Tag Archives | Winter 2012-2013 Recipes



Combine 2 parts Laird’s AppleJack with 1 part Benedictine, a splash of lemon juice and Curaçao or Triple Sec. Shake well, strain and serve up or on the rocks.

Photographed at BOXCAR BAR & GRILL 25 Chatham Road, (at the train station), Short Hills 973.912.0002 boxcarbar.com JeremyW. Strungis, bar manager and mixologist

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Combine 1 ounce of applejack with 1 ounce of orange juice and ½ ounce lemon juice. Shake with ice, strain and serve in a champagne flute topped with either ginger ale, Champagne, Prosecco or a good Cava.

Photographed at BOXCAR BAR & GRILL 25 Chatham Road, (at the train station), Short Hills 973.912.0002 boxcarbar.com JeremyW. Strungis, bar manager and mixologist

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  • 1.2 ounces applejack
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • ¾ ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce grenadine

Shake over ice, strain and pour into a chilled glass. Garnish with an apple slice and a maraschino cherry.

Photographed at BOXCAR BAR & GRILL 25 Chatham Road, (at the train station), Short Hills 973.912.0002 boxcarbar.com JeremyW. Strungis, bar manager and mixologist

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  • 1¼ cup whole almonds
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 5 crisp-cooked bacon slices, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Spread almonds in a single layer in shallow pan.

Bake at 300° for 15 minutes.

Combine softened cream cheese and mayo. Mix well.Add bacon, onion, dill and pepper. Mix well. Chill overnight. Form cheese mixture into a fat, tapered cylinder shape like that of a pinecone. You can make 1 large or 2 small “pinecones.” Beginning at narrow end of the cheese cone, press almonds at slight angle into it in rows. Continue overlapping until all cheese is covered. Garnish with real (inedible) or artificial (also inedible) pine sprigs. Serve as a spread with crackers.




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Jim Hamilton loves seafood; at one time he owned a seafood restaurant. This dish makes a beautiful presentation, he says, because the alternating shellfish create what looks like a lace collar around the fish.

  • 8 pounds firm fish (sea bass preferred)
  • 4 bay leaves, crushed
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
  • 10 chopped scallions
  • 4 carrots, julienned
  • 2 pounds 8 ounces plum tomatoes, crushed
  • 6 lemons
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 24 mussels
  • 24 littleneck clams
  • 24 shrimp in shell

Clean fish. Mix together the bay leaves, garlic, parsley, oregano, basil, dill, scallions, carrots, and plum tomatoes.

Slit fish on both sides. Rub with juice of 4 of the lemons and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on oiled pan. Cover with herb mixture. Add wine and oil. Slice remaining lemons and arrange over fish. Cook for 15 minutes on high heat on top of stove.

Preheat oven to 375°. Remove pan from heat. Place shellfish on sides of fish, alternating mussels, clams and shrimp. Bake 30 minutes. Cover with foil for last 10 minutes to open shells. (Serves 12.)

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Photographs: courtesy of The Dessert Plate

At the store, we affectionately call these cookies “Gingies.” We begin the holiday season by donating hundreds of them to Somerville’s Santa arrival the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Through the holiday season we make these traditional gingerbread men, which we call “Nice,” as well as a version that includes a dash of cayenne and black pepper for the “Naughties” (they bite you back a little!).

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1¼ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, cream butter. Slowly add sugar and beat a few minutes until fluffy. Beat in egg, then molasses. In a medium bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Stir into butter mixture, a little at a time. Scoop dough onto a large sheet of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Dust with a little flour,wrap and chill in the refrigerator for several hours.

Preheat oven to 375°. Roll out chilled dough onto a floured surface, cut out cookies, place on greased or lined cookie sheets and bake for 6-8 minutes. (Yield: 4 dozen)


  • 1 egg white
  • Approx. 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

In a medium bowl, beat egg white and add sugar a little at a time until the mixture becomes spreadable. Use immediately. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a small tip with icing (or put the icing in a Ziploc bag and cut the corner to form your own pastry bag) and decorate cookies. Icing will dry to a hard, shiny surface.

34 East Main Street #1,
Megyn Craine, Baker/Proprietor

The reason why I bake and why I’ve been doing it for so long is to keep the tradition of scratch-baking alive. There’s something honest and good about working with your hands and making something with love for other people. There was a time when baking (and cooking) from scratch was a simple skill that many people had, and they passed that skill along from one generation to the next.As commercial baking grew, cost-cutting products were introduced (e.g., substituting shortening for real butter), and as our workdays got busier, home baking fell out of favor. I believe time can always be made for something that’s honest and worthwhile.


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I have used [this recipe] many times over the years. I’ve added pumpkin to the mixture to make pumpkin pound cake and chocolate chips to make chocolate chip pound cake. It is super easy to make and will be perfect for any holiday table.

For the cake:

  • 1 cup of butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 ounces vanilla yogurt
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the glaze:

  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons water or milk (or the liquid of your choice; lemon or orange juice is great)

Preheat oven to 325°. Grease and flour a Bundt or tube pan. In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, yogurt, eggs and vanilla at low speed until well blended. Increase speed to medium; beat 3 minutes.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for roughly 50-60 minutes or until an inserted wooden pick comes out clean.Transfer pan to a rack to cool.

In a small bowl, add liquid to confectioners’ sugar a tablespoon at a time, whisking until desired thickness.When cake is cool, drizzle with glaze.

Desiree Taylor, Baker/Proprietor

When I bake I feel at peace and in my own element. For me there’s nothing like creating or reworking a recipe, getting the measurements just right and producing a product balanced in texture and flavor. I was born to be a baker. Baking is scientific and it’s comprised so much of math and precision. It definitely feeds my perfectionist nature.

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Photograph courtesy of Flaky Tart


Variations: Cranberry • Apple, Cheddar and Fennel • Dark Chocolate, Cherry and Almond

Years ago I was working with a fabulous pastry chef who suggested we add scones to our then scone-less menu. In my best pastry snob voice, I replied that I didn’t really care for scones. She countered that she could make a scone even I would love. She did, and I have been shamelessly using her recipe ever since.

  • 3½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (King Arthur makes a nice organic flour)
  • ½ cup brown sugar (Demerara tastes great)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • ½ pound (1 cup or 2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ¾ cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda and salt together until evenly combined.

Put cold butter cubes in food processor bowl and add flour mixture, approximately a cup at a time, pulsing a few times after each addition. Pulse until flour mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Transfer back to a large bowl. (Butter can also be cut in with pastry blender, two knives, or fingers).

Add additional ingredients from recipe variations (see below) to flour mixture and toss well with hands. In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk and heavy cream. In the flour mixture bowl, use a fork to make a well (hollow out a little circular space in the center at the bottom of the bowl).Add cream mixture to well, and using the fork, draw the flour mixture into the liquid bit by bit until just mixed.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold wet (buttermilk and heavy cream) and dry ingredients together. When dough just starts to hold together but is still crumbly and uneven, use your hands to press gently and toss dough to incorporate the last of the dry ingredients. Do not overmix!

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set out a small bowl of flour for dusting hands. With flour-dusted hands, form dough into approximately ½-cup-size balls. Space evenly on trays.

Bake at 375° for approximately 30 minutes, rotating trays midway through cooking time. Scones should be browned and firm in the center; press lightly on top to test. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes on pan. Brush or spread glaze on warm scones and serve. Makes about 11 scones.


Into flour mixture, add:

  • 1 cup fresh NJ cranberries, poached in simple syrup (see below), cooled and drained (do this a day ahead) or dried cranberries
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, coarsely broken into large pieces
  • ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • Zest of ½ an orange (a microplane grater works well, or finely chop the zest)
  • 1 small sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped

To poach cranberries:

In a saucepan, mix 1 cup of sugar with ½ cup of water and heat to boiling.Turn off heat, add fresh cranberries, and stir. Cool, then refrigerate cranberries in syrup overnight. (You can poach some extra cranberries, drain while warm, roll in granulated sugar, and dry on a rack overnight for a stunning decorative addition. Put sugared cranberries on freshly glazed scones before glaze sets.)


  • 1 cup confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
  • ½ cup maple syrup (Grade B or Grade A dark amber works best)

Whisk together to form a smooth glaze. Add more sugar or syrup if needed. Brush or spread on warm scones.


Into flour mixture, add:

  • 1-2 firm NJ apples (depending on size) peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar or other flavorful, firm NJ cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup fennel seeds

For top of scones: Grate another ½ cup of cheese and sprinkle on scones 1-2 minutes before removing from oven.


Into flour mixture, add:

  • 1 cup dried cherries, soaked overnight in kirsch and drained (reserve drained kirsch for glaze)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips or coarsely chopped dark chocolate
  • ¾ cup toasted sliced almonds

To wet ingredients add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.


  • 1 cup confectioners’ (powdered ) sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons of the reserved kirsch

Whisk together to form a smooth glaze. Add more sugar or kirsch as needed. Brush or spread on warm scones.

145 1st Avenue
Atlantic Highlands
Marie Jackson, Baker/Proprietor

Why do I bake? I bake because it makes me happy, and it seems to have the same effect on others. I love everything about the baking process—the feel, the smell, the taste and the opportunity to learn and be surprised every day. Working to master the perfect croissant is a lifetime pursuit that requires a lot of taste tasting; it’s my perfect job.

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The equal amounts of nutmeg and cinnamon along with the espresso grounds in the recipe give this cookie a delicious robust flavor.

  • 8 ounces (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg, fresh ground
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons espresso, finely ground

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars well. Add eggs one at a time. In a medium bowl, sift flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and espresso together and add to butter mixture. Mix until combined. Shape into logs that are 2 inches in diameter, wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight.

Cut into ¼-inch slices, place on a greased or lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart, and bake for about 15 minutes. (Yield: 4 dozen)

courtesy of THE ARTIST BAKER
14-18 Cattano Avenue

Andrea Lekberg, Baker/Owner

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These brownies are rich and buttery; just a small square satisfies me.

  • 9 ounces (18 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 11 ounces (1 bag) butterscotch chips
  • 1 and 1/3 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9 x 13-inch pan. In a wide saucepan over medium heat, melt butter until it starts to foam up and brown, being careful not to burn. Remove from heat. Cool to warm, then stir in butterscotch chips till melted.Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and cream in brown sugar and salt.Add eggs one at a time and mix. In a medium bowl, sift flour and baking powder together. Add flour mixture and mix just until blended.

Bake in prepared pan for about 25 minutes. Cool before cutting. (Yield: 1 dozen)

courtesy of THE ARTIST BAKER
14-18 Cattano Avenue
Andrea Lekberg, Baker/Owner

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