Baguettes

One of my favorite books is Will Clower’s The Fat Fallacy. It is smart, and makes sense, and has some really incredible (and incredible easy) recipes. One of my favorites is this super simple recipe for baguettes, which I make a few times a week. Kiddo cannot get enough of them! He likes them plain in his school lunches. I like them hot out of the oven with butter. The Yankee likes them with whatever we’re having for supper.

Peanut likes to throw them like lawn darts. Three out of four ain’t bad.

One of my favorite bread tips also came from this book: if the bread is stale or not as soft as you like (Kiddo likes it SUPER soft), just run your hands under water and then over the bread, or spritz the bread with a water-filled spray bottle, then reheat in the oven or toaster oven. Magically you have soft, warm bread, even if it’s days old.

If it’s really past it’s prime? Cut into squares and bake into croûtons, or use for French toast. But really, the chances of it hanging around to get past its prime are slim. It’s really, really good.

I make these often enough that I bought this perforated pan but you certainly don’t have to; a regular cookie sheet is fine.

Baguettes

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon instant (bread machine) yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Instructions

  1. Mix together all ingredients until a slightly sticky dough forms (I don’t proof my yeast, but you can if you want, or if you’re using non-instant yeast)
  2. Knead the dough for about ten minutes by hand, about 1-2 minutes in a food processor or mixer, or throw it all in a bread machine and let it work its magic — you’re looking for smooth dough by the time you’re done kneading
  3. Let the dough rise in a covered bowl until it’s doubled in volume (about an hour), then deflate and form into loaves. Dr. Clower gets two long, skinny loaves out of this; I make shorter ones that are easier to pack for lunch
  4. Cover the loaves and let them rise another hour or so, while the oven preheats to 400F
  5. When you’re ready to bake, spritz or sprinkle the loaves with water — better yet, do that AND put an oven-safe pan full of hot water in the oven to steam the bread as it bakes, and make some slashes across the top so the bread can expand as it bakes
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until bread is as brown as you like. Cool at least ten minutes, then dig in!

Peanut butter muffins

Kiddo started public school in January so this year I had a whole new adventure: packing lunch. Being seven, he’s terribly busy at lunch doing important things like gut laughing at fart jokes discussing global economic issues, so I need to send food that packs a nutritional punch and tastes good. I thought peanut butter muffins might be a good way to get some protein in him while being a little bit of a departure from a plain ol’ peanut butter sandwich.

When I went looking for a new recipe to try, I literally looked for the recipe with the most amount of peanut butter. Let’s not fool around here! Kiddo and I (and Peanut, actually) LOVE peanut butter, and we want to taste it! This recipe started with “no such thing as too much peanut butter.” I knew we had a winner! The original recipe was filled with mini Reese’s cups and had a sweet topping. While that sounds freaking amazing, I was going for a lunch food here. :)

 

Peanut butter muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter (that’s 169.6 grams*)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 and line or grease a 12-muffin pan
  2. Beat butter, peanut butter, and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer until very well combined.
  3. Mix in eggs, one at a time, then milk
  4. Stir together dry ingredients, then mix into wet ingredients until JUST combined — some little lumps are okay, you just don’t want any dry flour
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out dry

Notes

*measuring peanut butter is for the birds — much easier to set the mixing bowl on a scale and scoop out what you need!

Second grade isn’t far off! Would love to hear more suggestions for easy-to-pack lunches! What do y’all make?

Pineapple bacon sandwich rolls

The Yankee went through a period where he was making bacon pretty regularly, which meant I had a fantastic supply of bacon grease to use up. I thought I’d try something new with them, and these turned out great. The bacon grease makes them very hearty, with a hint of sweetness from the pineapple juice — really great for turkey sandwiches!

These are a riff on my earlier blogged yeast rolls. Please to enjoy!

Pineapple bacon sandwich rolls

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm pineapple juice (heating it for a few seconds in the microwave is fine)
  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons room temperature bacon grease
  • 1/4 cup dry milk powder
  • 1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients and knead together in a stand mixer for about six or seven minutes on the second speed; the dough should clean the sides of the bowl
  2. Let it rise till doubled, about an hour
  3. Separate dough into 16 pieces, roll into balls and place in two greased pie or cake pans
  4. Let rise again until rolls are touching and very puffy
  5. Bake at 350F for about 20 or 25 minutes until golden brown; cool for a few minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to completely cool

I’m thinking I need to try these for pimento cheese sandwiches, too. What else?

JACKed sweet potato muffins

I’m pretty sure this is my new favorite recipe.

I was going through my bookshelves to see if I had any cookbooks I could live without (spoiler alert: I didn’t), and came across this one: Jack Daniel’s Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook.

This had belonged to my great aunt, and was signed to her from one of the authors, Lynne Tolley. It’s a treasure trove! I went looking for something involving sweet potatoes and found these, what they call sweet potato muffin delights.

They are SO GOOD, y’all. There isn’t a lot of flour, so the eggs and sweet potato make these so light and airy, and the flavors are great! Just a little hint of Jack, but not so much that you can’t respectably eat these for breakfast. ;)

JACKed sweet potato muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used whole)
  • 1/4 cup Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
  • 1 1/4 cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes (microwave is fine here)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • Cinnamon sugar for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F and grease or line 12 muffin cups
  2. Combine eggs, milk, Jack, sweet potatoes, and butter and mix well
  3. Put a wire strainer or sifter over the top of the bowl and add flour, salt, baking powder, and brown sugar; shake or press through until all the mixture is sifted into the bowl
  4. Mix until JUST combined, then spoon into prepared muffin cups
  5. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon sugar, then bake until a toothpick in the center comes out clean; the cookbook says 35-40 minutes but mine were done after 20, so don’t go far

Because I am positive that you all need to make these, this is a good time for you to try out my snazzy new ZipList functionality! You can save recipes from One Particular Kitchen (and all these amazing blogs), and create your shopping list as you do it! Just click on that “save recipe” button at the top of my recipes, or you can get to your ZipList recipe box or shopping list from my main menu. Let me know if you have any questions!

Also, let me know when you make these muffins, m’kay? Trust me.

Cheese straws

After talking and hemming and hawing about it forever I finally bought a cookie press. It’s so much fun! I can’t believe I waited so long. I just had to try cheese straws first, and they were fantastic.

They also kind of made me want to wear a big hat and drink mint juleps, but that’s for another day.

The cookie press I bought came with a recipe book with this recipe included; I changed it to use butter instead of margarine, because yuck.

Cheese straws

Yield: 5 dozen 3 inch straws

Ingredients

  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, graded
  • 3/4 cup butter, well softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (I used Louisiana)
  • 1 3/4 cups flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you like the heat)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 400 F
  2. Blend cheese, butter, egg and hot sauce and set aside
  3. Sift together flour and spices, then knead into butter mixture, either by hand or in a food processor with the metal blade
  4. Use cookie press with star disk, or pipe out of ziptop bag onto ungreased cookie sheet, and bake for 10-13 minutes until golden brown. Remove immediately to cooling rack; store in airtight container when completely cooled

By the way, show of hands: who has had cheese straws before? Turns out my lived-in-the-South-all-her-life friend Vanessa had never had them. What about y’all?

Goo Goo Cluster nachos

Here in the South we love our Goo Goos. They’re made right here in Nashville, and lots of local folks have done lots of amazing things with them: Goo Goo Pie, anyone? I wanted to try my own hand at coming up with a recipe for them (although, good heavens they’re amazing just plain), and this is what I came up with! Goo Goo Cluster nachos are easy to make, and can be scaled up or down on the homemade scale as far as you want; I landed somewhere in the middle.

What else would you top these with? Any ideas?

For the record, this post is not in any way sponsored by Goo Goo; I just think they’re fabulous.

Goo Goo Cluster nachos

Ingredients

  • 1/2 package puff pastry sheets, thawed
  • 4 Goo Goo Clusters (I used original, but any would be great!)
  • Caramel sauce (I used homemade; any will do)
  • Whipped cream
  • Optional colored sugar or sprinkles for topping

Instructions

  1. Slice puff pastry sheets into triangles and bake at 400F for 12-15 minutes until golden brown
  2. While the pastry is cooking, chop the Goo Goos and have them ready
  3. As soon as the pastry is done pull each one partially open and drop in a few pieces of chopped Goo Goo (this will make the Goo Goos melty and even more awesome), and put them all on a plate
  4. Drizzle with caramel sauce, then sprinkle with any remaining Goo Goo pieces
  5. Serve with whipped cream in a bowl for dipping

Trail’s End cornbread

This cornbread would give my grandmother the vapors. It is sweet (which I love — don’t tell her), which makes it Yankee Cornbread. I actually cut the sugar some, and it’s still fabulously sweet without being, you know, a cake. I also cut the recipe in half which made a great size (an 8 inch skillet) for us.

The recipe is originally from Disney’s Trail’s End, but I found it linked here.

Trail’s End cornbread

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butter or bacon grease

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven AND SKILLET to 375F
  2. Mix together cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, and flour with a fork
  3. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add in milk and egg; beat egg with fork, then stir to combine all ingredients
  4. Remove hot skillet from oven and add butter or bacon grease (carefully! It will sizzle) to skillet, swirling around till it melts and coats the pan
  5. Pour excess butter/bacon grease into cornbread mixture, stir quickly to combine, then pour back into hot skillet and slide it into the oven
  6. Bake until lightly browned on top, about 20 minutes