Woman Today April-May. 2013
Mother’s day is coming up – it is always the second Sunday in May and that means this year it will be May 13th. “It’s not the gift as much as the thought that counts.” How many times have you heard that? But then, I’d recommend against something like a vacuum cleaner or a set of pots and pans – much as you’d think Mom needs them. A gift for Mom should be something personal rather than utilitarian. What could be more personal than a meal prepared by you? Or maybe a fabulous baked product – something you made yourself.
It just so happens that I have a lot of ideas! Twenty-nine Books worth of them…
But here I highlight just five of them:
1. Weeknight Desserts, published by Sellers in 2010. ($14.95) The idea is that there is always time for dessert. The chapters feature: One batch cookies and bars, make-ahead desserts, pies and cakes from ingredients you’d have on hand, quick to whip up soufflés, custards and puddings, quick fresh fruit treats, and last minute crowd pleasing goodies. Try the English Toffee Bars, page 17
2. Petite Sweets, also Sellers, published in 2009, ($18.95) – These are bite-sized desserts, the idea being that you can offer a variety of desserts, for the undecided guest who wants to taste everything! Look at the miniature Whoopie Pies on page 37.
3. The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever, by Chronicle Books, 2008. ($24.95) Featuring a whopping more than 500 recipes, with one whole chapter devoted to desserts in a casserole, another on casserole breads, and yet another on breakfast casseroles. There are nineteen chapters in all, and they feature recipes that use ingredients available everywhere. Try the Cranberry Pears, page 587, which can double as a breakfast dish, too.
4. The Great Scandinavian Baking Book, by the University of Minnesota Press, (1999) (was first published by Little Brown & Co. in 1988). This book features classic baked goods from all Scandinavian countries and won the James Beard Award in the Cookbook Hall of Fame. Choose the Danish Pastry Braid on page 220, or the heart shaped cream waffles, or Aebelskiver on page 259. Truly there are lots of irresistible treats here.
5. The Great Holiday Baking Book, by the University of Minnesota Press, 2001, (first published by Clarkson/Potter in 1994). This tome features more than 250 recipes for occasions throughout the year including Orange-Cappuccino Shortbread, page 63, Strawberry Layer Cake, page 64, and a yummy Honey Pecan Coffee Cake on page 72 plus three more ideas for “Mommy’s Day” treats.
All of my books are available at most bookstores – and if they don’t have them on hand they can be ordered. Otherwise, visit www.amazon.com and type in Beatrice Ojakangas and a whole list of my books will pop up.
Here are a couple of special treats for Mother’s Day the first is from my Weeknight Desserts. The second is from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book.
English Toffee Bars
So simple to make, this 5-ingredient wonder is a recipe that you can enlist little fingers to assist with the pressing of the basic dough into a baking pan. Pack them in a pretty box to make a personal gift.
8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg, separated
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup slivered or sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 275°F. Coat a 15 by 10-inch rimmed baking pan with cooking spray. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar together until creamy. Add the egg yolk and set aside the egg white in a small bowl. Mix the dough until smooth and blend in the flour to make a stiff cookie dough. With your fingers, press the dough into the prepared pan, to cover the bottom of the pan evenly. Beat the egg white until just frothy and brush the top of the dough using all of it, covering the dough evenly. Sprinkle with the almonds and press in lightly.
Bake for 1 hour until lightly golden and firm when touched. While still hot, cut into 1 1/2 inch squares. Let cool in the pan. Makes 6 dozen.
Applesauce Filled Aebelskiver
You need the special pancake pan to make these. Last year I came across an electric aebelskiver pan at Ingebretsen’s in Minneapolis. This has greatly simplified the making of these special pancakes. When we have kids around, it is really hard to keep up with the demand – as they’re eaten a fast as I can make them! Treat Mom to a Danish brunch and serve these, freshly made, with maybe a festive bubbly in champagne glasses like sparkling apple juice with fresh strawberries or tropical mimosas made with papaya juice and sparkling wine.
1 cup milk
1/2 cup melted butter
3 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Heat the milk to lukewarm and whisk in the butter, egg yolks, and sugar. Turn into a bowl and add the flour and baking powder, whisking until well blended and no lumps remain. Whip the egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture.
Heat the aebelskiver pan over medium-high heat until a drop of watr sizzles when dripped into the pan. Put about 1/2 teaspoon butter into each indentation. Spread it around. Spoon in 1 tablespoon of the batter and let it cook about 30 seconds. Drop 1 teaspoon applesauce into the center of each and top with enough aebelskiver batter to cover the applesauce. When the bottoms are browned, turn the cakes over and cook on that side until browned. Remove from the pan and place on serving plate. Dust with
Powdered sugar, makes about 20