Tuesday, January 6, 2009

REAL Spaghetti Carbonara

This recipe is so good -- and probably so bad for me, I LOVE it -- and everyone pretty much gobbled it up. In fact, #1 son ate it as leftovers this evening. That never happens. The prep is time intensive, and the ingredients can be pricey, but every now and then it's totally worth it.

1 cup finely diced fontina cheese
1/4 lb. bacon
6 oz. proscuitto
2 T. chopped parsley
2 garlic cloves minced
1 medium onion chopped
2 egg yolks
1 lb. spaghetti

Heat a bowl in the oven for the spaghetti
Put the water on to boil
Get out the food processor and chop up fontina cheese and proscuitto
Use a knife to chop onion parsley and garlic, and to slice bacon
Seperate 2 eggs (save yolks)

Throw the bacon in a pan and fry until crisp
Remove crisp bacon and drain, add onion to the pan, saute until tender, add garlic at the last minute or so
Cook the pasta
When the pasta is done, and drained, put it in the hot bowl
Toss with fontina cheese, proscuitto, onions/garlic, parsley, bacon, and egg yolks, toss to incorporate yolks (they'll cook as you toss)
Serve with parmesan cheese.

Christmas Cookies

Well it's the New Year already, and I'm on the verge of throwing away a bunch of cookies. In years past, we'd bake a bunch and give them to neighbors, but this year, for some reason, we never got around to passing them around. We ate a lot of them, but not all. I'd love to get all the recipes down here -- for future reference. But for now, a list will do. In 2008 we made:

1 cup butter, softened
2/3 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. light molasses
1 egg
3 1/2 c. flour
1 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
1 t. ground ginger
1 t. ground allspice
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground cloves

Combine butter, brown sugar, and molasses until light and fluffy
Add egg and all other ingredients, beat at low speed until combined and a smooth dough is created. Shape into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Cut with cookie cutters, back at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 c. unsalted butter
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. honey
1 egg
1/2 t. almond extract
Strawberry or apricot preserves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease baking sheets (or use silicone). Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. On medium speed, beat butter, sugar, and honey. Beat egg and almond extract. In 3 additions, add flour mixture, beating well after each additional.

Shape into 1" dough balls, place on baking sheets, indent with thumb and fill with 1/2 t. preserves. Bake for 10 minutes, transfer to wire racks after 2 to 4 minutes. Store in airtight container.

Drop Sand Tarts
1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla

Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs. Mix dry ingredients, gradually add vanilla. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes

Sugar Cookies
3 c. flour
3/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 c. unsalted butter softened
1 c. sugar
1 egg beaten
1 T. milk

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and milk. Gradually add dry ingredients. Divide dough in half, wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Roll out cold dough, use cookie cutters to make cookies and bake at 375 degrees for 7 to 9 minutes until just beginning to brown. Let cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet, then place on wire racks.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies (Chris' favorite)
1/4 lb. butter
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. flour
3/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 package of miniature peanut butter cups

Open the peanut butter cups and remove all wrappers

Cream together butter, peanut butter and sugars (granulated and brown)
Beat in egg and vanilla
Mix dry ingredients together (flour, baking soda, and salt), blend into sugar/egg mixture, and mix until smooth dough forms.

Form into balls and place in mini-muffin tins. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Immediately after removing trays from the oven, press a peanut butter cup into the center of each cookie. Let cookies cool in muffin tins for 10-15 minutes before removing the cookies to a wire rack.

Note to self: everything is better with frosting and sprinkles...