Basic Butter Pie Crust

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Everybody needs a basic butter pie crust. A recipe that’s easy to make, turns out, and goes with all your baking ideas. Oh, and dinner too! Dinner is important.

Like last night. I decided I wanted to make a quiche for dinner, and it was SO nice to be able to pull up this recipe and be able to whip it out, knowing it would turn out, not shrink, and be flaky but sturdy enough to hold a whopping load of eggs, milk, and veggies. Too many veggies, actually. Even though I pre-cooked them, there just wasn’t enough of the custard part of the quiche to hold it all together. Ah well, you live and you learn. And I just had to choose veggies like tomatoes that lose a LOT of liquid when baked. It’s actually a really delicious quiche, I made it crustless a few weeks ago and wanted to share the recipe with you guys, but um. I’ll reduce the quantity of veggies and get back to you with a successful recipe. The crust was nice, regardless.

This crust is your easy buttery friend. If you bake things that need crusts a lot, like quiche, pies, pot pies, homemade poptarts, etc. you’ll have the recipe memorized in no time and can whip it up on command!

I like butter because it tastes the best and is definitely the healthier option when looking at lard and shortening. My mom always uses oil, but oil makes for a finicky and often tough crust. So for a reliable crust, I use butter. For a healthy crust, oil. That recipe will come, but it also won’t be touted as a fool-proof, everyday crust! :)

This butter crust is only flour, salt, butter, and water. If you’ve been burned by crusts in the past (or you’ve burned them, heheh) because they shrink, fall apart, or are tough, despair not, my friend! I think we’ve all been there, maybe on repeat and it can be very frustrating. Along with the recipe I’m also going to share with you all the tips and tricks I’ve learned to get a fool-proof pie crust every time!

Plan Ahead

If you normally eat dinner at 6:30pm and it’s now 6:21pm, I’m sorry but your pie crust will be compromised. Pie crusts need time if they’re going to be the flaky, tasty, shapely vessels for filling that we want them to be!

For this crust you need about 1 1/2 hours minimum, plus more if you need to blind-bake it.

It can be made up to 2-3 days ahead of time and kept in the fridge. It also freezes beautifully. Either way, you can store it as a block of dough or even already prepared in the pie dish.

Tips for a Flaky Crust

When cutting up the cold butter, the chunks don’t have to be super small. 1/2” chunks are great, and try to keep them all the same size so smaller chunks don’t melt while you’re still squishing the bigger chunks.

When crumbling the butter, less is always more. You may be tempted to really integrate the butter, but this is more likely to cause the butter to melt and result in a tough crust. Leave chunks of butter, really, it’ll turn out great!

Make sure your butter is cold and stays cold while you’re making the dough. If your house is warm or even hot like my house in the summertime, then you will probably need to stick your butter back in the fridge or freezer after you cut it into small pieces. If you do this first, you can then weigh your flour, salt, and prepare your ice water while it’s chilling.

If your cold butter softens up too much while crumbling it into the flour mixture, it’s best to stick it back into the fridge/freezer for a few minutes before adding the ice water.

Another note on the ice water, you can also just stick some water in the freezer, but this requires a bit of planning so it’s cold enough when you go to make the crust. I often do this because I have only one ice tray and don’t always have ice ready…especially in the summer. Sometimes an iced beverage takes preference over a crust, haha.

How to Avoid a Shrinking Crust

If your crust is shrinking, most likely it didn’t rest long enough in the fridge. While you are mixing the dough it is inevitable that a bit of gluten builds up, which is a very elastic-like substance. This is good when making bread, bad when making flaky pie crust. The dough needs to rest so that the gluten strands have time to relax. If the gluten strands didn’t have adequate time to relax they will shrink back on themselves, hence the shrinking crust.

If your crust is still shrinking, try to use a ceramic or metal pie dish instead of slippery glass. I LOVE my Emile Henry ceramic pie dish I received for Christmas. French baking ware like Emile Henry and Le Creuset are pricey but so worth it!

You can also try using pie weights if you are blind-baking, or dry beans if you have those on hand. Simply line the inside of your prepared crust with parchment paper and add the pie weights or dry beans. Bake as directed.

Still shrinking? Bake at low temperatures, like 325°F - 350°F / 163°C - 177°C.

Freeze the prepared crust for at least one hour or even overnight.

Make sure your crust reaches high enough that it rests on the lip of the pie dish, not beyond or too short, but just resting on the edge. It also helps to cut off the extra pie crust while leaving an overhang of about 1/2” all the way around. Tuck this overhang under and crimp the edge, or use a fork. The thicker crust edge not only gives you more to work with while crimping, it is also less likely to shrink down.

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Basic Butter Pie Crust

Makes 1 bottom pie crust. For a bottom and top crust, double this recipe.

Ingredients:

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  • 1 1/3 cup / 160g all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 tsp / 2.5g salt

  • 4 Tbsp / 56g butter, cold, cut into equally-sized 1/2” chunks

  • 4-6 Tbsp / 59 - 89g ice water

Directions:

Oven 425°F / 220°C. Ungreased 8 - 9in / 20 - 23cm pie dish.

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together flour and salt.  Blend in cold butter using a pastry cutter, fork, or your hands.  You want the butter to end up in pieces, no smaller than peas. 

  2. Add the ice water, starting with 4 Tbsp / 59g, mixing as little as possible.  The dough should be able to hold together in a ball, without being too dry or too wet, but still a bit shaggy looking.  Add more water if necessary, 1 tablespoon at a time.  

  3. Place dough on a piece of plastic wrap, shape into a disc, and wrap tightly.  Place in fridge for 1 - 48 hours.  

  4. After the crust has rested, roll into a circle on a lightly floured surface or silpat.  Roll a few times with your rolling pin in one direction before turning the crust 45° (quarter turn) and continuing with a few more rolls.  Periodically check under the crust to make sure it isn’t sticking and sprinkling more flour if needed. Continue like this until your crust is nicely round and roughly 2in / 5cm larger than your pie dish.

  5. Carefully transfer crust to pie dish (this is easier if using a silpat), trim the excess overhang to within about 1/2” of the edge of pie dish if necessary, and fold the ends under. Crimp as desired, or press with a fork.  Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork.  The crust can also be refrigerated or even frozen at this point, if needed.  

  6. If blind baking, bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until crust is lightly golden-brown.  Cool completely.  Otherwise fill and proceed according to your recipe.


Jenny’s Notes:

  • You can also use a food processor, pulsing in the butter until it has the desired consistency.  Just be sure to remove the dough from the food processor and mix in the water with a fork or pastry cutter so you don't overwork the dough.  You want to work it as little as possible once you add the water. The liquid helps to awaken the gluten, and the more you work it and the gluten strands develop, the tougher your crust will be.  The minimum of 1 hour rest in the fridge allows what gluten inevitably developed to relax.  

  • If you are having problems with a shrinking crust, try using a metal or ceramic pie dish and allowing the crust more time to rest before baking.  You can also try using pie weights and baking at a lower temperature.

  • I have made this pie several times over the past year, and have always needed all 6 tablespoons of water, possibly because it was always during the dry winter.  If you live in a really dry climate, you might need up to 7.  Just be aware, an overly wet crust is more likely to glue itself to the pan during baking.   

easy crust, best crust, all-butter crust, pie crust, crust for quiche, flaky crust, tender crust, butter
dessert, dinner
American
Yield: 8 Servings
Author:

Basic Butter Pie Crust

An everyday all-butter pie crust that is easy, flaky, reliable, and can be made ahead. Great for all your pie crust needs.
prep time: 10 Mcook time: total time: 10 M

ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cup / 160g all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp / 2.5g salt
  • 4 Tbsp / 56g butter, cold, cut into equally-sized 1/2” chunks
  • 4-6 Tbsp / 59 - 89g ice water

instructions:

How to cook Basic Butter Pie Crust

  1. Oven 425°F / 220°C. Ungreased 8 - 9in / 20 - 23cm pie dish.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour and salt. Blend in cold butter using a pastry cutter, fork, or your hands. You want the butter to end up in pieces, no smaller than peas.
  3. Add the ice water, starting with 4 Tbsp / 59g, mixing as little as possible. The dough should be able to hold together in a ball, without being too dry or too wet, but still a bit shaggy looking. Add more water if necessary, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  4. Place dough on a piece of plastic wrap, shape into a disc, and wrap tightly. Place in fridge for 1 - 48 hours.
  5. After the crust has rested, roll into a circle on a lightly floured surface or silpat. Roll a few times with your rolling pin in one direction before turning the crust 45° (quarter turn) and continuing with a few more rolls. Periodically check under the crust to make sure it isn’t sticking and sprinkling more flour if needed. Continue like this until your crust is nicely round and roughly 2in / 5cm larger than your pie dish.
  6. Carefully transfer crust to pie dish (this is easier if using a silpat), trim the excess overhang to within about 1/2” of the edge of pie dish if necessary, and fold the ends under. Crimp as desired, or press with a fork. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. The crust can also be refrigerated or even frozen at this point, if needed.
  7. If blind baking, bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until crust is lightly golden-brown. Cool completely. Otherwise fill and proceed according to your recipe.

NOTES:

You can also use a food processor, pulsing in the butter until it has the desired consistency. Just be sure to remove the dough from the food processor and mix in the water with a fork or pastry cutter so you don't overwork the dough. You want to work it as little as possible once you add the water. The liquid helps to awaken the gluten, and the more you work it and the gluten strands develop, the tougher your crust will be. The minimum of 1 hour rest in the fridge allows what gluten inevitably developed to relax. If you are having problems with a shrinking crust, try using a metal or ceramic pie dish and allowing the crust more time to rest before baking. You can also try using pie weights and baking at a lower temperature. I have made this pie several times over the past year, and have always needed all 6 tablespoons of water, possibly because it was always during the dry winter. If you live in a really dry climate, you might need up to 7. Just be aware, an overly wet crust is more likely to glue itself to the pan during baking.

Calories

122.99

Fat (grams)

5.87

Sat. Fat (grams)

3.63

Carbs (grams)

15.27

Fiber (grams)

0.54

Net carbs

14.73

Sugar (grams)

0.06

Protein (grams)

2.13

Sodium (milligrams)

192.78

Cholesterol (grams)

15.05
Nutritional information is approximate and based on 8 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator
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Strawberry Nutella Coconut Milkshake

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Buon Ferragosto!

Also known as the day where everything is closed and I feel slightly trapped. Hmmm the gelato place is closed so I’ll just run to the store and pick up some…oh wait, all the grocery stores are closed. Ok, well maybe I’ll go browse some shops, oh wait, all closed. I’ll go walk around in the center for a bit…nope, hardly any buses running today to get to the center. Even if I could find a bus, all the places I could buy a ticket are closed. Ok, so I’ll walk to the gym to work out and enjoy some air conditioning. Ah, closed. So, I hunker down and eat whatever food is in the house, try to stay cool. Actually we’ve come to a bit of a cool spell, today only has a high of 90°F. I’ll take it!

I actually planned ahead this year and went grocery shopping last night. I got fruit and veggies for lunch and dinner today, but why didn’t I get better snackies? But then I remembered that I have a good stash of gelato in the freezer, and made me think of this delectable milkshake I made a few weeks ago.

So with all this time on my hands, I shall be milkshaking and sharing this milkshake with you! What’s so great about this milkshake?

It’s a Strawberry Nutella Coconut Milkshake. That’s such a long name, and kinda going against my own rule of not listing every ingredient in the title, but otherwise I didn’t quite know how to get the dream across, ya know?

How about this: Strawnutelloco Milkshake. Stranucoco Milkshake. Conuterry. Strawconutella. Regardless, this milkshake tastes like a chocolate covered strawberry rolled in coconut with a hint of hazelnut.

I have a confession to make. I originally made this milkshake to try and hide this not-awesome gelato I bought. There was a sale on a brand I had never tried before at the grocery store, and they had coconut and I love coconut but it just did not end well. Icy and so much coconut it was chewy. I didn’t want to waste it, but I also didn’t necessarily want to force myself to eat gelato?

Enter the milkshake idea. I had strawberries, Nutella, and milk, and this beautiful combo was born. The copious amounts of coconut from the gelato still rendered my milkshake a bit chewy, but if you have a GOOD brand of coconut ice cream, or even vanilla ice cream with a bit of flaked coconut and maybe a drop of coconut extract or two thrown in, you’ve got yourself the perfect summer day’s treat.

So thank you, gelato brand that shall remain unnamed, for the not delicious gelato that prompted me to create a delicious milkshake.


Strawberry Nutella Coconut Milkshake

Serves 2

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups coconut ice cream, slightly softened

  • 1/2 cup milk, any variety

  • 1/2 cup hulled strawberries, fresh or frozen

  • 2 heaping Tbsp Nutella

  • Dash of vanilla extract, optional

  • Whipped cream, optional

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients except whipped cream to a blender and blend until smooth. Check consistency and add more milk if desired.

  2. Spoon into 2 glasses and top with whipped cream. Serve immediately.


Jenny’s Notes:

  • Don’t have coconut ice cream but still want that coconut taste? Substitute chocolate or vanilla ice cream and add a bit of flaked coconut and a drop or two of coconut extract.

  • For creamier shakes, use whole milk.

  • For thinner shakes you can sip, add more milk. For thicker, spoonable shakes, add less milk. Some blenders don’t blend thicker shakes well, so if yours is having problems, either wait a minute or two for the ice cream to soften a bit more before continuing to blend, or add a touch more milk.

  • To make fresh whipped cream, whip about 1/4 cup / 60g heavy whipping cream with 1 Tbsp / 14g sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, or with a handheld mixer. This makes about 1/2 cup fresh whipped cream. Store in fridge, best if used within a few days.

milkshake, milk, strawberry, Nutella, coconut, ice cream, vanilla, fresh whipped cream, dessert, summer
Dessert, Beverage
American
Yield: 2 Servings
Author:

Strawberry Nutella Coconut Milkshake

Thick and creamy milkshake with coconut ice cream, Nutella, strawberries and whipped cream on top.
prep time: 5 Mcook time: total time: 5 M

ingredients:

  • 2 cups coconut ice cream, slightly softened
  • 1/2 cup milk, any variety
  • 1/2 cup hulled strawberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 heaping Tbsp Nutella
  • Dash of vanilla extract, optional
  • Whipped cream, optional

instructions:

How to cook Strawberry Nutella Coconut Milkshake

  1. Add all ingredients except whipped cream to a blender and blend until smooth. Check consistency and add more milk if desired.
  2. Spoon into 2 glasses and top with whipped cream. Serve immediately.

NOTES:

Don’t have coconut ice cream but still want that coconut taste? Substitute chocolate or vanilla ice cream and add a bit of flaked coconut and a drop or two of coconut extract. For creamier shakes, use whole milk. For thinner shakes you can sip, add more milk. For thicker, spoonable shakes, add less milk. Some blenders don’t blend thicker shakes well, so if yours is having problems, either wait a minute or two for the ice cream to soften a bit more before continuing to blend, or add a touch more milk. To make fresh whipped cream, whip about 1/4 cup / 60g heavy whipping cream with 1 Tbsp / 14g sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, or with a handheld mixer. This makes about 1/2 cup fresh whipped cream. Store in fridge, best if used within a few days.

Calories

440.85

Fat (grams)

23.21

Sat. Fat (grams)

19.31

Carbs (grams)

54.51

Fiber (grams)

3.87

Net carbs

50.64

Sugar (grams)

40.58

Protein (grams)

6.95

Sodium (milligrams)

49.23

Cholesterol (grams)

9.42
Nutritional information is approximate and based on 2 servings and includes whipped cream.
Created using The Recipes Generator
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All About that Wheat Flour - FARINA part 2

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This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

If you’re reading this, you have probably have some form of wheat flour in your home. Even the person nearest to you, who is most likely not reading this, probably has some kind of wheat flour in their home. It almost sounds funny to say wheat flour because it is universally known as just flour. Flour refers to wheat flour, and only the other types of flour need to differentiate themselves. Rice flour is no less a flour, but we need to say “rice” in front of “flour” otherwise it will be assumed we are talking about flour; that is, wheat flour.

All-purpose, bread, cake, pastry, self-raising, strong, durum, semolina, whole wheat, whole wheat pastry, and graham are just some of the names for wheat flour types…what do you always have on hand? Besides maybe the price and brand of your flour, what else do you know about the substance that goes into so many hundreds of recipes? Should you care? It may not make a life or death difference, but if you enjoy cooking and baking, or generally like learning, then learning to understand wheat flour varieties and how best to use them can take the food you make to a whole new level!

If you’d like to read Part 1 and learn how flour is used in Italy, click here.

The Six Categories of Wheat

In your American pantry you probably have an all-purpose flour, a bread flour, maybe a cake flour, maybe a self-raising, possibly a few others. If you know when and how to use these flours (or just follow a recipe), you might not need to know where or what kind of wheat is actually grown and ground to make these. But once you become familiar with the types of wheat, their properties and best uses, you can make more educated choices about your baking and end up with a superior result. Even the most nominal baker will eventually come across recipes that call for cake flour or bread flour, and knowing more about the wheat characteristics and which kinds are used to make these flours will help you understand if you can substitute say, all-purpose flour, and the results if you do so.

The first thing to know is that wheat can be defined by these six characteristics:

L to R: durum wheat (semola), soft wheat for sweets, soft wheat (manitoba) for bread

L to R: durum wheat (semola), soft wheat for sweets, soft wheat (manitoba) for bread

  • Soft wheat has a higher moisture content and less gluten, suitable for making cake and cookies and more delicate baked goods

  • Hard wheat has a lower moisture content and higher protein/gluten* content, usually between 12-14%, suitable for bread making

  • Red wheat has a slightly higher protein than white and a bolder taste

  • White wheat is milder in taste even if the color is not so different from red once milled into flour

  • Winter wheat is usually planted in the fall and harvested in the summer, with the exception of countries that have too harsh of winters, such as Canada where it is planted in the spring

  • Spring wheat is usually planted in the spring and harvested in the fall, with the exception of countries that have too hot and dry of summers, such as California in which case it is planted in the fall. You can read more about winter and spring wheat here.

*Many use the terms protein and gluten in wheat flour interchangeably. This is because gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, the kind that is “developed” when you knead bread and gives it the elastic/chewy quality. In most cases, the higher the protein content, the higher the gluten. It is important to note that all gluten is protein, but not all protein is gluten, as your celiac friends should be able to tell you. Also, all wheat contains gluten, but not all gluten comes from wheat. Make sense? You can read more here or here for better understanding gluten in the light of gluten allergies, or here for a good explanation of gluten. For my purposes today, and baking in general, if someone says a flour is high in protein, and someone else says a flour has a high gluten content, they mean the same thing. And they both mean the flour is good for bread making.

There are thousands of varieties of wheat grown around the world, but chaos can be brought to order with the following six principle categories, using the characteristics we reviewed above:

  1. Hard Red Winter Wheat (HRW)

  2. Hard Red Spring Wheat (HRS)

  3. Soft Red Winter Wheat (SRW)

  4. Hard White Wheat (HW)

  5. Soft White Wheat (SW)

  6. Durum Wheat (DW) is the hardest of all wheat, used for pasta making

The flour you buy from the store will most likely fall into one of these six categories. The bread flour in your pantry is most likely a hard red or white spring wheat; your cake flour is probably milled from a soft white wheat; all-purpose is usually a mixture of hard and soft wheat. You’d know now, for example, that baking a loaf of bread with all-purpose or cake flour will not yield a wonderfully chewy loaf like using bread flour would; they don’t have the gluten required to achieve the chewiness.

If you’d like to start experimenting with flour varieties, check your area for a local mill. If you live in the States and are not fortunate enough to have a mill near you, check out Bob’s Red Mill, in store or online. They have some clearly labeled high-quality flours. You could buy some of their whole-wheat hard red flour and whole-wheat hard white flour and make some simple bread loaves, trying the two wheat varieties side by side.

Happy baking!

Mixing flours

Mixing flours



Mocha Punch

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On entering any coffee shop in America, you’ll easily find mocha on the menu. I usually think of black coffee and cappuccino as being among the most commonly ordered, vanilla latte and mocha closely following. Because after enjoying coffee in its purer forms it is logical to then pair it with two of the greatest flavors: vanilla and chocolate. No? But I’m not a barista, so if you are, you tell me. :)

This is not the case in Italy. Italy may be the birthplace of coffee as we know it today, but that doesn’t mean that they own ALL the copyrights to the best coffee drinks. Cappuccino, espresso, macchiato….but Vanilla Latte and Mocha are not on the menu here, unless you go to one of the few “American” coffee shops, such as Arnold. First of all, if you order a latte you will get….milk. And if you order a mocha you will get…a withering stare. Not the end of the world, especially with all of the other types of coffee you can order, but sometimes I just want a mocha, ya know? I usually order my cappuccino with cocoa powder on top, but that’s not quite the same.

What’s a person to do when they don’t have mocha readily available to them? Make it at home, of course! It’s so easy, and can be even easier in a pinch, see my notes below!

But doesn’t the title say punch, you ask? Yes, yes it does. The recipe that follows can be drunk as a classic mocha, hot or iced, by simply not adding the ice cream. Or, as per the recipe, pour the whole thing in a punch bowl, add scoops of ice cream, and voila! Mocha punch fit for any party.

Recipe adapted from a friend’s mama. :)


Mocha Punch

Serves about 20

Ingredients:

  • 3 quarts / 3 L freshly brewed strong coffee

  • 1 1/2 cups / 300g sugar

  • 2 quarts / 2 L milk

  • 3/4 cup / 240g chocolate syrup, try this homemade recipe!

  • 3 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 gallon (8 cups) / 1 kg vanilla ice cream

Directions:

  1. Pour brewed coffee into a large pot, bowl, or other large container. Stir sugar into hot coffee until dissolved. Cool in fridge.

  2. Remove coffee from fridge and add milk, chocolate syrup, and vanilla and stir until well combined.

  3. Chill until cold or overnight.

  4. Just before serving, pour into serving container, mix briefly, and scoop ice cream into the punch, allowing the ice cream to melt for a few minutes before serving. (Skip this step if not serving as a punch.)

  5. Store in fridge.

Jenny’s Notes:

  • For an everyday mocha I reduce the sugar and milk, sometimes by up to half, as I usually drink my coffee black, and it makes it less indulgent.

  • You can substitute store-bought chocolate syrup for the homemade and use instant coffee instead of brewing, if you wish! I think the flavor will always be superior when you make things from scratch, or in this instance, use good and fresh coffee instead of instant!

  • If you choose to make the homemade chocolate syrup recipe, make a half recipe for exactly the quantity needed for this Mocha Punch. Or make a full recipe and enjoy the extra!

  • Of course, you don’t have to use vanilla ice cream, you could use chocolate or moose tracks or heck, coffee ice cream! Whatever you like.

  • When serving, you can choose to pour the whole recipe’s worth of punch into a punch bowl with ice cream, or, for smaller or longer parties, start with just a portion of the punch and ice cream, keeping the remainder in the fridge and freezer, respectively, so by the end the punch isn’t warm and the ice cream long melted.

  • This punch is easily stored in pitchers or empty milk jugs!

American
Yield: 20
Author:

Mocha Punch

Sweet and creamy coffee meets chocolate in this adaptable mocha. Add ice cream for a delectable party punch or drink hot or cold for an anytime mocha!
prep time: 25 Mcook time: total time: 25 M

ingredients:

  • 3 quarts / 3 L freshly brewed strong coffee
  • 1 1/2 cups / 300g sugar
  • 2 quarts / 2 L milk
  • 3/4 cup / 240g chocolate syrup, try this homemade recipe!
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 gallon (8 cups) / 1 kg vanilla ice cream

instructions:

How to cook Mocha Punch

  1. Pour brewed coffee into a large pot, bowl, or other large container. Stir sugar into hot coffee until dissolved. Cool in fridge.
  2. Remove coffee from fridge and add milk, chocolate syrup, and vanilla and stir until well combined.
  3. Chill until cold or overnight.
  4. Just before serving, pour into serving container, mix briefly, and scoop ice cream into the punch, allowing the ice cream to melt for a few minutes before serving. (Skip this step if not serving as a punch.)
  5. Store in fridge.

NOTES:

For an everyday mocha I reduce the sugar and milk, sometimes by up to half, as I usually drink my coffee black, and it makes it less indulgent. You can substitute store-bought chocolate syrup for the homemade and use instant coffee instead of brewing, if you wish! I think the flavor will always be superior when you make things from scratch, or in this instance, use good and fresh coffee instead of instant! If you choose to make the homemade chocolate syrup recipe, make a half recipe for exactly the quantity needed for this Mocha Punch. Or make a full recipe and enjoy the extra! Of course, you don’t have to use vanilla ice cream, you could use chocolate or moose tracks or heck, coffee ice cream! Whatever you like. When serving, you can choose to pour the whole recipe’s worth of punch into a punch bowl with ice cream, or, for smaller or longer parties, start with just a portion of the punch and ice cream, keeping the remainder in the fridge and freezer, respectively, so by the end the punch isn’t warm and the ice cream long melted. This punch is easily stored in pitchers or empty milk jugs!

Calories

202.41

Fat (grams)

4.98

Sat. Fat (grams)

3.02

Carbs (grams)

33.94

Fiber (grams)

0.49

Net carbs

33.45

Sugar (grams)

26.31

Protein (grams)

5.27

Sodium (milligrams)

91.66

Cholesterol (grams)

19.30
Nutritional information is approximate. Calculated including vanilla ice cream
Created using The Recipes Generator
2018-12-29+15.44.21-2.jpg

Chocolate Sauce

Photo Public Domain  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/at/deed.en   Permission: Sammlung J.P. Adlbrecht

Photo Public Domain https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/at/deed.en Permission: Sammlung J.P. Adlbrecht

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

Classic. Quintessential. Chocolatey. Good on everything, from your morning pancakes and coffee to ice cream and that cake you just made. Or ya know, by the spoonful. Just a spoonful of…I’ll let you sing the rest yourself. ;)

What is it? Chocolate Sauce! I’m sorry, come again? Chocolate Sauce!!!! I didn’t hear you!! CHOCOLATE SAUCE!!!!!!!! That’s right. Or chocolate syrup, as you prefer. No more Hershey’s in a bottle, or going without if you live outside the USofA. It’s so easy you’ll wonder why you never made it before. No high fructose corn syrup involved!

Recipe from my Mama


Chocolate Sauce

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup / 150g sugar

  • 1/3 cup / 33g unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 Tbsp / 7.5g cornstarch

  • 1/2 cup / 118g water

  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

  1. Combine sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch in a small saucepan.

  2. Add water and whisk until there are no lumps.

  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Reduce heat to low and boil for 5 minutes, continuing to stir.

  4. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Jenny’s Notes:

  • The better quality your cocoa powder the better your sauce will taste!

  • Keeps well in the fridge.

American
Yield: 12
Author:

Chocolate Sauce

A basic chocolate sauce for drizzling, mixing, and all your dessert needs.
prep time: 20 Mcook time: total time: 20 M

ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup / 150g sugar
  • 1/3 cup / 33g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp / 7.5g cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup / 118g water
  • 1 tsp vanilla

instructions:

How to cook Chocolate Sauce

  1. Combine sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch in a small saucepan.
  2. Add water and whisk until there are no lumps.
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Reduce heat to low and boil for 5 minutes, continuing to stir.
  4. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

NOTES:

The better quality your cocoa powder the better your sauce will taste! Keeps well in the fridge.

Calories

63.04

Fat (grams)

0.27

Sat. Fat (grams)

0.00

Carbs (grams)

14.76

Fiber (grams)

0.56

Net carbs

14.21

Sugar (grams)

12.52

Protein (grams)

0.55

Sodium (milligrams)

0.61

Cholesterol (grams)

0.00
Nutritional information is approximate.
Created using The Recipes Generator


Pumpkin Pudding

IMG_5018.JPG

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Fall is coming fall is coming! Or, autumn is coming autumn is coming! Either way, I’m excited. I love the changing of seasons and the different nostalgias and expectations that come with each one. Living in Italy, the nostalgia is a little bit stronger. Autumn is still autumn, but the changes are a little less distinct, and the comfort of knowing where to pick out the best pumpkins and buy the best apple cider is not something I have down pat yet. It’s not even that easy, finding the new places to do the things you’ve always done, because some things aren’t done here, or at least not in the magnitude they are in the States. Pumpkins will be few and far between, unless you’re lucky enough to stumble upon some markets that have the mini gourds; apple cider is practically nonexistent; trick-or-treating happens, but most Italians wear scary costumes instead of characters; the leaf change is not the brilliant red, orange, and yellows like in Michigan, but more of a subtle green-to-yellow with the occasional leaves fluttering down. Despite the differences with what I grew up with, there are still oodles of things I love to do to make my home fall-y and to welcome the chilly evenings. Lighting candles, brewing tea, pulling out the fuzzy socks and sweaters (even if I’d be sweating if I actually tried to wear them yet) and baking and eating lots of fall goodies that include pumpkin, cinnamon, and spices, breads, soups, and hearty autumn recipes.

Now that I’m officially feeling ready for fall after dwelling in those thoughts, what are we making? Pumpkin Pudding! It’s like pumpkin pie, but without all the fuss of the crust. This is great to make in the time leading up to Thanksgiving, because you’re not ruining your appetite for pumpkin pie (you can’t call it pie if it doesn’t have a crust, therefore, totally different) while not wasting time NOT eating pumpkin. Oh, and so, so easy.

Recipe from my mama


Pumpkin Pudding

IMG_5023.JPG

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz / 425g pumpkin purée

  • 2/3 cup / 132g sugar

  • 1/2 tsp / 2.5g salt

  • 1 tsp / 5g cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp / 2.5g ginger

  • 1/4 tsp / 1g cloves

  • 1 cup / 237g milk of choice

Directions:

Oven 375F / 190C. Lightly greased 8x8in / 20x20cm baking pan.

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until smooth.

  2. Pour into prepared pan; bake for 20-25 minutes in preheated oven until edges are bubbling.

Jenny’s Notes:

  • To dress this lovely and simple dessert up you can top it with confectioner’s sugar or crumbled cookies such as shortbread or Nilla Wafers, or serve with ice cream and/or whipped cream.

  • This recipe is gluten free, vegan (if you use a milk substitute like coconut or almond), and probably many of the other diet fads that I can’t quite keep track of. Eat up!

American
Yield: 4-6
Author:

Pumpkin Pudding

Like pumpkin pie but without the hassle of the crust. Gluten-free and can easily be made vegan.
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 25 Mtotal time: 35 M

ingredients:

  • 15 oz / 425g pumpkin purée
  • 2/3 cup / 132g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp / 2.5g salt
  • 1 tsp / 5g cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp / 2.5g ginger
  • 1/4 tsp / 1g cloves
  • 1 cup / 237g milk of choice

instructions:

How to cook Pumpkin Pudding

  1. Oven 375F / 190C. Lightly greased 8x8in / 20x20cm baking pan.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until smooth.
  3. Pour into prepared pan; bake for 20-25 minutes in preheated oven until edges are bubbling.

NOTES:

To dress this lovely and simple dessert up you can top it with confectioner’s sugar or crumbled cookies such as shortbread or Nilla Wafers, or serve with ice cream and/or whipped cream. This recipe is gluten free, vegan (if you use a milk substitute like coconut or almond), and probably many of the other diet fads that I can’t quite keep track of. Eat up!

Calories

198.32

Fat (grams)

1.49

Sat. Fat (grams)

0.88

Carbs (grams)

45.81

Fiber (grams)

3.85

Net carbs

41.97

Sugar (grams)

36.49

Protein (grams)

3.31

Sodium (milligrams)

279.59

Cholesterol (grams)

4.74
Nutritional information is approximate. Based on 4 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator
The slowly melting confectioner’s sugar…

The slowly melting confectioner’s sugar…




Pinwheels 3 Ways: Avocado Veggie, Buffalo Chicken, and Thanksgiving

From top to bottom: Thanksgiving, Veggie, Buffalo Chicken

From top to bottom: Thanksgiving, Veggie, Buffalo Chicken

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Or veggie rolls, veggie wraps, or veggie roll-ups, (but that just makes me think of fruit roll-ups, blech! No offense to my fruit roll-up loving friends.  Actually, every once in a blue moon I see a fruit roll up and think, hey, that sounds good right about now.  Then I walk on.  That's the end of the story.)  Or you could just call these tortilla/veggie/cream cheese concoctions for what they are; delicious.  That would be fine.  And the truth.  

They make for a great snack or appetizer, or lunch even if you forgot just how many pinwheels you popped in your mouth.  They're also very portable, quick, and simple to make, which make them ideal for parties, potlucks, lunch at the office, you name it.  

The formula is very easy to get the hang of, think tortillas, cream cheese, and condiments/spices!  The tortilla is your playground and the cream cheese is your best friend, so get creative!  Put all those flavor combinations you dreamt up while watching Food Network, The Great British Bake-Off, and Chef's Table to work in these tortillas.  Might be more manageable than that fried parmesan cheese bowl filled with pickled cabbage, grilled chicken, diced red peppers, fresh cilantro, lemon garlic aioli swiped across the plate and turmeric sprinkled over top.  But, hey, you could totally manage to put all that in a tortilla.  You might be on to something.  

To get you started, I give you three recipes: Fresh Veggie, Buffalo Chicken, and Turkey Cranberry a.k.a. Thanksgiving.  


Avocado Veggie Pinwheels

Makes about 18 pinwheels

Ingredients: 

Hmm, these photos could use improving upon…

Hmm, these photos could use improving upon…

  • 4 8-inch or 6 6-inch flour tortillas

  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, softened

  • 1/3 cup shredded carrots, or about 1-2 small carrots

  • 1/3 chopped spinach or broccoli

  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/4 tsp dill weed

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1/2 cup guacamole

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, carrots, spinach, green onions, garlic powder, dill weed, and salt and pepper.  

  2. Distribute evenly over tortillas, spreading almost to the edges.  Spread a thick layer of guacamole over cream cheese mixture.  Roll up tightly.  

  3. Slice into approximately 1 inch slices.  Serve or chill until it's part-tay time.  

pinwheels, roll ups, veggie rolls, veggie wraps, avocado, buffalo chicken pinwheels, Thanksgiving pinwheels, vegetable wraps, cranberry sauce, appetizer, finger food, snack
American
Yield: 32
Author:

Avocado Veggie Pinwheels

Tortillas slathered with seasoned cream cheese, avocado, and veggies, rolled up and sliced.
prep time: 25 Mcook time: total time: 25 M

ingredients:

  • 4 8-inch or 6 6-inch flour tortillas
  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup shredded carrots, or about 1-2 small carrots
  • 1/3 chopped spinach or broccoli
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dill weed
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup guacamole

instructions:

How to cook Avocado Veggie Pinwheels

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, carrots, spinach, green onions, garlic powder, dill weed, and salt and pepper.
  2. Distribute evenly over tortillas, spreading almost to the edges. Spread a thick layer of guacamole over cream cheese mixture. Roll up tightly.
  3. Slice into approximately 1 inch slices. Serve or chill until it's part-tay time.

NOTES:

All quantities are very approximate. You could double basically any ingredient you want to have more filling, less filling, more flavor, less flavor. The tortilla is your playground.

Calories

54.07

Fat (grams)

3.37

Sat. Fat (grams)

1.62

Carbs (grams)

4.58

Fiber (grams)

0.50

Net carbs

4.17

Sugar (grams)

0.42

Protein (grams)

1.15

Sodium (milligrams)

79.99

Cholesterol (grams)

7.10
Nutritional information is approximate.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

Makes about 18 pinwheels

Ingredients:

  • 4 8-inch or 6 6-inch flour tortillas

  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, softened

  • 1/3 cup / 80g Frank's hot sauce

  • 1/2 cup cooked chopped or shredded chicken

  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped

  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled, optional

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, hot sauce, chicken, green onion, and blue cheese.

  2. Distribute evenly over tortillas, spreading almost to the edges.  Roll up tightly.  

  3. Slice into approximately 1 inch slices.  Serve or chill until it's part-tay time.   

pinwheel, veggie roll up, veggie wrap, buffalo chicken, blue cheese, buffalo chicken wrap, buffalo chicken pinwheel, canned chicken
American
Yield: 32
Author:

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

Tortillas slathered in Frank's hot sauce and cream cheese with chicken, rolled, and sliced for bite size hot wing pinwheels.
prep time: 15 Mcook time: total time: 15 M

ingredients:

  • 4 8-inch or 6 6-inch flour tortillas
  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup / 80g Frank's hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup cooked chopped or shredded chicken
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled, optional

instructions:

How to cook Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, hot sauce, chicken, green onion, and blue cheese.
  2. Distribute evenly over tortillas, spreading almost to the edges. Roll up tightly.
  3. Slice into approximately 1 inch slices. Serve or chill until it's part-tay time.

NOTES:

All quantities are very approximate. You could double basically any ingredient you want to have more filling, less filling, more flavor, less flavor. I often use canned chicken for the buffalo chicken. Pinwheels aren't exactly a showcase of your cooking/baking skills, anyway, so I like to keep things chop, chop. (Literally) Don't have Frank's hot sauce? Go get some. You will thank me as your life is changed forever.

Calories

57.68

Fat (grams)

3.45

Sat. Fat (grams)

1.82

Carbs (grams)

3.93

Fiber (grams)

0.21

Net carbs

3.91

Sugar (grams)

0.31

Protein (grams)

2.23

Sodium (milligrams)

133.17

Cholesterol (grams)

11.06
Nutritional information is approximate. Includes the blue cheese.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Thanksgiving Pinwheels

Makes about 18 Pinwheels

Ingredients:

  • 4 8-inch or 6 6-inch flour tortillas

  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, softened

  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce

  • 8 oz sliced deli turkey (or leftover Turkey, hey!)

  • 1/3 cup chopped spinach, optional

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl mix together cream cheese, cranberry sauce, and spinach.  Distribute evenly over tortillas, spreading almost to the edges.  

  2. Layer turkey slices over cream cheese mixture.  Roll up tightly.  

  3. Slice into approximately 1 inch slices.  Serve or chill until it's part-tay time.  

pinwheels, veggie roll ups, Thanksgiving, cream cheese, Thanksgiving pinwheel, Thanksgiving wrap, turkey, cranberry sauce, spinach
American
Yield: 32
Author:

Thanksgiving Pinwheels

Tortilla spread with cream cheese, cranberry sauce, and turkey, rolled and sliced for a nostalgic bite-sized taste of Thanksgiving.
prep time: 15 Mcook time: total time: 15 M

ingredients:

  • 4 8-inch or 6 6-inch flour tortillas
  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
  • 8 oz sliced deli turkey (or leftover Turkey, hey!)
  • 1/3 cup chopped spinach, optional

instructions:

How to cook Thanksgiving Pinwheels

  1. In a medium bowl mix together cream cheese, cranberry sauce, and spinach. Distribute evenly over tortillas, spreading almost to the edges.
  2. Layer turkey slices over cream cheese mixture. Roll up tightly.
  3. Slice into approximately 1 inch slices. Serve or chill until it's part-tay time.

NOTES:

All quantities are very approximate. You could double basically any ingredient you want to have more filling, less filling, more flavor, less flavor. Like I said, the tortilla is your playground. I like the spinach, it gives it a nice punch of color. It also makes the roll versatile for Christmas, beautiful red and green!

Calories

61.73

Fat (grams)

3.08

Sat. Fat (grams)

1.56

Carbs (grams)

6.19

Fiber (grams)

0.31

Net carbs

6.07

Sugar (grams)

1.93

Protein (grams)

1.98

Sodium (milligrams)

138.33

Cholesterol (grams)

11.00
Nutritional information is approximate. Includes spinach.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Jenny's Notes:

  • All quantities are very approximate.  You could double basically any ingredient you want to have more filling, less filling, more flavor, less flavor.  Like I said, the tortilla is your playground.  

  • I like the spinach in the Thanksgiving roll, it gives it a nice punch of color.  It also makes the roll versatile for Christmas, beautiful red and green! 

  • Speaking of the Thanksgiving roll, you could probably make a much more legitimate roll by using all Thanksgiving leftovers in a roll...gravy instead of cream cheese...nah that'd be gross.  

  • I usually use canned chicken for the buffalo chicken.  Pinwheels aren't exactly a showcase of your cooking/baking skills, anyway, so I like to keep things chop, chop.  (Literally) 

  • Don't have Frank's hot sauce?  Go get some.  You will thank me as your life is changed forever.  


Refrigerator Dill Pickles

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Summertime calls for watermelon, lemonade, ice cream, swimming, and cook outs.  And every quintessential cookout will have something to cook outside, usually meat and vegetables in some form.  (I know we're all thinking hamburgers, bratwursts, and hotdogs, but hey, there are some other weird traditions out there, too.)  And if you're cooking out, you're going to need buns and condiments.  And the best condiment award goes to....pickles!!

Not only does it have the best taste (opinion), but it stands alone.  As in, if you eat a pickle, no one will think twice.  But if we see you munching on a romaine lettuce leaf or slurping on a spoonful of ketchup, well, you might get some stares.  Of course, this is coming from someone who doesn't like hamburgers and once ate a romaine sandwich.  As in, onion, ketchup, mustard, and pickles sandwiched between to Romaine lettuce leaves.  Mmmmm.  Yeah, it was weird.  But I was so hungry, and hamburgers were the only option, I rather enjoyed it.  That's now on the worldwide webs.  Maybe I should change my heading to be: "Jenny, the girl who eats condiments like a main dish." Don't worry I won't, only you, my seven followers, are now privy to this information.  Haha.  

Back to pickles.  Now that we have remembered how great pickles are, did you know they are super easy to make at home?  Yes they are, and now you know that too.  Boil some water, throw some ingredients in a jar, chop up some cucumbers, stick them in the fridge, and voila!  Pickles.  

Recipe adapted from my mama


Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Makes about 24 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups / 830g water

  • 1 1/4 cups / 296g white vinegar

  • 1 Tbsp / 12g sugar

  • 1 Tbsp / 17g salt

  • 1 tsp / 2g turmeric, optional

  • 4 cups or about 2-3 large cucumbers, cut into slices, spears, or shape of choice

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 2 heads fresh dill

  • 1 tsp red chili flakes, mustard seeds, or celery seeds, optional

Directions:

  1. Stir together water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan.  Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. 

  2. In a large glass jar or container, 4-quart or larger, arrange garlic, dill, cucumbers, and any spices you choose to use.  Pour the cooled liquid over the cucumbers, discarding or saving any leftover for another use.  Top with lid, sealing well, and refrigerate.  

  3. They will start to taste pickley the next day, but for optimum flavor refrigerate at least 3 days before consuming.  

Jenny's Notes:

  • I recommend making this recipe once as is to get an idea of the flavor profile, then play around to make it your own!

    1) If you like more bread & butter or sweet style pickles, up the sugar

    2) If you love dill, use more dill

    3) Add sliced onions or bell peppers

    4) Add more red pepper flakes or other hot pepper for more spice

    5) Really, add whatever suits your fancy. The garden is your playground.

  • The turmeric is for color, not so much flavor, to get that idyllic yellow pickle.  However, if you could care less about having a yellow pickle or don’t enjoy turmeric, leave it out!  I for one don't think the turmeric is very obvious in this recipe, but it's detectable if you really think about it.  

dill pickles, refrigerator pickles
American
Yield: 24
Author:

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Classic dill pickles made in your refrigerator in just 3 days.
prep time: 15 Mcook time: 10 Mtotal time: 25 M

ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups / 830g water
  • 1 1/4 cups / 296g white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp / 12g sugar
  • 1 Tbsp / 17g salt
  • 1 tsp / 2g turmeric, optional
  • 4 cups or about 2-3 large cucumbers, cut into slices, spears, or shape of choice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 heads fresh dill

instructions:

How to cook Refrigerator Dill Pickles

  1. Stir together water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
  2. In a large glass jar or container, 4-quart or larger, arrange garlic, dill, cucumbers, and any spices you choose to use. Pour the cooled liquid over the cucumbers, discarding or saving any leftover for another use. Top with lid, sealing well, and refrigerate.
  3. They will start to taste pickley the next day, but for optimum flavor refrigerate at least 3 days before consuming.

NOTES:

I recommend making this recipe once as is to get an idea of the flavor profile, then play around to make it your own! 1) If you like more bread & butter or sweet style pickles, up the sugar 2) If you love dill, use more dill 3) Add sliced onions or bell peppers 4) Add more red pepper flakes or other hot pepper for more spice 5) Really, add whatever suits your fancy. The garden is your playground. The turmeric is for color, not so much flavor, to get that idyllic yellow pickle. However, if you could care less about having a yellow pickle or don’t enjoy turmeric, leave it out! I for one don't think the turmeric is very obvious in this recipe, but it's detectable if you really think about it.

Calories

10.04

Fat (grams)

0.04

Sat. Fat (grams)

0.01

Carbs (grams)

1.91

Fiber (grams)

0.20

Net carbs

1.72

Sugar (grams)

1.09

Protein (grams)

0.25

Sodium (milligrams)

276.95

Cholesterol (grams)

0.00
Nutritional information is approximate.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Homemade Marzipan

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Marzipan!  That weird almond dessert that no one seems to really talk about in America, but people rave about in Europe.  It really should catch on in the US, because:

  1. It tastes like almonds and is delicious

  2. It's easy to make

  3. It's fun to work with and versatile

 It can be used as filling or toppings of baked goods, and it can also be colored and molded into shapes or rolled out and used to cover cakes in a fondant fashion.   Fondant has it's place, but I would rather eat a marzipan covered cake any day over a fondant cake.  

marzipan.jpg

You may have seen almond paste sold in stores, and although almond paste and marzipan are made from the same ingredients, they are not usually equal.  This depends on what part of the world you call home.  In many European countries the terms marzipan and almond paste are interchangeable, in other parts, such as the US, they are different products.  If they are different, for example in the US, marzipan is smoother, sweeter, made with egg whites and sometimes rose water, whereas almond pasted is less sweet and has a coarser texture.  When I first started dabbling in marzipan, I used almond paste as a base to make marzipan, but now I prefer to make it from scratch.

It's so simple, as you can see for yourself!

Recipe adapted from La Cuochina Sopraffina


Marzipan

Makes about 280g of marzipan, or about 10 oz. 

Ingredients:

  • 125g / 1 1/3 cup almond flour or almonds

  • 125g / 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 egg white (about 30g)

  • 6 drops almond extract

  • 3 drops rose water, optional

Directions:

  1. If using whole almonds, place in a food processor and process until finely ground.   

  2. Process almond flour, powdered sugar, egg white, almond extract, and rose water until a thick dough forms.  If the consistency is too thin, add more powdered sugar.  

  3. Turn marzipan out onto a surface lightly dusted with powdered sugar, knead for a few seconds.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed, or freeze.  

Jenny's Notes:

  • This recipe is very simple to adjust to the amount you need, especially if you scale/weigh your ingredients.  As you may have noticed, the almond flour to powdered sugar is a 1:1 ratio.  

  • If you are worried about eating or serving raw egg whites, be sure to buy pasteurized egg whites from the store.   

marzipan, almond paste, European sweets, marzipan fruit, fondant, gluten-free, dairy-free, raw
Yield: 10
Author:

Homemade Marzipan

Marzipan is a versatile and tasty European almond sweet, often paired with chocolate, molded into fruit shapes, or used to cover cakes in place of fondant. Gluten and dairy free.

ingredients:

  • 125g / 1 1/3 cup almond flour or almonds
  • 125g / 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg white (about 30g)
  • 6 drops almond extract
  • 3 drops rose water, optional

instructions:

How to cook Homemade Marzipan

  1. If using whole almonds, place in a food processor and process until finely ground.
  2. Process almond flour, powdered sugar, egg white, almond extract, and rose water until a thick dough forms. If the consistency is too thin, add more powdered sugar.
  3. Turn marzipan out onto a surface lightly dusted with powdered sugar, knead for a few seconds. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed, or freeze.

NOTES:

This recipe is very simple to adjust to the amount you need, especially if you scale/weigh your ingredients. As you may have noticed, the almond flour to powdered sugar is a 1:1 ratio. If you are worried about eating or serving raw egg whites, be sure to buy pasteurized egg whites from the store.

Calories

131.15

Fat (grams)

7.44

Sat. Fat (grams)

0.57

Carbs (grams)

14.21

Fiber (grams)

1.86

Net carbs

12.35

Sugar (grams)

11.43

Protein (grams)

3.51

Sodium (milligrams)

6.80

Cholesterol (grams)

0.00
Nutritional information is approximate. Based on 10 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Salted Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bark

Pretzels. Homemade caramel. Chocolate. And salted. This bark has only 5 ingredients, it’s super easy to make, and you keep going back for more.

Oh yes.  For the sugar lovers, sweets devotees, and when you want to whip up something delicious with precious little effort, this bark is it.  Some people even refer to it as crack bark. Maybe because you break, or crack it, at the end?  (Just kidding everyone, I know what they mean when they call it that.)  Plus all 5 ingredients are pretty easy to have on hand. 

Now, if this were Pinterest, you could call it "5 Ingredient Crack Bark."  Remember my thing with Pinterest names?  Yep.  Still there.  Keep it classy, people, keep it classy.  It already bothers me that this recipe has as many words in its title as it does ingredients.  If you have any better and more concise ideas for the title, please, let me know!

Slightly adapted from Where the Cookies Are

This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!


Salted Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bark

Makes approximately one 11x17in / 28x43cm sheet of bark

Ingredients:

  • Enough mini pretzels to cover an approximately 11x17in / 28x43cm jelly roll pan, about half of a 15oz bag / 200g.

  • 1 cup / 226g butter

  • 1 cup / 200g brown sugar

  • 2 cups / 340g semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • coarse salt

Directions:

Oven 375°F / 190°C.  Line an approximately 11x17in / 28x43cm jelly roll pan with tinfoil. 

  1. Cover pan with an even layer of pretzels.

  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine butter and brown sugar.  Stir until mixture starts to simmer, then allow to cook, without stirring, until mixture turns a nice golden-brown.  This should take 3-5 minutes after the mixture has started to simmer. 

  3. Remove mixture from heat and immediately pour evenly over pretzels. 

  4. Place in the oven and bake for 6 minutes. 

  5. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over pretzels and caramel. 

  6. Wait a few minutes, then use a spatula to spread now melted chocolate chips over pretzels.  Sprinkle with salt. 

  7. Allow to cool completely before breaking into pieces.  You can place your pan in the fridge or freezer to speed up the process. 

Jenny's Notes:

  • If you’re wondering what a jelly-roll pan is, it’s merely a baking sheet with about a 1in side around it, which in this case keeps the bark contained. You can shop them on Amazon by clicking on the link to the right. —>

  • Don't have tinfoil?  You can always use wax or parchment paper, but I would recommend greasing them beforehand as I have had the bark stick to both of those products. 

  • Want to go crazy?  Use any kind of chips in place of the semisweet chips, such as milk, peanut butter, bittersweet...or a combination! 

  • Once you have spread the melted chocolate, feel free to add some extra toppings if you wish.  Coconut, chopped peanuts, finely chopped coffee beans...

salted caramel, salted chocolate, bark, butter, toffee, caramel, chocolate chips, crack bark
dessert, snack
American
Yield: 12-15 servings
Author:

Salted Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bark

Salty, crunchy, chocolatey, caramelly, and only 5 ingredients to whip up this addicting bark!
prep time: 25 Mcook time: 6 Mtotal time: 31 M

ingredients:

  • mini pretzels, enough to cover an approximately 11x17in / 28x43cm jelly roll pan, about half of a 15oz bag or 200g
  • 1 cup / 226g butter
  • 1 cup / 200g brown sugar
  • 2 cups / 340g semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • coarse salt

instructions:

How to cook Salted Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bark

  1. Oven 375°F / 190°C. Line an approximately 11x17in / 28x43cm jelly roll pan with tinfoil.
  2. Cover pan with an even layer of pretzels.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine butter and brown sugar. Stir until mixture starts to simmer, then allow to cook, without stirring, until mixture turns a nice golden-brown. This should take 3-5 minutes after the mixture has started to simmer.
  4. Remove mixture from heat and immediately pour evenly over pretzels.
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 6 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over pretzels and caramel.
  7. Wait a few minutes, then use a spatula to spread now melted chocolate chips over pretzels. Sprinkle with salt.
  8. Allow to cool completely before breaking into pieces. You can place your pan in the fridge or freezer to speed up the process.

NOTES:

If you’re wondering what a jelly-roll pan is, it’s merely a baking sheet with about a 1in side around it, which in this case keeps the bark contained. Don't have tinfoil? You can always use wax or parchment paper, but I would recommend greasing them beforehand as I have had the bark stick to both of those products. Want to go crazy? Use any kind of chips in place of the semisweet chips, such as milk, peanut butter, bittersweet...or a combination! Once you have spread the melted chocolate, feel free to add some extra toppings if you wish. Coconut, chopped peanuts, finely chopped coffee beans...

Calories

398.37

Fat (grams)

24.26

Sat. Fat (grams)

14.77

Carbs (grams)

47.86

Fiber (grams)

2.24

Net carbs

45.63

Sugar (grams)

31.99

Protein (grams)

3.04

Sodium (milligrams)

384.00

Cholesterol (grams)

40.49
Nutritional information is approximate and based on 12 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Homemade Eggnog

Do you know what 2 weeks from today is?  Yes, Thanksgiving!  A big feast requires lots of food, lots of planning, and of course lots of shopping, preparing, and cooking.  There are of course all the traditional dishes to make, but sometimes you want to throw in something new and delicious.  Since many of you, my smart friends, break out the eggnog for the first time on Thanksgiving, why not try making it homemade this year?  No high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavor, or "Holly"-ness about it.  (I still am not sure I know the difference between store-bought Hollynog and Eggnog?)  It's very simple to make, and can easily be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled (Hello, Morris family) to fit your needs.  'Tis the season to be jolly, not drink Hollynog.  

Homemade Eggnog

Makes 8 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, plus more for sprinkling

  • 4 cups milk

  • 4 oz. (1/4 cup) brandy, bourbon, or rum, optional

Directions: 

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until light in color and the sugar has dissolved.  Whisk in vanilla, nutmeg, milk, and alcohol.  Strain into a pitcher or serving dish of choice and chill until ready to serve.  Sprinkle with additional nutmeg. 

Halve, double, or triple this recipe as needed.

Jenny's Notes:

So easy and delicious!  If you are worried about the raw eggs in this, simply use pasteurized eggs.  I am fortunate enough to be able to us eggs straight from chickens I know and trust. 

If you are serving this to children and/or people who don't drink, obviously don't add any alcohol.  What I like to do is add the alcohol to only half so everyone is happy, or let people add their own.  But not the children.

Serve in a punch bowl with dollops of vanilla ice cream for an extra decadent treat! 

Caramel Sauce

Everyone should have a good caramel sauce on hand, in my mind it's an essential tool in the baker's repertoire.  It's easy to make and not too time consuming, the only special item you will need is a candy thermometer, and you can find those pretty cheaply.  Everyone will love you for making it.  Take it one step further to make salted caramel, and everyone and their brother will love you, too.  So get your thermometers ready, let's get cracking!  Actually, we will not be going to the soft-crack or hard-crack stages like on your thermometer, so calm down.  If we did, our caramel would not be soft and pour-able but capable of cracking your teeth.  

Caramel Sauce

Makes 2+ cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter cut into tablespoons

Directions:

Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium sauce over high heat.  Allow to cook without stirring until the mixture turns a beautiful amber color.  (If it turns an ugly amber color, I can't help ya. Just kidding. Proceed.)  This could take anywhere from 10-20 minutes, depending on how hot your stove top cooks.  Keep a watchful eye on it, as it goes fast from light golden, perfectly amber, to burnt.  

Remove from heat and carefully pour in cream, a little at a time, as it will bubble up and spatter at you.  Stir until all the cream is mixed in. 

Attach a candy thermometer to the pan and return to the heat.  Cook until mixture reaches 238 degrees Fahrenheit, about 2-5 minutes. 

Remove from heat and stir in salt.  Stir in butter, one tablespoon at a time, until completely smooth.  Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool completely before using.  Store in the refrigerator. 

Jenny's Notes:

Don't like using corn syrup? Neither do I, in which case you can substitute honey for the corn syrup.  Keep in mind that it will give it a honey taste, so use discernment for which type of dessert you will be using it with and who you will be serving it to, if honey will suit or not. 

To make salted caramel, use salted butter and/or up the salt in the recipe to 1/2-1 tsp or to taste.

This is great in coffee, for cookies, swirling in brownies, using as a filling between cake layers, dipping apples and fruit into, on ice cream, and anything else you like to use caramel sauce for!  Get creative and may the streams of caramel forever be abundant in your life.   

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle

Yes, a trifle, not a truffle.  It is neither a chocolate truffle nor does it require pigs or dogs to dig it up, thankfully.  Although I personally would love to go truffle hunting, or more or less watch the pigs/dogs truffle hunt.  Then eat them, of course.  The truffles, not the dogs/pigs.  This is getting out of hand.

What's the difference between a truffle, a truffle, and a trifle?  The original truffle, or as I will call it here, is the fungus found in the ground.  There are two main kinds: black and white.  They are difficult to find, hence the need for dogs and pigs, and very expensive.  And divine to eat.  If you haven't eaten one, you definitely should, even if just to say you have.  All your foodie friends will hold you in high esteem henceforth.  ;)

Then there is the chocolate truffle, which is essentially a chocolate confection made to look like the original truffle.  It usually consists of a ganache (chocolate melted with heavy cream) center, covered in chocolate.  Also delicious. 

Thirdly, the trifle.  It is originally an English dessert, you could think of it like a large parfait to share.  My mom calls it a "Dump Cake" and in the south it is called a "Husband's Delight."  It usually consists of layers of cake, custard or pudding, whipped cream, and various fruits.  The possibilities of flavors and combinations are endless, and yes, delicious.

The moral of the story is, if someone offers you a truffle, a truffle, or a trifle, always say yes.  Because they are all delicious.  Now let's make a brownie trifle.

Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle

Serves about 12

Ingredients:

For the Vanilla Pudding *Make this first*

  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups cold milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Peanut Butter Chip Brownies

  • 5 Tbsp oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 of a 10 oz package peanut butter chips

Extras

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped until stiff peaks form
  • 1 package (about 12 oz) mini Reese's cups, each cut in half

 

Directions:

Make the Vanilla Pudding

In a small saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt.  Gradually whisk in milk. 

Heat over medium-low heat until pudding thickens and the whisk leaves a trail.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Place in fridge or freezer until pudding is thick and set. 

Meanwhile,

Make the Peanut Butter Chip Brownies

Oven 350 Fahrenheit. 

In a medium bowl, mix together oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, and salt.  Stir dry mixture into wet mixture.  Stir in peanut butter chips.  Pour into a lightly greased 8x8 baking dish.

Bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted off center comes out mostly clean.  Allow to cool. 

Assembly

Once pudding is set, mix in peanut butter.  Gently fold in whipped cream.

Cut cooled brownies into bite size pieces, about 1-inch squares.

In a large glass bowl, preferably a cylinder, layer a 1/3 of the brownies.  Place 1/4 of the Reese's cups over the brownies.  Spoon 1/3 of the pudding mixture over the Reese's cups.  Repeat layers two more times, finishing with the pudding.  Place remaining 1/4 of Reese's cups on the top.  Chill until ready serve.

IMG_4139.JPG

Adapted from Taste of Home

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk

No BPA from a can, you can make exactly how much you need, and you can make it organic!  Did I mention there are only two ingredients?  What's not to love!  Just a portion of time is all you need. 

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk

Ingredients (Makes the equivalent to a 14 oz can)

  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup sugar

Directions

In a small-medium sauce pan, combine milk and sugar over lowest heat.  Allow to simmer for about an hour, you want it to reduce by 60%, or a little more than half. 

Feel free to leave it to do its thing and wander about the house, but keep a close eye on it the last 15 minutes.  It can go very quickly from the perfect thickness to burnt. 

When it's reduced by 60% and thick, it's done!  Use in any recipe that calls for sweetened condensed milk. 

Jenny's Notes:

Only need 1/2 a can of sweetened condensed milk for a recipe?  Just cut this recipe in half and simmer for 30-45 minutes instead of an hour. 

If you're careful, you can slightly over-reduce this, to where the milk solids turn golden.  Immediately remove from heat and whisk to keep the milk solids from burning to the bottom of the pan.  It gives it a wonderful, toasty, nutty flavor.  This is to sweetened condensed milk what browned butter is to normal butter.  If you followed me on that, you are following me to a very happy place. 

Accidentally over-reduced it and now your sweetened condensed milk is too thick?  No worries, just add a dash of milk and whisk, repeat until the desired consistency is reached. 

Snickers Salad

Don't be deceived, this is not a real salad.  If visions of spinach salad with Snickers on top were dancing across your brain, I am so so sorry.  I love my greens and Snickers, but they do not belong together.  No no no.  Instead, think crisp Granny Smith apples and bits of Snickers lovingly folded into fluffy whipped cream and vanilla pudding.  So simple, and so delicious.  

No spinach, kale, or arugula were harmed in the making of this recipe. 

No spinach, kale, or arugula were harmed in the making of this recipe. 

If it makes you feel better, you could call this Green Apple Salad, like my mom does.  But it has the word "salad" in it, so I feel fully justified in keeping Snickers in the title.  As you wish.  OR if someone were to pin this on Pinterest it should probably be called Green Apple Snickers Salad That's Not a Salad with Whipped Cream and Home-Made Vanilla Pudding and Served in a Bowl and Should Be Eaten with a Spoon.  Because titles on Pinterest are really long and descriptive like that.  Actually that's what they are, descriptions, not titles.  I get it, people want people to know what's in it.  I want to know what's in it too, but a title WITH a description is in my opinion the best way to go.  "Oooh whatcha making?"  "Oh just a batch of kale-potato-onion-carrot-chicken-noodle-soup with fresh thyme and salt and pepper in organic free-range low-sodium chicken broth."  "Sounds good! What's in it?"  "Kale, potatoes, onions, carrots, chicken, noodles, fresh thyme, salt, pepper...oh, and chicken broth."  Next person walks in the room, "Oh, watcha eating?"  "..."   It can get tiring giving the spiel over and over again.  By no means are my titles perfect or always concise, mock them as you wish. Heheh.

Snickers Salad

Serves 8ish

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cup milk of choice
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 8 oz heavy whipping cream (1 cup)
  • about 11 oz Snickers, chopped, plus extra for serving
  • 4 Granny Smith apples, chopped

Directions:

At least a few hours before assembling recipe, or up to 2 days before, make the vanilla pudding:

Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan.  Slowly whisk in 1 cup of the milk.  Measure out the remaining 1/3 cup milk and whisk in the yolk, then whisk this slowly into the mixture in the saucepan. 

Place over medium heat and stir constantly until mixture thickens and the whisk leaves a trail.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Place in refrigerator until completely chilled.

Next, whip the heavy whipping cream in bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment or with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. 

Gently fold whipped cream into pudding, start with just a portion, about a third, then continue folding in whipped cream by thirds.  Gently fold in apples and Snickers.  Transfer to serving bowl and top with remaining Snickers.  Store in fridge until ready to serve.   

Best if assembled day of serving. 

Jenny's Notes:

  1. This can be made with any candy you like, Rolo, Milky Way, Payday, Twix, etc.  I personally do half and half of Snickers and Reese's.  And play with the ratio of apples to candy! 
  2. If using a candy with caramel, freeze to make chopping easier. 
  3. You can also add chopped peanuts if you want an extra crunch!
  4. I usually make this for large family gatherings and double the recipe for 12 or more people.

Adapted from Taste of Home