Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pumpkin Pop

Popcorn with pumpkin pie spice is super yummy and addicting!   I like mine with dehydrated apple slices. It is like a caramel apple without the mess!
Give this easy recipe a try.
Pumpkin Pop
popped popcorn (I used Skinny Pop)
pumpkin pie spice
Optional Add-ins:

candy corn


die-hydrated apple slices
Divide popcorn onto 2 parchment lined cookie sheets.
Melt butter over low heat. Add sugar and spice. Boil for 2 minutes.
Pour over popcorn and stir with a wooden spoon to coat. Refrigerate 5 minutes and stir in an add-ins.
Take it One Prep at a Time,
Chef Jackie

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Trick or Treat S'Mores Bar

Halloween is so much fun in my neighborhood.   I usually walk down the street and pass out candy with my friend Susan. The guys and our kids hit the streets to get the loot.  Although our kids like trick or treating they really do not eat very much candy.  This of course I do not understand because as a kid that was the all I wanted to do was dress up and run around getting candy.  I would keep some, trade some and give some away.  Well with so much left over candy I have had to come up with places to donate it and different ways to use it.  We have made center pieces and graham cracker houses.
Today I want to share with you how to make a ...

Indoor/Outdoor S'more Bar
1 heat proof container (found mine in the paint section of the hardware store)
garbage bags (this makes the container lighter and easier to move)
rocks or gravel
1 or more gel chaffer fuels (used for catering and sold at large grocery stores)
assorted leftover candy
graham crackers
bamboo skewers
Place bags in the bottom of the container.  I used a galvanized bucket.  I like the look.  Plus it has a handle so it is portable.  Top with foil followed by the rocks.  Nestle chaffer fuel in the center.  It is that easy.  You can make this is big as you want.  Works great as a table-top center piece or as a dessert station at a graduation.  The ideas and styles are endless.

Take it One Prep at a Time,
Chef Jackie

Monday, October 20, 2014

Halloween Cookie Cutouts

I just love Halloween!  I love the fall air and the changing of the leaves.  What I love most is all the cool foods you can make.  There are truly no rules and the ideas are endless. 

This year I took a stab at making rolled fondant cookies.  Even though I am a pastry chef and baker rolled fondant has always scared me.  Plus it wasn't that convenient to find all the ingredients in my town.  What's a girl to do? Hit the web-find a recipe with ingredients I have on hand and start baking fearlessly.

I love the results and it was easy.  I adapted the recipe slightly to suit my taste. Carson my son loves these cookies so much and so do I.

Shortbread Cookie Cutouts
butter, softened
white sugar
vanilla extract
lemon extract (optional)
all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment.
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in vanilla and lemon; add flour and mix well. Divide dough into 4 and flatten into disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 20 minutes before rolling.
Place dough on a surface dusted with flour. Dust the top of the dough with flour and roll to 1/4 inch thick using a rolling pin. Cut shapes with desired cookie cutter. Place on prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, edges will be brown. Shortbread is dry biscuit style cookie.
If using fondant cut outs place fondant on warm cookies or cool and brush with corn syrup then place fondant on top.  Otherwise cool cookies and ice with your favorite frosting.


stick Regular Crisco or 1 cup
Corn Syrup
bag powder sugar
In Kitchen Aid mixer with bread kneader attachment – knead until all ingredients until mixed (this will look terrible).
Pour on to counter and knead for 5-10 minutes until fondant comes together and is workable.
Add paste food coloring (from a craft store – cake decorating section) – Knead in food coloring with your hands, be sure to use plastic gloves.
Roll out the fondant between 2 pieces of parchment or on a silicone baking mat.  Roll to 1/8 inch.
Use the same cookie cutter to cut out the fondant shape. Remove excess fondant but leave the shapes alone on the parchment paper so you do not stretch or distort them.
Put the fondant shapes that are on the parchment paper onto a tray. Put the tray into the freezer.
As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, take the fondant out of the freezer and put on the cookie. If more than one layer of fondant (like a wing) add all layers as soon as it comes out of the oven.
Let cookies dry overnight on the counter.  The next day, take a dry paper towel and blot off excess oil from the decorated cookie.
Cooled Cookie Method: Make and bake cookies as directed.  Cool completely.  Roll the fondant shapes adding powdered sugar as need to make the fondant workable.  If the fondant gets to dry rub shortening on your hands and knead the dough some more.  Brush cookies with corn syrup and top with fondant cut out.  Add other decorations now.
Cookie baked and cooled.  Brushed with corn syrup before adding fondant.
 Fondant rolled out. The eyes are mini chocolate chips.
Fondant applied.
Cats are covered in chocolate ganache.  Taste better than black food coloring.
Eyes are added when ganache is still wet.