Monday, December 17, 2007

Candy Cane Shortbread

It wouldn't be the holidays without candy canes and shortbread. So why not combine them? I suggest running the candy canes through a grinder. You'll get a better texture for the cookes since there won't be huge chunks of candy in them. It doesn't have to be as fine as sugar, but the more ground up, the better. I don't normally love peppermint things, but I did like these cookies. At first you think the candy cane is going to be overpowering, but the shortbread holds up nicely in the second bite.

Candy Cane Shortbread

For the Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 ground candy canes
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 cup cornstarch

For the Frosting

1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8-1/4 cup ground candy canes (Any larger chunks should be used here instead of in the cookies. The amount you need will depend on how much you sprinkle on top of the cookies.)

1- Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the ground candy canes and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Gradually add the flour and cornstarch and mix until the dough forms.
3- Form into 1" balls and place onto prepared baking sheets. Gently press down on each cookie to flatten using fingers or a glass dipped in sugar (I prefer the glass method).
4- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the bottoms begin to brown.
5- Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Combine the powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp. of milk and vanilla and mix until the frosting is smooth adding more milk as needed. Drizzle cookies with frosting then sprinkle with the ground candy canes.

Roasted Tomato Enchiladas

I made these for Rachel as a thank you for driving me all over Philadelphia and for taking care of Gloucester when I've been out of town. I can't eat them, of course, but I've been told they are tasty. You can adjust the spiciness of them by how much you season the filling and what kind of canned tomatoes you get. You can also add cheese to the top if you want. These are good make ahead meals since you can prepare everything up to baking and keep them in the fridge. I'd be careful about freezing them since the tortillas may get soggy when thawed out. I make these and put them in individual tins so they can be made in single portions for a meal.

Roasted Tomato Enchiladas

15 oz. firm tofu
15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper (I use a black and red pepper mix.)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
4 large burrito-size tortillas (I use whole wheat since they are better for you. You can also get smaller size tortillas to make more enchiladas.)
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
29 oz. canned diced, fire-roasted tomatoes with green chilies (So you'll need two 14.5 oz. cans.)
1-2 dashes of hot sauce (optional)

1- Preheat oven to 350. Coat a deep, 12" skillet with cooking spray. Coat a 9" square baking dish with cooking spray.
2- Drain tofu and dice into 1/2" cubes. Add to the skillet and brown over medium heat until firm and the outsides are dry.
3- Spoon the tofu into a mixing bowl and add the beans and spices. Mix well. Divide the tofu equally among the tortillas and fold the sides into the center. Place the tortillas, seam side down, in the baking dish.
4- Coat skillet with additional cooking spray. Add onion and garlic and saute over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add undrained tomatoes and cook over high heat until the mixture thickens slightly, about 3-5 minutes. Spoon over the tortillas.
5- Bake until thoroughly heated, about 10 minutes. If you are adding cheese, sprinkle over the tortillas about halfway through baking.