Thursday, September 29, 2016

Lavender-Vanilla Tea Cakes

There are times when only something fancy will do - but if you're clever, you don't have to work hard as well. These lovely tea cakes are a case in point: As easy to make as plain sugar cookies, but as fancy as all get out. Tea cakes are perfect with tea, of course, but these also pair well with chocolate mousse or ice cream. Best of all, the dough needs to chill, so they are a make-ahead delight.

Lavender-Vanilla Tea Cakes
by Maurita Plouff blogging at Get the Good Stuff!
Makes 3 dozen

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons The Spice House Lavender Vanilla Sugar

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set them aside.

Cream the butter using an electric mixer for about a minute until it turns a pale yellow color. Scrape it down from the sides of the bowl, add the sugar, and beat again about 2 minutes, until it is very soft and almost white. Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat at medium speed about a minute, until it is fluffy and smooth. Stop the mixer and scrape again.

Slowly beat in the mixed dry ingredients, a little at a time. Mix only until the dough sticks together and there are no streaks of unblended flour. Don't overbeat - you don't want the tea cakes to be tough. Wrap the dough and chill it overnight (and up to one week). Note that the dough may be frozen up to a month if wrapped well and zipped into a plastic zip bag. Thaw the dough in the refrigerator before using.

On baking day, preheat oven to 375°F/190°C and set out a small bowl of lavender-vanilla sugar. Divide the chilled dough into 36 equal portions, and roll each into a ball. Dip each ball into the sugar, making sure that the top half is well coated. Place the sugared balls 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake 13-15 minutes, until the edges just barely start to brown. Slide the parchment right off the pans and let the tea cakes cool on a rack.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Maple Pecan Muffins

This is the second time The Spice House has sponsored 37 Cooks. They have been supplying those in the know with spices, herbs and seasonings since 1957. I was born in 1957, so they have been perfecting their craft for a very long time!

The only request The Spice House had for our challenge was that we focus on baked goods and desserts. Luckily for me, that’s where my mind usually goes. I already had a great assortment of their herbs and spices for baking and cooking. I wanted to use spices or flavorings I hadn't used before. I started scrolling through their spices online. There were so many to choose from. I kept looking and the maple flavoring and maple sugar, caught my eye. The maple sugar is made from pure Wisconsin maple sap. I love making muffins for breakfast and Mark likes pecans in everything possible, so that’s how I decided on Maple Pecan Muffins.

If you enjoy cooking and baking like I do, check out their wonderful items. It will change your culinary world. Don't blame me when you become addicted to their superior products, ha ha! I used my favorite basic muffin recipe. Feel free to use yours if you prefer, and just add the natural maple flavor blend and maple sugar. Our house smelled so good as these were baking!

Maple Pecan Muffins
by Sharyl W.
Makes 12 muffins

2 cups white flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup of white sugar
1 cup milk (I prefer whole, but one can use 2%)
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon of The Spice House Natural Maple Flavor Blend
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 Tablespoons of The Spice House Maple Sugar - for topping

Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add the milk, oil, egg, and maple flavor. Mix just to combine. Batter will be lumpy. Over mixing will make dry muffins. Add the nuts to the batter.

Lightly grease muffin tins – or use paper cups – and fill about 2/3 full with the batter. Sprinkle maple sugar on top of the muffin batter. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until lightly brown. Keep an eye on them. No one wants a dry muffin! I like to brush the tops of my muffins, with melted butter, as soon as they come out of the oven. I think it keeps the muffins moister.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Buttery Dutch Baby with Berbere Vegetables

My family loves a showstopping Dutch baby. Normally I make a sweet version, but there is always room for a savory version in our brunch rotation. I hope that you enjoy this savory version as much as my family.

Buttery Dutch Baby with Berbere Vegetables
by Lindsay Blogging at Kitchen MusingsToday

Dutch Baby:
3 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon The Spice House Natural Butter Flavor
3 Tablespoons butter

Vegetable Filling:
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
2-3 teaspoons The Spice House Berbere - Spicy Ethiopian Blend
1 Yukon Gold potato, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 Tablespoon butter
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon The Spice House Berbere - Spicy Ethiopian Blend

Dutch Baby:
Place a 10-inch cast iron pan on the center rack in your oven, preheat oven to 400°F.

Add the eggs to a blender and blend for one minute until frothy. Add the flour, salt, milk and butter extract to the blender. Blend on medium speed for 2 minutes; scrape the sides of the blender as needed.

Once the oven has preheated carefully remove the pan from the oven and add the 3 Tablespoons butter and return to the oven until the butter has melted. Remove from the oven and pour the batter from the blender into the hot cast iron pan. Bake 20-25 minutes. It will be golden brown and will rise quite a bit.

Vegetable Filling:
Prepare filling while the Dutch baby bakes. In a large sauté pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until it has softened, add 2 teaspoons berbere and cook about 30 seconds until it is fragrant. Add the potato, carrot and vegetable broth; simmer until the vegetables are tender. Adding more broth or water if needed. Add the frozen peas, salt and Worcestershire sauce. Taste and add more berbere or salt as needed. Cook until the peas are heated through.

In a small saucepan add maple syrup, butter and berbere. Heat over low heat until warm.

Fill the center of the Dutch baby with the vegetable mixture and drizzle the maple syrup topping over the Dutch baby.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Cousin Connie's Chocolate Pie

A few months back, my bride's cousin Connie, from Tennessee, was visiting our area, and one night after dinner she asked if we wanted dessert. Well, who am I to turn down an offer like that? Exactly! The next thing I know, Cousin Connie is serving up her chocolate pie. It was pretty darned good! So, with Kudos to her, here is her chocolate pie recipe adapted with some of the ingredients from The Spice House.

Cousin Connie's Chocolate Pie
by Glenn Edwards

Here's what you're going to need:

1/4 cup of The Spice House Natural Processed Cocoa Powder
1/4 cup of self-rising flour
1 cup of granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of The Spice House Madagascar "Bourbon Islands" Pure Double Strength Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, melted
Refrigerated pie dough (or if you prefer, your favorite pie dough recipe or frozen pie shell)
9-inch glass pie plate

Start by sifting the flour and cocoa powder together, then add the sugar, eggs, vanilla and melted butter. You can use a whisk to mix all ingredients, although I've found that it's far easier to use and electric mixer with a whisk attachment.

Next, place your pie dough in the pie plate - you can crimp or not. Add pie mixture in the pie plate and bake at 300°F for 45 minutes.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sunny Paris Olive and Ham Cake

Have you ever had a tried and true recipe that you make over and over for gatherings? The French love to make savory cakes for outdoor gatherings, picnics and hikes. It's a perfectly portable and delicious treat. One that my family is fond of is an olive and ham cake. It's delicious on it's own, however, once I opened and smelled the Sunny Paris spice blend from The Spice House, I knew that it would take my recipe to a new level, and it did! The spices are so fragrant in the Sunny Paris blend, it will brighten up any dish. I can imagine adding it to vinaigrettes, soups, grilled veggies, fish, chicken, an old get the point! It's very versatile.

Sunny Paris Olive and Ham Cake
by Tonda
Adapted and Translated From Marmiton's Cake aux olives

4 eggs
250 grams bread flour - approximately 1 1/3 packed cups (I used King Arthur Bread Flour)
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used an Anjou)
2/3 cup canola oil
1 packet (or 2 1/4 teaspoons) of yeast proofed in 1/4 cup warm water
1 Tablespoon The Spice House Sunny Paris Seasoning
1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
1 1/2 cups honey ham, diced in 1/4 inch cubes
1 cup of whole manzanilla olives, sliced
Butter for the loaf pan

Heat oven to 355°F.

Mix the eggs and flour until just blended. Add the white wine and oil and mix until well blended.
Add the yeast and Sunny Paris spice blend, and continue to mix until the spice blend is evenly distributed. Add the cheese, ham and olives and mix until incorporated.

Butter a 9 x 5 loaf pan, then pour the mix into the pan. Bake at 355°F for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Test for doneness and bake longer, if needed. Serve at room temperature.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Maple Pecan Baklava

The word baklava means “many leaves”. I have always loved this Middle Eastern treat, but was hesitant to make it. A few weeks ago I did a review of a Middle Eastern cookbook and made the baklava rolo and ended up making a small pan of traditional baklava as well. It wasn’t very difficult and my family loved it.

At that point, I had decided that a pecan pie-like baklava might be a good idea and when this 37 Cooks challenge became available I jumped at a chance to be creative with The Spice House spices. In the past, I’ve ordered several times from this company and love their attention to detail and their fast service. In addition to the Maple Extract and Cake Spice mix, I ordered a few other items – I need to add that their Asian Flavors Gift Box spice collection is one of the most flavorful spice collections I have tried to date. I have used those spices a great deal in my savory cooking.

Now back to baking, I ended up making an 8 x 8 pan of the pecan baklava and used the remainder of the filling to make a baklava rolo. Photos of both of these treats are shown here and for directions for the baklava rolo, you can check out the recipe here.

Maple Pecan Baklava
by Jenny Blogging at The Cookbook Junkies

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon of The Spice House Maple Flavoring

3 cups of chopped pecans
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 tablespoon of The Spice House Cake Spice

1 pound (about 24 sheets) phyllo dough
About 1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter

1. To make the syrup: Stir the sugar, water, and maple flavoring in a small sauce pan over low heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Stop stirring, increase the heat to medium, and cook until the mixture is slightly syrupy, about 10 minutes. Let cool.

2. To make the filling: Combine all the filling ingredients in a food processor – and pulse roughly five times – until the mixture is finely chopped.

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 13-by-9-inch baking pan.

4. Place a sheet of phyllo in the prepared pan and lightly brush with butter. Repeat with 2 more sheets. Spread about a 1/4 cup of the mixture on top of the sheets. Repeat this step roughly 4 times until you have reached about a half inch from the top of the pan. The top should have two sheets of phyllo lightly brushed with butter. Trim any overhanging edges.

5. Using a sharp knife, cut 6 equal lengthwise strips (about 1 3/4 inches wide) through the top layer of pastry. Make 1 1/2-inch-wide diagonal cuts across the strips to form diamond shapes.

6. Just before baking, lightly sprinkle the top of the pastry with cold water. This inhibits the pastry from curling. Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300°F and bake until golden brown, about 15 additional minutes.

7. Cut through the scored lines. Drizzle the cooled syrup slowly over the hot baklava and let cool for at least 4 hours. Cover and store at room temperature for up to 1 week. If the baklava dries out while being stored, drizzle with a little additional hot syrup.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Delicious Deep Dish Apple Pie

This is a recipe I have been developing for years. I think the crust definitely can make or break a pie just as much as the spices and apple variety used in it.

On this challenge, we are very lucky to be using spices from The Spice House. I've always enjoyed a little zing to my pie and decided to incorporate their crystallized ginger. Big yum! So if you like a little zip in your pie, this one is for you!


Delicious Deep Dish Apple Pie
by Holly K of Holly's Table and Holly's Table Facebook Group
Adapted from the following: 
Alton Brown's Super Apple Pie recipe
Martha Stewart's Pie Crust 
Deepest Dish Apple Pie from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

For the crust:
2 sticks, unsalted butter, chilled and cut in pieces, divided
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup ice water (the colder the better)

For the filling and topping:
8 large apples (a combination of Granny Smith, Braeburn, Gala and Golden Delicious are best), peeled, cored, cut into 8 slices and each slice cut into 1/4" chunks*
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 chunk The Spice House Crystallized Ginger, minced
1 teaspoon The Spice House Ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon The Spice House Ground Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
Juice of 1 small lime
Juice of 1 small lemon
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut-up
2 Tablespoons heavy cream

For the crust:
Freeze 1 1/2 sticks of cut-up butter on sheet trays, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate other 1/2 cut-up stick.

Combine flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Add the refrigerated butter, pulse 10 times.

Add the frozen butter, pulse until course pebble crumbs form.

Add the ice water, pulse 10 times. Test and pulse a few more times if need be. (It should just come together. Do not over process. You want it to stay cold.)

Press out the dough into 2 discs onto saran wrap. Roll into 1/2" circles. Seal tightly and refrigerate 45 minutes and up to 2 days. Can be frozen up to 1 month.

For the filling:
Place cut-up apples mixed with 1/4 cup sugar in a colander over a bowl. Let drain for 1 1/2 hours. Pour reserved juice into a saucepan with the minced ginger. Cook down until ginger dissolves and only a few Tablespoons remain. Discard any ginger that hasn't dissolved.

Heat oven to 425°F and place rack onto lowest level of oven.

In a bowl, combine the apples, remaining sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, cornstarch, juices and ginger syrup.

Remove crusts from refrigerator. Roll out into discs. Place one disc into bottom of 9 1/2" glass deep dish pie plate. Pour in apple filling. Dot with butter pieces. Cover with remaining crust. I crimp mine in because no one seems to enjoy the extra crust in my house. Cut slits into top of pie. Brush with the cream.

Bake 45-50 minutes of until bubbling. Baking time depends on your oven, so keep a close watch on it the last 10 minutes or so as to not let burn.

Remove from oven and let cool a minimum of 4 hours.

*Cutting the apples smaller is recommended for deep dish pies since it will allow for more even cooking without burning the crust.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Rustic Cayenne Spiced Cherry and Almond Tart

Rustic Cayenne Spiced Cherry and Almond Tart
by Tracy Hersh

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 sticks butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons The Spice House Madagascar Vanilla Powder
1 Tablespoon sugar
3 Tablespoons ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon water , for egg wash
1 Tablespoon sugar, for sprinkling dough

4 cups sour cherries, pitted
2/3 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon The Spice House Cayenne Pepper (more if you like it hotter)
1 Teaspoon The Spice House China "Number One" Ginger Powder
1/2 teaspoon The Spice House Lemon Peel Zest
1/2 teaspoon The Spice House Vietnamese "Saigon" Cassia Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon The Spice House Almond Extract
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds, plus more for garnish

For the crust:
In a food processor, using the dough blade, pulse the flour, butter, salt, vanilla powder and sugar until combined and dough resembles course grains of sand. With the food processor running slowly add the ice water until dough forms a ball. Remove the dough from the processor and form into a smooth ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

For the filling:
In a large saucepan over medium heat combine the cherries, sugar, cornstarch, cayenne, ginger, lemon zest and cinnamon. Stir until the sugar is melted and mixture begins to simmer. Let simmer for about 3 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in the almond extract. Cool to room temperature and stir in the almonds. Mixture should be thickened and not runny.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Lightly flour a piece of parchment paper and roll the dough into an approximately 14-inch round. Gently pour the filling into the center of the dough, leaving about 2 1/2-inch border. Fold the dough around the top of the cherries, pinching the sides so that all of the mixture is intact and does not leak out. Gently lift the parchment paper and tart onto a baking sheet. Brush with egg wash, sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon sugar and garnish with sliced almonds. Bake 40-45 minutes until crust is golden brown and center is bubbly. Let cool and serve.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hickory Smoke Salt and Browned Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies! When The Spice House Baking Challenge was announced, I knew I wanted to bake some, but I also knew I wanted to do something a little different. I started poking around online and I ran across a recipe that called for smoked salt and dark chocolate in chocolate chip cookies. Smoked salt AND dark chocolate together?? Hello!!! I was instantly intrigued! My husband was skeptical, but I had an inkling these cookies were going to be something really special. And they were! Who would have thought that smoked salt would ever go in a cookie? But it did, and these were insanely good!

The Spice House's Hickory Smoke Salt was the perfect addition to these cookies. The aroma of smoke when you open the jar is heavenly. I can't wait to try it in other recipes. I have been a huge fan of The Spice House's Vanilla Sugar ever since our first Spice House sponsored challenge. I use it in whipped cream, I've sprinkled it on oatmeal, on top of biscuits before baking, incorporated it into an apple cake and I've even used it in my coffee. I just knew it would be perfect in these cookies. I hope you love them as much as we did!

Hickory Smoke Salt and Browned Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
by Susan W.
Adapted from The Baking Fairy’s Smoked Salt Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes approximately 32 cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon The Spice House Hickory Smoke Salt, plus more for sprinkling on top of cookies
3/4 cup unsalted browned butter, room temperature (see “Tips” below)
1/2 cup The Spice House Vanilla Sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, room temperature
2 cups (approximately 10 ounces) dark chocolate, chopped (I used a half and half mix of 78% and 85% dark)

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and smoked salt and whisk together. Set aside.

Using the paddle attachment that goes with your stand mixer, combine the browned butter, vanilla sugar and brown sugar. Beat until combined well.

Add the egg and egg yolk and beat well, until it's light and fluffy. Add in the dry ingredients, in thirds, and mix until combined. Fold in the chopped chocolate with a spatula.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Using a cookie scoop (or a regular teaspoon), drop uniform balls of dough onto a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or a silicone sheet. Sprinkle a little more smoked salt on top (or a little more than a little more, like I did).

Bake until golden, about 10-13 minutes (depending on your oven). Let cool for a minute or two on the cookie sheet, then move to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Now go pour yourself a big glass of ice cold milk and grab a few of these delicious cookies.

For a great how-to on browning butter, check out these directions on the Serious Eats website. And when the directions say watch closely after the butter starts to foam, they’re not kidding!

For 3/4 cup of browned butter, you will need two sticks.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Tomato Rolls with an Herby Cream Cheese Swirl

I don't know what it is about swirl rolls, but I love making them, no matter if they're sweet or savory. They're just fun.

The rolls are pretty much never identical, which I also like. It's not what you want if you're baking for a bakery, but I like the idea that I can have a small roll if that's what I want, or a larger roll. Or one with more or less filling. Because that's how I am. Sort of random and chaotic.

Tomato powder from The Spice House is an awesome ingredient. It adds a punch of tomato flavor without adding extra moisture, which is great for a lot of recipes where you don't want to add liquid. But the powder is also very useful when you want to add some depth of flavor to a tomato sauce or salsa. Or a meatloaf. Or...well, anywhere you might add tomato paste, really.

Besides getting tomato powder and the Sunny Greek seasoning I used for this recipe, I got a whole lot of other great ingredients to work with. Ancho coffee rub and porcini salt were new items for me, but I also stocked up on toasted sesame seeds and refilled my chip dip mix, which is really awesome stuff.

Tomato Rolls with an Herby Cream Cheese Swirl
By Donna Currie, Cookistry

For the filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon Spice House Sunny Greek seasoning

For the dough:
1 1/2 cups water
2 1/4 Tablespoons Red Star active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
13 1/2 ounces bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons tomato powder
1/2 cup potato flakes (instant mashed potatoes)

To make the filling:
Combine the cream cheese and herbs in a small bowl and mix until well combined. Set aside at room temperature until needed.

To make the dough:
Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer and knead until the dough is smooth, shiny, and elastic. Cover the bowl and set aside until the dough doubles in size, about an hour.

When the dough has risen, flour your work surface and heat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with baking spray.

Turn out the dough and roll it into a rectangle about 11 x 16 inches. With one of the long sides of the dough facing you. spread the filling over the top of the dough, leaving about an inch uncovered on the far side. It can be easier to spread the filling with your fingertips rather than using a spatula.

Roll the dough up, jellyroll-style, not too tight, and seal the seam when you reach the far end.

If the roll is very uneven, roll and nudge is so it's a fairly even thickness, then cut the roll into 12 even pieces. Place the pieces, with one of the cut sides up, in the baking pan.

Cover the pan and set aside until the dough has doubles, about 30 minutes.

Bake at 350°F until lightly browned on top - the sides tend to brown more than the top. Remove the pan from the oven and turn the buns out to cool on a rack.

I received products to work with from The Spice House through 37 Cooks.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuits with Hashbrowns

I had so much fun baking biscuits for The Spice House! To think, when we moved to Georgia nine years ago, I had never made a homemade biscuit and considered it a hurdle I would probably never jump successfully! It really is a simple thing to do and this particular biscuit has your entire breakfast contained inside of it! I tried two different combinations of herbs and spices and potato types when making these biscuits and both were successful. I would encourage you to branch out and try your own favorite products from The Spice House - I would bet a pre-mixed blend would also be fantastic!

P.S. I sent frozen biscuits home with Brooke Miller, my friend and trusty recipe tester. They were the version with Fancy Garlic Salt and the Option 2 blend of spices. She baked these biscuits along with some oven fried chicken breast tenderloins which she served as a sandwich to much acclaim!

Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuits with Hashbrowns
by Sandra blogging at Dear Lauren, Love Mom
Adapted from Little Flower Baking, a lovely cookbook I would encourage you to buy!
Makes 15 biscuits that can be stored in the freezer and freshly baked one or two at a time instead of all at once if you wish!

4 1/2 cups (585 grams) all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons La Baleine fine French sea salt (can use 1 teaspoon sea salt and 1 teaspoon Fancy Garlic Salt, if desired)
Spice Blend, choose one (see below)
1 1/2 cups butter, diced into even small pieces and kept chilled until use
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon half and half
6 slices bacon, cut into shorts strips and cooked until crisp, drained and cooled
1 cup frozen hash browns (100 grams) or 2 diced, roasted (and cooled) potatoes
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, optional (can choose a cheese of your choice)
1 egg, whisked in a separate bowl to use as an egg wash
2 teaspoons Maldon English Seas Salt Flakes

Spice Blend Options
Option 1:
2 Tablespoons Parsley Flakes
2 Tablespoons Dill Weed
1 Tablespoon Chives

Option 2:
2 Tablespoons Diced Jalapeno Peppers
2 Tablespoons Shallots
1 Tablespoon Parsley Flakes

Stir* all ingredients through the Spice Blend with the paddle attachment in the bowl of a stand mixer until combined. Add diced butter and turn stand mixer to "stir" for 1 minute or until the butter is pea-sized and incorporated into the flour. Stir in the eggs and the half and half until just combined. Add the bacon, the potatoes and the cheese and again, stir until just combined.

Place the dough on a floured work surface and press it into a 1-inch high rectangular shape. Using a dough scraper, cut the biscuits into 3 long rows and 5 short rows to make 15 square biscuits. Use the dough scraper in a straight down motion and then straight up, do not twist the dough or draw the scraper along the dough as this could cause the biscuits not to rise to their full potential. Place the biscuits on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Brush the top of each biscuit with egg wash and sprinkle a few salt flakes on top. Freeze for 1 hour or up to overnight. After freezing, you can wrap the biscuits in parchment paper and freeze them in a freezer zip-top bag, or you can bake all or some of them on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet at 375°F for 30 minutes, rotating the sheet pan halfway through the baking time. Serve them hot or with butter, honey, jam, or anything else you choose!

*Please note, the "stir" level on the stand mixer is the very first notch. The mixer will be going very slowly and with the exception of adding in the butter, the mixer will only need to stir for a very few turns to just incorporate the added ingredients.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Spice House Challenge

What a delightful honor it was to work with our friends at The Spice House again! Our first collaboration with them was over two years ago and they liked the results so much, they asked if we would be open to doing another challenge with them. Well, of course, we all said a resounding "YES!" This time, we were asked to focus our creative endeavors on baked goods and desserts. We told them that would be absolutely no problem for the talented members of 37 Cooks!

Our cooks have created some delicious sweet and savory baked goodies to share with you all, using many of the wonderful products from The Spice House (you won't believe what an incredible array of spices, spice blends, salts, sugars, extracts, etc. they carry!) By the way, they have the best customer service and many of our cooks became loyal customers after our first challenge!

If you're not familiar with The Spice House, please visit their website. Be sure to check out their "about us" page and get to know the nice owners, Tom and Patty Erd. You can also follow The Spice House on FacebookTwitter and Instagram!

Happy baking!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Sweet Peach Tea Jam

What do you do when someone sends you fabulous barbecue sauce? Mine is made by Jay Ducote, who you may recognize as a runner-up on Season 11 of the reality show Food Network Star. The man's from Louisiana, and his barbecue sauce is spicy and full of sass.

Of course I tasted the sauce in a lot of ways. Grilled chicken slathered with the stuff is great, by the way, truly great. Meatloaf sandwiches with BBQ-mayo got thumbs-up from my hubby. But what could I do to bring that BBQ taste to something non-traditional?

There I was, sipping peach iced tea, nibbling the last BBQ chicken leg, and suddenly the idea arrived - what about a BBQ-peach tea jam? It would be a little sweet, a little spicy, and have all the flavors of summer. What would a jam be like? Or if I didn't put in extra fruit, would it be a jelly?

I call it jam, and it's fabulous. It's dark and thick, with a texture like apple butter. You can't call this stuff a jelly, it's just too robust and opaque for that. And the taste - wow! It goes well with any sharp cheese, with pork from chops to roast to cold ham. Make a sandwich with ham, sharp aged Cheddar, thin slivers of apple, and this jam, and your tastebuds will sing to you.

This makes a quite small batch of jam: you'll most likely end up with 2 8-ounce jars (seal these) and about half a jar (stick that in the refrigerator and use it first!) You'll find that a small batch goes together amazingly quickly.

Sweet Peach Tea Jam
by Maurita Plouff blogging at Get the Good Stuff!
Makes 2 8-ounce jars, plus a bit extra

1 cup peach iced tea (I used Snapple)
1 cup Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Sauce
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons powdered pectin
1 cup sugar

Prepare the jars:
First, prepare 3 8-ounce jars. They need to be super clean, so if you have a dishwasher with a "sterilize" cycle use that, otherwise, put clean jars in a pot of hot water, making sure to cover the jars by 2 inches. Bring the water to a big rolling boil, and keep it boiling for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. Carefully take the jars from the hot water, and set them upside down on a clean kitchen towel. Cover the pot of hot water, you'll need it again.

Make the jam:
Now for the jam itself: Combine the peach tea, BBQ sauce, lemon juice, and pectin in 2 quart pot, and set it over high heat. Bring this mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring often. A full boil is so strong that you can't make the bubbles go away no matter how much you stir.

Add all the sugar at once, stirring to dissolve it. Return the pot to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly, then remove from heat.

Ladle the hot jam into the jars, leaving one-half inch space at the top. You'll probably have 2 full jars and one partway filled. Wipe off the jar rims and put on lids. Screw on bands finger tight. Set aside the partly filled jar to cool; this one will go into the refrigerator. The others will be sealed in a waterbath process.

Seal the jars:
Carefully lower the closed jars back into the pot of hot water, and bring the pot back to a full boil. Boil the filled jars for 10 minutes (set a timer!) Remove the jars and let stand on that folded kitchen towel again. As the jars cool, you'll hear a cheerful ping! sound when the lids snap into a seal.

That's it! Your sealed jars will keep in a cool dark cupboard for 6-9 months, but I predict you'll eat it all up long before that.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Savory Chicken & Goat Cheese Tart

Whether you’re making sweet or savory tarts, there are so many delicious options to enjoy. And, when my kids are home for family dinner on Sunday, this is often their request. Tarts are relatively easy to make, but much easier when you have a couple of extra hands around, as we often do during our family dinners. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Savory Chicken & Goat Cheese Tart
by Lori Churchill
Serves 6

Pastry Dough - Adapted from my mom’s Savory Pastry Dough Recipe:

1 cup King Arthur whole wheat flour
1 cup quinoa flour
1 cup unsalted butter - cold
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons - ice water


1 red onion - medium
2-3 Tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper
1 tomato - medium
2 chicken breasts
2 Tablespoons Better Than Bouillon - Chicken Paste
2 Tablespoons parsley
1 Tablespoon basil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 Tablespoons goat cheese
Jay D's Louisiana Molasses Mustard
6 tart pans - 4.5 inches wide by 3.75 inches deep

Begin by adding your dry ingredients to a food processor and quickly pulse a couple of times to mix together. Pour approximately 1 cup of water in another bowl, add ice and allow to chill. Cut butter into 1/2-inch pats, then quarters. Butter should be kept cold until use and handled as little as possible. Add butter to flour mixture in food processor and pulse until it’s about the consistency of very course bread crumbs. Add 1/4 cup water plus 2 Tablespoons and gently pulse until dough comes together. Utah is a very dry climate, so depending on where you live, you may not need the additional 2 Tablespoons of water. Divide dough into 6 even pieces, wrap in plastic wrap and flatten like a small disc, then chill for at least 30 minutes.

Slice onion into 1/4-inch rings, then slice rings in half. Slowly caramelize in butter, adding salt and pepper to taste

Slice tomatoes into 1/4-inch thick slices. You’ll need one slice for each tart. Place them on a cookie sheet with parchment paper and lightly sprinkle with salt to draw the juices out. Set aside for 30 to 45 minutes or while your chicken breasts are slowly cooking.

Place chicken breast in a sauce pan and add just enough water to cover by about an inch. Add chicken bouillon paste, parsley, basil and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cook slowly until chicken is easily shredded with a fork. Remove from sauce pan, let cool then shred chicken and add 1/2 cup of Jay D’s Molasses Mustard, mix well.  Divide the chicken filling into six equal portions and set aside. Save the remaining broth for small pot of soup later in the week.

Assemble Tarts:

Brush each tart pan with butter. One by one, roll out the individual dough rounds to 2 inches larger than the base of your tart pan. Place each dough round in a tart pan, making sure not to handle the dough too much. Once all six tart pans have the dough in them, brush the bottom area of the dough with 1 teaspoon of Jay D’s Molasses Mustard Sauce. Add 2 tablespoons of caramelized onions, 1 slice of tomato, one portion of shredded chicken, and 1 tablespoon of goat cheese crumbled over the top. Fold the sides of the dough over the filling, making five folded edges. Add a sprinkle of pepper.

Place the tarts on a cookie sheet in a 375°F oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Then place on a cooling rack until you can easily remove the tarts from their pan.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Molasses Mustard BBQ Cookies

They say there are only three types of cookies and that the rest are only variations. Okay, by 'they' I mean my husband.

He believes in: chocolate chip, peanut butter and molasses cookies. So when we came across Jay D's Louisiana Molasses Mustard it seemed a no-brainer to use it to make a perfect molasses cookie.

Molasses Mustard BBQ Cookies
by T.S. Lamb
Modified from Grandma's Molasses Crinkle Cookie Recipe

3/4 cup softened shortening
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses
2 Tablespoons Jay D's Louisiana Molasses Mustard
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup white sugar

Mix the shortening, brown sugar, egg, molasses and molasses mustard.

Stir in flour.

Mix in the rest of the ingredients, up through white sugar.

Cover mixture and refrigerate for 1/2 hour.

Heat oven to 375°F.

Roll dough into melon ball size balls. Roll in white sugar and place on cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes depending on how crisp of a cookie you like.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Shish Kebabs with Beef Marinade

With barbecue season in full swing. Jay D's barbecue sauce is a welcome addition to barbecue season. This marinade will make the cheapest cuts tender. You will want to make a double batch of the sauce, as one batch was not enough to marinade and serve with the cooked kebabs

Shish Kebabs with Beef Marinade
by Nancy Follwell
Recipe adapted from my mom

1 pound steak cubes (I used top round)
1 yellow pepper, large chunks
1 yellow onion, large chunks
10 shish kebab skewers

Soak skewers in cold water while making the marinade (recipe follows). Drain the beef cubes from the marinade and alternate beef, peppers and onions on the skewers.. Before placing on the grill, baste both sides with more marinade. Grill kebabs until done to your liking. Serve kebabs with warmed Steak Marinade.

Steak Marinade

1/2 cup Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons oil

Make double batch of marinade. Add ingredients to a small pot and heat to boiling. Let cool to warm and pour over the meat (do not pour the boiling Steak Marinade over the beef or it will cook the meat).  Let rest for several hours, overnight is best. Drain meat and add remaining marinade to a small pot, heat and serve with the cooked kebabs.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Pulled Pork and Peach Quesadillas with Jay D's Louisiana Molasses Mustard

As soon as I tasted Jay D's Louisiana Molasses Mustard I though of Sid's smoked butt and Ruston peaches. I'm not sure if the weather has delayed the peach crop or if my memory of peaches in June is crazy. I drove through Ruston last weekend just hoping to see peaches for sale, no such luck. The ones I found in my favorite grocery store were still just fine. This recipe was really done to my taste and can be adjusted as you like. I'm keeping my eyes open for Ruston peaches and ordering some more of Jay's sauces. My boys are all thrilled because they had all been threatened if they touched them before I got my recipe done.

I started with a pork butt Sid smoked overnight. He rubbed it down with his favorite rub and smoked it 14 hours at 250°F. I reserved one pound to use for this recipe.

Pulled Pork and Peach Quesadillas with Jay D's Louisiana Molasses Mustard
by Melissa Cook

1 pound of pulled pork
1 1/2 peach, sliced 1/4-inch thick
Jay D's Louisiana Molasses Mustard - 1/3 cup plus 3 Tablespoons and 3 teaspoons, divided
6 corn tortillas
1 cup Cojita cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup Crema Mexicana
Purple onion, diced small
Lime wedges

While the smoker is still warm, toss the peach slices in 3 Tablespoons of Jay D's Louisiana Molasses Mustard. Place them in the smoker for 20 minutes. Shred the pork and toss it in 1/3 cup of the Molasses Mustard. Once the peaches are warm, dice them and add them to the pork. Mix 1/3 cup Crema Mexican and 3 teaspoons of the Molasses Mustard. Reserve to garnish.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat and place a corn tortilla in it. Sprinkle a layer of Cojita cheese on the tortilla, place the peach and pork mixture over it and top it with a second corn tortilla. Once the cheese begins to melt and the tortilla becomes golden brown, flip the quesadilla and cook until cheese is melted and both sides are golden brown.

Cut in triangles and garnish with Crema, cilantro and purple onions.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Molasses Mustard Crab/Shrimp Balls

I absolutely love seafood. My ultimate favorite is crab. When I tasted Jay D's Louisiana Molasses Mustard while making another recipe, I thought it would add another level to the sweetness of the crab. And it certainly did! This mustard sauce is one of the most versatile items that I have ever tasted. I highly recommend you go to Jays website and order a bottle or two. The recipe I have listed below is for an appetizer portion which can easily be doubled.

Molasses Mustard Crab/Shrimp Balls
by Traci
Adapted from Ritz Crab Balls with Sriracha Aioli by Snack Works

6 Ritz crackers crushed
1 egg beaten
1 Tablespoon melted butter, cooled
2 green onion, chopped with some of the greens
3 Tablespoons Jay D's Louisiana Molasses Mustard
1 teaspoon mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
3 large shrimp, chopped
Salt to taste
1/2 pound crabmeat (patted dry)
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs

In a mixing bowl add all of the ingredients except for the crab and plain breadcrumbs. Mix together until well combined. Gently mix in your crabmeat trying not to break it up too much. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour. You can leave it in longer if needed.

About 20 minutes before you are ready to cook these add oil in a large skillet and start heating over med low heat.

On a small plate pour your plain bread crumbs. Start shaping into bite sized balls and roll in the plain bread crumbs. Set aside and finish rolling all your mixture. Add a few at a time into the skillet and cook until nice and golden brown on all sides. You don't want to overcrowd them. Remove and allow to drain. Finish all of your batches. This would be great with a remolade or even just cocktail sauce. Or make a dipping sauce using the Louisiana Molasses Mustard Hmmmmm another recipe?