Friday, November 5, 2010

Tangy Cream Cheese Croissants

Last month we went to Josh and Sarah in Maryland. They have a cute new baby boy and two other cute boys we were very anxious to see. Grandkids are the best! They live in a cute house in a beautiful part of the country. There is nothing quite like autumn in New England.
While we were there Sarah make ham and cheese sandwiches on Croissants. They had a delicious orange marmalade spread on them. I would never have thought to put these ingredients together, and if I had read the recipe, I don't think I ever would have made it because it sound so strange. But it was yummy. She used havarti cheese. Sarah said her mother had made it a few weeks earlier, when she was there when Benjamin was born.

Tangy Cream Cheese Croissants

8 oz cream cheese
4-6 oz apricot preserves
3-4 oz cool whip (small tub-use half of it)
ham slices cut in half
swiss or havarti or provalone cheese slices cut in half

Cream together cool whip, cream cheese and apricot preserve. Spread on croissants. Place ham and cheese in croissants.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Royal Icing

Every year I make ghost cookies for Halloween. Last year I made them for all the Young Women in my ward. I usually take them to the ward Halloween party. It is about the only time I actually decorate cookies. Usually, I just put frosting on Valentine cookies. Occasionally, I make decorated Easter Egg cookies.

I started to take a cake decorating class when I was in college, but it didn't work in my schedule, so I quit after the first week. I have had a few lessons since then but really never got the hang of it.
A few years ago, I went to a class on decorating cookies. The woman made sugar cookies that were absolutely darling. But she only used royal icing to frost them with. Royal icing tastes awful. It is hard and makes the cookies crunchy. I don't think it is a very good combination. However, if you use it sparingly, you don't even notice that it is there and it makes the cookies much easier to frost with good frosting. I just use it to pipe around the edges of the cookies. I let it dry, then I usually use cream cheese frosting (that I have added a little milk to to make it a little runny) to float the frosting onto the cookie. It makes the frosting on the cookie look very smooth. After the cream cheese frosting has set up a little I use a tiny bit of royal frosting to add detail to the cookie. If I am decorating very much, I still just use cream cheese frosting because it tastes so much better, and I figure, what good is a cookie if you can't eat it?

Royal Icing

1 lb powdered sugar

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

3 Tablespoons meringue powder

3 ½ oz water

Beat 5-10 minutes until stiff

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Almond Tulips

Several years ago, my friends, Danette and Maryanne and I (and a few other people) took a cooking class at Thanksgiving Point. We learned to make several desserts that I have never made since (including cream puff swans). It was a lot of fun. I'd like to do it again sometime. We made gorgeous matching aprons to wear to the class. They were little cocktail dresses appliqued to a butcher apron. We were rather stunning. When the class was over we made our husbands matching cumber buns and bow ties. and had a dinner party.
These were one of the things we made in the class. They are delicious and make a bowl of ice cream a festive treat.

Almond Tulips
(Ice Cream Cookie Bowls)

2 cups egg whites (16-20 eggs)

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 ½ cups sliced almonds

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup unsalted butter (melted and cooled)

1 cup water (plus a little if needed)

Heat cookie sheet in oven at 325° for 20 minutes.

Mix butter and water together. Beat egg whites (don’t whip-you don’t want them airy). Add sugar and cream of tartar until stabilized (about 4 minutes). Add all other ingredients. Mix for 6 minutes on low speed (should be the consistency of thin cake batter).

Heavily spray hot pan with PAM. Ladle and spread batter to about 6 inch circles (about ⅓ cup). Bake for 20 minutes at 325° until outside edge is golden brown. Immediately remove from hot cookie sheet and form bowl by draping over an upside down cup until hard.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dipped Butter Drop Cookies

I've been trying to decide what kind of cookies to make for Cuyler's Mission Farewell Party. I'm pretty sure I'll make necktie sugar cookies and Spanish CTR sugar cookies. I'll probably also make Bowtie cookies (because Cuyler wore bow ties for a long time, just like Dallin). I really like these cookies too. They are pretty and taste really good. However, the chocolate on them doesn't always set up well in the summer so I may not make them. Maybe I'll let Cuyler decide. I'll leave the nuts off some of them, since Cuyler is allergic to nuts.

Dipped Butter Drop Cookies

1 cup Butter

1 ½ cup sugar

2 T. Milk

2 eggs

1 t. Vanilla

2 ½ cup flour (maybe a little more)

½ t. Salt

½ t. Baking powder

Heat oven to 375ยบ

Cream butter, sugar and milk until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

Add flour, salt and baking powder. Mix well. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto sprayed cookie sheets. (2 inches apart).

Bake 7-9 minutes. Let cool. When cool dip in melted dipping chocolate or melted chocolate chips then in sliced almonds or chopped pecans. Let cool at room temperature.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tomato-Basil Crab Bisque

A couple of years ago, Allan and I went to Zuppa's for dinner. I ordered the Lobster Bisque. I'm not a big lobster fan, but I loved the soup. I came home and tried to find a similar recipe. This is what I found. It's not lobster and I really don't remember if it is very much like the soup at Zuppa's. But, never the less, I really like it, too.

Tomato-Basil Crab Bisque

4 tablespoons butter

1 lb. Fresh crabmeat

1-2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (about ¾ - 1 cup)

½ cup chopped fresh basil

2-3 cloves, minced

Scant 1 cup flour

2 ½ cup clam-tomato juice (Clamato juice)

2 cups whipping cream

1/3-1/2 cup ketchup

1/3 cup bottled clam juice

3 ½ teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

¼ t. hot pepper sauce (optional)

¾ cup water

¼ cup lemon juice


Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add crab meat, tomato, basil and garlic. Saute 2 minutes. Whisk in flour; stir 2 minutes. Whisk in clam-tomato juice and cream, ketchup, clam juice and Old Bay seasoning. Reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Cool soup slightly.

Puree soup in batches in blender until smooth. Return soup to pot. Stir in water and lemon juice. Bring to simmer. Add enough milk to make it desired consistency. Sprinkle with chopped basil and serve.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Berry Slush

We served this slush at Josh and Sarah's wedding reception.
I got the recipe from a lady in our ward. At the Court of Honor for one of her sons, they served this slush. I think it is from the Lion House Christmas Cookbook.
When my older kids were scouts, everyone in our ward made a huge deal about Eagle Scout Courts of Honor. They were almost like a wedding reception. It was kind of crazy. Fortunately, that tradition changed. Now they are more like a normal Court of Honor, honoring several of the boys at the same time and with only slightly more fanfare. It's much better and much easier.
At the Court of Honor for one of the scouts many years ago they served this slush. It was delicious. It is very pretty as well.

Berry Slush

2 cups sugar

3½ cups water

1 10 oz. package frozen mixed berries (or raspberries)

1 cup orange juice

1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, undrained

¼ cup lemon juice

2 12 oz. cans 7-up (or more)

Combine sugar and water in saucepan and heat till sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in frozen berries. Add orange juice, crushed pineapple with juice, and a few drops of red food coloring, if desired. Pour into shallow pan (or gallon size zip-lock freezer bags) and freeze. Remove from freezer one hour before serving. Break up with fork till slushy. Fill punch cups two-thirds full with slush. Pour 7-up over. Or mix slush and 7-up in punch bowl. Makes 20 half-cup servings.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Easy Punch

Jacci made this punch for our ward's Young Women of Excellence night a couple of month's ago. We served it for Thanksgiving and again for Christmas. We had cranberries floating in it for the holidays and it was very pretty. It is really easy and very refreshing. Add a little water if it is too strong for your taste.

Easy Punch

1 can frozen white grape juice
1 bottle Fresca
Pebbled Ice

Mix juice and Fresca together Pour over pebbled ice. Garnish with sliced fruit (limes, lemons, cranberries, etc) if desired.