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Create an Edible Ghoul!

In Fun Foods, Holidays On October 14, 2020 0 Comments

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Prep time: 15 to 20 minutes
Decorates: 1 to 2 individual pastries

How about transforming a premade, individual cake, cookie  or donut into a Halloween ghoul? Have fun!

Ingredients (for 1 to 2 decorations):
3 cups powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons cold water
Cocoa Rice Crispies (for hair decoration)
One 4.25 oz. tube Dec A Cake Green Decorating Icing
One 4.25 oz. tube Dec A Cake Blue Decorating Icing
One .75 oz. Dec A Cake Black Writing Gel
One .75 oz. Dec A Cake Red Writing Gel

Directions:
1. In a 4-cup bowl, mix the powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon water.

2. If needed, add a little more water until a thick glaze has formed.

3. Place the pastry on a dinner plate covered with waxed paper.

4. Pour enough glaze over the pastry so that it’s surface is completely covered.

5. Immediately transfer dinner plate with glazed item to freezer.

6. Chill 5 minutes until almost firmly set.

7. Transfer the plate with pastry to a work surface & sprinkle the Cocoa Rice Crispies on the ghoul to create “hair”.

8. Fit the Dec A Cake Green Decorating Icing tube with a pointed tip.

9. Looking at photograph herein, be inspired to decorate the pastry by create outer green eye circles, eyebrows & nose.

10. Next, fit the Dec A Cake Blue Decorating Icing tube with a separate pointed tip.

11. Create inner blue pupils inside green outline for eyes.

12.  Draw black pupil in center of pupils in eyes.

13. Draw black line for the mouth.

14. Add red fangs to the mouth line.

15. Decorate a second pastry, if desired. Transfer decorated Halloween ghouls to a serving platter & devour them!
Text & Photograph ©2020 Nancy DeLucia Real

Valentine Biscotti & Kickback Strawberry Sunshine with CBD

In Cookies, Candies & Sweets, Desserts, Creams & Sauces, Holidays On February 4, 2020 0 Comments

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I need to relax these days – don’t you? Here’s a great biscotti dessert with a “kick”! Enjoy this on Valentine’s Day with anyone you love!

Prep time: 15 minutes (mixing dough & shaping biscotti logs)
Makes: 36 to 40 biscotti

Ingredients:
3-3/4 cups all-purpose, unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached, granulated sugar
69 drops red food color
1-1/2 cups white chocolate chips

Mixing the Dough:
1. Preheat double ovens to 350°F. You can also use one oven (baking directions will follow).

2. Line two 18X12-inch baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

3. In a 2-quart bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cloves & cinnamon; set aside.

4. In a 4-quart mixing bowl using a hand mixer (or in bowl of a stand mixer), blend together the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla extract and sugar until uniform.

5. With mixer going, add the red food color drops.

6. With mixer set on low speed, stir in the chocolate chips.

7. Set mixer on medium and gradually (a little at a time), stir in the flour until a dough forms.

8. When dough is uniform, turn it onto a lightly-floured surface (NOT MARBLE, GRANITE or OTHER STONE – IT WILL HALT THE “RISING” ACTION OF DOUGH).

Shape Biscotti Logs & Bake:

1. Lightly knead dough until it is smooth – do not overwork it.

2. When dough is smooth, divide it into four balls.

3. Roll each dough ball into a 15 X 2-inch log; place two logs on each baking sheet, spaced 3 inches apart.

4. Flatten logs slightly.

5. If using two ovens, place one sheet in each oven – racks must be centered in ovens; bake for 30 minutes.

6. Alternatively, if using one oven, place sheets on separate racks (top and bottom); bake for 15 minutes.

7. After 15 minutes, switch top and bottom sheets and bake for additional 15 minutes.

8. After 30 minutes baking time, transfer sheets with dough logs to a counter; cool for 6 minutes.

9. After 6 minutes, using a serrated knife, cut biscotti – 1/2 to 3/4-inch wide. DO NOT USE A “SAWING MOTION” AS BISCOTTI WILL CRUMBLE. INSTEAD, CUT “DOWN” INTO DOUGH.

10. Place each biscotto (Italian, singular) with cut side down on baking sheets.

11. Bake 5 minutes per side. Cool and serve.

TO STORE BISCOTTI: Place biscotti in double freezer bags and freeze up to two months. Place biscotti on a platter one hour prior to serving.
Text & Photograph ©2020 Nancy DeLucia Real

 

Christmas Tree Cupcakes

In Cakes & Cupcakes, Holidays On December 16, 2019 0 Comments

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Wanna have some fun with food sculpture, colors and textures? Round up kids of all ages and make these bright Christmas Tree Cupcakes!

Decorating time:  20 to 30 minutes
Bake time: 35 to 40 minutes
Makes: 20 to 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:
One 15.25-oz. Betty Crocker® cake mix (any flavor)
Two 12-cupcake size baking pans
24 cupcake baking paper cups  (optional)
One 7-oz. package Betty Crocker® Red Cookie Icing mix
One  .67-oz. tube Betty Crocker® Green Decorating gel
One .67-oz. tube Betty Crocker® Yellow Decorating gel or icing
One .67-oz. tube Betty Crocker® Blue Decorating gel or icing

NOTE: You can substitute yellow and blue gel or icing with colored nonpareil or other types of candies.

Directions:
1. Preheat oven according to cake mix package directions .

2. Prepare cake batter according to cake mix package directions.

3. Either grease and flour the cupcake sections of baking pan or line them with cupcake baking paper cups.

4. Pour and divide cake batter evenly among cupcake sections in baking pan..

4. Bake cupcakes per package directions.

5. To check doneness of cupcakes, insert a pointed knife in center of one cupcake – the knife should come out clean.

6. If batter clings to knife, bake cupcakes 3 to 4 minutes longer.

7. After 3 to 4 minutes, check doneness again.

8. Transfer baking pans with cupcakes to a cooling rack or counter; let cool to room temperature.

9. When cupcakes are completely cool, remove them from baking pans and set on a flat surface lined with parchment or waxed paper.

10. Using a cake decorating spatula, decorate cupcake tops with the red icing.

11. Next, using green gel tube, create abstract tree design with side-to-side, squiggly lines.

12. Finish decorating each cupcake “tree” with green and yellow dots from decorating icing tubes or sprinkle with decorating nonpareils or other candies.
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real

 

Matcha-Cranberry Biscotti

In Cookies, Candies & Sweets, Holidays On December 9, 2018 0 Comments

Hey, Everyone – following that “Matcha” craze? I thought it would be a great idea to combine some Matcha tea powder (green) and dried cranberries (red) for a holiday recipe. Here are some mean Matcha-Cranberry Biscotti. The best thing about making these is that you can make them now and freeze them until Christmas!

Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 25 – 30 minutes
Makes: 25 – 30 biscotti

Ingredients:
3-3/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons Matcha tea powder
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1-3/4 cup unbleached, granulated sugar (you can substitute regular granulated sugar)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (sunflower or safflower preferred)
3/4 cup slivered, roasted almonds

Prepare Dough & Shape Dough Logs:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Line two 18″ X 12″ baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

3. In a 1-quart bowl, combine the flour, Matcha tea powder, salt and baking powder; set aside.

4. In stand mixer fitted with a bowl, beat together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and oil on medium speed until well-blended. Alternatively, you can use a 3 to 4-quart mixing bowl with a hand mixer.

5. Gradually stir in the almonds and the flour mixture (a little bit at a time) until a smooth, uniform batter has formed.

6. Transfer the batter to a smooth, floured surface and gently knead. You should add enough flour so that the batter does not stick to the surface.

7. Divide the batter into 3 even balls; set aside.

8. Take one ball and gently roll it out on a lightly-floured surface until it measures about 13 to 15 inches long. Transfer the log onto the baking sheet (leave room for two more logs).

9. Repeat rolling and transferring the dough log onto baking sheet, leaving about 1 to 1-1/2 inches in between each log.

Bake the Dough Logs:
1. Place the baking sheet with dough logs on a rack fitted in center of oven.

2. Bake the logs for 25 to 30 minutes or until dough springs to the touch and feels firm.

3. When done, transfer baking sheet with logs onto a a counter top; cool 5 minutes.

Cut Biscotti & Bake:
1. After 5 minutes, using a serrated knife, on a diagonal slant, cut down 1/2-inch from edge of one log (DO NOT USE A “SAWING MOTION” OR LOG WILL CRUMBLE).

2. Continue cutting 1/2-inch thick biscotti from the baked log; repeat cutting biscotti from the two remaining logs.

3. Place biscotti – cut-side down- on baking sheet.

4. Return baking sheet to oven and bake 5 minutes.

5. After 5 minutes, transfer baking sheet with biscotti to countertop.

6. Turn the biscotti over and bake once more for 5 minutes.

7. When done, transfer the baking sheet with biscotti to countertop to cool.

8. Freeze biscotti in double freezer food bags up to 1 month.
Text & Photograph ©2018 Nancy DeLucia Real

 

 

Italian Roasted Potatoes & Yams

In Holidays, Sides, Vegetables On November 13, 2018 0 Comments

Here’s a Thanksgiving recipe my family and I have made for years. The potatoes and yams get the “Italian” from the rosemary, garlic and olive oil. You mix the ingredients together and the oven does the rest! Happy Turkey Day!

Prep time: 15 minutes for peeling & cutting
Prep time: 30-40 minutes for roasting
Serves: 8 to 10

Ingredients:
4 medium-large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled & placed in a bowl with cold water
4 medium-large yams, peeled & added to potatoes in bowl with cold water
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Two 3-inch sprigs fresh rosemary, removed from stem, chopped with shears & set aside in a small bowl
3 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Drain potatoes and yams; dry them with paper towels.

3. On a chopping board, cut potatoes and yams into 2-inch chunks; immediately transfer them to a large 16 x 10-inch Pyrex® baking dish or rectangular, disposable aluminum baking pan.

4. Add the olive oil, chopped rosemary leaves, garlic, salt & black pepper; toss together until all ingredients are uniform.

5. Place Pyrex® baking dish or aluminum baking pan with potatoes & yams on a rack set in center of oven.

6. Roast potatoes and yams, uncovered, for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, check doneness by tasting a potato (potatoes will take a few minutes longer to bake than the yams). If potato is still a little firm, roast for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

7. Serve immediately as a side to turkey, meat or seafood.

Text & Photograph ©2018 Nancy DeLucia Real