Friday, February 18, 2011

Raspberry Almond Kiss Cookies

From Allrecipes
1/2 c butter, softened
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 t almond extract
2 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/4 c white sugar for decoration

40 milk chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped

1 c confectioners' sugar
1 T milk
4 t raspberry jam
1/4 t almond extract

1.  In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, 1/2 c white sugar and brown sugar until smooth.  Blend in the egg and 1 t almond extract.  Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture.  Cover dough and refrigerate at least one hour, or until easy to handle.
2.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Roll dough into 1 inch balls, roll the balls in the remaining white sugar and place them 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
3.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.  While hot from the oven, immediately press a chocolate kiss into the center of each one.  Remove the cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.
4.  In a small bowl, mix together the confectioners' sugar, milk, raspberry jam and 1/4 t almond extract until smooth.  Drizzle over cooled cookies.

*I'm not a big fan of icing, but this was a delicate touch for these cookies.  I liked eating them when the kiss was still soft and warm and the almond flavor was great!

German Pancakes

2 cup of milk
4 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
8 eggs (one at a time)
1 cup of flour

Mix all the ingredients in a blender.  Pour mixture into a 9x13 greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.  Then turn up the heat to 400 degrees F for 6-7 more minutes.  This makes them puffy and brown.  Serve with powder sugar and syrup.

*Thanks for sharing this, Emily!  Of course, anything that is eaten with syrup is a hit at our house.  Jacob had at least 4 servings.  If you like eggs, you'll like these.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Chicken Piccata

Yesterday I had some one on one time with my baby--who just happens to be 2 1/2 years old.  First we went to the library (which can be so much more self-serving with only 1 child to watch over instead of 3).  We both got some great books, and because it was just the 2 of us, I visited all my favorite sections...including the cookbooks.  I picked up one called Barefoot Contessa at Home.  When we got home, my baby snuggled up next to me on the couch, he feel asleep and I got to enjoy reading this wonderful treasure of food possibilities.  This is the gem I choose to make for dinner....I must admit, I loved it.  Lemony, flavorful, sweet.  It definitely rivals one of my other favorites, only I found it even easier to make.  The sauce is very lemony, so I suggest only using a touch.

Chicken Piccata
4 split (2 whole) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 extra-large eggs
1 1/2 cups seasoned dried bread crumbs
good olive oil
3 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons), lemon juice reserved
1/2 cup chicken broth (the original recipe calls for dry white wine, chicken broth is my adaptation)
sliced lemons, for serving
chipped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for serving (I didn't have this so I used fresh tarragon, it was mainly for looks, but it compliments chicken nicely)

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
2.  Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap and pound it out to 1/4-inch thick.  Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
3.  Mix the flour, 1 t salt, and 1/2 t pepper on a shallow plate.  In a second plate, beat the eggs and 1 T water together.  Place the bread crumbs on a third plate.  dip each chicken breast first int eh four, shake off the excess, and then dip in the egg and bread-crumb mixtures.
4.  Heat 2 T olive oil in a large saute pan over medium to medium-low heat.  Add 2 chicken breasts and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until browned.  Place them on the sheet pan while you cook the rest of the chicken.  Heat more olive oil in the saute pan and cook the second 2 chicken breasts.  Place them on the same sheet pan and allow them to bake for 5 to 10 minutes while you make the sauce.
5.  For the sauce, wipe out the saute pan with a dry paper towel.  On medium heat, melt 1 T of the butter and then add the lemon juice, broth, reserved lemon halves, 1/2 t salt, and 1/4 t pepper.  Boil over high heat until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.  Off the heat, add the remaining 2 T of butter and swirl to combine.  Discard the lemon halves.  Serve on chicken breast on each plate, spoon on the sauce, and serve with sliced lemon and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.