August 2, 2009

Rustic Grains Bread

I made my own rustic grains mix to make this bread. Rather than making it into loaves, I made buns for sandwiches on our upcoming vacation.

Rustic Grains Mixture
1 cup rolled wheat flakes
1 cup rolled rye flakes
3/4 cup unroasted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
3 Tbsp. whole millet
2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1 Tbsp. whole flax seeds

Combine all the ingredients and store in an airtight container. To toast, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spread the mix in an ungreased, shallow baking pan. Bake 10 minutes until toasted, stirring once.

Rustic Grains Bread
1 1/3 cups water
2 tsp. yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. canola oil
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup cornmeal
2/3 cup Rustic Grains Mixture
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour
1 egg
1 to 2 Tbsp. Rustic Grains Mixture

Heat water until warm, between 105ºF and 115ºF. Pour into warmed mixing bowl, and add yeast, salt, oil, sugar, cornmeal, Rustic Grains Mixture and whole wheat flour. Let stand 5 minutes. Add half the bread flour. Beat well. Cover and let stand 15 minutes.

Slowly add remaining bread flour. Mix until dough forms. Knead on medium speed until dough is smooth and springy but soft to the touch. Cover and let rise one hour.

Punch down dough, and divide into 14 buns. Shape into round buns and place on lightly greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Glaze loaves with egg and sprinkle with remaining Rustic Grains Mixture just prior to baking. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until loaves are golden. Cool on wire rack.

Nasturtium Dip

This was a nasturtium creation that I got one tiny little taste to enjoy ... the rest was devoured by my co-workers while I was in meetings. I'll take that as a sign that it's good. This dip looks really pretty with the flower pieces and goes well with crackers.

Nasturtium Dip
1/2 cup feta cheese
8 oz. fat-free cream cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup nasturtium blossoms, chopped

Combine all ingredients together. Garnish with additional nasturtium blossoms.

Nasturtium Pesto

What better use of nasturtiums than leaves and flowers combined together into pesto? The original recipe calls for nasturtium leaves, but I tossed in about 1 cup of flowers for a bit of color.

Nasturtium Pesto
4 cups packed nasturtium leaves
3-5 garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups olive oil
2 drops Tabasco sauce
1 cup walnuts

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.

Nasturtium Oil

This looks a bit odd once blended all together because the flowers lose their pretty colors. However, it is all done to share their peppery flavor with the oil.

Nasturtium Oil
2 cups nasturtiums
1 cup safflower oil (or neutral oil ... I used canola)
1 garlic clove, skinned

Pour all ingredients into a blender. Blend on high until smooth and colorful, about 3 minutes. Pour into a glass jar and let sit at least two days in a dark, cool place. You may strain and use the clean oil or stir and use with the flower petals.

Nasturtium Wine

This was one of several recipes tried with the nasturtiums from our garden. The flowers lose their colors as the wine sits, but the flavors impart into the wine. I have not used our wine yet, but I imagine it will work well for salad dressings especially.

Nasturtium Wine
1 cup nasturtium leaves and flowers
1 pint white wine

Place the ingredients into a clean, clear glass jar or bottle. Tightly seal. Let sit at least three weeks before using.

Smoked Salmon Nasturtium Rolls

This is one of several recipes sampled while trying to keep up with our garden's production of nasturtiums. They turned out fine, but I would prefer smoked salmon served with crackers to be honest.

Smoked Salmon Nasturtium Rolls
2 oz. cream cheese
2 oz. smoked salmon
20 large nasturtium leaves

Combine cream cheese and smoked salmon together well. Spoon about a teaspoon of the mixture onto the center of each nasturtium leaf. Roll up each leaf tightly, and seal with a toothpick or tie with a long-stemmed nasturtium blossom. Serve chilled.

Reese's Pieces Cupcakes

These were the other cupcake I made for my goddaughter's first birthday party. I love this frosting, and I really liked this cupcake recipe. I think I will use this cupcake recipe as a base for other cupcakes in the future. It was easy to use and didn't make my kitchen smell like burning cupcakes.
Reese's Pieces Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup soft butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup milk, warm
1/2 cup peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 24 muffin tins.

In medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla.

Add flour and milk, alternating in three additions, ending with flour. Stir in peanut butter chips.

Evenly distribute into prepared muffin tins. Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Cool completely on a wire rack.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter (I used approximately 1/3 cup crunchy because I ran out of creamy)
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tbsp. milk (or as needed)

Beat butter and peanut butter together until well mixed. Gradually add powdered sugar. When mixture gets thick, slowly incorporate milk one tablespoon at a time as needed to keep frosting spreadable. Beat at least three minutes to make frosting fluffy.

Final Preparations
Frost each cupcake. Then roll each cupcake in mini Reese's Pieces, designed for baking.

Chocolate Revel Bars

These bars are good for bake sales and freeze well for individual desserts at a later date. I like them best slightly warmed in the microwave.

Chocolate Revel Bars
8 oz. butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3 cups oats
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
14 oz. can condensed milk
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Cover a 15 by 10 pan with foil or grease it.

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl. Then add eggs and 2 tsp. vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt and oatmeal. Stir into creamed mixture and set aside.

In saucepan, combine chocolate chips, condensed milk, butter and salt. Heat over low until mixture is melted. Stir in vanilla.

Spread 2/3 of oatmeal batter into greased pan. Cover with chocolate filling and spread evenly. Dot with remaining oatmeal mixture (or in my case, cover completely).

Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Cool and cut into squares.

Oreo Cupcakes

These cupcakes were a creation for my goddaughter's first birthday party. Although she had far more fun with the cake, the adults and older kids enjoyed these cupcakes. They were best eaten with a fork. I had difficulties with the cupcake recipe itself not rising properly, but I thoroughly enjoyed the cocoa nibs in the chocolate I used.

Oreo Cupcakes

3/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
8 oz. dark chocolate, melted
3 large eggs, separated
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 3/4 cup milk
8 oreo cookies, crushed

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 18 muffin tins.

Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Mix in egg yolks. Then mix in vanilla and chocolate.

In separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and baking powder. Alternate adding this flour mixture and the milk to the butter/sugar mixture. Then stir in oreos.

In separate bowl, whip egg whites until peaks form. Fold the batter into the egg whites.

Fill cupcake liners almost to the top. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. (Rather than rising tall, my cupcakes oozed over the sides. They tasted fine but looked less than desirable without some doctoring and made the oven smell like burning cupcakes. Yummmm.)

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla

Cream softened butter and shortening together. Slowly add powdered sugar and then vanilla on low speed. Once combined, cream together on medium-high until fluffy.

Final Preparations
Cut each cupcake in half horizontally. Spread a layer of frosting in between the layers to replicate an oreo. Top each cupcake with additional frosting and crushed oreo cookies.

Butterscotch Blondies

I found this blondie recipe online and modified it by adding a generous handful of chopped up butterscotch candy bars (and I mean almost a cup). My husband enjoys these bars, which work well for bake sales.

Butterscotch Blondies

1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
6 Tbsp. butter
1 3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
1 heaping cup butterfinger pieces

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease 9 x 13 pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

In saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Once melted, remove fat. Stir in sugar and vanilla until combined. Add eggs, stirring until well blended. Stir in flour mixture until just blended and then add butterfinger pieces.

Press batter into baking pan and bake about 30 minute or until toothpick comes out clean.