Northwest NEWS

April 9, 2001

Home & Garden

Dining In

Easter-Bunny Pops
   For the pops:
   1/4 c. (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
   1 bag (10 ounces)) marshmallows
   6 c. crisp rice cereal
   For the decorations:
   1 package (12 oz.) white chocolate chips
   1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
   Mini candy-coated chocolates
   2 lengths red licorice laces (from a 4 oz. package), cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
   Assorted small candies
   1 c. prepared vanilla frosting
   Blue, green, red and yellow food colorings
   Special aids:
   Jelly-roll pan
   3" oval cookie cutter
   3" bunny-shaped cookie cutter
   12 wooden craft sticks or lollipop sticks
   Small offset spatula
   Small resealable plastic bags
   12 lengths (3" each) narrow ribbon
   Spray a jelly-roll pan with vegetable cooking spray. In a large saucepan, heat butter and marshmallows over medium-low heat, stirring until melted, about 4 minutes.
   Remove the pan from heat; stir in cereal.
   Spoon mixture into the prepared pan. Using your hands, press to make level; cool completely. Using an oval cookie cutter, cut out six bunny shapes.
   Place cutouts on sheets of waxed paper. Holding the cutout firmly against the paper, insert a craft stick 2-inches into the bottom of each cutout.
   In a medium microwave-safe bowl, heat white chocolate chips and oil on medium, stirring at 1-minute intervals, until smooth, about 3 minutes.
   Using a small offset spatula, spread 1 side of each pop with melted chocolate.
   For Easter-Bunny pops, press mini-candy-coated chocolates into pops for eyes and nose. Press 6 red licorice lace pieces into each pop for whiskers.
   For Easter-egg pops, press assorted small candies into pops as desired. Set aside pops until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes.
   Divide frosting among 4 bowls. Using food colorings, tint frostings blue, green, pink and yellow. Spoon frostings into separate resealable plastic bags; snip off one corner of each bag.
   Pipe pink frosting onto Easter-bunny pops for ears and mouths.
   Pipe remaining frostings onto Easter-egg pops as desired.
   Tie ribbons around sticks; let stand until frosting is set, several hours. Wrap pops in plastic wrap until ready to serve.
   Makes 1 dozen pops.
   Puff Pastry Ice Cream Torte
   1/2 pkg. frozen puff pastry sheets (1 sheet)
   1 c. thick fudge sauce or hazelnut chocolate spread
   1 c. chocolate ice cream, slightly softened
   1 c. strawberry ice cream, slightly softened
   1 Tbsp. apricot jam
   1/2 c. natural sliced almonds, toasted
   Thaw pastry sheet at room temperature 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
   Unfold pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll to 12-1/2" x 10" rectangle. Trim edges.
   Cut rectangle lengthwise into 3 strips. Transfer strips to an ungreased baking sheet.
   Bake pastry strips 15 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.
   Spread 1/4 c. fudge sauce on top side of 2 pastry strips and bottom of 1 (reserve this strip for top of torte). Freeze until firm, about 10 minutes. Place 1 strip, fudge side up, on serving plate.
   Spread with chocolate ice cream.
   Top with another pastry layer, fudge side down. Spread with remaining fudge sauce.
   Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes. Spread with strawberry ice cream. Place remaining pastry layer, fudge side down, on top of torte. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm.
   Microwave jam in cup on high until syrupy, about 20 seconds. Stir. Brush on top of torte and sprinkle immediately with half of the almonds. Press remaining almonds into ice cream. Freeze torte until firm, about 2 hrs.
   Makes 6 servings.
   Mixed Berry Baskets
   1 pkg. frozen puff pastry shells
   1/2 c. seedless raspberry jam
   1 tsp. lemon juice
   3 c. fresh or frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, sliced strawberries)
   Vanilla yogurt or sweetened whipped cream
   Bake pastry shells according to package directions.
   Heat jam in saucepan until melted.
   Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice and berries. Serve in pastry shells. Top with yogurt.
   Makes 6 servings.
   Raspberry-Filled White Buttermilk Cake
   3 c. cake flour, sifted
   1 tsp. salt
   1 c. (2 sticks) butter
   2 c. sugar
   1 c. buttermilk
   2 tsp. vanilla extract
   6 egg whites
   1 tsp. cream of tartar
   1 jar (12 oz.) seedless red raspberry preserves
   Country Frosting
   Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8- or 9-inch cake pans.
   Combine flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
   In a large bowl, with electric mixer, beat butter with 1-1/2 c. sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, alternately beat in flour mixture with buttermilk just until blended, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat in extract.
   In another bowl, with electric mixer, beat egg whites until foamy. Beat in cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. With spatula, gently fold egg whites into batter. Pour into pans.
   Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. On wire rack, cool 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely.
   With serrated knife, slice each cake layer in half horizontally.
   On cake plate, arrange 1 cake layer, cut side down. Spread with 1/2 of the raspberry preserves. Top with second cake layer and 1/3 of the Country Frosting. Repeat, ending with cake layer. Spread remaining frosting on top and sides of cake. Garnish, if desired, with fresh raspberries.
   Country Frosting: With electric mixer, beat 1-1/2 c. (3 sticks) butter with 1 box (1 lb.) confectioners sugar until blended. Beat in 1/4 c. milk and 1 tsp. vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
   Makes 12 servings.
   Lemony Poppy Seed Muffins
   2 c. all-purpose flour
   1/2 c. granulated sugar
   2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
   1 Tbsp. baking powder
   1 tsp. baking soda
   1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
   1/8 tsp. salt
   1-1/4 c. lemon non-fat yogurt
   1/4 c. canola oil
   1 egg plus 2 egg whites
   4 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
   Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line either mini or regular muffin tins with paper cups, or lightly coat with vegetable oil spray.
   In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, zest and salt.
   In separate bowl combine yogurt, oil, egg whites and lemon juice. Whisk until smooth. Pour yogurt mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined. (batter should be slightly lumpy, not completely smooth.)
   Spoon into prepared pans and bake until tops are springy to touch and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (Timing will depend on size of muffins.)
   Cool slightly in pans, then remove and continue cooling on wire racks. Serve immediately or keep muffins in tightly-sealed container to preserve their moistness.
   Makes 36 mini muffins or 12 regular-size muffins. Each mini muffin contains 63 calories and 2 grams of fat. Each regular-size muffin contains 190 calories and 6 grams of fat.
   Baked Ham with Raisin Chutney Glaze
   Hickory smoked bone-in portion, half ham or spiral sliced ham (butt or shank), 8 to 11 lbs.
   1/2 c. mango chutney
   1/4 c. raisins, finely minced
   1-1/2 tsp. white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
   1/2 tsp. curry powder
   1/4 tsp. ground ginger
   Heat oven to 325. Place ham face down in roasting pan. Using point of sharp knife, score entire ham in crosshatch pattern. Cover pan with aluminum foil; bake ham 1 hr. and 45 minutes.
   Prepare glaze by combining ingredients 2 through 5 and mixing thoroughly. Set aside.
   Remove ham from oven and uncover. Increase heat to 425. Smear glaze evenly over surface of ham. Return to oven and bake, uncovered at least 30 minutes or until done. (Inserted meat thermometer should read 150 at center of meat. Allow 10 to 15 minutes.
   Carve ham off bone in 1/4 inch thick slices to serve.
   Portion ham makes 15 to 19 servings.
   Half ham makes 19 to 24 servings.
   Herbed Cornish Hens
   1 package cornish hens
   2 c. dry white wine
   1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
   1 Tbsp. crushed garlic
   1 Tbsp. ground black pepper
   1 Tbsp. dried rosemary
   2/3 c. oil
   8 fresh rosemary sprigs
   10 scallions
   Whisk wine, vinegar, garlic, pepper, dried rosemary and oil, blend well. Set aside 1 c. of marinade and hens to plastic ziplocking bag. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
   Cut long green end from 2 scallions and tear each lengthwise into 2 strips. Using strips, tie together 2 sprigs rosemary and 2 scallions. Mince white part of remaining scallions and add to reserved marinade. Place rosemary/scallions bouqet into cavity of each hen.
   Bake at 350, occasionally basting with reserved marinade for an hour or until juices run clear. Meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh should reach 180.
   Dandy Deviled Eggs
   6 large eggs
   1/3 c. chopped drained stuffed Manzanzilla olives
   2 Tbsp. light mayonnaise
   1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
   1/4 tsp. hot pepper sauce
   Paprika (optional)
   Cook eggs in barely simmering water to cover until hard boiled, about 11 minutes. Dran; let stand in a pan of cold water until no longer warm. (Eggs may be prepared and refrigerated up to two days before serving.)
   Peel eggs; cut in half lengthwise. Carefully remove the yolks, keeping whites intact. Crumble yolk into a bowl; add olives, mayonnaise, mustard and pepper sauce; mix well. Spoon mixture into egg whites. Arrange on a serving platter; sprinkle with paprika if desired.
   Makes 12 servngs.