30 June 2009

Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It

We seem to have had several cookbooks extolling things that "Can't" and "Couldn't " get done. so here a book that boldly tells you what you can do.

Karen Solomon’s Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It fulfills her desire to produce a kind of Girl Scout manual for the kitchen. She features all the recipes you will need for a fine larder, and you can make them yourself. Truth be told, you probably have all these recipes tucked away somewhere, but gathered together they are the perfect companion for the home cook. Though it doesn’t say as much, this is a great book for ideas on homemade gift giving.

The photographs by Jennifer Martiné make you want to run out and paint the larder chocolate brown, heck they want to make you run out and build a brand new larder.

From beef jerky to marshmallows, crackers to lemon curd, sausage to limoncello, this book is a font of inspiration for every cook out there. I have several recipes for peanut butter cups, but frankly, I just bought Reese's. When I saw the picture of Karen Solomon’s cup’s I knew I had to make them.

Peanut Butter Cups

1 1/3 cup fresh roasted and salted peanuts
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon neutral vegetable oil, like canola or sunflower
2 tablespoons confectioner's’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


2 cups chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

INSTRUCTIONS To make the peanut butter filling, place the liners in your cupcake pan, and have a holding dish standing by. In a food processor, puree the peanuts for 3 to 4 minutes, until very smooth. Add the honey, oil, sugar, vanilla, and salt and puree until completely combined, scraping down the sides as you work.
Tale about 2 teaspoons of the peanut butter mixture into your clean hands, roll into a ball, and flatten into a disk that will fit into the center of the cupcake liner but not touch the sides. Shape the remaining 11 centers. The peanut butter should be evenly distributed.
To prepare the coating, in a microwave safe bowl heat the chocolate on high for 1 minute, and stir well with a fork to distribute the heat. Heat for one minute more, and stir again. Heat for an additional 30 to 60 seconds, stirring thoroughly. The chocolate should be melted and quite satiny and you should be able to drop it in ribbons from the end of the fork.
To assemble the cups, working quickly, spoon about 2 teaspoons of melted chocolate into the bottom of each liner, being careful to coat the bottom in a complete, thin layer, and to coat the sides half way up. about Gently drop each of the peanut butter disks into the center of a cup, and give it a gentle tap to secure it in the chocolate (but don’t push it all the way through to the bottom). Cover each center with an additional teaspoon of chocolate covering the top completely and allowing it to surround the sides of the peanut butter, enclosing it completely. Gently smooth the tops with back of a spoon or by giving the pan a gentle shake. Let it sit undisturbed for at least 4 hours, until the cups harden completely.

First one to make these wins their merit badge.

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