Northwest NEWS

February 5,2001

Home & Garden


Fruit Filled Chocolate Meringues

2 egg whites at room temperature
   1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
   Dash salt
   1/2 c. sugar
   1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
   2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
   3/4 c. fresh or frozen strawberries, halved or quartered depending on size
   3/4 c. fresh or frozen whole raspberries
   1 Tbsp. superfine or confectioners' sugar (for garnish)
   Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
   In mixing bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar, vanilla and salt until soft peaks form (tips of peaks will curl over when beaters are removed).
   Beat in sugar a little at a time until stiff peaks form (peaks will remain upright when beaters are removed). Sprinkle cocoa over top and fold in gently.
   Drop meringue by 1/4 c. portions onto parchment paper that has been lightly coated with cooking spray. Indent center of each with back of tablespoon.
   Bake 45 minutes or until dry to touch. Remove and cool. When completely cooled, store in air-tight container to prevent meringues from becoming soggy before serving time.
   Just prior to serving, fill center of each meringue with a mixture of fruit so berries mound slightly.
   Lightly dust fruit with sugar to garnish. If confectioner sugar is used, sift lightly over berries using a small strainer and spoon to move sugar through strainer. This technique achieves light dusting desired.
   Makes 6 servings.
   2 large eggs
   Pinch salt
   1/2 c. sugar
   Zest of 1 large orange, finely grated
   1 tsp. orange flower water (optional)
   1c. all-purpose flour
   8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
   Confectioners' sugar for finishing
   Two madeleine pans, buttered and floured. Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat oven to 375.
   In a medium bowl, by hand, whisk together the eggs and salt until frothy about 15 seconds. Whisk in the sugar in a stream, then the orange zest and orange flower water, if used.
   Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour, then the melted butter.
   Use a large soup spoon to fill the cavities in the molds about 2/3 full. Bake the madeleines for about 20 minutes, until they are well risen, firm and a golden color.
   Remove the pans from the oven and unmold the madeleines immediately onto racks to cool. If you want to reuse the pan, wash, then butter and flour again. Dust the madeleines lightly with confectioners' sugar, just before serving.
   Store the cooled madeleines between sheets of parchment or wax paper in a tin or plastic container with a tight fitting cover.
   Makes 32 cookies.
   Lemon Blueberry Cookies
   Parchment cooking paper
   1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
   1/3 c. sugar
   2 egg yolks, at room temperature
   1 tsp. grated lemon peel
   1-1/2 c. flour
   1/4 c. cornstarch
   1/4 tsp. baking powder
   1/4 tsp. salt
   1/3 c. dried blueberries
   Preheat oven to 375. Line a cookie sheet with parchment cooking paper; set aside.
   Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed with mixer until fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and lemon peel.
   Combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture; beat at low speed just until crumbly. Stir in blueberries.
   Place dough on a sheet of parchment on countertop. Divide dough in half. Knead each half until dough holds together. Divide each half into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Place cookie balls onto parchment lined cookie sheet. Flatten cookies to 1/4 inch thickness using the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar.
   Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned around edges.
   Makes 32 cookies.
   Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies
   3 c. all purpose flour
   1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
   1/2 tsp. salt
   1c. (2 sticks) butter
   1/2 c.granulated sugar
   1/2 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
   1/2 c. creamy style peanut butter
   1 egg
   1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
   1/4 c. grape jelly
   In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
   In a large bowl, with electric mixer, beat Shedd's Spread Country Crock, sugars and peanut butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla, scraping sides occasionally. Gradually beat in flour mixture until blended. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and freeze at least 1 hour.
   Preheat oven to 425. Shape dough by tablespoonfuls into balls and arrange on ungreased baking sheets. With thumb or rounded 1/4 tsp. measure, make indention in center of each cookie; fill each with 1/4 tsp. jelly.
   Bake 5 minutes or until bottoms of cookies are lightly golden. On wire rack, cool completely.
   Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
   Red Berry Kissel
   10 oz. whole, unsweetened frozen strawberries (1/2 20 oz. bag)
   1-10 oz. package frozen sweetened raspberries
   1/2 c. cranberry cocktail juice
   3 Tbsp. cornstarch
   3 Tbsp. cold water
   1/2 tsp. almond extract
   1/2 c. milk to use as sauce (optional)
   Place frozen berries in a deep saucepan. Add juice over medium-high heat. bring just to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until berries are very soft, about 20 minutes.
   Pour berry mixture into a fine sieve held over a bowl. With a wooden spoon, rub until all berry pulp is pressed through sieve Scrape strained berries on outside of sieve into bowl.
   Rinse out and dry pot. Rinse 4 dessert dishes in cold water but do not dry them. Set aside. Whisk berry mixture to combine pulp and liquid well. Return mixture to pot. Add sugar. Mix cornstach and water in a small bowl. Stir mixture into berries. Add almond flavoring. Over medium heat, cook mixture until translucent, stirring constantly. When mixture heavily coats spoon and thickens - about 1 to 2 minutes - remove from heat before it comes to a boil and pour into dessert dishes. When almost cool, refrigerate. To prevent surface skin from forming, cover bowl with plastic wrap, pressing it to touch the surface of pudding. Kissel can be made up to two days ahead.
   Let kissel sit 20 minutes at room temperature before serving. If desired, pass a pitcher of cold milk to use a sauce.
   Makes 4 servings.
   Double Peanut Butter Pound Cake
   1 c. butter, softened
   3/4 c. creamy peanut butter
   3 c. sugar
   2 tsp. vanilla
   5 eggs
   3 c. flour
   1/2 tsp. salt
   1 c. milk
   Peanut Butter Frosting (see below)
   Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, peanut butter, sugar and vanilla; beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; stir into butter mixture alternately with milk. Pour into greased and floured pan. Bake at 350 until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Drizzle cake with Peanut Butter Frosting.
   Makes 12 servings.
   Peanut Butter Frosting
   In saucepan over low heat, melt 1/2 c. each peanut butter and light corn syrup. Stir in 2 c. powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp. vanilla; mix until smooth.
   Makes 1-1/2 cups.