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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Independence Day Pinwheel Sugar Cookies

With Independence Day coming up I wanted to do something Patriotic.  Here are my Red, White, and Blue Sugar Cookie Pinwheels.

Sugar Cookies
1 and 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup softened butter (2 sticks) - Cream together butter and sugar.  Then add:
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
Mix together.
2 and 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
Mix together.  Form into 3 balls.  Dye one ball red, one ball blue, and leave the third plain.  Wrap each dough ball in plastic wrap.  Refridgerate dough balls for at least 2 hours.  Roll out each colored ball and layer onto parchment paper.  Roll.  Cut about 1/4 inch thick sections.  Bake 375 degrees for 7 - 8 minutes.  They go great with frosting and milk.

Mix together butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, almond, and egg.
Flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
Mold 3 balls of dough.
Dye two of the balls red and blue and leave one plain.  Wrap dough balls separately in plastic wrap and refridgerate for at least 2 hours.
Roll out each ball of dough and layer on top of each other.  Mine fell apart, so I just pieced them together on top of each other.
Roll dough layers.
Cut out circles.



Corn Chowder

It is the beginning of Corn season.  And you know what that means.  Its time for Corn Chowder.

10 ears of fresh corn - shucked, and kernels cut off
4 ounces of bacon - for garnish mostly - or use an entire package of bacon if you want it in the soup.  Cut up the bacon and cook first in a large Dutch oven pan on medium heat.  Remove bacon and set aside to drain, keep some bacon fat to saute the onions and garlic.
1 onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Add 3 Tbs flour and to the onions and garlic and cook for about 1 minute.  Add
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups whole milke
2 - 3 medium potatoes, diced
Corn kernels
Drop to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender about 15 minutes.
1 cup heavy cream
Salt, Pepper, and Seasoning to taste.  Cook for another 5 minutes.
Add back crispy bacon on top, or in the soup.

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

Lemony Cupcakes
3/4 cup butter (1 and 1/2 sticks)
1 and 3/4 cup sugar - Cream butter and sugar together.  Adds eggs and vanilla.
3 eggs
1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla
Mix together dry ingredients
2 and 1/2 cup flour
2 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Alternate adding dry ingredients and flour.
1 and 1/4 cup whole milk
Add 2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel.

Scoop out mix into cupcake wrappers.  Bake at 350 degrees for 18 - 22 minutes.  I made 30+ cupcakes.
Raspberry Frosting
3/4 cup room temperature or melty butter (1 and 1/2 sticks)
3 Tbs milk or heavy cream
1 tsp raspberry flavoring
A handful of raspberries
5 - 6 cups powdered sugar
Whip together butter, milk, and flavoring.  Add 1 cup of powdered sugar and raspberries.  Whip together.  Add the rest of the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until thick.

Relay for Life Cancer Research Bake Sale.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fort Douglas Day

 My darling husband J and I do Civil War re-enacting together.  As a hobby.  Just for fun.  This is our Fort Douglas Day June 16th, 2012 celebrating the 150th anniversary of the founding of Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City, Utah.  J sews.  He made both my dress and his uniform.  Yes, I married a very talented man.  We are members of the Utah Civil War Association.  We were asked to represent the California 3rd Infantry which was stationed at Fort Douglas to keep an eye on those dang Mormons.  This period of Utah history, 1857 - 1858 round about, is known as the Utah War.  We like to refer to it as America's first Cold War since nothing really happened.
 Civil War laundresses followed the camp and were paid quite handsomely for washing the soldier's clothes, as much as $2 a day.  The average Civil War soldier only made $13 a month while laundresses could make as much at $40 a month just for washing their clothes.  With Jorden and Kimberly.
 Fort Douglas had an American military history timeline set up with different "War" period camps on the grounds.  Here are our fellows representing the Revolutionary War and Mexican American War.  A good looking bunch of chaps.
 All lined up from Revolutionary War to modern day.

 I do love a man in uniform.
It is not a Gatling Gun, it is an 1875 revolving cannon.  This particular one was featured on the History channel show "Pawn Stars".  They could not come to a deal so he kept it.  I want one.  No, we should get two, one for either side of the yard so it is symmetrical.
Our American Civil War Cannon.
Cannons throughout history.
I just love taking random pictures of Mnt Dew.  Modern day cannons.
This is what happens after the cannons go off.  A 21 gun salute to all the veterans.
We had a lovely time together.  Did I mention that I like cannons?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Peanut Butter Cookies

These are my husband's favorite cookies.  Just like his Momma used to make. 

Peanut Butter Cookies
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
Mix all this together then add
1 and 1/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Mix all this together.

Now for the secret that makes these J's favorite cookies.  Roll the dough ball in sugar before flattening them out with a fork.  If all my problems would go away when rolled in sugar.  Sigh.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes.

German Chocolate Cupcakes

My Dad loves German Chocolate Cake.  He only gets it once a year for his birthday so for Father's Day I made him German Chocolate cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache filling and the traditional Coconut-Pecan frosting.
The first thing I did was start with the filling because it has to cool.  I chopped up 4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate.  (1/2 cup.)

Then I heated 1 cup (8 ounces, so a 1:2 ratio of chocolate to cream) of heavy whipping cream and poured it over the chocolate.  Then I stirred until smooth and put it in the refridgerator to cool.

Next I made the Coconut-Pecan Frosting.  In a sauce pan on medium heat stir together egg yolks, butter, sugar, and evaporated milk for 12 minutes-ish until thick like caramel.

Coconut-Pecan Frosting
1 cup sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1 and 1/3 cup coconut flakes
1 cup chopped pecans

Add coconut and chopped pecans and stir together until evenly coated.  Set aside to cool
Now for the cake.
German Chocolate Cake
1/2 cup boiling water
1 bar (4 ounces) German Sweet Cooking Chocolate
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
2 and 1/2 cup cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
4 egg whites stiffly beaten
Chop up more chocolate.
Add the 1/2 cup boiling water to the chopped chocolate in a separate bowl so it melts.  Stir until smooth and set aside to cool.

Separate the eggs and whip together the four egg whites with a dash of salt until stiff.  Set aside.
Cream together butter and sugar.
Add the four egg yolks one at a time and mix in.  Add vanilla, then the melted chocolate.
Alternate adding flour, baking soda, salt mixture with 1 cup of buttermilk and mix.

At the very end fold in the egg whites to make the cake batter nice and fluffy.

Scoop batter into cupcake wrappers and bake.  I baked them at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.  This recipe made 40 cupcakes.

When the chocolate ganache (1:2 Chocolate:Cream mixture) is cool, whip it.
Fill cupcakes with chocolate ganache.  Cut holes out in the center and fill with chocolate cream.  This is best done with a pipping bag and large round tip.
Spoon on the coconut pecan frosting.
Why pirate flags you ask?  Because they are fun and I had them.
I ended up making 40 cupcakes, but only enough ganache to fill an even dozen.  Then only enough coconut pecan to frost 24 cupcakes.  What did I do with the rest?

I put some fudge chocolate frosting on them with the rest of the pirate flags and gave them to my friends with kids.