Northwest NEWS

December 4, 2000

Home & Garden

Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding

* Pudding:
   4 c. (8 slices) cubed white bread
   1/2 c. raisins
   2 c. milk
   1/4 c. butter
   1/2 c. sugar
   2 eggs, slightly beaten
   1 tsp. vanilla
   1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
   1/2 c. butter
   1/2 c. sugar
   1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
   1/2 c. whipping cream
   1 tsp. vanilla
   Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl combine bread and raisins. In 1-quart saucepan combine milk and 1/4 c. butter. Cook over medium heat until butter is melted (4 to 7 minutes). Pour milk mixture over bread; let stand 10 minutes.
   Stir in all remaining pudding ingredients. Pour into greased 1-1/2-quart casserole. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until set in center.
   In 1 quart saucepan combine all sauce ingredients except vanilla. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens and comes to a full boil (5 to 8 minutes). Stir in vanilla.
   To serve, spoon warm pudding into individual dessert dishes; serve with sauce. Store refrigerated. Makes 8 servings.
   Christmas Tree Cake
   For The Cake:
   1 package (18 1/4 oz.) white cake mix
   For The Frosting:
   6 oz. cream cheese, softened
   1/4 c. (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, softened
   2 c. confectioner's sugar
   1 tsp. lemon juice
   Green food coloring
   For The Decorations:
   1/4 c. prepared chocolate frosting
   Assorted large gumdrops
   Green colored sugar
   Special Aids:
   Oval aspic cutter or sharp knife
   Small resealable plastic bag
   Star-shaped cookie cutter
   Making the cake and frosting:
   Prepare cake batter and bake 13-x 9-inch pan according to package directions. Cool completely. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat cream cheese and butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add confectioner's sugar and lemon juice; beat until creamy, about 3 minutes linger. Transfer 1/4 c. frosting to a small bowl; set aside. Add green food coloring to remaining frosting until desired color is reached.
   Transfer cake to a serving platter. Place template on cake; using a sharp knife, cut around the tree template.
   Spread green frosting over top and sides of tree, leaving the trunk unfrosted. Using a flat spatula, pull frosting toward top of tree to create pine boughs.
   Frost trunk with chocolate frosting; drag a fork over frosting for a bark effect.
   Using a rolling pin, roll gumdrops to a 1/4 inch thickness; using an aspic cutter or a sharp knife, cut out oval for Christmas tree lights. Place reserved white frosting in a small resealable plastic bag; snip off one corner. Pipe garlands on the tree. Arrange lights on garland; pipe a dot of white frosting at the top of each.
   Using a star-shaped cookie cutter, cut out a star from 1 gumdrop; place star on top of tree. Sprinkle cake with green colored sugar; serve.
   Honey Beehive Bread
   6-2/3 to 7 c. all-purpose flour
   2 envelopes rapid rise yeast
   1-1/2 tsp. salt
   1-1/4 c. water
   1/2 c. honey
   1/2 c. butter or margarine
   2 eggs, large
   Egg glaze
   Honey butter
   In a large bowl, combine 2 c. flour, undissolved yeast and salt. Heat water, honey, and butter until very warm (120 - 130 degrees). Gradually add to dry ingredients. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally.
   Add eggs and 1 c. flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Divide dough into 20 equal pieces; roll each piece to 20-inch ropes.. Twist 2 ropes together; pinch ends to seal. Repeat with remaining ropes. Invert a 2-1/2 quart oven proof mixing bowl onto a greased baking sheet. Heavily grease the outside of bowl. Starting a rim of bowl, wrap twists around bowl, pinching ends to join each new twist. Continue wrapping twists until entire bowl is covered. Cover; let rise in warm draft-free place until puffy, about 30 minutes. Brush dough with egg glaze. Bake at 375 for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Shield with foil if necessary, to prevent excessive browning. Remove from oven; let cool on bowl for 15 minutes.Crumple a large piece of foil, about 2 to 3 feet, into a loose ball with the same diameter and depth of bowl. Place ball on wire rack. Carefully remove hive from bowl; place over ball to complete cooling. Serve with honey butter.
   Egg glaze: In a small bowl combine 1 egg, large and 1 Tbsp. water. Stir until well blended.
   Honey butter: In a bowl, combine 1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened; 2 Tbsp. honey and 1 tsp. freshly grated lemon peel. Stir until well blended.
   Fudgy Raspberry Swirl Bars
   1 c. ( 6 oz.) real semi-sweet chocolate chips
   1/2 c. butter
   1 c. sugar
   2 tsp. vanilla
   2 eggs
   1 c. all purpose flour
   1/4 tsp. salt
   3 Tbsp. raspberry preserves
   Powdered sugar (as desired)
   Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt chips and butter in 1 quart saucepan on low heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth (5 to 8 minutes). Remove from heat; stir in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add flour and salt; mix just until flour is moistened. Spread batter into greased 9-inch square baking pan. Drop spoonfuls of preserves on batter in the corners and around edge of pan; gently pull knife through batter towards center for swirled effect. Do not over swirl. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until brownies just begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely. Cut into bars and dip edges in powdered sugar.
   Cranberry-Apricot Coffee Cake
   3 c. prepared baking mix
   3/4 c. sugar
   1/4 c. vegetable oil
   1-2/ tsp. almond extract
   2 eggs
   1 c. plain low-fat yogurt
   2 c. fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped
   1 c. dried apricots, coarsely chopped
   1/2 c. finely chopped almonds or pecans
   1/4 c. orange-flavored liqueur or orange juice
   Orange almond glaze, if desired
   Heat oven to 350. Generously grease and flour 12-cup bundt cake pan. Stir baking mix, sugar, oil, almond extract, eggs and yogurt in large bowl until blended. Stir in remaining ingredients except Orange-almond Glaze. Pour into pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.
   Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Drizzle with Orange-Almond Glaze. Makes 16 servings.
   Orange Almond Glaze
   1 c. powdered sugar
   2 Tbsp. orange juice
   1/2 tsp almond extract
   Mix all ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Bake 60-65 min.
   Chocolate Velvet Sauce In a Jar
   1 c. sugar
   2/3 c. evaporated milk
   1/2 c. (1 stick butter)
   1/4 c. light corn syrup
   12 oz. high quality semi-sweet chocolate bars, chopped
   2 tsp. vanilla
   Combine sugar, evaporated milk, butter and corns syrup in heavy 3 quart-saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes out a full boil (15 to 20 minutes). Boil 3 minutes; remove from heat. Immediately add chocolate pieces. Beat with wire whisks or electric mixer until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour into 3 (8 oz.) jars while warm. Cool 15 minutes. Cover; store refrigerated. To serve, remove cover. Microwave on High, stirring every 30 seconds, until hot (60 to 90 seconds). Watch carefully.
   Caramel Silk in A Jar
   1-1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
   1-1/2 c. sugar
   1 c. light corn syrup
   2/3 c. butter
   1-/3 Gourmet Heavy Whipping Cream
   Combine all ingredients except whipping cream in 3-quart saucepan Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a full boil (15 to 20 minutes). Stir in whipping cream; continue cooking 1 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Pour mixture into 5 jars. Cool 15 minutes; cover. Store refrigerated
   To serve, remove cover Microwave on HIGH, stirring every 30 seconds until hot (30 to 60 seconds) (watch closely)
   Apricot Coffeecake
   3-1/2 c. (14-3/4 oz.) all-purpose flour
   4 tsp. balking powder
   1 tsp. salt
   3/4 c. (5-1/2 oz.) sugar
   1/4 c. (1 3/4 oz) vegetable oil
   2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
   1/4 tsp. almond extract
   3 large eggs
   1 c. (8-1/2 oz.) lowfat sour cream or lowfat yogurt.
   1/2 c. (4 oz.) skim milk
   3/4 c. (3-3/4 oz.) slivered/chopped dried apricots.
   Filling and Topping
   1 c. (3-1/4 oz.) oat flakes
   1/2 c. (2 oz.) All-purpose flour
   1/2 c. sugar
   2 tsp. cinnamon
   1/4 c. (2 oz., 1/2 stick) butter, melted
   To prepare the cake, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a medium-size mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, extracts, eggs, sour cream and milk. Stir the apricots into the dry ingredients, then stir in the liquid ingredients until no large lumps remain.
   For the filling, stir all of the ingredients together to form a crumbly mixture.
   To assemble and bake, grease a 10-inch tube pan, angel-food pan, or bundt style pan. Pour two-thirds of the batter into the pan. Sprinkle with about half the filling/topping. Top with the remaining batter and sprinkle with the remaining filling/topping. Bake the cake in a preheated 350 oven for 40 to 50 minutes, until it's light brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven; let it rest in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. For easiest serving, cool for 30 minutes before slicing.
   Makes 16 servings.