Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Some fall flavors and fantasies

Some fall flavors and fantasies
Did you know you can pour, powder and paste on your vanilla this fall?
Nielsen-Massey  has amazing options for icing, beverages and main dishes. Start with a sprinkle in your morning coffee. If you like to play with your food, explore all their options. Their fine powder must be inhaled first every time you open the jar. Then it goes in all kinds of goodies. Here’s one:

Chewy Macadamia Nut Cookies

6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened

2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder

2 eggs

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

one half  teaspoon baking soda

one half teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Cream the butter, brown sugar and vanilla powder in a mixing bowl using an electric mixer on a medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, cream of tartar and cinnamon and mix well. Stir in the macadamia nuts. Chill for 2 hours. 

Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Coat an insulated cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. 

Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. 

Makes 3 dozen 

When preparing bakery items such as cookies, here's at tip to enhance the flavor intensity of your product: cream the vanilla into the butter or shortening and sugar first. This step encapsulates the vanilla and helps prevent flavor loss in low mass/low moisture/high heat cookies.

Menu tease
My mother passed me a menu card from a friend’s travels because she thought you Culinary Thrill Seekers would enjoy hearing about it. We don’t know the year or the place, but we would like to sit down to The Royal Marriage: black mushroom consomm√© accompanied with dumpling delicacies. Later there’s The Willow’s Melody: a delightful lotus seed pudding in strawberry sauce. 

Pumpkin update:
Krusteaz has a new Pumpkin Pie Bar mix that was ready in just a few minutes. The skill required to fashion this yummy crowd-pleaser was minimal and the payoff was huge. When warm, people were convinced there was chocolate in there. The flavor actually comes from a gingerbread crust. Amazingly, there was still some left when it had cooled properly and it was still a hit. My favorite was the crispy corners, so I paired with a soft-center lover.

Sandwich Mondays
Get on board. It’s a thing. Do you crave the convenience of lunch meat but shy away from preservatives? Hillshire Farm is making it pretty easy on us with the new Naturals line: Slow Roasted Turkey Breast, Honey Roasted Ham, Hardwood Smoked Turkey Breast and Black Forest Ham. What I got was quick meals of salads, wraps and omelets without artificial ingredients, preservatives, colors or added nitrates, They come in reusable plastic boxes that are easily stacked to keep your fridge orderly. That makes it a triple hit with me for taste, health and ease of use.

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