Thursday, December 31, 2009


One of my Christmas presents was an æbleskiver pan and some wild blueberry jam courtesy of my youngest sister. I love learning about new culinary treats, so part of the fun was looking up the history of this foreign treat.

The origin is believed to be Denmark, roughly around the time of the Vikings. The word æbleskiver is plural meaning apple slices, believed to be the original filling; although other sources claim it's an ode to the spherical shape of the pancake. Either way, it's delicious.

The Danish usually enjoy their æbleskiver as a dessert or snack in December, with fillings ranging from pieces of fruit, to jams and jellies, to chocolates. The batter is also perfect for savory fillings, such as meats or marinated vegetables. In America, æbleskiver are more often made for breakfast and drenched in maple syrup.

For my version, I used wild blueberry jam and some orange marmalade. The wild blueberry was our favorite. The orange marmalade was too tart for our taste buds.

The batter reminded me of thick eggnog and smelled wonderful. This was also my first time beating eggs whites by hand. It took a few minutes of furious whisking, but I did it! I found it helped to pace back and forth in the kitchen throughout the process.

I didn't realize how many æbleskiver would result from the recipe, and it turns out we ended up with 42 for just the two of us! Since æbleskiver do not keep very well, we'll be eating these all weekend. Next time I'll just cut the recipe in half.

The æbleskiver do taste similar to a pancake, but the nutmeg brings a lovely warmth to the flavors. I would recommend eating these warm, right as they come off the pan. Try them plain or with just powdered sugar first before they become drenched in syrup and the flavors become overwhelmed.

The only catch to making these is you have to have an æbleskiver pan (or a takoyaki pan), otherwise you'll just be making pancakes.


4 eggs, cold, yolk and whites divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp turbinado
2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla

stick of butter

Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Place the egg whites in a medium sized metal bowl and whisk until stiff peaks are formed.

In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (flour through salt) and set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream together the egg yolks and turbinado. Add the buttermilk and vanilla to the mixing bowl, and then slowly add the dry ingredients until just combined (some small lumps may remain).

Using the whisk, add the egg whites to the batter and carefully fold together.

Place the æbleskiver pan on the stove on medium-low heat and allow it to get warm. Take the stick of butter and quickly rub into each divot. Using a spoon, pour 1 tbsp of batter into each divot. Next add 1/2 tsp of filling to each divot, then top with 1 tsp of batter, making sure to cover the filling completely (try and keep the filling from touching the sides, otherwise the æbleskive will have a hole in it). Do not fill each divot to the brim as it needs room to puff up.

After 2-3 min, use a pair of chopsticks to quickly flip the æbleskiver over to finish cooking. The second side will only need 1-2 min of cooking. Remove to a plate and top with powdered sugar.

~Yields 42 æbleskiver.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Potato Chip Cookies

When these cookies starting baking in my house growing up, we knew Christmas was almost here. They were always a special treat saved for the holidays - most likely due to the quick prep and cooking, it takes no time at all to have them ready for guests or to place in a goodie bag as a gift.

I love how each bite is a little salty and a little sweet, with the crunchy chips and the soft cookie. I don't know what recipe my family used, but I found this one from King Arthur Flour (KAF) and actually like it better since it includes oats - one of my favorites! If you're not fond oats, feel free to use two cups of flour instead. Since it's the holidays, try spicing it up with flavored potato chips or adding something a little extra to the cookie dough. I think a combination of adding orange zest and using lime potato chips would taste great!

Happy Holidays!

Potato Chip Cookies

1 stick of butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup turbinado
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg (room temperature)
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup KAF organic all-purpose flour
1 cup broken plain potato chips

Preheat the oven to 350*F. Prepare a cookie sheet by greasing it with butter or line with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, cream together the ingredients of butter through vanilla. Next, add one at a time the ingredients (in order) of egg through flour, and mix until just combined.

In a small bowl, coarsely crush the potato chips (or use crumbs from any bags in the cupboard). Roll the dough into a ball no bigger than a golf ball and press into the broken potato chips.

Place on the cookie sheet and bake for 15-18 min.

Remove to a cooling rack immediately - then enjoy!

~Yields 18 cookies.

My future-mother-in-law gave us one of her dish sets over the Thanksgiving holiday. I think they're beautiful! Thank you again!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sweet Potato Bread

I love me some sweet potatoes. We have so many laying around from after Thanksgiving, I've been trying to come up with creative ways to use them up. Smashing and casseroles were out since we had so much of that last week. And roasting them alone seems anticlimactic (although still tasty!). I have a ton of flour sitting in the pantry, so I decided to see if a quick bread loaf was possible with other items laying around the house.

I couldn't help myself and did roast some sweet potatoes before mixing them into the batter. I kept some to the side and munched on them while preparing the bread. I just love the sweet, caramel potato smell that emanates throughout the house while they slowly tenderize in the oven.

I love the consistency of this bread. It reminds me of zucchini bread density, where it's not a solid bread, but it also doesn't taste or feel quite like a cake. The sweetness is also subtle and not overpowering. I spread some butter on top of my warm slice and sat down to slowly enjoy the mellow flavors. This works wonderfully as a snack, dessert, or tasty breakfast.

If you have some plain pecans or caramel walnut pieces laying around, those would be fabulous on top.

Sweet Potato Bread

2 medium sweet potatoes
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cupturbinado
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup butter
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350*F. Peel and roughly chop the sweet potatoes. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread evenly on a cooking sheet. Roast for 30min until tender.

In a medium bowl, sift together the ingredients of flour through the baking powder and set aside. Prepare a loaf pan by coating all sides with butter and set aside.

Once the sweet potatoes are ready, combine the wet ingredients (sweet potatoes, and turbinado through eggs) in a mixer and blend until fairly smooth, although small sweet potato pieces will remain. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Bake at 350*F for 60min or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow it to cool in the pan before slicing.

~Yields 1 loaf.

~Adapted from Stylish Cuisine and Bread + Butter.

See that shadow there on the left? That would be my dog's nose a millisecond before she grabbed that bite on the fork. She's never done that before. I think some of those dogs at the park are a bad influence. I'll have to cut down on her fraternization time or at least quiz any dogs for their intention of playing with my dog from now on. Sigh, kids.