Walnut Rounds


With a Taste Reminiscent of Rich Shortbread

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 egg yolk, from a large egg
1/4 TSP. salt
1 TSP. vanilla
2-1/2 cups sifted flour
1-1/4 cups finely chopped walnuts

DIRECTIONS:

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, egg yolk, salt and vanilla until thoroughly blended and fluffy. With a wooden spoon, gradually mix in the flour, then the nuts. Chill for 1/2 an hour or so.

On a floured pastry cloth, with a floured stockinette-covered rolling pin, roll out 1/4 of the dough at a time so that it is about 1/4″ thick.

Keep remaining dough refrigerated. Cut out with a 2″ round cookie cutter. Place about 1″ apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake in a pre-heated 350° oven until lightly browned – about 10 minutes. While still warm, roll in extra confectioners’ sugar. Cool completely. Store in a tightly covered container between sheets of wax paper. Makes about 5 dozen.

posted by Mountain Republic                                                                 recipe by: unknown

Homemade Thin Crust Pizza

I adopted my recipe for pizza crust from the 1956 edition of the Betty Crocker Cookbook. I prefer the “thin crust” this recipe calls for over the thicker crusts many folks love. I use Betty’s recipe for the dough, but I’ll top the pizza with whatever I want.

I’ve made pizzas from this recipe quite a few times now & we had enjoyed them so much, that my wife suggested that we do a “pizza night” each week. I don’t know if we’ll do it every week, as it does take several hours from start to finish. Save this recipe for another day if you want to be eating pizza in half an hour.

But if you do have the time, it’s well worth the effort. And if you’ve got kids, I know they’ll like helping build their own “pie”. The beauty of this recipe is you can top it any way you like it!!

DOUGH PREPARATION:

Dissolve 1/2 TSP. active dry yeast in 3/4 cup plus 2 TBSP. warm water (110° – 115°)

Blend in 3 – 3 1/4 cups sifted flour to make a stiff dough.

Knead on a lightly floured surface. Place in greased bowl. Turn to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (about 85°) until doubled in size (about 2 hrs.)

Divide into two parts. Roll each part until it’s about 12″ in diameter (1/8″ thick). You can roll the edge of the crust to make a stand up ridge if you like. (There’s no reason you couldn’t divide the dough again and make four individual pizzas.)

So it doesn’t stick, sprinkle a little corn meal on your pizza pan, pizza stone or baking sheet before you put the crust on it. (Don’t have a round pan? Roll the pizza dough into two 14″ x 10″ rectangles instead.) Now comes the fun part….

ADDING THE TOPPINGS:

Here’s where you get to be creative! You can add what ever toppings you like! There’s virtually no limit to the different combinations you can come up with.

Start off by adding a favorite sauce. You can use regular tomato sauce and add some Italian herbs or purchase a pre-made pizza sauce. Sometimes, I like using BBQ sauce in place of the tomato sauce. Ranch dressing is also an option or experiment with some different kinds of sauces. Sometimes I’ll use a very light coating of olive oil on the crust instead of a sauce.*

* When applying the sauce or oil, keep it about 1 inch away from the edge of crust so it doesn’t burn. Also, try to completely cover the sauce with your toppings. This helps keep the sauce from burning near the edge of the pizza.

Here's Pizza#1 after it finished baking. Pizza #2 didn't come out quite as round!
See below for what the pizzas were topped with.

Now it’s time to add your favorite toppings. Just to give you an idea of what kind of combos are possible, here’s what I loaded on my two pizzas last night:

PIZZA #1:

I brushed the crust with a very light layer of olive oil. Then I added chopped turkey breast, chopped mushrooms, chopped broccoli, Monterey Jack cheese, Mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese,  oregano, basil & rosemary. Topped it off with chopped green onions when it came out of the oven.

PIZZA #2:

I brushed the crust with a nice thick layer of my favorite BBQ sauce. Then I added cooked hamburger meat, chopped onions, chopped garlic, sliced olives, extra sharp cheddar cheese & oregano.

BAKING:

Bake at 425° for about 18 -20 minutes or so. Watch closely, as edge of crust will burn quickly. Pizzas cooked on a “stone” tend to be done a little sooner. Edge of crust will be crunchy.

Bake only one pizza at a time. I usually prepare the second pizza while the first one is in the oven. Makes about 6 -8 servings. Hope you enjoy!

posted by Mountain Republic

Banana Walnut Bread

I do most of my baking during the cooler months of the year & quick breads are one of my favorites things to bake.

Quick breads are made with quick acting leavening like baking powder, soda, sour milk or steam, instead of the slower rising yeast.

Many different kinds of breads, muffins, biscuits and corn breads fall into the “quick breads” category, including pancakes, waffles, dumplings & doughnuts.

Today’s “quick & easy recipe” is for Banana Walnut Bread. Ready? Here we go:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups sifted flour
  • 3-1/2 TSP. baking powder
  • 1 TSP. salt (Kosher if you have it)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 TBSP. shortening
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 overly ripe mashed bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

PREPARATION:

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Cream the sugar & shortening together.
  • Stir in the egg, milk & mashed bananas. Mix well.
  • Sift together & stir in the flour, baking powder & salt.
  • Add the chopped nuts to the mixture & stir.
  • Pour into a well greased 9″ x 5″ x 3″ loaf pan.
  • Dust the top with cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)
  • Let it stand for 20 minutes or so before baking.
  • Bake for about 70 minutes or until golden brown.
  • When done, a toothpick inserted in center will come out clean.
  • Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove loaf & finish cooling on a wire rack. The loaf will have a “crack” on the top. This is normal.

Here’s a look at the finished product

The loaf will be easier to slice when allowed to fully cool, but who can wait that long?

posted by Mountain Republic

Related Articles: