Archive for March 2010

Calzones!   2 comments

I would love to have pictures to go with this recipes, but the flash died on our camera recently, and I just don’t have enough natural light in my kitchen to get good food pictures. Maybe someday, I’ll add pictures in, but for now, we’ll go basic. Ready?

I love this Persian Bread recipe for pizza and calzone dough, so that’s where I started. If you have a favorite pizza dough, feel free to use that instead, of course.

For filling for one recipe of dough, mix together the following:
2 cups mozzarella
2 cups cottage cheese or ricotta
1 t basil
1 t oregano
1 egg
1/2 – 1 c parmesan

I added one pound of browned and cooled sausage to the above and mixed it all together. You could also add meat separately as desired, if you want a variety of calzone flavors. Or, if you’re not into meat, just throw in some more cheese until the consistency seems right. With the pound of sausage, this made about 5 cups.

Tonight, I actually made two recipes of dough and doubled the filling/meat. That feeds our family with a bit leftover, but I realize our family isn’t “average” size, so I’m giving the single batch recipe. Anyway, I played with the assembling of the calzones a bit, and you can go one of two ways with it.

Preheat oven to 450′

For personal calzones, divide one recipe of dough into 10-12 balls of dough. Roll out each ball into a circle about the spread of your hand across (this is 8″ for me, but it’s easier to use my hand than a ruler, and if your hand is a bit bigger or smaller, I’m sure it’ll work just fine).

Place an appropriate amount of filling on each calzone. I wound up with five cups of filling for 11 balls (one batch of dough with a single recipe of filling), so I used a bit under half a cup for each calzone. Spread the filling on one half, leaving empty space around the edge for sealing.

Use your finger to put some water on the edge of the half of the circle that you’re going to fold over the topping. Fold over, making a half-circle, and seal the edges by pinching them together.

Bake personal calzones for ~10 minutes at 450′. The crust should be golden brown.

For larger calzones that you will cut into serving size, divide the dough into four larger balls, split the filling four ways, and seal as described above.

Bake larger calzones for 12-14 minutes at 450′.

Marinara sauce on the side is a nice, but not essential, option.

Enjoy! I’d love to hear what you think if you try it.


Posted March 28, 2010 by smithlaurel in Main Dish

Persian Bread   Leave a comment

Besides making wonderful Persian Bread, this recipe is my go-to recipe when I need dough that’s workable, soft, and yummy. It came to me years ago from my sister-in-love Beka, who got it from her sis, Sarah. Here’s the recipe with my slight adaptations:

Combine and set aside:
1/2 c warm water
3 T sugar
2 T yeast

Other ingredients:
3 1/2 c flour (I often do 2 c unbleached all-purpose and 1 1/2 c wheat)
3/4 c warm milk
1/2 c butter, softened, but not melted
1 t salt

Combine 1 1/2 c flour with milk, butter, and salt.
Add yeast mixture.
Stir in remaining 2 c flour, one cup at a time.
Let rise until doubled (45 – 60 min.)
Punch down and divide dough in half.
Make two flat round loaves about 6-8 inches across.
Place on lightly greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350′ for 20-25 minutes. Crust should be golden brown.

Let cool enough to cut, then slice and slather with butter.

For pizza dough, this makes two pizza crusts.
For calzones, it makes 10-12 “personal” calzones or four large calzones to be cut into pieces.

Posted March 28, 2010 by smithlaurel in Uncategorized

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies from scratch   2 comments

I’ve been reading here and there around blog-land about making Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies, and the thought has been haunting me. Yesterday, I decided it was time! The recipes I’ve seen call for using mixes, which I don’t generally buy, so I made mine from scratch and thought I’d pass it on to you.

Fair warning – this recipe has nothing low-calorie or low-fat about it!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (the classic Toll House recipe, my favorite since I was a child):
Cream together, adding one ingredient at a time, scraping the side of the mixer bowl often –
1 1/2 c butter (three sticks)
1 c sugar (the recipe actually says 1c +2T for this and the br. sug, I usually do a rounded cup)
1 c brown sugar
1 1/2 t vanilla
2 eggs

Add and mix just until incorporated –
3 1/3 c flour
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t salt
(I usually add the soda and salt to the estimated 1/3 c of flour and mix it up before adding it to the bowl)

Mix in by hand –
12 oz bag chocolate chips

(for cookies, bake for 8 minutes @ 350′)

Brownie Batter (this is my favorite brownie recipe, many thanks to Cathy Smith for introducing us):

Melt 2 sticks (1 cup) of butter in 9×13 pan in oven while mixing other ingredients and preheating oven to 350′

Mix dry ingredients –
1 1/2 c flour
1 c sugar
6 generous T cocoa
2 T vanilla

Add four eggs (I usually beat them slightly first) and the melted butter from the pan, mix.

(for regular brownies, bake at 350′ for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with choc. chips before baking or frost after baking)

Instructions for Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies:
Spread brownie batter in 9×13 pan. Plop spoonfuls of cookie dough around the pan. You only need half of the cookie dough. What you do with the rest is up to you and your conscience. 🙂 I managed to bake the second half as chocolate chip cookie bars and freeze them for later. This act of self-control was negated by the extra brownie I ate in the middle of the night on my way back from the bathroom.

Bake at 350′ for 40-50 minutes. Don’t overbake.

Note: don’t cut these into a certain number per person in your family unless you have better self-control than me!

Posted March 13, 2010 by smithlaurel in Uncategorized