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Old December 1st, 2008, 09:58 PM   #41
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though never been my favorite flavor even with the season, these gals took it a bit serious and made them this:

EGGNOG CHEESECAKE

1 C GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBS
2 TBSP BUTTER, MELTED
3 PKGS. (8OZ ech) CREAM CHEESE AT ROOM TEMP
1 C. SUGAR, DIVIDED
4 LRG. EGGS, AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
2 TBPS. ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
BRANDY
2 TBSP FRESHLY GRATED NUTMEG, DIVIDED
1 C. WHIPPING CREAM
1. Preheat oven to 300 Pour graham cracker crumbs into a 6 inch spring form pan with a rim at least 3 in high; add butter and stir to mix. Press mixture evenly over bottom and in up side of pan.
In a lrg bowl, with a mixer on med spd, eat cream cheese and c sugar until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down inside of bowl as needed. Beat in flour, brandy and 1 tsp nutmeg just until incorporated. Pour into crust-lined pan ad bake until small cracks are visible on sides but center jiggles when cake is gently shaken, 50- 60 minutes.
Run a think bladed spatula between the cheesecake and pan rim. Put cheesecake on a rack and let cool completely. Cover and chill until cold, at least 3 hours.

Remove pan rim, If nay moisture has collected o cake , gently boot dry with a paper towel. Cut cake slices with a serrated knife, running knife under hot water and wiping clean after each slice.
In a sm. Bowl, whisk together cream and remaining c sugar until stiff peaks form Dollop whipped cream onto cheese cake and sprinkle with remaining tsp nutmeg
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 02:46 PM   #42
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Sandwich cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Rosemary Caramel
1/2 cup butter
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:
In a small saucepan, over low heat, heat 1/2 cup butter until nut brown in color, (after foaming subsides) being careful not to burn. Remove from heat to cool.
In a bowl cream together remaining 1/2 cup butter and sugar, until light and fluffy. Add brown butter; mix well. Add egg and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour and baking powder; mix until blended. Flatten dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill dough until firm, 1 hour or more.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Roll out dough and cut into small (2-inch) scalloped rounds. Bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, 8 to 10 minutes or until edges begin to brown.
Cool completely on a wire rack.
To make rosemary caramel, melt butter over low heat in a heavy sauce pan. Place sprigs of rosemary between two sheets of waxed paper and pound until flattened. Place sprigs in butter and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove sprigs from butter. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium and continue boiling, stirring frequently, until caramel reaches 242F (use candy thermometer); remove from heat.
Spread rosemary caramel on a cookie and top with another.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to one week.
Makes 3 dozen cookies
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 03:08 PM   #43
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FAST & EASY Peppermint chocolate Cookies:
1/2 cup canned vanilla or chocolate frosting
Red and/or green paste food coloring (optional)
3 tablespoons finely crushed striped round peppermint candies
44 chocolate wafers

Directions
1. In a small mixing bowl stir together frosting, food coloring (if desired), and crushed candies. Spread 1 level teaspoon frosting mixture each on flat side of 22 of the chocolate wafers. Top with the remaining chocolate wafers, flat side toward frosting mixture. Roll edges of cookie sandwiches in additional crushed candies, if desired. Store cookies in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Makes 22 cookie sandwiches.

To Present This Gift... Stack three or four sandwiches and place in dish. Tie stack with ribbon to secure. Trim ribbon ends, if desired



PRALINES

2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups broken or chopped pecans

Directions
1. Butter the sides of a heavy 2-quart saucepan. In the saucepan combine brown sugar and buttermilk. Cook over medium-high heat to boiling, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to dissolve sugar. This should take 6 to 8 minutes. Avoid splashing mixture on sides of pan. Carefully clip candy thermometer to pan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until thermometer registers 234 degree F, soft-ball stage. Mixture should boil at a moderate, steady rate over entire surface. Reaching soft-ball stage should take 20 to 25 minutes.

2. Remove saucepan from heat. Add the 2 tablespoons butter, but do not stir. Cool, without stirring, to 150 degree F. This should take about 30 minutes. Remove candy thermometer from saucepan. Immediately stir in pecans. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until candy is just beginning to thicken, but is still glossy. This should take 3 to 4 minutes.`

3. Quickly drop the candy from a teaspoon onto a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. If the candy becomes too stiff to drop easily from the soon, stir in a few drops of hot water. Store tightly covered. Makes about 36 pralines.

Brown Sugar Pralines
: Prepare Buttermilk Pralines as directed above, except substitute 1 cup light cream for buttermilk.

Make-Ahead Tip: Up to 3 days ahead, prepare pralines. Store at room temperature in a tightly covered container.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 03:17 PM   #44
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HAZELNUT SAUCE

1 12-oz. pkg. semisweet chocolate pieces
1 13-oz. jar chocolate-hazelnut spread
1 12-oz. can evaporated milk
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua, or strong coffee
2 cups coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts (optional)


Directions
1. In a large heavy saucepan melt chocolate pieces and chocolate-hazelnut spread over low heat, stirring occasionally. Add evaporated milk and sugar, stirring until smooth. Bring to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; reduce heat. Cook, uncovered, for 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in coffee liqueur.

2. Spoon mixture into 6 clean half-pint jars, leaving 3/4-inch headspace; cover and refrigerate. Divide hazelnuts, if using, between 6 small plastic bags. Decorate jars and plastic bags. To serve, reheat sauce, spoon sauce over ice cream; sprinkle with nuts, if desired. Makes 6 half-pint jars.

HONEY & NUT FUDGE
1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup half-and-half or light cream
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts, hazelnuts (filberts), or pecans
Chopped nuts or chopped dried pineapple or papaya (optional)


Directions
1. Line a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with foil, extending foil over edges of the pan. Butter the foil; set pan aside.

2. Butter the sides of a heavy 2-quart saucepan. In the saucepan, combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, half-and-half or light cream, milk, and honey. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils and sugars dissolve (about 8 minutes). Clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Reduce heat to medium-low; continue to boil at a moderate steady rate, stirring frequently, until thermometer registers 234 degrees F, soft-ball stage (15 to 20 minutes). Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a steady boil.

3. Remove pan from heat. Add butter and vanilla, but do not stir. Cool, without stirring, to 110 degrees F (50 to 60 minutes).

4. Remove thermometer from pan. Beat mixture vigorously with a clean wooden spoon until fudge just begins to thicken; stir in the 1/2 cup nuts. Continue beating until fudge just starts to lose its gloss (about 10 minutes total).

5. Immediately spread fudge evenly in prepared pan. Score into 1-1/4-inch squares while warm, and if desired, sprinkle with additional nuts or dried fruit. When fudge is firm, use foil to lift it out of the pan. Cut fudge into squares. Makes 1-1/4 pounds (about 36 pieces).

To store: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.



This is nice for those wishing to present something for everyone coming to your Christmas party or those at the office wanting to spread some joy; simply have a nice font and print out your recipe for following, giving your cheer toward those. With a nice ribbon tied to it around the bag or tape it, should do the trick
Packaged Bread Mix

Ingredients
Basic Mix:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. dried cilantro or parsley
1 Tbsp. dried rosemary
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Directions

1. For Basic Mix, in one resealable plastic bag or container combine dry ingredients. Seal bag and store up to 1 month.


2. CHEDDAR-HERB BREAD: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8x4x2-inch loaf pan. Place Basic Mix in a bowl. With a pastry blender, cut in 1/4 cup butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 4 ounces white cheddar cheese, shredded. In a bowl combine 3/4 cup milk and 1 egg, slightly beaten. Add to crumb mixture all at once. Stir quickly with a fork to moisten. Spread in prepared pan. Bake 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn loaf out onto wire rack; cool completely. Makes 12 servings.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 01:53 PM   #45
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Fruited Sugar Cookies
after they have been cooled let them stand 15 minutes on the wire rack. Remember wire, get the air under them.
once again the ladies from back east!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup slivered almonds (6 ounces)
2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds, finely chopped, for garnish, optional
3/4 cup pomegranate jelly*
Confectioners' sugar, for garnish, optional
*Pomegranate jelly may be found in specialty food stores


Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or leave ungreased.
Combine flour and salt in a bowl; set aside.
Combine almonds and 1/3 cup of sugar in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until finely ground. (Be careful not to grind to a paste).
Combine butter and remaining sugar in a medium bowl. Cream together until light and fluffy. Add ground almond and sugar mixture. Mix to combine. Add vanilla and egg yolks. Mix to combine. Mix in flour.
Roll dough into walnut-size balls and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Dip your thumbs in flour and use to make a deep indentation in center of each cookie.
Whisk egg whites to loosen them and then brush outside of each cookie with egg white. Scatter a few chopped almonds on outer edge of each cookie if desired. Fill each center with 1/2 teaspoon of jelly.
Bake until edges are golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from oven. If needed, immediately add another 1/4 teaspoon of jelly to each cookie. Let stand for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to cooling racks with a thin metal spatula. Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired.
Makes 4 to 5 dozen jelly-filled cookies
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Old December 9th, 2008, 05:30 PM   #46
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Ls peanut butter fudge

c sugar
2 c sugar substitute
- stick or margarine
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 (6oz) pkg chocolate chips
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow creme
-1/3 c peanut butter


In a heavy skillet, bring to a boil sugar, sugar sub ( that measures cup for cup like sugar), butter, and canned milk over med-high heat, and cook about 200 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Using cold water test, make sure mixture ahs reached the hard-ball stage. Turn off heat; quickly add vanilla chips, and marshmallow crme. Add peanut butter, Stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Pour onto buttered cookie sheet and allow to firm before cutting.
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Old December 9th, 2008, 05:31 PM   #47
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COOKIES AND CREAM FUDGE



16 chocolate cream filled sandwich cookies, broken into chunks, divided
1 14 oz swt condensed milk
2 tbsp butter or margarine
2 2/3 c vanilla chips
1 tsp vanilla extract


Line an 9 inch sq baking pan with aluminum foil; coat with non stick cooking spray. Place of the broken cookies in pan. In a heavy saucepan, combine milk, butter and chips; cook and stir over low heat until chips are melted. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour over cookies in pan. Sprinkle with remaining cookies. Cover refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Cut into squares. 3 dz.
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Old December 9th, 2008, 05:36 PM   #48
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2 FLAVORED FUDGE

2 C Packed BROWN SUGAR
1 C WHITE SUGAR
1 C EVAPORATED MILK
2 1/2 C BUTTER
1 (7 OZ) JAR MARSHMALLOW CRME
1 (6 OZ) PKG BUTTER SCOTHC CHIPS
1 (6 OZ) PKG CHCOLATE CHIPS
1 C. CHPD NUTS
1 TSP VANILLA

In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, white sugar, milk, and butter. Bring to a full boil over med heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Add marshmallow creme, butterscotch chips, and chocolate chips. Stir until melted and mixture is smooth. Add chopped nuts and vanilla. Pour into a greased 9 inch pan to cool. Cut into squares.
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Old December 9th, 2008, 05:53 PM   #49
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PINK CHAMPAGNE PUNCH
prep time 10 minutes

2 cans (6oz) cranberry juice concentrate
2 cans (6 os) pink lemonade concentrate
1 bottle (4/5qt. ) chilled burgundy wine
1 qt club soda, chilled
2 bottles pink champagne, chilled
ice cubes, plain or fancy

In a fancy punch bowl, combine the cranberrry juice, lemonade, burgundy, club soda and the chmapgne. Add ice cubes, serve immediately.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 03:46 PM   #50
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this was sent to me last night

Choco-Coco Bonbons

2 1-oz. sqs. unsweetened baking chocolate
14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 c. flaked coconut
1/2 c. chopped walnuts

Melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler over boiling water. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets, shaping with hands into balls. Preheat oven at 350 degrees; turn off heat. Place baking sheets in oven for 20 minutes or until candies have a glazed appearance. Makes 3 dozen.

(you could add rum 1/2 tsp)opt
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Old December 12th, 2008, 08:27 PM   #51
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German Plum Cake
serves 8
Ingredients:

1 cup All purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 lb Damson Plums
2 large Egg Yolks
2/3 cup Heavy Cream
1/3 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Slivered Almonds
1/4 freshly grated Nutmeg
1/8 or a dash Angostura
teaspoon NUTMEG
DELETE cup 1/3 CUP OF MILK IS INSERTED TWICE


Sift the dry ingredients together and cut in the butter with two knives, or better yet, use the heel of each clean thumb against forefingers and pointing fingers to blend until mealy.
Add milk and mix just enough to combine well. Butter a shallow round pan, one with a removable bottom is best. Press the crust into the pan and up against the sides.
Arrange the plums which have been washed, split and pitted, with their cut sides up in an overlapping circular pattern on the crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.
Then pour the mixture of yolks, sugar, cream, nutmeg and angostura over the plums, and top with almonds. Continue baking another 10 to 15 minutes until toppping is set and golden brown. Serve warm as dessert or coffee cake.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 08:28 PM   #52
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English Sherry Trifle

Ingredients:

1 lb Sponge cake or Swiss
1 packet Raspberry or strawberry Jelo
1 can Fruit Cocktail
10 fl oz Homo Milk
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cup Birds English Custard Powder
4 fl oz Whipping Cream
6 glazed cherries
1 pinch sliced almonds
3 fl oz Sweet sherry
Steps:
Spread the raspberry jam over the sponge cake,break the cake into small pieces into a glass fruit bowl, empty the can of fruit (fresh fruit in season) over the cake.
Mix the jelo with boiling hot water and after it has cooled a little pour over the cake mix. Place to one side to cool.
English Custard: Into a suace pan place the sugar and milk and bring to the boil on the stove. Remove from the heat. mix the custard powder in a little cold water then add to the milk and stir briskly. Return to the heat on the stove and bring back to the boil stiring all the time or it will burn. Place to one side and let it cool down.
Whip the cream with a little of the sugar until it becomes stiff
Assemble the trifle: pour the sherry over the cake mix, spread a layer of custard then top with whipped cream. Decorate with the cheries and sliced almonds. Enjoy
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Old December 12th, 2008, 08:29 PM   #53
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Pecan Figged Pie
serves 8
3 Eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup Dark corn syrup
2 tablespoons Butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups Pecans
1 teaspoon flour
1/2 cup chopped figs(fresh or frozen)
1 Deep dish Pie crust
preheat oven to 350 degrees Beat Eggs slightly with fork in medium bowl.Add sugar,corn syrup,butter,vanilla,flour and figs;stir until blended.Stir in Pecans.Place cookie sheet in preheated oven.Pour filling in frozen crust, wrap edges of pie crust with foil to keep from overbrowning and bake 55 to 60 minutes.cool.instead of sliceing pie spoon dip pie in pretty dessert glasses and top with whip topping
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Old December 12th, 2008, 08:30 PM   #54
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Pears & Almonds(TorTe)
serves 8


2 1/2 cup Flour
8 oz Cold Butter sticks
1/4 cup Sugar
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1 Egg Yolk
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 teaspoons water
1/3 cup Fine breadcrumbs
6 Pears
1/2 cup Sugar
4 tablespoons Butter sticks
1 1/4 cup Blanched Almonds
1 Egg
1 tablespoon Flour
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 cup mascarpone
To make the pastry, put the flour, butter, sugar, and salt in a food processor, and process until the mixture ressembles breadcrumbs. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together the egg yolk, with the vanilla and water. With the machine running, pour in this mixture and process until the dough just comes together. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of a 10 inch springform pan and chill until needed.
Meanwhile, peel, halve, and core the pears. Spread the breadcrumbs over the bottom of the prepared tart shell, and arrange the pears all over the bottom with the rounded side out. You may need to cut some of the pears to fit in the shell
To make the filling, put the sugar, butter, almonds, whole egg, flour in the food processor and process until smooth. Cover the pears with the almond mixture. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven until golden brown, approx. 1 hour. Let rest for an hour before serving (This torte will keep in the fridge for a week). Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream mixed with mascarpone
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Old December 14th, 2008, 02:39 PM   #55
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EggNog & Cheese Bliss (Cups)

Ingredients:
Dough:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg yolk
Filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
Powdered sugar
Directions:
In large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and mix the ingredients with an electric mixer on low speed until they form a sandy, crumbly mixture, about 1 minute.
In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and egg yolk until very smooth. Add the sour cream and egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until the dough comes together, about 30 seconds. The dough may feel a little dry. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, egg, sugar, vanilla and nutmeg with an electric mixer until smooth; set aside filling.
On a work surface thickly dusted with powdered sugar, roll out the chilled cookie dough to form a 12x18-inch rectangle, about 1/8-inch thick. Using the tip of a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 2x2-inch squares. Place a teaspoon of the cream cheese filling in the center of each square.
Grease the cups of a mini muffin pan. Gather the points of the dough square around the filling to make a cup, open at the top. Place the cookie directly into the mini muffin pan or place the cookie in a mini muffin paper liner and place the paper liner in the pan. Repeat with the remaining squares and refrigerate 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F.
Bake cookies until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cookies cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before removing.
Store cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 1 week.
Makes 2 dozen cookies
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Old December 15th, 2008, 10:56 PM   #56
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CHOCOLATE GINGERBREAD

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup dark molasses
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick/2 oz/56g) butter or margarine
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract



Instructions:
1. Grease a 9-inch springform pan. Melt chocolate with corn syrup, molasses, oil and butter in a double boiler set over simmering water. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

2. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large mixing bowl. Combine eggs, buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl.

3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add buttermilk mixture. Stir well. Add chocolate mixture. Beat until smooth.

4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 35 minutes.

Makes 16 servings.
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Old December 15th, 2008, 10:58 PM   #57
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chocolate dipped Gingerbread cookies

2 tablespoons dark molasses
1 tablespoon water
1 large egg
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 tablespoons dried orange peel
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup solid shortening
2 boxes (6 ounces each) white chocolate baking squares



Instructions:
Whisk molasses, water and egg in a small bowl; set aside.

If using an electric mixer:
Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, orange peel, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and allspice in large mixing bowl. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Pour molasses mixture over flour; beat with mixer until dough forms.

If using a food processor:
Place flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, orange peel, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and allspice in food processor; process 10 seconds. Add butter; process until dough resembles coarse meal, about 30 seconds. Pour molasses mixture over flour and process until dough forms. Remove dough from processor.

Turn out on lightly floured surface. Knead 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer dough to bowl; cover. Chill a minimum of 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Roll dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters. Place on baking sheets; bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool.

Melt shortening and white baking chocolate in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Dip half of each cookie in chocolate. Place on cooling racks or wax paper to let chocolate harden.
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Old December 20th, 2008, 08:34 PM   #58
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Tipsy Santa

1/2 oz. Stoli Vanilla (optional to give it kick)
1 oz. Pumpkin Spice liqueur (such as Hiram Walker)
1/2 oz. Kahlua
1/2 oz. Butterscotch Schnapps
1/2 oz. half-and-half
Crushed graham crackers
Cinnamon stick (garnish)

Preparation:


Add all liquids in a shaker filled with ice.

Shake and strain into large martini glass rimmed with crushed graham crackers.

Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 11:43 PM   #59
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Though our New Year is over, here we get ready for another...

Chinese New Year traditional yummies...

Rice Pudding
For the Pudding:
200g (7 oz.) dates, stoned and chopped
255g can (8 oz.) red bean paste
450g (1 lb.) glutinous rice
600ml (1 pint) cold water
40g (1 1/2 oz.) lard (or shortening), melted
2 tablespoons sugar
25g (1 oz.) angelica
Red and Green glace cherries
2 oz. flaked almonds

For the Syrup:
100g (4 oz.) sugar
250ml (8 fl. oz.) cold water
1 teaspoon almond essence (extract)
1 tablespoon cornflour
3 tablespoons water


Instructions:
1. Mix the chopped dates with the red bean paste.

2. Rinse the rice, drain, then place in a 2 litre (3 1/2 pint) saucepan and add the cold water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 25 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of lard (or shortening) and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Mix well.

3. Grease a 1.2 litre (2 pint) heatproof bowl or pudding mold and line it with three-quarters of the cooked rice. Spoon the bean paste mixture on to the rice and then place the remaining rice on top. Spread the rice evently and press down flat with the palm of your hand. Put a plate over the bowl (or mold) and unmould the pudding carefully onto a serving dish.

4. Decorate the top of the pudding with the angelica, red and green glace cherries and flaked almonds in an attractive pattern. Cover the pudding with plastic wrap then put the original bowl back over the pudding and turn it back into the bowl. Remove the plate and cover the top with plastic wrap. Steam the pudding for at least 1 hour. The pudding can be reheated.

5. While the pudding is steaming make up the syrup. Combine the sugar and water in a small pan and boil until the sugar dissolves. add the almond extract. Blend the cornflour and water and stir in to thicken the sauce.

6. When ready to serve, unmould the pudding carefully and peel off the plastic wrap. Pour the hot syrup over the top and serve at once.

Makes 8 servings.

Notes: Other fruits may be used for decoration if desired, such as apricots, pineapple, prunes, papaya, wintermelon, coconut, and lotus seeds.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 11:44 PM   #60
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Sweet Red Bean Soup

1 cup dried red azuki beans, soaked 4 hours or overnight, drained
1/4 cup dried lotus seeds, soaked for 12 hours, or overnight, drained
1/3 cup to 1/2 cup sugar


Instructions:
Combine beans and 7 cups water in large pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook uncovered until beans are tender and the liquid has reduced by 3 cups, about 2 hours. Add the lotus seeds and cook until almost tender, about 20 minutes longer. Divide soup among 8 soup bowls and serve.

Makes 8 servings.

Tips:
1) Adding a piece of dried orange peel (half an orange) gives the soup a lovely tangy flavour. You can make this peel by saving all those peels from the abundant mandarin oranges eaten during the period. Scrape off all the white piths with a knife and sun for several days. Then keep them in the freezer and it will last indefinitely.

2) Also one can add a handful of sago pearls towards the last 10 minutes of boiling. It gives an interesting texture (slightly chewy).
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