Archive for the ‘Free-Range Eggs’ Category

Salted Ginger Crisps

December 14, 2008

I’ve been busy baking our holiday favorites the last few days. Every year I make family classics but always add a few new recipes to the mix. This year I’ve added a couple that I developed using Wisconsin butter: Salted Ginger Crisps and Espresso Chocolate Squares. I hope you enjoy them.

Salted Ginger Crisps
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I developed these ginger cookies for the Wisconsin Butter Board and they’ve now become one of my favorites. The sea salt brings out the spicy ginger flavor. Check out this recipe and other great recipes on their website

2¾ cups all-purpose flour
2½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, softened
1¼ cups dark brown sugar, packed
¼ cup mild molasses
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 egg
2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1 cup powdered sugar
½ tablespoon butter, melted
½ teaspoon light corn syrup
1 to 1½ tablespoons milk

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, allspice and cloves; set aside. With an electric mixer, cream together 3/4 cup butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add molasses and ginger; mix. Add egg; beat until blended. On low speed, slowly add flour and spice mixture, beating until blended. Divide dough in half; shape each half into a flat round. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. On lightly floured surface, roll 1 dough round to ¼-inch thickness dusting with additional flour, as necessary, so dough does not stick. Cut dough into desired shapes and place on prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle cutouts with salt; press lightly to adhere salt.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until slightly darker in color. Remove to a cooling rack; cool completely (cookies will crisp as they cool). Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

In a medium bowl, whisk powdered sugar, butter, corn syrup and 1 tablespoon milk until smooth. Slowly add additional milk, if necessary, for desired consistency. Drizzle over cookies; let stand until icing is set.

Makes 3 dozen cookies

Espresso Chocolate Squares

December 14, 2008

A chocolate base and coffee filling combine the best of both worlds in this riff on a great cup of mocha java. I developed this recipe for the Wisconsin Butter Board. Check out this recipe and other great recipes on their website

Espresso Chocolate Squares
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1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, chilled and cut into pieces
½ cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

¼ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon instant espresso coffee powder
2 (8 ounces) packages cream cheese, softened
¼ cup (½ stick) butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
2 eggs

6 tablespoons miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon heavy cream
½ tablespoon butter
¼ teaspoon instant espresso coffee powder

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil; butter bottom of foil.

Whisk together 1¼ cups flour, confectioners’ sugar and cocoa together in medium bowl; add ¾ cup butter. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until butter is the size of small peas. Stir in ½ cup chocolate chips; press into bottom of pan. Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean; cool slightly.

Meanwhile, stir ¼ cup cream and 1 tablespoon instant espresso together until coffee is dissolved. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and ¼ cup butter together. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and allspice; beat until blended. Slowly beat in cream and coffee mixture. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Pour batter over crust.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until edges are slightly puffed and center is set; set pan on a cooling rack.

Melt 6 tablespoons chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon cream, ½ tablespoon butter and ¼ teaspoon instant espresso in medium saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Drizzle over bars and refrigerate until set. Cover and store bars in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Makes 24 bars

Chickens are Good for Your Health

November 05, 2008

I knew it; chickens are good for you! Certainly their eggs are. A new study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that people who ate 2 eggs at breakfast lost 65 percent more weight, on average, than those who ate the same number of calories in a breakfast of bagels. Plus, egg-eaters had higher energy levels and didn’t experience an increase in “bad” cholesterol.

Free-Range Eggs from the Swingin’ Chicks

For more information, check out the following article from the National Health & Wellness Club newsletter for November 4, 2008 Eggs Help you Lose Weight:

Now, if only someone would do a study confirming my theory that holding and petting a chicken in your lap decreases blood pressure, then the Backyard Chicken Revolution really would take off.