Monday, March 22, 2010

Gorgonzola Pasta

Let me start by saying this is Danny's favorite pasta dish. It's definitely the richest and creamiest pasta out fair warning.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 lb (1 box) pasta of your choice....(I like to mix it up with a couple different kinds of pasta, but that's just me)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup cream
  • 8 ounces Gorgonzola, cut into small pieces
  • Pepper, to taste
Heat water to a boil for pasta, salt water and cook pasta to al dente.
Heat butter in a large sauce pot. Add garlic, cook 2 minutes then whisk in flour, cook 1 minute. Whisk in stock then cream.
Bring to a bubble and stir in Gorgonzola, about 2 minutes until melted. Sprinkle in your black pepper then toss in your pasta and serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pina Colada Cupcakes

I found this recipe and knew I had to try it, as there's nothing I like more than a good Pina Colada. On the beach. In Mexico.
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 scant cup sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 Tbsp pineapple juice
  • 1 Tbsp rum - I used pineapple rum and let the Tbsp spill over a few seconds :)
  • 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 to 2 tsp coconut extract (optional, but definitely recommended)

If you want to add a handful of shredded coconut, go for it...I don't particularly care for shredded coconut so I didn't use any...I decided to use coconut extract instead.

Now on to the rum frosting:

  • 3/4 sticks butter, softened
  • 3/8 cup shortening
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp rum - again, I used pineapple rum and let it spill over ;)

I also added about a tsp or two of coconut extract to the frosting...definitely worth it!

For the cupcakes (makes 12 by the way), mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, mix together the butter, sugar, pineapple juice, and rum. Add your egg whites. Add half of the flour mixture and then half of the buttermilk to the butter mixture, until well-blended. Repeat with the remaining halves of each. Pour into your cupcake pan and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

To make the icing, mix together the shortening, butter, and vanilla. Add in the powdered sugar and rum, and mix until well-blended.

Ice and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sugar Cookies

Ok so my new obsession has been sugar cookies. It all started when my mom came in town for the weekend and we baked and decorated sugar cookies ALL weekend. No joke. We worked Saturday night until 2am. *worked*....hah. We were on a mission to find the perfect sugar cookie and the perfect icing. After much taste testing, here's what I'm sticking to:

Vanilla-Almond Sugar Cookies
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp pure almond extract

Combine the flour and baking powder, set aside. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and extracts and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined. Roll onto a floured surface and cut into shapes. Place on baking sheets (no need to spray the cookie sheet!)and bake for 10-12 minutes at 350. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

And now the wonderful ICING recipe:

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3 teaspoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

In a bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup. I'll also add a splash of more milk or almond extract to thin the icing down if needed. I usually go with the almond because I absolutely LOVE almond extract. If you touch the icing with your finger tip, you want it to hold a peak for about 10 seconds, and then flatten down. Divide into separate bowls and add your food colorings!

Now to decorate, you can either use the little plastic bottles they sell at craft stores on the baking isle, or you can use icing bags and pipes. I use both. If you use the bags, make sure you have a #1 or #2 tip, otherwise the icing is just going to pour out the tip and make a mess. Trust me. I know.

Now when you're decorating, just outline your cookie, let it dry, and then "flood" the desired area in with more icing. Happy baking!
Just for fun, here's a snapshot of a few of the hunded cookies that came from my mom and I's weekend...