January 03, 2007

Every Kitchen Tells Its Stories by Ruth Daniels

Are you ready? Realllly ready? Cause it is time. Ruth's cookbook, Every Kitchen Tells Its Stories, has come out!

Witness the beauty of the recipes found within. Aren't they lovely?

Ruth has graciously allowed me to post two of the recipes from her cookbook. They just happen to be my two favorite recipes in her entire cookbook. Enjoy and please pick up either the CD or the Ebook by Ruth -- it is truly worth every cent!

Cherry Shortbread Cookies
Makes 4 Dozen

1 cup butter (room temperature)
¾ cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
¼ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp almond extract
2 cups flour
maraschino cherries cut in quarters and patted dry

1.Preheat oven to 325°F/170°C.

2.Cream butter and sugar for five minutes. Beat in egg yolk and extracts and gradually add flour.

3.Knead dough just until soft and pliable (a minute or so). Do not over knead the dough.

4.Form into balls about the size of the top of your thumb (tip to first knuckle) and flatten with the bottom of a glass*. Press the cherry piece into the center of the cookie.

5.Bake for 10-12 minutes in center of oven. The cookies should be dry on top but NOT brown on the bottom.

6.Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before storing.

Ruth's Tips and Variations:
-Rub the bottom of the glass over left over flour on the board and shake off the excess before you flatten the ball of dough.
-I usually use parchment paper on my cookie sheets. No need to grease the pan.
-Do not let cookies brown at bottom

Easy As Pie Banana Bread
Makes one loaf

3 very ripe bananas
2 tbsp soft butter
1 cup sugar
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips and /or coarsely chopped nuts – pecans or walnuts work well (optional)

1.Preheat oven to 375°/190°C

2.Mash bananas in a bowl and add rest of the ingredients. Stir just until blended. It seems as if there is not enough liquid but don’t be fooled. The very ripe bananas add all the moisture needed. Mixing the ingredients together with a fork for 2-3 minutes is all you need to create the batter.

3.Pour into greased 9"x5" loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out dry (unless of course you hit a chocolate chip).

4.Cool for 10 minutes on a cake rack before removing from pan.

5.To bake muffins, prepare the batter as above and bake for 20-25 minutes at 400°F/200°C, in center of oven

Ruth's Tips & Variations

-This is a great breakfast or mid day snack.
-Instead of chocolate chips (or with them, if you prefer) try:
chopped walnuts or pecans
dried cranberries or cherries
-Just make sure these ingredients add up to one cup. More than that will lose the bread/cake texture.