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special treats

"Special" Ingredient Fudge!

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"Special" Ingredient Fudge!

Every year for the holidays, Tony and I receive a package of the most delicious chocolate fudge from my mother-in-law! I thought, “what a wonderful gift!” I didn’t really know how to make fudge, but recently, we’ve stumbled upon a recipe with a special ingredient that we’re reluctant to divulge!  We’ve of course modified and put our Will Bake 4 Food twist! Here’s How:

Ingredients:

DRY:

32 0z. Confectioner’s sugar

½ C baking cocoa

WET:

1 C butter (2 sticks)

8 oz. Velveeta cheese.

1 t Pure vanilla extract

*2 T brewed coffee

*Topping:

½ C chopped pecans or walnuts

*optional

Other stuff:

9” X 13” pan

Wax paper (or parchment paper)

Non-stick cooking spray

Large, wide-mouthed bowl

Heavy bottomed saucepot

Sharp kitchen knife/pizza cutter

Offset spatula or large spoon

Instructions:

Brew a cup of coffee (I use a single Keurig cup; instant coffee could be an option.).

Line the 9X13 in. pan with wax paper, cutting corners to allow a smooth inside. Leave enough of the paper above edges of pan to be able to grasp. Spray/oil lightly with non-stick cooking spray/vegetable oil and then gently spread around with a paper towel. Set aside.

Sift both the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa into a large bowl and whisk to evenly incorporate. Set aside.

Cube butter and cheese into small pieces and put into your heavy bottomed pot over low heat to melt, stirring constantly as to not let burn.

Pull cheese mixture from heat and add in vanilla and coffee, stir until combined thoroughly.

Pour over sugar/cocoa mixture and stir until combined; it will be pretty thick. Once no traces of sugar are left, spread mixture into the wax paper lined pan. Spread into an even layer with an offset spatula/large spoon, smoothing out the top as much as possible. Let set for c. 2 hours.

Pull out “sling” of wax paper, peel back edges and slice with a sharp knife into ¾ in. squares. Store in a container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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Candied Lemons

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Candied Lemons

I know this is a “baking” blog, but sometimes, we have to “no bake” to get a great result ;) I came across a lemon pound cake recipe and wanted to work on the garnish a bit. I stumbled across something that I’ve never seen in stores in the Midwest, BUT there are in “citrus” areas. So, with a little research, I was able to figure out how to “candy” some lemons! It’s not super hard, but it does take a little time. . . Here’s How:

 

Indredients:

Blanching Liquid:

3 C water

1 C Ice

1 C of water

 

Wet:

2 C Sugar

2 C Water

2 Lemons (I used smaller ones and that seemed to help with “breaking” the pulp)

 

Toping:

¼ C Granulated sugar

 

Other Stuff:

Medium sized Heavy-bottomed pot

Vegetable mandolin set to the thinnest setting

Paring knife

Slotted spoon

Tongs

Bowl for ice water

Large high sided skillet

Parchment paper

Cooling rack

 

Instructions:

Start 3 Cups of water to boil. Cut the ends off of lemons to obtain a flat surface and run each lemon across mandolin set on the thinnest setting (1/8 inch).  There will be seeds that make it through. I use a paring knife to make sure that my lemon slices are as free of seeds as possible. Set up the ice water as soon as the water in the pot comes to a boil.

Blanch the slices by placing them in the boiling water with a slotted spoon. Once water achieves a boil once again, let them boil for about 30 seconds and immediately remove and put them in the ice water.  Repeat this process 2 more times. Why? Well, once you candy the lemons, the pith is trapped in the sugar syrup, but the blanching will take a bit of the bitterness away from the pith.

After the last blanch icing, start to prepare the simple syrup by placing the sugar and water in the large pan over medium heat stirring just until sugar is dissolved. Turn the heat to just a simmer (Low-Medium Low).  My tell was if there was steam and “tiny bubbles” (reminds me of a song ;)) In one layer, place your lemon slices in the sugar syrup as much in a single layer as possible (some will slide on top of others, it’s okay). These will need to simmer for about 75-90 minutes until they are “transparent” in color: the pith will be not quite but almost see-through instead of opaque.  I set my timer and turn each slice over every 15 minutes during this time with tongs. Be very careful to keep an eye on the sugar syrup, if it starts to boil, it will caramelize and that turns bitter REALLY fast.

Meanwhile, set up a piece of parchment paper on a cooling rack. Once your slices are complete, remove from syrup and place in one layer on the parchment paper. Let them cool for about 30 minutes, and then sprinkle with half of the granulated sugar, and then flip and use the other half on the other side. Save your simple syrup into a jar to let cool and then refrigerate up to 2 weeks. It’s Really GREAT in tea!

Let these sit out overnight to absorb the granulated sugar and then you they should be “dry” enough to put in a container to store. They will remain pliable, and they are DELICIOUS! 

 Single Layer in simple syrup

Single Layer in simple syrup

 Post candying before sprinkled in sugar. 

Post candying before sprinkled in sugar. 

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Homemade Marshmallows!

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Homemade Marshmallows!

Hello Everybody! Here's my tutorial on how to make Alton Brown's Homemade Marshmallows with a Will Bake 4 Food twist ;)

 

Ingredients:
Dry:
3 packages of unflavored Gelatin (3 oz.)
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 t of kosher/sea salt (just want bigger granules)
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
(you can skip the cornstarch and have 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar)

Wet:
1/2 cup cold water (for gelatin)
1/2 cup water (for sugar mixture)
1 cup light corn syrup
1 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 t of other flavoring (I used a strawberry emulsion)

Other tools/supplies:
Kitchen Aid stand Mixer/ whisk attachment
Candy thermometer
Cooking spray sans flower (Baker's Joy tends to leave flavor)
Pot (for bringing sugar to boil)
Spatula
9/13" pan
pizza/pastry cutter

Directions:
Place your stainless steel bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer while you prep (I'm slow, so about 20 minutes)
Once cold and water is chilled, put Gelatin in mixer with cold water to "bloom".
Head to the stove.
Put your sugar, salt, water, and corn syrup in the pot and put on medium-high heat for 4 minutes covered.
After uncovered, place candy thermometer in the mixture and bring to a "soft ball" boil (240degF). About 8-10 more minutes.
Take mixture off heat and turn the Stand mixer on "stir". Slowly drizzle mixture in the side of the bowl.
Once all of the sugar mixture is in the bowl, gradually turn the speed to 10. Steam will come out, it's okay. . .
Let spin for c. 12 minutes,

While you're "fluffing" the marshmallow, prep your pan:
Spray the 9/13 with cooking spray and then coat with the confectioner's sugar. (set aside).

After 12 minutes, Reduce speed on mixer to "stir"/off and incorporate the vanilla. Bring back up to medium high to let incorporate then repeat this process for extra flavoring (extra flavoring optional).
If you wanted to color your mixture, now would be the time to incorporate that as well.
Let mix for about another minute.

THIS is STICKY!
Spray your spatula with the cooking spray and scrape the mixture out of the whisk and from the sides of the bowls.
"Scoop" mixture into your prepared pan with spatula.
To get a really even layer, go ahead and sprinkle confectioner's sugar on top and press out into the corners of the pan with your hand.

The HARD part: let sit for 4-6 hours (advice, do this before bed and have marshmallows for breakfast!)

Once this agonizing time has passed, loosen up the marshmallow from the sides of the pan with a butter knife and turn out onto a confectioner sugared service.. . .
Coat a pizza cutter with Confectioner's sugar and cut into 1X1X1 cubes.
Coat the un-powdered sides of the marshmallows with confectioner's sugar and VOILA!

IF they last that long, store in an airtight container for about 3 weeks.

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The Food Hussy's Peach Cobbler!

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The Food Hussy's Peach Cobbler!

Hello Everybody! This is my tutorial on how to make @foodhussy 's number one recipe on Thefoodhussy.com. It's her mom's Peach Cobbler! Here's the link: http://www.thefoodhussy.com/2011/02/recipe-peach-cobbler.html

Here's the recipe:
Fruit:
4 Cups of Peaches, Frozen or Fresh (peeled, pitted and sliced)

Wet:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup of sugar (I said 1 cup in the vid)
1/2 cup of milk

Dry:
1 cup of flour
1/8 t of salt
1 t of baking POWDER

Topping/sugar glaze:
1/2 cup sugar (I spiced it up with 1/4 granulated and 1/4 dark brown)
1/4 cup of BOILING water

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Other equipment:
Spatula
whisk
Handheld or stand mixer
8X8X2 glass Pyrex baking dish
Vegetable peeler
Melon baller
Pot for boiling water
Heat resistant measuring cups

Instructions:
While butter is softening, Preheat oven to 375deg F and prep the fruit. If you're using frozen fruit, make sure it gets to thaw at this point. . .
Put c. 1/2 cup of water in a pot to boil. (if you want to make this happen in the microwave later, that's also possible :))
Mix Dry ingredients with a fork or whisk and set aside
Cream butter and sugar together
Add milk and mix.
Incorporate dry ingredients a little at a time
mix thoroughly until you have a smooth mixture.
Put fruit in your glass dish and cover with batter by smoothing with a spatula.
Sprinkle the cup of sugar over top and pour the boiling water all over the sugar mixture.
Bake for 45 minutes and cool completely before consumption (about 2 hours).
Store in fridge covered in aluminum foil for up to 5 days (it'll be eaten before then!)
ENJOY!!

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