Paganini's Pantry (163)

Friday, 17 March 2017 05:32

Superhero Superfood Cookies

(happy accident, we were taking a picture of the baby and got the cookies too!)

Makes about 2 dozen

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 package vanilla sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup rolled oats, ground fine in a blender or food processor
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (each) milk, semi-sweet, and white chocolate chips
1 cup toasted, chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix to combine. Beat the baking soda, salt, and rolled oats into the butter mixture until evenly incorporated, slowly beat the flour into the mixture and combine. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts.

Shape the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Space about 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Pat down the tops of the balls just slightly. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until just tinged with brown. Rotate sheet halfway through baking to ensure even browning; be very careful not to over bake. (Cookies should still be soft in the centers.) Let cookies firm up on cookie sheets, 3 to 4 minutes, then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Friday, 28 October 2016 05:10

Buckeye Cake

Makes 12-16 servings

2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (such as King Arthur brand)
2 tablespoons Instant ClearJel or cornstarch
¾ cup Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons espresso powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
¾ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1¼ cups water

4 cups confectioners' sugar
1½ cups peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup milk

½ cup heavy or whipping cream
1 1/3 cups chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons light corn syrup

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour (or grease, then line with parchment, then grease again) two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans.  

Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the eggs, oil and vanilla, beating until smooth. Gradually add the water, beating until smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake the cakes for 35 to 38 minutes (a bit less if you use a 9-inch pan), or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn them out of the pans to cool completely on a rack.

Mix the sugar, peanut butter and vanilla till crumbly. Add the milk and mix till smooth, adding more milk if necessary to make a spreadable filling.

Divide the cooled cake layers in half horizontally, to make four layers.

Place one layer on a serving plate, and spread with filling. Repeat with the next two layers. Top with the final cake layer.

Combine the chocolate chips, cream, and corn syrup in a microwave-safe measuring cup. Microwave till the cream is very hot, and the chips are soft. Stir till the chips melt, and the mixture is smooth.

Spread the icing over the cake, letting it drizzle down the sides.


Adapted recipe from P.J. Hamel, baker and blogger for King Arthur Flour.

Friday, 21 October 2016 06:23

Classic New England Clam Chowder

Makes 2 Quarts

1/4 lb. Bacon, diced
2 Tablespoons flour
2 cups Clam juice
1 cup water
1 cup onions, diced
1/2 cup carrot, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 bouquet garni  (parsley thyme black peppercorns Bay leaf)
1 cup potato, diced
1/2 cup cooked clams, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy bottom soup.pot render bacon until crisp. Sprinkle in flour and stir to toast flour and make a roux. Gradually stir in Clam juice and water to make a smooth base and allow to simmer. Add vegetables and bouquet garni and allow them to simmer until soft. Add clams and heavy cream and allow them to cook 3-5 minutes. Season to taste.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016 09:46

Port Cherry Brownies

¼ cup Port wine from Portugal
2 cups light brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour a 9 by 9 pan and set aside.

In a small, non-reactive saucepan, bring the port and cherries to a boil. Reduce liquid in half and allow cherries to plump. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla extract. Add cherries with remaining port and mix together.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Fold dry ingredients into wet until mixed.

Placed into pan and bake in oven 30-40 minutes. If you insert a toothpick, the brownie crumb can bemoist but not runny.

Cool before slicing.

Friday, 07 October 2016 06:11

Seasonal Pasta

1 lb. Rotini pasta, cooked all dente
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 lb. Bulk chorizo sausage
2 cups butternut squash, peeled diced
1 cup Brussel Sprouts, quartered
1 zucchini, diced
2 cups mushrooms
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large saute pan, heat oil. Saute sausage, squash, potatoes, and Brussel sprouts until sausage is fully cooked and vegetables are caramelized. Add zucchini and mushrooms and sauté 3 to 4 minutes. Add chicken stock and spices. Allow stock to reduce in half. Toss in pasta and cheese and stir to combine. Adjust spices to taste.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016 11:44

Homemade Apple Butter

12 medium red sweet apples (Macintosh, Roma, Gala)
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon

Wash, quarter, peel, and core apples.  Place them in a large cooking pot, and add the water.

Over medium heat, cook the apples until they are nearly soft. Add the sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon. Put contents in a food processor or blender, return to pan.

On a low heat, stirring often, continue to cook apples under mixture reduces in size to apple butter consistency and turns brown.  Add more cinnamon and nutmeg to taste. 

Can be re-blended for more smoothness. 

Friday, 23 September 2016 07:46

Apple Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Drizzle

 4 cups all purpose flour

1 pkg. dry active yeast

1 cup warm milk, scalded & skimmed

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 tsp. salt

2 eggs


Bun filling:

2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced small

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

3 Tbsp. cinnamon

1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened


Dissolve yeast in warm milk.


Cream together sugar, butter, eggs, and salt. Add flour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.


Place in a very lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place free from draft from a minimum of 1 hour until dough as nearly doubled in size. Can be refrigerated overnight.


When dough is ready, in a separate bowl mix brown sugar and cinnamon and apples.


Punch down dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle shape about 1/4” thick. Spread the softened butter, from the filling, evenly over the surface of the dough, and sprinkle evenly with apple cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll up the dough like a jelly roll.


Cut the rolled dough into 1 3/4” slices and place on a parchment lined baking sheet, allow about 1” of space between each roll. Put rolls into a warm place and allow to double in size, approximately 30 minutes.


Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 to 25 minutes until lightly golden. Ice the rolls when still warm.


Cream Cheese Drizzle

2 sticks butter, softened

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup cream cheese

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. salt


Whip together all ingredients. Drizzle over warm buns.

Thursday, 15 September 2016 11:19

Tomato Bisque


Serves 6-8

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 lbs. plum tomatoes or Pomi chopped tomatoes

1 sweet Vidalia onion
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2-3 cloves roasted garlic, minced to a paste
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chiffonade 
1/4 tsp. hot sauce
4 cups chicken stock

¼ cup heavy cream
4 Tbsp. fresh basil, chiffonade


Sauté onion in olive oil until onions are transparent.  Add tomatoes and cook until onions are caramelized. Process tomatoes and onions  in a food processor to desired smoothness.  I prefer some pieces to remain.


Place tomato and onion mixture in a large non-reactive sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add thyme and hot sauce. Add chicken stock and cream and bring to boil.


Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until soup thickens slightly, approximately 25 minutes. Sprinkle with croutons and fresh basil before serving.



Gruyere Croutons:

2 Tbsp. (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
24 1/4-inch-thick French baguette bread slices
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
1 tsp. minced fresh sage


Preheat broiler. Butter 1 side of each bread slice. Arrange bread, buttered side up, on baking sheet. Broil until golden, about 1 minute. Turn over.


Sprinkle cheese, then thyme and sage over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until cheese melts, about 1 minute. Ladle soup into bowls.


Top each with croutons and serve.

Friday, 09 September 2016 06:55

Broccoli Bacon Salad

2 heads frech broccoli, washed and cut into bite-size flowerets, blanched and cooled

1/2 cup roasted corn kernels

1/2 cup dried golden raisins

1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds

1 cup crumbled crispy bacon

1 cup shredded fresh spinach



1 1/4 cup real mayonnaise

4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

salt and pepper to taste


Whisk together dressing and toss with salad ingredients

Friday, 02 September 2016 05:24

Blueberry Bundt Cake

Serves 12

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 cup applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

¾ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice blend

1 cup  fresh whole blueberries

Powdered sugar for garnish


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Butter and dust with flour a large Bundt pan. Set aside.

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, applesauce and vanilla and mix until incorporated.


Sift together dry ingredients and mix into batter.  Be careful not to overmix.  Fold in blueberries.


Pour batter into prepared pan and bake about 30-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.


Dust with powdered sugar to serve. 

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