Posts Tagged 'vanilla'

Potato Chip Cookies

potato chip cookies0934

Potato Chip Cookies 

Who doesn’t love potato chips? They give these buttery cookies from the kitchen of my talented friend Nancy Kistler a delicious salty crispness. Bet they become your favorite way to use up all those crumbs at the bottom of the potato chip bag! Thanks Nancy for sharing your recipe!

Potato Chip Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cups crushed potato chips (classic style)
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour and mix until well blended. Stir in the vanilla and chips.

Drop rounded tablespoons of the dough, spaced about 2 inches apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake until lightly browned around the edges, about 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Place the powdered sugar in a shallow bowl and roll the cookies in the sugar to lightly coat. Store at room temperature, with waxed paper between the layers, in an airtight container.

Makes about 30 cookies.

Cooking Tip: Do not refrigerate or freeze the unbaked dough as the potato chips will become soggy.

From The Southern Pantry Cookbook by Jennifer Chandler.

Photo by the talented Justin Fox Burks. Food styling by Jennifer Chandler.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I should call this recipe Sarah’s Disappearing Banana Bread!

My youngest daughter can’t not get enough of banana bread.  It is one of her favorite treats to eat … and to make with her momma!

Sarah has the unfortunate curse of being allergic to nuts, and unfortunately most versions of this quick bread are made with walnuts.  She had a wonderful nut-less banana bread last summer we found at the Malibu Farmers Market. Since then, we have been on a quest to re-create a similar version.

Many of the recipes we tried were delicious … but none had the moistness of the one we had enjoyed last summer.  Then one day a friend told me to try adding sour cream to the mix. It was a brilliant suggestion! The sour cream gave the bread that delicious moistness we were lacking with other recipes we tried.

The chocolate chips were Sarah’s idea …  my little sous-chef always knows how to make a sweet over the top!

Enjoy! (But be forewarned … it will disappear very quickly!)

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 5 -inch loaf pan with nonstick baking spray.

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

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter 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 bananas, sour cream, vanilla extract, and cinnamon and stir to blend. Stir in the chocolate chips. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about for 60 to 70 minutes.

Remove the bread from the oven and cool in the pan on a wire rack just until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan and place onto a wire rack to cool.

Serves 8.

Cooking Tip:  It happens to all of us.  Some days bananas ripen faster than we can eat them.  If I have bananas that are overly ripe, I throw them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. That way, I always have ripe bananas on hand to make this bread and I am not wasting food.

Variation: If you are not allergic to nuts like Sarah, add a 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts to the batter for what I’d call a “Chunky Monkey” version!

Freezes well.

Fig Ripple Ice Cream

 

My grandmother used to have a fig tree outside her kitchen door.  I have vivid memories of my Dad heading straight out the door to pick a few the moment we would arrive for a visit.  As a kid, I have to admit that I wasn’t a huge fan of figs.  The only way I ever ate them was overly processed in a Fig Newton!  But thank goodness my taste buds matured! Now, just like my Dad, I can’t get enough of this luscious fruit.

Recently, a friend dropped off a huge container of figs she picked at her in-laws farm.  There were definitely more of these ripe little treasures than I could reasonably snack on before they would turn bad.  So I decided to try to imitate a version of a divine ice cream Chef Stephen Hassinger at the Inn at Hunt Phelan (Memphis, TN) dishes up each summer.

First, I made a quick and easy jam with the ripe figs.  Some recipes may call for peeling the figs but I think leaving the fig skins on makes for an even more intense flavor. (Plus it’s easier!) Instead of plain vanilla for the ice cream base, I added a bit of sour cream.  The tartness of the sour cream offered a nice contrast to the sweetness of the figs.  Praline pecans were an added crunchy indulgence.

Hope you enjoy this creamy treat as much as we did!

Fig Ripple Ice cream

For the Fig Jam:
1 ½ pounds ripe figs, stems removed, unpeeled
1/3 cup sugar

For the Vanilla-Sour Cream Ice Cream Base:
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 ½ cups whole milk
2 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream 

1/2 cup chopped Praline Pecans (optional)

For the Fig Jam:
Puree the figs in a food processor or blender. In a medium heavy saucepan, combine the fig puree and the sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the figs have thickened into a jam, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Ice Cream:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and salt until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.

In a heavy saucepan, combine the milk, whipping cream and vanilla extract. Cook over medium heat until just simmering.  Do not boil.

Slowly pour the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture, whisking as you pour.

Return the cream mixture to the saucepan.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the custard thickens and coats the back of the spoon, about 6 minutes. Strain the custard into a clean bowl. Whisk in the sour cream. Cool the custard over an ice bath until room temperature.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.    

Freeze in an ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s instructions.

After the ice cream stiffens (about 2 minutes before it is done), add the fig jam, 1 spoonful at a time, and the pecans. Then continue freezing until the ice cream is ready.

Serves 8.  

Cooking Tips:
This fig jam recipe is so tasty.  Feel free to save a little for your morning toast.  It will keep in your refrigerator, covered, for one week.

If figs aren’t in season, you can still enjoy this ice cream.  Substitute your favorite jarred Fig Jam/Preserves.

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.


Jennifer Chandler

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