Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Pecan Pralines

Pecan Pralines
2 c sugar
1 c half and half
1/3 stick of butter
1/8 t baking soda
1 1/2 c whole pecans

1. Combine everything except pecans in a medium saucepan over medium heat; stir constantly until it comes to a boil.
2. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to stir until it reaches 240*, or "soft ball stage".
3. Stir in pecans, remove from heat, and stir until creamy, cloudy, and thick.
4. Drop on to parchment paper or a buttered cookie sheet and let cool.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate
2 c chocolate chips*
6 c milk**
1 1/2 c heavy whipping cream, half & half, or a combination of both
1 t vanilla
1- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 2 hours, stirring once or twice.
*Use dark, white, milk, semisweet, or a combination, depending on your taste.
**Use whole milk for a creamier texture.
Makes about 10 servings.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Deep-Fried Doughnuts

Deep-Fried Doughnuts
1/3 c lukewarm water
2 T (or 2 pkgs) yeast
2 T + 1/4 c sugar, separated
1/4 c butter
2 c lukewarm milk
2 t salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 c mashed potatoes
6 cups flour, separated

1. In a small bowl, combine water, yeast, and 2 T sugar; let sit for 10 minutes.
2. In the meantime, melt butter in a medium pan; add milk.
3. Take the pan off of the heat and stir in 1/4 cup sugar, salt, and eggs; transfer to stand mixer.
4. Beat in mashed potatoes and then add the yeast mixture. Add 3 cups of flour, mix until well incorporated, and then add remaining 3 cups of flour. Mix well.
5. Cover the dough and let rise for an hour.
6. Roll out the dough and cut out doughnuts; cover and let rise an additional hour.
7. Heat oil to 375* and fry each doughnut for about 1 1/2 minutes on each side.

2/3 c water
2 T butter
1 t vanilla
pinch of salt
4 c powdered sugar

1. Bring water to boil in a small pot; add butter and stir until dissolved.
2. Take off heat and stir in vanilla, salt, and sugar.
3. Once cooked, immediately place doughnuts in glaze and coat well.
Makes about 40 doughnuts.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Herb-Crusted Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce

Herb-Crusted Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce
1/2 c garlic & herb breadcrumbs
2 t roasted garlic and bell pepper seasoning (McCormick Perfect Pinch)
1 t dried chives
1/4 c milk
3 T butter
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded thin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c chicken broth
1/4 can Italian diced tomatoes, drained
1 c half and half (or heavy whipping cream)
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
2 T basil
pepper, to taste
pasta, opt

1. Mix breadcrumbs, garlic pepper seasoning, and chives in a shallow bowl; place milk in a separate shallow bowl.
2. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat.
3. Dip chicken in milk and then coat with breadcrumb mixture; cook chicken in butter until browned and cooked through (about five minutes on each side). Remove and keep warm.
4. Throw the garlic in that same skillet and sauté for about a minute; add chicken broth and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to deglaze the pan.
5. Stir in tomatoes and cream; bring back up to a boil and stir for a minute.
6. Reduce heat to low; add Parmesan, basil, and pepper; cook, stirring frequently, until heated through and thickened (about 5-10 minutes).
Serve chicken over pasta, smothered in cream sauce.