- Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 325 degrees . In a bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk, food color, vanilla and vinegar. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the butter, sugar and brown sugar, occasionally scraping down the bowl, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating to blend between additions. Reduce speed to low; add the flour mixture and beat until just blended. Beat in the buttermilk mixture. Cover; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours.
- Roll half the dough (keep the rest chilled) by the tablespoon into balls; roll in confectioners’ sugar to thickly coat. Place 2 inches apart on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Bake the cookies, rotating the sheets halfway through, until puffed and crinkled, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on the sheets 1 minute before transferring to racks. Using cooled sheets and fresh parchment, repeat with remaining dough.
PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN THUMBPRINT COOKIES
Makes: 8 servings
Yield: about 2 1/2 dozen
Prep: 35 mins
Bake: 20 mins
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks (6 oz.) butter, at room temperature
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple (about 6 oz.)
- 4 maraschino cherries, patted dry and chopped
- Confectioners’ sugar
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat 3/4 cup sugar and the butter, occasionally scraping down the bowl, until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the egg and vanilla; beat to blend. Reduce the speed to low; add the flour mixture and beat until just blended. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
- In a small saucepan, cook the pineapple and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar over medium, stirring often, until the pineapple is translucent and the mixture is thick, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a wide bowl. Stir in the cherries and let cool.
- Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees . Roll dough by the tablespoon into balls. Place 1 inch apart on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. With your thumb, make a deep indentation in the center of each ball. Fill the indentations with the pineapple mixture.
- Bake the cookies until golden around the edges, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the cookies, on the parchment, to racks and dust with confectioners’ sugar; let cool completely.
PULLED PORK WITH CORNBREAD TOPPING
Makes: 4 servings
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 10 mins
- 1/2 cup bottled barbecue sauce
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 1/4 pounds boneless, country-style pork shoulder ribs, cut into 6 pieces
- 1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup creamed corn
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 8 1/2 ounce box corn muffin mix
- 2 scallion, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees . In a large, heavy ovenproof pot or Dutch oven, whisk the first 3 ingredients. Add the pork and onion and bring to a simmer over medium; cover. Roast until the pork is tender, 1 3/4 hours. Remove the pot from the oven and increase the heat to 400 degrees . Using 2 forks, shred the pork in the pot.
- In a bowl, stir the creamed corn, egg and sour cream, then gently fold in the muffin mix and scallions. Spoon the batter to cover the pulled pork. Bake, uncovered, until cornbread is golden and tester comes out dry, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Complete step 1 in a slow cooker on low, 3 1/2 hours. Shred the pork and return to the slow cooker. Spread the batter on top and cook on low until cornbread is golden and tester comes out dry, about 2 3/4 hours.
ITALIAN BEAN AND TORTELLINI SOUP
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
- 1 cup dried small white or navy beans
- 1 14 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 6 tablespoons golden raisins
- 5 large cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed in a plastic freezer bag with mallet
- 10 ounces frozen cheese tortellini
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- In a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven, boil the first 6 ingredients and 3 cups water for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 hours, adding 1/4 cup more water at a time as needed. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the tortellini, increase the heat and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the tortellini is cooked through, about 10 minutes; season.
- Divide the soup among shallow soup bowls. Sprinkle with the cheese. Garnish with the parsley and drizzle with EVOO.
- Combine the first 6 ingredients plus 3 cups water in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high until the beans are tender, about 6 hours. Add the tortellini; cover and cook until al dente, about 20 minutes.