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Archive for December, 2010

Cheer Here!

assembled ingredients for eggnog

Seasons Greetings to all! Welcome home your loved ones and friends. Warm them with cheer, gifts, warm cookies, and eggnog. This eggnog is derived from a recipe commonly referred to as General George Washington’s Milk Punch, although it is not difficult to imagine this name is earned more by the rye whiskey than the identity of its author. Washington was a master distiller of rye whiskey. We keep the remains of the whiskey to float on the cups of nog as they are served. Use quality brandy as it is one of the defining flavors here. Serve eggnog daily over the season with cookies and cheer.

 

General George Washington’s Erstwhile EggNog

 

1 dozen eggs

1 quart cream

1 quart milk

¾ cup sugar

1 pint Brandy

½ pint Rye (or Bourbon)

¼ pint Rum

¼ pint Sherry (or Madeira, Marsala,…)

 

Deeply chill all ingredients. Combine all booze and reserve. Separate the eggs carefully. Beat the yolks until light and fluffy, slowly adding sugar. Drip the booze into yolks, too fast will cook the eggs. Once incorporated add the milk and cream. Whip the egg whites to peaks and fold into egg mix. The whipped whites will gather at the top of the tub. The eggnog must be refrigerated and folded, stirred, and tasted everyday for at least three weeks. It will take this time to absorb the flavors of the liquor and also to absorb all of the egg whites. Serve chilled with nutmeg, cookies, and whiskey. Good Stuff!

 

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Ginger Snaps

Deep brown ginger snaps

Fresh Ginger Snaps

 

1 cup sugar, plus 1⁄2 cup more for rolling
¾ cup (11⁄2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 large egg
¼ cup molasses
2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and minced

½ tsp. fresh lemongrass, minced (optional)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon

 

We do not soften butter for cookies. Use the butter as cold as your mixer will allow. Our Kitchenaid can mix it right out of the refrigerator. Beat the butter until light and fluffy, adding the sugar one spoon at a time. Add the egg and then the molasses and ginger/lemongrass. Mix the flour, soda, and salt, then add to butter mix. Scoop teaspoons of dough and roll into balls. Roll the balls in a bowl of sugar before spreading on a cookie sheet. Leave room for spreading. Bake at 350 degrees for 16 – 20 minutes. Remove from sheet immediately to a cooling rack. Good Stuff!

 

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Pecan Butterballs

Assembled ingredients

Lined up in rows, they will expand some, but not much.

Often called Mexican wedding cakes, these little clouds of butter and nuts are a Christmas staple in our household. Served with chilled eggnog they bring life into perspective.

 

Pecan Butterballs

 

16 Tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
½ cup confectioners’ sugar, plus about 11⁄4 cups for coating the cookies
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp. salt
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1  cup finely chopped pecans

 

Beat the butter until light and fluffy, adding the sugar one spoon at a time. Slowly add the vanilla. Once incorporated, add the flour, slowly at first, then dump the rest. Add the pecans and salt and mix gently. Refrigerate the completed dough before working. Scoop teaspoons of dough and roll into balls. Bake at 350 degrees for 16 – 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before transferring, in batches, to a grocery bag with the remaining powdered sugar inside. Tumble gently until completely covered and spread to finish cooling. Good Stuff!

Buenos

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Montauk Sandies

Bake the oats shortly to dry them out some

Roll the dough up in parchment and refrigerate

We find refrigerator, or icebox, cookies to be handily convenient. While making another cookie recipe and the kitchen is already soiled, put together one of these doughs to bake another night.

This particular recipe we drafted to approximate one of my wives commercial favorites. Cook them from 12 to 16 minutes depending upon your preference for chewy or crisp cookies. Good Stuff!

Montauk Sandies

1 1/2 cups oats

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Slice the cold log and leave some room to spread when baking

Spread on a rack to chill

Spread the oats on a cookie sheet and toast at 300 degrees for 15 minutes stirring frequently. Allow to cool completely. Beat butter and sugars well. Add egg and vanilla, combine well. Mix flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon then add to butter mix, add cooled oats and combine well. Roll dough into manageable lengths in parchment paper or waxpaper. Chill for at least eight hours before baking. Slice into 1/4 – 3/8 inch slices and bake for 12-16 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve with chilled eggnog or hot boilo. Good Stuff!

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Peanut Butter Cookies

Butter, brown sugar, and sugar

We plan to barrage you with cookie recipes over the next couple weeks. This brings the welcome consequence of a barrage of fresh baked cookies. Joy!

Reminders – Use good butter, cold as your mixer will work it. Chilling the dough after mixing will make it a little easier to work with. Once drop cookies like these are pressed, they will still spread, but less than you might think.

Seasons Greetings and Good Stuff!

Peanut Butter Cookies

Fork the dough balls to press them

6 Tablespoons butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup peanut butter

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

Staged for cooling

1 1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt(optional)

Beat the butter and sugars well, add peanut butter, combine. Add the egg and vanilla and combine well. Mix the flour, salt, and soda and then add to butter mixture. Roll into balls and layout on cookie sheet to press with crossed fork pattern or the bottom of a water glass. Serve with chilled eggnog. Good Stuff!

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Sour orange mojo

Pork belly, scored skinside, and marinated for two days.

A beautiful incongruity of winter is the ready availability of fresh domestic citrus. Mojo usually calls for sour oranges, but we frequently substitute sweet orange fortified with lime juice. This recipe will marinate 1-2 pounds of meat. Careful with the salt if you will be brining your meat. Good Stuff!

juice of 1 orange

juice of 1 lime

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeno sliced

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

1 fresh bay leaf, chopped

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

salt to taste

Combine all and refrigerate for a day, if possible, before using. Good Stuff!

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Pistachio Shortbread

Assembled ingredients

Scored

Cookies are assembled, basically, of few ingredients. It is therefore important to use monitor the quality carefully of some of the key ones. Butter, in particular, provides large amounts of flavor. Consider using a cultured, or European-style butter in cookies. Use unsalted butter and use the butter as cool as possible in most recipes, even if they call for softened butter. The softened requirement is usually for your own convenience and cold butter will often provide a superior end product.

Pistachios require a little labor. We know they are worth it. After shelling them, try to peel or rub off the skin from each nut. Be careful to get unsalted nuts. Chop them well. You can use a food processor. For control, we use three identical knives, seen below(cutting pecans.) Keep up for many cookie recipes this season. Good Stuff!

Knives secured by rubber band

Power of three

Pistachio Shortbread

1 1/2 sticks butter

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 cup chopped pistachios or nut of choice.

Cream the butter well, add sugar and beat until well combined. Mix flour, corn starch, and salt and add to butter. Add chopped  nuts, try to work the dough as little as possible, mix completely. Spread 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick and a score with a fork. Bake at 300 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes. Good Stuff!

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