Search ends for sourdough starter recipe

Search ends for sourdough starter recipe

April 20th, 2011 Jane Henegar in Life Entertainment

Good morning, good readers. On this April morning we have a mere one request, for the pimiento cheese at Serendipity's in Red Bank. Ann Walldorf wrote that this pimiento cheese "is most unusual and truly delicious." And that reminds us to ask you about "any meatless sandwich fillings, those that keep well when traveling, as well as those that contain ingredients that need refrigeration."

This is the Butterfinger cake, bearing the "Delicious" stamp, from Chatty-Cathy in East Ridge.

Butterfinger Cake

1 box butter-recipe yellow cake mix

1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk

1 small jar caramel ice cream topping

10 Butterfinger mini candy bars, crushed

1 small container of Cool Whip

Mix cake according to instructions on package. Pour into a greased and floured 13- by 9-inch pan. Bake according to instructions on box. Do not remove cake from pan.

While cake is still hot, poke lots of holes in the cake with a straw or wooden spoon handle. Pour the Eagle Brand milk and caramel ice cream topping over the hot cake. Cover the cake with most of the crushed candy bars and let cool completely.

Top with Cool Whip and remaining crushed candy bars. Keep cake refrigerated.

Barbara Howard described this sought-for cake as an easy recipe, and when she wrote, she mentioned enjoying many recipes sent through this column from many of you. So, thanks to you all, as always.

Turtle Cake

1 box German chocolate cake mix

1 (14-ounce) bag caramels

3/4 cup melted butter

1 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup evaporated milk

2 cup nuts

Prepare cake mix according to directions. Pour half the batter into a greased 9- by 13-inch pan. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes. Melt caramels with milk and butter over low heat, stirring constantly. Pour over batter in pan and sprinkle with half the nuts and all the chocolate chips. Pour remaining batter over the filling. Sprinkle with remaining nuts and bake 20 to 30 minutes longer. Cut in squares and serve.

Thanks to all of you who moved to solve the sourdough starter problem. Jim Lancaster and Robbie Moore were two of those, and here's the answer that came from Debbie M. of East Ridge.

Sourdough Starter

1/2 cup instant potatoes

2 cups warm water

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1 package yeast

Mix in a bowl with 1/2 cup of the warm water all ingredients and put in a large glass jar (like for mayonnaise or pickles). Let stand uncovered in a warm place (for instance, a microwave) for 24 hours. Store in the refrigerator. Feed every 5 days with the following feeder.

Sourdough Feeder

Feed weekly (every 5 days) with the following:

3/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons instant potato flakes

1 cup warm water

Mix ingredients together and add to your original starter jar. Let stand all day or night uncovered (8 to 12 hours). Stir and remove 1 cup for bread, and put the remainder in the refrigerator.

Sourdough Bread

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

6 cups bread flour

11/2 cups warm water

1/2 cup corn oil or canola

1 cup starter

Mix together all ingredients. Pour oil in after the water, so as not to "cook" the oil in the bread while mixing. Put in a large greased bowl, or in 2 or 3 bowls. Grease top and cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise in warm area until it reaches the top of the bowl, 6 to 8 hours. Knead on floured area until bubbles are out. Divide into 3 loaves and let rise in greased bread pans in a warm area such as the microwave, the warmer the better. Place a piece of plastic wrap loosely on top, for 6 to 8 hours, or until bread almost rises to the top of the pans. Bake at 350 F for 1/2 hour.

Here's a simple recipe for Oreo cookie balls, sent anonymously.

Oreo Cookie Balls

1 pound Oreo cookies

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 pound white almond bark

Using a food processor or blender, grind cookies to a ground coffee texture. Knead cream cheese and cookies until thoroughly mixed. Make a large ball and refrigerate 45 minutes. Roll into walnut-size balls and place on wax paper. Place in freezer for 45 minutes.

In a double boiler, melt white almond bark. Use a toothpick to dip balls in white almond bark and coat thoroughly. Place on wax paper and let cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

And finally, here are some tips for making those Oreo balls. This came from a blogger named Margaret, and you can find her blog on this topic here: http://margaretsmorsels.blogspot.com/2010/12/gifts-from-kitchen.html.

She wrote the following words in reference to using almond bark, but they apply to the above recipe.

After the cookies and cream cheese are combined, put the mixture in the refrigerator for a while, like you would cookie dough, so it's easier to work with. I use a small cookie scoop to shape the mixture into balls. For me this is faster than using my fingers. Put the balls on a wax-paper-lined cookie sheet and refrigerate them for 30 minutes before covering with chocolate. Melt almond bark in a 11/2-quart slow cooker. The temperature stays consistent, and you don't have to remelt the bark like you would if you used a microwave.

To dip the balls, I use a candy dipping set from Wilton that has a spoon and a fork. Place the ball on the fork, dip it into the chocolate and tap the excess chocolate off using the edge of the slow cooker. If you don't have the set, you can use a toothpick or a skewer, making sure to cover the hole with chocolate after removing the cookie ball from the chocolate.

Once the balls are coated, put them back on a wax-paper-lined cookie sheet and refrigerate another 30 minutes. Dip the balls a second time following the same directions. You don't have to dip the balls a second time, but they are much prettier if you add the second coating. To dip Oreos in chocolate, dip the cookies into the melted almond bark and set them on a piece of wax paper to dry. Unlike the Oreo cookie balls, I only dip the cookies once, but you can dip them twice if you prefer a thicker coating of chocolate. I hope this will be helpful for the would-be chefs.

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Fare Exchange is a longtime meeting place for people who love to cook and love to eat. We welcome both your recipes and your requests. Be sure to include precise instructions for every recipe you send.

• Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750.

• E-mail: janehenegar@gmail.com.

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