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Posts Tagged ‘baked goods’

Sausage Cheese Balls

July 29, 2012 7 comments

Sausage Cheese Balls

In a previous post, I mentioned a variation of cheese straws – sausage cheese balls. Well, here is a quick recipe with only three main ingredients (optional seasonings can be added). It’s a fairly versatile recipe; you can use pork, chicken, or turkey sausage. If you want a vegetarian version, you can use soy or TVP (textured vegetable protein) sausage. You can make a gluten-free version using a gluten-free biscuit mix. I even prefer this to the traditional biscuit mix. I have not tried a vegan version with soy cheese and veggie sausage because I have not found a biscuit mix that it is vegan. This is a great recipe to make ahead and freeze. Just thaw, heat (optional), and serve.

Sausage and Cheese Balls (Print recipe)

1 pound sausage (pork, turkey, chicken, soy, or TVP)

2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese

3 cups biscuit mix (Bisquick or a gluten-free variety)

¼ to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, pepper flakes, or Aleppo pepper, optional

¼ teaspoon garlic powder, optional

Cook and drain the sausage (this makes the final cheese ball less greasy). While sausage is cooking, let the cheese come to room temperature. Combine the sausage, cheese, biscuit mix, and optional seasonings. I use my hands to mix it well. Shape into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350º F. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to cooling rack. Serve immediately or you can freeze them. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Makes: about 4 dozen sausage cheese balls.

 

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Magic Triple Berry Cobbler

June 16, 2012 7 comments

This is a new and improved recipe for Magic Blueberry Cobbler from last August. We had fresh strawberries but not enough to make a strawberry-only cobbler. It takes a lot of strawberries for a strawberry cobbler (5-6 cups)! Probably why you don’t find it on the menu at many restaurants. Since we didn’t have enough strawberries, I added fresh blackberries and frozen blueberries (need to finish last year’s bounty before we pick more). When I re-read the original recipe, it was confusing. So I simplified it.

I’ve used this basic recipe with blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and peaches (various combinations). Probably my favorite is the triple berry. Not sure if the recipe would work with apples. I don’t think there is enough moisture in the apples to make a filling. Maybe if I added some water or apple juice??? It might be worth trying one of these days (maybe I’ll make a half batch just in case it doesn’t work).

Magic Triple Berry Cobbler

Fruit Filling:

3½ cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

1 cup fresh blueberries (frozen berries also work)

1 cup fresh blackberries

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Mix and spread the berries in a 9×13” buttered baking dish.  Drizzle the lemon juice over the berries and set aside.

 

Batter:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1¼ cups sugar

1 cup milk (I use half-and-half with a little water or whole milk)

5 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and sugar. Mix well. Stir in the milk, butter, and vanilla. You will end up with a thick batter. Spoon the batter over the berries and spread in an even layer. Use a light touch; otherwise you might end up with berries in the batter (similar to a muffin).

 

Magic Topping:

1¼ cups sugar

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1½ cups boiling water

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, salt, and cornstarch.  Use a whisk or fork to mix it thoroughly. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the batter.  Pour the boiling water over the top of the cobbler.  Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke about 6 to 8 holes in the batter so the water and magic topping can reach the berries.  Bake for 1 hour or until bubbly and golden brown. Serve it warm, at room temperature, or even cold!

Date Nut Bars

March 14, 2012 8 comments

I have been sick for the past week, so I’m a little slow with posting.  Haven’t really felt much like cooking or eating either.  However, now I’m taking medicine that must be taken on a full stomach.  I’m not a huge fan of eating in the morning.  I love breakfast foods, but there is something about eating them early in the morning that is unappealing. I get this honestly from my mom.  Having these tasty date nut bars around should make it easier to eat in the morning so I can take my medicine.

This is another adaptable recipe.  You can make them wheat-free or vegan.  If you don’t like walnuts, use pecans or another nut.  Not a fan of pumpkin seeds, then just use sunflower seeds.  Want real butter or coconut oil instead of canola oil, go for it. If you want them for dessert or a snack bar, feel free to add a few chocolate, carob, butterscotch, or peanut butter chips.  Don’t want to grind flax seeds? You can use sesame seeds or whole flax seeds.  You can add other spices – ginger, cloves, or cardamom.  If you love vanilla, you can add that too. Ok, I’ll stop now; you get the point.

I included substitutions in parentheses for most of the ingredients. Don’t let that limit you though.  This is a fun, easy recipe, so play around with it…

Date Nut Bars

Dry ingredients:

3 cups rolled oats, not instant or quick

¼ cup gluten-free flour blend (or regular flour)

¼ cup maple sugar crystals (or date sugar or brown sugar is fine)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon (or pumpkin pie or apple pie spice blend)

pinch of salt

¼ cup ground flax seeds (or whole flax seeds or sesame seeds)

1 cup walnuts, chopped (or almonds or pecans or hazelnuts or cashews)

½ cup dried raisins (or cranberries or cherries)

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

¼ cup sunflower seeds

½ cup dried, unsweetened coconut (or shredded sweetened coconut or coconut chips)

Wet ingredients:

½ cup dried dates (or dried apricots or dried figs)

⅓ cup canola oil (or butter, coconut oil, or vegetable oil)

¼ cup peanut butter (or almond butter or cashew butter)

¼ cup maple syrup (or honey or agave or golden syrup or molasses)

3 tablespoons hot water

Preheat the oven to 350º F.  Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix well. Combine the dates, oil, peanut butter, maple syrup, and hot water in a food processor.  Process until it is a thick paste.  Pour this date mixture over the dry ingredients. Mix well. 

Press into a parchment or foil lined 9”x13” pan (I sometimes use a rolling-pin to make sure it is pressed down firmly). Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Carefully lift the parchment or foil to remove the bars from the pan. Cool on racks.  Cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Post 4/13 – Snickerdoodles

January 9, 2012 2 comments

I love baking cookies during the holidays, but I think sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies are labor intensive. I enjoy making the cookie dough, but finishing the cookies isn’t my favorite part. With all the rolling, choosing cookie cutters, frosting them, and decorating, it takes time (Did I mention that I get bored easily and tend to bounce from task to task?!? Well, I do.) This year, we dialed down the holidays so I decided to try an easier cookie – snickerdoodles. Granted, I’d never made them before, but thought it was worth a try. Years ago, my friend Christine Teague gave me her Grandmother’s snickerdoodle recipe. I made a few changes to her original recipe: substituted butter for the shortening, added a bit more spice to the cookie dough, and added some vanilla. They were delicious!

Possible vegan option:  I haven’t tried this yet, but I think you could use vegetable shortening and an egg substitute and these would be fine as a vegan option. Ah, so much cooking and experimenting to do, so little time!

Here’s the tweaked recipe, hope you like them:

1 cup softened butter

1½ cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2¾ cups all-purpose flour, sifted

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, optional

¼ teaspoon cinnamon (or apple or pumpkin pie spice), optional

For rolling:

2 tablespoons white sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Cream together the butter and the sugar. Add the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Chill the dough. While the dough is chilling, mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Form the dough into balls about the size of walnuts and roll them in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Preheat oven to 350º degrees F. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets and flatten slightly with your hand, a glass, something (this will make a crisper cookie)*. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove from baking sheets and cool on racks.

*I have a strange technique when making ball cookies or drop cookies…I really like crisp, flat cookies. So, not only do I flatten the balls but I also open the oven mid-way through cooking, pick up the cookie sheet (using a handy-dandy pot holder), and whack the cookie sheet on the oven rack so the cookies deflate. I know, you aren’t supposed to open the oven, but I’ve been doing it since I was a kid and some habits are too hard to change (and Matt says it works!).