- Edible gifts: whip up a crowd pleasing batch of savory bacon cookies
- Best of 2010: top 10 trends of the year
- Tech treats for $200 or less
- Alternative places to hang holiday ornaments
- Bottoms up! Top TV bars I'd like to frequent
- Video: Kate Bosworth's surprising stylist — her father!
- Three great beauty gifts under $40
- The secret to a perfect New Year's Eve kiss
- What moms really want for the holidays
- Easy tips to creating a job for yourself
- Emotional eating: how to regain control
- 3 wintertime activities to avoid and 3 to enjoy with your dogs
- Awesome Christmas gifts for the Star Wars geek
- Gwyneth Paltrow shines accepting her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Posts for December 13th 2010
Fruitcake welcomes the Christmas season each year, but the feeling isn't exactly mutual. It might just be the most-loathed dessert of all time! But KitchenDaily discovered that while the holiday dessert elicited a predictable groan from editors at the office, there are some people out there who actually enjoy fruitcake: namely, their mothers.
In a brilliant move, KitchenDaily editors turned to the true experts — their moms — to deem which holiday fruitcake tasted best. What brand came out on top, and what was voted best doorstop? To find out, head over to KitchenDaily for the full story.
Can't fathom sipping an iced cocktail as the temperature continues dipping? Then settle in with a batch of steamy buttered rum instead — it'll warm you to the core, even in bone-chillingly cold climes. This recipe for hot buttered rum is the best I've ever had, in part because it calls for a spiced butter as its base.
This recipe also incorporates ground ginger, grated orange zest, and a fresh squeeze of orange juice for zing at the very end; all of these truly round out the typical wintry spice notes. I recommend using a good-quality spiced rum, like Cruzan's 9 Spiced Rum, to boost flavor even further. Cuddle up to a cup when you read on.
Every once in a while, I unearth a dish that's good enough to be the recipe to end all other recipes. These discoveries are few and far between, but this weekend I found a baking recipe that's so delicious that it's ended my quest for the perfect savory cookie.
May I present the bacon cookie? The name says it all. Actually, it's a bacon, blue cheese, and pecan coin that's short and crumbly at first bite, then melts in your mouth with a nutty, sharp, cheese-like finish. You'll never — I repeat, never — be able to eat just one.
Serve it as a Christmas party appetizer, or wrap it up in cellophane baggies and give it to everyone you love. If you do, you're guaranteed to be a favorite this holiday season. Want the recipe? Yes, you do.
Hot Buttered Rum
4 ounces (1 stick) room-temperature unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 ounces dark rum
3 cups boiling water
Fresh orange juice
- Beat butter, sugar, orange zest, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg with a mixer on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute.
- Combine 2 tablespoons spiced butter with 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) dark rum in each of 4 heatproof glasses. Pour 3/4 cup boiling water over each, and stir. Top each with a squeeze of fresh orange juice.
From Sips & Apps by Kathy Casey
Bacon, Blue Cheese, and Pecan Cookies
3/4 cup (about 2-1/2 to 2-3/4 ounces) pecans
4 strips bacon, minced (you should have about 1/2 cup, packed)
Salted butter as needed, to make 1/2 cup with bacon drippings
1 cup (about 4-3/4 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spread the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 5 to 6 minutes. Let cook, and then coarsely chop.
- In a medium skillet or sauté pan over medium to medium-high heat, sauté the bacon until crispy, about 5 minutes; do not scorch. Drain the drippings into a heatproof measuring cup, and reserve the bacon separately. Let cool. To the cooled drippings, add butter as needed to make 1/2 cup total.
- With an electric mixer, cream the cheese, thyme, and pepper together in a mixing bowl. Add the butter mixture and mix in well. Add the flour and mix the dough for about 2 minutes. Add the bacon and nuts and mix until just evenly combined. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes to chill.
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F at least 20 minutes before baking. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or leave them ungreased.
- Scoop up the dough by rounded teaspoonfuls and shape into 1-inch diameter balls (you should get 36 to 40). Place, spaced 2 inches apart, on the baking sheets. With a fork, flatten to 1-1/2-inch-diameter rounds, dipping the tines into flour as needed, and making crisscross patterns as you would on peanut butter cookies. Bake until lightly golden at the edges, about 14 to 16 minutes. Cool on the pan.
Makes 36 to 40.
For those unfamiliar, haggis is a traditional Scottish dish of sheep innards simmered in a casing of sheep stomach.
Perhaps the Scotch are counting on the legendary delicacy to catch on: last week, Great Scot International announced it would be introducing Mackie's Haggis & Cracked Black Pepper Chips at the Fancy Foods Show in January.
Although the snack won the 2010 Scottish Food and Drink Excellence Award, it certainly isn't for the faintest of stomachs — no pun intended. Do you suppose you'd be able to eat more than one?
1 1/2 cups graham flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 chocolate bars or 1 cup of chocolate chips
- Graham Crackers: In a large bowl, sift together the graham flour, all purpose flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar, and egg on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the honey and vanilla and beat until smooth, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl once with a rubber spatula.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the sifted ingredients in 2 batches, beating after each addition until the flour disappears. Do not overmix. The dough should hold together and feel manageable for rolling.
- Press the dough into a flat disk, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- With the dough chilling, make the cinnamon-sugar topping. In a small bowl, combine the turbinado sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Position one rack in the center of the oven and another rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking liners or use nonstick baking sheets.
- Transfer the dough to a work surface liberally dusted with graham flour. Dust the top of the dough with graham flour. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into an 1/8 inch thick rectangle. Use a ruler to measure and dinner knife to lightly mark 2-inch squares. Using a fluted pastry cutter or paring knife, cut out the squares and transfer to the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cracker 1 inch apart.
- Place the pan of crackers in the refrigerator while you roll the remaining crackers. Gather up the dough scraps, lightly dust with graham flour, reroll the dough, and cut out the crackers until all of the dough is used. Using the blunt side of a toothpick or wooden skewer, prick each cracker to form a 3 by 3 grid of evenly spaced holes (9 holes total). Using your fingers, sprinkle each cracker generously with cinnamon-sugar topping.
- Bake the crackers until firm and nicely browned, about 14 minutes. Switch the pans between the racks at the midpoint of baking if the crackers appear to be baking unevenly. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely.
- Marshmallows: Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by. In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.
- Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.
- Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.
- When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
- Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
- To make a s'more, layer chocolate and marshmallow between two graham crackers.
Makes about two dozen s'mores.