6/15/18

Homemade Cream Horns - Made EASY and QUICK




I've been posting the recipe for cream horns (also can be called by some 'lady locks' or 'clothespin cookies') since 2007 (?) because they happen to be one of the few desserts I actually love - as I typically can pass up dessert in lieu of vegetables ANY day.  But cream horns?  Oh how I love them!  I'm craving them again - so I thought I'd post them again.  They are so easy and FAST to make using a puff pastry.


The reason "HousewifeBarbie" is so big on that photo is actually a not so funny story.

I originally posted this recipe and photo back in 2007 and then a few times after that as I love these so much. Not too many people had their own websites back then; and there weren't a lot of recipe sites.  Another thing 'back then' is that no one water-marked their photos when and if they used them on their sites. It wasn't a thing yet.

Then one day, a reader of An American Housewife let me know that my photo (the photo above) had been stolen and was being used by someone else on Etsy who saying they were hers and selling cream horns to people using my photo.  I am SO thankful for this random stranger who recognized my photo and let me know!  I then edited this photo and put in LARGE LETTERS my site name so they couldn't use it as theirs.   Since I'm still using that original photo (because it's already in my files) I thought I'd explain why the glaring, large HOUSEWIFEBARBIE.COM is so prominent on it.  It's because at the time I put it on, I was quite upset that someone was selling her baked goods using my photo.  

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Note;  You WILL need a 'form' to make these.  Our Great Grandmothers used round clothespins, but I prefer a cream horn mold as it makes them tapered from  larger to smaller which not only makes them pretty but makes them simple to fill.  I have small, thin molds as well as the larger style with an opening larger on one end than the other.  Those are the style I like the best but you'll see both styles in my photos as I use both.  The larger kind (link below) is nicer I think - not only in looks but also in ease of filling them and is the more traditional style you see in bakeries and the grocery store.

Here is the set I ordered 2 of on Amazon a few years ago and they are still available: Cream Horn Set



Quick and Easy Cream Horns
 
1 package Puff Pastry (2 to a package, makes about 32 total if you use both sheets)
1 recipe cream filling*
Sugar (or Xylitol or other natural sugar substitute) for sprinkling
  • Thaw the puff pastry according to directions.  I used just 1 of the two sheets and it makes about 15-16 cream horns so the whole package would make about 32.  
  • Preheat your oven to about 400 degrees.  Lay the puff pastry out on parchment paper (or lightly flour your counter).  Slice the pastry about every half-inch to make about 15 strips or if you want to make them larger, about 8 1-inch slices.  
  • Wrap one long strip of pastry around your mold.  Leave the large round end open without it overlapping to make removal easier later. I spray the tops with butter flavored Pam and then sprinkle with large crystals of sugar or Xylitol (available through my low carb product link at the top of the page).  
  • Bake on a lightly greased or non-stick baking sheet for about 10-12 minutes until golden brown and crisp.  While they are baking, mix up your favorite butter cream or other filling.  Removal from oven, remove from pan to a cooling rack and let cool completely.  Use a pastry bag with a large tip to squeeze filling into each horn.  These are wonderful if you can let them set up or even refrigerate them to chill the filling but they are delicious eaten immediately too!  


Filling (half this recipe for the recipe above)

1 c Crisco
1 c butter
4 c powdered sugar
4 t vanilla
3/4 c marshmallow creme

Cream the Crisco and butter. Add the sugar gradually and then the creme and vanilla. Beat well until it's smooth like whipped cream. Fill cooled or chilled cream horn forms. Does not need to be refrigerated for storage.
Makes homemade cream puffs effortless

Wrapping around a form

Sprinkled with Xylitol or Sugar and ready to bake



Mix up your filling


Baked golden brown


Leave the end open so you can slide it right off the form


Mmmmmm.


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6/12/18

The Best Low Carb, Sugar Free, Wheat Free Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake



Although I've posted this recipe before, it's just SO GOOD that even though I'm fine with posting it again for those who missed it the first time; it's also the kind of recipe that I play with a little bit so this time around it's similar to the time I posted in 2017 but different.

The first thing that is different about this version is that one of the original products I used for a few years isn't being made anymore and that is a really good quality brown sugar style natural sweetener.  I use 1 teaspoon of a good quality molasses mixed into the topping which makes the white sugar style natural sweetener into 'brown' and gives it the flavor you want with the cinnamon in this cake.  The teaspoon of molasses has 4 grams sugar - but remember you aren't eating it that way.  It's mixed into the topping which is then sprinkled and mixed around the entire cake - which is 12+ pieces.

I believe Just Like Sugar still makes a brown sugar style sweetener but honestly, I like to just make my favorite white granulated sweeteners into 'brown sugar' with molasses so I haven't bought any brown versions in quite some time.

The second thing changed in this version is I used up the last of my pecans this week (snacking on them... yum!) so I used almonds in this version.  So good.  So, so good.


 Cinnamon Coffee Cake

3 c  fine grained almond flour (Honeyville or Bob's Red Mill are good)
1/3 c whey protein powder - vanilla or unflavored (I only use IsoPure, can't speak to the quality of any other brand)
1 T good quality coconut flour is totally optional - I used it this time to thicken up the batter a bit
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 1/3 sticks real butter
3/4 c mixture of granulated natural sweeteners of your choice (I like Ideal and Truvia or Just Like Sugar)
1/2 t liquid sweetener drops like Sucrarose, etc.
3 eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla
1/2 c unsweetened almond milk

Topping/filling:
3 T Ideal or other granular sweetener
1 t molasses
2 t cinnamon
2 T real butter
1/4 c blanched and sliced almonds

Grease or line a 9" pan with parchment.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Put the dry ingredients into a large bowl; almond flour, whey protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt.

Mix together the topping/filling mixture of the white sweeteners, molasses and cinnamon in a small bowl and blend until all mixed together well. Don't add the butter or almonds to it yet. Set aside.

Mix butter and sweeteners until fluffy, add eggs one at at time and beat briefly between each.  Beat in vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients alternating with the almond milk.  Put half the cake batter into the pan.  Cover with about 2/3 of your 'brown sugar like' sweetener mixture.  Top with the rest of the batter.

Now add the 2 T butter and 1/4 almonds to the remaining cinnamon mixture and smash it with your fingers or a rubber scraper to blend and make a paste of sorts.  Top the batter with this streusel mixture and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes.  At this point your cake might be done, but I find almond flour baked goods need a little longer and the cake may start to be too brown on top.  If your cake is still a bit too wet in the center or jiggles, yet the top is getting browned, cover with foil and bake about 5-10 minutes more; turn off the oven and let it for about 5-10 minutes more, checking to see if the center of your cake is set and done.  My oven bakes this cake in a 9" round pan for 35 minutes at 350, cover with foil, turn off the oven and leave for another 10-12 minutes and it's perfectly done.

Remove from oven and let cool completely.  This is incredibly moist and so delicious!







A close up of how moist and awesome this is!!!






If you enjoy visiting An American Housewife, please consider using this affiliate link if you are planning to shop for anything (seriously, anything!) at Amazon -  An American Housewife at Amazon

Brown Sweetener: 16 oz by Just Like Sugar
Bob's Red Mill Super Fine Almond Flour, 16 Ounce Packages (Pack of 4)
Rachael Ray 46681 9" with Agave Blue Handles Cucina Nonstick Bakeware Square Cake Pan, Medium, Latte Brown
Isopure Whey Protein Isolate, Unflavored, 3 Pounds (Packaging May Vary)
Ideal No Calorie Sweetener 10.6 Ounce Baking Bag


     







Product Review: Rustic Bedding! Bear and Moose Lodge Themed Quilt Set



Our family has lived all over the United States and enjoyed seeing, adapting and living the differences in states and regions when it comes to foods, fads, fashions, slang and accents; even things like housing structures, buildings, landscaping and decorating.

When I was asked to review the Black Bear Lodge Quilt Set on my website, I smiled as memories of one of our previous homes came rushing back.

The 'lodge' style decor is very popular where we used to live 'up North' in Minnesota - just a hop, skip and jump from the Canadian border. Our home decor included faux stone walls and green plaid borders, a lot of moose and bear accents.  My favorite spot to sneak away to for a fancy coffee drink and 'me' time was a black bear themed lodge just down the road from our home that featured a coffee bar, restaurant and two-story gift shop to meander in when I needed "Mom Time" to myself.  This bedding was reminiscent of the rustic lodge life so popular there.  (The bedding I reviewed for the company is one of the many options in their 'Rustic Bedding' collection.  The Black Bear Lodge Set also has window panels and other coordinating pieces to match as well.)


The quilt set came in 3 different sizes; I chose the Full/Queen as it's a size that works well on most beds and I wasn't sure which room I'd be using it in.  You can see it's machine washable and comes in a protective plastic, zippered cover.




Many times when you purchase affordable and budget-conscientious bedding the quilt stitches are part of the print and are not actually sewed on.  Here is a close up of the stitches; not part of the printed design but are threaded stitches.


The design features both bears and moose in a background of vibrant yet 'rustic' colors including a golden yellow, rustic red and muted bright blue with pale green.  Finished size for the Full/Queen is 86" X 86".



The queen set came with two shams - easily placed over a pillow of your choice using ties to close the back side.



The bedding is thin, lightweight and made to be pretty more than 'warm' functional.  Because their prices are so great, you obviously aren't a quilt like Grandma makes; but these are machine washable so the care is easy and the bedding is 'no fuss'.  I found this set to be perfect for a guest room!  The prices are great for newlyweds or those just starting out in their own apartments that want coordinating pieces to finish the room but have to do so on a tight budget.

Although the rustic bedding I was given to review was the Black Bear Lodge pattern, they have many other patterns to choose from and I love the Colorado Lodge and the Antique Chic Throw they have!

You can check out all their  quilt sets here.

Thanks so much to LatestBedding.com for providing me with the Black Bear Lodge Quilt Set in return for posting my honest thoughts and opinions on my site.  


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6/10/18

The best homemade salsa (EASY and quick - made in a blender using either fresh tomatoes or canned, diced)


This recipe has become one of our go-to recipes for fresh salsa since about 2011 or so.  We have a couple different recipes we like but this one is one of my personal favorites and since I'm the one who is usually making the salsa for the meal, this is what I typically make.  I like that it uses ingredients from the pantry - like canned diced tomatoes, so I don't have to worry if we are out of tomatoes or not!  But if we do have them on hand I can use fresh - or I can a mixture of both canned and fresh.



Homemade Salsa in a  Blender

1 15 oz. (ish) can diced tomatoes or about 1 1/2 cups diced, fresh tomatoes
1 small can diced mild chilies
one small fresh jalapeno, or about 1 1/2 t from a jar of diced jalapeno's
1/4 c firmly packed fresh cilantro leaves or parsley leaves if you don't care for cilantro
1/4 c chopped red or yellow onion
1 T fresh lime juice
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t garlic, fresh minced
1/4 t salt

Place all ingredients in a blender - briefly pulse just 4 - 6 times for a smooth texture.  Cover and chill until serving. Serve with tortilla chips, with your favorite meal calling for salsa, etc. 



We like diced fresh avocado's with a dash of lime and sprinkle of salt served with it.  We scoop a piece of avocado and a scoop of salsa on our chip.  If we have time we may make guacamole but if we don't want to bother, this is awesome and those that don't care for guacamole or avocados don't have to have any and those of that do, gobble it up.




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(Even if it's not remotely kitchen or food related, your purchase still helps keep An American Housewife online.  Thanks so very much!)











5/30/18

Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches with Marshmallow Cream Filling

Originally posted in 2014 - posting again for 2018.




Although I've made these numerous times, this time I made them because I left the cookies in the oven too long and they got a bit crisper than we like our cookies.  This was/is a great option to use when your family likes soft and chewy cookies but you over bake them for a few minutes.  

However!  This recipe is great with almost any cookie!  You don't have to cut them into perfect circles either - just make your cookies, make the filling and pop them together.  I cut these since the edges were overdone and the centers were perfect.


From 2014:
If you follow me on Twitter (AmericHousewife) you know I baked cookies yesterday;  One pan in the kitchen oven and one pan in the sun oven.  I was reading a news article when the timer went off on my kitchen oven to alert me my family's favorite homemade, chewy, chocolate chip cookies were done.  I thought to myself;  "I'll just quickly finish reading this news story and then get the cookies out...."   and 2 news stories later I remembered them!  Our family loves really, really soft chocolate chip cookies.  The cookies in the oven weren't burnt, but they were darker than our family likes.  We just don't care for cookies with a crunch (well, my husband does when he wants to dip them in milk...).  So I placed them on the counter to cool and went to get my cookies from the sun oven.  Coming back into the house with my soft and perfectly baked sun oven cookies (sun ovens don't burn things so you don't have to be as conscientious about timers) I looked at the flat, dark golden brown cookies and knew immediately that I would make sandwich cookies out of them.

If you've ever had a Little Debbie Oatmeal Cookie or the chocolate chip version, then you know what I'm talking about.  Two cookies sandwiched together with a marshmallow frosting filling.  I've been making this kind of cookie for about 15 years now but I don't make it often, as sometimes I'm just too lazy (hey, I'm honest) and second, our favorite filling as marshmallow fluff in it, - which I don't always buy.  (This stuff - Either Kraft or any brand Marshmallow Fluff)

When you make oatmeal or chocolate chip sandwich cookies, you want to be sure you bake your cookies a little longer than you normally would, as the filling makes them 'soft' and if they are too soft and supple to begin with, they will fall apart.

You have two options for the cookies;  you can either use a round cookie cutter to cut them perfectly round, or use the cookies as they are - which is a nice round cookie anyway.  Size is up to you as well.  Larger, smaller, it doesn't matter.  Just use 2 cookies from your favorite recipe (I will put one here just in case you don't have one) and then sandwich them together with a bit of filling.  That's all there is to it!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 c butter
1 c packed brown sugar
3 T white sugar
1 large eggs
1 t vanilla
2 c flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 c chocolate chips
Filling
Half of a 7 oz. jar Marshmallow Fluff (creme)
1/4 c white, regular shortening
1/6 c powdered sugar
1/2 t vanilla
dash of salt

In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugars until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, powder, and salt. Stir or beat into butter mixture until well incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop dough, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets, greased or on parchment paper. Bake in a 375° oven until cookies are lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes.  Bake them about 1-2 minutes longer if you think they may still be too soft.  Remember, the filling is going to make them very moist and soft after a couple hours.  A crisp cookie is good to start with!

Make the filling while the cookies are baking by mixing all in a bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy.  If it's a little dry, add just a teaspoon of warm water to it.  You want it to be stiff and not runny though.

When the cookies are done, remove them from the oven, let them set 2-3 minutes and then remove to cool completely.  If you are cutting them to be perfect circles, use a cookie cutter and cut them out while still warm (!).  If you want until they are completely cool they may crack or crumble if they are very crisp.  When completely cool, spread a bit of filling on the bottom of a cookie and sandwich it together with a second cookie.  Let set at least an hour or two so the filling can soften the cookie.  They will be perfect after about 6 hours if you can wait that long.   *if you 'cut out' your cookies you will have scraps.  I save mine in a Ziploc in the freezer to crumble and use as a cheesecake base.





Products related to this recipe:
Marshmallow Fluff
Good Cook Set Of 3 Non-Stick Cookie Sheet
Wilton Comfort Grip Round Cookie Cutter
Ateco 11 Piece Plain Round Cutter Set

 

5/26/18

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies - Soft and Chewy Delicious!






This recipe is one I've had for years... and years... and years.  The little index card it's wrote on was wrote out and tucked away in one of my kitchen 'go to' recipe books sometime around 1995 I think.  It's one of the first 'really good' cookie recipes I found when I was a newly wed and it was so simple and so good that it's kept it's place in my main 'go to' recipe book since then, when most others have long since been traded out for others.


About 15 years ago when our family started to go sugar free, lower carb, etc. I stopped making these very often.  But I've never found an almond flour, xylitol based cookie that is quite as amazing and delicious as the good old wheat flour based chocolate chip cookie.  So once in a great while I give in and make a version of them.

Our wheat flour based cookies today are made with the whole grain wheat I grind myself.  (I buy non-gmo, whole wheat berries from an organic farm in Oregon).  Fresh milled flour works great in these cookies but obviously most people will use store bought all purpose flour - as I did, back in the 90's too.  I substitute a healthier non-sugar sweetener for the white sugar and the taste isn't compromised at all.  I also use sugar-free chocolate chips.  Play with the recipe to make it your own.  You can also add 1/2 cup chopped nuts or a grated chocolate bar or M&M candies as well if that's your thing!



I always 'halve' the recipe now as we don't have a house bursting with kids and their friends to gobble these all up anymore.  If I make a whole batch, they'll all get eaten alright... but when there is only 3 or 4 of us doing the eating, that's not a good thing.  Ha ha.

Best Cookie Ever - Oatmeal Chocolate Chip

1 stick soft butter
1/2 c sugar or granulated substitute
1/2 c brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 t vanilla
1 c flour (I heap mine a little)
1 1/4 c oatmeal - quick cooking style
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 bag chocolate chips or sugar free chocolate chips
options:  a grated bar of chocolate, M&M's, chopped nuts, etc.

Mix the butter, sugars, egg and vanilla together until blended smooth.  Add the flour, oats and dry ingredients.  Stir till blended.  Add your chocolate chips and other options. Stir. Scoop into 1 1/2" balls and bake on a greased cookie sheet at 350 for about 6-8 minutes until the edges are starting to brown.  Let set on the pan for a minute or two to set up and then remove to a rack to cool.  If you over cook these by a couple minutes they will be crisper and harder if you wish.  If you bake for 6-8 and remove when they are just starting to brown, they will be chewy.  They are great the 2nd day and stay soft and chewy too!





You might be interested in these products available from Amazon, related to this post:


Hershey's Sugar Free Baking Chips, 8-Ounce Bag (Pack of 6)


AirBake Natural 2 Pack Cookie Sheet Set, 14 x 12in and 16 x 14in


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