Posts Tagged ‘sea salt’

Christmastime is for Cookies again…

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Last year I went kind of crazy with Christmas cookies, but between following Weight Watchers and how busy things have been, holiday baking just hasn’t been a priority. Which is not to say that I haven’t made some delicious treats.

As a repeat of last year, I made Alton Brown’s Paradise Coconut Macaroons. They turned out well again, and David’s still happily munching on them. The one hiccup was that as I went to make the cookies, I realized I was out of sweetened condensed milk. Luckily, I found a substitution recipe online that worked perfectly, using ingredients we already had on hand. Success! Check it out at the bottom of the page if you’re interested.

I also made peppermint bark again, and my friend Cara came over and made mock-turtles. Very tasty, very simple, and with her perfect football-shaped pretzels, very cute. You may hear more about that soon.

But the point of this post is the new recipe I tried this year: Shortbread. The most recent issue of Food Network Magazine had an awesome little pullout booklet of 50 cookie recipes. The gist of the pamplet is summed up here. What I liked about it is that you started with just a handful of classic, straightforward recipes, followed by several creative variations on the same recipe. I took the classic Shortbread recipe and doubled it, making one batch of Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread and one batch of Lemon Shortbread Squares. I tweaked the basic recipe to get the texture that I wanted, and was very happy with the instructions below. It’s for the Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread, but if you want plain shortbread, skip the chocolate dipping steps, and if you want it to have a little bit of bright, lemony flavor, add a little bit of fresh lemon zest with the flour mixture.

Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread

  • 2 sticks butter (preferably unsalted. If using salted butter, omit additional salt below)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Ghiradhelli)
  • flake sea salt

Beat 2 sticks butter, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar until fluffy. Whisk 2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt, then stir into the butter mixture. Press into a buttered 8-inch square or 9-inch round tart pan. Score into strips with a fork, then chill 30 minutes. Bake about 1 hour at 300 degrees. Cool, then slice along the scored lines.

Melt bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler. Dip cooled shortbread pieces in chocolate, and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Allow to cool completely before serving.

Sweetened Condensed Milk Substitute

  • 1 cup instant non-fat dry milk
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter

In a blender, combine ingredients and blend until smooth. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. Makes the equivalent of one 14 ounce cane.

      Title: SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK SUBSITUTE
 Categories: Misc, Sauces
      Yield: 1 Servings

      1 c  Instant non-fat dry milk
    2/3 c  Sugar
    1/3 c  Boiling water
      3 tb Melted butter

  In a blender, combine ingredients and blend until smooth. Store in
  refrigerator until ready to use. Makes the equivalent of one 14 oz.
  can.

Hasselback Potatoes

Monday, August 17th, 2009

I spotted a picture of these potatoes on Photograzing the other day, which reminded me of when I’d read about them on Orangette’s blog a few months back. They couldn’t be easier to make, and you probably have everything you need on hand. Basically, you slice a potato into thin accordion slices, tuck garlic in between the slices, and sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, and crunchy sea salt (regular salt would work, too). I also topped each potato with just a tiny bit of butter. The potatoes were simple, but tasty. They got crunchy at the edges, like shoestring french fries, or even potato chips, while the center of the potatoes stayed soft and creamy. I used yukon gold potatoes, but I think any starchy (not waxy) potatoes would work. You end up with some kind of cross between potato skins and mashed potatoes. Very tasty!

photo(3)

Hasselback Potatoes

  • 6 Medium Size Potatoes
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • Maldon Sea Salt Flakes
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 425. Put the potato on a cutting board and trim a strip off of one long side of the potato, to create a stable base for slicing. Place the potato on the board flat side down. Start from one end of the potato, and carefully slice about 3/4 of the way through, at about 1/4 inch intervals.

Arrange the potatoes on a cookie sheet and insert the garlic in between the slits. Scatter some butter on top of each potato, then drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Bake the potatoes for about 40 minutes or until the potatoes turn crispy and the flesh is soft and tender.