Friday, December 23, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup with Cider Cream

Bon Appétit | November 1998

5 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
2 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only)
1/2 cup chopped peeled carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried sage leaves
5 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1 1/2 cups apple cider
2/3 cup sour cream

1/2 cup whipping cream
Chopped fresh chives

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add squash, leeks, carrot and celery; sauté until slightly softened, about 15 minutes. Mix in apples, thyme and sage. Add stock and 1 cup cider and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until apples are tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly.

Working in batches, purée soup in blender. Return soup to pan. Boil remaining 1/2 cup cider in heavy small saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Cool. Place sour cream in small bowl. Whisk in reduced cider. (Soup and cider cream can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.)

Bring soup to simmer. Mix in whipping cream. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with cider cream. Top with chives.

Butter Finger Candies

These taste just like Butter Fingers!!

1 (10 oz.) box original Wheat Thins crackers
1 cup creamy peanut butter
16 ounces dipping chocolate or almond bark

Sandwich about 1/2 teaspoon peanut butter between two Wheat Thins crackers; repeat until all crackers have been used. Melt chocolate in microwave at 50 percent power for one minute; stir. Return to microwave at 30 second intervals until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Dip cracker "sandwiches" in chocolate to coat. Set on wax paper. Place in refrigerator or freezer for 10-15 minutes to set completely. Store in an airtight container.

Saltine Cracker Toffee


4 ounces saltine crackers
1 cup butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
Line cookie sheet with saltine crackers in single layer.
In a saucepan combine the sugar and the butter. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Immediately pour over saltines and spread t cover crackers completely.
Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the top. Return to oven for 2-3 minutes. Spread melted chocolate. Cool completely and break into pieces.