4.24.2014

Rhubarb Granita


Granitas are such an easy dessert, simple to make and you can make them with just about anything. I've posted several in the past, but can't imagine why I never made one with my favorite...rhubarb. So I gave it a try and loved the results. 
The rhubarb recipes I am making and posting about now are made with hothouse rhubarb. It's a bright dark red, much brighter than lots of garden grown rhubarb one sees in the summer, so you won't always get this fabulous color if your rhubarb isn't a deep red. Doesn't mean it won't taste just as good.

Rhubarb Granita



Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 lb. rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Method:

Bring sugar and 2 cups water to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over high heat; cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved, 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high and add rhubarb; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Strain though a fine-mesh sieve, discarding solids. 
Pour into a 9" x 13" baking pan and place in the freezer. 
Using the tines of a fork, stir the mixture every 30 minutes, scraping edges and breaking up any ice chunks as the mixture freezes, until granita is slushy and frozen, about 3 hours. Scoop into chilled serving glasses and serve with a sprig of mint.

4.20.2014

Marion Cunningham's Lemon Crackers


Seeing a bowl of homemade crackers on the table never fails to surprise and impress guests. Marion's lemon crackers are truly unusual, perfect with soups, salads and yes, even cheese. Or just for nibbling. 
I don't know about you, but I don't like tons of salt on things...so I think the tablespoon of salt in the topping is too much. If you like salty, go ahead. If not, cut it down to your taste. 3/4 tablespoon is plenty.
Also, when Marion says to cut the crackers right out of the oven, do so. They crisp up fast and are difficult to keep in squares, although a little unevenness in a homemade cracker is not a bad thing. I found I didn't need to turn them over to bake an additional 5 or 6 minutes either. They browned nicely on the bottom without turning, but you do have to roll out the dough to a 12 inch square, which is quite thin. 

These may have some sugar in them, but trust me, they aren't sweet.


Lemon Crackers
From The Supper Book by Marion Cunningham



Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons finely grated lemon rind
4 tablespoons butter, cold
2/3 cup milk, plus a few drops more if needed
1 tablespoon kosher salt (3/4 is sufficient)

Method:

Preheat oven to 325.
In a processor, mix the flour, sugar, salt and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the lemon rind. Pulse a couple times. Cut up the butter and add to the flour, pulsing until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add the milk, process as little as possible, until the dough comes together, adding a drop or two more of milk if there are any dry crumbs.

Divide the dough in half. On a floured board, form the piece into a square about 4 inches. then roll out into a 12 inch square, flouring the board and rolling pin to prevent sticking. The finished dough should be no more than 1/8 inch thick. 


Carefully transfer it to an ungreased cookie sheet. (Sounds difficult, but it isn't.) Score the dough into 2 inch squares, then, with a fork, prick each square three or four times.

Mix the kosher salt and remaining lemon rind, sprinkle over the dough and press into the dough lightly with your fingers. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip the cracker over and bake another 5 or 6 minutes. (I didn't need to flip, but it did take longer than 15 minutes in my oven to brown the top side a bit. Keep an eye on it, all ovens are different.)


Remove from oven and immediately break into pieces along the scored lines.

Repeat with the other half of the dough. Cool crackers completely and store in an airtight container.

4.15.2014

Bunny Bark and Easter Gift-Givers



                                                        Happy Easter!

What could be more fun than white chocolate bark for an Easter treat? And with big marshmallow bunnies studded through it! Of course, you can use the miniature pastel marshmallows too, but I couldn't resist these pastel big bunny shaped puffs, although the shapes are difficult to see in the photo.


My collection of Christopher Radko/Ino Schaller bunny band gift givers (called gift givers because the bottom is removable and you can put a gift or candy inside) are drooling over the view of the egg shaped bunny bark while "entertaining" us. It's almost as much fun to get them out for Easter as it is to eat the bark!


In Savannah for their annual house tour recently, I was pleased to see a large collection of the Schaller gift-givers, for all holidays, at The Christmas Shop. (To see the collection, click on Ino Schaller on that webpage.) While my Santa gift giver collection has gotten way out of hand, I did break a promise to myself to resist and purchased one little one. There were lots of Easter gift-givers (chicks and bunnies), a large turkey gift giver that didn't appeal at all and even some Halloween gift-givers....an adorable pumpkin one I'd never seen and I just had to have it. Fortunately, I don't get to Savannah that often because it appears resistance is futile. :)



Bunny Bark




Ingredients:

12 ounces white chocolate (I used 3 Ghiradelli 4 ounce bars)
3 cups pastel marshmallows, mini or bunny shaped (got mine at Target)
Pastel sprinkles of your choice

Method:

Fit some parchment paper in a baking pan and set aside.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave, starting with 30 seconds, stirring well, and then in 15 second increments. Shouldn't take more than 1 minute or so. Remove when there are still some chunks, stir madly until it's all melted.
Add the marshmallows and quickly spread on the baking sheet. Use your sprinkles on top and put the pan in the freezer for 15 or 20 minutes. You want to stop those marshmallows from melting.
Remove and let it come nearly to room temperature before cutting into squares, or use an egg shaped cookie cutter. 

Note: It's easier if you spray some Pam on any cookie cutter you use.



LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails