Posts Tagged ‘Bakery’

Pudding and Kisses

September 11, 2009

Pardon the hiatus but finals zapped all of my cooking energy. I have now returned, hungry and inspired. Thanks in part to three weeks of vacation from school and restaurant week, complete with cooking demos at Reading Terminal Market. Of course, I start with dessert!

chocolate kiss, used atop rice pudding or enjoyed by itself

chocolate kiss, used atop rice pudding or enjoyed by itself

Chocolate Kissed Rice Pudding

created on-the-fly by Sarah Johnson
with inspiration from Jose Garces

Ingredients

Rice Pudding
1 c medium or long grain rice
2 c water
1 c sweetened condensed milk
2 t nutmeg

Chocolate Kisses
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/2 c sweetened condensed milk
1/4 c powdered sugar
1/4 t almond extract
1/2 t orange zest

Rice Pudding

  1. Add rice and water to a pot.
  2. Bring to a rapid boil then simmer covered for 30 minutes, until the water is absorbed.
  3. Stir in sweetened condensed milk and nutmeg.

Chocolate Kisses

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate at half power for 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in milk and heat at 3/4 power for 30 seconds – just enough to heat the milk.
  3. Stir in sugar, extract, and zest.
  4. The chocolate should be thick, smooth, shiny, and should form small balls easily. At this point the chocolate can be added to the rice pudding or it can be chilled first.

Serving
Serve rice pudding hot with a chocolate “kiss” at room temperature or chilled on top.

Variations
Any flavors can be used in these recipes. My favorite zest is orange, but I also enjoy lime and lemon. Almond extract is my preferred flavor, but vanilla works just as well. I imagine using some instant coffee granules would be tasty. I would add them before heating the milk and chocolate so they dissolve a bit.

The chocolate would also work well with chopped nuts, such as hazlenuts, almonds, or walnuts. The rice pudding could be made with coconut milk – the creamy kind. Nutmeg is my preferred spice, but cinnamon is also a popular choice for rice pudding. The extracts could also be added to the rice pudding instead of or in addition to the chocolate. The possibilities are endless!

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Best Cookies Ever

June 5, 2009

I have made these cookies twice and they disappear to proclamations that “These are the best cookies ever!” So I have promised the recipe to a few people and finally got around to posting it. Enjoy!

Orange Butter Cookies

courtesy of Amy’s recipe collection, originally published in the New York Times
Adapted from “The Sweeter Side of Amy’s Bread” by Amy Scherber and Toy Kim Dupree (Wiley, 2008)

Ingredients
Cookies
1 3/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1 2/3 c cake flour (finer texture) or more all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking soda
1 t kosher salt
1 1/4 c granulated sugar
1 c cold unsalted butter
2 t (packed) fresh orange zest
1 egg (large, room temperature)
2 egg yolks (large, room temperature)

Icing
1 orange
1 1/2 c confectioners’ sugar (powdered)
2-4 T whole milk
2 drops almond or vanilla extract
pinch of fine salt

Equipment
cookie sheets
parchment paper
2 mixing bowls
electric mixer
peeler
cooling rack

    Cookies

  1. Heat oven to 350. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients together.
  3. Cream sugar, butter, and orange zest on medium until light and smooth (3 minutes).
  4. Add whole egg and mix.
  5. Add yolks one at a time and mix.
  6. Add dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  7. Place dough in 1T lumps onto parchment paper at least 1″ apart. Press down lightly with 2 fingers until 1/2″ thick. Smooth the edges.
  8. Bake about 15 minutes in the middle of the oven. The cookies should be pale but cooked through.
  9. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

    Icing

  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil.
  2. Peel orange and be careful to only get the orange skin, not the white pith. Chop the skin into small strips about 1/2″ long.
  3. Blanch the orange peel in the boiling water for 1 minute and drain.
  4. Sift confectioners’ sugar into a bowl.
  5. Whisk in 2T of the milk. Add more if needed to make the icing thin and spreadable.
  6. Add extract, salt, zest, and whisk to combine.
  7. Drizzle the icing over each cookie making sure there is some orange peel in each spoonful. Let sit until the icing is hard.