From Joy of Baking
2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
1 cup (2 sticks) (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (60 grams) powdered (confectioners or icing) sugar
1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract
- In a separate bowl whisk the flour with the salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter until smooth (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until smooth (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract.
- Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least an hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) with the rack in the middle of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to 1/4 inch (.5 cm) thick. Cut into rounds or whatever shapes you wish using lightly floured cookie cutter.
- Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. This will firm up the dough so the cookies will maintain their shape when baked.
- Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, or until cookies are lightly brown. Cool on rack. Shortbread with keep in an airtight container for about a week or frozen for several months.
Makes about 20 shortbread cookies.
Chocolate Caramel Sandwich Cookies
From Food and Wine magazine
For Cookie Dough:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
For Caramel Filling:
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Make the cookie dough: In a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy. Beat in the egg.
- Sift the flour, cocoa and salt into the bowl and beat at low speed until the dough comes together, 2 minutes.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 2 or 3 times. Flatten into 2 disks, wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll out each disk of dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to a scant 1/4-inch thickness. Using a floured 1 3/4-inch round cookie cutter, stamp out as many rounds as possible; transfer to the baking sheets. Gather the scraps, reroll and stamp out as many cookies as possible.
- Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes, until puffed and set, shifting the baking sheets for even baking. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets.
- Meanwhile, make the caramel: Oil the bottom and sides of a 9-inch-square cake pan and line the bottom with a sheet of wax paper, long enough to reach 2 inches up 2 sides of the pan.
- In a medium saucepan, stir together the sugar, cream, honey, corn syrup and vanilla seeds and bring to a boil. (Reserve the vanilla pod for another use.) Set a candy thermometer in the saucepan and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 250°. Remove from the heat.
- Remove the thermometer and stir in the butter. Pour the caramel into the prepared pan and let cool for 45 minutes.
- Lift the caramel out of the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Using a 1 1/4-inch round cookie cutter, stamp out rounds of caramel and sandwich them between the cookies, pressing gently to flatten slightly. Wrap any remaining caramel bits individually in wax paper and save for another use.
- Make the glaze: Melt the chocolate with the butter in a double boiler. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Dip the cookies halfway into the chocolate glaze, allowing any excess to drip back into the pot. Set the cookies on the wax paper and refrigerate for about 20 minutes, until just set. Transfer the cookies to a plate and serve.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
Smoky Chipotle Hummus
From Bon Appetit magazine
2 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)*
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
21/2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chilies**
1 large garlic clove, minced
11/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 4-ounce jar sliced pimientos in oil, drained
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 6-ounce packages roasted-garlic bagel chips
- Reserve 3 tablespoons garbanzo beans for garnish.
- Blend remaining garbanzo beans and next 7 ingredients in processor until smooth.
- Add pimientos; process, using on/off turns, until pimientos are coarsely chopped.
- Transfer hummus to medium bowl. Stir in cilantro. Season hummus to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with reserved garbanzo beans. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.) Accompany with bagel chips.
*Sold at Middle Eastern markets, natural foods stores and some supermarkets.
**Chipotle chilies canned in a spicy tomato sauce, sometimes called adobo, are available at Latin American markets, specialty foods stores and some supermarkets.
Blue Cheese Popcorn
From Emeril Lagasse
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1/3 cup white popping corn
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (1/3 pound) piece assertive blue cheese, frozen
1/2 cup coarsely chopped lightly toasted walnuts
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- In a large, partially covered saucepan, heat the oil and 1 kernel of popcorn until hot enough to make the corn pop. Add the remaining popcorn and cook, partially covered, shaking until all the corn is popped.
- Transfer the popcorn to a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. While popcorn is hot, grate the blue cheese over the popcorn. Add the walnuts and chives and toss until evenly coated. Serve immediately.
Makes 10 cups.
Smoked Salmon Pizza
From Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine
Two 12-inch store-bought partially baked pizza crusts
Extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
1/4 cup drained capers
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3/4 pound sliced smoked salmon
- Preheat the oven to 450°.
- Drizzle the crusts with olive oil, season with pepper and bake for 10 minutes. Let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, shallots, 2 tablespoons capers, 1 tablespoon dill and the lemon juice.
- Spread the cream cheese mixture on the crusts. Top with the smoked salmon, remaining 2 tablespoons capers and 1 tablespoon dill. Cut into wedges.
From Wolfgang Puck
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 ounces unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup lemon zest
Confectioner’s sugar, for decorating
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the flour, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. With the machine running, add the butter and continue to process until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Transfer the mixture to a buttered 12-by-18-inch baking pan. With your fingers, press it in to form an even layer of crust.
- Bake the crust until light golden in color, 15 to 18 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the lemon custard topping. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the sugar, flour, and salt and stir until well blended. Finally, stir in the lemon juice, milk, and lemon zest.
- Pour the lemon mixture over the prebaked crust, return the pan to the oven, and continue to bake until the custard has set, 20 minutes more.
- Remove the pan from the oven, let it cool to room temperature, and then chill, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Before serving, use a sharp knife to cut down through the topping and crust to make 3 dozen bars. Carefully pry them from the pan and dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving.
Makes 3 dozen.
Black Truffle Risotto
From Wolfgang Puck
1 cup, plus 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 pound risotto
2 cup white wine
6 cups freshly made or store-bought chicken stock
1/2 cup truffle butter (see below)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano
Freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces black truffles
- In a flat-bottom saucepan, heat 1/2 cup of the olive oil.
- Add the onion and sweat until translucent. Add the risotto and make sure it is thoroughly coated with the mixture while stirring constantly.
- Add the white wine and reduce until dry.
- Add half of the chicken stock to cover the risotto, and stir constantly until the stock is gone. Repeat with the remaining stock until you have used up all of the liquid and the rice is tender but still chewy, about 20 minutes.
- Add 1/2 cup of truffle butter and 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan.
1 Tbsp. chopped black truffle
4 sticks unsalted butter
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, mix the butter and truffles for about 1 to 2 minutes.
Pan Roasted Organic Chicken with Black Truffle Risotto
From Wolfgang Puck
6 organic chicken breasts
2 whole black truffles, plus 1/4 cup chopped black truffles
1 pound goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup olive oil
6 Shelton Farms chicken leg and thigh meat, finely diced
3 medium carrots, 1/4-inch diced
6 stalks celery, 1/4-inch diced
2 cups yellow onion, 1/4-inch diced
2 leeks, white part only, 1/4-inch diced
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Slice the whole truffles on a truffle slicer. Gently separate the skin from each chicken breast without tearing the skin, and stuff the sliced truffles and goat cheese between the breast and the skin.
- Sear the chicken, skin side down, in a hot skillet with a little olive oil. Remove from the heat, and leaving the breasts skin side down, roast them in the oven until thoroughly cooked, about 10-15 minutes.
- Sweat the carrots, celery, onions and leeks in a little olive oil until tender. Reserve.
- Sear the leg and thigh meat in a skillet with olive oil.
- Toss the vegetable mix with the cooked leg and thigh meat. Add chopped black truffles and Natural Jus.
- Presentation: On individual plates, place some of the risotto to cover the plate. Spoon the leg and vegetable ragout in the center of the plate. Place the sliced chicken breast on top of the vegetables and shave some black truffles on top.
1/4 cup garlic, sliced
1/2 cup shallots, sliced
4 cups button mushrooms, chopped
2/3 liter white wine
2 Tbsp. Port wine
2 cups freshly made or store-bought chicken stock
1/2 cup store-bought hoisin sauce or demi glace
1 pound roasted chicken bones
1 stick unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
- In a flat-bottomed pan over medium heat, sauté the garlic and shallots until caramelized.
- Add mushrooms and sauté until their moisture is released.
- Add the wines and reduce by half. Add the stock, hoisin sauce or demi glace and bones, and reduce by 2/3.
- Add the rosemary and thyme. Finish with butter.
- Strain and adjust seasonings.
Wasabi Mashed Potatoes
From Wolfgang Puck
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream, heated
1 tablespoon roasted garlic puree (recipe below)
1/2 pound spinach, stems removed
1 teaspoon wasabi mustard powder
Wasabi oil, to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Cut the potatoes into large pieces of equal size. Cover with salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender.
- Drain thoroughly. Pass through a food mill and whip in the butter, hot cream and roasted garlic puree.
- Blanch the spinach in boiling salted water for 10 seconds. Refresh in ice water. Drain thoroughly.
- Transfer to a blender and add wasabi powder and wasabi oil. Process to a puree.
- Stir into warm mashed potato. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Roasted Whole Garlic
From Wolfgang Puck
4 whole heads of garlic
About 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Arrange the garlic heads in a small roasting pan and toss with the olive oil, coating them well.
- Roast garlic until very tender, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
- When cool, cut the heads in half, crosswise, with a serrated knife and remove the softened garlic pulp. This can be done by squeezing each half or by scooping the garlic out with a tiny teaspoon or small knife.
- Transfer to a container, cover, and refrigerate. Use as needed.
Makes about 1/2 cup.
From Drinks Mixer
1 oz. gin
1 oz. vodka
3/4 oz. cherry brandy
1 dash grenadine syrup
1 oz. pineapple juice
1 oz. orange soda
orange wedges, mint, maraschino cherry, optional for garnish
- Fill a glass (suggested: brandy snifter) with ice, then add all liquid ingredients.
- Stir, then toss in a few orange wedges, a maraschino cherry and mint spring.