Posts Tagged 'flour'



Double-Decker Peach Cobbler

When my friend Laurie Major told me about her grandmother’s peach cobbler I just had to give it a try. 

Mrs. Mohler made it with 3 layers of crust!  I am all about the crust, but am a little lazy at times. I have made this into a double-decker cobbler. But if you have an extra 10 or 15 minutes, you can add that third layer of pastry.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  I thought it was so good I included it in my new cookbook Simply Suppers!

Enjoy!

Double-Decker Peach Cobbler
From Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra to grease the baking dish
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup water
2 bags (16-ounce) frozen peaches, thawed, or 12 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced (about 5 to 6 cups)
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons bourbon
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 unbaked pie crusts (9-inch), homemade or store-bought
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 pint vanilla ice cream (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish with butter and set aside.

In a large saucepot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add 3/4 cup of the sugar and water and cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the peaches, lemon juice, bourbon, 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the flavors have melded, about 5 minutes. Add the flour, stir to coat, and cook until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Evenly spoon 1/2 of the filling into the prepared dish. Top with a layer of pie crust. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and spoon the remaining 1/2 of the filling evenly over the crust. Top with the second pie crust. Brush the top crust with the beaten egg. Evenly sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of the sugar and the remaining 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon over the top. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly, about 18 to 20 minutes.

Serve warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Serves  8.

Cooking Tip: To make the third layer, place a pie crust on the bottom of the pan. Par-bake the bottom crust for 10 minutes. Then layer as directed in the recipe above.

Time-Saving Tip: I love fresh peaches, but they can be a hassle to peel. Frozen peaches are in-season year-round and work just as well in this dish…without the extra work!

Freezes well.

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

My good friend Kristen Keegan won “Best in Show” at the Mid-South Fair with this cake.  Moist and delicious, it has just the perfect amount of lemony flavor. Serve it on its own or with freshly whipped cream and fresh berries.

Enjoy!

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

For the cake:
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened, plus extra to grease the loaf pan      
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra to flour the loaf pan
1/4 teaspoon baking powder                                 
1/4 teaspoon salt                                                
1/4 cup butter flavor all-vegetable shortening                     
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest 

For the Lemon Glaze:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted                              
1/2 cup granulated sugar                                             
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons water

To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9- X 5-inch loaf pan.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix until well combined. Add the reserved flour mixture and mix until well blended. Add the milk, vanilla extract, lemon extract, and lemon zest and stir to blend. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about  60 to 70 minutes. While it is still in the pan, pierce several holes in the cake with a knife or skewer. Prepare the glaze and top before the cake is completely cooled or removed from the pan.

To make the glaze: In a small bowl combine the melted butter, sugar, lemon juice, and water. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the glaze over the cake and let the cake sit in the pan until the glaze is fully absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Remove from the pan and transfer to a serving plate. Serve at room temperature.

Serves 8. 

Cooking Tips:

Cooking for a crowd? You can easily double this recipe and bake it in a Bundt pan.

For 1 tablespoon of freshly grated lemon zest, you will need 1 large (or 2 small) lemons. For no waste, first zest your lemons and then juice them. 

Freezes well.

 

 

Coconut Cake

When I was writing the dessert chapter of my cookbook Simply Suppers (release date September 2010), I went in search of the perfect coconut cake recipe.  In fact, to be honest, it kinda became more like a quest than a search!

I wanted a super moist cake with a to-die-for icing.  The real deal.  One like your grandmother would have made. BUT…I wanted it to be easy.

I started with a box of yellow cake mix.  First, I tried poking holes in the cake and pouring coconut milk over it. It was good…but not what my sweet tooth had envisioned. I called my friend Leigh McLean and begged for the yummy recipe she used at her sadly-now-closed restaurant Lulu Grille.  But she said it was not her recipe to share…it belonged to her mother. (If you live in the South, you know that Southern women guard their secret recipes with a vengeance!)

After lamenting on my Cook with Jennifer Facebook page, that I still was not happy with my coconut cake.  Both LeeAnne Wray and her mother Linda Wray posted that they had the best coconut cake recipe ever…and they even shared it!

The trick is to bake the cream of coconut into the cake and then ice the warm cake with a sugary mixture of sour cream, frozen fresh coconut, and sugar.

I made a few tweaks here and there to the original recipe to make it even simpler but I was sure to keep the Wray’s “secret” tricks.

So here it is…. the “Best Ever” Coconut Cake. 

Be forewarned, you can’t have just one piece of this decadently moist coconut cake. 

Enjoy!

Coconut Cake

For the cake:
1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus extra to grease the pan
All-purpose flour, to flour the pan
2 packages (6-ounce) frozen fresh coconut
1 container (8-ounce) sour cream
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 box (18-ounce) yellow cake mix
1 box (4-ounce) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 can (15-ounce) cream of coconut

For the icing:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
2 egg whites
3 cups sweetened shredded coconut

To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the frozen coconut, sour cream, and sugar. Set aside.

In a the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the yellow cake mix, vanilla pudding mix, oil, water, vanilla extract, eggs, egg yolks, and cream of coconut. Beat the mixture until smooth. Pour the batter, dividing it equally, into the prepared cake pans. Bake until the cakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

Remove the cakes from the oven and cool in the pans on wire racks just until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and place onto wire racks.

Carefully slice each of the warm cakes in half horizontally to make a total of 4 thin layers. Place one of the 4 layers on a serving plate. Spread 1/3 of the sour cream-coconut mixture evenly on top. Continue with layering the remaining cake layers and remaining sour cream-coconut mixture. Transfer the cake to the refrigerator to cool at least 20 minutes.

To make the icing: In a small saucepot whisk together the sugar and water until the sugar has dissolved. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil and cook without stirring until it reaches a temperature of 235 degrees, or when it forms long threads when poured from a spoon back into the pot, about 10 minutes. Remove the sugar syrup from the heat and set aside. Do not cool the sugar syrup.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed until they hold soft peaks. While continuing to beat, slowly pour the hot sugar syrup into the egg whites. Continue to beat on high until the icing is shiny and has cooled, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Frost the top and sides of the cake. Generously sprinkle the shredded coconut all over the cake. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

Serves 8 to 10.

Time-Saving Tip: Instead of making a meringue icing, you can frost the cake with either whipped cream or thawed frozen whipped topping. I like to reserve 1 cup of the sour cream-coconut mixture and whisk that together with 1 cup whipped cream topping. I still cover the cake with shredded coconut after icing.

Cooking Tip: This recipe uses coconut in 3 forms. Found on the baking aisle, sweetened shredded coconut is the most common. It is flaked coconut that has been soaked in corn syrup for added sweetness and moisture.  Frozen fresh coconut is just what it’s called: fresh coconut that has been flaked and frozen. It is found next to the frozen fruit in most markets.  If you cannot find it, you can substitute sweetened shredded coconut. Cream of coconut is a thick sweet liquid made from coconuts. Often used to make drinks, find it in the mixer section of your grocery or liquor store. Coconut milk is not a substitute.

Chicken, Caramelized Onion, & Apple Thin-Crust Pizza

There is something about a crispy thin-crust pizza that I can’t resist.  I’m not sure whether the allure is the crispy-yet-chewy texture of the crust, the gooey melted cheese, or the savory toppings.  (It’s probably a combination of all three!) But homemade pizzas have become a staple at our house.

It is so easy to whip up a batch of homemade dough.  All you need is a food processor, a few basic ingredients (flour, cornmeal, yeast, water, and olive oil), and you are ready to go.

If you are short on time (the dough is a cinch to make but does need a couple of hours to rise), you can always pick up some dough from the grocery store or your neighborhood pizzeria.

I like to get creative with my toppings. This one with caramelized onions and apples is high on my list.

Enjoy!

Chicken, Caramelized Onion, and Apple Thin-Crust Pizza

For the pizza dough:

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 envelopes (1/4-ounce) rapid-rise yeast
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup cold water

For the pizza:

1 tablespoon olive oil plus extra to brush on the pizza crust
1 cup thinly sliced yellow onions (about 1 onion)
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Prepare the pizza dough:

In a food processor, pulse together the flour, cornmeal, yeast, and salt. With the processor running, add the oil and then water in a steady stream; process until the dough just forms a ball.

Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, 4 to 5 times. Place the dough in a resealable plastic bag and let it rise at room temperature until it is doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Divide the dough into two equal portions, roll it into balls, and cover them with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for 15 to 20 minutes before shaping, topping, and cooking.

Prepare the pizza:

Pre-heat the oven to 500°F.

While the dough is finishing, warm 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until a few droplets of water sizzle in the pot. Add the onion and thyme and cook, stirring often, until softened and caramel colored, stirring often, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the onions from the heat.

Place each dough ball on a baking sheet; using your hands, gently flatten, and pull into ovals. Brush each crust with olive oil. Season the dough with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the cheese evenly across both crusts. Then evenly spread the chicken and apples across the pizzas. Bake until crust is golden brown and toppings are hot, 10 to 12 minutes.

Make two 10-inch pizzas.

Cooking Tip: I prefer to use rapid-rise yeast in this recipe. Active dry yeast has to be activated with hot water before it can be used.

Mac-n-Cheese with a Twist

Here’s to 2010!

Happy New Year!  Don’t know about you…but I am so excited about 2010.  It’s going to be a big year for me with a new book, some exciting new food adventures on the horizon … and this new blog!

As with all my cooking…my recipes are about getting good food on the table simply.  My posts will offer quick, easy and delicious ideas for your next meal.  I’ll also occasionally share some fabulous food finds and dining adventures.

Right now I am knee-deep in the developing stages of my next book Simply Suppers.  Set to be released in the Fall 2010, Simply Suppers is all about comfort food you can get on the table in no time flat. My editorial deadline is the beginning of March, so I am spending my days (and nights) cooking, testing and re-testing some satisfyingly delicious comfort foods.  Since I genuinely love to cook, the adventure of writing a cook book is truly a lot of fun and something I feel blessed to be able to do for a profession. (Thanks to all of you who made my first book Simply Salads such a national success!)

For my first blog entry, I’d love to share with you a recipe for these chilly January nights…my homemade and ultimately delicious Mac-n-Cheese with a Twist

Unlike the orangey-yellow boxed variety that many of us grew up on, homemade Mac-n-Cheese is a ooey, gooey, creamy delight for both the kids and grown-ups at the table. It’s a sinfully good indulgence that I just can’t pass up.

I like to use two cheeses in mine.  First, a sharp, tangy white cheddar that adds a delicious bite to the sauce.  Next, I throw in some Gruyère which adds a sweet nuttiness.  Then to truly make this pasta dish stand out, I add country ham, fresh herbs and crunchy topping made from crusty artisan bread.

Enjoy!

Mac-n-Cheese with a Twist

Serves 4 to 6

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for the casserole
½ pound macaroni
2 cups low-fat milk
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 ½ cups grated white cheddar cheese
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ pound country ham, sautéed and cut into small dice
3 slices crusty French bread, minced to breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley

Pre-heat the oven to 375°F. Butter a large casserole dish and set aside. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the macaroni until it is just tender, about 4 to 6 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, and drain again. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, bring the milk just to a boil, remove from the heat, and set aside.

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. When the butter foams, add the flour. Cook, whisking, for one minute. While continuing to whisk, gradually add the milk. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 5 to 8 minutes. Do not brown. Remove the pan from the heat. 

Stir in the nutmeg, 2 cups cheddar cheese and ½ cup Gruyère cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the macaroni into the cheese sauce and stir until well coated. Add the diced ham, thyme, and parsley and stir until well combined. Place the mixture in the casserole dish.

Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. In a small bowl combine the bread crumbs, remaining cheeses, and the melted butter. Evenly spread the bread crumb mixture over the top.

Bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Serve warm.

Back to the Basics: Prefer just plain old mac-n-cheese? No problem. Just omit the herbs and country ham.

Food Fact:  I just love the nutty flavor of a Gruyère. Great for melting, this firm cow’s milk cheese hails from Switzerland and is now found in most grocery stores. Freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheeses are acceptable substitutes.


Jennifer Chandler

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