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Monday, October 21, 2013

CRACKER SPOONS WITH CREAMY PIMIENTO CHEESE and LAVENDER GIN GOAT CHEESE COOKIES and CHOCOLATE MACADAMIA NUT BARS

A dear lady and lovely friend hosted a gathering at her home, a farewell party for a colleague of her husbands. I offered to make and deliver some tasty tidbits to help her out a little with the refreshments. 


CRACKER SPOONS WITH CREAMY PIMIENTO CHEESE


1 1/2 package of refrigerated piecrusts
1 egg white, beaten
3/4 teaspoon salt
creamy pimiento cheese (recipe to follow)

Heat oven to 400F.
Unroll pie crusts, brush with egg white and sprinkle with salt.
Cut dough into rounds, or spoon shapes. Place cutouts onto baking sheets.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp.
Remove from baking sheets to a wire rack, and cool completely (about 20 minutes).
Spoon creamy pimiento cheese into a zip-top plastic freezer bag, snip one corner of the bag to make a small hole. Pipe pimiento cheese onto end of each spoon.

CREAMY PIMIENTO CHEESE
Beat 10 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 (4 ounce) jar of diced pimiento, drained, 1 teaspoon grated onion, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/4 taspoon ground red pepper, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce at medium speed with a heavy duty electric stand mixer 1 minute or until creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Southern Living, April 2012
www.southernliving.com/food/‎




LAVENDER GIN GOAT CHEESE COOKIES


3 sticks of butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon gin
3 1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons dried lavender
generous pinch of salt
2 to 3 egg yolks, beaten
6 ounces of goat cheese

Mix the butter, sugar and gin together until thoroughly blended. Mix in the flour, lavender and salt until it gets doughy. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to 1/2 inch thick. Freeze for 10 minutes.
Roll the dough into about 24 little balls and dunk them in the beaten egg yolks. Put the balls on a silicone baking mat on a baking sheet and smash them with your thumb to make craters. Put some goat cheese in each crater. Bake until lightly golden on the edges, about 10 minutes.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Food Network
www.foodnetwork.com › Recipes › Baking‎


CHOCOLATE MACADAMIA NUT BARS


CRUST
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts, toasted
CARAMEL AND CHOCOLATE
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels

Heat the oven to 350F.
Grease a 13 by 9 inch baking pan.
To prepare the crust, combine flour and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Process about 10 seconds to combine thoroughly. Add butter and process until mixture is crumbly, about 30 seconds. Trtansfer mixture to prepared pan and press firmly. Scatter nuts evenly over crust and press them in firmly.
To prepare the caramel layer, melt the butter in a heavy medium sized saucepan over low heat. Add the brown sugar and stir well until thoroughly combined and smooth. Increase heat to medium high and cook, stirring constantly, until entire surface of caramel is bubbly. Immediately pour hot caramel over nuts and spread evenly. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until caramel is bubbly.
Remove pan from oven. Wait 1 minute, sprinkle chocolate morsels evenly over caramel. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes for chocolate to melt. Spread chocolate evenly. Cool completely, then refrigerate 30 minutes to set. Cut into bars with a sharp knife.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Relish Magazine
relish.com/recipes/‎

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