Cooking Hussy

Tasty

Marshmallows! August 6, 2009

Filed under: Dessert — cookinghussy @ 7:53 pm

Let me start this by saying I saw this post from Smitten Kitchen and couldn’t get these things out of my head. I talked to people about them. “Hey, did you know you can make marshmallows!?” They were like this mystery puff that could never be made at home, but lo! Smitten Kitchen did it and they looked beautiful. So, I gave it a try…

Marshmallows sugar cooking

First you start by boiling sugar, water and corn syrup. Mmm! Please note the lack of candy thermometer… (This was my first try.)

Marshmallows mixer

Then you mix that boiled sugar with gelatin and water and mix. This is our new mixer. It’s pretty. Please note the dark brown color on the side of the bowl.

Marshmallows Pan

Pour it in a pan and it should look light and fluffy and, um, white! This does not look like any of those things.

Marshmallows

After a couple hours in the fridge, they get cut into pieces and tossed in powdered sugar. At this point, they should be pillows of sweet fluffy goodness! But these were flat, with chunks of hard candy in the middle. Gross. So! I tried again!

marhsmallows bowl 2

This is after I used a CANDY THERMOMETER while heating the sugar so I didn’t end up over cooking and burning it. Then it mixed up lovely! This shows the whipped sugar/gelatin and the egg white and vanilla.

Marshmallow pan 2

Oooo! Pretty! Light and white and fluffy!

Marshmallow 2

TA DA!

  • About 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 1/2 envelopes (2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup cold water, divided
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (cane sugar worked just fine)
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg whites or reconstituted powdered egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla (alternately: 1/2 of a scraped vanilla bean, 2 teaspoons almond or mint extract or maybe even some food coloring for tinting)

Oil bottom and sides of a 13- by 9- by 2-inch rectangular metal baking pan and dust bottom and sides with some confectioners’ sugar.

In bowl of a standing electric mixer or in a large bowl sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold cold water, and let stand to soften.

In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar, corn syrup, second 1/2 cup of cold water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to moderate and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240°F, about 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.

With standing or a hand-held electric mixer beat mixture on high speed until white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about six minutes if using standing mixer or about 10 minutes if using hand-held mixer. (Some reviewers felt this took even longer with a hand mixer, but still eventually whipped up nicely.)

In separate medium bowl with cleaned beaters beat egg whites (or reconstituted powdered whites) until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat whites and vanilla (or your choice of flavoring) into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into baking pan and don’t fret if you don’t get it all out (learning from my mess of a first round). Sift 1/4 cup confectioners sugar evenly over top. Chill marshmallow, uncovered, until firm, at least three hours, and up to one day.

Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Lifting up one corner of inverted pan, with fingers loosen marshmallow and ease onto cutting board. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow into roughly one-inch cubes. (An oiled pizza cutter works well here too.) Sift remaining confectioners’ sugar back into your now-empty baking pan, and roll the marshmallows through it, on all six sides, before shaking off the excess and packing them away.

Do ahead: Marshmallows keep in an airtight container at cool room temperature 1 week.

Notes: As long as you use a thermometer, these are hard to screw up! We will be enjoying them on some smores up at our friend’s cabin in Wisconsin. Smores with homemade marshmallows.

 

Plum and Apple Crisp July 6, 2009

Filed under: Dessert — cookinghussy @ 3:30 pm

Plum and Apple Crisp Toaster Oven

My favorite desserts tend to be fruit based and easy to through together. Not a lot of measuring or planning ahead. Fruit crisps fit this description perfectly. I got 10 plums for 1 dollar at the store and got tired of just eating them as a snack. I figured the plums would be over powering if I made a crisp with just them, so I added in some apple to mellow it out. Turned out very well and made 6 individual sized desserts!

Plum and Apple Crisp1

  • 6 small plums – diced
  • 2 apples – peeled and diced
  • 1/2 C. flour (I used whole wheat)
  • 1/2 C. oats
  • 4 T. brown sugar
  • Salt
  • butter (I used about half a stick, but you could probably use more)

Dice up the apples and plums and portion off into the dishes. Mix in a pint or two of brown sugar into the fruit and a little bit of salt as well. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, oats, sugar and salt (1 tsp.). Then use a fork to mash in the butter. Top each dish with this mixture and put a little extra butter right on top if you want to make it more crispy. Bake in an over at 350 for about 15 minutes, or a toaster oven at 350 for a bit longer (maybe 20 or so). Enjoy with ice cream!

Notes: I never use a recipe for this. It changes everytime based on what fruit I have. I also don’t actually measure the oats or flour. Ooops. I’m not a baker.

Servings: 6 dishes.

 

Chocolate Bundt Cake March 28, 2009

Filed under: Dessert — cookinghussy @ 2:32 pm

chocolate-bundt-cake-pan1

Chocolate cake! I made this for a dinner party a few weeks ago. I followed this recipe on The Kitchen Sink. It looks very pretty, doesn’t it? It smelled lovely as well. Will I make it again? No. We ate it in the evening after baking it in the morning. and it was somewhat dry and maybe a little boring… But I don’t know, maybe it just needed some ice cream or whipped cream. It certainly didn’t taste bad!

chocolate-bundt-cake

  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4 C. whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 C. Dutch processed cocoa
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 2 T. butter, melted
  • 2 T. canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 C. lowfat yogurt
  • 2 t. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 C. granulated sugar
  • 1 T. espresso powder, dissolved in 1 tablespoon of hot water
  • 2 ounces good-quality dark chocolate
  • 1 T. powdered sugar, optional

“Arrange rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Whisk together flours, cocoa, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a medium bowl, then sift ingredients through a fine mesh strainer.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter and oil. Add eggs and egg whites and whisk to incorporate. Fold in yogurt, vanilla, sugar and dissolved espresso powder. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 60 to 90 seconds; do so in 30 second intervals, stirring between intervals and stopping when it’s melted and smooth. Fold chocolate into batter.

Gradually add sifted dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated; do not over beat. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until cake has risen nicely and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack, in the pan. Place the wrack, upside down, on the top of the pan (the open end) and carefully invert the cake onto the wrack.

Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.”

Notes: As I said, it was fine, but I won’t make it again.

Servings: 10-12 servings

 

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Blondies December 26, 2008

Filed under: Dessert — cookinghussy @ 8:49 pm

blondies-pan

We were invited over to my old roommate’s place for a little holiday dinner before Christmas. We were instructed to bring dessert. I do not bake a lot of desserts so it was a nice excuse to bake something I’d been craving.

blondies-2

These chocolatey, peanut buttery, coconut filled bars were a hit. Thanks to The Kitchen Sink for posting this decadent recipe. Chris had about 6 the first night I baked them. Okay, maybe 8.

blondies-bars

I am posting exactly from her site since it’s the holidays!

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chunk Blondies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup flaked coconut

Preheat the oven to 350. Butter and flour a 9-inch square pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the butter and peanut butter until fluffy. Add the sugar and mix until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.

Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the chocolate, peanuts and coconut. Bake the blondies in the center of the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, or until the blondies have just begun to brown around the edges.

Allow the blondies to cool completely in the pan before cutting.”

 

Sour Cream Apple Cake November 23, 2008

Filed under: Dessert — cookinghussy @ 12:01 pm

sour-cream-apple-cake

I’ve never made a sour cream cake before. But when I bought a container at the store and ended up not making the recipe I originally planned, well, I had to find a recipe. An abundance of apples in the fridge helped me decide on this sour cream apple cake.

sour-cream-apple-cake-22

It was a good decision. Thanks to Bunny’s Warm Oven for this great recipe. It was a wonderful mix of nuts and apples and spiced. I had to bring some in to work so that Chris and I didn’t just have cake for dinner for a week.

sour-cream-apple-cake-slice1

Apple-Nut Filling

  • 1 1/2 C. chopped apples
  • 1/3 C. packed brown sugar
  • 1 T. flour
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1/4 t. ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 t. salt
  • 1/2 C. finely chopped nuts (I use walnuts)
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon

Coffee Cake

  • 1 1/2 C. sugar
  • 3/4 C. butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 C. flour (all purpose)
  • 1 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 1 1/2 C. sour cream

(Copied directly from the original recipe):

“1 Preheat oven to 325°F; grease a 12-cup Bundt pan or a 10×4-inch tube pan.
2 Prepare apple-nut filling: Cook all ingredients, except nuts, over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook until apples are tender. This will take approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in nuts. Set aside.

3 Combine sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed, 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.

4 Alternately add the dry ingredients and the sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat well between each addition on low speed.

5 Spread 1/3 of the batter (about 2 cups) in the baking pan. Top with 1/3 of the filling. Repeat this pattern 2 more times, until all batter and filling have been used.

6 Bake at 325°F for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then turnout onto a serving plate and cool completely.”

Notes: I had a hard time with this cake batter. It was far thicker than anything I’d made before, so the “spreading” in the baking pan was more like dropping in clumps. It wasn’t as pretty as it could have been but it tasted great.

Servings: 8-12 slices of cake

 

Tropical Icebox Cake – 1 Year Anniversary! September 28, 2008

Filed under: Dessert — cookinghussy @ 8:08 pm

Wheee! Ice cream cake for the Cooking Hussy’s One Year Anniversary!

This cake was so much fun to make. Ice cream and fruit and real whipped cream, with rum!

And do you see the gingersnap cookie layers? Oh, those are the best. I got this recipe from 101cookbooks. Clearly, I needed the ice cream layer to be thicker. Oh well, next time. But THIS time, the cake was made and eaten and enjoyed.

In celebration of, uh, me following through with this blog for a whole year, I’d like to ask you, reader, to comment. It’s scary, I know. But I’ll make it easy. Just say “Hi Cooking Hussy!” and tell me what your favorite ingredient is. Yes, favorite ingredient. My favorite ingredient, that makes any recipe better, is nuts. This tropical icebox cake has macadamia nuts. BAM. Instantly better. So, I’m serious about this. Just say hi in the comments section! Grandma? Pretty pregnant Karla? Ben?! Christopher? Jennifer in Turkey? Random Grinnellians? HI!

I am literally copying and pasting from Heidi’s recipe on 101cookbooks.com since I followed it exactly.

“Gingersnap Crust: Place 2 1/2 cups loosely crumbled gingersnaps, 5T melted butter, and 3T sugar into a food processor and blend until mixture is the texture of coarse sand.

Ice-cream Layer: Soften 2 1/2 cups high-quality vanilla ice-cream or frozen yogurt and stir in 1 cup chopped pineapple and 2/3 cup loosely crushed macadamia nuts.

Whipped Cream Layer: Whip 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream sweetened with a few tablespoons of sugar and a splash or two of rum. Whip until billowy but not too stiff.

Toasted Coconut: I pan toasted the coconut over medium low heat, roughly a cup or so.

Assemble the cake: Pack a thin layer of ginger snap crust into the base of a 6-inch spring form pan. Slather on a generous layer of ice cream, let it freeze until hard.

Pack another layer of ginger snap crust on top of the ice cream (because I love the buttery sweet gingersnap crumbs), then fill pan to the rim with a thin layer of rum + sugar sweetened whipped cream.

Freeze until hardened, preferably overnight.

Release cake from the pan (don’t cut around edges w/ a knife) and frost the entire cake with a layer of the sweetened whipped cream.

Top with toasted coconut. Put back in the freezer until outside layer of whipped cream is set.”

Notes: Delicious. We had this cake after a little pot roast dinner tonight with Jarrod and Marti. We’ll be eating it all week.

Servings: Um. 5 so far. Then I sent two big pieces home with Jarrod and we still have half of the cake left. So. 14 servings.

 

Zucchini and Pistachio Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting September 26, 2008

Filed under: Bread/Muffins,Dessert — cookinghussy @ 9:41 am

I made these several weeks ago and just haven’t gotten around to posting them. Then I realized that fall is here! If you still have zucchini’s and are looking for a little different way to use them up, these zucchini and pistachio cupcakes are tasty and really not that unhealthy. I was turned off of zucchini bread due to all the oil and sugar needed. THAT’s why zucchini bread tastes so good. I started with this recipe but made a lot of changes. Cut down on oil, added more zucchini, used some whole wheat flour and added baking soda. I also made some cream cheese frosting.

Mmmm. Pistachios make everything taste good. And look how pretty the green zucchini looks on the inside!

  • 1/2 C. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 C. sugar
  • 1/2 C. splenda
  • 2 eggs – lightly beaten
  • 2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C. pistachios – chopped
  • 2 C. zucchini – shredded
  • 1 C. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 C. white flour
  • 1/2 C. amaranth flour
  • 1 1/2 t. baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 t. cinnamon

Mix oil, sugar, splenda, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Mix in nuts, zucchini and dry ingredients until well combined. Pour into 16 muffin holders. Bake at 350 for 25ish minutes. While baking, mix together the cream cheese frosting.

Frosting:

  • 4 oz 1/3 fat cream cheese (room temp)
  • 1/4 stick of unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 1 to 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla extract

In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese, butter, 1 cup powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix with an electric mixer. Taste. I like my frosting to be sweet, but not overly sweet. I started with one cup and added just a little bit more, to taste.

Once the cupcakes cool, spread with frosting and if you want, top with a few pistachios. EAT.

Notes: These did not taste like cupcakes. That didn’t bother me at all since the frosting wasn’t too sweet either. I ate one for breakfast! I really liked the zucchini and pistachio mix.

Servings: 16 cupcakemuffins