Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The treats we brought down to the farm...

I mentioned on Monday that we were busy making a couple treats to take down to the farm on Christmas Day. The drive down was nice - however, the drive back last night did not go as planned! We first hit freezing rain and then came heavy snow along with very slow traffic - the usual hour or so drive took almost 2 1/2 hours! The weather report told us to expect a few flurries, but we were quite surprised when we woke up this morning to find about 7 or 8 inches of new snow on the ground!

We thought we would start off with a couple snaps from the farm!

Of course, there has to be a few farm cats... but this was the only one that stood still long enough to capture her dozing off on her stool.

One of mom's chickens giving us a fierce stare...

We couldn't forget to take a picture of Max's daddy! Like father like son eh? Just as fluffy and little (ok, a lot) more rambunctious!

Anyway... back to the food! One of the treats we took down was a batch of Dark Chocolate Truffles!

These are just a simple combination of hot cream and bittersweet chocolate that is cooled down until you can roll the mixture into balls. Rather than dip the truffles in chocolate, we decided to take the easy route and roll the rich balls in a variety of coatings.

We ended up using cocoa powder, confectioners' sugar, toasted coconut, chopped toasted pistachios and a few sparkly sugars. Smooth, creamy and oh so decadent - this was definitely one of Jeff's favorites!

We also made a couple loaves of Pepperoni Bread! I haven't made this for a few years (I think the last time I did make it was before I really was interested in cooking). Jeff said his mom used to make this for him all the time growing up, but we took the recipe and decided to update it a bit. Rather than using frozen bread dough, which most recipes out there call for, we decided to make a very soft, tender and fluffy basic white bread. You know, the kind that would make for a killer PB&J sandwich!

What gives this bread such a great texture is the additions of dry milk and potato flakes to the dough - a few tablespoons of butter didn't hurt either! Once kneaded and risen, the dough is punched down and set aside to rest for a few minutes - this will make it very easy to stretch into a large rectangle. Jeff's said his mom would only put pepperoni in her version (which is perfectly acceptable!) - however, we added a couple more layers of flavor. We started out by first sprinkling Italian seasonings over the dough. Next, we tossed on a few handfuls of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses on top, followed by rows and rows of sliced pepperoni.

When you roll the dough up into a log, be sure to seal the seam and ends well - also try to tuck the ends under the large roll so it stays closed. Very good cold, this bread is especially delicious while still a little warm and the cheese is gooey - enjoy it plain or have some marinara sauce on the side for dunking. Be sure to give it a good 15 to 20 minute rest before you cut into it though as the insides will be very hot! If you don't feel like pepperoni bread, at least do yourself a favor and try the basic bread - so good! The dough recipe makes about a 1 pound loaf and would be best baked in a 8 1/2" by 4 1/2" loaf pan if that strikes your fancy.


  1. Sorry to hear you got stuck in the snow storm on your drive back, but I hope you had a nice time/trip! Your treats sound great, as always, and those truffles look beautiful! Mine always turn out kind of misshapen and odd looking, but yours look perfect!


  2. My family makes a sausage bread that is a lot like your pepperoni bread every Christmas--looks lovely!

  3. Jen - His mom does actually make a sausage bread too, but Jeff prefers the pepperoni!

  4. Glad you got back safe! I hate driving in snow and ice. (Who enjoys it, though?)
    I think the farm cat is cute.

    Your truffles look delicious. I love the sparkly sugar.