Thursday, December 31, 2009

Shamrock Rolls

Ooooh! These are SO good...and so soft...and so chewy...and so moist! You're going to want to make them right now!!!

Here's how to do it:

1 pkg. dry active yeast (that's 2 1/4 tsp. if you buy in bulk like I do)
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup hot mashed potatoes
1/4 shortening (I used Tenderflake Lard)
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk, scalded
1 egg
4 to 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour

  • Soften yeast in warm water. Combine potatoes, shortening (lard), sugar, salt and hot milk. Cool to lukewarm.
  • Add softened yeast and egg. Stir in 2 cups of the flour; beat well. Stir in the remaining flour or enough to make a soft dough. Turn out and knead on lightly floured surface till smooth and elastic, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Place in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place till double in size, about 1 hour. Punch down. Shape in ball. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
  • To shape rolls, roll balls to about 1 inch in size and place 3 in each greased muffin tin. Let rise about 1 hour, again till double in size.
  • Bake at 400 F about 10 to 12 minutes. Makes 2 dozen rolls.
If you have a stand mixer, here's what I do:
  • Soften yeast in warm water in bowl of stand mixer. Add cooled potato mixture and egg.
  • Add all 4 cups of flour and set mixer with dough hook to "2" (Cuisinart) and set timer for 8 minutes. At about the 4-minute mark, turn dial to "3". Watch the dough. If it doesn't come away from the sides/bottom add more flour. I usually end up adding another cup for 5 cups total.
  • Remove from mixer bowl and transfer to well greased bowl.
  • Continue as above.
ENJOY!!! We're going to have some tonight with our traditional New Years appetizers.

The batch above was made for Christmas...I'll make a fresh batch today.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

You have GOT to try this!!!

Enjoy the laugh...courtesy of my dad who sent me the link.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Cookies

What's your favourite type of Christmas cookie? Can you pick a favourite? Or do you just like them all?

If I had to pick one, I'd have to say mine is shortbread. Fortunately, that encompasses an awful LOT of cookies (lucky me!). There's your standard shortbread, brown sugar shortbread, chocolate shortbread, chocolate chip shortbread...and the list goes on!

Since the holidays are upon us, I've been spades! The kids and the hubby are happy (and possibly fat!) people! This has been the week for shortbread...later this week I'm going to make gingerbread cookies (oh! I got the cutest, tiniest gingerbread man!) and peanut butter chocolate chip from my friend Karin's recipe.

Over the weekend, I went to visit my friend Diana (where I also saw Teresa and met Michelle). This is just one of the sweet plates that I brought:
Needless to say, there was happiness all around!!!

The basic recipe for shortbread is this:

1/2 lb. butter
1/2 cup icing (or confectioners) sugar
2 cups flour

There is no baking powder or any other ingredients. And PLEASE! (I'm beggin' ya here) do NOT think you can use margarine in this recipe. This is a Christmas cookie and MUST have butter in it!

Cream together the butter and the sugar. Add the flour one cup at a time and blend it in. Roll the cookie dough into a logs about 2 inches around and 8 inches long. Wrap in waxed paper and chill in the fridge until firm. When you're ready to bake them, remove them from the fridge while you preheat the oven to 300F. Slice the cookies about 1/4" thick and bake until the bottoms are just barely golden.

Remove to wire rack to cool completely. These keep well on the counter of if you are in the mood for baking in the middle of summer, they freeze very well.