Biscuits - Recipe

Biscuits are so easy, unless I'm camping I doubt I'll ever buy canned biscuits again. Just 3 ingredients on a Sunday morning and you can have homemade fluffy biscuits to slather with butter and homemade jam.

3-Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits | Candy Hearts and Paper Flowers


Biscuits
INGREDIENTS

2 cups self-rising flour (I use White Lily)
1/4 cup butter, cubed
3/4 cup buttermilk

2 Tbsp butter, melted

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 500F.

Measure flour into a large bowl.
Add shortening/butter and cut in with a pastry blender (or knives or a quick pulse or two on a food processor.)
Pour in milk/buttermilk and stir with a fork until the dough just pulls away from the side of the bowl.

Gather the dough with your hands, then turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead 2-3 times, until it just comes together. Pat out to 1/2 inch thick and cut with a 2" biscuit cutter dipped in flour (or a glass or cookie cutter or canning jar lid, whatever you have on hand.) You will have 9 plus scraps, I usually lightly twirl the scraps together and use them for sampling when the biscuits are done.

Grease and flour or spray a baking sheet 8"x8" or larger.

Place biscuits in sheet, for softer biscuits place them right next to each other, for crispier edges place them farther apart.

Bake 8-10 minutes.

Brush tops with melted butter fresh out of the oven.

Monday Musings

I have a bit of a two-part Monday Musings today, I thought this would go quite well with Paperman, a short from Disney. I'm a little behind and saw it for the first time this weekend. It is a sweet little story about love at first sight? Attraction at first site? Anyway, a man, a woman, a windy day and a bit of paper make quite a stunning short.  Enjoy!

Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen | Candy Hearts and Paper Flowers
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Paperman Video : Disney's Short | Candy Hearts and Paper Flowers
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Swedish Almond Cake - Recipe

This is very easy to make and tastes delicious. It's a bit dense, and typically served with a light dusting of powdered sugar, but I rarely bother with that. I've made these in mini loaf pans, but without being able to twist the pan there is no way to get them out cleanly. A springform pan would probably work because you can run a knife between the cake and pan to pop it out. I'd highly recommend the almond cake pan though, this is my go to dessert for company. It's easy to make, stays moist and lends itself well to other flavors by just changing the extract. I've made it with rum, lemon, orange and, of course, almond.




Swedish Almond Cake

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cups sugar
2/3 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 tsps pure almond extract
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease and flour the swedish almond cake pan, or use non stick spray.
In a medium bowl, beat together the sugar, milk, egg and almond extract.
Add dry ingredients to liquid mixture and stir until just combined.
Pour melted butter into the bowl and stir until incorporated.
Pour batter into cake pan and bake for 40-50 minutes at 350F.
The cake is done when a cake tester or knife inserted comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely before popping it out of the pan, or it will stick terribly.
Twist the pan back and forth to loosen, then it should come out.

Fresh out of the oven, golden brown on top, but the rest is very pale in color.

Valentine's Snapshot

This year Valentine's Day is going to be all about my little girl. Since my husband and I are going out to dinner and a play on Friday night, I'm going to make Thursday into a fun day for her. I'd like to make it special this year for her, last year she didn't really care, but this year she is really excited for it. She helped make valentines for her classmates and has been talking about the party all week when she'll get to pass them out.

Gotta love her "cheese" grin.

Her morning will start with a heart attack on her door.
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For breakfast we'll have pink milk and muffins with strawberry jam hearts.
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Then she'll head off to school, for a day of fun and a party at the end of the day.

Her teachers are getting hand hearts wrapped around lotion.
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And her classmates are getting little packs of mini-M&M's with a little Bee Mine Love Kirsten valentine that she put together, which I'll show you tomorrow.  They are very simple, since I wanted her to be able to help glue and punch them out.

We'll have dinner (Kirsten's choice, likely spaghetti!) and strawberry fudge for dessert
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Then we'll finish off the evening with snuggle time: A Charlie Brown Valentine and popcorn
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I hope she loves it, I think she will. What are your plans for Valentine's Day?

Baked Macaroni & Cheese - Recipe

Baked Macaroni and Cheese is on my list of personal comfort foods. This is not the neon orange cheese food that comes in a box from Kraft (though I admit I love that as well), but rather a creamy concoction started on the stovetop, but finished to a crusty perfection in the oven. If you'd like something a little quicker you don't have to finish in the oven, but then you lose the combination of the crusty goodness along the edges and top mixed with the creaminess in the middle. I always use finely shredded sharp cheddar, but feel free to use your cheese of choice. For a sharper flavor, substitute a 1/2 cup of the cheddar for a 1/2 cup of blue cheese. This recipe is featured in one of my favorite cookbooks, the Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, and made with little variation it's just that good. The only way to really mess this up is to use high instead of medium heat when using the saucepan.

Baked Macaroni & Cheese - Candy Hearts and Paper Flowers



Mac and Cheese

Ingredients assembled

Whisk flour and melted butter until smooth

Add Milk and whisk until thick and bubbly

At this point you can either cook it for another 5 minutes or place in buttered casserole dish and bake

Baked with a paprika, cracker topping



Baked Macaroni and Cheese
INGREDIENTS
8 oz cooked macaroni, elbow or spiral shaped work best
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup white flour
2 cups milk, I use skim (it's probably intended to be whole)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1 tsp salt
paprika (optional)
crumbled butter cracker (optional)

DIRECTIONS
Assemble ingredients before use, this is fairly important for this recipe.
In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter
Whisk in flour until smooth, continue whisking for 1 minute over medium heat
Slowly pour in milk while whisking
Continue stirring over medium heat until thick and bubbly about 6-7 minutes
Switch from a whisk to a spoon (wooden recommended)
Stir in cheese and salt until melted and smooth
Add to macaroni and stir in to coat
Pour into buttered casserole dish
Sprinkle with paprika and/or crumbled butter crackers (like Townhouse Crackers)
Bake at 350F for 30 minutes

If you want to skip the baking, just stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes after combining the macaroni and cheese mixture.

Hoot the Owl

The other day I wanted to make a little stuffed friend for my daughter. She has plenty of stuffed friends, mostly of the store-bought variety. My Amma sent her a sweet stuffed lamb, but since it came over from Iceland I needed to stuff it and sew up the opening. Since I still had quite a bit of a bag of stuffing leftover I started searching Pinterest for easy stuffed friend tutorials. I came across a simple owl and the pattern was titled "Easy" Owl Pattern... easy sounded right up my alley. I used 2 fat quarters, with plenty of fabric leftover and a few scraps I had. I modified the nose shape and eye placement slightly and omitted the feet. It came together very easily and I think I spent maybe 2 hours on it altogether... complete with toddler interruptions. "What are you doing Mommy?" "Is it a surprise for me?" "Ooooo pretty flowers" all while pulling at strings and pins and fabric and scissors.

I really wish I had used stitch witchery for the eyes, sewing around the smallish circles was less than fun for a beginner, but overall it was a fun little project and I'm hoping to make more little friends for her. Visit the link below for the free pattern, I cut the nose in a diamond shape and placed the eyes right up against the upper edge.


Cream Puffs or Bollur - Recipe

Since Bolludagur is in 2 weeks, February 11th this year, I thought this would be the perfect recipe to share today. Bolludagur is an Icelandic holiday, which I posted about here. This recipe makes a choux pastry, pâte à choux, and is translated from metric measurements, I hope it works out for you. This site has pretty good pictures of the process and what it looks like at each stage. This pastry gets it's height from the steam created by the moisture of the batter, if you open the door you will lose that steam and your puffs will fall. This pastry would be the perfect example of why ovens have a light inside and a window in the door.

Cream Puffs

Cream Puffs
INGREDIENTS
Pastry:
1 1/3 cup water
1 stick butter
1 1/4 cup flour
3 eggs

Filling:
1 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp powdered sugar

Chocolate Icing:
1/2 cup Semisweet Chocolate, chopped
3 Tbsp cream

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Heat water and butter in small pot until it just comes to a boil
Add flour to the pot all at once and stir until incorporated, continue stirring for 1 minute or until film starts to form on the bottom of the pot (about 1-2 minutes)
Add eggs 1 at a time and combine completely before adding next egg.
This will form a very soft dough that you drop by tablespoonful onto a parchment sheet lined cookie sheet
Cook for 23-26 minutes at 400 degrees until very light golden brown
Do not open the oven to check the puffs or they will fall, use the window to get an idea of color.
After the pastry comes out of the oven let them cool completely before assembling.

Prepare filling by whipping cream until soft peaks form, sift in powdered sugar and whip additional 5 seconds

Place chocolate in microwave for 15 seconds
Add cream, microwave for additional 15 seconds
Mix well, microwave in additional 15 second intervals, if needed until you can stir it until smooth.

To assemble:
Slice open
Top with dollop of whip cream
Dip top in chocolate and nestle on top of whip cream

Kitchen Comforts

I have decided to merge Kitchen Comforts in to Candy Hearts and Paper Flowers. It'll give me one blog to maintain and recipes are an essential part of homemaking. I stopped posting recipes there some time ago (though I have about a dozen in draft right now), so it doesn't make sense to keep them separate. I'll move all the posts over the next year, and try to keep the various holiday related ones to their appropriate holiday timeframes. After they are all moved Kitchen Comforts will be closing. In the meantime, the followers of both blogs will see repeats, sorry about that.