Festive Panna Cotta
Yields: 4 servings
This rich and silky Italian dessert looks and tastes fancy, but takes only minutes to make! As a special treat, click the photo to ring in the New Year with this lovely Ella Fitzgerald song.
- ¼ cup milk (we used 2%)
- 2¼ teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, or ½ vanilla bean, split and seeded
- 12 fresh raspberries
- 2 T crushed pistachio nuts
- Place milk in a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over the surface in a single layer. Be sure not to pile it as that will prevent the crystals from dissolving properly. Let stand for 5-10 minutes to soften.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat cream, sugar. (Note: *If using vanilla pod and vanilla seeds, add these to the saucepan now and remove just prior to stirring in gelatin. If using vanilla extract, stir in just before adding gelatin.) Cook on medium heat and bring just to a boil until sugar dissolves. *Remove from heat. Stir in gelatin and immediately whisk until smooth and dissolved. If the gelatin hasn’t fully dissolved, return the saucepan to the stove and heat gently over low heat. Stir constantly and don’t let the mixture boil.
- Pour cream into 4 individual serving dishes (ramekins or something similar). Refrigerate for at least 2-4 hours, or until completely set. Unlike the picture, we usually leave the panna cotta in the ramekin to serve.
- Top with 3 fresh raspberries and a sprinkle of crushed pistachio nuts. You can always add a little whipped cream!
- Panna cotta can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
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These are absolutely the best dinner rolls you will ever have! Make plenty because they’re like Lays Potato Chips – betcha can’t eat just one!!!
Makes 3 dozen.
- 2 packets (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm whole milk (115 degrees)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for dipping and brushing
- 6 T sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for work surface
- Brush a large bowl with butter; set aside. In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over ¼ cup milk. Let stand until soft, about 5 minutes. In another large bowl, combine butter, sugar, salt, remaining 1 ¼ cups milk, egg and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Whisk in yeast mixture.
- Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour, 1 cup at a time, until you have a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes. Butter the inside of a large bowl; place dough in bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; let stand in a warm spot until dough has doubled in size, about 1 1/4 hours.
- Punch down dough. Cut into 2 pieces. Invert bowl over dough and let rest for 10 minutes. Working with one piece at a time, on a lightly floured surface, pull off a medium meatball-size piece of dough for each roll, forming into a ball with your hands. I use the same method to form each roll the same way I work pizza dough to form a ball.
- Melt some more butter (about 1 stick). Dip each of the balls of dough into the melted butter and arrange dough balls in baking pans. Allow about ¼ inch of space between rows. Cover pans and let stand in a warm spot until rolls have doubled in size, about 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Brush rolls with more melted butter. Transfer to oven and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes, rotating pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through. Let rolls cool 15 minutes before serving.
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