Tag Archives: butter

Traditional English Toffee

This is so easy and so delicious, i may founder on it! Show some restraint!

TRADITIONAL ENGLISH TOFFEE

Ingredients:

1 cup pecans, chopped

¾ cup brown sugar, packed

½ cup butter

½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Butter a small baking sheet.  Spread pecans in a single layer.  Heat butter and brown sugar to boiling in a heavy saucepan, stirring constantly for 7 minutes (note – you MUST stir quickly and constantly or it will easily burn and don’t shorten the amount of boiling time).  Immediately spread mixture over pecans on baking sheet.  It cools quickly, so get is spread – you might have time to help it cover, but use the back of spoon – it’s too hot to handle.  Sprinkle chocolate chips over hot mixture and quickly cover with a plate or tin foil.  Let melt, then using that spoon, spread melted chips in an even layer.  Refrigerate until firm.  Break toffee into pieces.

Tip – clean up your pot as soon as possible or the toffee really sticks.

So cold outside right now, i just set outside to cool vs refrigerating. It’s amazing how hot the stone pan got with the toffee so i set it up on a baking rack.

Pops out easily and breaks nicely into pieces. Ready to eat!

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Experience the Holidays: Traditional English Toffee! So often we have those cherished childhood memories of homemade candy and cookies that accompanied holiday celebrations. They stick with us for life. I can remember being in eighth grade and determined to replicate a batch of my mother’s English Toffee. I waited for her to go into town and then pulled out her secret recipe. You know, the ones scratched on a 3.5”x5” card. More often than not, they showed a list of ingredients with instructions that simply said, “Bake at 350° for 30 minutes”. Let’s face it, that’s pretty vague compared to what we explain nowadays. As you can imagine, I melted the butter along with the brown sugar and stirred. And stirred. And stirred. So how come it wasn’t turning into this crisp crunchy texture of rich golden butter that fueled my addiction? What could I possibly be doing wrong? There…

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Buttermilk Biscuits

Have at last found a milk producer from whom i can get real milk again.  However, they don’t do butter, so skim off the cream from the jugs i purchase and shake it for butter.  Shaking separates the butter from the buttermilk.  Perfect for buttermilk biscuits.

BUTTERMILK BISCUITS

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Sunrise Mills Flour (or other all purpose)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 5 tablespoons chilled butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425˚F.  In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.  Using a pastry blender or I just use my fingers, cut the butter into the flour mixture until coarse crumbs form.

Add the buttermilk, tossing with a fork until a dough forms.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Gather into a disk.  Knead lightly a few times just until smooth.

Pat the dough to ¾ inch thick.  Using a biscuit cutter or a glass dipped in flour, cut out biscuits.  Place the biscuits 2 inches apart on a pan or cast iron skillet.  Gather dough trimmings and pat to ¾ inch and cut out more biscuits.

Bake the biscuits until golden 12-15 minutes.  Serve hot.

NOTE:  to produce flaky biscuits, take care not to over handle the dough.

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Using Sunrise Flour Mill older variety Red turkey flour.  

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Best light and flaky biscuits i’ve ever made.  Enjoying the home churned (shaken) butter and Rafter 7S Sandhill Cowboy’s Jelly from The Whistle Stop in Bassett, Nebraska.

Baking Seldom A Failure

While in this case, my first two attempts following a recipe with the Sunrise Flour Mill resulted in less than desirable loaves, they were still very tasty.  Sometimes, however, baking experiments simply aren’t an enjoyable eating experience – in those cases, one can either throw them out to your pets or chooks, compost them, or whir them into excellent bread crumbs to be used in myriad of recipes.

Flat bread loaf

Here’s what i did with the bread since it was a bit stiff.  Soak those slices in fresh farm eggs and slowly cook in butter.  Serve with local honey or maple syrup.

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Molasses, Ginger, and Zucchini

Once in a very great while, i make a substitution in a recipe and it works!  This is one.  Still working on those uses for zucchini.

I simply substituted half the butter with shredded zucchini and no other changes.  If your zucchini is young, it’s likely you’ll need to squeeze out a bit of the excess moisture or you’ll need to add a bit more flour to stiffen the dough.

Gingersnap Cookies (Soft & Chewy)

Prep Time: 15 mins   Total Time 25 mins   Serves 24

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup butter*
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ cup sugar on a plate for later

DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, beat the sugar, butter, egg, and molasses for 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves and mix by hand.  Take one good size tablespoon of dough (or more for a larger cookie) and roll into a ball.  On a plate or shallow bowl, put the sugar, then roll each ball around in the sugar to coat.

Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes on cookie sheet.  Adjust time as needed.

*during zucchini season, try substituting squeezed out shredded zucchini for half the butter.  It is excellent!

 

 

Zucchini & Cheese Casserole

What a delicious surprise this recipe is i found in an old recipe book a good friend gave me.  In my search on how to prepare zucchiniwithout making a sweet bread, i stumbled on this one!  Have already made it multiple times to great reviews and made a couple more that i put into the freezer with cooking instructions written with a Sharpie marker on the foil covering it.

Zucchini & Cheese Enchiladas or Casserole*

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp chili powder (optional)
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 large bell pepper chopped (optional)
  • 6 cups chopped zucchini
  • 16 to 18 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes

Directions:

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Stir in the flour, chili powder, and cumin to make a thick paste.  Add the milk, a little at a time, using a wire whisk.  Slowly add the cheese, stirring constantly until cheese is melted.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Preheat oven to 400˚F.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add bell pepper and zucchini and sauté 2 more minutes.  Add ¼ cup of water, cover, and steam veggies until tender.  Remove vegetables from heat, and drain excess liquid.  Gently mix in 2/3 of the cheese sauce.  Lightly oil a 9×13-inch baking dish.  To assemble, place two tortillas side by sade at one end of the pan.  Spread a generous amount of filling down the center of the tortillas, then fold them over and roll up the tortillas.  Place filled enchiladas seam-side-down in the pan.  Continue in this manner until you have filled the pan.  Spoon remaining sauce on top and garnish to tomatoes.  Bake, uncovered, for 20 -25 minutes.  Serves 8

*I prefer making this as a casserole since it’s much easier.  i do take the time to prepare freshly made corn tortillas with Masa Harina, then loosely layer the flavorful tortillas on the bottom of the pan, then top with half the zucchini/cheese mixture, layer another set of tortillas and spread the remaining zucchini/cheese mixture.  Spread the remaining 1/3 of cheese mixture on top, then dot the whole casserole with diced tomatoes.

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Home grown zucchini, canned diced tomatoes (my tomatoes are WAY behind in growth), and i found this Masienda brand of Masa Harina, bought it and LOVE it, then flavor is awesome.

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Five Minute Nacho Cheese Sauce

5 MINUTE NACHO CHEESE SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 2 ⅔ cup whole milk
  • 16 oz medium cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon chili powder (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Add the butter and flour to a small sauce pot.  Heat and whisk the butter and flour together until they become bubbly and foamy.  Continue to cook and whisk the bubbly mixture for about 60 seconds.

Whisk the milk into the flour and butter mixture.  Turn the heat up slightly and allow the milk to come to a simmer whilst whisking.  When it reaches a simmer, the mixture will thicken.  Once it’s thick enough to coat a spoon, turn off the heat.

Stir in the shredded cheddar, one handful at a time, until melted into the sauce.  If needed, lace the pan over a low flame to help the cheese melt.  Do not overheat the cheese sauce.

Once all the cheese is melted into the sauce, stir in the salt and chili powder.  Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.  If the sauce becomes too thick, simply whisk in an additional splash of milk.

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Enjoy this nacho cheese plain…..

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or add a bit of red pepper, garlic, or whatever your fancy!

Texas Sheet Cake by June

Nearly every birthday my children had, especially as they grew older, they would request that their Great Aunt June Lamme would make them a chocolate Texas Sheet Cake.  Yummy!  I made it for the boys’ October birthdays this year (2019) for a small gathering at our traditional weiner roast birthday celebration.

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Grandma’s Texas Sheet Cake

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (bicarb of soda)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

DIRECTIONS:

Bring to boil: butter, water, and cocoa.  Sift flour, sugar, soda, salt into a mixing bowl.  Pour in boiled mixture and mix.  Then add eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.  Pour batter into a buttered 15″ x 12″ pan.  Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 18-20 minutes.

*i rarely have buttermilk on hand, add 1 teaspoon lemon juice to 1/2 cup milk and stir – wait 10 minutes and voila! buttermilk.  OR i mix 1 tablespoon dried powdered buttermilk to 1/2 cup water.

FROSTING:

  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (or 3 tablespoons cocoa)

Boil together all ingredients until soft boil stage, beat until cool.  Frost cake.

Now, this recipe assumes you’ve cooked a bit, so be sure and stir often ingredients on the stove and don’t use high heat.  Also, you may need to let the icing or the cake cool a bit before spreading the frosting or it could melt and slide off.

I rarely make or using icing anymore – we simply don’t need the extra calories and this cake is rich enough to go without.  Dust a bit of powdered sugar on top and/or serve with ice cream or any favorite topping.

But, here’s my easy recipe for frosting.

FROSTING: (the easy one by Tauna) 

  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 5-6 tablespoons milk

Warm VERY slowly to allow chocolate and sugar to melt.  Stir often.  Add more milk to desired consistency.  It doesn’t take much, so like a teaspoon at a time, then stir again.