Sunday, February 23, 2014

Cookish: What's for breakfast?

Homemade Granola
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated

1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups almonds (I used roasted and salted because that was what I had)
1 cup coconut (optional)
2 cups dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)
1 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

Heat oven to 325. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper

Whisk together first 4 ingredients, then add oil. Fold in oats, almonds, and coconut.

Press oat mixture into baking sheet until compacted. Bake 20 minutes, rotate, and bake 20-25 more, or until lightly browned. It will not seem completely set when you take it out, but after cooling on a rack for an hour, you will be able to break into chunks of desired size. Mix in fruit and chocolate when completely cool.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Cookish: Something Sweet

My fiancé and I did a cooking class at the New Orleans School of Cooking ( fun! I thought I would share one of the recipes for you, since we actually do use it at home. Prior to this class, my fiancé had claimed he didn't like pralines. Turns out, he didn't know what they were! Now he knows they are delicious.

Pralines (makes up to 50, depending on size)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup milk
6 Tbs butter
1 1/2 cups of pecans, roasted
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients and bring to the "soft ball" stage (238-240 degrees--a candy thermometer helps!), stirring constantly. Remove from heat and continue to stir til the mixture thickens, becomes creamy and cloudy. You can actually hear the difference once the sugar starts to recrystallize and your spoon has to scrape through. Spoon onto buttered wax paper, foil, or parchment. Allow to cool and try not to eat them all yourself!