Tag Archives: Recipes
Post by Alison Hein.
My husband’s firm conducts charitable activities each year during the month of November. The company comes up with different ideas to get people to donate money to various charities. Lo and behold, last week they decided to hold a bake sale in the office to benefit City Harvest, a New York-based food rescue organization which we support. Kevin asked me if I wanted to provide something tempting for the sale.
And so I baked. Benne Wafers, Green Tea Macadamia Cookies, and Pistachio Biscotti. Only one tiny problem – I didn’t have any pistachio nuts. I did, however, have a nice fat bag of crunchy, plump hazelnuts. And, a couple of tiles of bittersweet chocolate mixed into the batter added rich depth and a lovely tan color to the cookies.
The toughest part of baking biscotti is slicing them into strips after the first baking. They tend to crumble if not cooled enough, or if overcooled and too crispy. After a little practice (all mistakes are deliciously edible!), you will have it down to a science.
So, you should add Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti to your cooking repertoire – whether you are baking to support your favorite charity or to serve your favorite person a charitable breakfast in bed.
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 ounces baking chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
2½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup hazelnuts
Preheat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Stir in eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly each time. Mix in vanilla and melted chocolate. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt and hazelnuts. Dough should be thick and moldable.
Wet or flour hands, split dough in half, and shape into two long, mounded loaves (approximately 8 inches long by 3½ inches wide). Place loaves on prepared baking sheets and bake for about 30 minutes, until lightly golden. Transfer to wire racks and let cool at least 15 minutes.
When cool enough to handle, slice loaves into roughly ¾-inch slices. Place slices cut-side down on parchment paper and bake for another 30 minutes or so, turning biscotti once during baking, until golden brown. Remove to wire rack and cool.
Makes about 20 to 25 biscotti.
Post by Alison Hein.
Brian B, our favorite Chief Operating Officer at Charles P. Rogers & Co., has tasked me with coming up with a fabulous cake recipe for Halloween. Well, this isn’t it, but it is a cake, and here’s what got me started thinking about it:
Brian asks me to think of a great idea…
My mind is blank…
I start googling Halloween cakes but am not inspired by my findings…
I turn to my old cookbooks and start leafing through…
I remember Rosemary Cookies, an old Halloween tradition of baking cookies into shapes for remembrance…
And then I remember Corsican Chestnut Cake, a version strewn with rosemary and pine nuts.
Also known as Pisticcini, this in-between sweet and savory cake recipe was adapted from The Book of Bread by Judith and Evan Jones. There is a long history of growing chestnuts in Corsica, where the flour is used to produce bread, pancakes, porridge, and traditional polenta. Oh yeah, and cake.
Chestnut flour is rich, dense, and sweetish, and does not suit everyone’s palate. Some cakes are baked with butter and milk and sometimes a mixture of white flour, but I like the simplicity of just a couple of eggs to create a light, firm dough. Fresh rosemary, pine nuts, and a splash of sea salt adorn the top of the cake and add balance. Try a thin slice, served warm, with a strong cup of black tea for a Corsican breakfast in bed.
P.S. Stay tuned for Brian’s cake!
2 cups chestnut flour (available in Italian specialty shops, gourmet shops, or online)
1 cup water
2 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Preheat oven to 350°.
In a large bowl, mix together chestnut flour, water, 2 tablespoons olive oil, eggs and sugar. Pour batter into greased round cake or pie pan (about 9 inches in diameter). Sprinkle top with rosemary, pine nuts and sea salt.
Bake until the cake has shrunk from the sides of the pan, and the surface is lightly cracked. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and serve warm.
Makes 1 9-inch round cake.
Post by Alison Hein.
The glorious weather we’ve been having has put me in a bit of a funk: beautiful, sunny days + low humidity + perfect temperatures + shorter days = end of summer. 🙁 🙁
So I turn to the perfect pick-me-up – peach pie! There are a few good things the close of August brings, and one of my top picks is luscious, ruby-red, drippingly sweet peaches.
This time I’ve made my pie open face, but the recipe yields enough dough to place a top crust on, if you like (freeze any extra pie dough for a future quick dessert or savory quiche). If your peaches are extra sweet, use a little less sugar. If they’re extra juicy, add a touch more flour.
At this time of year, I recommend acquiring a few more peaches than needed, just in case you nibble some away before preparing your peachy, perfect, pick-me-up breakfast in bed. J
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon ice cold water
⅓ cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
4 to 5 large, ripe peaches
¼ to ½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup flour
To make crust, sift together flour and salt. Remove half of the flour mixture and add to a separate small bowl. Add water to flour mixture and stir to make a paste. Cut butter into small cubes and cut into remaining flour mixture, using a pastry cutter or two forks. Mix all ingredients together until a smooth, uniform dough forms. Split dough in half. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate about 30 minutes before rolling.
Preheat oven to 350°. Remove dough from refrigerator. Gently roll out one piece of dough on a lightly floured board, adding more flour as needed to prevent sticking. Roll dough to form an approximate 12-inch round. Place dough in pie dish. Trim edges and crimp with the tines of a fork.
To make filling, peel peaches by cutting a small “x” in the bottom of the fruit. Carefully drop the peaches into boiling water and blanch for up to one minute. Remove peaches from pot and immerse in ice water. Peel off peach skin starting at the “x’. Slice peaches by cutting lengthwise to the pit, and pulling slices away from pit. Place peach slices in a large bowl. Stir in sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and flour. Pour filling into prepared pie crust.
Place pie in oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes until crust and topping is golden brown. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if you like.
Makes 1 pie.
Post by Alison Hein.
Ever wake up late, hungry, but not quite wanting breakfast? Perhaps not quite wanting lunch as well, but not in the mood for a fussy brunch? That’s when you should break out the egg salad. Hard-boiled eggs, chopped and mixed with mayonnaise and fresh herbs, always hit the spot. Guaranteed to go fast, I strongly recommend cooking a few extra eggs. You can always use them for a quick snack, to top a Russian salad, or for a sixties-style deviled egg appetizer. Perhaps let your kids have a go at making egg salad (no cooking required), and let them serve you in style.
I like my egg salad sandwich on a crusty roll, but feel free to use soft brioche or lightly toasted white bread. Thick rich rye and pumpernickels are also wonderful – a nice contrast of thick, grainy bread against creamy, herbed eggs.
Ever versatile, try these egg salad change-ups:
- Spice it up – chop up some jalapeño peppers, add a splash of hot sauce, or a dash of cayenne. Serve on tortillas, if you like.
- Select various herbs – depending on your palate, parsley, rosemary, thyme and fennel are all good choices. A heavy hand of paprika (reminiscent of deviled eggs) is always pleasing.
- Serve open face – spread neatly on some mini-rye bread slices, and top with thin cucumber rounds and sprigs of fresh dill.
- Skip the bread altogether – delicately mound egg salad on baby greens, or Boston lettuce. Garnish with cherry tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes.
Whatever your pleasure, I hope you enjoy and savor your late, not-so-breakfasty breakfast in bed!
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 roll, sliced
Handful of baby arugula
Place eggs in a small heavy saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil on high heat and continue to cook eggs for 10 minutes, until hard-boiled. Cool and peel. Finely chop eggs and place in small bowl. Stir in mayonnaise and fresh dill. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spread egg salad mixture on one half of roll. Top with baby arugula and serve.
Makes 1 serving.