29 June 2011


makes 24

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup
1 large egg + 1/4 cup infused vodka of choice (or another large egg)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Whisk to combine.

Cream butter and vegetable shortening in bowl of electric mixer. Add sugar and beat until very light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Add egg and beat in.

Add flour and mix to combine.

Combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon in small bowl.

Form dough into 1 1/2" balls. Roll in sugar and cinnamon.

Place on baking sheet lined with parchment, partially pressing down. Bake until top is cracked and lightly golden, 12-14 minutes.

Cool completely

21 June 2011

Shortcake Biscuits

Among other sweets to use up all the strawberries I mentioned in my last post, Chrissy is quite the fan of strawberry shortcake. Personally, when I think of strawberry shortcake, I'm thinking of a sponge cake–you know, something that actually involves cake. However, Chris and his family, for whom I'm making the shortcake, are more partial to the type of "shortcake" that's a cross between a biscuit and a scone. Mind you, I find these delicious and I certainly don't mind the shortcake biscuits being the vehicle for my strawberry and whipped cream consumption, I just think that a more cake-like substance is better. Nonetheless, here is a recipe for shortcake biscuits.

Shortcake Biscuits
makes about 12
adapted from Joy of Cooking

2 cups ap flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1-1/4 cups cream

1. Preheat oven to 450°F

2. Mix dry ingredients together.

3. Add cream all at once and stir briefly. Then very gently knead the dough until all the flour is incorporated.

4. Roll out on a lightly flour surface until dough is a scant 3/4 inch thick and cut into 3 inch diameter circles. Re-roll extra dough and cut out more circles until all the dough is used.

5. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

6. Serve with strawberries that have been cut and macerated in sugar, and some whipped cream.

Strawberry Ricotta Ice Cream

The time has come again that Chris and I were visiting his grandmother and picking strawberries; and let me tell you, I thought nine quarts last year was a lot, but this year we picked fourteen quarts in one day. So now I have at least five cups frozen, four cups just to eat, and ten cups all cut up and just waiting to be used. That's a bit much just for jam and pie, and I just couldn't resist the thought of homemade ice cream, even though I don't have créme fraîche. Fortunately, there was some ricotta just wanting to be used in the fridge.

Now, I don't have an ice cream maker, so this was a bit tedious, I'll admit. I had to pour it into a large pan to increase surface area and give it a good stir every 15-25 minutes. Next time, I'm going to cut back on the alcohol, 'cause that added on extra hours of freezing time my way. It was, however worth it.

Strawberry Ricotta Ice Cream
makes 3-4 cups
adapted from Tigress in a Jam

2 cups washed and cut strawberries (~1 pound)
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup ricotta
1/2 to 1 tablespoon alcohol (I used vanilla brandy)
1 teaspoon (fresh) lemon juice

1. Wash and hull about one pound strawberries. This should give you your 2 cups cut berries.

2. Macerate the strawberries briefly in the sugar.

3. Place everything in a food processor or blender and give it a whirl. The end consistency is up to you, so let this go until you have the strawberry chunks the size you'd like.

4. If everything was already cold, you can go onto freezing it now, if not, place in the fridge overnight.

5. If you have an ice cream maker, follow the instructions, otherwise, you can proceed one of two ways:

5a. Pour the liquid into a large sheet pan. You're going for surface area, as the quicker this freezes the smoother the product. Place the pan in the freezer so that it is fairly flat. Every 15-25 minutes, stir with a fork fairly well to break up and distribute ice crystals. Do this until it has reached soft serve consistency, then scoop into a quart-sized container, cover with wax paper, and let finish freezing.

5b. Pour into a quart-sized ziplock bag, place this bag into a gallon-sized bag and fill that with ice and a teaspoon salt. Shake the bags until the ice cream reaches soft serve consistency (at least 1/2 hour), then scoop into a quart-sized container, cover with wax paper, and let finish freezing.