Sunday, July 18, 2010

Really Good Sangria

Recipe may be doubled and stored in a gallon jar.

750 ml off-dry red wine, such as Les Chiens-Chien
1 medium lime
1 d'Anjou pear
1 Fuji apple
1/2 cup simple syrup, chilled
1/2 cup sweet vermouth
1/2 cup frozen limeade concentrate

1. Core and thinly slice apple and pear. Thinly slice lime. Place fruits in half-gallon jar.

2. Add remaining ingredients. Close jar and shake gently to distribute ingredients. Chill for at least 2 hours. Flavor improves overnight.

3. Shake gently before serving. Serve with 1 or 2 slices of fruit from the jar.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Really Simple Chocolate Cake

7.5 oz unbleached all-purpose flour
7 oz sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 oz Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
1 teaspoon espresso powder
8 oz very hot water

2.25 oz mayonnaise
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place parchment paper in bottom of 8-inch square baking dish.

2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In second bowl, combine cocoa, chocolate, espresso powder, and water; whisk until smooth. Into chocolate mixture whisk mayonnaise, egg, and vanilla until completely smooth. Add chocolate mixture to flour mixture and stir until combined.

3. Scrape batter into pan and smooth the top. Bake until cake surface is cracked and top has puffed. A wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out with few crumbs attached, 30 - 35 minutes.

4. Let cake cool in pan on wire rack, 1 to 2 hours. Run thin knife around pan edge to loosen cake. Invert and place on serving platter. Can be dusted with confectioner's sugar.

With thanks to Keith Dresser for his article in Cook's Illustrated, March 2009.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies

Yields one dozen, 2-inch cookies

258 g peanut butter, crunchy, organic, no additives
1 large pinch salt (if peanut butter is unsalted)
162 g light brown sugar
30 g honey
1 large egg
7 g vanilla extract

1. Place oven rack in center of oven. Preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In medium bowl, mix all ingredients. When blended, divide into 12 equal portions (divide in half, then in thirds, then each one in half). Using palms of hands, roll into balls and place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Press tops lightly but firmly with fork, first in one direction, then again at 90 degrees to make the traditional hatch pattern. Cookie dough should be about 3/4 inch thick.

3. Bake until cookies are slightly puffed, lightly tanned, and edges have begun to set, about 10 - 12 minutes. Do not brown. Cool 2 minutes on the baking pan, then remove cookies to cooling rack.

Adapted from Shirley O. Corriher's BakeWise (2008), published by Scribner.