Friday, May 16, 2008

Baking and Loving It!

The new KitchenAid mixer had become my new love. I have been putting it to the test, trying out new recipes and all I can say is that we are going to have a long and happy relationship.

We have been spending a lot of time finishing up the school year. The kids had their evaluations on Thursday, and all went very well. When they took the time to look at their portfolios, they were surprised at how much they really had accomplished in a year. When not working on school, I was working with our budget and coupons, and spending the rest of the time in the kitchen experimenting with new bread recipes.

The first recipe I made was the cheddar cheese cracker recipe from the manual that came with my KA. To say they turned out YUMMY is an understatement! These were fantastic!!! My husband was not looking forward to crackers since my last batch that turned out OK, but didn't stay crisp. This recipe put out a nice size batch, and my sweet hubby has asked me to make them again - soon.

Crispy Cheese Wafers

3 cups shredded extra sharp Cheddar Cheese
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Mix cheese and butter in bowl - using flat better to mix. Mix on low for about 45 seconds to combine. Beat on medium for about 30 seconds, or until well blended. Add flour and cayenne, and mix on stir for 45 seconds or until mixture forms a ball. (or stir in by hand - or low with another beater)

Divide dough in half. Wrap one half in plastic wrap and place in fridge. On floured surface, roll remaining half of dough to 1/4" thick. Cut into squares or desired shapes. With floured spatula, place on large, lightly greased baking sheet. (prick with fork if desired). Bake at 375 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until set. Let stand one minute, then transfer onto wire racks to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.

We tried these at different points of "doneness": Baking until set - with hardly any color change, then with them being a bit golden, and some a darker golden. The lightly golden had the best flavor according to DH and myself, the darker golden was DD's favorite, and the one with hardly any color change was DS's favorite.

I also tried my hand at making French bread using Garden Gnome's recipe and instructions for making it in the KitchenAid. We were pleased with the results, but I have not found the exact bread I'm looking for yet. The search will continue on this one. I'm looking for more of the classic taste. DH was still very happy and ended up taking part of one for his lunch. He took a hoagie for lunch and said it made a nice tasting roll for it.

**Public domain image from United States Dept. of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service. Photo by Scott Bauer.**

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