Week 7: Love Inspired – Hungarian Love Letters

When I saw these pastries over at Wonderland Kitchen, I knew I had to try and make them. They’re such perfect looking packages of yumminess! They were a little time consuming to make, only because of the three layers of dough (chilling and rolling time,) but I think they are worth it. And they make the house smell amazing!

For the dough:

  • 2 2/3 cups AP flour
  • 1 1/4 cups butter, cubed
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup cold milk

Put flour and butter in a food processor and pulse until corse crumbs are formed. Mix together the egg, yolk and milk, and add to the dough while the food processor is still running. Once combined, turn dough out onto a flour coated surface and knead dough until texture is smooth and uniform. Divide the dough into three equal pieces, flatten, wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. You can refrigerate overnight as well.

For the filling:

  • 3.5 oz walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 2 lbs green apples, shredded
  • One egg, for wash

In a bowl, combined nuts, sugar, graham crumbs & cinnamon. You can peel and shred your apples now too. Be sure to squeeze out the excess juice from the shredded apple or the finished product well get soggy. Roll out your first layer of dough and place it in your baking pan. I used a jelly roll pan, that was approximately 10.5″ x 14″. Sprinkle about 2/3 of the nut mixture evenly over the bottom layer of dough, add raisins to this layer as well.

Roll out your second layer and place it over this one. Spread the shredded apples evenly over the second layer, then sprinkle the remaining nut mixture over the apples.

Roll out the third layer, and cover the apples.

You can score the dough now, if you’d like, to make cutting easier later, but this is not necessary. Brush egg wash over the entire top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

 

 

Honestly, they didn’t come out as pretty as I expected, but they tasted fantastic! I think I may have overworked the dough, or simply rolled it out too thin. I will be trying these again!

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Week 7: Love Inspired – Whole Wheat Pizza with Pepperoni Hearts

I wasn’t sure what to make that was inspired by the love inside me, but when I was looking through some pictures on food gawker, I saw some heart shaped pepperonis and said, “what a great idea!” I went with a whole wheat pizza crust for two reasons. One, it’s a bit healthier, and two, i think it tastes way better.

Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top, and let stand for about 10 minutes, until foamy.
  2. Stir the olive oil and salt into the yeast mixture, then mix in the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the all-purpose flour until dough starts to come together. Tip dough out onto a surface floured with the remaining all-purpose flour, and knead until all of the flour has been absorbed, and the ball of dough becomes smooth, about 10 minutes. Place dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover loosely with a towel, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. When the dough is doubled, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into 2 pieces for 2 thin crust, or leave whole to make one thick crust. Form into a tight ball. Let rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Roll a ball of dough with a rolling pin until it will not stretch any further. Then, drape it over both of your fists, and gently pull the edges outward, while rotating the crust. When the circle has reached the desired size, place on a well oiled pizza pan. Top pizza with your favorite toppings, such as sauce, cheese, meats, or vegetables.
  5. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes (depending on thickness) in the preheated oven, until the crust is crisp and golden at the edges, and cheese is melted on the top.
 When your dough is ready, use your favorite sauce and/or toppings to create for pizza.
Cut pepperonis into the shape of hearts. I folded them in half, and they came out great!
Then arrange your toppings, and bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes
Enjoy!

Week 6: Brazilian – Coxinha

Week 6: Brazilian is the week that caused me to fall behind. I kept putting this dish off so much, because I was just not at all inspired by any of the Brazilian recipes that I could find. So I came across “Coxinhas”, which are a popular Brazilian street food. They consist of a shredded chicken filling with spices and cheese, wrapped in dough, shaped into a mini “drum stick”, then breaded and deep fried to a golden brown. They looked pretty good. They were kind of a pain in the ass to make though. Maybe once you get used to the process it goes faster, but I wouldn’t necessarily make these again. I would order them out, since they were pretty tasty!

First boil the chicken breasts in the broth with the onion, carrot and bay leaf. Cook until chicken is cooked, about 15 minutes. Then remove the chicken and shred it. I used the food processor for this step. Reserve the broth for preparing the dough later.

Mix the cream chefs and lime juice into the chicken, this will be easier if done when the chicken is still warm. Then sauté the other onion and garlic in butter

Then I chopped up the carrot into tiny pieces and added that and the onion and garlic to the chicken. Measure the chicken broth (you should have around 3 and a half cups) and bring to a boil. Gradually add the flour (same amount as broth you have) to the broth and stir vigorously, for 2-3 minutes. This part is very hard and the dough will become very stiff. Afterwards, place dough in the refrigerator for about 1 hour. (You could chill the dough and the chicken mixture overnight at this point).

To shape the Coxinhas, take a piece of dough, about 1.5 inch ball, and make a well in it. Fill with some chicken mixture and wrap the dough around it to seal. Shape to resemble a tiny drum stick.

Then beat your eggs in a bowl and dip each “drum stick” into the egg, then dredge in bread crumbs, set aside on a baking sheet, or large dish. Continue to cover the remaining Coxinhas in breadcrumbs.

Chill the breaded coxinhas for an hour. Then deep fry in oils heated to 360 degrees. Remove from oil when gold brown. Serve warm.

Recipe from About.com

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 pounds chicken breasts (about 4 halves)
  • 4-5 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 onions
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
  • 3-3.5 cups of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3 cups of very finely grated bread crumbs
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

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