Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hawaiian Carrot Cake from Elsah's Landing Restaurant

This is a family favorite. We all love this recipe. If you can let it age for at least 24 hours in a covered container, it really mellows and the flavors are incredible.

~ jan

2 cups sugar
3 eggs lightly beaten
1-cup vegetable oil
3 teaspoons vanilla
2 ¼ cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1-teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded carrots
2 cups shredded coconut
1 can (8oz) crushed pineapple (drained)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup raisins (optional)
Instructions
(Preheat over to 350 degrees) In a medium bowl combine sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla and mix well. In a large bowl combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt, mix well. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and mix well. Fold in carrots; coconut, pineapple and walnuts mix well. Spoon batter in a 9x13 glass pan bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or in two 9" layer pans.

Let cool before frosting. Frost with cream cheese icing. When I make this in a layer pan, I put a layer of nuts on the frosting between the layers and coconut, and then I put a layer of chopped nuts on top of the frosted cake as well.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons of melted butter
2 tablespoons of milk or half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 box of powdered sugar.

Combine ingredients and beat well. I mix mine in the Cuisinart. Spread on cooled cake.

Panera Bread Black Bean Soup

1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1/4 large red or green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 small chicken bouillon cubes
1-1 1/2 cup boiling water
2 cans black beans, undrained
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 lemon, juice of
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1. In a pot, combine the first six ingredients; simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Add half a can of beans, salt and cumin; cook for 5 minutes.
3. Puree soup (I use an immersion blender which makes it easy to do it right in the pot).
4. Add the rest of the beans to the soup.
5. Combine the cornstarch with 1 1/2 tablespoons of water.
6. Add the lemon and the cornstarch to the soup; cook until thickened.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The best chocolate chip cookies I have ever made were with Alton Brown's recipe. He starts with melted butter and uses bread flour which works well. Try this in your recipe, these cookies don't last very long around here!

2 sticks unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Hardware:
Ice cream scooper (#20 disher, to be exact)
Parchment paper
Baking sheets
Mixer

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.

Pour the melted butter in the mixer’s work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Chill the dough, then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

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