20 May 2010

SoNo Baking Company Cookbook

John Barricelli is a baker, and quite a good one. He always wanted a French style bakery in a little neighborhood and he finally opened The SoNo Baking Company in South Norwalk, Connecticut, hence the SOuthNOrwalk of the title.

After working in restaurant kitchens, he moved over to Martha Stewart Living and was cast on their PBS show, Everyday Food. Here are John and Martha torching a cake!

The recipes in the book are very "bakerly" and exacting. Of course, I feel many baking books are just too exacting, really, but then, I bake. Here is Barricelli's signature cookie recipe. I had guests this week and one of them remarked she loved EVERYTHING ginger. On her next visit, I am going to make a batch of these.

Ginger Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup sugar, plus 1/2 cup for rolling
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger; set aside.

2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the sugar and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through. Beat in the egg and molasses until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, beating until combined. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour (and up to 24 hours).

3. Arrange the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick silicone baking mats; set aside. Place the extra sugar for rolling on a plate; set aside.

4. Use a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop to scoop out the dough, and roll into balls between your hands. Roll the balls in the sugar to coat, and place about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

5. Bake one sheet at a time, rotating the sheet two-thirds of the way through the baking time, until the cookies are deep golden brown and the centers are firm, 15 to 20 minutes.

6. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the rack, and let cool completely. Continue to roll and bake the remaining cookies in the same way.

Truth be told, I am not going to wait for her return... in fact, that bread looks rather fetching...

04 May 2010

Perennials: A Southern Celebration of Foods and Flavors

My friend, Jim, brought me a copy of Perennials: A Southern Celebration of Foods and Flavors, compiled by the Junior Service League of Gainesville, Georgia.

It is one of those eclectic Junior League cookbooks, with some great recipes and some truly funny recipes and some that one might just deem, inedible.

On Saturday, my goddaughter called hoping to find a recipe for a simple syrup. She was getting ready for the Kentucky Derby in true Alabama fashion. She was organizing Mint Juleps and snacks, but she had no intention of actually WATCHING the race. Still, it was important to have all the trappings, regardless of the actual event.

I gave her the two parts water, one part sugar, boil for 10 minutes and cool recipe. Some people use the equal parts sugar and water, but I find it a bit too sweet.

Perennials has a nice Mint Julep recipe.

The General’s Mint Julep

18 mint leaves on stem, divided
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon sugar
Finley crushed ice
2 1/2 ounces 86 or 100-proof bourbon

Partially tear 12 mint leaves, leaving them on the stem. Place the leaves in a large glass or silver julep mug with water and sugar. Stir slowly until sugar is dissolved. Fill with ice. Add bourbon. Add more ice to fill as bourbon melts the original ice. Stir. Tear remaining mint leaves; place atop ice. Serve with a straw.

Well, clearly, this is a Georgia recipe. Who makes a single Mint Julep? People in Georgia.

Nina's Mint Julep -- one of many...

In Alabama, we make a big old pitcher of Mint Juleps because we serve the General and the rest of the troops. And while a horse race is nice, it takes about 2 minutes – Mint Juleps have far more staying power.

02 May 2010

Cosmic Cuisine

Cosmic Cuisine is one of those books I picked up at a tag sale and not because I had some overriding desire to cook within my zodiac sign. I'm a Pisces, so the general rule is cook fish. I didn't have a great deal of hope for this cookbook until I hit upon the wonderful properties of Mercury, and those pesky Virgo's who have a strong taste for liquorice. Who'd a thunk it.

I love liquorice, but I am no Virgo, so there you have it. But even so, I was so taken by this recipe that I couldn't wait to make it. And to add insult to injury, you need to let flavors meld for at least 24 hours.
Still, I am totally hooked. In a few days, I'll let you know the verdict.

Liquorice Gingerbread

4 tablespoons butter plus extra for the cake pan
generous1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons molasses
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoons ground liquorice root
pinch salt
3 eggs, beaten
scant 1 cup milk
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Grease an 8 inch square cake pan with butter. In a bowl, cream the butter, sugar and treacle (molasses). Sift the flour, baking powder, spices and salt into the bowl and beat well. Add the eggs. Warm the milk, dissolve the bicarbonate in it and add that to the mixture. Beat until it starts to bubble slightly. Pour into the cake pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 325 F for about 1 hour, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Leave the gingerbread undisturbed for the first 40 minutes in the oven. Take the cake out of the oven and leave to cool in the pan. When cool, turn the gingerbread out and store it in a container and do not eat for 24 hours. Makes one 8 inch square cake.

I'm off to make this right now...

01 May 2010

Derby Entertaining (Redux) (Repost)

So I only have the one Derby Cookbook, so a repost is in order. Begin with the words: Today is the

(Tomorrow is the) Kentucky Derby, and though not officially recognized on the calendar, a virtual Southern holiday. Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a Southerner, the Derby is a good illustration of the commitment and stamina one must have. Here are the statistics:

The actual running of the Kentucky Derby--

2 minutes

The actual partying for the Kentucky Derby --

10 days

This gives you an average of 5 days of parties for every minute of activity. Using this equation, add up SEC Football, Mardi Gras, Decoration Day, Derby Day, Mother's Day, All-Saints Day, All-Souls Day, Bear Bryant's Birthday, and... oh, yeah, Thanksgiving and Christmas; multiply by 5 and you will find that being a Southerner requires partying every single day of the year! This may explain why I have so many cookbooks and so little time!

This being said, I feel you should have a recipe for derby pie!. Actually, the term "derby-pie" is trade marked and registered, so the recipe I am giving you is for a traditional, Kentucky-bourbon-chocolate-chip-nut-pie-which you may name as you please. If you are wondering, according to the DERBY-PIE®

"DERBY-PIE® was born nearly a half century ago as the specialty pastry of the Melrose Inn, at Prospect, Kentucky. Once developed, a proper name had to be given. Because each family member had a favorite, the name DERBY-PIE® was actually pulled from a hat. And what a winner! By 1968 DERBY-PIE® had become so successful that the name was registered with the U.S. Patent Office and the Commonwealth of Kentucky (that's the reason for the ®!). Since then it has been baked and distributed solely by Kern's Kitchen, a small family operation."

Rather than face legal action, the pie that dare not speak it's name is known as: Kentucky Derby Pie, Thoroughbred pie, and of course...

Run for The Roses Pie

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup melted butter
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup chopped pecans
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon
9-inch unbaked pie crust

Combine the sugar and flour in a large bowl; mix in the butter. Add the eggs, pecans, chocolate chips, vanilla extract and bourbon; mix well. Pour into the pie crust. Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

This is from Derby Entertaining. Not to be confused with the famous, Decoration Day Entertaining.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin