Thursday, December 14, 2006

Pineapple Danish (recipe below)

Pineapple Danish

This is a moderately difficult recipe best saved for a day when one feels ambitious. The filling may be prepared ahead.

For the dough:

1 3/4 cup milk
2 packages dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
1/4 cup warm water
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups sifted all purpose flour

Heat milk to lukewarm. Do the same with water. Add yeast to water. Let stand a few minutes and then stir to dissolve. Add yeast to milk with sugar, 1/4 cup of the butter (melted) eggs, salt and cardamom and 2 cups of the flour. Beat well. Add remaininmg flour and knead until smooth adding more if too sticky. Place in a buttered bowl and cover. Let rise until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour). Punch down and roll into a rectangle. Knead remaining cup of butter until smooth. Form into a flat square and place atop the dough, folding each side over it. Press edges to seal. Give dough a half-turn and repeat. Wrap dough in plastic and chill 15 minutes. Roll, fold and chill three more times being careful not to over-chill the butter as it will get hard and break through the dough.

Roll the dough out 1/8 inch thick and cut as desired (I did crescents as they are simple to manage). Fill and place on a greased cookie sheet. Chill at least two hours. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F. (reducing it to 350 as soon as the tray is in oven). Brush pastry with a beaten egg and bake 15 minutes or until browned. Cool on racks.

Makes 2-3 dozen rolls depending on size

For the pineapple filling:

1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup crushed pineapple, well drained
3/4 cup pineapple juice
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Bring to a boil and cook one minute longer, stirring constantly. Chill before using.
*note-I used fresh pineapple because I had it on hand, but it didn't provide much juice so I also needed to boost it with tinned pineapple juice (a staple at our house anyway).



We had leftover mashed potatoes, and my husband requested boxty for the following evening. Personally, I don't care for it. My mother did sort of a strange version of it that was even worse as it relied on oil rather than butter. Still, I went ahead and made them, and the boys enjoyed them.

You Will Need:

1 cup mashed potatoes
1 cup grated potatoes (squeezed dry)
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs
milk to mix
butter to fry

Sift dry ingredients together. Add potatoes and beaten eggs. Add enough milk to make a batter. Drop by spoonfuls on a well buttered pan and cook over moderate heat a few minutes each side. Serve hot with extra butter.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


These spicy gingerbread cookies were a real hit with my son Danny (his pop liked them too).

You Will Need:

1/3 cup soft shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1/1/2 cups mild molasses
1/2 cup cold water
7 cups sifted all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda dissolved in 3 tablespoons water

Mix together the shortening, brown sugar and molasses. Add the cold water and stir. Sift dry ingredients together and add. Lastly, add the dissolved soda. Chill the dough well (overnight is best). Roll out thick and cut as desired. Grease a baking sheet (or use parchment) and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree F. oven for 12-15 minutes depending on thickness. Cool on racks. Decorate as desired. This is quite a bit of dough and will make about 18 gingerbread men.


Buttermilk Clusters

The recipe for these rolls may be found HERE, at The Fresh Loaf.

A few observations:

-I needed much more water to proof the yeast (using dry, active yeast). It took about 1/4 cup of water to dissolve it.

-The amount of buttermilk was increased by about 1/2 cup.

-This was challenging to knead by hand using bread flour. I really had to fight it.

-The first rise took over two hours, though the house is a bit on the cool side.

-I baked two from the recipe using a casserole dish and a souffle dish.

Still, the rolls were well worth the effort, and very impressive to bring to the table. I topped mine with bran flakes. We ate one tonight with soupand I froze the other for another night. I'll let you know how it defrosts.

Buttermilk Cluster-Details Below

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Candied Peel For Jenn

You will need:

-Peels of 2 large grapefruits or 3 large oranges
3 cups sugar

Cover peel with cold water. Bring to boil and cook until tender pouring off and adding fresh a few times. Drain. With a spoon, scrape out the white part of the peel. Cut with a sharp knife or scissors into strips. Make a syrup by heating 2 cups sugar with 1 cup water. Add peel and cook over low heat until peel has a clear,candied look. Remove peel, a few strips at a time and roll in granulated sugar. Cool on rack.

If you have leftovers, dip some in bittersweet chocolate.