucia would make her way through the passageways with armfuls of bread. She wore a crown of candles on her head to light the way, leaving her hands free to distribute the food.

Now the plot thickens. Lucia vowed to remain a virgin. But before her father died, he had arranged her marriage into a pagan family, a deal that Lucia had no intention of honoring. Her betrothed, however, demanded her hand as his bride. Lucia flat-out refused. In a rage, the suitor took his revenge and reported Lucia’s Christian faith to the Roman officials, setting up a worst-case scenario.

On Dec. 13, 304 AD, Lucia was led before a court where she was sentenced. But she was one tough cookie. When the guards tried to drag her away, she was immovable. They tried to poke out her eyes, but she could still see. In desperation, the court ordered that she be burned. Bundles of wood were piled up around her and the fire ignited. But she was not consumed by the flames. Lucia was finally killed by the sword of one of the soldiers.

Later she was venerated as a martyr and saint, and the day of her death, Dec. 13, was named Saint Lucia’s Day.

Bringing light to Sweden

Time passed, and the day had no real significance for centuries. As Christianity spread through Europe and into Scandinavia, though, the pagan celebration of Winter Solstice had to be replaced with a Christian celebration. In keeping with “timing is everything,” winter solstice happened to fall on Dec. 13, so Saint Lucia was the natural choice.

The legend of the celebration was cemented when a terrible famine came to the Province of Varmland in Sweden during the middle ages. The poor village was starving to death. But on Dec. 13 of that year a large white ship was seen coming through the night across Lake Vanern, with a beautiful young woman standing on the bow. She was wearing a brilliant white gown, and a ring of light encircled her head.

The country people boarded the ship to find that its cargo was food, clothing and supplies. They quickly unloaded it, and as they carried the last baskets away the people looked back to see that the ship was no longer there.

Probably, it had been a much-needed supply ship from another province. But many felt in their hearts that it was a gift from Saint Lucia, and as the story spread, celebrations of Saint Lucia’s Day began. Even after the calendar was reformed and winter solstice fell on a later day, the 13th of December remained the celebration of Saint Lucia.

Visiting Lucy and family in Vermont, 2008

Did you know that It’s Chocolate Week in Italy?

The Italian food festival is taking place in Italy  with Eurochocolate starting on October 15 to  October 24  in the home town of Baci Perugina and lasting ten days.

October the 12th was  renewed as the traditional appointment of   Chocoday, the National Cocoa and Chocolate Day, conceived and promoted by Eurochocolate in collaboration with Fairtrade Italia,  fair-trade products certified , with the aim of promoting in Italy and around the world Pure chocolate.

Every year, Perugia in Umbria hosts the chocolate festival, with tastings, events and exhibitions. The public can visit workshops of chocolate makers.  Sounds like a chocolate-lover’s dream come true.

Also in   Rome’s San Lorenzo section, there is a Chocolate Factory where you can taste Chocolate pralines  with a soft ricotta filling, pizza bianco with dark chocolate, and a rare cacao liqueur.

Visitors will delight in the ancient chocolate machinery that still functions, the chocolate molds displayed on the walls next to plush chairs for sipping your chocolate beverage from the chocolate bar.

Sounds so wonderful , that I’m bookmarking the site for next time that we travel to Italy to make sure it is during the fall.

The chocolate factory in Rome was founded by Aldo De Mauro in 1923  and is current owner is called  Said, Societa Anonima Industria Dolciumi (SAID) has been around since 1923.

It is on via Tiburtina in the San Lorenzo area of the city.

Culturally, Italians do not favor eating chocolates in summer and the factory ceases operation during the hot months of June, July, August; hence, the best time to visit the SAID premises to taste its hot chocolate and other chocolate products is in November and December, when one can enjoy the warmth of the fireplace and the comfort of its plush sofas. The bistro on premises is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Chocolate Recipe:

Brunsli (Swiss Brownies) or Christmas Brownies-cookies

Ingredients for approximately 50 cookies (depending on the size of a single cookie):

Ricette• 150 g (5 ounces) sugar
• 1 pinch of salt
• 250 g (9 ounces) grind almonds
• ¼ tea spoon cinnamon
• 1 pinch of clove powder
• 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
• 2 tablespoons of flour
• 2 fresh white of egg (about 70 g (2.5 ounces))
• 100 g (3.5 ounces) bitter chocolate
• 2 tea spoons of kirsch

1. Mix sugar, salt, almonds, cinnamon, clove powder, cocoa powder and flour in a bowl.
2. Add white of egg and stir until ingredients are evenly distributed.
3. Cut chocolate in real small pieces, pour hot water over the chocolate, let rest for about 5 minutes, then pour off all water except about half a tablespoon, stir until even. Now immediately proceed with the next step.
4. Add melted chocolate from the previous step and the kirsch, knead to a soft dough.
5. Roll out dough on a flat surface (it may be slightly covered with sugar), approximately 10 mm (0.4 inches) thick. Put out different shapes and put them on a baking sheet covered with baking paper.
6. Let them rest for about 5 to 6 hours or over night in a dry place.
7. Bake for about 4 to 6 minutes in the center of the pre-heated oven at 250 °C (480 °F).
8. Let cool completely before serving.

A Note to all visitors:

Welcome,  Benvenuto. Please tell  me know what you think of this post and how the recipe for the brunsi ( christmas brownies)  turned out when you baked it.


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