recipes

Dessert 24 March 2017

Carrot Cake Swirled Cream Cheese Bars

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Carrot Cake Swirled Cream Cheese Bars

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 24

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, divided
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, divided
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Pure Lemon Extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix 1 cup each of flour and sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Add oil, 2 eggs, vanilla extract and carrots; mix well. Spread 1/2 of the batter into greased and floured 13x9-inch baking pan. Reserve remaining batter. Set aside.
  2. Beat cream cheese and remaining 1 cup sugar in another large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add milk, remaining 2 tablespoons flour and lemon extract; beat until well blended. Add remaining 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended.
  3. Drop spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture and reserved carrot cake batter, alternately, over carrot cake batter in pan. Cut through several times with knife for marble effect.
  4. Bake 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.

Source: McCormick Spice

Dessert 23 March 2017

Pair Like a Pro

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(Family Features) When it comes to pairing wine with food, even experts agree that desserts can pose a challenge. A wide variety of flavor combinations can make it hard to find the perfect selection to serve with your sweet treat. While there’s no exact science to wine pairing, these simple tips can help you make your selection.

Sweet Cheesecake
A good rule: the lighter the dessert, the lighter the wine. Avoid heavy reds for a sweeter dessert and instead pair with a crisp white like Chardonnay, such as Joseph Carr from Sonoma, California.

Citrusy Lemon Meringue Pie
Lemon flavors can sometimes be polarizing, but complementing this dessert with an equally citrusy wine can work wonders. Try pairing with a food-friendly pinot grigio or a sauvignon blanc.

Rich Chocolate Cake
Red wine with chocolate seems like a no-brainer, but not all red wines are created equal. For a richer delicacy like this devil’s food cake, try something like Villa Pozzi Nero D’avola, a more fruit-forward, easy-drinking red varietal.

For more tips and wine selections, visit winefix.com

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New York-Style Honey Cheesecake

Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, grated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • fresh berries, for garnish
  • fresh mint, for garnish
  1. To make crust: In small bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs and butter until well blended. Press mixture evenly onto bottom and sides of greased 9-inch springform pan; set aside.
  2. Heat oven to 350° F.
  3. To make filling: In electric mixer bowl, combine cream cheese, honey and flour. Beat until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in cream, lemon zest and vanilla.
  4. Pour cream cheese mixture over crust; bake 15 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 200° F and bake 1 hour and 30 minutes longer, or until center no longer looks wet or shiny.
  5. With oven off and door ajar, let cheesecake cool 1 hour in oven. Remove cheesecake to rack to cool completely.
  6. Cover and refrigerate cheesecake at least 4 hours before serving. Garnish with fruit and fresh mint. Pair with chardonnay like Joseph Carr.

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Honey Devil’s Food Cake with Rich Chocolate Frosting

Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups honey, divided
  • 1/2 cup 2 percent low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • milk chocolate shavings, for garnish
  1. To prepare cake: Heat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
  2. In large bowl, combine flour, 1 cup cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add 1 1/2 cups honey, milk, oil, eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla; beat 2 minutes. Gradually beat in water.
  3. Divide batter between pans. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until sides pull away slightly from pan and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Turn onto wire racks and cool completely.
  4. To prepare frosting: In medium bowl, combine remaining cocoa powder, honey and vanilla, and cream. Beat until just thick and fluffy.
  5. To assemble: Spread frosting evenly over sides and top of one cake layer. Place second cake layer on top. Spread remaining frosting evenly over sides and top.
  6. Garnish with milk chocolate shavings. Pair each serving with a glass of prosecco, like Nero D’avola from Villa Pozzi.

Photo courtesy of 275847/Shutterstock.com (cheesecake)
Photo courtesy of Barnaby Chambers/Shutterstock.com (chocolate cake with wine)

Source: Deutsch Family Wines

Dessert 14 March 2017

Butterscotch Cheesecake

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Butterscotch Cheesecake

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Baking Time: 50 minutes
Makes one (9-inch) cheesecake

  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 1 (3 5/8-ounce) package butterscotch pudding/pie filling mix
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream
  • Crushed hard butterscotch candy
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine butter, graham cracker crumbs and sugar; press firmly on bottom of 9-inch springform pan.
  2. In medium saucepan, combine sweetened condensed milk and water; mix well. Stir in pudding mix. Over medium heat, cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.
  3. In large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla, then pudding mixture. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 50 minutes or until golden brown around edge (center will be soft).
  4. Cool to room temperature. Chill. Garnish with whipped cream and crushed candy. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

Source: Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk

Appetizers & Sides 13 March 2017

Fix Up a Flavorful Spring Table

(Family Features) Finding the perfect recipe to share with loved ones can prove to be a year-round challenge. These tasty dishes that include a flatbread appetizer, shrimp main dish and a favorite seasonal dessert made with strawberries can help you serve up a meal perfect for any spring gathering.

Visit Culinary.net for more tips and recipes to make your springtime gatherings as nutritious as they are delicious.

Hearty and Flavorful
Make your meal a hearty, tasty one by starting it off with this recipe for Herbed Veggie Focaccia Bread, a pizza-esque flatbread that’s a delicious alternative to all-too-common unhealthy appetizers. Topped with mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, olives and onion, this delightful small plate packs a nutritious load of veggies. Find more nutritious recipes at AICR.org.

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Herbed Veggie Focaccia Bread

Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research
Servings: 12

Dough:

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) quick-rise yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water, 125-130° F
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

Topping:

  • 7 medium fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, slivered
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoons cornmeal
  1. Heat oven to 475° F.
  2. To make dough: In mixing bowl, combine whole-wheat flour, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, yeast and salt. Add water and oil. Beat until smooth. Stir in remaining all-purpose flour to form soft dough. Place onto floured surface and knead by hand until consistent and elastic, about 4 minutes. Cover and let stand 15 minutes.
  3. To make topping: In bowl, combine mushrooms, tomatoes, green bell pepper, olives, onion, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, basil and garlic powder.
  4. Coat 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Gently press dough into pan. With fork, generously prick dough.
  5. Bake 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cover dough with topping mixture. Bake additional 10 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.

Fast, Flavorful Fish Dinner
If warm spring weather has you in the mood for a simple fish dinner, look to your humble sheet pan. Follow these simple tips from Dr. Wendy Bazilian, McCormick Health Advisor and Registered Dietitian, to enjoy tasty seafood recipes you’ll want to make all year long.

  • Sheet pans are perfect for simple fish dinners because they require minimal cleanup and everything is baked on one pan.
  • While lemon is a great complement to seafood, think about pairing with other citrus flavors like orange and lime. Try marinating shrimp in a mixture of lite coconut milk, lime extract, ginger and red pepper.
  • Add colorful vegetables like zoodles or asparagus to your sheet pan to boost both seafood and vegetable servings. You don’t need a spiralizer to make zoodles because many grocery stores offer pre-made zoodles in the produce section.

Explore more recipes to enjoy during spring and beyond at McCormick.com, or look for McCormick Spice on Facebook and Pinterest.

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Coconut Lime Shrimp with Zoodles

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1/4 cup Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk (regular or lite)
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Pure Lime Extract
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into thin noodles with spiralizer
  • 1 medium yellow squash, cut into thin noodles with spiralizer
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into thin noodles with spiralizer
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Ground Black Pepper
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. In large, re-sealable plastic bag, mix together coconut milk, ginger, garlic powder, crushed red pepper and lime extract. Add shrimp; turn to coat well.
  3. Refrigerate 15-30 minutes. Remove shrimp from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade. In center of large, shallow, foil-lined baking pan, arrange shrimp in single layer.
  4. In large bowl, toss vegetable noodles and oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat well. Spread noodles around shrimp in pan.
  5. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until shrimp turn pink and are cooked through and noodles are tender. Serve shrimp over vegetable noodles.

Test kitchen tip: For faster prep, use 4 cups store-bought spiralized vegetable noodles instead of spiralizing them yourself.

Dessert Makeover
Strawberries are a seasonal favorite. Indulge by skipping the shortcake and whipping up this lower-calorie dessert for more flavor and less guilt. A whole-wheat crust layered with simple, low-fat ingredients and topped with fresh strawberries provides a tasty springtime treat. Find more good-for-you recipes at AICR.org.

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Strawberry and Cheese Refrigerator Pie

Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research
Servings: 8

  • 1 prepared whole-wheat graham cracker pie crust (9 inches)
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons extra-fine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pound strawberries
  • 1/2 cup strawberry fruit spread
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Place crust on baking sheet and bake 8 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
  3. Place cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla in small bowl. Using hand mixer on medium speed or wooden spoon, blend until combined and smooth. Spread cheese mixture evenly over bottom of pie crust. Refrigerate until set, 1-2 hours.
  4. Before serving, cut off tops of strawberries. Halve largest ones and place in bowl. Cut remaining berries lengthwise in quarters and place in another bowl. Melt fruit spread in bowl in microwave or in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Mix in lemon juice, if using, and divide hot fruit spread between two bowls of berries. Using fork, toss until fruit is coated.
  5. Spoon quartered fruit into center of pie, turning most pieces cut-side down. Arrange larger halves in circle around edge of pie with flat side facing rim of crust and pointing toward center of pie. Fill open spaces with any remaining fruit spread.
  6. Serve pie within 1 hour.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Herbed Veggie Focaccia Bread)
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Strawberry and Cheese Refrigerator Pie)

Source: Culinary.net

Breakfast & Brunch 07 March 2017

Throw an Epic Easter Brunch on a Budget

(Family Features) Preparing an elaborate Easter spread for your family doesn’t have to be an expensive (or exhausting) endeavor. Rethinking familiar dishes and ingredients is an easy way to add a special touch to your meal.

Add a dash of affordable elegance to your Easter brunch with these simple tips from the experts at ALDI:

  • For a colorful twist on an Easter classic, try pickling your deviled eggs. Pickling punches up the flavor of these tasty bites and gives your eggs a festive hue.
  • Offer dishes that are pretty and practical. Bake pre-cooked angel hair pasta in muffin tins until the tops are crisp. Fill your pasta “nests” with ingredients such as poached eggs, cheese or diced ham, and you have an attractive brunch dish that is portioned just right for each serving.
  • Cater to the individual tastes of your guests with a mimosa bar. Set out a table with champagne, a selection of fruit juices and sliced fruits and berries so your guests can mix and match as they wish.
  • Chocolate-dipped desserts are easy and always a crowd pleaser. Make better-for-you treats by dipping Easter goodies in smooth, dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate for lower sugar content. Or for a sweet treat without too much added sugar, repurpose dark chocolate by melting it for fondue, and serve an assortment of fruits or salty snacks, like pretzels, for guests to dip.
  • Explore new ways to enjoy timeless classics. Maple is a terrific addition to sweet and savory snacks, from bacon to cookies and beyond. Give brunch a sweet spin with these Carrot Cake Waffles, which feature a decadent maple cream cheese drizzle. You can find the premium, affordable ingredients to make this crowd-pleasing brunch recipe at ALDI, along with everything else you’ll need to entertain this Easter.

Find more ideas and recipes for an excellent Easter meal at aldi.us.

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Carrot Cake Waffles with Maple Cream Cheese Drizzle

Recipe courtesy of Chef Scott, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Servings: 8

Waffles:

  • 2 cups Baker’s Corner All Purpose Baking Mix
  • 3 tablespoons Stonemill Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Baker’s Corner Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Friendly Farms 1 Percent Milk
  • 2 tablespoons Carlini Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Goldhen Large Egg
  • 1/2 cup Southern Grove Chopped Pecans
  • 1/2 cup Southern Grove Raisins
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • Carlini Butter Cooking Spray

Cream Cheese Drizzle:

  • 8 ounces Happy Farms Cream Cheese
  • 1 cup Specially Selected 100 Percent Pure Maple Syrup
  1. To make waffles: Heat waffle iron.
  2. In large bowl, combine baking mix, cinnamon and brown sugar. Whisk in milk, oil and egg until fully incorporated. Fold in pecans, raisins and carrot.
  3. Coat waffle iron with nonstick spray. Ladle 1/2 cup of batter onto iron for each waffle. Cook 6-8 minutes, or until waffle is golden brown.
  4. To make cream cheese drizzle: Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and syrup until fully incorporated. Drizzle over waffles. Serve immediately.

Tip: Waffles can be placed in a re-sealable bag, frozen up to three months and reheated in toaster.

Source: ALDI

Holiday 20 January 2017

Happier Holiday Hors D’oeuvres

(Family Features) Holiday entertaining is all about food, wine and quality time with family and friends. This year, try a new approach to holiday get-togethers by hosting an hors d’oeuvres party.

Skip the hassle of preparing a full meal by serving a number of small bites, dips and spreads for your guests to enjoy. Most hors d’oeuvres can be prepared ahead of time so you can spend more time with your guests instead of in the kitchen, making it easy to entertain flawlessly.
The best part is you don’t have to break the bank to host a fabulous holiday gathering. By switching from national name brands to a grocer like ALDI, party essentials and seasonal must-haves, such as holiday gifts and baking necessities, can be as much as 50 percent less. Manufactured by many of the nation’s leading food producers, these exclusive brand items often meet or exceed the quality and taste of the national name brands.

Try these hors d’oeuvre serving tips from food stylist and loyal ALDI shopper Janice Stahl:

  • Rethink the regular: Surprise guests and get creative with classic recipes by changing the presentation. Square pizza bites, circular tea sandwiches or star-shaped fruit make entertaining fun.
  • Keep hors d’oeuvres simple: Serve foods that are bite-sized and easy to pick up. Try skewers to create festive kabobs, which are perfect for nibbling.
  • Presentation is everything: Experiment with serving pieces like vases, champagne glasses or appetizer cups that add special interest to bite-sized snacks from chips and dip to shrimp cocktail.

With these simple tips and recipes, you’ll be ready to throw a festive holiday hors d’oeuvres party that’s easy and affordable. Visit www.aldi.us for more entertaining ideas.

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Cranberry Shrimp Ceviche Cups

$0.58 per serving at ALDI
Recipe courtesy of Chef Alyssa, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 20 minutes, plus 1 hour to chill
Cook time: 3 minutes
Yields: 16 ceviche cups

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons iodized salt, divided
  • 16 ounces medium raw shrimp, thawed
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 jalapeno, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 16 ounces tortilla chips
  • 2 limes cut into wedges
  • Fresh cranberries, optional
  1. Bring medium pot of water to a boil. Season with 1 teaspoon salt.
  2. Add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes. Immediately plunge cooked shrimp into ice water bath. Peel shrimp and place in flat dish.
  3. In food processor, combine cranberries, red onion, parsley and jalapeno. Pulse until finely chopped.
  4. Add cranberry mixture to shrimp.
  5. Add lemon juice, lime juice, remaining salt, crushed red pepper and oregano. Stir to combine ingredients thoroughly.
  6. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  7. To assemble, spoon ceviche, about 4 to 5 shrimp each, into small clear cups or glasses. Garnish with tortilla chips and lime wedges.

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Pistachio Lemon Truffles

$0.43 per serving at ALDI
Recipe courtesy of Chef Michelle, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 30 minutes, plus 1 hour to chill
Cook time: 30 minutes, plus 1 hour to chill
Yields: 24 truffles

  • 1 1/4 cups pistachios, shelled
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 ounces plain goat cheese
  • 3/4 cup dried mixed berries, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon iodized salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped lemon zest
  • Pinch ground black pepper
  1. Roughly chop pistachios, place in bowl.
  2. With electric mixer, cream together remaining ingredients. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Scoop tablespoon size balls of cheese mixture and roll in pistachios to coat.
  4. To serve, sprinkle platter with remaining pistachios and place truffles on top. Serve with crackers.
Signature Drink

A signature drink is a must at any holiday soiree. Get creative by offering guests a specialty cocktail that matches the color scheme for the event. An avid party hostess, food stylist Janice Stahl makes the occasion special by pairing white wine with a splash of cranberry-pomegranate juice, garnished with fresh fruit or herbs. Giving your signature drink an original name to reflect your personality is an added touch your guests will love. For a lasting impression, hand out recipe cards of your signature drink as party favors.

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Signature Drink

$0.58 per serving at ALDI
Recipe courtesy of ALDI Food Stylist, Janice Stahl

  • Sugar for glass rim
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup cranberry- pomegranate juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cranberries
  • Fresh fruit for garnish
  1. Dip rim of glass in sugar.
  2. Pour wine and juice into glass, stirring to combine.
  3. Drop in cranberries, along with any additional fruit desired. Serve immediately.
Dessert 20 January 2017

Mentor Knows Best

The Mother’s Day Edition

(Family Features) Whether she’s your mom or a “like-a-mother” mentor, chances are you’ve got a lot to thank her for this Mother’s Day. It’s a time for celebrating your biggest supporters, number one fans and best friends.

In life, we’re lucky to form relationships with women we can learn from and grow with. Beth Somers, Elizabeth Nelson and Emily Tatak from the Wilton Test Kitchen consider themselves lucky.

Beth Somers, Director of Creative Content Development, owes her start to her former boss Milette Raz. Raz is trained in the Wilton Method of Cake DecoratingTM and taught Somers how to decorate. But Somers thinks of Raz as so much more — calling her a mentor, her second mother and her friend. Years after working together, the duo teamed up for Cupcake Wars on the Food Network, returning home as champions of season six with winning recipes like Tropical Getaway Cupcakes.

Elizabeth Nelson, Assistant Culinary Specialist, attributes her love of baking to her grandma Ann, learning the basics with her and picking up passed down recipes that she brought with her to college. She looks up to her mother, her grandmother and her great-grandmother, whom she’s told she also gets her competitive nature from. Nelson and her grandmother went through a lot of trial and error together to come up with what they believe is the perfect cinnamon roll recipe, very similar to this recipe for Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Glaze.

For Emily Tatak, preserving family recipes and continuing the traditions around the holidays and in the kitchen led to her career at Wilton as an Assistant Culinary Specialist. She owes her inspiration to her mom, who taught her how to bake. Together they iced cakes, decorated sugar cookies and even made a gingerbread house from scratch. Keeping with tradition, celebrating the holidays without grandma Irene’s Kolachy recipe just wouldn’t be the same.

For more recipe ideas to honor your mother or special mentor, visit s.wilton.com/MentorKnowsBest.

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Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Glaze

Servings: 1 dozen rolls

Rolls:
  • 1 1/3 cups warm milk (105°F)
  • 2 packages (1/4-ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon Wilton Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
Filling:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Glaze:
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup lightly-packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon Wilton Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (about 1/4 pound)
  1. For rolls, stir together warm milk, yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in large bowl. Let stand 5–10 minutes or until foamy. Add butter, remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, egg yolks, vanilla and salt. Mix with electric mixer using dough hook on medium speed until combined. Gradually add flour, 1 cup at a time, and mix on medium speed until smooth, elastic dough forms, about 5 minutes.
  2. Spray large bowl with vegetable pan spray. Form dough into ball, place into bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand in warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  3. For filling, stir together butter, sugar, flour and cinnamon in medium bowl until well-combined.
  4. Prepare 13-by-9-inch pan with vegetable pan spray.
  5. Punch dough down and roll out to 18-by-14-inch rectangle on floured surface. Spread filling onto dough and roll up from long end, like a jelly roll. Pinch seam to seal, trim ends and cut into 12 equally-sized pieces.
  6. Place rolls into prepared pan; cover with plastic wrap and let rise 25–30 minutes or until doubled in size.
  7. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350°F. Remove plastic wrap from rolls and bake 25–29 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack while preparing glaze.
  8. For glaze, melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and cream. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture reaches a simmer; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Pour glaze over warm rolls. Serve warm.

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Grandma’s Kolachy Cookies

Servings: 6 1/2 dozen cookies

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Wilton Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Poppy seed, apricot and strawberry pastry filling
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  1. In large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter with electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add flour, vanilla and salt; beat until just combined. Divide dough into 2 disks. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill at least 12 hours.
  2. Heat oven to 375°F.
  3. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll each to 1/8-inch thickness on generously floured surface. Cut cookies using 2-inch round cutter. Place on cookie sheet and make indentation in dough with thumb. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon pastry filling into each indentation.
  4. Bake 16–18 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool cookies on pan on cooling grid 5 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on grid. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

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Tropical Getaway Cupcakes

Servings: 2 dozen

Cupcakes:
  • 2 eggs plus 4 egg whites, lightly beaten (reserve 2 yolks for filling)
  • 1 cup cream of coconut
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Wilton Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened and cut into tablespoons
Filling:
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups thick mango juice, divided
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • Pinch salt
Icing:
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest (about 1 orange)
  • 1 teaspoon Wilton Pure Vanilla Extract
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pans with baking cups.
  2. In large bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, cream of coconut, water, coconut and vanilla extracts until well combined.
  3. In large bowl, mix flour, shredded coconut, sugar, baking powder and salt with electric mixer on low speed until combined, about 15 seconds. Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, continuing to beat on low speed until mixture looks dry and crumbly and largest chunks of butter are about 1/4 inch in diameter, about 30 seconds. Stop mixer and add half of liquid ingredients. Beat on low speed until flour mixture is moistened, about 15 seconds. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 45 seconds. With mixer still running, slowly stream in remaining liquid. Stop mixer and scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Beat on medium speed for an additional 30 seconds. Divide batter evenly into baking cups, filling about 2/3 full.
  4. Bake 18–22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centers of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pan on cooling grid 5 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on grid.
  5. For filling, whisk together egg yolks, cornstarch and 1/4 cup mango juice in small bowl until smooth.
  6. In saucepan, combine remaining 1 cup mango juice, sugar and salt. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Slowly stream half of hot liquid into egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Add egg yolk mixture back into saucepan and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Strain through fine mesh sieve. Cool completely.
  7. For icing, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy; gradually add confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down bottom and sides of bowl as necessary. Add orange zest and vanilla extract and beat until fully incorporated.
    To assemble, remove center of cupcake with coring tool or paring knife. Fill with mango filling. Pipe icing onto cupcakes.

Note: Stir cream of coconut before measuring it, as it tends to settle as it sits. Coconut can be coarsely chopped in food processor or with knife.

Holiday 19 January 2017

Sweet Ideas for Holiday Desserts

(Family Features) The highlight of many a holiday meal, desserts are adored by young and old alike. This year, complete your festive celebration with delightful desserts that feature California Dried Figs.

Naturally sweet and available year round, figs easily add a touch of elegance to a variety of recipes. Dark purple Mission Figs have a soft, thin skin with a sweet, fruity taste, while Golden Figs are amber-colored with a firmer skin, well-developed seeds and a slightly nutty flavor. Both are interchangeable in most recipes.

Keeping holiday traditions

California Dried Figs are the perfect ingredient to star in your holiday recipes, especially for Hanukkah and Christmas. Sliced and simmered with fresh lemon and honey and spooned over cheesecake or chopped and combined with a little hazelnut liqueur and caramel for a luscious bottom layer, figs add a stunning fruit accent to popular cheesecake desserts. No matter what you are celebrating, your family will love these “figgy” recipes.

Besides the sweetness that figs bring to the table, California Dried Figs are a healthy ingredient rich in dietary fiber, complex carbohydrates and such essential minerals as potassium, iron and calcium.

Learn more about Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Dried Figs at www.valleyfig.com

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Fig, Lemon and Honey Cheesecake

Servings: 12

Crust:
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped, stemmed Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs
Cheesecake:
  • 1 1/2 pounds (three 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced (for garnish)
Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup sliced, stemmed Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. For crust, mix graham cracker crumbs and sugar; stir in butter. Press into bottom of buttered 9-inch springform pan. Bake 8–10 minutes, till edges are golden. Remove from oven and sprinkle evenly with figs.
  3. For cheesecake, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium-low speed until smooth, scraping bowl as needed. Gradually beat in sugar, then sour cream, zest and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Scrap filling into pan over figs. Bake on middle rack for 45–55 minutes, until almost set in center. Cool. Chill 4 hours or overnight.
  4. For sauce, in small saucepan, combine water, honey and lemon juice. Stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a simmer. Add cornstarch solution and stir for a few seconds, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in figs. Cool. Chill until serving time.
  5. To serve, run thin knife around edge of cheesecake and remove side of pan. Cut into wedges and top each with sauce. Garnish with thin slices of lemon, if desired.

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Cheesecake Mousse with Fig Orange Sauce

Servings: 4

Fig-orange sauce:
  • 1 cup sliced, stemmed Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange-flavored liqueur or orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Cheesecake mousse:
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whipped heavy cream
Topping and garnish:
  • 1/2 cup crumbled shortbread cookies
  • 1/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans or almonds
  • Sprigs of fresh mint, optional
  1. To make sauce, in small saucepan, combine figs and orange juice. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup, 4–5 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and simmer until liquid is syrupy, 2–3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in orange liqueur and lemon juice. Chill until serving time.
  2. To make mousse, with wire whisk, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Gently whisk in 1/2 of whipped cream. With rubber spatula, fold in remaining whipped cream. (Sauce and mousse can be held in refrigerator up to 1 day.)
  3. To serve, spoon mousse in bottom of 4 martini or champagne flutes. Smooth to even layer. Top with fig sauce. Sprinkle with crumbled cookies and nuts. Garnish with mint.

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Caramel Fig Mini-Cheesecakes

Servings: 12

  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped hazelnuts or pecans
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped, stemmed Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs
  • 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 3 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur or orange juice
  • 1 pound (two 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • Thinly sliced figs
  • 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 1 tablespoon hazelnut liqueur or orange juice
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 12 (2 3/4-inch) muffin cups with paper cups.
  2. Combine graham cracker crumbs, nuts and melted butter. Press firmly into bottoms of cups. Bake in middle of oven for 5 minutes, till fragrant. Remove from oven and reserve.
  3. In small saucepan, combine figs, caramel topping and liqueur. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, and cook for 1 minute or until most of liquid is absorbed.
  4. Spoon figs over crusts and press firmly with back of spoon to even layer.
  5. In bowl with electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping bowl frequently. Beat in sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. On low speed, beat in eggs, one at a time.
  6. Spoon cheese mixture into cups over fig mixture.
  7. Return to middle of oven for 18–20 minutes, till set. Remove from oven and cool in pan on wire rack. Chill in pan for 3 hours.
  8. To serve, carefully remove cheesecakes from pan and paper cups to serving plates. For topping, fan fig slices on top of cheesecakes. Combine caramel topping and liqueur; drizzle over cakes.

Fig and Goat Cheese Squares

Servings: 30

  • 2 cups stemmed Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup toasted chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups goat cheese, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease or line 9-by-13-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. In medium saucepan, combine figs, water and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook 5 minutes or until figs are tender. Cool slightly.
  3. Place fig mixture in food processor or blender; process until smooth. Stir in chopped walnuts. Reserve.
  4. Combine flour, brown sugar and salt in bowl. Stir to combine. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Press mixture in prepared baking dish. Gently spread fig mixture over prepared crust.
  5. Beat goat cheese and eggs until smooth. Spread over fig mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until set. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Dessert 10 August 2015

Bake Up a July 4th Celebration

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
Sunshine Strawberry French Vanilla Cake

(Family Features) This Fourth of July, after the family has enjoyed the burgers, brats and potato salad, the only thing they'll be looking forward to more than fireworks are simple-to-make, delectable desserts to end a perfect summer night.

It's easy to simplify special occasion menus with cake mix and now, bakers of any skill level can easily make summer celebrations even more memorable and delicious.

You're sure to impress your July Fourth guests when you serve up patriotic treats that go beyond the box with surprising ingredients, such as rich cream cheese and mouthwatering fruit filling. Friends and family will find it hard to resist a second helping of treats that highlight the fresh strawberry flavor of the season. Here are two great summer recipes that take an easy and different spin on strawberries, for creative, delicious results.

For tips on how to incorporate a yummy finale to your July Fourth fare, as well as recipe ideas, visit www.duncanhines.com.

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients
  • 1 package Duncan Hines® Signature French Vanilla Cake Mix
  • 1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1 can (21 ounces) Comstock® or Wilderness® Strawberry Pie Filling and Topping
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. In large bowl combine cake mix, butter or margarine and 1 egg; blend well. Reserve 1/3 cup of mixture for topping.
  2. Pat remaining mixture into bottom of well-greased 9-by-13-inch pan.
  3. In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy, beat in 2 eggs and 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar. Pour over cake mixture in pan. Spread strawberry fruit filling on top and sprinkle with reserved cake mixture.
  4. Bake 1 hour or until lightly browned. Refrigerate until chilled; cut into bars and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar.
Preparation Time

15 minutes

Total Time

1 hour 15 minutes

Serves

24 bars

Sunshine Strawberry French Vanilla Cake

Sunshine Strawberry French Vanilla Cake

Ingredients
  • 1 package Duncan Hines® Signature French Vanilla Cake Mix
  • 1 container Duncan Hines® Creamy Home-Style Vanilla Frosting
  • 1 can Duncan Hines®, Comstock® or Wilderness® Strawberry Pie Filling & Topping
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Prepare and bake cake according to package directions.
  3. Cool cakes on wire rack 15 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and cool completely.
  4. Arrange one cake on serving plate and evenly spread with 1 cup frosting, leaving sides bare. Add layer of pie filling on top of frosting. Top with second cake layer. Garnish with remaining frosting and pie filling.
Preparation Time

15 minutes

Total Time

60 minutes

Serves

12 servings

Source

Duncan Hines

Appetizers & Sides 10 August 2015

Italian Sausage Appetizer Bread

Ingredients
  • 1 package (16 ounces) Johnsonville Italian All Natural Mild Ground Sausage
  • 1 loaf (1 pound) frozen white bread dough, thawed
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jar (7 ounces) roasted red peppers, well drained and sliced
  • 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
Preparation
  1. In skillet, brown sausage until no longer pink; drain.
  2. On lightly floured surface, roll bread dough to 16 x 12-inch rectangle.
  3. Transfer dough to greased baking sheet. Combine cream cheese and garlic, spread lengthwise over center third of dough. Top with sausage, peppers, olives and cheese.
  4. Fold dough over filling, pinching seam to seal. Make slits across top of dough every 2 inches. Brush lightly with water and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
  5. Bake at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.
Serves

Yield 16 appetizer servings

Source

Johnsonville

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