Easy Gourmet Food Gifts

I recently taught a Cooking Class to a group of women in my neighborhood, and I'm giving the recipes below. In addition to showing how to make the recipes, I gave some ideas for packaging the items if they were being given as gifts. I think I might have taken some photos, but I don't have time right now to search for them if I did! Been VERY busy of late! Anyway, enjoy the recipes! (Sorry, but they are coming over extra large from my word perfect document…no time to edit!)

Easy Gourmet Food Gifts
By Emily Thompson
Compound butters
Basic recipe:
Per pound of butter (2 sticks), add:

~up to 1 TBL liquid
~up to ½ cup seasonings, depending on type and how strong the flavor
*remember that you need more of fresh herbs than bottled (by 1/3)
*Always use un-salted butter, and add Kosher Salt if needed for flavor

~Refrigerate for one week, or freeze, tightly wrapped, for up to 3 months
~Slice off or scoop out amount desired for service on freshly cooked meats or fish, vegetables, pasta or breads.

Roasted Nuts
Basic recipe:
Per pound of nuts:

~Prepare a baking pan (Parchment works best)

~Combine 1 cup of sugar with seasonings of choice in a small bowl (you can use less sugar if you like)
*Use as little or as much seasoning as you like. I usually do 1/8 cup  cinnamon per batch, plus a little nutmeg, for my basic recipe
*If you are adding heat spices, cut back on your sugar by half, and add amounts of spice to your preference, or leave out the sugar entirely

~Whip 1 egg white until doubled in volume (room temp works best to whip)
~ Add 1 tsp vanilla, or almond extract, to the egg whites if desired
~fold the whipped whites into the nuts

~Toss the sugar mixture with the coated nuts until well mixed

~pour onto your baking sheet, making sure to only be one layer deep
~bake at 275° for 30 minutes, stirring half way through baking time
~separate after cooled

Sour Cream Coffee Cakes
Basic recipe:
Per batch, which makes 1 9x13 Full, or smaller amounts depending on pan size you choose

~Whisk together the following dry ingredients and set aside:
1 ¾ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
Cinnamon, nutmeg, etc, optional depending on your flavor choice

~In a mixing bowl, cream together until light and fluffy:
½ cup softened unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla (or almond extract, if preferred)

~gradually add in:
2 room temperature eggs and allow to blend completely between each

~With mixer running, alternate between adding flour mixture and:
1 cup Sour cream, ending with the sour cream (do in thirds)

~When thoroughly mixed, pour ½ the batter into sprayed pans

~Spread Filling of choice over the batter
         *if using fresh fruit like apples or pears, coat them with a small amount of flour immediately after you cut them to prevent browning
         *if using canned, plan on 1 can per batch, but more if you prefer

~top with half of the streusel, then nuts (optional); then repeat the batter and streusel layers
~bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until done and a toothpick comes out clean (smaller cakes will take less time)

Basic Streusel recipe

Makes enough for at least one batch of coffee cake, but can easily be multiplied and extras stored in the freezer for later use

~In a food processor (or by hand with a pastry cutter) combine:
1 cup flour
½ cup sugar

~pulse in:
½ cup COLD butter (1 stick) until small crumbs form
         *if doing by hand, cut your butter into small cubes first
         *Add cinnamon or other spices if preferred with the flour and sugar

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