Waffle Donuts

Yummy little bites that look like waffles and taste like donuts. Win win.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups flour

for the topping (I had to make this twice for one batch of waffle donuts):

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
  2. Add the eggs, milk, and melted butter and beat well.
  3. Stir in the 3 cups of flour, mixing well until it is thoroughly combined. You will have thick, sticky batter.
  4. Pre-heat your waffle iron.
  5. Place a teaspoon of batter in the middle of each waffle part (my waffle iron has 4).
  6. Cook for 3 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Remove the donuts and place on a cooling rack.
  8. Combine the cinnamon and sugar for the topping.
  9. Dip the waffles in butter, shake off, then dip into the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Saffron Buns for St. Lucia’s Day

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I made these saffron buns (original recipe here) for our impromptu St. Lucia’s Day celebration this year. They were fairly easy to make (setting the alarm to get out of bed and let the dough rise was the worst part), and they were very tasty. I was pleased to read that although they are traditionally served on St. Lucia’s Day (December 13), they are also served throughout the Advent season. Perhaps in years to come, we can make the celebration more authentic by having Clara serve us the buns in bed.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (or 1 package)
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (or quark if available)
  • 2 large eggs
  • raisins

Glaze

  • 1 egg, beaten
Directions:
  1. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, saffron threads, and 1 teaspoon sugar until the milk begins to steam. Remove from heat and let cool until it’s still warm to the touch but no longer hot (about 3 minutes).
  2. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk in the saucepan and let sit until foamy, 5-10 minutes.
  3. Whisk together 3 1/2 cups of flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the milk mixture, eggs, butter, and sour cream or quark. Mix until well incorporated.
  5. Knead the dough. You can do this by hand, but the dough hook of a stand mixer works well. Slowly add additional flour, a tablespoon at a time, kneading to incorporate after each addition. Do this until the dough is still a little sticky to the touch, but does not completely stick to your hands when you handle it.
  6. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. (Note: if you are going to let the dough sit in the refrigerator overnight, this is when it goes in.)
  7. (Take the dough out of the refrigerator and) Let the dough sit in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
  8. When the dough has doubled in size, gently press it down and knead it a couple of times. Break off a piece and form it into a ball about 2 inches wide (about the size of a golf ball). Roll the ball out into a snake, about 14 inches long. Then Curl the ends in opposite directions, forming an “S” with spirals at each end. Place on a lined baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough.
  9. Let the dough sit for a second rise. Place in a warm spot for 30 minutes to an hour.
  10. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the beaten egg over the tops and sides of the uncooked buns, and place the raisins in the center of the spirals.
  11. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes until the buns are golden brown.

Blue Cheese, Apple & Walnut Deviled Eggs

deviled_eggs

My friend Lisa P brought these to a small group dinner with church peeps and I couldn’t stop eating the eggs. I’m fixing some for our Easter dinner this evening, and I’m 99.5% sure hers taste better than mine. Nonetheless, these are crazy good and I want to save the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 6 hard-cooked eggs
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped apple
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped, toasted walnuts

Directions

  1. Peel hard-cooked eggs and halve lengthwise; carefully use the tip of a spoon to remove yolk from each egg half. Set whites aside. Place yolks in a small bowl; mash with a fork. Add mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar; mix well. Add apple, blue cheese, and walnuts; stir well. If desired, season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Stuff egg white halves with yolk mixture, using a rounded teaspoon of yolk mixture for each half and using the back of a second teaspoon to carefully push the yolk mixture off the first spoon into the cavity of the egg white. (Or place the yolk mixture in a large resealable plastic bag, snip off one corner of the bag, and squeeze bag to pipe some of the yolk mixture into the cavity of each egg white half.) Cover and chill until serving time (up to 24 hours).

Irish Potato Pie

I admit that when I got out of bed this morning, I had no plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at all, but something about the tantrums my kids threw over not having and/or not wanting to wear and/or not having the right color green got me in the spirit.

This meal was at first much lamented by kids who didn’t even want to try a bite and then praised, second-helping-ed, and requested to be our St. Patrick’s Day tradition for all the years to come. I’ll take that as a win.

Now in case you can’t tell by the fact that the recipe starts out with frying bacon in butter and ends with heavy cream, this is comfort food. We ate it tonight with Irish Soda Bread and a Guinness for the adults. In the future I might try to add a vegetable (maybe in the dish, but on the side at least) just to lighten things up a bit.

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 7 slices thick-sliced bacon, chopped
  • 5 potatoes (4 large), peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill (I left this out, per family preference)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chives for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the thawed puff pastry in a 8-9 inch tart pan and crimp the edges. Remove the excess dough and piece it along the rim if needed to make the rim even in some places. Refrigerate the crust until ready to fill. (I don’t have a tart pan; it worked just fine in my 7×9 rectangle pan, and I’m sure it would be delicious in a regular pie plate too.)
  2. Place the butter and bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute until the bacon is crispy then toss in the onions, followed by the potatoes and dill. Season with salt and pepper. Gently stir 3-5 minutes,to mix the onions and potatoes and coat in fat. The potatoes don’t need to be cooked through. Then spoon the mixture into the crust and drizzle with heavy cream.
  3. Bake on the low rack for 35-45 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender and the crust is golden. Rest for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with chopped chive and cut.

Simple Irish Soda Bread

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, we made Irish Soda Bread. This recipe is super simple — no kneading involved. (It is not, however, authentic–true soda bread has only flour, buttermilk, baking soda, and salt.) Ian (age 5) helped me mix it up. Each time I added an ingredient and asked him to stir it in, he said, “You want me to put it under the flour too?”

My kids (and husband) are iffy on the add-ins. Sometimes they are a hit, but mostly not so much. I had some unsweetened dried cherries that I stirred into half the loaf after it was in the loaf pan. I read somewhere that the dried fruit makes it Spotted Bread (and not traditional Irish Soda Bread). I liked the addition, but I was right to make it to only part of the loaf.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup raisins or other dried fruit (optional)

Directions:

1. Grease the bottom of a loaf pan and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Mix all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda) together in a large bowl.

3. Add the egg, buttermilk, and melted butter and put them under the flour (erm, stir until all the ingredients are moist).

4. Add raisins or dried fruit if you’re using them and stir just until blended.

5. Pour batter/dough into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.

German Peppernuts

Tonight we went over to a friend’s house to share in their family tradition of making peppernuts. They had made the dough already, and the kids rolled it into snakes. These are tasty little cookies, and even more delicious dipped in apple cider (or whatever hot drink you have handy).

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups dark Karo syrup
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 12 1/2 cups flour

Directions

Bring Karo syrup and sugars just to a boil; then add anise, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice (the original directions from our friend’s grandmother say to add the spices one at a time and stir after each spice; not sure why, and there didn’t seem to be any harm done by adding all the spices at once). Stir in shortening and sour cream. Cool mixture enough to add the beaten eggs. Blend well together. Add baking soda and baking powder. Pour the mixture, while still warm, over the flour and stir until well blended.

Chill the dough.

Roll dough on a floured surface into long snakes. Cut snake into thumb-size portions and put onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

 

 

Caramel Corn

I made this for our church Christmas party and it earned a few rave reviews. The recipe is altered slightly from this one over at allrecipes.com. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • cooking spray
  • two bags popped popcorn
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup butter OR margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Spray large shallow roasting pan with cooking spray. Add popcorn and place in preheated 250 degrees F oven while preparing caramel.
  2. Mix brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Boil 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat. Stir in baking soda and vanilla; mix well.
  4. Pour syrup over warm popcorn, stirring to coat evenly.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and spread on foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  6. Cool; break apart. Store in tightly covered container.