Tag Archive | Cooking

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.🙂

Halloween Swirl Cake with Cornaby’s Raspberry Syrup

One of my favorite parts about October is Halloween. This year in particular is fun because my little girl is finally old enough to really enjoy the festivities. She’s dressing up as a “good witch” and totally ready to go. Another benefit of October is that it’s both my own and my best friend’s birthday, so there are birthday parties piled onto Halloween and a lot of treats around the house.

This year I wanted to combine birthday cake and Halloween cake and put together this Halloween Swirl Cake infused with Cornaby’s Raspberry Syrup. This is a very easy cake, but is visually amazing and tasty. For even more fun you can add candy eyes which are available at local grocery stores, Gygi’s kitchen store in Salt Lake City, and can even be homemade.

This recipe comes in a lot of steps, but is a great Halloween cake to make with your kids. They can help with almost every step. My little girl had a great time with ours, even if I think many of the monster eyes got devoured!

Halloween Swirl Cake with Cornaby’s Raspberry Syrup

1 chocolate cake mix

1 white cake mix

Ultra Gel

Butter

Milk

eggs

orange, purple and black food coloring

Cornaby’s Raspberry Syrup

white buttercream icing (homemade or from a can will work)

Monster eyes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

I know the measurements aren’t precise on this, which is because they change depending on the cake mixes you choose. This is much more about the process. So we’ll start with the chocolate cake. The first thing to do is to look at the high altitude directions on your cake mix, yeah even if you don’t live at altitude. It will say something like Add 2 Tblsp Flour to dry mix. Replace whatever this amount is with the same amount of Ultra Gel. So in my cakes it was one chocolate cake mix + 2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel, which I mixed well. Then I continued to follow the cake mix directions, but swapped out the water for milk and the oil for melted butter. Once the mix was all together I added some black gel food coloring to darken up the chocolate batter.

Repeat this process with the white cake mix, but split it into two bowls at the end and color one batch of cake mix orange and the other purple. At this point look at all of your batters and make sure they aren’t too thick. I’ve never had one too thin, but I had one in the several times I’ve made this cake which was very thick (I suspect I missed something). If this happens add 1-2 Tablespoons of water to thin.

Now, grease and flour a bundt pan VERY well. Pour in about 1/3 of the black mixture, followed by all of the orange, all of the purple and more black to cover the colors. A standard bundt pan will only use about 2/3rd of the total batter, so repeat the process to make swirled cupcakes or in a loaf pan to use the rest of the batter. Bake for 35-45 minutes until cake tests done. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cardboard or decorative tray. Cool completely.

Once the swirl cake is cool we get to the syrup. The point of using the Raspberry syrup is two fold. First we’re adding a burst of flavor to our cakes and second we’re adding a spooky red drizzle to the center of our swirl. In order to get this effect we want to inject the syrup into the cake with a small baster, injector or syringe. I keep a couple of medical syringes on hand which are marked to be used for kitchen use. They’re easy to get from your local pharmacy or online. So I inject half a teaspoon of raspberry syrup in several locations around the cake, all of which will be covered with frosting to hide the syrup until the cake is cut. Do not OVER inject or the cake will be soggy. The point here is mild flavor and some fun color, not to drench the cake. I use between 1/4-1/3 cup raspberry syrup maximum.

Finally, split your white icing into two and color orange and purple. If it’s too thick to work with easily place the icing in the microwave for a few seconds to make it easier to color and drizzle. Drizzle the cake with alternating stripes of purple and orange, letting it pool around the sides. Add sprinkles, monster eyes or other decorations.

Yum and double yum!

Bottled Cherry Pie Filling with Thick Gel

Technically cherry season is past, since most cherries including pie cherries come on earlier in the year. However, they’re not hard to find frozen. You can even visit places like the Rowleys Red Barn and get them frozen in bulk, so it’s not too late to can cherry pie filling! Especially with the holidays around the corner (Pies, cakes, cookies!) having beautiful bottles of pie filling on hand is a very good thing.

Our recipe for pie filling is a recipe which is thickened before it goes into the bottle, which raises a lot of concerns for some people. It is true that you should NOT use thickeners such as flour or traditional corn starch to thicken product which will be canned. These thickeners do not thicken evenly or hold up to the temperatures of canning. However products such as Thick Gel are approved for home canning as tested by the Utah State Extension service and the labs at Cornabys.

I use tart pie cherries for this recipe, though you could use pitted bing cherries or a combination of sweet and pie cherries. It’s all down to what you like. And while we give you measurements for both Thick Gel and Ultra Gel I have to admit that I like Thick Gel the most for this use, especially in this large recipe. Thick Gel thickens a little more evenly and has a smoother finish. Price per ounce Thick Gel is also a little less expensive. As a reminder Thick Gel has to be heated to thicken but in all of our pie filling recipes this happens anyway, so it’s not an issue.

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Bottled Cherry Pie Filling with Thick Gel

 Utah State University Extension

6 quarts fresh or thawed sour cherries

7 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups Thick Gel (2-2 1/2 cups Ultra Gel)

9 1/3 cups water or juice from cherries

2 teaspoons almond extract (opt.)

1/2 cup bottled lemon juice – Do NOT use fresh lemon juice. Bottle juice is mixed to get a specific repeatable pH which cannot be guaranteed with fresh.

2 teaspoons red food coloring (opt.)

Rinse and pit fresh cherries or thaw frozen cherries.  Combine sugar and Thick Gel in large kettle with water or juice from cherries.  If desired, add almond extract and food coloring.  Stir mixture and cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and begins to bubble.  Add lemon juice and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Fold in cherries and fill jars with mixture, leaving 1-1 1/2″ headspace.  Adjust lids and process immediately in water bath canner for 30 minutes (sea level). Increase processing time for by 5 minutes for elevations of 1,000 to 3,000 feet and ten minutes for elevations from 3,000 to 5,000 feet.

Amazing Marshmallow Fondant with Ultra Gel

Between a big family and lots of friends and family catering I’ve made more than my fair share of cakes over the years and worked with a lot of different kinds of fondant. I have to admit commercial fondant has never really done it for me. There’s something about the combination of texture and flavor that’s just kinda…well…blah. So I wanted something better and we’ve come up with two recipes which I’m really rather fond of.

The first one is a cream cheese base and the second a marshmallow base. Both use Ultra Gel to help maintain moisture and workability and both, I’m happy to say, are easy to work with and taste fantastic.

If you want to color either of these recipes I highly advise using gel or powdered colors as liquid ones are weak and can change the consistency of the final product.

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Ultra Gel Fondant

8 ounce light cream cheese

1/2 cup butter – softened

3-4 lbs powdered sugar

1/4 cup milk

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

Beat cream cheese and butter well.  Add half of the powdered sugar and mix to combine.  In a separate container mix together milk and Ultra Gel.  Add to powdered sugar mixture and beat well.  Add additional powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.  Use powdered sugar or corn starch on rolling surface for easier use, but be careful not to dry mixture out.

Marshmallow Ultra Gel Fondant

3 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

2/3 cups white baking chocolate

1/4 cup water

4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

Combine powdered sugar, salt and Ultra Gel in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a dough hook and mix until well combined. Make a well in the center. In a large microwave safe bowl combine marshmallows and water. Microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between until smooth. Add white chocolate and stir until melted. This may require a brief stint back in the microwave. Add food coloring at this point.

Pour marshmallow mixture into the powdered sugar mixture and mix until you have a paste and all the powdered sugar has been incorporated. Scrape onto a sheet of plastic wrap and wrap tight. Let stand over night. You can add more powdered sugar if you want to use this immediately, but I found that the over night sit helped everything to hydrate and made it easier to work with.

Roll out using normal fondant tools and methods. Wrap and refrigerate unused portions for upto 4 months. Bring to room temp before rolling.

Sugar Cookie Peach Cobbler with Thick Gel

It’s peach season in Utah! This is a delightful time of the year when we eat our weight in peaches and even have a few left over for canning and turning into peach pie filling. As much fun as it is to have peach pie filling on the shelf I try to make enough that I can make a batch of peach cobbler for eating right now too!

Cobblers are a type of dessert which features a filling (fruity is most common, but occasionally savory ones are used as well) with a biscuit, cake or crumb topping all baked together. When I make pie filling I always use Thick Gel as it’s approved for canning and makes for a really smooth finished product. Pie fillings made with Thick Gel bake nicely without too much bubble, and without making the crust or crumble soggy! It’s a win all the way around.

Sugar Cookie Peach Cobbler

1-2 quarts Peach Pie Filling

1 tube sugar cookie dough or batch homemade sugar cookie dough

Line a 10 inch cast iron skillet with tin foil. (You can skip this step, but I don’t like scrubbing cast iron. Alternately, you can prepare this in a glass 9×13 inch baking pan.) Pour in peach pie filling. Top with pieces of the sugar cookie dough. Bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes until cookie dough is golden brown and delicious.

Overnight French Toast Using Ultra Gel

In the last few months our oldest boy has started working the graveyard shift. This means that instead of just hubs and I having breakfast together we are often joined by our son and sometimes all the kids. This has lead to trying several breakfast options including a cinnamon and brown sugar stuffed french toast which was a unanimous favorite.

This overnight french toast uses Ultra Gel in both the filling and in the egg custard to provide stability and help to hold the moisture close to the bread so you end up with a tender, chewy finished product. You need to prepare this overnight french toast the night before and then it takes about 45 minutes to bake. So it’s very easy and a great make ahead, but there is a timing factor to consider. It’s totally worth the planning because it’s amazingly good.

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Overnight French Toast with Ultra Gel

1 loaf Texas Toast (12 pieces)

1 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup butter

1 Tablespoon Ultra Gel

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

6 large eggs

1 1/2 cup milk (Or half and half if you want to be really decadent)

1/8 tsp salt

3 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 Tablespoons water

1 teaspoon vanilla

Optional: sprinkle of nutmeg and pecan pieces

In a medium sauce pan combine 1 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 cup butter and 1 Tablespoon Ultra Gel. Cook for 2-3 minutes until sugar is dissolved but not burned. Pour into the bottom of a greased 9×13 inch pan. Place one layer of bread over caramel layer, pressing it into the sugar. Top with a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon. Layer the remaining bread on top.

In a medium bowl combine eggs, milk, salt, Ultra Gel, water and vanilla. Pour evenly over bread layers. Sprinkle with nutmeg and nut pieces if desired.

Cover casserole with tin foil and refrigerate over night. The next morning bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 15-20 minutes until golden brown and delicious.

Serve warm. I flip it upside down as I serve it so the gooey sugar serves as the syrup. So yummy.