Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gingerbread Waffles

These waffles look like a great idea for Christmas morning or even a holiday brunch! I love gingerbread but sometimes I have problems making the old fashioned gingerbread cookies that I make each year. I posted that recipe last year. I had found it in a magazine when I was around 11 years old. I have been making those cookies off and on for years. Yet, I still have difficulties from time to time. I am pretty sure it is due to using cold eggs and other ingredients. I need to remember to leave the eggs and butter out for an hour or two to get them to room temperature. Anyway, these waffles sound like a good substitute if you don't feel like battling with gingerbread cookie dough!

Gingerbread Waffles
(3 servings)

• 3 eggs
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup molasses
• 1 cup buttermilk
• 1 and 1/2 cups flour
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 6 tablespoon (3/4 stick) butter -- melted and cooled
Preheat waffle iron to medium.

In a small bowl, beat eggs until light and fluffy. Add sugar, molasses and buttermilk, then beat.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add to batter and stir until smooth, then add butter and combine.

Pour about 1/2 to 3/4 cup batter into very hot waffle iron and bake for four to five minutes. Serve hot.


The Creative Cook

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Rosemary Butter Cookies

This is the time for cookies. Everybody makes cookies at Christmas. I decided to make these just because they were different. Putting Rosemary and other types of spices into cookies is very Victorian. The taste gets mellower. These are very aromatic cookies. If you don't like really sweet cookies, use cornmeal instead of sugar to coat the cookies. You'll get the same "crunch."

Rosemary Butter Cookies

Makes 5 dozen cookies (60 cookies)

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 tsp coarse salt
1/2 cup fine sanding sugar

Cream butter and sugar and add whole egg and vanilla. Add flour, rosemary, and salt. Mix until combined. Shape dough into 2 logs about 1 1/2 inches wide. Roll in parchment paper. Freeze until firm, about an hour. Brush each log with egg white and roll in sanding sugar. Cut into 1/4 inch rounds. Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper in a 350 oven for about 15 to 18 minutes until edges are barely brown. Cool on sheets on wire racks. Store in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.


The Creative Cook

Monday, December 7, 2009

Chicken & Biscuits

Talk about comfort food. Chicken and Biscuits is the quintessential America comfort food. I had never made it or even tried it before I took the plunge with this recipe yesterday. When I read the recipe to start cooking the Chicken and Biscuits it was already around 5:30 pm so I did not have two hours and 20 minutes to spend cooking a whole chicken. Instead, I used chicken breasts. I not only had some on hand but I knew it would take a whole lot less than an hour to cook them. I left out the mushrooms because I don't like them. My boys would have probably loved it if I had used them. Sorry guys. I also reduced the amount of salt and I used dried tarragon because that is what I had. The broth for the chicken and biscuits is so delicious. I was skeptical about using cayenne pepper but it turned out well. The recipe comes from and it was posted there by John Mitzewich. Good job, John!

As John says, don't let the ingredient list fool you, this chicken and biscuits recipe is very simple to make and almost impossible to mess up!

Makes 8 portions of Chicken and Biscuits
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours

1 large chicken (about 4 pounds)
2 quarts water or broth
1 bay leaf
4 cloves garlic, cut in half
1 whole clove
3 carrots, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
3 ribs celery, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1 large onion, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
6 mushrooms, quartered
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cream or milk
1 package (8 portions) buttermilk biscuits, baked according to the package directions.

Rinse the chicken and place it in a Dutch oven or other large pot with a lid. Add the water, bay leaf, garlic, and clove. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Skim foam from the surface, cover, turn heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. Carefully remove the chicken to a bowl to cool. Strain the broth into another bowl and reserve. Discard bay leaf, garlic, and clove.

Place the pot back on medium heat, and add the butter, carrots, celery, onion, and mushrooms. Saute the vegetables in the butter for 5 minutes, until they begin to soften. Add the flour, and cook stirring for about 5 minutes, or until the flour begins to smell like cooked pie crust.

Add the reserved broth and whisk into the flour and vegetable mixture. Add the salt, pepper, herbs and spices. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

In the meantime, remove all the cooled chicken from the bones, and tear into large chunks. When the vegetables are done, stir in the cream, and the chicken. Bring back to simmer, and cook for 5 minutes to heat the chicken through. More liquid can be added in this step if the gravy is too thick. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve hot in bowls, topped with a buttermilk biscuit.


The Creative Cook