Stay at Home Recipes- Almond Florentine Cookies- makes about 2 dozen cookies
- 1 C blanched whole almonds (slivered or sliced almonds can be substituted)
- ¾ C all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp orange zest
- 1/8 tsp fine salt
- ½ C fine sugar
- ½ C or 1 stick unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp light corn syrup
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
Procedure for Chocolate
Microwave ½ C chocolate chips in small oven-proof glass bowl on high for 20 seconds. Stir. Add remaining chips and microwave for 20 seconds more. Stir until smooth.
Procedure for Cookies
- Preheat oven to 350° F
- Pulse whole almonds in a food processor to a fine meal (or pulse slivered or sliced almond to the desired texture). Pulse in flour, orange zest and salt until just combined
- In a medium saucepan, mix sugar, butter, cream and corn syrup together. Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
- Take off heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
- Round tablespoon sized pieces of dough into balls. Place on parchment paper 3” apart to allow for spreading. With wetted fingers, pat down gently.
- Bake cookies until thin and golden, about 10-12 minutes. Turn pan in the half way through cooking time.
- Remove from oven and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes. For best results, remove cookies from baking sheet and place on a wire cooling rack.
- Place cooled cookies closely spaced on parchment paper. Dip a whisk, honey dipper or fork into the melted chocolate mixture and coat generously. Using a back and forth motion, drizzle chocolate over the cookies. Set aside until chocolate has hardened. Enjoy!
Tip: A silicone baking mat is perfect for florentines. In addition to it’s non-stick properties, the mat will also help to distribute heat evenly.
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These tart and tasty lemon bars are sure to hit the spot!
- 1/4 lb unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/4 C granulated sugar
- 1 C + 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
Lemon Curd Filling Ingredients
- 5 large eggs
- 1 C granulated sugar
- Zest of 3 lemons
- 1/2 C freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 C all purpose flour
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
Procedure for Crust
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- In a small bowl, combine flour and salt.
- In a larger bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy
- Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar and mix until just combined. Mixture will have a crumbly texture.
- Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and gather into a ball.
- Place into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish and press evenly on the bottom all the way around and 1/2″ up the sides
- Chill for 15 minutes.
- Remove from refrigeration and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned, remove and allow to cool completely. Keep the oven on.
Procedure for Lemon Curd and Assembly
- In a large bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and flour. Pour over cooled crust.
- Place into oven on center rack and bake for 30-35 minutes or until filling has set. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar, slice and enjoy!
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We prepare our Anadama bread at the Mira Monte from scratch every day. This elegantly simple, traditional New England yeast bread is made with flour, cornmeal, butter and molasses. It is brown and slightly sweet, allowing it to accompany a variety of foods both sweet and savory. There are many stories about how the bread received it’s curious name, all of them undoubtedly apocryphal, but here’s the classic yarn. To fully appreciate this story, it helps to know that Mainers have a penchant for substituting “er” in place of “a” at the end of a word!
Long ago, an old fisherman had a wife named Anna who was so very frugal that she only fed her husband meals of cornmeal mush sweetened with a little molasses. One day, the old fisherman came home determined not to eat another spoonful of mush. He added some flour and yeast to the mush and baked it in the oven to make bread, all the while muttering, “that Anna, damn ‘er!”
And so it was that Anadammer, uh, Anadama bread was born. The bread was so delicious that it became an instant hit and a New England staple. We’ve presented 2 versions here; the first is the rustic “old fisherman’s” version that can be prepared without kneading and without a bread machine. The second is the bread machine version for those of you who are more technologically-inclined.
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 3 Tbsp butter (at room temperature)
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 package dry yeast
- 4 1/2 cups bread flour
- Place the cornmeal in a large bowl. Boil the two cups of water and pour the hot water into the cornmeal, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Add the molasses, salt and butter and stir to combine. The cornmeal mixture should still be warm enough to melt the butter.
- Put 1/2 cup warm water into a small bowl. The water should be warm to the touch but not boiling or the yeast will be die. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let sit for a few minutes. Then gently to combine. Let sit for another 5 minutes.
- Add the yeast mixture to the bowl with the cornmeal mixture and mix to combine. Add the bread flour, a cup at a time, stirring after each addition. The dough will be soft and sticky.
- Butter 2 5″x9″ loaf pans. Spoon half the dough mixture into each of the pans. The top of the dough may have an irregular appearance; this is normal. Cover the dough with a towel and let rise for several hours, until it doubles in size.
- Heat the oven to 350°F and bake the bread for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife blade comes out clean. Let the loaves cool for a few minutes, then turn them out onto racks to finish cooling.
Bread Machine Recipe
The dough in this version is less sticky and won’t gum of the works of your machine; it will also result in a lighter texture. The dough can be kneaded by hand if preferred.
- 2 1/2 tsp yeast, or 1 package
- 3 1/2 C bread flour
- 1/3 C yellow cornmeal
- 1 1/2 C boiling water
- 1/3 C molasses
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp butter
- Place the cornmeal into a bowl. Carefully and slowly add the boiling water, stirring continually to prevent lumps.
- Let stand and cool for about 20 minutes.
- Stir in molasses, salt and butter
- Place yeast in the pan of the machine, along with bread flour
- Add the cornmeal mixture, and start machine according to manufacturers directions.
If the dough does not appear to be mixing thoroughly during the kneading process, stop the machine and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
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Making cookies- what better way to spend an afternoon at home! It just so happens that our innkeeper Bruce is a former chef and culinary instructor. Over the next few weeks he’ll be sharing a few of his favorite recipes along with some goodies from the collections of the Mira Monte. Here’s one we think you’ll really enjoy:
Spumoni Shortbread Cookies- makes about 24 cookies
Inspired by the Classic Italian Gelato Treat. In this simplified version, all ingredients are combined so there’s no need to divide and color dough- but you can if you want!
- 3/4 lb unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup shelled pistachios, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries, finely chopped
- 2 tsp lemon or orange zest (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350° F. In the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until just mixed (you can mix by hand- you’ll develop great biceps!). Add vanilla and lemon zest.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour and salt, add to the creamed butter and sugar mixture. Add cherries and pistachios and mix on low speed until the dough begins to form.
- Turn the dough out on floured work surface and shape the dough into a flat disc. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for 30 minutes. Roll the chilled dough out to a thickness of 1/2″. Cut into 2″ squares with a sharp knife, or use cookie cutters to create any shape you’d like.
- Place the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Cool to room temperature and you’re ready to serve!
Tip: To scale this or any other recipe, divide the desired yield by the yield of your original recipe. The result is a fraction or ratio that you will use to multiply the amount of each ingredient in the original recipe. To use a very simple example, let’s say your recipe will produce 100 cookies, but you need 200 cookies for your upcoming party. 200/100 = 2. Multiply every ingredient in your original recipe by 2 to produce 200 cookies. This is a very simple and intuitive example, but the same principle applies no matter how many cookies you need or how many cookies the original recipe produces. For example, if your original recipe produces 75 cookies but you need 275, then 275/75 = 3.7. Multiply every ingredient by 3.7. You will probably want to round this up to 4 just to make things easier and have a few cookies left over for yourself!