Food Flight

An aviator's culinary adventures

Angel Macaroons March 24, 2010

Filed under: Cookies,Dessert — flyingbubble @ 2:08 pm
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I made these wonderful cookies a while ago and I don’t remember if there’s a story to tell.  Someday I hope to regain control of my blog, lol, I’ve been let it run wild for a couple weeks now.  Amazingly, people still check it out every day!!  That’s some seriously dedicated readership I must have, except that my  boyfriend admitted to not usually reading my entries and just drooling over the pictures.  I don’t mind, I’d do it too, but I usually try to make my musings on the recipe as entertaining as possible so hopefully most of you aren’t missing out on the core of my blog’s awesomeness.  I sent these cookies to a couple different friends and family and they received rave reviews across the board.  They’re so easy to make, it’s crazy not to try this recipe.  They’re also low fat since we’re using Angel Food cake mix.

Angel Macaroons

Yield: 5 dozen

INGREDIENTS:

1 package (16 oz) angel food cake mix

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

2 cups flaked coconut

DIRECTIONS:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cake mix, water and almond extract on low speed for 30 seconds.  Scrape bowl; beat on medium speed for 1 minute.  Fold in the coconut.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove paper with cookies to wire racks to cool.

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Christmas Breakfast from Julia Child December 25, 2009

Filed under: breakfast,Dessert — flyingbubble @ 7:06 pm
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My roommate Desiree gave me Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking so I decided that I needed to try one of her recipes for a Christmas meal.  Many of the recipes didn’t sound too appealing (aspics…) but its hard to go wrong with a dessert type recipe.  I had never cooked crepes before but I love them and have always wanted to try.  So I flipped to the dessert chapter and found a recipe for crepes with almond cream.  The great thing about this recipe was that the almond filling can be made up to a week in advance and the crepe batter gets mixed up the night before so all I had to do this morning was cook and fill the crepes.  The almond cream was probably the hardest part because I had to whip up liquid into a custardy texture without scorching the milk or getting the mixture stuck to the bottom of the pan.  My arm was pretty darn tired when I finished.  The crepe batter just gets blended up so that was definitely my favorite part.  As I cooked the crepes this morning I realized that the pan and cooking surface place a large part in your ability to make crepes.  I had trouble getting the pan to the right temperature (kept swinging between too hot and not enough heat).  I used a nonstick pan instead of cast iron.  The recipe calls for cooked crepes and almond cream so I had to use the recipes for those to get to step one for the final process.  I’ll include all the recipes in this post so you can make this recipe at home.

Crepes Fourrees, Frangipane (Crepes with Almond Cream)

12 cooked crepes 6 inches in diameter

1.5 cups frangipane (almond custard)

2 ounces or squares of semi sweet baking chocolate

2 Tb melted butter

1 Tb granulated sugar

Directions: Use any of the three recipes for crepes (I used dessert crepe recipe and that’s what I’ll include here).  Spread 2 Tb of frangipane on the less-good side of each crepe.  Fold the crepes into wedge shapes, or roll them, to enclose the filling, and arrange in the baking dish.  Grate the chocolate over the crepes, sprinkle on the melted butter, then the sugar.  About 20 minutes before serving, set in a preheated 350-degree oven until the chocolate had melted.  Serve hot or warm.

Crepes Fines Sucrees (light batter)

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup cold water

3 egg yolks

1 Tb granulated sugar

3 Tb orange liqueur, rum, or brandy

1 cup flour (scooped and leveled)

5 Tb melted butter

Directions: Place the ingredients in the blender jar in the order in which they are listed.  Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute.  If bits of flour adhere to sides of jar, dislodge with a rubber scraper and blend 3 seconds more.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight

Frangipane (Almond custard filling)

1 egg

1 egg yolk

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup flour

1 cup boiling milk

3 Tb butter

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp almond extract

1/2 cup pulverized macaroons or pulverized almonds

Directions:  Beat the egg and egg yolk in he mixing bowl, gradually adding the sugar, until mixture is pale yellow and forms the ribbon.  Beat in the flour.  Then beat in the boiling milk in a thin stream of droplets.  Pour into saucepan and set over moderate heat.  Stir slowly with the whip, reaching all over the bottom of the pan.  When mixture begins to coagulate into lumps, beat it vigorously until it smooths and thickens into a stiff paste.  Then over moderately low heat, beat it with a wooden spoon for 2 to 3 minutes to cook the flour thoroughly.  Be careful the custard does not scorch on the bottom of the pan.  Off heat, beat in the butter, then the flavorings and macaroons or almonds.  If not used immediately, clean custard off sides of pan and dot top with softened butter to prevent a skin from forming on the surface.  Frangipane will keep for a week under refrigeration, or may be frozen.

 

Aida’s Linzer Cookies December 23, 2009

Filed under: Cookies,Dessert — flyingbubble @ 1:21 pm
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Every year I get 12 emails from the Food Network with the “12 days of cookies”.  Each day the email has a photo and recipe for a delicious holiday cookie from one of the Food Network stars.  This year I decided to actually try one of the recipes.  I’ve never made linzer cookies so it was an easy choice when I saw the chocolate hazelnut linzer cookies from Aida.  My dad doesn’t like chocolate though so I made the fruit jam version instead.  Since I happen to have a strawberry almond jam in the pantry, I added almonds to the dough instead of pecans.  I also added more jelly per cookie than recommend (I doubled the amount actually) at my mom’s request.  There are plenty of ways to personalize this recipe. Here’s the basic instructions for Blackberry Pecan Linzer cookies:

Blackberry-Pecan Linzer Cookies:

  • 1 cup toasted pecans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest, from 3 oranges
  • 1/2 cup seedless blackberry jam

Add the nuts to the bowl of a food processor, fitted with a blade, and pulse until finely ground (it should be powdery and not a paste), about 15 pulses. Set aside. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl until evenly combined and set aside.

Put the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, and mix on medium speed until creamy and light, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the mixer, scrape down sides of the bowl, and add egg yolks and vanilla. Mix until well incorporated.

Mix in the orange zest, ground pecan powder, and the flour mixture until just incorporated. Divide the dough into 2 even pieces, pat each into a thin disk, enclose in plastic wrap, and let rest in refrigerator at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and arrange racks in the upper and lower third of the oven. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature until pliable enough to roll. Roll out half of the dough on a piece of lightly floured parchment or waxed paper to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out rounds of dough. Using 3/4-inch round cookie cutter, cut out the center of half of rounds to make rings. Transfer rounds and rings to the freezer to set up for 5 minutes before continuing. Gather the dough scraps and chill.

Transfer the chilled cookies to parchment lined baking sheets, leaving at least 1-inch between each cookie. Bake 2 sheets of cookies at a time until the undersides are golden, switching sheets halfway through, about 12 to 15 minutes total. Cool 5 minutes on sheets then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat until all dough is used.

To assemble cookies, spread 1/2 teaspoon jam on the bottom side of each solid round cookie, then top with a ring-shaped cookie.