September 6, 2011

September Recipes!

Because we all like choices, you have two very different ideas for September: Fennel & Parmesan Shortbread or go crazy with Apples! 

Shortbread is savory and warm with flavors of fall, and apples are finally back in season. I didn't want to limit when it came to apples because everyone has a favorite. I've added a few different recipes to try but feel free to make the recipe your own and don't forget to try and post before the end of the month. 

Fennel & Parmesan Shortbread
from Sweet Paul

1 1/2 C flour
1/2 C butter cold and cubed
1 C grated parmesan cheese
1/4 C milk
1 T fennel seeds

In a bowl of a food processor, add the flour and butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cheese and pulse to combine

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Stir in milk. Form the dough into a 1" thick log and wrap in parchment paper. Chill at least 1 hour. 

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a baking sheet with baking paper (parchment). Cut the log into 1/4 inch rounds and place on a tray. Sprinkle with fennel seeds. Bake until golden, about 10-12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. 

Makes 20. A perfect companion to any cheese. 

Baked Apples with Brown Sugar, Golden Raisins & Cinnamon
from Sweet Paul

makes 4
Four good baking apples (Rome, Idared, Pink Lady, Ginger Gold) cored and scored around the middle (do not peel)
2 C apple cider 
1/4 C brown sugar
1/2 C golden raisins
4 cinnamon sticks
2 T unsalted butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Preheat oven to 375˚F. In a small bowl, mix sugar, raisins, cinnamon and cloves. Place apples upright in a baking dish. Fill apples generously with sugar mixture. Add any remaining mixture and raisins to dish. Add apple cider to cover one inch of the bottom of the apples. Dot the tops of apples with butter. Place a cinnamon stick in each cavity. Cover pan with a tent of parchment paper-lined aluminum foil. Bake one hour or until apples are knife tender (check periodically). 

Apple Fritters
Ree Drummond, Pioneer Woman

2 C all purpose flour
1/2 C sugar
3 T sugar
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
3/4 C milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 T melted butter
2 whole granny smith apples peeled and diced
powdered sugar for dusting

Glaze (optional)
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 C milk

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. 

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with a fork, then add milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Gently fold dry and wet ingredients together until just combined (do not overmix). Fold in apples. Add enough apples to make a very chunky batter. You want the apples to shine through! 

Heat a couple of inches of canola oil over medium to medium-low heat. When it gets hot, drop a little drop of batter into the oil. If it sizzles immediately and rises to the top, the oil is ready; if it burns quickly, turn down the heat. 

Drop teaspoons of the batter into the hot oil, six or eight at a time. SOmetimes they'll flip over by themselves; sometimes you have to flip them. Just watch them and make sure they don't get too brown, but cook them long enough to make sure the batter's cooked through, about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes total. 

Remove and drain on a paper towel. Dust very generously with powdered sugar, or dip fritters in a light doughnut glaze (mix all ingredients together, then dunk warm fritters). 

Serve warm! (may be heated up the next day in a 350˚F oven for 8 minutes. 

Caramel Apples
101 Cookbooks
 6-8 small apples, unwaxed, cold
1 C heavy cream
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 C honey

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Push lollipop stick or popsicle stick deep into each apple - in through stem. Fill a large bowl 1/2 full with ice water and set aside. 

In a medium, thick bottomed saucepan heat the cream and salt until tiny bubbles start forming where the milk touches the pan - just before a simmer. Stir in the honey. Bring the mixture to a boil. Now reduce the heat to an active simmer and cook, stirring constantly witha  wooden spoon, for about 15-20 minutes or until the mixture reaches about 255˚-260˚F. To stop the caramel from cooking, very, very carefully set the bottom of the saucepan in the bowl of cold water you prepared earlier - taking special care not to get any of the water in the caramel mixture. Stir until caramel begins to thicken up - you want the caramel to be thin enough that it will easily coat your apples, but not si think that it will run right off. If the caramel thickens too much simply put the pot back over the burner for 10 seconds or so to heat it up a bit. 

Tilt your saucepan so all the caramel pools on one side and use your other hand to dunk and twirl each apple until it is thoroughly coated with caramel. Place each apple on the parchment lined baking sheets and allow the caramel to cool and set. 

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