Monday, December 30, 2013

Buttermilk Cheddar Cheese Biscuits

These addictive biscuits were an excellent accompaniment to homemade cream of broccoli soup. They full of flavor from all the delicious cheddar cheese. Best served warm but also make an excellent base for turkey sandwiches! I always use extra-sharp cheese in my baking for the most flavor.

Buttermilk Cheddar Cheese Biscuits
Makes 8 | Barefoot Contessa

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup cold buttermilk, shaken
1 cold extra-large egg
1 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water or milk
Sea salt, optional

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Place 2 cups of flour, the baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, add the butter and mix until the butter is the size of peas.

3. Combine the buttermilk and egg in a small measuring cup and beat lightly with a fork. With the mixer still on low, quickly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix only until moistened. In a small bowl, mix the Cheddar with small handful of flour and, with the mixer still on low, add the cheese to the dough. Mix only until roughly combined.

4. Dump out onto a well-floured board and knead lightly about 6 times. Roll the dough out to a rectangle 10 by 5 inches. With a sharp, floured knife, cut the dough lengthwise in half and then across in quarters, making 8 rough rectangles. Transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with the egg wash, sprinkle with salt, if using, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the biscuits are cooked through.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Pretzel Treats

Salty and sweet, festive and fun, easy peasy! These are a definite go-to treat for the holidays. They make great little gifts packaged in clear bags and tied with ribbon. My son enjoyed unwrapping all the Hershey's Kisses... occasionally popping one in his mouth when he thought I wasn't looking lol.

I probably won't be posting again before Christmas, so MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!!! Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season with your families and friends.

Pretzel Treats
Makes as many as you want

Waffle shaped pretzels
Hershey's Kisses
M & M's

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Set a number of bite-size, waffle-shaped pretzels (one for each treat) in a single layer on a cookie sheet.

2. Bake for 4 to 6 minutes (the white chocolate will melt more quickly), until the chocolates feel soft when touched with a wooden spoon. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and quickly press a candy coated chocolate (M & M) into the center of each kiss.

3. Allow the treats to cool for a few minutes, then place them in the refrigerator to set, about 10 minutes.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Caramel Cashew Bars

We are only 4 days away from Christmas!!! Where did the time go. Seems like every year goes by faster and faster!

These bars are great to make in a pinch for time. They start out with crushed shortbread cookies - storebought or homemade. Perfect recipes to use up crumbled shortbread cookies. You could also substitute crushed graham crackers for the shortbread. I chose to omit the marshmallows and to reserve some crushed shortbread to sprinkle on top of the caramel mixture.

Caramel Cashew Bars
Makes 9 x 13" pan | adapted from BH&G

3 cups finely crushed shortbread cookies
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
36 vanilla caramels, unwrapped
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 cups coarsely chopped cashews
2 cups tiny marshmallows

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over the edges of the pan. Lightly grease foil; set pan aside.

2. In a large bowl stir together crushed shortbread cookies, butter, and sugar. Press cookie mixture firmly and evenly in prepared pan. Bake about 15 minutes or until crust is golden and dried around edges. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

3. Meanwhile, in a medium heavy saucepan heat and stir caramels and cream over medium-low heat until melted and smooth. Stir in cashews. Sprinkle marshmallows evenly over baked shortbread crust. Pour caramel mixture over marshmallows; carefully spread evenly.

4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until caramel is set and bubbly around edges. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Use foil to lift uncut bars out of pan. Place on cutting board; cut into bars.