Monday, August 31, 2015

Salt Water Taffy

If you were thinking about going to the gym, get that awful thought out of your mind! Making this taffy is going to give your arms quite the workout. So yes you can use this as your 'get out of gym' free card.

And if you are like me, a recent and very poor college graduate, use this as a DIY present for the candy lover in your life. Wrap these candies up in a cute bag or fill a mason jar to the brim, add a cute tag and voila! This way you don't have to give Grandma ANOTHER afghan for her birthday.

Salt water taffy is a delicious candy that you can make any flavor you want! If you have read my other posts, you know that I love having options. This recipe is going to be made using an orange oil.

Ingredients:

1/4 teaspoon orange oil
1 tsp. Salt
2 Cups Sugar
2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
1 Cup Corn Syrup
3/4 Cup Water
2 Tbsp. Butter
Orange food coloring

Grease a baking dish and a rubber spatula with butter. Set aside
Sift together sugar and cornstarch.
In a saucepan combine sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup, water, butter, and salt.
Cook over medium heat until all sugar is dissolved. Cover pot and boil for 2-3 minutes.
Uncover pot and insert a candy thermometer.
Cook candy to 256F
Remove pot from heat. Stir in orange oil and food coloring. Stir gently until fully incorporated.
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

When the candy is cool enough to handle, grease your hands and being to 'satin' the taffy. Stretch the candy about 10 inches, catch the middle and stretch the candy again. This process incorporates air into the taffy, making it light and shiny. Continue for about 20 minutes. It will become more difficult to pull the candy as it cools, but hang in there!
Pull this into a long rope and (using scissors that have been greased) cut into desired shape. Finish by wrapping in wax paper and twist the ends to give a classic look.




Sunday, August 30, 2015

DIY Momofuku Milk Bar's Cereal Milk Ice Cream

            Momofuku Milk Bar is famous for their cereal ice cream, and if you're like me you cant shlep into New York City everytime you get a craving. Personally I prefer to have ice cream at my finger tips, which is where this fabulous DIY comes in.
         You can make your own and even put your own twist on the classic by using a favorite cereal. But for this bloggers sake lets start with the classic and work from there, because trust me when I say this is an ice cream recipe you'll keep forever.

Ingredients

1/4 tsp Salt
8 egg yolks
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Frosted Flakes (or your favorite cereal) for topping
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar

Cereal Milk

2 Cups Frosted Flakes (or your favorite cereal)
2 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
3 Cups Half & Half

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and let steep over night.
Strain the soggy cereal from the milk mixture.

Make sure are left with 5 cups of liquid. Some of the milk will have been absorbed by the cereal, replace what you need with whole milk.


Toast cereal at 300F for 15 minutes, this helps release more flavor.
Pour cereal milk into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and set aside.
Whisk together egg yolks and brown sugar until thick (about 2 minutes). Next stream in the hot cereal milk into the egg yolk/sugar mixture, while continuously mixing. Add the vanilla extract and salt.
                                                     If you are making soft serve:
Allow this mixture to chill thoroughly, preferably overnight so the flavors fully develop!
Churn the ice cream mixture in your kitchen aid ice cream attachment.
                                            If you are making NO CHURN ice cream:
Pour ice cream mixture into a deep vessel, cover and freeze until solid.

Serve ice cream in large scoops and top with cereal! YUM

Saturday, August 29, 2015

S'mores Cookie Pockets - Watch the How To on my YouTube Channel

                                       Producing Credit to MirandaaLee.blogsplot.com                  


                                            
                                                   Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients 

2 Cups Flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 sticks (softened ) butter

3/4 Cup Sugar

3/4 Cup Brown Sugar

2 large eggs

2 Cups of Chocolate Chunks


Pre-heat oven to 350F

Cream together butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
Slowly add in your eggs and vanilla. Mix until combined.

Next add in all dry ingredients. Mix until fully combined. Then stir in chocolate chunks.
Place tablespoon mounds of the dough on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.


Friday, August 28, 2015

DIY Vanilla Extract

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           Vanilla extract is expensive, and GOOD vanilla extract is even pricier. It seems that somewhere in the bottling process the vanilla is mixed with the tears of Jesus.

           My brother in law, Brian,  had been inquiring how to make his own vanilla extract. Now he's not the biggest baker so I was confused, until I received the BEST birthday present. Now bless his heart he bought a beautiful brand of bourbon to infuse with the vanilla bean, Kings County Distillery. Don't feel pressured to buy expensive bottles like Brian; however the better the bourbon you use, the better the finished product. Hopefully this will help feed your insatiable baking habit!

I recommend Kings County or Makers Mark. 
I like Makers Mark in my cakes for the same reason I like it in my whiskey sours, the delicious vanilla undertones.

Here's what you'll need:

750 ml - bottle of your favorite bourbon
6 - vanilla beans

Pour out about 2 shots worth of bourbon ( to make room for your addition of vanilla)
Next slice the vanilla beans vertically, drop them in the bourbon bottle and replace your lid.

Store the bottle in a cool dry pantry for 12 weeks before use. Shake every few weeks.
For more extracts and infusions leave comments or e-mail what you would like to see!


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Whole Peach Pies




Go scoop up the last ripe peaches of the season, because you are going to want to try this. Pies are a classic dessert and well loved no matter which seasonal fruit goes into them. Put a twist on the classic by making these individual pies, using the whole fruit!

Ingredients
12 ripe peaches

Pie Crust (recipe follows)

Sugar in the raw-for topping

1 cup Brown Sugar

1/2 cup Cinnamon


Pie Crust

1 1/4 cups AP flour

1 Tbs. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

3 Tbs. cold water

In a stand mixer combine flour, sugar, and salt.  Add butter and mix until butter resembles small crumbs (the size of oats). Now add water and mix until just combined. DO NOT OVER MIX.

* This dough can be frozen for up to a week*  Place dough on a lightly floured surface (to avoid sticking) and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll into 1/4 inch thick discs (large enough to fir a peach)

Whole Peach Pies 
Pre heat oven to 350F. Grease and flour muffin tin.

Slice peaches in half, remove pit. Next heavily sprinkle both halves of peaches with cinnamon and brown sugar. Stick both halves back together, wrap the peach in pie dough. Place each peach in individual muffin tin.


Brush top of dough wrapped peaches with water, then sprinkle with sugar in the raw.
Bake for 45 minutes- 1 hour or until golden brown.


Monday, August 24, 2015

How To Bake Better

Makeshift rolling pin:  Baking in a new kitchen? If you find yourself without a rolling pin, use an empty wine bottle! Fairly certain we all have one of those laying around...

Cakes that fall: We all do it, open the oven door while our cake is baking. Well stop it, stop it now. This causes the temperature of the oven to drop, and the cool air makes the center of the cake fall.

Room temperature eggs: It's best to use eggs that are at room temperature when baking, but lets be honest we all forget. Or we're making some late night, spur of the moment brownies. Don't fret, put your eggs in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes.

Metal or Glass cake pan? : The color of your baking dish does matter. If you think it doesn't, you're in denial and I can't help you. Metal and glass conduct heat differently. You can substitute a glass pan for a metal one, but first you need to adjust your baking temperature. Reduce the temperature of the oven by 25F. All set!

Can't find a cooling rack?: Take a piece of wax paper and sprinkle it with sugar. This will keep the cookies or cake from sticking. And I'm always looking for a way to add more sugar to recipes!


Friday, August 21, 2015

New Posts and Ideas

This is Snack Racks first day being open! We will be posting videos, tutorials, and restaurant reviews to come. But I would love to hear from the viewers. Tell us what you want to see. If there's something you've been dying to make and just don't know how. Or maybe you just want to throw out a crazy idea.
E-mail us at:  laurapucillo@gmail.com 
Follow us on instagram: laurapucillo 

Creme Brulee

Creme brulee is, to put it simply, one of the most delectable 'pudding' like sweets you will ever eat. Topped with a caramelized sugar shell, who wouldn't love this? However this decadent dessert has a stigma of being difficult to make. People have long thought this is a dessert reserved for special occasions, something you can only get in nice French restaurant. These people are what I like to call, wrong. Not only can creme brulee be something to used to give that WOW factor next time its your turn to cook, but impress anyone by throwing it into a simple dinner routine.
Traditional creme brulee is made with vanilla bean, always a popular choice! But this is far from the only flavor you can make, I'd venture to say you can infuse any flavor you can think of. Here's a few :

- Black Bottom Nutella
- Lavender
- Coconut
- Orange Creamsicle
- Coffee
- Chai Tea
- Passion Fruit

Classic
1.5 Cups Whole Milk
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/4 tsp. Salt
2 Eggs
3 Egg Yolks
1 Vanilla Bean scraped or 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Granulated Sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 325F.
 In a saucepan combine milk, heavy cream, and vanilla bean.
Tahitian Vanilla Bean, can be substituted for vanilla extract 
                       Slice open and scrape the vanilla bean before adding to the milk mixture
 Bring mixture to a simmer, this is where your flavor is infused and where all the wonderful taste comes from.
In a bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and salt. (if you are using vanilla extract add now)
While continuously whisking, slowly stream the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. Be careful not to stream too quickly, you run the risk of cooking your eggs.

Pour the mixture into a measuring cup or bowl with a pouring spout.

Place 6 six oz ramekins in a 9x13 baking pan. I have filled half with Nutella to make the 'Black Bottom Nutella Creme Brulee'

 Divide custard among the ramekins and place in oven. Fill baking pan with hot water, until the water reaches halfway up the ramekins.


Bake for 35 minutes or until the custard in set.

Remove from oven and carefully remove ramekins from the hot water bath. Allow the ramekins to cool to room temperature before covering with plastic wrap. Then place in refrigerator to chill completely.

Once your custards are completely cool, top each one with an even coating of sugar (about a tablespoon each). Then using a kitchen blowtorch (see sidebar), slowly caramelize the sugar.
If you don't have a blowtorch use the broiler in your oven!


To make the 'Black Bottom Nutella', put 1 tsp of Nutella in each ramekin. Proceed to complete the recipe. Make sure not to over fill the ramekins.

Voila! Go ahead and add your own little touches to finish your show stopping dessert.

To make Lavender/ Orange Creamsicle/ Coffee/ Coconut/ OR Chai Tea
Steep the desired flavor in the hot milk mixture to infuse. Proceed to complete this recipe.

COMING SOON

                                 We are a work in progress, check back soon for our first post!