Here’s the thing – I tend to usually feel really bad if I don’t keep my promises. And although posting a recipe a day until the New Year wasn’t an outright promise or a contractual obligation, I do believe my loyal 10 readers expected more from me, and I failed…miserably. You know, the holidays are a busy time of year and time got away from me, blah, blah, blah.
The point is, I owe you 23 days of recipes from December 9 – December 31. So…I’m going to be posting 23 recipes today in bite-sized chunks. Good thing I have the day off work. Seems like a lot of work, but I don’t want to start 2011 off with a guilty conscience.
Let’s get started. The first recipe I’m bringing to you comes from La Mia Vita Dolce for Lime Meltaway Cookies. Ha!, because I know you haven’t had enough cookies lately. After my super awesome success over Christmas with the batch of Little Lemon Snow Bites I made, I’ve decided I really love a citrusy cookie.
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- Finely grated zest of 2 limes
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- Put butter and 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add the lime zest and juice and the vanilla, and mix until fluffy.
- Whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl. Add to butter mixture, and mix on low speed until just combined.
- Divide dough in half. Place each log on an 8 by 12-inch sheet of parchment. Roll in parchment to form a log 1 1/4 inches in diameter, pressing a ruler along edge of parchment at each turn to narrow log. Refrigerate logs until cold and firm, at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Remove parchment from logs; cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Space rounds 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake cookies until barely golden, about 13 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. While still warm, toss cookies with remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a resealable plastic bag. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 weeks. Makes about 5 dozen.
Cranberry Lemon Sweet Rolls
Keeping in the citrus theme, our second recipe comes from All Day I Dream About Food. Yeah, sounds about right. These Cranberry Lemon Sweet Rolls claim to be low-carb, and use ingredients that I’ve never even heard of. If you have to Google “erythritol” you’re not alone! Sounds like Tylenol for people with bladder infections to me, but Google tells me it’s a sugar substitute. I’m sure you could sub in regular sugar if you’re skittish about using strange ingredients.
3/4 cup almond milk, warmed to 110F
6 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
3 large eggs
2 1/2 cups carbalose flour, plus extra for dusting)
3/4 cup gluten flour
1/2 cup almond flour
3 tbsp granulated erythritol
3 1/2 tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast (about 1 1/2 envelopes)
1 tsp salt
1 cup cranberries
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp granulated erythritol
12 drops stevia extract
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/3 cup lemon juice (1 to 1 1/2 lemons)
6 tbsp powdered erythritol
For the dough, whisk together almond milk, melted butter and eggs together in a large liquid measuring cup or bowl.
Combine flours, sugar, yeast and salt together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. With the mixer on low, add buttermilk mixture and mix until dough comes together, about 2 minutes.
Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick slightly to the bottom. If it is too wet, add a small amount more carbalose flour, 1 tbsp at a time. If it is too dry, add room temperature water, 1 tbsp at a time.
Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and knead by hand to form a smooth, round ball. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. You may find it needs some extra encouragement to rise properly. If so, turn on your oven to 200F for 10 minutes, then turn oven off and place bowl with dough inside.
For the filling, combine cranberries, water and erythritol in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook until berries pop. Remove from heat and add stevia. Set aside.
Grease a 13×9 inch baking pan. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press into a 12×16 inch rectangle. Spread with cranberry mixture and sprinkle with cinnamon, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edge. Carefully roll into a tight log and pinch the seam closed. Place seam side down and gently stretch the log to be 18 inches in length, evening out the thickness as you go.
Slice cylinder into 16 evenly sized rolls. Arrange rolls cut-side down in prepared baking pan and wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size and tightly pressed together, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
**Alternatively, you could place unrisen rolls in the fridge for up to 16 hours. Let sit at room temperature for at least an hour, then bake as directed. If they are not rising after removing them from the fridge, warm the oven again and turn it off, then let them sit in the oven for 20-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350F. Bake rolls until golden and puffed, 25-30 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack or cutting board.
For the glaze, whisk together lemon juice and powdered erythritol. Drizzle over warm rolls and serve.
Makes 16 rolls. Each roll has a total of 20g of carbs and 5.6g of fiber. Subtracting erythritol, each roll has 10.7g of carbs and 5.6g of fiber.
Our third recipe in the citrus category comes from Smells Like Home. This recipe for Take-Out-Fake-Out Orange Chicken looks delicious, but I would probably never make it, because it seems much easier to pick up the phone and order it.
For the marinade and sauce:
¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1½ tsp. finely grated orange zest
6 tbsp. white vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
½ cup brown sugar (dark or light)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1½ lbs. boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. cold water
8 thin strips orange peel (optional)
For the coating and frying:
3 large egg whites
1 cup cornstarch
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 ½ cups each peanut and canola oil
To make the marinade and sauce, combine the chicken broth, orange juice, orange zest, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper in a large saucepan; whisk to blend well. Measure out ¾ cup of the mixture and transfer it to a large zipper lock plastic bag. Add the chicken pieces to the bag, pressing out the excess air and sealing well. Refrigerate and let marinate 30-60 minutes, but no longer. Place the saucepan with the remaining mixture on the stove and heat over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until smooth. Add the mixture to the saucepan with the sauce. Continue simmering until the sauce is thick and translucent, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the strips of orange peel, if using.
To prepare the coating, place the egg whites in a pie plate and whisk until frothy. In a second pie plate combine the cornstarch, baking soda and cayenne pepper; whisk to blend. Drain the chicken of the marinade in a colander or large strainer; pat dry with paper towels. Place half of the chicken pieces in the egg whites and turn to coat. Transfer the pieces to the cornstarch mixture and coat thoroughly, shaking off the excess. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
To fry the chicken, heat the oil in a 11- or 12-inch round Dutch oven or straight-sided sauté pan until the oil reaches 350˚ F. Carefully place half of the chicken pieces in the oil and fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes, turning the pieces halfway through cooking. Remove from the oil with a skimmer or slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Return the oil to 350˚ F and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
Reheat the sauce if necessary and toss with the cooked chicken pieces. Serve over rice, if desired.