Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Almond-Coconut Crisps, an Afternoon Delight in Hot Springs

My husband, Ray, is from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. So while traveling on a road trip, stopping in Transylvania, Louisiana for gas--the Penner Family Cookbook caught my eye.  Published in Winnipeg, the cookbook collects great recipes from generations of this family in Canada. I don't know how these cookbooks came to be sold in Transylvania, but I'm sure glad I discovered this gem years ago. We're serving these yummy cookies to rave reviews.

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups slivered almonds, toasted
1 cup coconut

(Although the recipe called for 2 cups finely chopped blanched almonds, I prefer using the slivered almonds--not chopped.)
Beat eggs in a mixing bowl until thick and lemon colored.  Gradually blen in sugar; beat until very thick. Blend in vanilla and almond extract.
Stir flour and salt together; blend into egg mixture.  Stir in almonds and coconut.  Let stand for 15 minutes.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased foil-lined cookie sheet.  Bake at 325 degrees for 15-18 minutes until lightly golden brown around the edges. 

Lookout Point Lakeside Inn  
Kristie Rosset
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Key Lime Pie

There are few things more refreshing on a hot summer's day than Key Lime Pie. My mouth puckers in anticipation!

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs 
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup fresh lime juice (approximately 15 key limes or 3-4 regular limes)
4 teaspoons grated lime zest
4 egg yolks
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

Whisk the zest and egg yolks together for 2 minutes.
Beat in the milk and juice. Set aside at room temperature until the filling thickens to about the consistency of pudding.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Mix the graham cracker crumbs and sugar together.
Add the butter and mix with a fork.
Spoon the crust mixture into a 9-inch pie plate. 
Using your fingers or a small glass, press the mixture on the bottom and up the side of the pie plate.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned. Remove the pie plate from the oven and cool to room temperature.
When the crust is cool, spoon the filling into the pie plate, and bake for an additional 20 minutes, until the center sets (the filling will jiggle a bit but will firm up as the pie cools).
Take the pie out of the oven and cool to room temperature.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, until well chilled.

You can serve the pie as is, sprinkling a bit of the lime zest on top. To cut the tartness, you can also serve the pie with whipped cream sprinkled with graham cracker crumbs. And watch the pie disappear!
Birchwood Inn  

Ellen Gutman Chenaux
Bed and Breakfast Foodie

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Homemade Marshmallows

Our Assistant Innkeeper, Katie Arthur, has begun to make homemade marshmallows for our beverage bar.  You will be amazed at just how tasty these are and our guests just love them! They are time consuming but worth every minute!  I wish I could give credit to whoever composed this recipe since it sure is a good one.
Vegetable shortening for preparing the pan
1 cup cold water
3 Tablespoons (3 envelopes) unflavored gelatin
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Confectioners sugar for coating the finished product

Using a 9x13 inch pan, cut a piece of aluminum foil to fit covering the bottom, sides and handles completely. Place foil gently in the baking dish covering it well.  Coat the foil thoroughly but lightly with shortening.  Set aside.
In a standing mixer, place 1/2 cup of cold water in the large bowl.   Sprinkle the gelatin over the surface of the water and set aside.
Place the sugar, corn syrup, salt and the other 1/2 cup of water in a heavy 1 1/2 or 2 quart saucepan.  Heat should be fairly low. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil.  Cover for three minutes to allow any sugar crystals on the side of the pan to dissolve.
Uncover.  Raise the heat to high and insert a candy thermometer.  Let the syrup boil without stirring until the temperature reaches 240 degrees.  Do not overcook.  Remove from heat.
Beating constantly at medium speed, pour the syrup slowly into the gelatin mixture.  After all the syrup has been added, increase the speed to high and beat for 15 minutes until the mixture is lukewarm, snowy white and the consistency of whipped marshmallow, adding the vanilla a few minutes before the end of the beating.
(During the beating, occasionally scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula  and watch that the mixture doesn't "crawl up" the beaters.
Pour the slightly warm and thick marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan, and scrape all the mixture off the beaters.  Smooth the top.
Let stand uncovered at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours or longer if convenient.
Sift or strain confectioners sugar generously onto a large cutting board to cover a surface larger than your pan.Invert the marshmallow over the sugared surface: remove the pan and peel off the foil. Strain confectioners sugar generously over the top of the marshmallow.
Prepare a long, heavy sharp knife by brushing the blades with vegetable shortening.  Cutting down firmly with the full length of the blade, cut the marshmallow into one inch strips (keep the blade sugared to keep it from sticking).
Dip the cup sides of each strip into confectioners sugar to coat them thoroughly (there should be enough excess sugar on the board to do this).
Cut each strip into one inch square.  Roll the marshmallows in the sugar to coat the remaining sides and shake off any excess sugar.
Store in airtight container.
Makes one pound, 10 ounces of marshmallows.

 The William Henry Miller Inn
 Lynnette ScofieldBed and Breakfast Foodie
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