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Lewes, Delaware
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December 19, 1997     Cape Gazette
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December 19, 1997

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56 - CAPE GAZETYE, Friday, December 19 - December 25, 1997 FOOD & DRINK Down to the wire: easy bar cookies for busy cooks For busy holiday cooks, easy-to- make bar cookies like honey fig bars, honey coconut pecan bar-s and honey blondies come to the rescue. With the holidays upon us, the quest for easy-to-make, home- made treats begins again. You want to be the perfect holi- day host yet don't want to spend endless hours in the kitchen. Easy bar cookies, kissed with the sweet taste of honey, come to the rescue when you're looking for something to delight the kids, co- workers and relatives. For flavors that are sure to please, you can't go wrong with honey, :oconut, figs and choco- late. With delicious flavor combi- nations and easy-to-follow recipes, these bar cookies are won- derful treats for winter snacks, hostess gifts, potluck fare or party tbod. Honey fig bars, honey coconut pecan bars and honey blondies are simple to mix together, bake and cut. And they all infuse the house" with the irresistible smell of home baking. For even greater versatility, bake a double batch. Put one batch into decorative tins for thoughtful gifts and take the rest to office potlucks or holi- day parties. Or keep the extra batch, stored in an air-tight con- tainer, for unexpected guests or a simple no-fuss dessert. Honey is the perfect ingredient for all your holiday cooking. Baked goods like cookies, cakes and breads all come out moister and golden-hued with honey, and stay fresh longer. For easiest and best results, use recipes like these that call for hon- ey, although you can substitute honey for up to half the sugar in other recipes. With a little experi- mentation, honey can replace all the sugar in some recipes. And don't be afraid to experiment with different varieties of honey. There are approximately 300 types of horiey in the United States - the tastes of which range from lightly sweet to richly bold. In general, the lighter the color of honey, the milder the flavor. Try mild clover or orange blossom in honey blondies and honey coconut pecan bars or bold buckwheat in honey fig bars and other rich desserts. When you don't have much time during the holiday, but want to make something homemade, try these easy recipes baked with the golden touch of honey. Honey Coconut Pecan Bars 1 C graham cracker crumbs 1 C plus 2 T all-purpose flour, divided 1/2 C cold, cubed butter or margarine 3 eggs, divided 1 C honey 1 t vanilla extract 1/2 t baking powder 112 cup shredded coconut 1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips 1/2 C chopped toasted pecans Makes 16 squares. In food processor with metal blade, combine graham cracker crumbs, 1 cup flour and butter; pulse to combine. Mixture should resemble course meal. Add 1 egg and process until dough forms a bail. Press dough evenly into greased 9xl3-inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes, until crust is set and lightly browned. Allow to cool In medium bowl, combine remaining 2 tablespoons flour and 2 eggs with remaining ingredients until thoroughly blended. Pour mixture over crust and bake for 30-35 minutes, until top- ping is firm and golden brown. Allow to cool completely. Cut into squares. Honey Blondies 1 C honey 3/4 C butter or margarine, softened 1 egg 1 t vanilla extract 2 C ail-purpose flour 1/2 t baking powder 1/2 C semisweet chocolate chips 1/2 C chopped toasted pecans Makes 16 squares. In medium bowl, cream honey and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour and baking powder; mix until combined. Fold in chocolate chips and . pecans. Spread batter into greased 9x9-inch square baking' dish. Bake at 350 F for 40 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely. Cut into squares. Honey Fig Bars. 1-1/4 C honey, divided 1/2 C butter or margarine, softened I egg 1 C all-purpose flour 2 C whole-wheat flour 1 t baking powder 1/2 t baking soda llb dried figs 2 T lemon juice 2 t grated lemon peel Makes 16 bars. In medium bowl, cream 3/4 cup honey with butter until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Add flours, baking powder and baking soda; mix until combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and freeze, until firm (about two hours) or refriger- ate overnight. Meanwhile, in food processor with metal blade, place remaining 1/2 cups honey, figs, lemon juice and lemon peel. Process until figs are finely chopped. Set aside. When dough is well chilled, dust work surface and dough with flour. Working quickly, roll dough to l/4-inch thick. With sharp knife, trim dough into twol2x3- inch rectangles. (Dough trimmings can be used to make cut-out cook- ies.) Spread half of fig mixture evenly down center of one rectan- gle. Gently fold right side of rec- tangle over filling, then fold left side over right so they overlap. Bar cookies are a quick and festival addition to the holi- day table. Pinch ends to seal. Repeat with remaining rectangle and fig mix- ture. Carefully place logs seam- side down on greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 F for 15 min- utes, until lightly browned. Remove sheet from oven; allow logs to cool 5 minutes on sheet. Transfer to wire rack; cool com- pletely. Cut into 2-inch bars. 2 (4-serving Size) packages. Prepared whip:topp'mg f0r .ROYAL Imtant Chocolate d, ding& Pie Filling Silver drages (optional) Lightly !greasea plastic wrap,lined g i-  4 :in x. 2 I/2=inch loaf pan ._Snkle:2/3 cup Cookie crumbs: on: bottom and sides Of pan, set aSideS:With : mir atlow s, beat podding-and:light cream or half-and, half fOr:one: minute: Poif :into i::;.l::th!f4:eup:cookje::crusChiIl Relax, it's (2hristmas morning and the rush is over This just in. A friend sent a Martha Stewart holiday calendar. We are a little bit behind schedule, but that's nothing new for lower slower. If we give this the old Sus- sex try, I bet we can get this right. December 18 - Blanch carcass from Thanksgiving turkey. Spray- paint gold, turn upside down and use as a sleigh to hold Christmas cards. December 19 - Have Morman Tabernacle Choir record outgoing Christmas message for answering machine. December 20 - Repaint Sistine Chapel ceiling in ecru, with mocha trim. December 21 - Fax Christmas newsletter to Pulitzer committee for consideration. There's more, but let's get to the rex,-rps. rk e'e'd, af (rlrr- r Christmas breakfast and how that can be prepared in advance. My favorite is a slice of apple pie with a slice of cheese. Hey, this is Christmas morning. FOCUS ON FOOD Apple Pie Pastry 314 to 1 C sugar 1. T flour 1/2 t cinnamon 1/8 t salt 4fro ffCappl'es, peefed, sffced 1 T lemon juice 2 T butter Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Spread half of this mix- ture over pastry-lined pan. Add apples and sprinkle remainder of mixture over the apples. Sprinkle with lemon juice and dot with but- ter. Roll, fit and seal upper crust. Bake on lower shelf at 425 F for 30 to 40 minutes. From the "Flavors of Cape Hen- lopen" cookbook: Sticky Buns 2 loaves frozen bread, thawed. 1 C nuts 1 C raisins 1 C brown sugar 2 t milk 1 large box vanilla pudding (dry, uncooked, not instant) 1 1/2 C butter or margarine 2 t cinnamon Grease 9 x 13-inch pan well. Sprinkle nuts and raisins in bottom of pan. Pull and roll dough into walnut-size balls and layer over nuts and"raisins, gpr/ntfe with vanilla pudding mix. Heat remain- ing ingredients and mix well. Pour over dough balls and pudding. Cover with aluminum foil. Refrig- erate overnight. Remove from refrigerator and let stand while preheating oven to 350 F, Remove foil and bake 30 minutes. Turn out on tray immediately. Here are two egg dishes that must be prepared the day before so you can just pop them in the oven the Christmas morning. Cheese'Strata 12 slices white bread 3/4 lb. cheddar cheese, shred- ded 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melt- ed 6 eggs, beaten 2 C milk 1 t parsley flakes 1/2 C thinly sliced mushrooms 6 oz. crabmeat Cut crusts from bread. Place 6 slices in buttered two-qt, shallow casserole. Mix together remaining ingredients. Pour half over bread. Top with remaining bread. Pour over. remaining egg mixture. Cov- er and refrigerate overnight. Bake covered at 350 F for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake 30 min- utes. Serve immediately. Breakfast Casserole 2 lb. sausage 10 thin slices white bread 10 oz. cheddar cheese 10 eggs 1 can cream of mushroom soup Brown meat. Grease 9 x 13-inch pan. Line bottom with eight slices bread. Place 1/3 sausage over bread, then half the cheese. Beat eggs and pour over layers. Cover and refrigerate 12 to 24 hours. Before baking, mix can of soup with half can of milk and pour over casserole. Bake at 325 F for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. More Martha: December 22 - Collect dentures. They make excellent pastry cutters, particular- ly for decorative pie crusts. December 23 - Install plumbing in gingerbread house. December 24 - Drain city reser- voir, fill with mulled cider, orange slices and cinnamon sticks. Martha