Apricot Foldovers

apricot foldoversPastry
!/2 c. butter
4 oz. finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (1 cup)
1 ½ c. all-purpose flour (I prefer King Arthur)
2 T. water

Filling
1 c. dried apricots
2 ½ c.  hot water
1 c. granulated sugar

Chop the dried apricots by hand into ¼ inch pieces.  Place in a medium saucepan and cover with the hot water.  Allow to soak for about an hour.

Cream the butter and cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Blend in the flour. Add the water and mix well.  Roll into a ball and flatten to a six inch disc.  Wrap disc in plastic wrap and chill for 4-5 hours.

Meanwhile, cook the apricots and water over medium heat.  When the mixture is boiling, turn the heat down, continue to simmer and stir frequently for about 30-45 minutes.  Apricots should be soft and mushy, and the sauce thick.  Add the sugar and continue to stew stirring constantly for another 5-10 minutes until very thick. Remove from heat and cool.

Divide the chilled dough into quarters.  On a lightly floured board, roll one quarter of dough into a 6” x 8” rectangle.  Cut the rectangle into 2” squares.  Place ½ teaspoon of filling on each square; fold over and seal.  Bake the cookies on a parchment lined sheet in a preheated 375 degree oven for 8-10 minute, or until lightly browned on the edges.  Makes 4 dozen cookies.

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Laugh and be Jolly

Christmas signDeck the hall!  Put up the holly, laugh and be jolly!  It’s time to start the celebration!  It’s just the perfect way to start the holiday season.  It’s time for the annual Holiday Open House at the James Manning House B&B!

Every year in the beginning of December our little historic community provides holiday spirit for visitors, the greater community and friends of Bethany with an event we call “Christmas in the Village”.  This year the event is scheduled for December 1, from 2-4, and is a free event.  Many of the area organizations plan special events for everyone to 019enjoy.  The library invites Mrs. Claus to come and help children write letters to Santa Claus.  She and a helper read stories to the children.  The librarian offers cookies and hot chocolate as well.  Bethany United Methodist Church is offering a “Keepsake Christmas for Families”, which includes a hands on craft for inspiration.  The Bethany Historical Society has an open house with cookies and punch.  They are also planning a surprise display, which reminds us of a great part of our country’s history.  Bethany Village, senior living, invites all to their tree lighting and Tricky Tray.IMG_3695

The two historic B&B’s, E. Kellogg House and the James Manning House will be hosting open houses.  Enjoy the Christmas decorations and see the beauty of these two lodging inns.  There will be seasonal treats at both.  Perhaps you’ll have to clear the doorway for the Victorian Strollers to pass with their hoop skirts much in the same way the residents of these fine houses did 150 years past.

The James Manning House is pleased to present the Honesdale High School Chamber Choir singing Christmas carols and seasonal songs.  This talented group of young people will delight all who stop to listen.  Here at the inn we are preparing dozens of cookies and treats to tempt your palette.  Enjoy seeing the Santa Claus collection and decorated trees of various themes.  We dare you to count the Santa Claus collection, numbering above 350!  (hint: count the snowmen instead, far less of those, for now!!) Maybe you need some unique Christmas gifts, our little gift shop, is ready to help fill the need.  Gift certificates are also available for holiday giving.

The evening finishes with “A Journey Through Bethlehem” a living nativity presented by the Bethany Presbyterian Church.  The story of Jesus’ birth told through living story and live animals. The living nativity runs from 4:30-6:30, December 1 and December 2.

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Apple Bread

Apple breadIt’s January, winter is a time we all seem to need some comfort food to warm our bellies and our souls.  To quote Oprah, “I love bread!”.  The other day I was in the mood for beef stew and, of course, that requires tasty, crusty bread.  Remember bread machines, the “hot” food appliance of the nineties? breadmachineIf you don’t have time to knead, rise and bake by hand…….

1 package yeast
2 ¼ c. bread flour (I prefer King Arthur)
¾ c. whole wheat flour
½ t. salt
4 T. sugar
½ t. cinnamon
¼ t. nutmeg
2/3 c. warm applesauce
1 T. unsalted butter
½ c. warm unsweetened apple juice
½ c. apple, peeled and chopped fine

Put all ingredients in bread machine pan, in order as listed in your instruction guide, or as listed above.  (some machines prefer the yeast added after dry ingredients)  Use the white bread setting on your machine and press start.  This bread is not suitable for the delayed timer mode.

If you have the time and love to make bread, you can mix the dough and hand knead until smooth and silky, about 10-15 minutes.  Let rise until double in size, about 1-1/2 hour.  Shape into two loaves.  Let rise a second time, until double, about 45 min.  Bake at 350 degrees, about 40 minutes.

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Pumpkin Squares

pumpkin squares reCake Mixture:
1 box yellow cake mix, reserve ¾ cup.
1 stick butter, melted
1 egg, slightly beaten

Blend the butter and egg into the cake mix and press into a greased and floured 9x13x2” pan.  Use the back of a tablespoon to pat this mixture evenly over the bottom and 1” up the sides of the pan.

Pumpkin Mixture:
1 large can pumpkin
3 eggs, lightly beaten
½ c. brown sugar
¼ c. white sugar
2/3 c. evaporated milk
1 ½ tsp. Cinnamon
½ tsp. Ginger
½ tsp. Ground cloves

Topping:
¾ cup cake mix
½ cup white sugar
¼ cup butter, softened
½ -1 cup nuts, chopped, optional

Gently mix the pumpkin, eggs, sugars, milk, and seasonings.  Pour over unbaked mixture.  Blend the reserved cake mix with sugar and butter.  Roll into walnut sized balls and place over the pumpkin mixture.  Sprinkle with nuts if desired.  Bake at 350 for 55 minutes.

Serves 18, 2 x 3” squares.  Prep time 20-30 min.  Can freeze.

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Auntie’s Butter Crust Apple Squares

Crust:                                                                                                                                 3 cups all-purpose flour                                                                                                       1-1/2 t. salt                                                                                                                            ¾ + 1/3 c. butter flavor Crisco                                                                                              apple squareserve auntie apple squarere7-1/2 T. very cold water                                                                            Directions:  Put the flour, salt and Crisco in a food processor.  Pulse to mix.  While pulsing, slowly add the water continuing to pulse until a ball is formed.  (if needed, add 1-2 additional tablespoons of water to form the ball)  Remove the dough from the processor and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.

Apple Pie Filling:                             8 to 10 large baking apples, peeled and sliced                                          1 cup white sugar                              4 T. flour                                              2 t. cinnamon                                                                                                Directions: Place apple slices in a large bowl.  Whisk dry ingredients to mix in a small bowl.  Sprinkle the sugar mixture on the apples and toss to coat.            Allow to sit for 20 minutes.

Butter Crust Topping:                                                                                                          1 c. granulated sugar                                                                                                          ½ c. flour                                                                                                                              1 c. butter (or margarine), softened                                                                               Directions: Combine sugar, and flour.  Mix in butter until well combined.

Assembly: Roll out chilled crust on a lightly floured surface and place in a jelly roll pan (15 ½” x 10 ½” x 1”) bringing the crust up the sides.  Pour the apple filling on the crust and spread evenly.  Drop the butter crust topping by teaspoons over the filling and gently spread covering as much filling as possible.

Bake at 350 F for 90 minutes or until the top is golden.

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Easy Cheese Danish

While this recipe may not be on the diet list, it is a favorite among our guests.  It’s a sin to share, as the danish are so quick and easy to make. (You’ll know I’m not slaving all day in the kitchen!)  It is also great to take along to a brunch party for a special treat as it makes a big pan.

Ingredients:

 2 – Pkg. Crescent Rolls                       1/8 c. egg beaters (or 1 egg yolk)

2 – 8 oz. 1/3 fat cream cheese             1tsp. vanilla

1 C. granulated sugar                          1tsp. lemon juice

1/8 tsp. Almond extract

 

Preparation:

Spread one pkg. of rolls on the bottom of a 9” x 13” greased pan. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and extracts until smooth.  Spread batter on top of rolls.  Spread the second package of rolls on top, sealing to the sides of the pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden in color.

Frosting:

Mix 2 T. milk and 1 cup of powdered sugar.  Spread over hot, baked Danish as a glaze. Easy Cheese DanishCool. Cut into desired shapes, (we like triangles).   Makes about 24.

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Best Ever Banana Bread

3 Ripe Bananas, mashed                                                                                                       1/3 c. melted butter                                                                                                               3/4 c. granulated sugar                                                                                                           1 egg, beaten                                                                                                                           2 T. non-fat sour cream                                                                                                             1 t. vanilla                                                                                                                                1 t. baking soda                                                                                                                      ¼ t. salt                                                                                                                                   1 ½ c. flour                                                                                                                           For streusel:                                                                                                                            2 T.  ground cinnamon                                                                                                          ¼ c. of sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9” x 5” loaf pan, and flour.Best Ever Banana Bread

In a medium bowl mix dry ingredients.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar and egg, and beat by hand until well mixed.  Blend in sour cream and vanilla.  Add mashed bananas and mix until blended.  Add flour mixture and stir just until combined, taking care not to overmix.  Mix the streusel ingredients in small bowl, set aside.

Pour half the batter into the greased loaf pan and spread evenly.  Sprinkle about two-thirds of the streusel over the batter in the loaf pan.  Slowly add the remainder of the batter, trying to pour evenly.  Sprinkle the remainder of the streusel over the top.

Bake for 50-60 minutes.  Can be checked for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center, and it comes out clean.

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Corn Bread Muffins

corn muffins

  • 3/4 c. yellow corn meal
  • 1c. white flour
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 Tbs. melted butter
  • 1 t. salt
  • 3 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1 c. non-fat milk
  • Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.  Add beaten eggs, milk and honey.  Hand beat until completely combined.  Pour evenly into 12 muffin cups.
  • Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes, or toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and tops are golden brown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chocolate and Cherry Magic Bars

Crust:                                                                                                                                       1 – ¾ c. all-purpose flour                                                                                                       ½ c. granulated sugar                                                                                                            ¼ c. packed light brown sugar                                                                                                 ¼ t. salt                                                                                                                                  ½ c. butter, melted

Filling:                                                                                                                                        1 can cherry pie filling                                                                                                              ½ c. sweetened condensed milk

Topping:                                                                                                                                   ½ c. shredded coconut                                                                                                        ½ c. semi-sweet chocolate morsels

 

Directions:

Spray a 9” square baking pan with cooking spray.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl combine flour, sugars, and salt.  Add melted butter and blend in with a fork until crumbly. Spread the mixture evenly into the baking dish and press down firmly.  Combine the pie filling and milk, stirring until well blended.  Spread this mixture over the crust.  Mix together the coconut and chocolate.  Sprinkle evenly over cherry mixture.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until set and coconut is slightly browned.  Cool on wire rack. Cut into 12 or 16 pieces when completely cooled.Choc n Cherry Magic Bars

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Oatmeal Jam Cakes

1 c. butter flavor shortening                                                                                                    1 ½ c. firmly packed brown sugar                 oatmeal-jam-cakes                                                                          2 lg. Eggs                                             2 t. almond extract                               ½ t. vanilla                                           ½ t. white vinegar (keeps cookies soft)                                                        1 t. baking powder                                1 t. real salt                                         ½ t. baking soda                                   2 ½ c. rolled oats, uncooked (can use quick-cooking in a pinch)                      12 oz. fruit jam, our favorite is raspberry                                                                                                                                 Sanding Sugar

Whisk together the flour, salt, soda and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.  Beat the shortening and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well blended.  Beat in the eggs, extracts and vinegar, blending well. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix at a low speed until just combined.  Stir in the oats.  Cover the dough and refrigerate at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper or grease.  Roll out about a fourth of the dough on a floured surface to about 3/8” thickness.  Cut out circles of dough with your choice of min. 2” to max. 2-1/2” inch round cookie cutter.  Put half the circles 2” apart on prepared tray, place ¾-1 t. of jam in center of base cookies.  Using a very small hole cutter punch holes in the remaining circles, then place on top of bases over jam.  Press the edges of cookie sandwiches to seal.  Sprinkle with sanding sugar.  Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake one tray at a time at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned on edges.  Do not overbake or cookies will be hard.  Cool 2 minutes on trays, then move to cooling racks to cool completely.  Makes about 2-1/2 dozen cookies at 2-1/2”.

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