Thyme for Kids - a family, food, and franchising blog
Thyme for Kids - a family, food, and franchising blog
Into food, family, or franchising? You're in the right place. The recipe for blogging here at YCA is to keep it simple, entertaining, educational, and to the point. We take one simple concept and give you our unique perspective.
From our franchisees, our students, or our corporate staff - if you hear it here, you know it's all us, all original and all fresh. We might tell you the story of a bright young chef who taught his instructor a few things, then next maybe the latest culinary trend (beef tongue sliders?). There is nothing ordinary about any of our franchises, and we delight in sharing the extraordinary "scoop"! Enjoy, comment, and please share.
3:34 PM

Earn the Extra Point With These Touchdown Recipes!


IMG_8905


No matter who you're rooting for, game day food brings us together.  This year, forget the traditional buffalo wings and cheese dip (although we do love these!).  Call an audible and create these little, bites-of-heaven with our winning touchdown recipes that will have your guests drooling!


To get us started our test kitchen created a tastier version of the traditional slider....

 

  • Miso Mushroom Sliders with a flavorful aioli
  • Chili Dog Sliders with homemade Tomatillo Relish


Then we added a zesty side to top it all off:

 

  • Our Zesty Salt & Vinegar Fries with Chipotle Ketchup

 

These little goodies are easy to pull together just in time for the big kickoff! 


Let's go TEAM!!


IMG_8892trim


Miso Mushroom Sliders


Ingredients:


1/2 Red Onion
8 oz. mushrooms


Aioli
:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, peeled
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. yellow miso paste
1 tsp. red wine vinegar

 

Burgers:
1 1/4 lb. ground chuck (80/20%)
1 Tbsp. yellow miso paste
1 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper


Olive oil to brush on rolls
10 slider buns or rolls

1 tsp. olive oil

5 slices white cheddar cheese, sliced into quarters


Directions:

  1. Cut mushrooms and red onion into thin slices.  Set aside.
  2. For the aioli:  Mince the garlic and add a pinch of salt.  Continue mincing the garlic and salt until it has become a paste.  Use the side of the knife to press the two together.  Once a paste has formed, transfer to a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the mayonnaise, miso and vinegar.  Whisk together well; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. For the burgers:  Combine ground beef, 1 Tbsp. miso, hoisin, Parmesan, salt and pepper in a medium mixing bowl.  Shape the meat into 10 balls.  Flatten the balls so they are about 2 inches thick.  Using your finger, make a small dimple in the middle of each burger.  (This will prevent your burgers from bulging when cooked and create a more evenly flat burger.) 
  5. Heat a medium non-stick pan over medium-high heat.  Brush cut side down of each bun with olive oil.  Toast, cut side down, until golden brown for about 1 to 2 minutes. 
  6. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tsp. olive oil and enough patties to not overcrowd the pan.  Cook for about 4 minutes, then flip and add mushrooms.  Cook until mushrooms are brown and burgers reach a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees ~ 4-5 minutes.  Transfer burgers to a plate and top with 2 of the quartered pieces of sliced cheese.
  7. Place a bottom bun on plate and top with the aioli, burger, mushrooms and red onion.  Cover with top bun.

 

 


IMG_8883  IMG_8910



1st Down Chili Dog Sliders

 

Tomatillo Relish:

8 oz. tomatillos (~ 3 med.), finely chopped
3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp. lime juice (1-2 limes)
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed if desired, finely chopped
½ medium red onion, finely chopped


6 all-beef sausages, grilled
10 oz. can of chili
Mustard
Baguette


Directions:

 

  1. For the Tomatillo Relish: Mix together the tomatillos, cilantro, lime juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic, jalapenos and onions in a large mixing bowl until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the flavors to marry.
  2. Cut a "V" shape out of the baguette and remove some of the bread to make room for the sausages and toppings.
  3. To serve, line grilled sausages into the well of the bread.  Top with chili, mustard and relish.  Slice into bite-size pieces and serve.


IMG_8903

 

Salt & Vinegar Oven Fries with Chipotle Ketchup

Ingredients:

Fries:
4 cups Yukon Gold potatoes with skin, approx. 4 medium potatoes
4 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt
Parsley, chopped
Pepper
2 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar for soaking, plus 2 Tbsp. for sprinkling
Parmesan cheese for garnish

 

Chipotle ketchup:

½ cup ketchup
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 can chipotle pepper in adobo, finely chopped, plus 2 tsp. adobo sauce


Directions:

 

  1. For the Chipotle Ketchup:  Pour the ketchup, vinegar, chipotles and adobo sauce directly into a food processor and run until pureed.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. For the Potatoes:  Cut each potato into four slabs (depending on width) then cut again across those four slabs to make 1/2 inch stick shapes.  The important thing is you keep as uniform in size as possible.
  3. Soak the potatoes in enough cold water to cover.  Soaking removes the excess starch and makes them crisp up when they are baked.  Stir in 2 Tbsp. vinegar and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes up to overnight. 
  4. After soaking, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Drain the potatoes and dry on paper towels.  It’s very important to remove the moisture so the potatoes will crisp in the oven.
  5. Toss the potatoes on a baking sheet where they will be in a single layer, with the olive oil, salt, pepper and parsley.
  6. Bake on the first side for 20 minutes, then flip and bake for another 15-20 until golden and crisp.  Sprinkle with sea salt & 2 Tbsp. vinegar.  Garnish with a sprinkle of Parmesan.

 

Yield:   Serves 6



2:10 PM

It's "Chili" In Our Kitchen!

 


chili3

 

Winter is here in all of its chillingly, wonderful glory and we were pumped about making a delicious chili to warm us up as the winter storms hit...although this recipe is one we make year round due to the incredibly exquisite flavor. 

Depending on the level of heat you prefer, this recipe can be altered to your taste, however, the combination of ingredients used in this recipe creates a nice balance of mild to medium warmth depending on how many seeds you use from the jalapeno.

To Bean or Not To Bean.....

There are a multitude of opinions on whether a chili is truly a chili if it contains beans.  Some of our Southern friends may have some objections to know we added beans but, just as with most recipes, ingredients evolve over time across different regions to create new delicacies from age-old favorites.  One of our favorite activities with our Young Chefs involve empowering them to look for new ways to craft a dish and make it their own using their knowledge of spices, flavor combinations and cooking techniques.  Cooking is an art and a great avenue for our students to share their creativity using the knowledge they have learned along their journey.

 

chili1

If you've peeked below at the recipe already, don't let the ingredient list alarm you...most are basic seasonings and other items you probably have on hand.  And as always, MISE EN PLACE!  Ensuring you gather and prep your ingredients ahead of time will save a lot of headaches during the cooking process. 

As you begin prepping your spicier ingredients, consider a few of these tips to help you get the best level of heat for your palette:

  • If you want less heat, simply leave out a portion (or ALL!) of the seeds from your jalapeno.  If you want more, add them all!
  • Start with a little less of the fiery ingredients:  chili powder, chipotle pepper sauce and the San Marcos chipotle pepper in adobo sauce.  You can always add a little more in during the cooking process after taste testing.
  • If you like it spicy, you can add more of the ingredients listed in the recipe to create the perfect blazing-hot flavor you prefer.  But be sure to just add a little at a time and taste test!  You don't want a final product that tastes delicious but is so scorching that you can barely get past the first spoonful.
  • Be mindful of the flavor palettes of others...this recipe combination was designed to highlight the flavor over the heat, but it's better to ere on the side of caution if you aren't sure of others tolerance.

 
Okay, now let's turn the heat up in the kitchen and get the entire family involved in the cooking process....gathering and prepping ingredients, taste testing, discussing how some flavors enhance others, mixing, stirring,...involving your children in the process provides a sense of ownership in the dish they helped to create.  Not to mention the irreplaceable memories you're building along the way!

 



chili2

YCA Champion Chili


Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 red or green jalapenos, chopped
  • 1 yellow Onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves 
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder, or to taste
  • 2 tsp. bouillon granules
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 (7.5 oz) can San Marcos Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder, or to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp chipotle pepper sauce, or to taste
  •  1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 (16 oz) cans dark red kidney beans
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin (optional)



Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Cook and stir jalapeno peppers, onion,, garlic, and bell pepper in the hot oil until softened.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook and stir beef in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly ~ 5-7 minutes.  Add Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder.  Add bouillon granules over beef and add 1/2 cup chicken broth and stir.  Continue to cook, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, until liquid is hot ~ 3 minutes.  Stir beef mixture into pepper mixture.
  3. Stir crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, 1/2 cup chicken broth and 1 Tbsp. vinegar to the beef mixture.  Chop the pepper from the chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (or use a food processor).  Add the pepper and the adobo sauce to the mixture.  Season with chili powder, 2 Tbsp. cumin, brown sugar, pepper sauce, basil, paprika, salt, oregano and black pepper.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium.  Cover and simmer for approximately 90 minutes to allow flavors to fully develop ~ stirring occasionally.
  4. Mix kidney beans into beef and vegetables.  Continue to simmer until beans are hot, about 30 minutes more.
  5. Blend sour cream, cilantro, and remaining 1/2 tsp. cumin in a food processor until smooth.  Serve sour cream mixture with chili.

  


 

"Cooking Is Love Made Visible"...

...especially with a steaming bowl of chili

 Chili Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


1:51 PM

"POP" In The New Year!

 

Cake Pops Pinterest

It's almost 2018....the Zodiac Year of the Earth Dog!  If you were born in the year 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, (or even about to be born in 2018), you share a common bond with some other famous "dogs," such as Mother Theresa, Winston Churchill, Madonna, Justin Bieber and Michael Jackson, just to name a few. 

But enough of that!  Let's move on to the FOOD!  Sadly, this is our last week of Bake The Season's Bright, however, we will still be sharing more incredible recipes throughout the upcoming year (sneak peek into January....it's getting "Chili" outside).

With the New Year arriving in just a few days, we thought we'd let things sparkle and shine with Sparkling Cake Pops ~ our mock pink champagne cake pops.  These pops are so elegant, yet so enticing.  Using some colorful sprinkles to add a little glitz and glamor make these a "must" for your New Year's Eve gathering.

This recipe uses a non-alcoholic alternative but provides delicious results similar to using true Champagne.  The slightly sweet and bubbly concoction is also tasty by itself!  Just double or triple the recipe for a refreshing drink your guests can sip while savoring their personal cake pop.

Let's get POP-IN'!

 


 

 

cake pop 1 

Each week, we share special tips and tricks with our Young Chefs.  One of the big questions that arise is the need to start with room temperature ingredients. 

So why do some recipes call for room temperature ingredients? 

It's important that you start with room temperature butter and eggs as they will disperse much easier in your batter.  But if you're like many of us, we forget to factor in the extra hour to ensure they are at the right temperature.  Here's a few tips that can help when you're ready to bake but your butter and eggs aren't!

After eggs and butter and other dairy products have come to room temperature, they form an emulsion when they’re mixed. This emulsion traps air and makes your baked good nice and fluffy.  Also, ingredients at room temperature tend to mix more easily than when they’re cold, making a nice, even batter, which means your final product will have a uniform texture all the way through.


For quick, room temperature eggs:  Place eggs in a warm (not hot!) water bath for about 5 minutes.  This allows the temperature of the eggs to drop to room temperature.


For quick, room temperature butter:  Microwave a glass or ceramic bowl filled with water for a few minutes.  Pour out the water and place the warm bowl over the butter for a few minutes to bring to room temperature.  Or, microwave, with the wrapper intact, for 5 seconds.  Flip and repeat for the other three sides.

 

cake pop2 

It's important to freeze your cake balls before dipping in chocolate to allow them to firm up a bit to work with.  However, be sure to bring your frozen cake balls out of the freezer to warm up slightly.  Dipping very cold cake balls into very warm chocolate can result in cracks (we learned the hard way...). 



cake pop 5 


Dipping the lollipop stick into the chocolate first before pressing into the cake ball allows the chocolate to form around the portion where the stick is inserted.  This process makes it easier to finish dipping the rest of the cake ball with less messy results.


cake pop 6

And Voila!  Now all that's left is to invite friends over!

cake pop 3 

Our friend Taylor joined us after helping to make these little cuties. 

What are you waiting for?  Let's make 2018 Sparkle!!


 

cake pop 7


Pseudo Pink Champagne Cake Pops

Ingredients:

Cake:

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
15 ounces (2 cups) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 x-large egg whites at room temperature
4 drops red food coloring
2 cups mock champagne

Buttercream:

1/4 cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1¼ cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons mock champagne
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 drop red food coloring

Mock Champagne:

1 quart (32 oz) cranberry juice
1 quart (32 oz) ginger ale
1/2 quart (16 oz) 7-Up


Directions:

  1. For the Mock Champagne:  Combine all three ingredients and stir.  Set aside.
  2. For the Cake:  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees; grease and flour 9x13-inch cake pan or baking dish; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt); set aside.
  4. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Reduce speed to medium and add egg whites, one at a time; add vanilla.
  6. Mix in food coloring5. Stop mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  7. With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients and champagne in three alternating additions, starting and ending with dry ingredient.
  8. Pour into prepared cake pan or baking dish and bake 25-35 minutes or until knife comes out clean from center.
  9. For the Buttercream:  Beat butter for several minutes until light and fluffy.
  10. Add sugar, champagne, vanilla and food coloring and beat for several minutes until light and creamy.

 

To Assemble:

Ingredients:

1 Pink Champagne Cake
1 batch Pink Champagne Buttercream
60 6-inch lollipop sticks
32 ounces white chocolate or white chocolate melts, roughly chopped
½ - 1 cup diamond sugar (optional but recommended)


Directions:

  1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper or non-stick foil and set aside.
  2. Break cooled cake into pieces and place in a large bowl; crumble cake into small crumbs with fingers.
  3. Add buttercream to cake and mix with a spoon until all cake crumbs are coated.
  4. Use a small cookie dough scoop or large spoon to scoop balls of dough onto wax paper
  5. Use your hands to roll the cake scoops into balls.
  6. Cover with another sheet of wax paper and place in freezer for at least one hour.
  7. Prepare another baking sheet with wax paper or non-stick foil for finished pops. 
  8. Once cake balls are frozen, you can make the cake pops.
  9. Put white chocolate in a heat-safe bowl and place in over a pot of simmering water; stir chocolate constantly until melted (you can also melt the white chocolate in the microwave).
  10. Remove balls from freezer; dip the top of each lollipop stick about ¼ of an inch into the white chocolate and immediately press into cake ball two thirds of the way through.
  11. Once complete, dip each cake pop, one at a time, into white chocolate; lightly tap off excess chocolate and place cake pop on wax paper and decorate with sprinkles/sugar/edible color mist immediately before chocolate hardens.
  12. Repeat until all cake pops are dipped and decorated.
  13. Allow to cool and for chocolate to harden before serving.

 

 We wish you ALL a VERY Happy and Wonderful New Year!!!  From all of us at Young Chefs® Academy!

 

 

 

 

 


2:23 PM

Bake Memories for the Holidays...the French Way!

 

CandyCane Galette Pinterest

Cher Noël, voici bien longtemps
Tout juste un an
Que je t’attends 

(Dear Christmas, here you are after such a long time
It’s been one whole year
That I’ve waited for you)

 

If you're thinking you have too much on your plate (excuse the pun!) to make a beautiful side dish for your Christmas events, we've got something for you!  We're sharing one of our favorites from camp this year ~ the Aparagus and Potato Galette.

What is a Galette, you ask?  It is the French word for a pancake, either free-form or round, with either a sweet or savory filling.  Almost any pie can be made into galette. 

This pastry provides a rustic and beautiful presentation and tastes heavenly. And did we mention that it's really easy to make?
And in remaining true to the theme of the recipe, we'll be using Dijon mustard to give our veggies a little flavor "pizzazz."   True Dijon mustard is made in Dijon, the capital city of the Burgundy province in France.  This particular mustard is used in many French menus to add more flavor to a particular dish. 

The flavor of the finished product is rich and robust, with a slight tang from the mustard.  This dish is sure to be a favorite at your holiday gathering!

 


Allons cuisiner!

 

 



 

Asparagus and Potato Galette


Ingredients
:

  • 2 small Yukon gold potatoes, thinly sliced (peel or leave skins on)*

  • ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced**

  • ½ lb. asparagus, ends removed and cut into 1-inch pieces***

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

  • ¼ tsp. Kosher salt, to taste

  • ¼ tsp black pepper, freshly ground to taste

  • 1 cup Gruyère or Swiss cheese, grated

     

  • 1 recipe pie dough****

  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

  • 1 large egg



Directions
:

 

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. In a large bowl, toss together the potatoes, onion, asparagus, olive oil, salt and pepper. Add the Gruyère or Swiss cheese and toss to combine. Set aside.

  3. Lay out a piece of parchment and lightly flour the surface. Roll the pie dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer the paper and crust onto a sheet pan.

  4. Spread the mustard on the pie dough, leaving a 3-inch border around the edge. Spoon the potato-asparagus mixture onto the pie dough, leaving a 2 ½-inch border around the edge. Fold the border neatly over the potato mixture.*****

  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush the crust with the egg mixture and bake until the crust is golden brown and the vegetables are tender, 30 to 35 minutes. (Cover with foil if the crust is browning too quickly). Transfer to a cutting board and cut into pieces. Serve while still warm.


Yield:  about 8 servings

 

 



Galette Recipe Tips:

  • If you do not have a mandaline to slice your potatoes very thin and want to ensure your potatoes cook through in the galette, make this small adjustment ~

    Scrub the outside of the potatoes to remove any dirt or debris. You can either leave the skin on or peel it off.

    Poke a few holes in the potatoes and microwave them on high power for 5 minutes. Par cooking will help to make sure the potatoes are completely cooked when the galette is finished. Then slice them into ¼-inch slices.

  • **Want to add a little more flavor to your galette?  Carmelize your onions!  To do this, heat approx. 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat until the oil shimmers.  Add the onions and coat with the olive oil in the pan, stirring occasionally until you have beautifully rich, browned results.  This does add some extra time to the recipe but provides a richer, fuller flavor.

 

  • ***How to trim asparagus ~ asparagus are long thin edible stalks. When you purchase them at the grocery store, make sure the tips of the asparagus are bright green and compact. The size of the asparagus doesn’t matter. The thicker the stalk the more mature it is but, it doesn’t affect the flavor. To trim, simply grab the stem in one hand and the stalk with the other and "SNAP!"  This veggie will miraculously snap where the tough end meets the tender part of the asparagus.  Toss the end and cut the tender portion that is left into 1" pieces.

 

  • ****Save time and purchase pre-made pie dough!  While nothing beats a pie dough from scratch, the pre-made doughs are ready to simply roll out and fill!

  • *****It's easy to pleat the dough as the final touch.  Fold dough the dough onto itself in regularly spaced directions.

 



YCA Pie Dough

Instructions:

  • ½ cup butter, cut into pieces and chilled
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling dough
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup ice water


Directions
:

 

  1. Cut the butter into small pieces and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse 3 to 4 times.
  3. Add the butter and pulse 5 to 6 times until texture looks mealy, or resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Remove lid of food processor and sprinkle half of the ice water over the flour. Replace the lid and pulse 5 or 6 times. Add more water and pulse again until mixture begins to stick together and form a ball.
  5. Remove the dough from the bowl. Squeeze together until it forms a ball, and then press into a rounded disk, wrap with plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.


Yield: about 1 pie crust

 

 

 

 

 


4:49 PM

All We Want for Christmas....Is A NO-STRESS Gingerbread Experience

 

IMG_3589

Young Chefs® Academy locations have been crafting gingerbread houses with tens of thousands of children and families across the globe for over 10 years.  However, it didn't start there.  In her earliest entrepreneurial years, Young Chefs™ Founder & CEO, Julie Burleson, used her talents to architect and sell custom gingerbread houses for others who found the task to be too daunting to tackle themselves. 

Building your own Gingerbread House from scratch can be a discouraging adventure, to say the least.  But it doesn't have to be!  It starts with a Fool-Proof Dough and a little patience.

So naturally when asked to present some tips for the readers of Reader's Digest®, Julie jumped into the YCA Test Kitchen to start constructing while sharing expert advice along the way.  For the full article, click HERE.



IMG_8176b      IMG_8255

"As with everything culinary, planning and timing is everything.   Gingerbread houses are no exception," states Burleson.  "Allow yourself time to take it slow, planning in stages along the way."
 

Because so many have asked, we're sharing our tried-and-true recipe and taking some of the mystery out of the process!  This gingerbread recipe produces a strong, finished product versus other gingerbread dough.   Let's get this construction project started!

 


 

YCA Gingerbread House Dough


Ingredients
:

5½cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
¼tsp. baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1¼ cups molasses
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla

 

Directions:

  1. In large bowl, thoroughly blend shortening and sugar. Add molasses, egg, and vanilla and beat until smooth. In another bowl, sift dry ingredients.
  2. Gradually stir dry ingredients into molasses mixture. When dough becomes too stiff to stir with a spoon, work dough with hands until completely blended.
  3. Separate dough into four balls. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and chill a minimum of one hour. (Dough can be stored in refrigerator for up to two weeks.)
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place a disk of chilled dough directly on non-stick aluminum foil or foil sprayed with non-stick spray,* cut to fit your baking sheet. Cover dough with plastic wrap and roll to 1/4 inch thickness.
  5. Remove plastic wrap, place patterns for house (which you can cut from parchment paper) directly on dough, leaving at least 1/2 inch between patterns. Using a table knife, cut around edges of pattern. Remove scraps of dough, leaving cut pieces on foil. Remove patterns and lay foil directly on baking sheet.
  6. Bake in preheated oven 10-25 minutes, depending on size of pieces. Gingerbread will darken, especially around edges and feel firm to the touch. Remove sheet from oven and allow to cool on sheet. Gently peel gingerbread from foil. You may store pieces in a cool, dry place.


Yield:  Makes about 2 Gingerbread Houses

 

YCA Royal Icing


Ingredients:

3 large or extra large egg whites
3 tsp. cream of tartar
4 cups confectioners sugar

Directions:

  1. Measure all the ingredients into a bowl.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat for two minutes at low speed and8 to 10 minutes at high speed. A knife or spatula drawn through the icing should leave a clear path that holds its shape.
  3. This recipe is enough for about 2 gingerbread houses. Place the icing into 4 heavy-duty plastic zipper bags. Seal with as little air in the bag as possible and reinforce the zipper with silver duct tape. When you are ready to use the icing, make a small snip in the corner of the bag and squeeze.

 

Helpful Tips:

  • *We use Reynolds® Non-Stick Foil for best results.
  • This royal icing recipe contains raw egg and should not be eaten. 
  • Royal Icing has a shelf life of one to two weeks if kept in an airtight container with a piece of damp cheesecloth.
  • Since Royal Icing will dry out when exposed to air, you must keep any icing you're not using in an airtight container with a piece of dampened cheesecloth under the lid. Take icing from the container as you need it. You can also simply use a damp paper towel over the icing while icing.



2:04 PM

We're Baking the Season Bright with Swirls!

 

Peppermint Swirl Pinterest

 

Surprise your guests (or Santa!) this year with this versatile sugar cookie recipe! 

 

The swirl cookie can be made to fit any occasion, holiday or your mood!  How? 

 

  • You can use different flavors and extracts, such as almond, coconut, or anise to jazz up the flavor.

  • Using food colors to tint one section of dough can create vibrantly colored cookies.

  • You can roll or sprinkle finished swirl cookie while still warm in sparkling sugar or colored sprinkles adding a festive element to the cookie.

 

 

Best of all, this recipe is incredibly fun and easy....

...but nobody has to know...shhhh....

 

What are we waiting for? 

 

Let's Get Baking!!
 


 

What happens when you're asked to go to that upcoming cookie-swap party?  You start thinking, "What cookie can I bring that will stand out among the crowd of other cookies?" 

Well, it needs to reflect the season and taste great, but what about presentation?  Since we all eat with our eyes first, we want to catch their attention.  And this cookie does it all!

But as with any baked good, there's a lot more happening behind all that deliciousness.  At Young Chefs® Academy, we teach our students more than just the mechanics of a recipe.  We dig into the techniques, skills and educational components involved with each.  Our students experience cooking and baking in a whole new light, bringing recipes to life, each with its own unique story that will remain with them their entire lives.

For example, the following are just a sampling of the questions and topics of conversation that arose during our Holiday Baking Coalition weekly class theme this month:

Did you know that the tradition of making and sharing cookies with friends dates back to medieval times?  Cookies were much easier to share during winter celebrations than cakes. During this time, cooks were becoming more familiar with spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper which were being incorporated into recipes through trade and travels to exotic lands.  

Why do you need to place the dough in the refrigerator? 

This process makes it easier to roll out when the time comes! 

We take it one step further when rolling by placing plastic wrap on top of the dough to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin.  From there, we use "The YCA Way to Rock and Roll" method to create the perfectly rolled dough.

 

IMG_8507 

What's up with the egg wash?

The egg white glaze is an important step when making these swirl cookies – the egg whites act like a glue to keep the second cookie dough sheet in place when rolling up the dough.

 

 IMG_8512

 

When you roll up the dough, make sure the outside layer has completely encased the inside layer – it will look nicer when sliced.  Just press the seam edges together for a nice, smooth log.

 

IMG_8517     IMG_8534

 

 

We already refrigerated the dough.  Why does it have to chill before we slice and bake it?

Refrigerating "slice and bake" cookie dough also provides some additional benefits.  King Arthur Flour put it to the test and found some interesting results:

Chilling the dough before baking:

  • Enhances the flavor.
  • Reduces the amount of "spread" due to the fats solidifying when chilled, and allows time for the sugar to absorb liquids in the dough.  This helps it hold it's shape.
  • Produces a chewier/crispier cookie when baked.

 

 
Well, enough of that for now!  It's time to head out for the party with our plate of delicious spiral cookies!




 IMG_8542

 

Chocolate Peppermint Swirl Cookies

Ingredients:

For the vanilla cookie dough:

½ cup powdered sugar
¾ cup unsalted butter
½ tsp salt (extra-fine, preferred)
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup peppermint candy, finely crushed

For the chocolate cookie dough:

½ cup powdered sugar
¾ cup unsalted butter
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp vanilla
¼ cup cocoa
1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

For the egg white glaze:

1 large egg white
1 tbsp. water

 

Directions:

  1. To make the vanilla cookie dough: in a medium mixing bowl, cream together sugar, butter, salt and vanilla. Add the flour and crushed candy, stirring to make a cohesive dough. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.
  2. To make the chocolate cookie dough: In a medium mixing bowl, cream together sugar, butter, salt and vanilla. Add the cocoa and flour, stirring to make a cohesive dough. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.
  3. To make the egg white glaze: Whisk together egg white and water until very foamy. Refrigerate until ready to use.
    To make the swirl cookies: Place a piece of parchment or waxed paper on your work surface. Lay one piece of dough on the parchment and use the rolling pin to roll it into a 9-by-12-inch rectangle. Set it aside.
  4. Using another piece of parchment or waxed paper, roll another piece of dough just slightly smaller than the first, into an 8 ½-by-11 ½-inch rectangle. Brush the egg white glaze over the larger piece of dough. Place the smaller piece of dough on top of the larger piece, using the parchment to transport.
  5. Starting with a long edge, use the parchment to help you gently roll the stacked doughs into a tight log, with no gaps. Press the edge to seal, then wrap the log in plastic wrap or parchment paper and freeze until firm.
  6. Heat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease or line with parchment two baking sheets.
  7. Remove the dough from the freezer, unwrap, and place it on a clean work surface. Let it thaw for 15 minutes. Use a sharp knife to gently cut the log into ¼-inch slices. If the dough becomes too soft to handle, place it back in the freezer briefly. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets.
  8. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they feel firm. Remove from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.

Yield: about 3 dozen cookies

 


2:15 PM

Bake the Season Bright...with Candy Canes!

 

CandyCane Brownies Pinterest_copy

Let's face it...the holidays turn us all back into children as humdrum days transform into something magical.  Joyful music fills the air, homes light up with a warm glow,  and nostalgic memories of families and friends come flooding into our minds. 

It's also the time we get really busy in the kitchen...am I right?  Forget visions of sugarplums...it's visions of warm, winter meals and luxurious sweets that dance in our heads.

With our Young Chefs tackling holiday baking this month, we thought we'd join in on the fun and share a few festive indulgences of our own each week that put the "ummmm" in "scr-ummmmm-ptious".

To kick off our weekly treats, here's an easy holiday goody featuring the time-honored candy of Winter ~ the Candy Cane.  By adding this to our sweet, cream cheese frosting, you'll  have a rich, delicious treat to adorn those succulent, chocolatey brownies. 

 

 

 

 

 

So slap on the ugliest holiday sweater you can find, turn up the music, and let's get baking!

 
  IMG_8349  

 

We mention it often, but this is a stress-saving tip we incorporate anytime we start a new recipe ~ Mise en Place (everything in it's place).  This is a hard-and-fast rule our Young Chefs practice every day.  By having all of your ingredients measured and accounted for, you're ensuring you have everything you need which allows time to focus on the task at hand. 

 

   IMG_8356

While it's important not to over-mix your brownie mixture (which could result in tough brownies), this does not necessarily apply to mixing your frosting.  The more you mix your frosting, the lighter and fluffier the final product will become. 

Once you have your brownies frosted, sprinkle on a little of the crushed candy canes for a colorful presentation.

That's all there is to it!  Now all that is left is to grab a fork and dig in!

 

CandyCane Brownies header1

 


 

Candy Cane Cream Cheese Brownies

 


Ingredients
:


For the Chocolate Brownies:

  • 1 (1-oz) unsweetened baking chocolate square or wafers
  • 1 (1 oz.) semisweet baking chocolate square or wafers
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped (optional)
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips


For the Candy Cane Cream Cheese Frosting:

  •  1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. pure peppermint extract
  • 4 1/2 - 5 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 6 full-size candy canes, crushed

 


Directions
:

  1. To make the brownies:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place a cookie sheet or pizza stone on the middle oven rack*.  Coat a 8x8 baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Microwave chocolate squares in a small glass bowl on Medium for 1 1/2 minutes or until melted.  Stir until smooth.
  3. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.  Add melted chocolate, beating just until blended.
  4. Add flour and salt, beating at low speed just until blended.  Stir in vanilla, pecans (optional) and chocolate chips.
  5. Spread batter into baking pan.  
  6. Place the pan on top of the preheated cookie sheet or pizza stone.  Bake for 40 minutes or until set.  Cool completely on wire rack.
  7. To make the Frosting:  While the brownies are cooking/cooling, beat butter on medium speed until creamy using an electric mixer with paddle attachment.  Add the cream cheese, vanilla extract and peppermint extract and beat until fully incorporated. 
  8. Gradually increase mixer speed to high and continue beating until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  9. Gradually add 4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, beating on low speed until combined.  Increase speed to high until smooth while scraping down the sides as necessary ~ about 2 minutes.
  10. Spread the frosting on top of the cooled brownies to desired thickness.  Sprinkle with crushed candy canes.

 


Secret Brownie Tips:

  • Be sure to select a light-colored, shiny pan, which will conduct heat evenly.  Glass or dark-colored pans can cause the edges or over-bake or even burn.
  • Always grease the pan thoroughly with shortening, softened butter, or cooking spray. (Do this even if the recipe doesn't specify.) After greasing the pan, many bakers like to line it with pieces of parchment paper or aluminum foil that have been cut larger than the size of the pan so that the edges hang over the sides like a sling. Thoroughly grease the lining. After the brownies have baked and cooled, the lining may be lifted out of the pan and inverted on a platter. Gently peel away the foil or paper, then cut the brownies into squares.  If using aluminum foil, we love Reynolds Wrap Non-Stick Foil for best results.
  • Brownies can also be baked very successfully in a well-greased mini-muffin tin, which eliminates the problem of cutting into squares. It also provides a great means for portion control. Be sure to reduce the baking time to approx. 22-25 minutes.  Check the brownies by inserting a toothpick.  If it comes out clean, they're done!
  • Over mixing the ingredients can cause brownies to turn out tough or for a thin crust to form on top. Mix wet and dry ingredients just long enough to blend them, taking special care not to over-beat after the eggs are added.
  • Experience is the best guide, but here are some general rules. For fudge-style brownies, remove the pan when the sides have shrunk slightly away from the edges of the pan. The center will still be slightly gooey, but will firm up during cooling. Cake-style brownies are done when a toothpick inserted into the center has a few moist crumbs attached to it.
  • *To prevent burning the bottoms of your brownies, place the pan on a preheated cookie sheet or pizza stone.
  • Allow brownies to cool in the pan before cutting. Brownies will be easier to cut if you place the pan in the freezer for several minutes. Cut cooled brownies with a plastic or table knife to insure smooth-sided bars.

 

 

 

 

 

 


11:14 AM

Fight Cold Season Deliciously



chicken soup1



The winter can be rough...crazy wind-chill factors, sleet and ice, itchy wool clothes.  But we can bear it all if we can avoid the dreaded effects of cold-season.

Cough, cough....

Winter is the time for ice skating, sitting around bonfires, and attending back-to-back holiday parties!  Not clutching a box of tissues with a close eye on when the next dose of cold medicine is allowable.  So why not do what you can to avoid the "flu blues?"

We have our very own secret weapon which may ward off the potential onslaught with that very first sniffle...and of course it involves delicious ingredients.  Who needs cold medicine?

Our Darn Good Cold-Combat Chicken Noodle Soup is so delicious, you shouldn't wait until you're feeling under the weather to pull this bad-boy together.  It's packed with a crazy amount of natural, cold-fighting ingredients that will help you ward off that cold as well as make your taste buds sing.

While we know that the more colorful the food on our plate (or bowl) is, the more nutritional value is included (and we don't mean a plate of gummy bears or Cheetos!).  We won't list them all here, but check out just a few of the nutritional benefits that are naturally comprised in this recipe alone at the bottom of the page.


chicken soup4

For this recipe, you can easily use a rotisserie chicken or pre-cooked chicken breasts.  And, if you're not feeling up to chopping all of these ingredients, purchase them pre-chopped to speed up the process. 


chicken soup3

This makes quite a bit of soup so be sure to use a large Dutch oven. 

TIP:  Noodles soak up some of the liquid as it sits.  To ensure your leftovers have enough of that delicious broth, don't add more noodles than the recipe specifies.  If you find yourself in this predicament with leftover soup, just add a little more broth (and spices, if necessary) before warming it up!


What makes this soup so special? 

The additional seasonings provide some nice medicinal benefits while adding a rich flavor to the soup.  Each bite is packed with vitamins and minerals that contain certain cold-fighting properties, such as antibacterial & immune boosting agents, as well as pain relievers. 

For our own purposes, we used more cayenne than we post in the recipe for added benefits and an extra kick.  But with our roots in Texas, the additional heat from this spice doesn't incinerate our palates!  We suggest starting with a small amount and adding more to your specific taste.

So, let's not waste another minute!  That cold weather is either here or just around the corner.   Let's get started!


chicken soup2


Darn Good Cold-Combat Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1  tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cartons (32 oz. each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pkg. (12 oz) frozen home-style egg noodles
  • 4 cups chopped fresh kale
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste



Directions:

  1. In a large Dutch oven, heat the butter over medium heat.  Add onion, celery, carrots and mushrooms.  Cook while stirring for 8-10 minutes or until vegetables are crisp and tender.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer.
  2. Stir in the flour, basil, and salt until blended.  Gradually stir in broth.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered for 10 minutes.
  3. Return to a boil and add noodles.  Reduce heat; simmer, covered for 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in kale and chicken.  Add the cayenne, oregano, turmeric, garlic powder. Taste and add additional seasonings if necessary.
  5. Cook covered for 6-8 minutes longer or until kale and noodles are tender.
  6. Add black pepper to taste and serve!

Yield:  Approximately 8 large servings



While we won't list all of the nutritional value of each ingredient, here are a few medicinal benefits from specific ingredients included in this recipe:

Mushrooms:
Depending on which type of mushroom you use, most are high in antioxidants, detoxifies, and provide fiber to aid in digestion.  They have also been found to improve immune response to infection by stimulating the production of killer T-cells. They are rich in B vitamins, Vitamin D, potassium, copper and iron (just to name a few) are also present in mushrooms.

Carrots:
We've all heard the old adage that carrots improve your vision.  But this little ingredient contains antioxidants, Vitamin A, fiber, potassium and Vitamin C that help boost the immune system, reducing the severity of a cold and duration in which it lasts.  .

Onions:
High in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants

Garlic:
Along with many other health benefits, studies are beginning to show that garlic may have a very strong antibiotic effect.

Kale:
Kale is a classified as a "super-food" so you just can't go wrong adding this to the mix!  This little leafy ingredient can increase your nutrient content significantly and provide antioxident benefits. 

Turmeric:
This flavorful ingredient has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries.  Studies have shown that turmeric can be used as a pain reliever and healing agent.

Cayenne:
Don't let the heat scare you away!  This is a key ingredient that has been used in home remedies for years to fight coughs, colds and congestion.  Vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin E, potassium, manganese, and flavonoids are among the main ingredients that support it's flu-fighting properties.

Oregano:
Studies performed using Oregano to determine it's medicinal value were reported to show antibacterial properties to fight cold symptoms and anti-inflammatory properties. 








1:45 PM

A Deliciously, Twisted Thanksgiving

Pumpkin Bread 4_b

Awwww.....one of our favorite holidays is just a couple of days away!  Thanksgiving is that time of year where family and friends gather together to create another year of holiday memories.  But let's not forget about all of the great food!

Each year, we look for more recipes to add to our test kitchen arsenal.  One of this year's projects we knew we just had to test out was a Pumpkin Braid Roll.  The flavors of the season add a unique quality to the "regular" bread options and the result of the final product is beautiful.. This bread is sure to be donning our Thanksgiving tables this year. 

And now, we want to share this with you!

This is an easy bread to pull together, however, be sure to make time for the additional rising time necessary.  Just mix, knead, rise, braid, rise and bake! We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we have (with a little butter flavored with honey and cinnamon...Yummmm....). 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


Pumpkin Bread 3_b



Pumpkin Braid

Ingredients:

For the Pumpkin Braid Roll:

1 pkg. (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast
3 Tbsp. warm water
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 large egg
2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
2 to 2 1/2 cups bread flour*

For the Egg Wash:

1 large egg
1 Tbsp. water

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water (water should be between 105° - 110°). 
  2. In your large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, egg, brown sugar, butter, pie spice, salt, yeast mixture and 1 cup flour.  Beat on medium speed until smooth.  Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.  The dough will be sticky so be sure not to add too much flour.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.  Lightly oil the inside of your mixing bowl and and turn the dough in the bowl to coat.  Cover with a damp dish towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Punch down the dough.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface and divide into thirds.  Roll each into a 16" rope.  Place ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid.  Pinch ends to seal; tuck under.
  5. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350° F.
  6. For egg wash, in a small bowl, whisk egg and water until blended and brush over loaf.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.

Yield:  about 12 slices


  • If you don't have bread flour on hand, you can use all-purpose flour.  The dough may not rise as much as with bread flour, however, the results are not dramatic.
  • Remember not to open the oven during the bake time!  This releases some of the heat from the oven!



















2:37 PM

Take a decadant bite of this Disney•Pixar COCO-inspired recipe!


IMG_8089 COCO_copy

We are so excited about the release of Disney•Pixar’s “COCO!"  The story shares of the passion possessed by a young boy to follow his dreams amongst the many obstacles that surround him.  Our young chefs can relate as they aspire to master the joy and value of cooking, whether it's to become the next celebrity chef or to simply learn the lifetime skills of the culinary arts. 



In Disney•Pixar’s “Coco,” aspiring musician Miguel (voice of Anthony Gonzalez) teams up with charming trickster Héctor (voice of Gael García Bernal) on an extraordinary journey through the Land of the Dead.



When we were approached by representatives of Disney•Pixar to host COCO-inspired events at select locations, we jumped head first into our kitchens to create an exciting hand-on culinary event around the November 22, 2017 movie release.  Each event will take you on a hands-on, culinary adventure signifying the culture and experience of the movie itself. 


Reminiscing about the good ol' days....

As most of us do in the kitchen when cooking with family and friends, we reflected on the past as we worked together in the kitchen.  Fond memories of our past national partnership with Disney•Pixar were recalled when we were presented with the opportunity to help promote the release of Ratatouille® (remember the lovable rat, Remy, as he searched to realize his dream of becoming a chef?). 

Through the sponsorship of The Big Cheese Tour to hosting Open House Events in communities across the US, Young Chefs® Academy brought the magic to life in our kitchens.


186905263207_0_BG  


Disney•Pixar "COCO" inspired Workshops (in select markets)...

This year, the COCO-inspired workshops will include tasty recipes influenced by the movie.  (Click here to find a participating location near you!)

But of course, we didn't stop there!  While we were at it, we were determined to develop a delicious recipe we could share with all of you that celebrates COCO's main character, Miguel, and his heritage, but to also create a beautiful dish worthy of the upcoming holidays....Dulce de Leche Cheesecake.

This easy recipe returns gorgeous results...not to mention each bite is met with melt-in-your-mouth, creamy goodness.  Without further ado, let's get started!

How many times have you been knee-deep in a recipe, only to find you're missing a key ingredient?  That's why we teach our young chefs how important it is to be prepared before you get started.

First, let's start with mise en place (French term for "everything in its place"). 

IMG_8025

Now we're cookin'! 

Everything simply falls into place with this recipe.  But there are a few tips that can help you produce top notch results.  Here goes!

TIP 1: 
Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature otherwise you could end up with a lumpy cheesecake!

TIP 2:
Instead of using a stick of butter to grease your pan, simply use the wrapper left from your softened butter to grease your pan.


IMG_8064   IMG_8081

TIP 3
If you'd rather use a stand mixer for the filling, use the paddle attachment as this produces less air (more air = more cracks!).  But be sure not to over-mix!  Over-mixing can create air pockets causing cracks in your cheesecake.  You want a smooth, glossy finish.  

TIP 4:
The steam when using a roasting pan of water helps keep the cheesecake moist and prevents cracks.  However, you will be covering the cheesecake with a glaze, so don't dispare if a crack or two appears! 

TIP 5
You've heard us say this over and over but do not open the oven during baking time!  This reduces the temperature and can cause your cheesecake to sink or crack.


IMG_8091enahnce

And there you have it...rest easy my friends....this little goody will be one of the first recipes to disappear from the holiday table.

Delicioso!!




IMG_8089 crop


Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 17 whole graham crackers)
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 10 Tbsp. butter, melted

For the Filling:
  • 2 (8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canned dulce de leche
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the Glaze:
  • 2/3 cup canned dulce de leche
  • 3 Tbsp. (or more) heavy whipping cream
  • Fleur de sel



Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 9" springform pan with nonstick spray (bottom and sides). 
  2. For the crust: In the bowl of the food processor, pulse graham crackers until you have fine crumbs.
  3. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add melted butter; stir until coated. Transfer crumb mixture to the prepared pan. Press evenly onto the bottom of the pan. Bake until crust is light golden, about 10 minutes. Cool completely on a rack.
  4. For the filling: Wipe out the bowl of the food processor; blend the cream cheese and sugar in processor until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of the bowl.  Be sure not to overbeat!
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, processing 3 to 5 seconds to blend between additions. Add the dulce de leche and vanilla; process about 10 seconds. Spread batter evenly over cooled crust.
  6. Place a roasting pan of water on the bottom rack and set the springform pan on the rack above that to create steam and prevent it from drying out.
  7. Bake until just set in center and edges are puffed and center jiggles slightly, about 38 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely.
  8. For the glaze: Heat the dulce de leche and 3 tablespoons cream in a microwave-safe bowl in 10-second intervals until melted. Stir to blend, adding more cream by teaspoonful if too thick to pour (the amount of cream needed will depend on the brand of dulce de leche).
  9. Pour glaze over the cooled cheesecake and spread evenly. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. Lightly sprinkle bars with fleur de sel or sea salt.



About Disney•Pixar COCO:

Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Héctor (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel's family history.

Directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”), co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist “Monsters University”) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (“Toy Story 3”), Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2017. For more information, check out http://movies.disney.com/coco, Hashtag: #PixarCoco, Pixar Coco Facebook, Pixar Coco Twitter and Pixar Coco Instagram.

Next Previous
© 2017 Young Chefs Academy   |   Legal Franchise Disclaimer