Tag Archives: flour

Slightly Spicy Cheese Straws – Mississippi

Winter in Chicagoland lasted approximately 21 eons this year and then summer weather began after about 12 minutes of spring. We have officially launched into patio cocktail season. And you need

Slighty Spicy Cheese Straws - Mississippisome nibbles to go with drinks, right? How about acting like a genteel Southerner and making these cheese straws? Add some olives and a few nuts and no one will cry if dinner is a little late.

We had never made these before and had the impression they were difficult. Au contraire, nothing could be easier. The dough comes together beautifully in the food processor and then you shape ‘em and bake ‘em. Don’t worry if you don’t have a cookie press, we broke ours in the course of making these and resorted to rolling them by hand which was fun and harkened back to our days playing with Play-Doh (this dough tasted a lot better though).

Can’t pass up an author’s house? Neither can we. Rowan Oak, in Oxford was home to William Faulkner. Purchased by the writer in 1930, he lived in this Greek revival with his family until his death in 1962.

 

Slightly Spicy Cheese Straws

  • Servings: 6-10
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 8 oz. grated yellow sharp Cheddar, room temperature
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature

Instructions

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, pepper and paprika together. Add cheese and butter and process until a dough comes together. Taste and season with salt if necessary (you may not need any if your cheese and butter are quite salty). Place dough in a cookie press with the star attachment. Place long rows of dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Alternatively, dough may be rolled by hand into ropes, or shaped into a cylinder and sliced into buttons. Bake at 375 for about 13 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown. Dough or baked straws may be frozen.

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Chocolate Bourbon Bundt Cake with Bourbon Pecan Glaze – Kentucky

Hey racing fans, do you have your fancy hat and cute dress ready? It’s Derby Week in Louisville. Quintessential foods include mint juleps (see our tip for pumping up the mint flavor), and Hot Browns

Chocolate Bourbon Bundt Cake with Bourbon Pecan Glaze - Kentuckyhot turkey club sandwiches with bacon and Mornay sauce). For dessert, how about a slice of Chocolate Bourbon Bundt cake? Moist, delicious and fragrant with bourbon, this cake will be the hit of your Derby watch party.

If you have time for other activities in Louisville, check out the Ali Center, dedicated to the life, principles, and legacy of the champion boxer, Muhammed Ali.

Chocolate Bourbon Bundt Cake with Bourbon Pecan Glaze - Kentucky

 

Chocolate Bourbon Bundt Cake with Bourbon Pecan Glaze

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 2 sticks butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1-3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans

 Instructions

In microwave or double boiler, heat unsweetened chocolate until melted and smooth. Set aside until cool. In a large heat proof cup, add boiling water. Add cocoa powder and salt, whisk until dissolved. Add bourbon. Set aside until cool.

In the bowl of stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed, about 2 minutes, or until it is light and fluffy. Add sugar and beat one minute. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and then the cooled, melted chocolate. Beat until incorporated.

In a clean bowl, add flour and baking soda. With the mixer on low, add a third of the flour mixture, then a third of the bourbon/cocoa mixture, stopping to scrape down sides of the bowl as needed. Repeat 2 more times with a third of the flour mixture, then a third of the bourbon/cocoa mixture.

Grease a bundt pan, then flour the inside with cocoa powder. Pour batter into the pan, then smooth the surface. Bake in 325 degree oven for about 1 hour, checking at the 45 minute mark for doneness.

When cake is cool, invert onto a plate. To make glaze, combine confectioners’ sugar with bourbon (can thin with a bit of milk if the mixture is too stiff). Drizzle on cake, then top with toasted pecans.

Homemade Oatmeal Sandwiches – Tennessee

One of the country’s most iconic brands is Little Debbie snacks and one of its best- selling varieties is the Oatmeal Cream Pie. Founder O.D. McKee started his operation selling snack cakes out of the back

Oatmeal Sandwich cookie

 

of his car during the Depression. They later moved the operation into a bakery, but the business didn’t really take off until 1960 when they began selling family packs with the image of granddaughter Debbie on the box. Based in Collegedale, Tennessee, this family-run company has sold 157 billion snack cakes since that time.

This recipe is a super close recreation of their most famous variety of snack cake. There are quite a few ingredients but the cookies come together fairly quickly. Watch your baking time as you want the cookie to remain soft rather than crunchy.

Believe it or not, Nashville is home to a full-sized replica of Athens’ Parthenon. Originally built for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exhibition, the building now serves as Nashville’s art museum. Don’t miss 42-foot sculpture of Greek goddess Athena inside.

 

Homemade Oatmeal Sandwiches

  • Servings: 15 sandwiches
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats, whizzed in food processor
  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Marshmallow cream (for filling)

Instructions

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients (oats through cinnamon). Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, shortening, sugar and molasses until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and then vanilla. Gradually add in dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat. Place about 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie (for 30 cookies), leaving 2-3 inches of space between cookies to allow for spreading. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes (do not over bake). Let sit for 2-3 minutes before removing to a wire rack to completely cool.

To assemble into sandwiches, spread approximately 2 tablespoons marshmallow cream on one cookie. Place another cookie on top.

Sopapillas – Texas

Texas is fortunate to have not one, but two official state pastries, strudel and sopapillas. While you may indulge in sopapillas at your favorite Mexican joint, they are surprisingly easy to make at home.

Sopapillas - TexasThe dough comes together easily and you don’t even need an electric mixer. We opted for a cinnamon sugar dusting for our sopapillas, but you can leave yours unadorned or top them with honey or chocolate sauce.

On the very western edge of Texas sits Big Bend National Park. A spectacular spot for bird watching, visitors can also hike, bike, fish, take river trips or stargaze.

Sopapillas

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • Canola oil (for frying)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add shortening and water. Knead dough with your hands until combined, making sure not to overmix dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 1 hour or until well chilled.

Remove dough and place on clean work surface. Divide in half. Roll out one dough half into a circle, about 1/4 inch thick. With a pizza cutter, cut circle into 8 equal pieces. Repeat with remaining dough half.

Heat canola oil in a large, heavy pot until 375 degrees. While oil is heating, combine sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Working in batches, fry sopapillas, about 2 minutes on each side or until light brown. Remove with spider or slotted spoon. Place in sugar/cinnamon mixture and toss on both sides until sopapilla is well coated. Let cool slightly before serving.

Road Trip to Racine for Kringle – Wisconsin

StateEats took a road trip this past week up to Racine, Wisconsin, self-proclaimed Kringle Capital of the World. What is kringle, you ask? Wisconsin’s state pastry (so designated in 2013) is oval shaped,

butter-layered, infused with various fillings and iced on top.

Originally made in Denmark and often served during the holidays,  kringle is the town’s most famous product. Racine (sometimes called Little Copenhagen) is host to four separate bakeries that churn out this wonderful concoction all year round. We sadly didn’t have time to visit all four, so we focused on the biggest operation, O&H Danish Bakery.

O&H Danish Bakery, Racine WI

Christian Olesen began O&H in 1949. Now in its fourth generation of bakers, O&H has five locations. It takes three days to make one

O&H Danish Bakery, Racine, WI

 

O&H Danish Bakery, Racine WI
This is the ancient symbol of the bakers’ guild in Denmark, it is often found on exterior bakery signs in Denmark.

kringle, due to the fact that the dough must rest. Each O&H kringle is comprised of 36 layers.

And the flavors? Just take your pick because it is almost overwhelming with 30-something “everyday” flavors like pecan, blueberry, and cream cheese, as well as seasonal flavors like pumpkin caramel, cranberry, or our choice, a Very Danish Christmas Kringle (pictured below) which is cherry/almond. Delish!Kringle

O&H Kringle, Racine, WI

Kringle is very time consuming and difficult to make. We know because we tried and failed miserably, so we are not posting a recipe. But the good news is that you can order kringle from here and they will ship it right to your house. Enjoy and happy holidays!

Besides picking up kringle, if you visit Racine, check out the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed SC Johnson Headquarters, which is free and open to the public.

The Best Cornbread – Oklahoma

Oklahoma had to be special and designate a state meal (the only other one in the country is the state meal of North Louisiana). It consists of cornbread, fried okra, barbeque pork, squash, biscuits, sausage and gravy, black eyed peas, grits, corn, strawberries, chicken fried steak, and pecan pie.

Cornbread - Oklahoma

We’ll eventually get around to cooking some of these dishes but we went out of our way to try to find THE BEST cornbread recipe. We’ve been using the cornbread recipe off the back of the cornmeal canister for years with no complaints. But then we tried a few different recipes. No offense back-of-the-canister recipe, but this, recipe, whoa! The cornbread that emerged from the oven was sweet, dense, and moist. One stick of butter, two eggs and buttermilk will give you the best dang cornbread you’ve ever had.

For a completely different experience, visit Oklahoma City’s Museum of Osteology.   With over 300 skeletons on display, this privately held collection is one of the largest in the world.

Best Cornbread

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick butter, melted in microwave
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Instructions

In a medium sized bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, salt and baking soda). Set aside. In a separate, larger bowl combine melted butter, sugar and honey. Add eggs and stir to combine, then add buttermilk. Gradually add dry ingredients until just incorporated into wet ingredients. Do not over-stir. Pour batter into greased 8×8 pan. Smooth top. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes and top is golden brown or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

UP Pasties – Michigan

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is known for its pasties (pronounced pass-tee) which are meat pies, usually filled with potatoes, onions and carrots and sometimes rutabaga. The pasty

UP Pasties - Michigan

was brought to the UP by the Cornish who settled there to be copper miners. Much like it’s cousin, the pepperoni roll of West Virginia, the pasty was a quick, easy and filling meal that miners could pack for lunch. Bonus: it didn’t have to be heated to be delicious.

We loved this recipe, slighted adapted from one sent to us by reader Russell Primm. UP PastiesThe dough came together easily and the filling was delicious. Thanks Russ!

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Munising hugs the shore of Lake Superior. With its dramatic sandstone cliffs and iconic sandstone feature called Miners Castle, this beautiful area offers all kinds of outdoor pursuits including hiking, fishing, swimming, and kayaking.

UP Pasties

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For dough:

  • 4 cups flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup ice water

For filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 cups onions, diced
  • 1 cup grated rutabaga
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups ground beef
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Instructions

For dough:

In a medium bowl, add flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the shortening and blend with a pastry blender. Add the ice water, a bit at a time until the dough comes together. Divide dough into 6 equal disks. Place between sheets of waxed paper. Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

For filling and finishing pasties:

In the meantime, combine potatoes, onion, rutabaga and carrots in a very large bowl. Add ground beef. Stir until well combined.

Roll out each pasty dough into a 7- or 8-inch circle. Add a heaping cup of filling. Sprinkle filling with salt and pepper and a teaspoon of butter. Fold the dough over, forming a half moon. Roll the edges closed, slightly crimping with fingers, making sure the dough is sealed. Repeat with remaining dough disks. Place pasties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut two small slits in each pasty to vent steam. Bake at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake 20-30 more or until pasties are golden brown.

Huckleberry Handpies – Montana

We’ve just returned from a glorious week in Glacier National Park. This jewel in the national park system is one of the most beautiful places on earth. At every turn, you are met with a stunning vista  . . .

Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park
Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park

a gorgeous waterfall . . .

St. Mary’s Falls, Glacier National Park

. . . or a majestic mountain.

Mt. Oberlin (with Bird Woman Falls), Glacier National Park

And huckleberries. Mid-July to August is prime huck season. Stores and shops promote huckleberry flavored everything including ice cream, coffee, lemonade, chocolate and popcorn. They are a favorite of the black bear who roams these quarters and we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a bear by the side of the road, munching away on this delectable treat (we were safe in our car, thank goodness).

This handpie recipe is a real winner. It combines the taste of a full-on

Huckleberry Handpies- Montana

pie, with the ease of a handheld pastry. Don’t fret if you can’t find huckleberries — and you probably can’t unless you live in northwest Montana, they haven’t been successfully grown commercially — just use blueberries.

Going-to-the-Sun Road is a 50-mile road (in fact, one of the only roads) that takes you from one end of Glacier to the other. Open only in the summer and often maddingly jammed with traffic, this route offers breathtaking views and passes the highest point in the park, Logan Pass.

Huckleberry Handpies

  • Servings: 8 pies
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

For Pastry:

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup cold water

For Filling:

  • 2 cups fresh huckleberries or blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Salt, pinch

For Topping:

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Turbinado sugar 

Instructions

To make pastry: In the bowl of a food processor, add flour, sugar and salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Add butter. Pulse until mixture is a coarse meal. Add water and pulse until dough comes together. Wrap dough in plastic and place in refrigerator until chilled.

To make filling: In the meantime, make the filling. Place berries in a medium saucepan. Add cornstarch, sugar, salt and lemon juice. Heat on medium until mixture begins to simmer. Allow mixture to thicken, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add lemon zest. Set aside to cool (mixture can be made a day ahead of time).

To assemble handpies: Roll the chilled dough into a 12” X 12” square. Cut out 16 squares. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling on 8 of the squares. Place pastry on top and crimp edges with fork tines. Brush tops of handpies with beaten egg and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Place each handpie on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut two small slits in each pie to allow steam to vent. Bake in 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Blueberry Dutch Baby – New Jersey

Blueberries are the state fruit of New Jersey and have a long history in the state. The first commercial crop of blueberries was harvested in New Jersey in 1916, thanks to Elizabeth White, daughter of a

Blueberry Dutch Baby - New Jersey

cranberry farmer, and Frederick Coville, a botanist, who teamed up to cultivate the wild plant. In terms of nutrition, blueberries are a good source of fiber and vitamin C and are antioxidant powerhouses.

We have been making Dutch babies for years but just recently found a recipe for a blueberry dutch baby. This oven baked pancake is easy to make will delight the breakfast lovers in your life. You can whisk the batter by hand but a blender does a better job of getting rid of any lumps. Also note that the addition of blueberries prevents the dutch baby from puffing up as much as it normally does sans fruit.

Thomas Edison National Historic Park in West Orange includes both his lab and residence, the Glenmont and are well worth the visit to glean a bit of knowledge of this creative genius.

Blueberry Dutch Baby

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 cup blueberries
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)
  • Maple syrup (optional)

Instructions

 In a blender or food processor bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla extract, flour, and cinnamon. Blend quickly until lump free, 30-45 seconds. Let batter sit for 20-30 minutes on counter or until room temperature.

In the meantime, heat oven to 400. Using cast iron skillet or other oven-safe pan, add 2 tablespoons butter. Put pan in oven to melt butter. Remove pan from oven and swirl butter until it completely covers bottom of pan. Add blueberries. Slowly add batter so that it is evenly spread over the bottom of pan. Return pan to oven and cook for approximately 20 minutes (do not open oven during baking) or until it is puffed and edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.

Czech Kolaches – South Dakota

We’ve talked before about how kuchen is South Dakota’s official state dessert, but you might not be aware the close runner-up were kolaches (koh-LAH-chees). This tasty pastry was brought to the

Czeck Kolaches - South Dakota

Mount Rushmore State from immigrating Czechs around the middle of the 19th century to the southern part of the state. In fact, tiny Tabor (population 413), holds Czech Days every year and kolaches are a huge draw.

Kolaches can be made with a variety of fillings including cream cheese, poppy seed, prune and even savory elements like sausage and cabbage. We tried our hand at apricot and cherry as we thought those were the real crowd pleasers and we were not disappointed. Great with a cup of coffee or tea, we found ourselves sneaking just one more . . . and then another.

If spelunking is your thing, check out Wind Cave National Park, located in the southern part of the Black Hills National Forest. With over 143 miles of winding passageways under only 1.2 square mile of surface area, and housing a unique cave formation known as boxwork, this cave system is not to be missed.

Czech Kolaches

  • Servings: 24 pieces
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For Pastry:

  • 1¼ cup warm milk, divided
  • 1 package yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 ¼ cups all purpose flour, divided
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

For Apricot Filling (enough for half of recipe):

  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum

For Cherry Filling (enough for half of recipe):

  • ¾ cup cherry juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups frozen cherries, thawed

Instructions

To make pastry: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine ¼ cup milk, sugar, yeast and ¼ cup flour. Let stand for 15 minutes or until mixture becomes frothy. Add remaining flour and milk, then butter, egg and lemon zest. Mix with a dough hook on low speed until a smooth dough is formed, about 4 minutes. Cover with a tea towel and let rise, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

To make fillings: While you are waiting for the pastry to rise, make the fillings. For the apricot, in a small sauce pan, add orange juice and dried apricots. Let simmer for 30 minutes or until apricots are very soft. Remove from heat and add sugar. Let cool. Add to bowl of food processor, along with rum and process until well combined. Transfer to a clean bowl and put in fridge to allow to chill.

For the cherry filling, in a small saucepan add cherry juice, sugar and cornstarch. Cook over medium heat until mixture is thick and bubbling. Remove from heat. Add cherries. Transfer to a clean bowl and put in fridge to allow to chill.

To assemble kolaches: Punch down dough. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces. Shape with hands into flattened balls. Place dough on baking sheets lined with parchment paper approximately 1 inch apart. Cover with tea towels and let rise until puffed, about 35-45 minutes. With your fingers, make a deep indentation in the center of the ball leaving a generous lip so the filling does not ooze out. Drop mounded tablespoons of filling in the center of each pastry. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.