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Monday, March 30, 2015

Two Recipes for Greek-Style Easter Cookies - Koulourakia

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I have been blogging for such a long time now, that it is getting harder to find new recipes, particularly ethnic recipes, for the holiday table. I decided to search out cookie recipes this year and one of the first I stumbled on was a Greek Easter cookie called Koulourakia. The only problem with that choice was selecting which of the staggering number of recipes for the cookie I wanted to use. In the end, I settled on two. Koulourakia is a barely sweet cookie that can be shaped according to the whim of the cook. Traditionally, however, the dough is twisted and sprinkled with sesame seeds before being baked. In theory, the cookies are wonderful when served with coffee or tea or nibbled while sipping a sweet liqueur. They, at least the ones created by my hands, are a bit like a soft biscotti or a madeleine. I thought the first batch I made, despite the addition of orange juice, was too mildly flavored and I would have enjoyed them more had some zest been worked into the cookie dough. Never easily deterred, and convinced that a million Greeks can't be wrong, I tried a second recipe that seemed more flavorful. I really liked the second batch of cookies. They were not overly sweet but they had a flavor that was more to my liking. While both cookies are buttery and would be perfect with coffee or tea, my personal preference is for the second cookie which was developed by the test kitchens of Imperial Sugar. I do hope you'll give one or both of these recipes a try. Here is how they are made.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Hollywood-Style Hot Cross Buns

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...There is no truth to the rumor that I'm on a quest to find the world's greatest Hot Cross Bun. It may, however,  be true that I'm infirm of purpose when I find a new recipe for them that looks better than my current favorite. I think that's what happened here. I was lured by a gorgeous photo and then roped and tied by the name, Hollywood's Hot Cross Buns. My first thought was California but I quickly learned I was way off base. As it turns out, Paul Hollywood is an English baker and celebrity chef, who best known for being a judge on the BBC One's The Great British Bake Off. Pictures of his Hot Cross Buns are all over the internet and while his buns, which require 3 rises, are more time consuming than most to make, I can tell you they are delicious and worth every second they take to assemble. They are my favorite, at least for this year. I'm not going to repeat the history of the buns tonight, but if you are curious, I included it in my first post about them and you can find that information, here. I hope you will give tonight's recipe a try. The buns have a decidedly fluffy texture and the dried fruit and spices give them a well-developed flavor. The dough is quite damp, so you will want to oil the surface on which you knead it to prevent sticking. Rest assured, if you keep at it, the dough will come together and you will have lovely fragrant buns to serve your family and friends. Here is how the buns are made.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Color Me Pink - A Quick Strawberry Sauce + Strawberry Panna Cotta

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Buying strawberries at this time of year can be a crap shoot. They look gorgeous but often taste more like cardboard than the sweet juicy fruit of summer shortcake memory. I was happily surprised today when the Silver Fox brought home several quarts that actually tasted as they should. I think we all have special recipes that we keep to use when certain ingredients become available. Strawberries fall into that category for me, and my problem is deciding which of the many in my recipe cache I actually should use. I settled on these two for tonight's feature. The first recipe is making its debut appearance and the second has been brought back for an encore performance because it looks so pretty on a plate. Both recipes are easy to make and if you have a source for tasty berries I urge you to give them a try, perhaps for Easter Sunday. The effortless fresh strawberry sauce is wonderful on ice cream and the panna cotta is a perfect way to end a special meal. I urge you to try both recipes. You really will be pleased. So will your family and friends.


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