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Monthly Archives: December 2016

Limoncello Tiramisu

Some of you are aware of my recipe posted some time back for homemade limoncello liqueur. Recently I was asked to bring a dessert to a potluck and I decided to make a limoncello tiramisu instead of the traditional one with espresso and Grand Marnier. What follows is this very tasty but time consuming recipe…thanks to Coleen, the Redhead Baker for sharing this recipe on Pinterest.

Limoncello Tiramisu                                         Author: Coleen, The Redhead Baker

Serves: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 5 large eggs, divided
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1½ cups limoncello, divided (1/2 and 1 cup)
  • Zest of 3 Meyer lemons
  • Juice of 5 to 6 Meyer lemons (enough to yield ¾ cup)
  • 1 cup water
  • 16 oz. mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 40 ladyfinger cookies

Directions

  1. Line a 9×13 baking sheet with wax paper, letting it hang over the edges on two sides.
  2. Fill a large saucepan with about an inch of water and set it over high heat until the water comes to a steady simmer. Reduce the heat to keep water at a steady simmer.
  3. Place two cups of ice in a very large mixing bowl and fill with about 2 inches of water.
  4. Place the egg yolks, ¼ cup of sugar and ½ cup of the limoncello in a medium mixing bowl. Place the mixing bowl over the simmering water, and whisk vigorously until the mixture thickens (about 5 minutes).
  5. Take the mixing bowl off the double boiler and place the mixing bowl in the ice water.
  6. Empty the simmering water from the saucepan. Place the 1 cup of water, the remaining 1 cup of limoncello, the lemon juice, and ½ cup sugar in the saucepan. Heat over high heat until boiling, and cook at a boil for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, with a hand-held mixer or whisk, beat the mascarpone cheese until softened. Add the lemon zest and beat until light and fluffy.
  8. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until frothy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until the whites form medium peaks.
  9. Fold a third of the egg yolk mixture into the mascarpone cheese, then fold in the rest of the yolk mixture. Then fold in the egg whites, a quarter of the whites at a time.

Happy New Year Everyone!

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Ravioli with White Wine and Leeks

First had this at one of our favourite restaurants in nearby Merida – Il Caffe Italiano. Had to try and duplicate this subtle dish. Et voila as the French say. PINTEREST as I say…LOL. I would highly recommend it for your Christmas Eve or New Years dinner. Suggestion is to serve it with grilled asparagus spears…I chose not to…

Ravioli with White Wine Butter Sauce (and Asparagus – optional)

Ingredients

  • One 9 ounce package chilled fresh ravioli
  • One bunch asparagus (about 15-20 spears), trimmed and cut into two inch pieces. You can use just the tips or if you like lots of asparagus, use the stems as well! OPTIONAL
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 leeks carefully washed and chopped into 1/4 inch slices. Dont use the dark green parts!
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme, plus more for garnish
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese for garnish

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and olive oil, and then asparagus. Cook asparagus until just crisp-tender, about 2 minutes, and remove asparagus with a slotted spoon, leaving the water boiling. OPTIONAL – just boil some water for the ravioli !
  2. Add one tablespoon of butter to a medium size skillet and melt over medium high heat. Add leeks and garlic and stir until soft, 2-3 minutes.
  3. Stir in wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 2-3 minutes. Now add butter, cube by cube, stirring until each one is melted into the sauce.
  4. While the sauce is cooking, add the ravioli gently to the boiling (asparagus*) water (I like to lower them in with a slotted spoon) and cook according to package directions until just done, about 6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and put in a single layer on a plate until the sauce is finished.
  5. When all the butter is melted, stir in the chopped thyme.
  6. Divide the ravioli between two plates, (and tuck the asparagus tips in between the ravioli – OPTIONAL). Drizzle a generous portion of sauce over each serving, garnish with fresh thyme and shaved Parmesan and serve at once!

 

Its Christmas Cookie Time!

Yeppers, my elf has been baking away for several days, so I am going to share THREE of the recipes we actually liked, which he found on Pinterest.

If you are fond of banana bread, you will like these…

Banana Bread Cookies

Prep Time: 35 minutes Cook Time: 13 minutes Total Time: 48 minutes Yield: 24

Ingredients

Wet Mix:

  • 3/4 Cup softened butter
  • 1 packed cup of brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed

Dry Mix:

  • 1 cup of oats
  • 1 1/3 cups All purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, raisins, chocolate chips, dried cranberries etc. (you choose what you prefer)

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, add the wet ingredients and combine.
  2. In a separate bowl, add all the dry ingredients and combine
  3. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet mixture and combine. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 F, Line a baking sheet with parchment or grease / spray with non stick oil
  5. Use a tablespoon and drop the mixture on the baking sheet in spoonfuls.
  6. Bake for about 13 – 15 minutes. Allow to cool on cooling rack.

NOTE: These are quite a soft cookie, and a little crisp on the outside. If you want a crispier cookie, leave in the oven for a couple of minutes longer. However, they will harden slightly as they cool, so if you are not sure, remove one after the stated time and see if it is to your liking.

And from Martha Stewart…ta dah…my favourite ones …

Cranberry Orange Almond Shortbread Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Yield: about 3-dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet or line with a silpat baking liner.

Place butter, powdered sugar, almond extract and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large mixing bowl if using a handheld mixer.

Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. Turn mixer speed to low, and gradually add flour and orange zest. Mix until a dough forms.

Stir in almonds and cranberries with a spatula.

Pat dough into a ball, and then form into a log shape, about 2-inches in diameter.

Wrap the log in plastic wrap, and freeze until firm, at least an hour.

Remove the dough from the freezer and slice into 1/4-inch thick slices.

Place on cookie sheet, at least 1-inch apart. Bake for about 15 minutes, just until the edges start to turn golden. Check them after 10 minutes as ovens can vary!

Let cool for about 5 minutes before removing from the cookie sheet.

Notes

Adapted from Martha Stewart. Dough can be kept frozen for up to 3 months. If frozen solid, let the dough thaw slightly before slicing.

Last but not least…these yummy raspberry lemon ones…

Raspberry Lemon Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies  15 min    Prep Time -15 min   Cook Time  – 30 min

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 large egg

1/2 lemon, zest and juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup frozen raspberries, coarsely chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, egg, lemon zest and juice and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the salt, baking powder, baking soda and flour and mix until combined. Add in the raspberries and mix briefly to incorporate them.
  3. Drop the dough by tablespoonful (a cookie scoop works best here, the dough is extremely sticky, but two spoons works too, the cookies will just be less uniform) onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until they are just starting to brown on the edges and are no longer shiny at all. Put the second half of the cookie dough in the fridge while the first sheet is baking, it will get even softer as the raspberries thaw.
  4. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes

This cookie dough is extremely sticky, and is best if the raspberries stay frozen, so leave them in the freezer until you’re ready to add them to the dough. If you find it is getting too sticky to scoop, chill it for 30 minutes and then bake. Don’t try to form it into balls by hand though, it works best as a drop cookie, scooping it onto the baking sheet by the tablespoonful and baking immediately. When baking, they are done when they are no longer shiny at all on top. If they are still shiny, they will be underbaked around the raspberries.

Source: Adapted from Lauren’s Latest via Mel’s Kitchen Cafe .

Parmesan and Thyme Baked Potato Slices

Having bought a huge bag of small potatoes from…you guessed it…Costco, I was stuck as to what to do with so many. Voila Pinterest. I followed the recipe by slicing those little gems using my trusty mandoline. I should have used regular potatoes as it would have been easier. Nevertheless, the flavour was great and doing them in muffin tins simplified serving. Great if you are serving a nice roast or fish.

Parmesan and Thyme Baked Potato Slices

Prep time 15 mins Cook time 1 hr. Total time 1 hr. and 15 mins

 Ingredients

  • Makes about 4-6 servings
  • 3 tbsp (45g) butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp (25g) Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp (3g) garlic powder
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8-10 gold potatoes (1.4 kg) sliced thin (about 1/16 inch -1.6 mm thick)

Directions

 Preheat the oven to 375°F (190C). Butter 12 muffin cups and set aside. Cut the potatoes into thin slices.
Place potato slices into a large bowl. Add melted butter, Parmesan cheese, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly.
Layer the potato slices into stacks and place in the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper. Heap up the potatoes as they will fall into the tins while baking.
Bake until the edges and tops are golden brown and the centers are tender, 55 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove from the oven, let them rest for 5 minutes then remove from pan and garnish with Parmesan cheese and thyme.

 

Kitchen Tips

Sorry,no recipe this week, but in their place I came across some useful charts with info about cutting recipe equivalents in half, what sauces to serve with what pastas and  converting cooking times with your slow cooker recipes from high to low. Hope you will find this useful as the holidays approach! Its amazing what you can find on Pinterest sites…

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