Friday, November 25, 2011

Thumbprint Cookies and PB&J Bread

Hi!  I am still on vacation from blogging, but I do have a fabulous post for you today.  It comes courtesy of my good friend, Courtney Pankrat.  She is a fabulous cook, and I think you will love these recipes!

Thumbprint cookies

I found this recipe in Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook (my father’s daughter).  It’s a beautiful cookbook and the recipes are delicious.

These cookies are super easy and really tasty.  Here’s what you need:

2 cups of barley flour (you can use regular flour but I like them better with barley flour)

1.5 cups of almond meal (you can put raw almonds in a blender or just buy almond meal)

½ tsp salt

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ cup maple syrup

½ cup Canola Oil

Fruit spread of your choice (I’ve tried these cookies with all three of the Gourmet Rooster spread flavors and all of them worked out wonderfully)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients in a bowl (except for the fruit spread)

Form the dough into little balls and put them on a cookie sheet.

Next you need to make indentations in the cookies.  You can use your finger/ thumb.  I like to use the wrong end of a wooden spoon because it makes perfectly symmetrical indentations.

With a small spoon, put a bit of fruit spread in each cookie.

Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes (I usually go for 18 so the cookies aren’t dry).

The last step is very important:  Let cool before eating.  The first time I made these I couldn’t wait to let them cool and the fruit spread was so hot it completely burned the roof of my mouth.  Be careful with this!

Peanut Butter and Jelly bread

Bread has always seemed to me like a difficult thing to make.  Then, I discovered Jim Lahey’s method of making bread.  It takes time (you have to let it rise for 12 or 13 hours) but it is really simple.

I got this recipe from Jim Lahey’s book called my bread.  This book has lots of good tips and recipes for bread.

Here’s what you need for the peanut butter and jelly (PB&J) bread:

1 egg (beaten)

2 ¼ cups of bread flour (you can use regular flour; I’ve found it’s about the same)

¾ tsp salt

¼ tsp yeast

1 + 2 tbsp water

3 tbsp peanut butter

¼ cup of peanuts

1/3 cup of fruit spread (I tried it using Gourmet Rooster’s Whiskey Apple and it was great!)

Okay, so there are peanuts in the paper bag.  I didn’t think to put them out on display when I took the photo.  Give me a break, I’m new at this! J

Mix together the flour, salt, yeast and all but 1 tbsp of the beaten egg.

Put the peanut butter and water in a blender and blend the two ingredients

Mix the peanut butter water in with the dry ingredients.  The dough should form and be a little bit sticky.  If it isn’t, add a bit of water (not too much).  I always find I have to add a little extra.

Cover the bowl and wait 12 – 16 hours.

When you uncover the dough it should have doubled in size and should be kind of bubbly.

Take the dough out of the bowl and lay it on a lightly floured surface.  Spread it out so it forms a rectangle and spread the fruit spread of your choice on it.

Sprinkle some of the peanuts over the spread and roll the dough up.

Spray a loaf pan with non stick cooking spray and sprinkle some of the peanuts on the bottom of the pan.

Put the bread mixture in the pan and sprinkle the rest of the peanuts on top.

Cover the bread for 1 or 2 hours to let rise again and preheat the over to 450.

Brush the leftover egg on top of the dough mixture and bake for about 1 hour.  If the peanuts start to burn, cover the bread with aluminum foil.  The recipe says to cook it for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  I only cooked my loaf for 45 minutes and it was definitely enough.

As soon as you take the bread out of the oven, take it out of the pan and let cool.  Wait until it has cooled before cutting into it.  And now you’ve got your own homemade bread!

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