Saturday, December 20, 2008

Crock Pot Roast

yield: 4 servings

2 lb chuck roast
1 Tbsp oil
3 medium potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
8 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 small onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp beef bouillon granules
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup flour

1. Trim excess fat from roast. Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add roast, cooking on all sides approximately 1 minute or until browned.
2. Place potatoes through basil in a large crock pot. Place roast on top of vegetables. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
3. To prepare gravy, combine 1/2 cup cold water with flour, or substitute 1/2 cup juices from crock pot.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Spiced Vanilla Cookies

Sweet and crispy, these are great with tea or coffee.

yield: 44 cookies

2 1/4 cups flour
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp butter, softened
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 egg white

1. Combine flour through salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine sugar, butter, and oil in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add corn syrup, vanilla, and egg white to sugar mixture, beating until well blended. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until combined. Divide dough in half; roll each half into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap; chill 1 hour.
2. Working with 1 portion at a time, gently press dough into a 4-inch square on heavy-duty plastic wrap. Cover with additional plastic wrap. Roll dough, still covered, to a 1/16-inch thickness. Repeat procedure with the remaining dough; freeze 30 minutes
3. Preheat oven to 375°.
4. Working with 1 portion at a time, remove top sheet of plastic wrap. Turn dough over; remove remaining plastic wrap. Cut with a 2-inch round cutter into 22 cookies; place cookies 2 inches apart on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining dough portion. Bake at 375° for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on pans 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks.

Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies

Soft and chewy with plump raisins and lots of spices, these cookies are simply delish.

yield: 4 dozen

1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup wheat bran
2 Tbsp flaxseed
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
6 Tbsp stick butter, melted
2 Tbsp corn syrup
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 Tbsp water
1 egg
1 egg white
1 2/3 cups oats
1 2/3 cups raisins
1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Place raisins in a small bowl; cover with water. Let sit 5 minutes or until plump. Drain water off and squeeze excess water off.
3. Combine flour through nutmeg in a bowl, sifting together or stirring with a whisk. In a large bowl beat brown sugar through egg white together at medium speed of a mixer until well blended. Stir in oats, raisins, and pecans. Stir in four mixture.
4. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until almost set. Cool on pans 2 minutes or until firm; transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Espresso Crinkles

Chocolate and espresso combine to make a tasty, chewy cookie.

yield: 2 dozen

1 cup flour
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, divided
1/4 cup cocoa
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
5 1/4 tsp canola oil
1 1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 tsp instant espresso granules
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp corn syrup
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 egg whites

1. Combine flour, 3/4 cup powdered sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk. Combine oil and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat; cook until chocolate melts, stirring constantly. Add espresso granules to pan; stir until blended. Pour chocolate mixture into a large bowl; cool 5 minutes. Stir in brown sugar, syrup, and vanilla. Add egg whites, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to egg mixture, stirring just until combined. Cover; chill at least 2 hours or overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 350°.
3. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar; place balls 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until tops are cracked and almost set. Cool cookies on pan 2 minutes or until set; remove from pan.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dinner Rolls

These yeast rolls with a touch of sweetness are great for holiday meals, and as far as yeast breads go, they're easy too!

yield: 12 rolls

2 Tbsp sugar
1 package dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
2/3 cup warm water
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1 3/4 cups flour, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten

1. Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in butter.
2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add yeast mixture to flour mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 4 minutes); add enough of the remaining flour to prevent dough from sticking to hands. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Press 2 fingers into the dough. If the indentation remains, the dough has risen enough). Punch down dough; cover and let rest 5 minutes.
3. Divide dough into 12 equal portions, shaping each into a ball. Place 1 dough ball in each of 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rest 20 minutes or until doubled in size.
4. Preheat oven to 400°.
5. Gently brush dough with egg yolk. Bake at 400° for 13 minutes or until browned. Cook in pan on a wire rack for 2 minutes. Remove rolls from pan; serve warm.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chips and peanut butter costar in this recipe, giving what Shannon calls "the perfect combination" of ingredients. These cookies pair the two deliciously.

yield: 5 dozen cookies

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla
2 egg whites
1 egg
2 2/3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate minichips

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Combine sugar through egg in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.
3. Combine flour through salt in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture, stirring just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.