Saturday, February 18, 2017

FREEZING EXTRA BUTTERMILK

 
OUT OF BUTTERMILK FOR BISCUITS ???
 
 
How many times have you tried a recipe that calls for 1 cup of buttermilk but they only sell it in quarts? Usually (at my house anyway) the unused/extra buttermilk sits (forgotten) in the back of the fridge until its "use by" date has expired, but that is now a thing of the past. Since I discovered how well buttermilk freezes, I always have it in the house.

The only trick is to freeze it in small containers so that it thaws quickly. The smallest container I tried was my ice cube tray. After they are frozen, just put them in a freezer bag and carefully mark what's in the bag:
 


Ice cube trays are not a standard size. I have one that measures 2 tablespoons per cube and one that measures 1½ tablespoons per cube, so keep that in mind when you are thawing out the cubes (I usually just thaw a couple extra to be on the safe side).

As a general rule:

8 frozen 2 oz. cubes = 1 cup buttermilk
6 frozen  2 oz. cubes = 3/4 cup buttermilk
4 frozen 2 oz. cubes = 1/2 cup buttermilk
2 frozen 2 oz. cubes = 1/4 cup  buttermilk
6 frozen 2 oz. cubes  = 3/4  cup buttermilk

 
 
You can thaw the buttermilk cubes overnight in the fridge, or if you need them sooner than that, you can microwave them for just a few seconds.
 
DON'T FREAK OUT TIP:
Sometimes, the thawed out buttermilk looks like it's separated (not pretty), don't freak out. Just whisk it back together (for a few seconds) then use it in any recipe.

TIP # 2:
The accuracy of the SIZE of your frozen buttermilk cubes is just a guideline and not at all important, it just gives you an idea of how many to thaw out for any given recipe.



Thursday, December 22, 2016

EASY KOLACHE COOKIES

There are many different styles (and spellings) for Kolache cookies; some are made with yeast, some made with cream cheese, some are round, some are rolled up.

This recipe is a cream cheese and butter crust that is light as air and bakes up flaky and sweet. Instead of using dried fruit, it uses jam (any flavor you like) They are truly delicious and look SO PRETTY on any cookie tray.

CRUST

2  1/4  cups all purpose flour
1  cup UNsalted butter at room temperature
8  ounces full fat cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix flour and salt and set aside. NOTE: If you do not have salt free butter, just omit the salt in this recipe.

In a stand mixer, beat the room temperature butter and the room temperature cream cheese on medium high speed for 4 minutes.

After you have beaten the butter-cream cheese for 4 minutes, slowly add the flour-salt  mixture (I usually add it in fourths), mixing well after each addition.

Divide the dough in half and shape into two flat disks about 3/4" thick. Cover and chill for about an hour.

After the dough has chilled for an hour, lightly coat each disk with flour and pat off any extra. Coat your counter with regular granulated sugar and roll out the dough to 1/8" thickness.

NOTE: If you are like me, I often don't get back to this dough within an hour and it is rock hard when I go to roll it out. If that happens, just let it sit out for 10 to 15 minutes to let it soften up enough to be workable. The dough is very forgiving that way.



Cut dough into 2 1/2 inch squares. Pick up each square and pinch two opposite corners together (see above photo). Lay it on a parchment lined baking sheet and spoon 1/4 teaspoon of favorite jam into each end of the cookie. Personally, I like to do this step with a disposable frosting bag and I just squirt it into each end opening.

Sprinkle the pinched center with a little more granulated sugar. Bake in preheated 375° oven for 12 to 14 minutes (my electric oven takes exactly 12 minutes). Cool on wire rack.


ENJOY !!

Friday, December 9, 2016

BETTER THAN MOM's PECAN TASSIES

Everyone seems to have their own favorite Pecan Tassie recipe, but the crust in 99% of the recipes out there is the same..... flour, butter and cream cheese.

This year, I added just a little extra something to the crust part of the recipe and it made a HUGE difference to the overall cookie, they were a big hit.

Tassie Crust
1 cup butter (room temperature)
6 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream the butter and cream cheese (with electric mixer) until it is light and fluffy. Add rest of the ingredients and beat until the dough comes cleanly away from the inside walls of your mixing bowl. Flatten dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for one hour.


Tassie Filling
3 large eggs3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Beat the eggs until very well mixed and lemon colored. Stir in everything else.


ASSEMBLYRoll pastry into 1 inch balls and place them into an ungreased mini-muffin pan. Using your fingers, press the balls of dough into the bottom of each cup and up the sides. (I use the floured end of my rolling pin to press the dough into place instead of my fingers). Put a few chopped pecans in the bottom of each pastry shell and top with about a tablespoon of filling. (see note)

Bake in pre-heated 375F oven for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the filling is set, yet still a little soft in the center. Remove from oven and sit the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before you try to lift them out. Lift tassies out of pan and cool on a wire rack.

NOTE: Keep in mind that the filling puffs a little as it bakes, so don't overfill the unbaked shells. If you overfill them, they will be harder to get out. For those stubborn Tassies that want to stick, just use the tip of a knife to help you lift them out of the pan.