Monday, February 2, 2009

Holiday Baking Class

Cranberry Nut Bread
yield: Makes three small loaves (1.5 cup capacity)
or one regular size loaf.

* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
* 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
* 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
* 1 large egg
* 1 cup coarsely chopped cranberries
* 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

In a food processor or in a bowl with a pastry blender blend together the flour, the sugar, the baking powder, the salt, the baking soda, and the butter until the mixture resembles meal and transfer the mixture to a large bowl. In a small bowl whisk together the zest, the juice, and the egg, add the mixture to the flour mixture, and stir the batter until it is just combined. Stir in the cranberries and the walnuts and transfer the batter to well-buttered eight 1.5 cup mini loaf pans. Bake the breads in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 50 minutes to an hour or until a tester comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes and turn it out onto a rack.

Russian Tea Cakes


1/2 # soft butter
1/2 c. conf. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4c. flour
pinch salt
3/4 c. ground nuts

Cream butter & sugar, add vanilla, flour, salt & nuts. Mix. Shape into 1 " balls and bake @ 400 until bottoms are light brown and sides are pale yellow.
Toss in confectionary sugar, cool, toss again.

Traditional Peanut Brittle

2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup water
2 cups raw Spanish peanuts
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter
2 tsp. baking soda

Heat and stir sugar, syrup and water in a heavy 3-quart saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Add salt. Cook over medium heat to soft ball stage (234 degrees). Add peanuts at 250 degrees. Cook to hard crack stage (290 degrees) a deep caramel, stirring often. Remove from heat. Quickly, stir in butter and soda. Mix to a froth for a few minutes. Pour at once onto a lightly buttered 15-1/2x10-1/2x1-inch pans, spreading with spatula. Cool slightly and pull with forks to stretch thin. Break up when cold.
Yield: About 1-1/2 pounds of peanut brittle.

Nut Shortbread Cookies

2 ½ cups nuts chopped small
1 ¼ cup soft butter (unsalted)
¾ cup sugar
3 cups flour
1/3 cup cold water
½ tesp. Vanilla extract

In a mixer with the paddle attachment
cream the butter with the sugar
add the nuts and the vanilla and mix
add the sifted flour a ½ cup at a time.
And it the water and mix until smooth.
Package & chill at least a ½ hour
Roll out 1/3 inch thick and cut cookies with a cookie or star cutter
Place on parchment lined sheet pan
Bake at 350 until they just start to color (16 min)
Cool & sprinkle with confectionary sugar
Or drizzle chocolate over them.

Cranberry, Citrus & Carambola Conserve

Yields Six 12 oz. Ball Jars

24 oz. fresh cranberries (2 bags)
3 Ripe (Carambola)Star Fruit
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
2 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup orange juice

Pick through the cranberries to remove stems or bad berries. Combine the cranberries, lemon zest, orange zest and sugar in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Turn into a large pot and drizzle the orange juice over the cranberry mixture. Cook uncovered on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and a few berries have popped open, about 30 min. add the sliced carambola and cook 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat. Ladle mixture into sterilized Ball jars, cover, and cook in water for 10 minutes. Let cool at room temp. Make sure the lids have been sucked in. Label and wrap with ribbon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Chef Brisson-

I cannot wait to try your Cranberry Conserve. I'm reading about it in Cape Cod Life right now and it looks delicious.

Thank you for sharing!

~The Pioneer Valley Dining Diva