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Gifts from the kitchen

RICHMOND, Va. – Mary Rapoport, CFCS, Consumer Affairs Director at the Virginia Egg Council was back in the Virginia This Morning kitchen to *crack open a few delicious recipes that would make great gifts. For more information visit http://www.virginiaeggcouncil.org.

Brownie Mix in a Jar
Ingredients:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ¼ cups white sugar
½ cup chopped pecans

Directions:
Mix together flour, baking powder and salt in a glass or clear plastic jar (which holds about 5 cups).  Layer remaining ingredients in the order listed.  Press each layer firmly in place before adding next layer.  Wipe down sides if they become messy, so all layers show through the glass.  Slide a long toothpick down the sides of the jar so the various layers make vertical lines.

Attached tag should read:
•    Brownie Mix in a Jar
•    Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease and flour a 9×13” baking pan.
•    Empty jar of brownie mix into a large mixing bowl and stir to blend.
•    Add 1½ sticks butter, melted, and 4 eggs.  Mix thoroughly.
•    Spread batter evenly into prepared baking pan.  Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
•    Cool completely in pan and cut into 24 squares.
•    Dust with powdered sugar, if desired        Makes 24 brownies

Gluten Free Magic Peanut Butter Cookies
We call them ‘magic’ because they contain no shortening and no flour, plus they are so quick and easy, it’s almost like twitching our nose to make them!  Great for beginning cooks for fool-proof results.
1 cup peanut butter (low-fat or low carb works fine)
1 cup sugar (1 cup no-calorie sweetener works, but presents a less crunchy, smaller cookie)
1 egg
½ cup peanuts, roughly chopped

Mix all ingredients together.

Roll into 1” balls (or scoop with a melon baller).  Place on greased or parchment lined baking sheet.

Flatten with a fork (cross-cross fashion).  Bake in 350° oven for about 10 – 12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool on rack.                      Makes 36 1½” cookies

 

Individual Sausage ‘n Egg Frittatas
Great for those on gluten free and low-carb diets – plus these little protein packed morsels can be made ahead for grab-and-go breakfasts.  Use whatever meats, cheeses, or veggies you have on hand, and glue them all together with a nutritious, low calorie egg.  Serving size is 1 – 2 per person

For each:
1T. sausage or bacon, precooked, drained crumbled, or chopped ham
1T. (heaping) grated cheese (your choice)
1T. chopped veggies (bell peppers, green onions, mushrooms, green chilies)
1 egg, beaten
½ T. milk
Pinch of salt and grind of pepper or add a bite with a few drops of hot sauce

•    Preheat oven to 350°.
•    Spray the inside of a foil paper cupcake liner.  Place in a regular size muffin tin.  Layer in the meat, cheese and veggies.  Blend the beaten egg, milk, salt and pepper.  Slowly pour egg mixture over other ingredients so it fills the muffin cup.
•    Bake for about 25 minutes or until puffed and a pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
•    Enjoy immediately or cool, wrap, and refrigerate – then reheat for 30 seconds in the microwave.

Boiled Custard

1 quart whole milk
½ of a Vanilla bean (or 1 tsp. high quality Vanilla extract after cooking)*
5 eggs
1 cup sugar
½ cup heavy cream (if needed to thin custard)

Set up a double boiler with water in the bottom pot and a large Pyrex mixing bowl or pan on top.  Water should not touch the bowl.

Place milk and the seeds from Vanilla bean in the microwave and heat until it’s hot to the touch, with the occasional bubble but not boiling.

Beat eggs in a large bowl, adding sugar and beating until light in color and sugar has dissolved.

Add a small amount of hot milk to eggs and beat.  Add another small amount (about half cupsful) and beat.  Whisk in remaining milk and place over hot water on double boiler.  Continue whisking milk/egg mixture over heat and cook until the custard lightly coats the back of a metal spoon or when you trace a finger through it and it leaves a trail.  Do not rush by turning up the heat.  *If using Vanilla extract, stir in now.

Pour through a sieve and cool a few minutes.  Place plastic wrap right on the cooling custard.  Refrigerate until cold and pour into a jar or pitcher.

If it seems too thick for your liking, stir in some of the heavy cream.

Serves 6 small glasses ~ Enjoy within 5 days

Biscotti with Chocolate Drizzle*
1 cup sugar (scant)
3 eggs
1 cup Canola oil (scant)
3 cups flor
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans or almonds)
½ teaspoon Vanilla

Place sugar in a large bowl and mix in 1 egg at a time.  Mix in oil.  Add flour and rest of ingredients and mix well.  Form 3 loaves (a bit more flour may be needed if it is too sticky) and place crosswise on a large cookie sheet on parchment.  Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.  Bake 20 minutes at 375°.  Slice on a diagonal into ½” slices, separate, and bake another 15 minutes.

Cool on racks over waxed paper or used parchment from baking sheet.

Melt ½ cup chocolate chips and drizzle from a toothpick or knife point across the biscotti.  Let chocolate firm up completely and store in airtight tins.

*Alternately, dip ends into melted chocolate or spread across the tops.

Makes 3 – 4 dozen fabulous biscotti