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Refrigerator Lemon Rolls with Ultra Gel

January can sometimes be a hard time of year. It’s full of new beginnings, but also tend to be a little grey and cold and pregnant with that feeling that you’re really waiting for the new year to get started.

When I’m feeling this way one of the comfort foods I reach for are lemon rolls. I love this particular recipe for lemon rolls because it can be made and baked all in one day, or it can be refrigerated for up to five days after adding the first batch of flour. I’ve even been known to split the batch and bake some now and some later, and I love that flexibility!

Ultra Gel plays a leading roll in these rolls as it holds the moisture in the sponge (refrigerator state) stage and in the baked rolls to keep them soft longer. Use a fresh lemon in the lemon sugar for an amazing punch of flavor. Citrus is on sale this time of year and the lemons you get are fresh and just a little sweet and beautiful.

Refrigerator Lemon Rolls with Ultra Gel

1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk

1 cup hot water

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup soft butter

2 teaspoons salt

4 eggs

4 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 Tablespoons yeast

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 cup warm water

8-9 cups bread flour

Lemon filling:

1 cup sugar

grated rind of one lemon

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Combine yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar in 1/2 cup warm water and allow to proof for 10-15 minutes. Combine evaporated milk, hot water, sugar, butter and salt in a large bowl. Add 4 cups flour and mix well. Add eggs, Ultra Gel and yeast mixture and combine. At this point you can cover the sponge with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 5 days. When ready to use (or immediately) remove from refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Add additional flour until you have a soft, slightly sticky dough.

Let rise until double.

Divide into 4 portions and roll out as desired, filling with lemon filling or cinnamon and brown sugar. Shape as desired.

Let rise until doubled.

Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes.

Top with powdered sugar icing.

Cinnamon Spice Cheese Ball

Happy Holidays to all our friends and followers! No matter how you celebrated we hope you had a Merry Christmas and a brilliant holiday season, though it’s not over just yet! And we’re glad because New Years is a great time for appetizers and we have a great recipe to share.

Most appetizers are savory, but there are times you want something which has a sweeter leaning without being as sweet as candy or cookies. This Cinnamon Spice Cheese Ball is a favorite of mine and fills the gap nicely. Here we combine Cornaby’s Cinnamon Spice* gourmet jam with cream cheese for a cheese ball that will surprise and delight your party guests.

* Cornaby’s Cinnamon Spice jam used to be called cinnaberry. This is a new formulation but still combines raspberries, cranberries, cinnamon and cloves to create an amazing holiday spread. Perfect with turkey, ham, on a fresh roll or in a cheese ball!

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Cinnamon Spice Cheese Ball

12 ounces low-fat cream cheese, softened

2-4 Tablespoons powdered sugar (Depending on how sweet you want the final product)

1 Tablespoon Ultra Gel

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla

8 ounce Cornaby’s Cinnaberry Spice jam

Combine ingredients in the order listed with an electric or stand mixer. Refrigerate cheese ball for at least 30 minutes before serving. For extra crunch roll in pecan pieces. Serve with graham crackers or vanilla wafer crackers.

Christmas Chocolate Orange Cookies with Ultra Gel

So today I was totally going to talk about some Christmas candy recipes – which I’ll still do this week – but the hubs needed some cookies to take into work and I worked up this Christmas Chocolate Orange recipe. It’s a fantastic recipe that tastes so much like the chocolate oranges many of us get or give on Christmas mornings. And you can even chunk up said chocolate orange to go into the batter for even more punch.
These were a hit at work and around the house, and would be a great Christmas cookie for exchange or setting out for Santa. Right by the Gingerbread Cookies! You can never have too many you know.
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Christmas Chocolate Orange Cookies

2 cups butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar

3/4 cup cocoa powder

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 package dark morsels*

1 package mini semi sweet morsels

4-5 drops orange oil

1-2 Tablespoons milk (if needed)

Cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add cocoa powder and Ultra Gel and beat to incorporate. Add eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and mix into creamed mixture a little at a time. Fold in chocolate and orange oil. Depending on how precise you measure you may need a little milk to get to the proper consistency. Don’t over beat.

Preheat oven to 350. Scoop dough by tablespoons onto a baking sheet and bake for 9-11 minutes. They’ll be puffy and dry to the touch. Move to a cooling rack for 2-3 minutes before consuming. Otherwise you’ll burn your tongue. 🙂

*A dark chocolate orange cut into tiny pieces can be used here and is excellent.

Grownup Gingerbread Cookies with Ultra Gel

Of the many things that say it’s Christmas time to me Gingerbread Cookies rank right up there with Frosty and Rudolph. I love ginger and gingerbread and, to be honest, my absolute favorite gingerbread cookies are these Ginger Snaps by Alton Brown. However, those are a ginger drop cookie, and as good as they are sometimes you need a lovely gingerbread that can be shaped, but isn’t so dry and hard that you can use it as construction material.

Enter my Grownup Gingerbread cookies. Why Grownup? Because these are serious gingerbread, people. They are made with dark brown sugar, and black strap molasses and a whole tablespoon of powdered ginger. We are not messing around with flavor here, but they are flavors that sometimes small children don’t care for. But fear not, the kids can still be involved in all the rolling and shaping and decorating (which my daughter thinks is the best part anyway) and then you can enjoy a wonderful ginger and molasses treat with your hot chocolate.

These start out as a nicely chewy cookie. If you want a bit more snap, just leave them on the counter to dry out for a day versus packing them into an airtight container.

Don’t forget to leave a few out for Santa. You know he knows his gingerbread!

Grownup Gingerbread Cookies with Ultra Gel

3 cups flour

1 Tablespoon ground ginger (The good stuff people!)

1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (or 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon each ground cloves, nutmeg and allspice)

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

3/4 cups dark brown sugar

12 Tablespoons butter, softened

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup molasses (blackstrap if you want a dark cookie, non blackstrap if you don’t like the flavor)

1-2 Tablespoons milk (as needed)

Royal Icing

2 pounds powdered sugar

1 Tablespoon Ultra Gel

5 egg whites*

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cookies:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine butter and sugar and whip until well combined. Add egg and mix well. Add vanilla and molasses and beat, scraping down sides at least once. Sift in dry ingredients and milk as needed to bring together into a soft dough.

Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.

Roll dough into a sheet 1/4 inch thick. Punch out Christmas shapes with cookie cutters. Move shapes to a baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Reroll scraps until they’re all used up or dough begins to toughen.

Bake for 8-9 minutes. Cool and set aside.

For icing:

Pour powdered sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl with an electric mixer on hand and mix lightly with salt and Ultra Gel. Make a well in the center. Separate eggs (Keep the yolks for pound cake! or custard!) placing whites in the middle of the dry ingredients. Mix just to combine then turn to full speed and whip for 3 minutes. You don’t want to over whip the icing because that can trap bubbles and make it hard to pipe later. Scrape down sides at least twice during this process. Add vanilla and mix.

Icing can then be colored (gel or powdered colors work better) and used immediately. Alternatively move to an air tight container and press plastic wrap against the icing before lidding and move to the fridge. This will generally keep in the fridge for upto a week.

*I recommend using pasteurized eggs and don’t fret at all about the fact these are raw. If you are concerned you can use pasteurized egg white mix or meringue powder in place.

Happy Preparing for Thanksgiving Day

For our friend out of the US I know that tomorrow is just another Thursday, but for those in the US it’s Thanksgiving and here at Cornaby’s we certainly have a lot to be thankful for.

Today I’m making pies. I love baking and I love how much easier Cornaby’s products have made it to accomplish a lot of pie making in a short period of time. All this baking is not only fun, but it gives me a connection to a lot of people who won’t be with us this year. Those who are far away, and those who are close only in our hearts. So we’re thankful for them, and for good food and for family.

Now…on to the pies. Today has started with pumpkin, Black Forest pie and caramel apple cheesecake. Pumpkin cake is next on the list, followed by pecan bars and a couple of chocolate ganache pies. We’ll see if custard pies happen, just depends on how the rest of the afternoon goes.

So that gives us a lot of recipes to choose from as far as what I’m sharing today, but I think I’ll go with my take on the classic pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin Pie with Cornaby’s Ultra Gel

30 ounce can of Libby’s pumpkin (Or any other good quality pumpkin puree)

3/4 cups sugar

3/4 cups brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

4 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 eggs

2 cans evaporated milk

2 unbaked 9 inch pie shells (I use this no fail recipe, which gives me 4 single crusts!)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Line glass pie tins with crust, trim and flute edges. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine all filling ingredients in order listed. Whisk well after each addition. The final custard should be smooth and sweet. Divide custard between pie shells and put into the oven. I don’t often get over flow, but I do put a cookie tray on the rack under my pies to catch any drips during baking. Bake for 15 minutes. Then drop temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes until the custard sets and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Remove from oven and allow to cool. Serve with Ultra Gel whipping cream, ice cream or just eat it plain.

Yum!

Bea’s Buttermilk Rolls with Ultra Gel

My great Grandmother, Mom Taylor, was famous for her bread and was heard to say that if you had good rolls or bread with a meal you only needed half as much meat. She knew that there’s just nothing like the soft chew of a warm roll. Unless, maybe, it’s the soft chew of a warm roll with Cornaby’s jam on it. 🙂

This recipe is an old favorite and makes fantastic Thanksgiving rolls. They get a double lift from the combination of yeast, buttermilk and baking soda, and the Ultra Gel adds tenderness and holds the moisture so these are an easy roll to bake a day or two ahead. According to my husband these are a perfect roll to fix up with a slice of leftover turkey and a little cranberry sauce for a Thanksgiving snack.

Bea’s Buttermilk Rolls with Ultra Gel

1 cup buttermilk

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

3 Tablespoons sugar

3 Tablespoons soft butter

1 Tablespoon yeast dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/2-3 1/2 cups bread flour

Heat buttermilk to lukewarm. Add soda, sugar, Ultra Gel and butter. Beat well and add 1 cup flour. Add dissolved yeast, 1/2 cup flour and salt. Add remaining flour as needed to make a soft dough. Let rise until double. Shape into rolls and let rise until double. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-20 minutes until golden brown.

Yield: 2 dozen

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Ultra Gel

It occurred to me today that somehow in several years of writing this blog I have never shared a true pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe. We’ve done some close versions, like our pumpkin oat cookies, but as this is one of my absolute favorite Halloween cookies I’m certain you need the real thing.

My favorite things about this cookie are how moist it is and the perfect balance of pumpkin to chocolate chip. This is achieved by combining pumpkin and Ultra Gel in the batter and then using mini, semi-sweet chocolate chips. I know there are a lot of folks who are fans of big chips, but for me I want the chocolate to melt in my mouth and meld with the soft pumpkin for this perfect little moment. Big chocolate chips don’t melt just right. Yeah, color me a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie snob. I’ll take it.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Ultra Gel

1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 teaspoons good vanilla

2 cups (1 15 ounce can) pumpkin puree

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

4 cups flour

2-3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

2 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Add Ultra Gel, vanilla and pumpkin. In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients and spoon into pumpkin mixture, stirring until all dry ingredients are incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips.

This is a very soft dough and easiest to work with using a disher that helps you release the dough. I like to use a 2 teaspoon disher, which makes slightly smaller cookies because I don’t feel as guilty about eating more of them. It has pumpkin in it, it’s healthy right?

Scoop dough balls onto a cookie sheet, spacing at least an inch apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes until bottoms are lightly browned and your desired firmness is attained. Some folks like these cookies really soft, and others want them more set. You’ll need to play with your oven to find the exact right time for your cookies.

Let sit on the tray for 2-3 minutes before moving to a cooling rack and cooling completely. Do not stack these without waxed paper between them as they will stick to each other and you’ll get one mondo stack of cookie. 🙂