The TeaMate 690 by Chef’s Choice now on eBay

Chef’s Choice TeaMate ™  Made in Germany  for Edgecraft Corporation.

This is, in my opinion, the best electric tea brewer ever made.  Of course I have not had the opportunity to try ALL the electric automatic tea brewers “ever” made but I have tried quite a few, including some Goblin Teasmade units imported from England.

This appliance was introduced to the U.S. in late 1996 and was featured in several magazine and newspaper articles.  I saw an ad and an article about it in late 1996 in Tea, a Magazine (Published by Olde English Tea Company). Being already a collector of tea appliances, teapots, tea accessories, I had to have one.

I purchased a TeaMate 690 in 1997 and about a year later, I purchased this one, for “backup.”  I have used them both but this one only when I was away from home for a few weeks (took it with me as it was still in the box and easier to transport).

Unlike other tea brewers, it has a unique function in that it introduces STEAM into the brewing chamber that holds the tea leaves (tea bags are also acceptable) so the leaves “uncurl and expand, exposing more surface area for optimum extraction of flavor and aroma.”  Then, “A portion of the just-boiled water steeps tea leaves (or tea bags) for the precise pre-selected time period.  And “After steeping cycle, rich tea concentrate combines with the remaining just boiled water and flows into the preheated carafe…ready to pour the ultimate cup of tea!”

AND YOU USE LESS TEA PER CUP THAN WHEN BREWING IN A REGULAR TEA POT!  For the full 8 cups, FOUR scant spoons of tea is more than sufficient and with strong black teas, such as the Nilgiri or Assam, I use 3 and the tea is certainly strong enough.

And it is ideal for RE-STEEPING loose teas as many of the PREMIUM FULL-LEAF teas can be steeped multiple times – the brewing time just takes longer, which is why in THIS appliance the brewing time can be a long as 15 minutes!  The appliance has to be cold and cold fresh water added to the water chamber for this process to work reliably.

A friend, who bought one of these on my recommendation in 2000, is a fan of Pu-erh tea, a tea that is subjected to extended fermentation and is highly prized in China.  She re-steeps the Pu-erh up to TEN TIMES, and says the later infusions are better than the earlier ones.  I can’t say as I am NOT a fan of this tea, to me it tastes and smells like mildew – the folks who like it say it has the flavor of “damp forest floor” or “damp wood” and it is not to my taste.  (Frankly in some there is an aroma of wet chicken feathers, which really puts me off even attempting to taste it.)

In any event, the multiple steeping of black tea, green tea and especially OOLONGS  makes this an advantage when brewing expensive premium teas because with multiple steepings, the cost per cup is significantly reduced.

And you can BLEND your own teas.  A spoonful or two of black tea combined with a spoonful of one of the spice mixtures or spice tea mixtures will produce a lovely cup similar to the very popular CHAI teas and you can adjust it to YOUR preference.

I don’t know why this company decided to cease distribution in the U.S. but it is a shame because this was a very good appliance.

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TeaMate Side:controls

5: T M Dispensing into carafe

6:T M finished dispensing

TeaMate brewing chamber

T M brew chamber w:o filter

T M Brew chamber w:o holder

T M CONTROLS

2:Teamate box front

8: TeaMate box details

9: TeaMate box instructions

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I put my pink 1960 Sunbeam Mixmaster on Ebay

I just listed my Pink Sunbeam Mixmaster Model 12 from 1960  on EBAY.

There are so many and I have to get rid of some so am putting them up for auction little by little.

The Model 12 was manufactured from 1957 to 1967 and was the first “Twelve-speed” Mixmaster (actually there were really just 11 speeds). And was very popular. Besides the basic white, it was made in this pretty pink color and also in Aqua, Yellow and Chrome.

This was not used much, the lady who owned it before me was a business woman who did only minimal cooking. She said she ate out most of the time.  Her kitchen was the then “fashionable” pink and gray.  I’ve had this one and another pink in my collection for about 25 years.  The base and stand on the other one suffered a “fatal” accident so I am selling it along with this complete one.

Pink #2

Pink #1

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Pink #4

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A routine for preparing multiple batches of cookies.

COOKIE BAKING ROUTINE

This is not a compilation of recipes.  I am sure most people have their favorites or their “to try” recipes already lined up.

This is my routine for doing the chore of MEASURING all those dry ingredients ACCURATELY, ahead of time so the actual cookie mixing and baking is much less of a chore.

I have published it as a page so just click on the link above.

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WAFFLE SCONES!/

I had a brainstorm this morning – a good one – and I’m passing it on to you.

I was mixing a batch of scones – the extremely easy ones that are made with SELF-RISING FLOUR (or SELF-RAISING Flour if you are in the UK) and heavy cream plus a little sugar – not much, scones should not be sweet like cake.

For this batch I decided to splurge a bit and added a couple of eggs and a little vanilla extract and about a tablespoon of oil (my preference is rice bran oil but any neutral vegetable oil will do) to make them a bit more tender.

The basic recipe is the same as my BISCUITS! recipe,

1 cup heavy cream
2 cups self-rising flour (it should be fresh – after several months the baking powder tends to lose strength but you can add some yourself)

For scones with just a hint of sweetness, add a 1/4 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or other flavor – almond, lemon or orange – with some of the zest grated from the rind)
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

2 eggs.

Measure out everything.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, pour the
cream, add the
eggs and the
oil

beat with a whisk to combine

add the sugar and vanilla and beat.

Add one cup of the flour and beat just until it is completely incorporated
add half of the remaining cup and beat until it looks like thick batter

It should hold its shape when mounded up. If not add a little more flour, stir to combine
and add more if it still seems too soft.

Usually at this point we turn the dough out onto a board and knead a bit more flour into it, cut into rounds and bake in the oven.
NOT TODAY, Today I am making waffles from this dough.
VARIATIONS: At this point you can add dried fruits – cranberries, raisins, chopped apricots, dates, figs, etc., to the dough, mixing well.
You can also substitute up to 1/3 the amount of flour with almond flour, other nut flours, coconut flour, and the various “exotic” flours that have become popular in the past few years. Sorghum flour (Bob’s Red Mill sweet white is excellent) is somewhat sweet so cut the sugar by half if using it. You can add finely chopped nuts or thinly sliced almonds but anything in larger chunks tends to stick between the bumps on the grid and pull the waffle apart when the top is opened. (I have experienced this so I know what happens).
My waffle iron is a “vintage” one that has the bare metal grids that need periodic “oiling” and I use the spray stuff.
It’s a regular waffle iron, I don’t care for the Belgian type. And with this treatment, it is virtually non-stick.

I used a “disher” or ice cream scoop – a large one but a serving spoon will work. The one pictured is a Size 8 – holds 4 ounces to the rim, obviously with the dough mounded up, there is probably 6 ounces in each scoop that goes onto the waffler.

HPIM8026

The waffle when first turned on (Med/Hot) takes a while to heat up but once hot, stays so until turned off.
Yours may heat faster – and there should be a signal to show when it is hot.

I set my digital timer for 5 minutes.

When the light on the wafflers goes out – that signals it is hot.
I spray both grids – just roughly in the center ALWAYS spray oil when hot –

apply the dough to the center and close the iron and start the timer.

HPIM8027

As soon as it sounds I open the waffler, remove the waffle with tongs to a cooling rack (so they will stay crisp)

The first is a plain one.  The second is one with dried cranberries added to the dough.

HPIM8025

HPIM8028
I give both grids a quick oil spritz and apply another batch of dough.

And so on until all the dough has been waffled…

The little “pockets” in these waffle scones are prefect for holding additions such as clotted cream, jam or jelly, whipped butter with honey or maple syrup or whatever you fancy.

And, when completely cool, they can be closed in a zip lock bag and refrigerated for a couple of days or frozen up to four or five weeks and reheated in your toaster or toaster oven.

ENJOY!

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Easy Cinnamon Raisin Rolls (or Dried Cranberries)

I’m a big fan of allowing appliances to do some of the tedious, repetitive work in the kitchen.

Specifically, the BREAD MACHINE  –  I don’t mean actually BAKING in it, although that works fine for regular bread.  But when you want something like rolls and especially cinnamon rolls, but find it a real chore to do the mixing, kneading and WATCHING while it rises a couple of times and needs punching down between rises.  So most folks don’t bother and will buy a lesser quality item from a store.

You can use any number of actual recipes for sweet dough and allow the machine to mix and knead and rise it.

That’s not what I am going to blog about today.

Boxed BREAD MIXES!   It’s funny that folks I know who think nothing of making a cake from a box mix, completely ignore the bread mixes in boxes.  You can even buy them from Amazon  and they are excellent.

If you are not going to bake in the bread machine, you can use TWO bread mixes and I like to combine “flavors” to get the end product I prefer.

For this batch of cinnamon rolls I used ONE box of Krusteaz Hawaiian Sweet bread and one box of Hodgson Mill Wholesome White (a local market carries almost the full line of Hodgson Mill bread mixes).

First I add up the amount of WARM water for both mixes because my machine says put the liquid in the pan first.  I then add the oil or fat specified – I used half butter and half rice bran oil because using oil produces a bread that has more moisture and takes longer to stale.

Then I dump in the bread mix, level it off and add just ONE of the yeast packets, you can add both but it is usually not necessary.

I also add TWO TABLESPOONS of sugar.  Then load the pan into the machine making sure it is locked down.  Close the lid, you can watch but wait till most of the flour has been moistened – unless you want flour blown into your face.

Select the DOUGH setting and push START.  After it has been mixing for awhile, check to make sure it looks okay, like dough and not like batter (a sign of too much liquid).  You can add a little more flour a tablespoon at a time.  If everything looks okay, go off and do something else, the machine will take care of the dough and will stop when the cycle is finished and it doesn’t hurt to leave it in there for a while longer, it may rise to the top and hit the window, but that’s okay.

While all that is going on you can mix up a batch of cinnamon/sugar.   1/2 cup sugar (or Truvia for those who like it) to 2 Tablespoons of cinnamon (if you really like cinnamon, add a bit more)  and 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg – you can omit this if you like or you can substitute ground cardamom, if you like it.

Measure out 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped pecans – or another nut if you like  and  1/2 cup of raisins.

Mix the raisins and nuts together and toss with a scant Tablespoon of flour, making sure the raisins aren’t clumped together, then add the cinnamon/sugar mix and toss so the fruit and nuts are evenly distributed.  You can make this ahead and store in an airtight container.

Now comes the fun.

Put a little pile of flour in one corner of your working area and generously sprinkle some over the counter or board where you will work the dough.

Knead it a bit until it looks like this and has a “springy” feel.

HPIM7796

 

Now divide it in half because we are only going to use half today and the other half is going to “rest” in the fridge, in a plastic bag which you have oiled lightly inside (or spritzed with some cooking spray).

HPIM7797

HPIM7806

 

Knead today’s half until it is again nicely shaped and cover it with a kitchen towel and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.

Flatten it with your hands and stretch it into an approximate rectangle, doesn’t have to be perfectly shaped.   You can use a rolling pin to flatten it even further, you want it to be no more than 1/2 inch thick, a little thinner is okay.

Now brush the dough with half of the melted butter leaving 1 1/2 inches bare on the far side, then spread the filling over it, again leaving about 1 1/2 inches bare at the side opposite the one near you.  (If you don’t want to use butter to save calories, just sprits the dough with water – it helps with the sticking together and the rising.)

Like this.

HPIM7798

 

Now start rolling it up into a cylinder, tightly, tucking in any stray bits of filling that try to escape. Brush or spritz the bare edge with water and finish rolling, pinching the free edge into the dough of the outside.

And it should look like this:

HPIM7799

 

Put the “seam” side down and with a sharp knife, cut the roll into pieces about 1 1/2 inches wide.  Like this.

HPIM7800

I used a “bench knife” but any sharp, non-serrated, blade will work.

Arranged the segments on a cookie sheet or in a baking pan (I like lots of crust so use a sheet pan or in this case a pizza pan).

Cover with your towel and set the timer for 30 minutes.

HPIM7801

When the timer sounds, turn on your oven to 350° F.

Leave the rolls covered for another 10 minutes while the oven is heating.

NOW!  Brush the tops with the rest of the melted butter.

HPIM7802

And sprinkle with the reserved cinnamon sugar.  

HPIM7803

 

Place the pan on the middle rack in the oven and set your timer for 25 minutes.

When the timer sound, turn the oven off but don’t open the door – wait 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, onto a cooling rack and wait about 10 minutes.

HPIM7804

Now you can use a spatula to transfer the rolls to the rack, don’t burn yourself on the hot pan or handling the rolls – they will be very hot, especially the sugary stuff.

ENJOY!

 

 

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My collections are going on ebay. Some of them…

I have been selling a few of my things on ebay, but now have decided to sell more.  In many cases it is difficult saying goodbye to things I have cherished for so many years – or in some cases decades – but now it is time to part with them and reclaim the space they have occupied in my house.

At present I have several vintage items on auction at my ebay.

There are some “watchers” on some of the items but no outright bids as yet.

One person sent me a private message explaining that she is reluctant to bid on ebay items because of the possibility of getting into a “bidding war” and driving the price up past what she would like to pay.

HAVEN’T THESE PEOPLE EVER HEARD OF BIDNAPPER??  There are other “robot” bidding systems, but I have used Bidnapper for years and with great success.  Only ONCE have I failed to win an auction and that was my fault.

One can set the absolute maximum one is willing to pay for an item and forget about the auction until after it ends.  Bidnapper will notify you if there is an active bid for a higher amount – ignore it because you don’t want to spend more.   After the end of the auction, bidnapper will notify your that you have won (or not) and you can go to ebay and complete the transaction.  It is so EASY, it is something a child can do.

Anyway, I am ready to add this pretty set of SUNBEAM ART DECO Coffee and Tea servers with their own “stoves” (what manufacturers called hot plates specifically made for appliances in the ’30s), cream and sugar and tray.   This design is so evocative of that era that I would not be surprised to see Hercule Poirot pouring a “tisane” from one of these pots.

SB 1

The next photo with the “stoves” in front.  They heat up rapidly.

SB 2

Close up of the cream and sugar.

SB 6

Close ups of one of the stoves top and bottom:

SB 7

SB 8

Close ups of the coffee and tea carafes:  They have some surface scratches – not surprising since they are about 80 years old!

I have not attempted to polish them but have been assured some careful applications of Semichrome – and some elbow grease will do wonders.

SB 10 SB 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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English muffins “almost” but actually non-traditional.

I’ve made English muffins and crumpets the traditional way many, many times.  The batter is easy to prepare but the difficulties come in the use of the “muffin rings” which often stick and the muffin has chunks pulled out of it when attempting to remove the rings.

So, I began experimenting with a different method, remembering how my grandpa’s cook made “potato cakes” using a sandwich press when I was a child back in the 1940s.

I have several of these vintage appliances, in addition to a very modern Cuisinart Griddler, and figured if a similar item could be done decades ago, why not try it now.

Because I like the way dough turns out when mixed and kneaded and “incubated” in a bread machine using the “Dough” cycle, I developed my recipe for that but a mixer can also be used.

Here’s the recipe:

English Muffins – bread machine

Ingredients

  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour    I added 2/3 cup rye flour for my most recent batch  UNSIFTED.
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons “instant” dry yeast – get the bread machine type.
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar or honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup milk – at room temp
  • 3/4 cup water  —- FIRST ADD JUST 1/2 CUP, RESERVE 1/4 TO ADD IF THE DOUGH IS TOO DRY.
  • Sometimes the flours will absorb more water and a small amount of additional water must be added,  a TABLESPOON AT A TIME WHILE THE MACHINE IS KNEADING.

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in the bread machine pan in the order suggested by the manufacturer.
  2. Select the DOUGH cycle.
  3. At the end of the dough cycle remove dough from machine.
  4. Divide dough into two parts, place each part in a greased ziplock bag and refrigerate overnight.
  5. With a bench knife cut one part into pieces slightly larger than a golf ball.
  6. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes
  7. Meanwhile turn on Griddler or sandwich press to highest setting.
  8. Mash the balls flat and place 2 or 3 pieces on bottom griddle surface and close the lid
  9. Bake about 8 minutes and check to see if they are browned
  10. Using a spatula transfer to a cooling rack
  11. place more dough rounds and repeat baking process until all are done.

Test the first one by splitting to see if the interior is done – if not they can be returned to the Griddler

– lower heat setting to medium – and allow to bake for an additional 5 minutes or so until fully done.

You can also use a mixer – with the dough hook –  after the dough has formed a ball, mix on medium speed for at least 8 minutes.

Cover the bowl and allow to rise, punch down and let rise again before proceeding with direction number FOUR.

PHOTOS OF THE PROCESS:

Remove dough from refrigerator and allow to come to room temp and ferment – takes about 2 – 3 hours.

English Muffins 1

 

Turn out onto lightly floured board and knead:

English Muffins 2

Form into log about 2 inches in diameter:

English Muffins 3

 

Cut into about 8 pieces for a batch this size.  Approximately the size of a golf ball plus.

English Muffins 4

Now you want to form these odd pieces into a firm, round ball.

English Muffins 5

Lightly oil a small area (6 inches in diameter is about right) on your board (scrape the flour off first) so you will have some traction for shaping the pieces.

English Muffins 5a

Cup you hand over the piece of dough and roll in counter-clockwise motion (if you are right-handed) so the dough forms into a ball.

Like this:

English Muffins 5b

Line them up on a lightly floured surface:

HPIM7538

Cover with a tea towel – if it is very dry in your area, spritz the towel with a little water.

Allow to rise for about an hour, longer if it is cool.

MEANWHILE, SET A TIMER FOR 40 MINUTES AND WHEN IT SOUNDS, TURN ON YOUR GRIDDLER OR SANDWICH PRESS.

They should look like this and should “dimple” easily when poked with a finger.

English Muffins 6

Flatten them with your knuckles – make a fist and really pound them till flattened, like this:

English Muffins 8

Using a spatula, transfer to the hot Griddler and close the top.

English Muffins 9

At first they will be flat but soon will begin to rise.

English Muffins 9a

After about 5 minutes they will look like this

English Muffins 9b

Another 3-4 minutes they look like this:

English Muffins 9c

After about 10 minutes (some appliances cook faster than others)

They will look like this:

HPIM7544

They are done!  Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool.

This is what one of these looks like when split, using a sharp, serrated knife.

English muffin, split

The dark bits are from the rye flour.

You can do this with just about any boxed bread mix for bread machines, you may have to add just a tad more water but the results should be about the same.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MASTER BASIC COOKIE RECIPE with VARIATIONS

After a too-long hiatus, here is another recipe/method which should be handy for the not-too-far-away  HOLIDAY BAKING SEASON.  Note that most of these cookies store well without become stale.  Do not store in plastic bags or containers for long periods.  These do best in the metal cookie tins that your mothers or grandmothers favored.

This is the recipe for a BASIC COOKIE MIX that can be prepared ahead of time, stored in the fridge or freezer and used when needed to quickly assemble batches of cookies adding what I have suggested or adding your own variations – the possibilities are endless. Dried fruits, nuts, M&Ms, Reeses pieces, different spices and so on.
I used to use this for holiday gifts – giving a jar of this with the additives in Ziplock bags – leaving only the perishable stuff needed to add.

Note that some of the recipes require the addition of cake flour. Because some need more and some less – and it tends to clump into hard lumps if mixed into the basic stuff, that needs to be added with the other ingredients. You can also use organic pastry flour, or “soft” wheat flour, such as White Lily – it just has to be very low gluten so the cookies are tender.
It can be omitted completely, you just need to use a bit more of the basic mix or a bit less liquid.

MASTER BASIC COOKIE RECIPE

 

10   cups all-purpose flour

3    cups white sugar

3    cups light brown sugar

4    Tablespoons baking powder

4    teaspoons kosher salt

3   cups butter – cut into small cubes  – divide into two batches

Mix all the dry ingredients together.

Place half the dry mixture into the bowl of a food processor (depending on size of processor – smaller machines use 1/3)

Add half the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like fine bread crumbs.

Transfer to a container that can be tightly sealed and is fridge or freezer safe.  Mixture will keep for weeks in the fridge, months in freezer.

Process the other half of the dry ingredients with the remainder of the butter again until it looks like fine bread crumbs.

Transfer to the container.

Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before using in one of the following recipes.

 

VARIATIONS ON A THEME – COOKIES EVERY WHICH WAY

#####

OATMEAL RAISIN

Yield – about 30 cookies – depending on size of portion

2     Cups – Basic cookie mix

3      Cups rolled oats –  Old-Fashioned are best but any type will work.

1/4   Cup  Dark brown sugar, firmly packed

1      Cup Raisins – or Sultanas (other dried fruits chopped can be substituted. Also candied ginger, coconut chips, dried banana chips, etc.)  Be creative!

1/2   teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2   teaspoon ground allspice

1 1/2  sticks softened butter

1     large egg

1     teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3     Tablespoons dark molasses

Combine all the dry ingredients – and the raisins – in a large bowl

Beat the softened butter with the egg, vanilla and molasses and add to the dry ingredient.

Stir until well blended.

Drop walnut-sized portions onto a baking sheet lined with parchment – leave about 1 1/2 inches between for cookies to spread.

Bake in a pre-heated oven (350° F.)  for 18 minutes.

Remove from oven, slide parchment onto a cooling rack.

 

LEMON SUGAR COOKIES

Yield, about 40 cookies.

3     Cups Basic cookie mix

1     Cup cake flour

1     Large egg (slightly beaten)

1     Tablespoon – Rounded – grated lemon zest

1     Tablespoon  lemon juice

1/2   cup granulated sugar for rolling cookie balls

Mix together  cookie mix, cake flour, egg, lemon zest and lemon juice in a large bowl until completely blended.

Turn out onto parchment paper or silicone kneading mat.

Divide into 4 portions.

Form into small rolls about 1 inch in diameter.

Wrap individually in plastic wrap and chill for at least two hours.

Pre-heat oven to 350° F.

Cut rolls into 1-inch pieces and roll between palms to form balls.

Roll balls in granulated sugar.

Arrange balls on baking sheet lined with parchment, flatten with bottom of a glass dipped in sugar.

Leave about 1 inch space between cookies.

Bake for 6 – 8 minutes  (If using convection oven, use shorter baking time)

Remove from oven, slide parchment onto cooling rack.

 

CRANBERRY & WHITE CHOCOLATE COOKIES

(I can’t ear regular chocolate – chocolate chips can be substituted)

VARIATION –  may add 1/2 cup chopped pecans or macadamia nuts  OR other dried fruits, chopped if larger than raisin size, coconut chips, etc.

2 1/2   Cups basic cookie mix

1/2   Cupcake flour

1     Tablespoon – heaping – grated orange zest

1     Large egg  beaten

2     Tablespoons water (or orange juice)

1     Cup dried cranberries

1     Cup while chocolate chunks or white chocolate chips

Variations – add if desired –

Extra granulated sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer bowl  mix together the  dry ingredients, toss with the cranberries and chocolate chunks and nuts if desired.

Add the egg, the liquid and mix until thoroughly blended.

Shape into balls about 1 1/2 inch in diameter (or larger if desired)

Rolls balls in granulated sugar.

Place on baking sheet lined with parchment, about 3 inches apart and flatten slightly so they don’t roll and to allow cookies to spread.

Bake for 15 minutes, cookies should be just slightly browed around the edges.

Remove from oven and slide parchment with cookies intake onto cooling rack.

 

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

VARIATION

P-NUT BUTTER COOKIES WITH TOFFEE BITS

Yield:  About 4 dozen cookies – depending on size.

2 1/2   Cups basic cookie mix

1     Cup cake flour

1     Cup creamy peanut butter

1     Large egg

(Variation)  1/2 cup Toffee bits

A little flour for use in finishing shape.

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a large mixing bowl (or stand mixer) place all ingredients and mix until well blended and mixture is texture of soft clay.

Scoop into portions – 1″ to 2″ in diameter – depending on size of finished cookies you want.

Roll into balls  and place about 2 inches apart on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Using a dinner fork dipped in flour, mash cookies flat in a criss-cross pattern OR use the bottom of a glass with an incised design – I use one with a “hobnail” design.

Bake in preheated oven for 12 – 15 minutes, depending on size of cookies – A convection oven will take less time.

The cookies should be only slightly browned at the edges.

Remove from oven and slide parchment with cookies intact onto cooling rack.

 

TRIPLE GINGER BISCUITS (TIP OF THE HAT TO ENGLAND)

Yield about 40 cookies

3     Cups Basic Cookie Mix

1     Cup cake flour

1     Tablespoon ground ginger

1     Tablespoon grated FRESH GINGER

1     Tablespoon  finely minced CANDIED OR CRYSTALLIZED GINGER (omit this if not on hand)

1     Teaspoon ALLSPICE

1     Large egg, slightly beaten

2     Tablespoons water

1/4  Cup molasses  or Lyle’s Golden Syrup if you have it on hand.  DO NOT USE HONEY

Granulated sugar for rolling cookie balls.

Mix all ingredients (except granulated sugar) in a large bowl until well blended. (if mixture seems too dry add another tablespoon of water.

Place in fridge and chill for an hour or so.

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

Using a small scoop or two teaspoons, drop portions of dough into granulated sugar spread in a pie tin.

Roll into balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet, leave about 2 inches between for cookies to spread.

Bake for 15 minutes – cooked should barely show color at the edges – shorten time if using convection oven.Remove from oven and slide parchment with cookies intact onto cooling racks.  Cool completely and store in air-tight tin.

DO NOT STORE IN PLASTIC!

 

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July 9, 2014 Foolproof 2-ingredient cream biscuits.

This ONLY WORKS with a soft wheat flour.  All self-rising flours are made with soft wheat.   You can also find some “plain” soft wheat flours – White Lily is one but self-rising flour is marketed by Pillsbury, Gold Medal, King Arthur Flour (sold at Walmart too), and my favorite, Odlums, a product of Ireland sold online at Food Ireland.com.

This is a versatile recipe but the basic biscuits are virtually foolproof.  And there is no need to “cut butter or fat into the dry ingredients” as is called for in almost all biscuit recipes.  The heavy cream substitutes for the fat.

Self-Rising flour – – 2 cups      (also about 1/4 cup of regular flour for flouring the board)

Heavy cream – – 1 cup

Mix just till blended – turn out dough onto floured board

fold and knead 4 or 5 times.

Pat or roll out into half inch slab.   If you have a rolling pin, use it but not necessary.

Fold in half and press out or roll to 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick.

ALLOW TO REST FOR 5-10 MINUTES

Pre-heat oven to 400°F.

With a sharp biscuit cutter cut into rounds

OR with a sharp knife cut crossways into squares. (Can also use a pizza wheel)

Transfer to a baking pan with sides just barely touching.

BISCUITS 1

Bake for 12 minutes – turn pan back to front

Bake another 10 minutes or until biscuits are the color in

the second photo.

BISCUITS  2

They should split naturally – because of that “fold” before cutting.

BISCUITS  3

Serve hot or warm but these are also good cold.

Serve with plain butter and jam, compound butter with herbs or cream cheese with herbs, etc.

Option! Add a tablespoon or so of sugar to the dry ingredients, before adding the cream. This will give you a slightly sweet biscuit suitable for strawberry shortcake or other fruit applications.

Add the sugar plus raisins, currants, dried cranberries, etc., and cut with larger cutter  to make scones.

Scone photos:

scones currant 7:1:14

SCONES

scones currant 7:1:144

For a SAVORY biscuit you can add grated Parmesan cheese – you will need to add a bit more cream.  You can also add black pepper or cayenne to use the biscuits as a base for canapes, etc.

These are small “cocktail biscuits”  cut with a 1 1/2 inch cutter  (standard is 3 inches)

Cocktail biscuits1

Cocktail biscuits3

These also are rolled or patted out and folded and rolled before cutting so they split naturally.

Cocktail biscuits4

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Copper KA now on ebay

The copper mixer is now on ebay – item # 181461398018.
As the last one I saw sold for 836.00 I think I have priced this one competitively.

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