Hot cross buns

Nothing says Easter like hot cross buns, especially when they’re home made. This recipe comes from Jennifer L.’s book, in North Branch , MN, although I’ve made a few tiny tweaks.

Hot cross buns

Ingredients

4-4 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Dash ground cloves
2 eggs plus 1 yolk
3/4 c. milk
1/2 c. butter
1/3 c. granulated sugar

3/4 cup currents
(1/4 cup candied orange zest and 1/4 cup candied ginger, cut into small cubes)
1 egg white
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp milk (or more if needed)

Preparation instructions

1. In a large mixing bowl combine 2 c. flour, yeast, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. In a pan heat and stir milk, butter, sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt until warm (120°-130°) and butter almost melts.
Add milk mixture to dry mixture. Add eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed 20 sec. scraping bowl. Beat on high 3 minutes. Stir in currants and orange peel and ginger (if desired), and as much remaining flour as you can.
2. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough (3 to 5 minutes total). Shape into a ball. Place in a greased bowl, turning once. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double (about 1-1 1/2 hrs).
3. Punch dough down. Turn onto floured surface. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Divide dough into 20 portions. Shape portiions into smooth balls. Place balls 1-1/2 inches apart on greased baking sheet. Cover; let rise till nearly double. (45-60 minutes)
4. Using a sharp knife, make a crisscross slash across top of each bun. In small bowl combine beaten egg white and 1 tbsp water. Brush mixture of egg white and water over rolls. Bake in a 375° oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly. For icing, in a mixing bowl combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk or juice. Stir in additional milk or juice, 1 tsp at a time, until icing is of drizzling consistecy. Drizzle icing into slashes atop each bun. Serve warm.

Submitted by: Jennifer L

Mom’s Apple Crisp from Olivetoeat.com

Here’s a perfect fall desert, suitable for a simple family meal, or a festive holiday feast. It comes from our friends over at Olivetoeat.com, a great place for real recipes, and resources in Southern Ontario.
DSCF0038

Ingredients

Filling:
5 cups cored, peeled, and very thinly sliced apples (about 6 to 8 apples, ask your farmer which available apples are best for apple crisp)
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
Dash of grated nutmeg

Topping:
½ cup packed light brown sugar
¾ cup all-purpose flour (measured by spooning in, then leveling off with a knife)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (preferably Vietnamese cinnamon)
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

Preparation Instructions

Place oven rack in middle of oven; preheat oven to 375°F.
In a large bowl, toss the apples with ¾ cup brown sugar and dash of nutmeg until evenly coated. Pour filling into a 9” square baking dish and level gently with a spatula.
Add all topping ingredients (except butter) to a medium bowl; stir to combine evenly. Add butter to bowl; blend with your fingertips or a pastry blender to break down the butter into the flour until the mixture becomes crumbly, resembling coarse breadcrumbs without any large chunks of butter. Sprinkle topping mixture evenly over apples.
Bake until apples are tender and topping is browned, about 35 minutes. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Spoon into pretty cups and serve warm with vanilla ice cream or cold with whipped cream.

I have my Mom’s handwritten copy of this recipe. She called it Apple Crisp – Dad’s Favourite and included a little story about the recipe’s origin – it was submitted to St. Andrews United Church in Chatham, by the mother of my aunt’s boyfriend in grade 4 in 1942.
This is an easy – and I think more delicious – way to enjoy warm apple pie without the fuss of the crust. It is packed with tart apples and brown sugar and has a crumbly, cinnamon-scented streusel topping. The butter, spices, apple juices, and brown sugar meld together in a delicious mélange that caramelizes around the edges. It smells so wonderful cooking. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream – or perhaps Belly Ice Cream’s Caramel and Sea Salt ice cream.

Sage & Onion bread stuffing from OlivetoEat.com

This recipe comes from our friends over at Olivetoeat.com. It’s a great place to find tried and true recipes, and with Thanksgiving fast approaching, this one just makes sense to share!!

Ingredients

4 cups dry bread cubes – “stuffing croutons” that grocery stores bring in for the holidays
3 tablespoons (or more) finely chopped yellow onion
1 teaspoon (or more) salt
¼ teaspoon (or more) freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon (or more) poultry seasoning
¼ teaspoon (or more) ground sage
1/3 cup (or more) melted butter
Hot chicken broth or water, just enough to moisten the bread

Preparation Instructions

Combine bread, onion, and seasonings in a large bowl; add butter and toss. Slowly add hot broth, bit by bit, until bread is just moistened. Taste and if necessary, add more onion, broth, butter, or seasonings, until seasoned to your taste. Toss gently to mix thoroughly.
Place stuffing mixture in an ovenproof casserole; cover and chill until ready to bake.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring stuffing casserole to room temperature before placing in preheated oven. Bake, covered, until hot throughout and flavours have melded together – about 30 to 45 minutes. Serve warm.

This recipe is from my Mom’s Better Homes & Gardens cookbook that she received as a wedding gift back in 1954. She made it every Thanksgiving and Christmas. The key to this simple, classic stuffing is to season it to your taste – but make sure you use lots of butter and sage. We always add more of each ingredient than the recipe calls for but never measure – so start out with the recipe, then slowly add more, tasting as you go along, until it tastes just right.

Since the recipe only serves 4 to 6 people, you will likely need to multiply the recipe for a larger feast. If you are stuffing your turkey, calculate 1 cup of stuffing for 1 pound of uncooked turkey; don’t stuff your turkey until you are ready to put it in the oven; promptly remove any leftover stuffing from the cooked carcass and store separately in the refrigerator. I have heard a lot of talk lately about cooking your turkey unstuffed and cooking the stuffing in a separate baking dish. By the time you get the stuffing in the turkey’s cavity heated to a safe internal temperature of 165°F, you dry out the poor bird. Makes sense to me, so my recipe instructs you to cook it in a separate casserole while the turkey rests.

Oreo cookie balls

from Mandy D.’s book, Colton, SD
Try this three ingredient treat this Halloween! Decorated with a Jelly bean, they make perfect mini pumpkins!
halloween pops_edited-1

Ingredients

1 (20 oz.) pkg. Oreos
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese
12 oz. of chocolate coating

Preparation instructions

Place cookies in food processor; cover and process until finely crushed. In small bowl, beat cream cheese and crushed cookies until blended. Roll into 3/4 inch balls. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Dip into melted chocolate. Drizzle with white chocolate if desired.

Submitted by: Kim D

Virginie’s note: I used Orange Candy melts. Before they were completely dry, I used a toothpick to draw the lines of the pumpkin.

 

Pumpkin Bread – Heritage cooks

from Tynetta G.’s book, Imperial, MO
Pumpkin loaf

Ingredients

1 cup pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 cup pecans

Preparation Instructions

Mix all ingredients together and bake in a bread pan at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Heritage note: I tried this recipe with roasted pumpkin seeds and chocolate chips as well- delicious! I lessened the baking soda to 3/4 tsp and salt to 1/2 tsp.
Thanks Tynetta for this great recipe!

Date filled cookies

from Jennifer L.’s book, North Branch , MN

Ingredients

1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. shortening
2/3 c. sour cream
1 tsp soda
2 1/2 c. oatmeal
3 c. flour
1 tsp vanilla

Preparation instructions

Cream together sugars, shortening, sour cream, and vanilla. Then mix in soda, oatmeal and 2 cups flour.
The other cup of flour will be used for rolling out and cutting.
Roll out dough on pastry cloth or “tupperware” sheet. Use cookie cutters of your choice.
Bake @ 350° for 5-8 minutes or until lightly browned.

Date filling:
Microwave ingredients on high for 3 minutes, stir , then microwave on high for 3 more minutes. Allow to cool a bit, then spread on cookies and sandwich.

Submitted by: Jennifer L

Carol’s brownies

from Jennifer L.’s book, North Branch , MN

Ingredients

2 c. sugar
1 c. butter
4 eggs
4 rounded tbsp cocoa
6 tbsp hot water
1 c. flour

Preparation instructions

Cream together sugar and butter. Add egg yolks and mix. Beat egg whites and set aside.
Mix rounded tbsp cocoa with hot water (make a thick “gravy”), add this to the above butter/sugar mixture and mix.
Blend in 1 c. flour.
Stir in beaten egg whites.
Bake in greased 9X12 pan for 30 minutes at 350°.

Frosting:
Cook (on stove top) sugar, whipping cream, milk and chocolate square. Cook to a “firm ball” stage, add butter.
Cool in ice cold water, stir until cooled and remove from water. Continue to stir until frosting holds peaks.
Frost brownies.

Submitted by: Jennifer L

Spritz cookies

from Jennifer L.’s book, North Branch , MN

Ingredients

1 lb butter
2 c. sifted powdered sugar
2 egg yolks
3 tbsp cream
4 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp almond extract

Preparation instructions

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks one at a time, creaming well after each addition. Add cream and flavoring. Lastly add flour and mix well. Put through a cookie press on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in 350° oven until done.

Submitted by: Jennifer L

Peanut brittle

from Jennifer L.’s book, North Branch , MN

Ingredients

1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1/2 c. water

Preparation instructions

In a 4-qt saucepan, mix sugar, corn syrup, and water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cover pan for 1 minute to wash down sides of the pan. Remove lid and cook rapidly to soft-crack stage~270° F. Add peanuts and continue cooking, stirring constantly to the hard-crack stage~310° F.-about 5 min. or until candy is golden brown. Add butter, vanilla, and soda. As you stir, candy will foam up. Pour into buttered pan and rub spatula across the top to break bubbles. When cold, break into pieces. Store tightly covered.

Submitted by: Jennifer L

Easy vanilla ice cream

from Jennifer L.’s book, North Branch , MN

Ingredients

2c. light cream
1c. sugar
4 tsp vanilla
2c. Whipping cream

Preparation instructions

In a large mixing bowl stir together light cream, sugar, vanilla, and 1/8 tsp salt till sugar dissolves. Stir in whipping cream. Turn into a 8x8x2 inch pan. Cover; freeze till partially frozen. Break mixture into chunks. Place in a chilled large mixer bowl. Beat with electric mixer 1 to 2 minutes or till smooth. Return mixture to cold pan. Freeze till firm.

Submitted by: Jennifer L

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