Sunday, January 31, 2016

Biscotti




Valentine's Day is right around the corner so I'm baking up some treats for my sweets!  No matter how old we get, everyone loves to dunk!  Biscotti is just the right mix of cookie and cake that dunks like no other or can stand alone as a delicious sweet treat.

You'll need:

Base Cookie
2 cups flour
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate (melted)
1/2  teaspoon canola or vegetable oil
Baker's Secret Spray

Topping
Milk Chocolate Chips
Vanilla Chips
Dark Chocolate Chips
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

Melt your butter in the microwave.  I use a coffee cup and heat it for 30 seconds.  Melt your unsweetened chocolate squares (chop into individual squares) with 1/2 teaspoon oil in the microwave (30 seconds, stir, repeat).

Mix both the sugars, eggs, vanilla and melted butter, blend well.  Add the sugar mixture to the flour and blend (I use a mixer beater and hand blend)  until the dough starts to set, then switch to using your hands (dusted lightly with flour).

Flip your dough on to a floured cutting board and divide dough into two equal pieces.  Return one piece back to the mixing bowl.  Split the section on your cutting board  and roll each into two 10 inch logs.  

Add melted unsweetened chocolate to the dough in the mixing bowl.  This can be messy, just flour your hands lightly and do it!  Take the chocolate dough to the floured cutting board and divide in two.  Roll into two 10 inch logs.

Place a chocolate dough on top of plain dough and roll to fuse them together.  Place each diagonally in the center of a well sprayed (Baker's Secret is the best)  large baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes at 350*  Remove from oven and cool the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Use a large spatula to transfer dough to a clean floured cutting board.  Use a serrated knife to slice diagonally.  I use my best bread knife for this.  Be gentle, you don't want to crumble your cookie. Re-spray your baking sheet and place slices of cookie cut side down and bake 15 minutes at 300*.  Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Melt your chocolate and vanilla chips in separate dishes - 10 ounces of chips and 1 Tablespoon of oil.  Microwave 1 minute, stir and repeat.  Drizzle over cooled cookies then place in the fridge for 20 minutes to set the chocolate after each drizzle.  You'll need to refrigerate after each flavor of chocolate topping or they blend together into a very unattractive mess!

Place on a serving tray, garnish with strawberries for a colorful and pretty presentation.  Serve these heavenly treats with your favorite coffee, cocoa or a big chilled glass of milk and let the dunking begin!

Life is Short.
Love is Precious.
Share Special with your Loves as Often as Possible.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Kentucky Marinade Pork Tenderloin


It's a very important time of year!  It's SEC Football Bowl Season (yes, I know other NCAA teams play but I only cheer for SEC teams), NFL Playoff Season and almost Super Bowl Season!  I do love the game of pigskin and I always want to serve something super yummy when cheering on our favorites!  I took a tour of my old trusty  recipe box (you know, the real wooden box that holds your best recipes -  those written by hand on recipe cards or photo copies for the best dishes from your family and friends .  There was an entire  Pre-Pinterest era....believe it - it was real).  I happened upon an old and ingredient laden recipe (I'm not always neat when I'm mixing.  The goodness level is -  the more stained, the better the recipe)!  I haven't made this in years and I have no idea why!  Bringing back an oldie but a goodie!

For the marinade you'll need:
1/2 cup Kentucky Bourbon
1/2 cup Soy Sauce
1/2 cup Brown Sugar (packed)
3 Cloves of Minced Fresh Garlic (can substitute 3 tsp dried if needed)
1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp Powdered Ginger
3 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil

Plus:
1 pkg Pork Tenderloin (there are two per package)

Whisk together all marinade ingredients, reserve 1/2 for basting when cooking.  Place the tenderloins in a gallon size zip lock bag ( I double bag - no one wants a messy surprise if you have a leak).  Add the remaining half of the marinade to the pork and seal tightly.  Refrigerate for 12 - 24 hours, flip package over half way thru the chilling cycle.  Refrigerate the reserved marinade until time to cook.

When it's cooking time, put the reserved marinade in a sauce pan and heat to a low boil for at 8 - 12 minutes.  Whisk frequently to keep this from burning - it has a high sugar content and can get away from you quicker than you think.  The cooking will "marry" your ingredients and cook out the alcohol content.  You'll use this to baste while cooking your pork.

Remove the pork from marinade and place on a well greased grill (spray with cooking pray - this can get sticky).  Grill tenderloins over medium high heat for 30 - 40 minutes or until the core temperature is at least 165*.  It was dark and cold tonight so I baked mine in the oven at 350* for 45 minutes. I miss the classic grill marks but this is just as tender and tasty!  I baste every 10 minutes and flip half way thru cooking for a nice even brown on the outside.  Be sure not to let this dry out by overcooking.   I baked open dish, no foil.

Serve this on your favorite bread.  I like to mix  several pairings to give my guests a variety.  Onion Rolls, Ciabitta Rolls and Hawaiian Rolls are my favorites.  You can add a cheese of choice, I like Swiss and Sharp Cheddar the best.  The hubs loves caramelized onions on top served on an Onion Rolls - it's his fav!  I like Swiss on Ciabitta myself!  Top the way YOU like it and cheer that team to a tasty WIN!