Egg Nog

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Homemade Christmas egg nog - delicious spiked or plain!

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Egg Nog
SO much better than store-bought!
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine eggs, sugar, milk and salt in the top of a double boiler with simmering water.
  2. Heat, stirring constantly, until mixture coats the spoon.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in the cream, vanilla and nutmeg.
  4. Chill overnight and serve cold. Garnish each cup with a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Spike with brandy or whiskey, if desired.
Recipe Notes

If you overcook the egg nog and it isn't completely smooth, just use a stick blender to smooth it out. It won't affect the taste.

It's important to chill the egg nog for several hours before serving it. The flavors really come together and taste like the real deal. It's good right off the stove, but so much better after a few hours in the fridge.

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Czech Apple Strudel (Jablečný Štrudl) Recipe

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Delicious apple strudel (Jablečný Štrudl) recipe from my Czech friend in Liberec. She is from a town whose name translates (very) loosely to "Apple-ville", so this is appropriate!

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Apple Strudel Recipe
Course Dessert
Cuisine Czech
Servings
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Cuisine Czech
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Peel and core the apples. Grate on a box grater into a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift flour and baking powder together. Cut in chilled margarine.
  4. Beat one of the eggs together with the vinegar and water. Add to the flour mixture and knead the dough for about five minutes. It should be elastic and pull away from the bowl.
  5. Separate the dough into halves. On a floured board, roll out half the dough to about 1⁄4 inch thick and the diameter of a pie dish.
  6. Sprinkle with 1⁄2 cup breadcrumbs.
  7. Spread half the grated apples evenly on top.
  8. Sprinkle 1⁄2 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1⁄2 cup raisins on top.
  9. Starting with a long edge, roll the dough into a long tube. Seal the edges well and pinch the ends. Repeat with other half of dough.
  10. Place on a baking sheet seam side down. Pierce in several places with a fork.
  11. Beat the second egg and brush over the top. Bake for 30-45 minutes until golden. Serve hot or cold.
Recipe Notes

The dough or rolled strudel keeps in the refrigerator overnight for baking the next day.

Vanilla ice cream is an excellent pairing with this dessert.

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Hot German Spiced, Mulled Wine (Glühwein) Recipe

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Authentic German recipe for the famous Glühwein, spicy, mulled wine served hot - a traditional winter treat at the Christmas markets in Europe.

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Mulled Wine (Spiced German Glühwein) Recipe
Glühwein is hot, red wine infused with citrus and spices. This is an authentic German recipe - serve it at your winter holiday parties or enjoy it at home as part of your traditional celebrations.
Cuisine German
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
6-oz cups
Ingredients
Cuisine German
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
6-oz cups
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Wash the lemon and orange and remove any labels. Cut them in half.
  2. In a 3-quart saucepan combine sugar, water and lemon juice. Bring to a low boil and simmer until syrupy.
  3. Squeeze the orange and lemon halves into the pan and drop the empty rinds in as well. Add remaining ingredients.
  4. Lower the heat and continue to cook without boiling or simmering for 15 minutes. Serve hot.
Recipe Notes

For Glühwein use any type of red wine as long as it’s a fairly good one. You can’t dress up a bad wine by adding the spices. A slow-cooker is a good way to keep Glühwein warm on a party buffet table.

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Flan, Crème Caramel, Crema Caramella or Crème Renversée Recipe

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Whether you call it flan, crème caramel, crema caramella or crème renversée, this creamy, custard dessert is a treat for family and guests.

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Flan Flan, Crème Caramel, Crema Caramella or Crème Renversée Recipe
Course Dessert
Servings
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a medium pan, bring sugar, water, corn syrup and lemon juice to a simmer, without stirring, over medium-high heat. Wipe any sugar crystals off the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush because they can cause the syrup to be grainy. Continue to cook until the syrup turns from clear to golden, swirling the pan continuously for even browning until large, slow bubbles on the surface turn honey-caramel in color.
  2. Remove the pan immediately from the heat, and working quickly (and carefully - it's very hot!), pour a portion of the caramel into each of 8 ungreased 6-ounce ramekins. Allow the caramel to cool and harden, about 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (make sure rack is in the middle).
  4. Heat milk and cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until steam appears - usually 6-8 minutes- remove from heat.
  5. Meanwhile, gently whisk the eggs, yolks, and sugar in a large bowl until just combined.
  6. Off the heat, gently whisk the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture, adding vanilla and salt.
  7. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh cloth into a large measuring cup or a bowl with a pouring spout. Set aside.
  8. Place the ramekins in a large baking dish or roasting pan and divide and pour the custard mixture evenly into them.
  9. Fill the pan with about two cups of boiling water so that it reaches about half way up the sides of the ramekins. At this point you can cover the pans loosely with aluminum foil, allowing the steam to escape.
  10. Bake until a paring knife inserted halfway between the center and edge of the custards comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes.
  11. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature.
  12. To unmold, slide a paring knife around the perimeter of each ramekin. Holding a serving plate over the top of the ramekin, invert and set on the work surface. Gently shake the ramekin to release the custard.
Recipe Notes

The room-temp, finished, baked flan can be chilled in the fridge (loosely covered with plastic wrap) for up to 2 days.

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Faschingskrapfen, German Filled Donut Recipe

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The traditional pastry for Germanys Mardi Gras, called Karneval or Fasching, is krapfen, or donuts. Made of yeast dough, they are fried and filled with apricot or rose hip jam. You can make them yourself with this recipe!

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Faschingskrapfen, German Filled Donut Recipe
Cuisine German
Servings
Ingredients
Cuisine German
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Proof the yeast by combining it with the lukewarm milk and about 2 tablespoons of sugar. Mix well and place in a warm spot for 20 minutes. The yeast should become active and foam up, becoming what is called a sponge.
  2. While the yeast is doing its thing, combine the rest of the ingredients and whip til fluffy. Combine the yeast sponge with the flour and mix up a little. Add the egg mixture and mix well. Knead by hand for about 10 minutes or use a mixer with dough hooks for 5 minutes.
  3. Form a ball with the dough and leave it in the bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and put in a warm place (about 85 degrees F) to rise for 20 minutes. If your kitchen is cold, warm the oven to 85 degrees F (30 C) and place the dough in there.
  4. Punch the dough down and knead by hand on floured board for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with more flour and work it in by increments if dough sticks to your hand. Add milk by tablespoons if the dough is too dry and hard to knead.
  5. Form a ball and return the dough to the bowl. Cover with the towel and return to the warm spot for 60 minutes to rise a second time.
  6. Turn the dough onto a floured board and punch down again.
  7. Now there are two ways to proceed: One is to form balls with the dough that are about 2 inches in diameter. Roll the balls between your palms to eliminate any seams or folds. Seams and folds "bloom" in the oil and result in a misshapen Krapfen. Two is to press the dough into a flat sheet about 1/2 inch thick. Let it rest for about 10 minutes then use a cookie cutter or rim of a drinking glass to cut 4-inch disks. Reform leftover dough into a flat sheet and cut more disks until most of the dough is used up.
  8. Whether you form ball or disks, place the dough shapes on greased and floured sheets. Cover the dough with the kitchen towel and return to the warm place for another 30 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile bring a pot with 2-3 inches of oil, shortening or lard (old school, German style) to 338 degrees F (170 C). Carefully remove a ball or disk, whatever you decided, turn it over and place gently into the oil, bottom up.
  10. Fry 1-2 minutes then turn the donuts over and fry an equal amount of time on the other side. Properly risen dough should be so light that the donuts float, resulting in a white band around the middle. No white band means dense, overcooked donuts.
  11. Remove from oil to a plate lined with paper towels.
  12. There are two ways to glaze the Krapfen: One, roll the still-warm Krapfen in a plate of sugar. Two, sprinkle with powdered sugar, BUT WAIT UNTIL AFTER YOU FILL THEM.
  13. To fill: Load a baking syringe with jam and inject each donut with about 2 teaspoons of the sweet stuff. Then sprinkle with powdered sugar on both sides if you waited for that.
  14. Serve warm. Strong coffee goes well!
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Deviled Egg “Devil Chix” Recipe

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These devilish chicks will delight your crowd, whether for Easter, buffet table or game day. Traditional deviled egg recipe with a cute presentation.

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Deviled Egg "Devil Chix" Recipe
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Hard boil the eggs and let cool quickly in ice water. Change out the ice water when it gets warm. If you cool the eggs slowly, a greenish skin forms around the yolks inside.
  2. Peel the eggs and rinse. Pat dry.
  3. With a sharp paring knife, cut about 25% off the smaller end of each egg, revealing the cooked yolk.
  4. Carefully remove the yolks from the whites and put them in a separate bowl.
  5. Rinse and pat dry the whites. With your paring knife, cut around the edge of the small end of each egg in a zigzag pattern. Cut a small slice off the other end of each egg to make them flat so they will stand up on their own.
  6. To the egg yolks, add the mustard, mayo, relish, sugar, paprika, cayenne, salt and ground pepper. Mash the yolks with a fork and mix all ingredients well.
  7. Spoon 1/6 of the egg yolk mixture into each of the larger, upright white parts. Cap each with a jagged small piece, leaving part of the yolk mixture visible. Push two whole peppercorns into each visible yolk part for eyes and a small piece of carrot into each for a beak.
  8. Serve chilled on a bed of lettuce.
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Rosemary Pine Nut Crackers Recipe

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Make delicious, savory rosemary pine nut crackers at home from scratch. More tasty than commercial crackers plus simple and easy with this recipe.

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Crackers, Rosemary Pine Nut, Recipe
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20-25 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
dozen crackers
Ingredients
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20-25 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
dozen crackers
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Mix flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Use an electric mixer to whip the butter until light and smooth.
  3. Add half the flour mixture to the butter and mix just until combined.
  4. Add the rosemary, pine nuts, egg, egg yolks and pepper. Mix until just combined.
  5. Add rest of flour mixture until just combined. Dough should not be dry. If it crumbles, add 1 teaspoon of water at a time until it is moist and doesn’t crumble when pinched.
  6. Divide dough in half. Flatten it into thick rectangles. Wrap each rectangle in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 325 F (160 C).
  8. Unwrap one rectangle of dough on floured surface. Roll to ¼-inch (0.6 cm) thick.
  9. Cut out crackers with cookie cutter. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet.
  10. Bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool and store in airtight container.
Recipe Notes

Use fresh rosemary and chop it very finely for max flavor and to avoid getting rosemary leaves in your teeth when you eat them.

This dough freezes well if wrapped tightly. It will keep for 2-3 months. Thaw it out and bake up the crackers if you need a gift or have unexpected guests.

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Blue Cheese Sablés (French Butter Cookies) Recipe

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A tangy variation on the plain sablés, or French butter cookies. Adding blue cheese enhances the melt-in-your-mouth quality of these delicate little cookies. They are great for the holidays, they go wonderfully with tea and coffee, and you can keep some dough in the freezer ready to bake for last-minute sweets.

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Cookies, Blue Cheese Sablés (French Butter Cookies) Recipe
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine French
Servings
Ingredients
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine French
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat butter and cheese until completely blended, about 1 minute.
  2. Add sugar and salt and beat just until they are well mixed and creamy, about one minute longer. Do not overbeat.
  3. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating each just until completely mixed in. Stop beating once you have a cohesive batter.
  4. Stir in flour with a rubber spatula, stirring just until there is no dry flour left. The dough should be sandy but form a ball when pressed.
  5. Roll into a 2-inch thick log, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerator for 4 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the log into 1/2-inch slices. Place slices 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.
  8. Bake until the edges are light brown, about 18 minutes.
Recipe Notes

I recommend St. Agur or any double-cream blue cheese.

Do not overwork this dough. The less handling, the better.

This dough MUST rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before baking. Because there is no leavening, the butter is the rising agent. Therefore, the butter must be very chilled before they go into the oven.

Keep some of this dough in the freezer for last-minute gifts or unexpected guests.

It's traditional to stamp each dough slice before baking with a cookie stamp. This step is optional, but it's very charming in the end result.

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Sablés de Paris (French Butter Cookies) Recipe

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Light, delicate French butter cookies. Very easy to make and quick to bake. They almost melt in your mouth. Perfect for tea and coffee or holiday cookie plates.

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Cookies, Sablés de Paris (French Butter Cookies) Recipe
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine French
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8-10 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
dozen cookies
Ingredients
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine French
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8-10 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
dozen cookies
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift together sugar, salt and flour.
  3. Mix in butter and rub butter with fingers into flour until mixture is crumbly.
  4. Stir in the egg yolk(s) and vanilla.
  5. Form dough into two logs about 2 inches in diameter. If dough does not come together, add water one tablespoon at a time until it just forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
  6. Cut the logs into slices about 1/4-inch thick. Optionally, stamp each slice with a cookie stamp.
  7. Place slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until very lightly browned around the edges, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and allow cookies to cool for about 5 minutes.
  8. Remove to wire rack and cool completely.
Recipe Notes

Roll the logs in sugar before slicing to get a crispy, sweet outer rim.

There are many variations of this recipe, including blue cheese and ginger/cardamom flavors. Check my blog post to see how to do them.

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Käsekuchen (German Cheesecake) Recipe

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This authentic German family recipe for cheesecake uses the European Quark instead of cream cheese for a moist, delicious dessert that is much lighter than American cheesecakes.

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Cheesecake (German Käsekuchen) Recipe
Course Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine German
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 60-70 minutes
Servings
cheesecake
Ingredients
Filling
Course Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine German
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 60-70 minutes
Servings
cheesecake
Ingredients
Filling
Instructions
Crust
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Grease a 10-inch (25 cm) springform pan with butter and coat with breadcrumbs.
  2. Slightly beat the egg. Cut it into ½ cup (113 g) butter and 2/3 cup (130g) sugar in a bowl.
  3. Put the flour in a separate bowl and pour the wet mixture over it. Combine well with your hands. Dough should be rather dry and form a ball.
  4. Press dough evenly into pan on bottom and around sides to ¼ inch (0.5 cm) thick.
Filling and Baking
  1. Beat all filling ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Pour filling into prepared crust. It’s fine if the batter rises above the crust on the sides of the pan.
  3. Bake 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle.
  4. Let cool and release from pan. Serve warm or chilled.
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