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Monday, March 24

Pistachio love

Sugar, confectioners’
1 cup
(100 grams)
Flour, all purpose
2 ½ cups
(300 grams)
Eggs, medium
3 yolks
Butter, unsalted,
room temperature
1 cup
(210 grams)
Marzipan, grated
14 ounces
Rum, 40% proof
1/8 cup
Pistachio nuts, ground
½ cup
Chocolate, semisweet,
melted, tempered
1 cup
(150 grams)
  1. Combine the sugar, flour, egg yolks, and butter in a electric stand mixer bowl, and using the dough hook attachment, knead until the dough is smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Form into a small loaf, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  3. Using a fork, combine the marzipan, rum, and nuts in a small bowl.
  4. Preheat to 350°F; line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out thinly, about 1/8-inch thick.
  6. Using a 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut about 60 circles; transfer to the baking sheets.
  7. If desired, use a knife to score a checkerboard pattern on top of each round.
  8. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly golden; cool completely on a wire rack.
  9. Spread 1 tablespoon of the filling on half of the cookies, and top with the remaining cookies.
  10. Drizzle the chocolate over the top (or dunk in the chocolate, your choice).
Recipe from European Cookies for Every Occasion by Krisztina Maksai

Friday, March 21

Cherry kiss

Marzipan, grated
13 ounces
(375 grams)
Sugar, granulated
2/3 cup
(150 grams)
Eggs, medium
2 whites
Cinnamon, ground
Pinch
Lemon zest, grated
½
Orange zest, grated
½
Almonds, sliced
1 ¼ cups
(200 grams)
Cherries, sour:
well drained
1 1/3 cups
(200 grams)
  1. Preheat to 400°F; line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. In a large bowl, add the marzipan, sugar, egg whites, cinnamon, and zests.
  3. Using an electric mixer, knead until the dough is smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Spoon the mixture into a paper or plastic cone fitted with a size 12 or 2A round piping tip.
  5. Pour the almonds into a pie pan.
  6. Pipe out a 1-inch strip of dough on top of the almonds.
  7. Place a cherry in the middle, and cover it by piping another strip of dough on top.
  8. Repeat with remaining dough and cherries.
  9. Sprinkle almonds on top of each cookie, and form it into a ball by pressing gently around the cherry; transfer the cookies to the baking sheet.
  10. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly golden; ensure they do not brown.
Recipe from European Cookies for Every Occasion by Krisztina Maksai

Crispy ginger beef with snow peas

Beef flank steak, thinly sliced across grain, 1/8-inch thick, 2 to 3 inches long, ½ inch wide
1 pound
Vegetable oil

Flour, all purpose
1 cup
Sugar
¼ cup
Vinegar, rice
¼ cup
Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
2 tablespoons
Soy sauce
1 tablespoon
Oyster sauce
1 tablespoon
Chili sauce
1 teaspoon
Ginger, thinly slivered
minced
2 tablespoons +
1 tablespoon
Garlic, minced
1 tablespoon
Snow peas, trimmed
¼ pound
  1. In a wok, add 1 ½-inch oil, and heat until it reaches 350°F; adjust heat to maintain temperature. 
  2. In a large bowl, add the flour, and then add one-third of the beef; toss to coat, shake off excess flour, and transfer to a plate; repeat. 
  3. Add one-quarter of the beef to the wok, stirring to separate, and fry until crisp and lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate covered with paper towels; repeat. 
  4. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, vinegar, wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and chili sauce. 
  5. Heat a clean wok over high heat for 1 minute, add 1 tablespoon of the frying oil, and rotate the pan to coat evenly. 
  6. Add the ginger and garlic, and stir-fry until the garlic softens, about 30 seconds. 
  7. Add the vinegar mixture, and stir often until the sauce is bubbly all over, about 45 seconds to 1 minute. 
  8. Add the beef and snow peas, and stir-fry until the slices are coated and hot, about 1 minute. 
Recipe adapted from The Hakka Cookbook by Alan Lau

Friday, March 14

Gingerbread bites

Honey
2/3 cup
Butter, unsalted, room temperature
5 tablespoons
(70 grams)
Flour, all purpose
2 cups
(250 grams)
Baking powder
1 teaspoon
Almonds, chopped
2/3 cup
Cinnamon, ground
4 tablespoons
Ginger, ground
¾ teaspoon
Allspice, ground
¾ teaspoon
Nutmeg, ground
¼ teaspoon
Cloves, ground
¼ teaspoon
Anise seed, ground
¼ teaspoon
Cherries, fresh or canned
20 or so
Apricot fruit spread
¼ cup
Chocolate, grated
¾ cup
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the honey and butter together.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and anise seed; measure out 1 tablespoon of the mixture, and reserve the remaining for another use.
  3. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, almonds, and 1 tablespoon spice mixture; remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Preheat to 350°F.
  5. While the dough is still warm, form small balls into your palm, and then flatten them.
    If the mixture gets too sticky, sprinkle confectioners' sugar on your palms.
  6. Place a cherry into each flattened cookie, and wrap the dough around it; continue until all the dough is used, you'll have about 18 cookies.
  7. Line a baking sheet, and then place the cookies on the pan with a pastry spatula, spacing them about 1 inch apart.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden; be careful not to burn.
  9. Carefully remove from the pan with a pastry spatula, and cool completely on a wire rack.
  10. Warm the apricot fruit spread in a saucepan.
  11. Brush a teaspoon of fruit spread onto each cookie.
  12. Roll the cookies in the chocolate.
Recipe from European Cookies for Every Occasion by Krisztina Maksai

Red wine skirt steak

Beef skirt steak, cut in half
½ pound
Salt

Pepper, freshly ground

Red pepper flakes, crushed
¼ teaspoon
Garlic, pressed
2 cloves
Lemon juice
2 tablespoons
Wine, dry red
¾ cup
Rosemary
2 springs
Note: This recipe is part of the Slow Cooker for Two series, and requires at least one 3 ½-quart slow cooker and two slow cooker plastic liners. Pair this recipe with those tagged SCfor2, noting any different in time requirements.
  1. Insert the liner into the slow cooker, fully opening the bag and draping the excess over the sides.
    (Or, if this is the second recipe, insert the liner into the remaining space in the slow cooker, fully opening the bag, and draping the excess over the sides.) 
  2. Add the steak to the bottom of the liner, and season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the red pepper flakes, garlic, juice, and wine, and then pour over the steak. 
  4. Top with rosemary. 
  5. Fold the top of the bag over to one side, and push the ingredients at the bottom of the liner to create room for the second bag. 
  6. (Or, if this is your second recipe, fold the top of the bag over to the opposite side of the first bag, and nestle the ingredients of both bags so that they are sharing the space evenly.) 
  7. Follow directions for your second recipe. 
Completing the recipes:
  1. Each closed bag should be draping away from the other, extending over the sides of the slow cooker. 
  2. Cover and cook on LOW:
    4 hours:
    -Chicken marsala with mushrooms & sage
    -Chicken with dried fruit & mustard sauce
    7 hours:
    -Mushroom-stuffed skirt steak
    -Red wine skirt steak
  3. Move two shallow serving dishes or bowls next to the slow cooker. 
  4. Remove the cover, and using pot holders or oven mitts, carefully open each liner, and remove the solids with a slotted spoon or tongs to its own bowl. 
  5. Still using the pot holders, gather the top of the first liner, carefully lift the bag from the slow cooker, and move it over its serving bowl. 
  6. Cut off a corner of the bag, large enough to allow the remaining contents of the bag to be released into the bowl; discard the liner. 
  7. Repeat with the second liner. 
  8. Top with any reserved herbs.
  9. Allow the dish not being served to cool, and package in a resealable plastic freezer bag or freezer container. 
  10. Label, and freeze up to 3 months. Before serving, taste, and season again with salt and pepper. 
Recipe from Slow Cooker, Double Dinners for Two, Cook Once, Eat Twice! by Cynthia Graubart

Mushroom-stuffed skirt steak

Beef skirt steak, flayed open like a book
½ pound
Pesto sauce
2 tablespoons
Parmesan, grated
3 tablespoons
Mushrooms, sliced
6 ounces
Salt

Pepper, freshly ground

Beef broth
¼ cup
Note: This recipe is part of the Slow Cooker for Two series, and requires at least one 3 ½-quart slow cooker and two slow cooker plastic liners. Pair this recipe with those tagged SCfor2, noting any different in time requirements.
  1. Insert the liner into the slow cooker, fully opening the bag and draping the excess over the sides.
    (Or, if this is the second recipe, insert the liner into the remaining space in the slow cooker, fully opening the bag, and draping the excess over the sides.) 
  2. Spread the pesto sauce evenly over one side of the steak. 
  3. Sprinkle with the cheese, and top with the mushrooms. 
  4. Roll, secure with wooden skewers, and transfer to the bag. 
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and then add the broth. 
  6. Fold the top of the bag over to one side, and push the ingredients at the bottom of the liner to create room for the second bag.
    (Or, if this is your second recipe, fold the top of the bag over to the opposite side of the first bag, and nestle the ingredients of both bags so that they are sharing the space evenly.) 
  7. Follow directions for your second recipe. 
Completing the recipes:
  1. Each closed bag should be draping away from the other, extending over the sides of the slow cooker. 
  2. Cover and cook on LOW:
    4 hours:
    -Chicken marsala with mushrooms & sage
    -Chicken with dried fruit & mustard sauce
    7 hours:
    -Mushroom-stuffed skirt steak
    -Red wine skirt steak
  3. Move two shallow serving dishes or bowls next to the slow cooker. 
  4. Remove the cover, and using pot holders or oven mitts, carefully open each liner, and remove the solids with a slotted spoon or tongs to its own bowl. 
  5. Still using the pot holders, gather the top of the first liner, carefully lift the bag from the slow cooker, and move it over its serving bowl. 
  6. Cut off a corner of the bag, large enough to allow the remaining contents of the bag to be released into the bowl; discard the liner. 
  7. Repeat with the second liner. 
  8. Top with any reserved herbs.
  9. Allow the dish not being served to cool, and package in a resealable plastic freezer bag or freezer container. 
  10. Label, and freeze up to 3 months. Before serving, taste, and season again with salt and pepper. 
Recipe from Slow Cooker, Double Dinners for Two, Cook Once, Eat Twice! by Cynthia Graubart

Monday, March 10

Cat's eyes

Flour, all purpose
2 cups
(250 grams)
Butter, unsalted,
room temperature
12 tablespoons
(150 grams)
Sugar, confectioners’
2/3 cup
(70 grams)
Eggs, medium
2 yolks
Orange zest, grated
1 +
1
Hazelnut spread
½ cup
(150 grams)
Chocolate, semisweet, melted
1/3 cup
(50 grams)
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, and using the dough hook attachment, combine the flour, butter, sugar, eggs, and zest of one orange, and knead until the dough is smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Form the dough into a small loaf, wrap in plastic wrap, and rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat to 350°F.
  4. Lightly flour a working surface, and roll the dough out thinly, about 1/8 inch thick.
  5. Using a 1 ½-inch round cutter, cut the dough into about 60 cookies.
  6. Using a ½-inch square cutter, cut a square from the middle of half of the cookies; use a toothpick to remove the squares, which can be rolled for additional cookies or discarded.
  7. Line a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper, and then transfer the rounds carefully to the sheet with a pastry spatula.
  8. Bake the cookies for 13 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  9. Carefully remove them from the baking sheet with the pastry spatula, and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely.
  10. Stir together the remaining orange zest and hazelnut spread.
  11. Spread a teaspoon of the mixture on the rounds, and top with a square-cut round.
  12. Using a teaspoon, drizzle the chocolate in parallel lines on each cookie.
Recipe from European Cookies for Every Occasion by Krisztina Maksai