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RECIPES

Matt McCrae's Lemon Sandwich Cookies

 

Notes:

 

1.      Matt hasn't figured out how to keep the cookies crisp once the frosting is added, so he puts them together shortly before serving.

 

2.      Or he frosts them and put them in the freezer. YUM! They are even better frozen.

 

Ingredients for 3 dozen 5 cm (2 in) single cookies:

 

·         ½ cup sugar

·         ½ cup butter at room temperature

·         1 teaspoon lemon zest

·         1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

·         1 egg at room temperature

·         1 teaspoon vanilla

·         1 ½ cups flour

·         ½ teaspoon baking soda

·         1 teaspoon cream of tartar

·         ¼ teaspoon salt

 

Method:

 

1.      Measure flour into a separate bowl.

2.      Add remaining dry ingredients, stir to combine, and set aside.

3.      Cream softened butter and sugar together.

4.      Add lemon juice and zest.

5.      Add the vanilla and egg and mix for at least 20 seconds.

6.      Add dry ingredients in 4 or 5 increments, stirring well after each addition.

7.      Either roll into logs, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate overnight, then slice,

8.      OR refrigerate for at least one hour or until firm.

9.      Roll out, one-third at a time, on a floured board or silicon mat.

10.    Cut to desired shapes.

11.    Bake at 350 degrees for 8 -12 minutes.

 

Lemon Buttercream

 

1.      Beat together:

·         ¼ cup softened butter

·         2 cups powdered sugar

·         Pinch of salt

·         1 ½ tablespoons milk or cream

2.      Add:

·         ½ teaspoon lemon zest and 1 tablespoon juice

 

 

 Roxanne's note: I like to sprinkle colored sugar on top before baking. In the spring, add a few drops of green food coloring to some sugar, mix it well, and sprinkle away. With the lemon filling, the cookies remind me of daffodils.

 

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Matt McCrae's Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

 

Matt McCrae's Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

 

Note: Matt hasn't figured out how to keep the cookies crisp once the frosting is added, so he puts them together shortly before serving.

 

Ingredients for 3 dozen 5 cm (2 in) single cookies:

 

·         ½ cup sugar

·         ½ cup butter at room temperature

·         1 egg at room temperature

·         1 teaspoon vanilla

·         1 ¼ cups flour

·         ¼ cup cocoa powder

·         ½ teaspoon baking soda

·         1 teaspoon cream of tartar

·         ¼ teaspoon salt

·         Optional: 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

 

Method:

 

1.      Measure flour into a separate bowl.

2.      Add remaining dry ingredients, stir to combine, and set aside.

3.      Cream softened butter and sugar together.

4.      Add the vanilla and egg and mix for at least 20 seconds.

5.      Add dry ingredients in 4 or 5 increments, stirring well after each addition.

6.      Either roll into logs, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate overnight, then slice,

7.      OR refrigerate for at least one hour or until firm.

8.      Roll out, one-third at a time, on a floured board or silicon mat.

9.      Cut to desired shapes.

10.    Bake at 350 degrees for 8 -12 minutes.

11.    Fill with ganache or chocolate buttercream.

 

Chocolate Ganache

 

1.      Heat 1/3 cup heavy cream to just below boiling.

2.      Pour cream over 90 gm (3 oz) semisweet chocolate or other preferred type.

3.      Stir until smooth.

       Optional: ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder

 

 

Chocolate Buttercream

 

Beat together:

·         ¼ cup softened butter

·         2 cups powdered sugar

·         3 tablespoons cocoa powder

·         Pinch of salt

·         1 ½ tablespoons milk or cream

 

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Roxanne's Famous Thanksgiving Gravy

 

Note:  1 recipe makes 2 cups of roux; 20 cups (1 ¼ gal.) of gravy.

 

For the last several years, on Thanksgiving, I've made about 15 gallons of gravy for the community dinner. It is a big hit, but a lot of work. I make the roux the day before and refrigerate it in two-cup batches.

 

FOR USE AT HOME, I keep a batch of roux in my freezer and cut off a little here and there to thicken soups, stews, and gravies. It keeps well frozen for several months.

 

ROUX:

2 cup butter
2 cup flour
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
2 rounded teaspoons herbes de Provence


LIQUIDS:

14 cups stock, broth, or pan drippings with fat separated off and discarded
2 cups dry white wine (chardonnay)
2 - 3 tablespoons browning sauce – or more for desired color
 

METHOD:

 

ROUX:

Measure dry ingredients – add seasonings to flour.
Melt butter over medium heat.
When butter foams, set it off the flame.
Whisk flour in a little at a time, making a smooth paste.
Return pan to medium heat and whisk constantly until the flour and butter mixture bubbles and foams for three minutes.
If making ahead of time, cool and refrigerate until ready to use. 
Warm the roux to room temperature.  (It gets rock hard in the refrigerator.)
 

FINISHING THE GRAVY:

Bring roux back to gentle bubbling stage.  (2 cups of roux at a time.)
Slowly, whisking constantly, add 16 cups defatted hot broth, stock, or pan drippings.
Raise heat to medium – high, and bring to simmer.
Add 2 cups wine and browning sauce.
Simmer 3 – 5 minutes, lowering heat as needed and whisking constantly.
Thin with a little more stock if desired.
Taste. Correct seasoning. 
Add chopped, hot giblets if desired.
 

 

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Mary Watson's Amazing Irish Soda Bread

Note:  Mary is Irish to the core and she cautions me to insist on using buttermilk.  But sometimes it's necessary to substitute: add 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar, cider vinegar, or lemon juice per cup of regular milk.  Let stand 5 to 10 minutes, then stir before using. 

 

4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
one egg, slightly beaten

1 ¼ cups buttermilk
1 ½ tablespoons sour cream (light or regular, not nonfat)
Optional:
¾ cup raisins, currents, nuts, or dried cranberries.

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 200 Celsius / 400 Fahrenheit degrees.
Before measuring the flour, sift it or fluff it by stirring with a whisk or fork.  Then spoon it gently into the measuring cup and level the top. 
Stir all the dry ingredients together, using a whisk if you have one.
Cut cold butter into the dry ingredients until only tiny bits of it remain.
Stir in dried fruit if using.
Whisk the wet ingredients together or mix well with a fork.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the liquid into the well.
Mix with a fork, starting in the middle and gradually incorporating all the flour mixture.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board, silpat, or counter top and knead for about one minute.  (It will be moist and sticky.)
Shape into a round a little smaller than a cake pan.
Place on a baking sheet or buttered cake pan.
With a sharp knife, cut a shallow cross in the surface.
Bake 35 - 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
 

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