Foxfield Inn

2280 Garth Road, Charlottesville, Virginia 22901
Innkeeper(s): Dan and Kathryn Bundy

Lemon Butter Cookies 4 Feb 2016, 3:07 pm

Heart shaped cookies ready for guests

Week 5 brings us to one of the cookies that we make seasonally to give to guests as they leave the inn.  They are Lemon Butter Cookies.  We make them as Hearts for Valentines, Flowers for Spring, Stars for Independence Day, Acorns/Leaves for fall, Pumpkins for Thanksgiving and Fir Trees for Christmas.  I do need to think of the holidays – Memorial Day, Columbus Day, Labor Day, Easter, etc.  I frost them with Lemon Royal Icing but you can use any icing that you prefer.

Lemon Butter Cookies

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

zest from one large lemon (two if small lemons)

Directions:

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

With either a stand mixer or an electric mixer beat the butter an sugar until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).  Beat in egg, extract and zest.

Add the flour mixture and beat slowly just until incorporated.

Chill dough for several hours until firm.  I usually do at least two hours but may do overnight as well.

When ready to bake preheat oven to 350F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

While oven is preheating take dough out of refrigerator.   Cut dough into two pieces.  Roll one piece to one-fourth inch thickness.  Using your desired cookie cutter cut dough into cookies and place on baking sheet at least one inch apart – I usually get 12 per sheet.

Bake for 6 minutes, then rotate pans front-to-back and top-to-bottom.  Bake an additional 4 minutes or until lightly brown.

Remove from oven and cool on rack.  When cool ice as desired.

 

 

*Adapted from Basic Butter Cookies on Epicurious.com

 

 

Banana Oatmeal Cookies 28 Jan 2016, 11:57 am

 

When I wasn’t out shoveling snow from Winter Storm Jonas I decided to do a bit of baking.  On my counter was a bunch of bananas that needed to be used so I made Banana Bread and then decided to do this week’s new cookie using the rest of the bananas.  I am not a fan of soft cookies. I like them crunchy.  And as you probably know bananas make soft cookies so what was I  thinking?  Well, I think I came up with a thin cookie that has some crunch on the edges and softness in the middle – not a bad compromise.   Thanks to Jennifer Segal from Once Upon a Chef for the inspiration behind these cookies.

We hope you like them.

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

1 1/2 cups flour

3 cups quick oatmeal

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 cup mashed bananas

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  Set aside.

Using an electric mixer or stand mixer cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar until light.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.  Add the egg and mix well.  Add the mashed bananas and vanilla.  Mix until well combined.

Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined.  Do not over-beat.

Drop the batter onto the baking sheets by rounded tablespoons.  Flatten into thin wafers.  Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  (Rotate and turn pans halfway through baking period.) Cool on wire racks.

Makes approximately 36 cookies.

 

Presidents’ Day, February 15, 2016 26 Jan 2016, 11:34 am

In 1971 the federal government decided to change the public holiday celebrating George Washington’s birthday to the third Monday of February.  This would assure that federal employees and public schools would have a day off in case George Washington’s Birthday fell on a weekend.  The federal holiday is actually George Washington’s Birthday not Presidents’ Day.  Many states added the celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday to the holiday which is why it is commonly known as Presidents’ Day.

George Washington’s birthday is on February 22nd and Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is on February 12th.

While the Charlottesville area isn’t home to either of these presidents it is home to 3 others – Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and James Madison.  So, if you are want to celebrate President’s Day by learning more about three of our presidents plan on visiting Monticello, Ash Lawn-Highland or Montpelier (or all three).

Of course any day is perfect for doing that not just Presidents’ Day.

How are we going to celebrate the day?  Having cherry pie, of course.

Monticello                               Ash Lawn-Highland                           Montpelier

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies 21 Jan 2016, 4:43 am

Week 3 of our challenge to make a new cookie every week brings us to one that we have made for several years now.  Okay, I realize this isn’t a new cookie but since our guests really like them I thought I would share the recipe with you.   This week it is our Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.  This recipe started with a combination of the old stand-by Nestle Toll House Cookie recipe and the recipe on the back of Ghirardelli’s 60% Cacao chocolate bag.  I had also played around with a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen which yielded great cookies but was a bit too fussy to make every week.  The combination of these three gave us our Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.

This makes an excellent gluten-free cookie if you replace the flour with an all-purpose gluten-free blend and add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum to the dry ingredients.

We hope you enjoy the cookies!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 ¼   cup          flour
1       teaspoon baking soda
1       teaspoon salt
1       cup          unsalted butter, softened
¾      cup          white sugar
¾      cup          light brown sugar, packed
1       teaspoon vanilla extract
2       large        eggs
2       cups        Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
1       cup          pecans, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or leave ungreased.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Mix well.

In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, white sugar and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add eggs, one at
a time, and beat until thoroughly mixed into batter. Stir in vanilla.

Add the flour mixture in thirds, beat until just mixed in after each addition.

Stir in the bittersweet chocolate chips and pecans.

Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.

Love is in the Air 19 Jan 2016, 12:33 pm

Heart shaped cookies ready for guests

The month of February invokes feelings of romance.  After all Valentine’s Day does happen in February.  We celebrate our love for others with hearts, cards, flowers, and confections (most notably chocolates).  When did this tradition begin?

There are many legends about this holiday.  It’s roots can be found in the ancient festival Lupercalia which was a Roman fertility celebration.  In the 5th century Pope Gelasius declared February 14th as St. Valentine’s Day.  There were three early Christian saints named St. Valentine.  All three were martyred on February 14th.  One was a Roman priest, another was a bishop in Terni and the third little is known except that he died in Africa.

The St. Valentine that the day is named for most probably was the Roman priest.  He secretly performed marriage ceremonies for young soldiers who were supposed to remain bachelors so that they would be better soldiers.  While in prison he fell in love with his jailer’s daughter and before he was put to death sent her a letter signed “your Valentine”.  Valentine was put to death for refusing to renounce his religion.

With all that said it is still nice to receive the flowers, candy and cards signed “from your Valentine”.  However, we should be honoring and celebrating our love every day regardless of the date (or the history behind it).

So, happy Valentine’s Day everyone.  Here at Foxfield Inn we will be enjoying some chocolate dipped strawberries and chocolate cake in honor of the day.

Zack’s Fruit & Nut Cookies 14 Jan 2016, 4:48 am

This week’s cookie was inspired by our assistant’s 9 year-old son Zack.  Santa gave him a cookbook for Christmas and he found a recipe in it that he thought our guests here at Foxfield Inn might like.  When the first try didn’t work out quite right we set about making changes to get the cookie looking and tasting like we wanted.  We think we’ve got it now. So, here is the recipe for Zack’s cookies.

 

ZACK’S FRUIT & NUT COOKIES

2 cups oatmeal, old-fashioned
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
25 dried apricots
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine oatmeal, flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Mix well. Add chopped apricots and mix well (may need to use your fingers to separate the apricots). Add the walnuts and mix well.

In a smaller bowl or measuring cup combine the water, vanilla, maple syrup and vegetable oil. Stir well.

Pour the liquids into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Let rest for 10-15 minutes until thickened.

Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets. Pat the cookies down to the shape you want (they do not change shape much in the oven).

Bake for 14-16 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 18-24 cookies.

 

 

Pictured: Ingredients, Zack adding the oil, Zack mixing batter

 

 

Charlottesville Restaurant Week 2016 12 Jan 2016, 4:12 am

Well, it’s that time of year again.  Charlottesville Restaurant Week is 9 days long starting on Friday January 22nd and running through Saturday January 30th.  This year there are so many restaurants participating in Restaurant Week that we are having a hard time deciding which ones to try.  There are 40 different restaurants from which to choose. All offer a three-course prix ffixe menus (appetizer, entree and dessert).  There are three different price points again – $19, $29 and $39.  One dollar from each meal will be donated to this year’s charity partner – PVCC Culinary Arts Program.

If you want to check out the menus for Restaurant Week, click Here.

We always try to select restaurants that we haven’t been to before so that we can expand the list of restaurants that we recommend to our guests.  This year we have 6 that we have to narrow down to just 2.

In the $19 category we are intrigued by Miso Sweet – a ramen and donut restaurant (yes, that’s right) and Nude Fude  – seasonal, locally sourced, casual.

In the $29 category we think we would like to visit Fig – where food is good Cajun style – and Mezza Tapas – eclectic east-meets-west tapas.

In the $39 category there is Red Pump Kitchen – Italian, Tuscan & Mediterranean inspired – and the re-born South Street Brewery – locally source ingredients, expanded beer menu.

Or we may go back to some of our favorites – ZoCaLo, Hamilton’s, Maya, Brookville, Orzo, Threepenny Cafe, Fleurie, Shebeen, Public Fish & Oyster, Maya, C&O, Downtown Grille, Bizou or Burton’s.

Which to choose?   “Ready, set, dine!”

 

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies 9 Jan 2016, 9:04 am

This year I have decided to develop one new cookie recipe a week.  Just think if you are a guest with us you will get to try something new every visit.  This week’s cookie is a version of our popular Chocolate Chip Cookie.  OK, I didn’t really stretch my creativity by using a recipe I know that guests love but thought it would be good to start with something familiar.

So instead of chocolate chips I used white chocolate chips and switched the pecans with macadamia nuts.  This didn’t seem to be enough of a difference for me so I thought about what spice I could use to add a bit of an edge to the cookie.  Ginger!

The first attempt was with ground ginger but it didn’t add quite enough “specialness” to the taste.  Then I remembered that I had some crystallized ginger.  This is what the cookies needed – and not in too large a quantity.  After all we didn’t want it to be  a Ginger, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie – way too long!

Recipe is below and on our Recipe page on our website.  We hope you enjoy them!

   Ingredients                            Ready for Oven                     Cooling Cookies

 

WHITE CHOCOLATE MACADAMIA NUT COOKIES

2 ¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped fine
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup white sugar
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or leave ungreased.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger and crystallized ginger. Mix well.

In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, white sugar and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add eggs, one at
a time, and beat until thoroughly mixed into batter. Stir in vanilla.

Add the flour mixture in thirds, beat until just mixed in after each addition.

Stir in the white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.

Easy to Make Blondie Recipe 9 Nov 2015, 9:21 am

I love looking at Pinterest for ideas to make different cookies than our normal ones for our guests to enjoy in the afternoon.  I came across a Blondie photo posted by Food52 which was adapted from Cook’s Ilustrated.  Since I highly trust both of these sources I knew the cookies would be good – and boy are they!  But the nicest thing is that they are so simple to make.

Blondies are an adaptation of Brownies.  The main difference is that there is no chocolate or cocoa powder in a Blondie.  So if you don’t like chocolate (what???) these would be great for you to try.

I hadn’t made Blondies in years.  They were once a common cookie bar to make but then went out of fashion.  Why?  I don’t know.  I am so glad that they are back!

Just like Food52 I did make a few modifications and our guests here at Foxfield Inn really seem to enjoy them.  We hope you do too.  The recipe I used is located HERE.

Dan & Kathryn

Our Favorite Cake Shop – Pearl’s Bake Shoppe 29 Oct 2015, 12:23 pm

I have been looking for a bakery to provide birthday, anniversary and celebration cakes for our guests to surprise their special someone.  Well, I think I have finally found one that I absolutely love!  It’s Pearl’s Bake Shoppe on West Main Street in Charlottesville, VA.

We had purchased a cake for a couple who eloped here last year and they were very pleased with it.  It was a delicious carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.  Not only did it taste good and look good it smashed nicely on their faces (where we got this tradition I really do not know).  After that event I promptly forgot about Pearl’s Bake Shoppe and went back to my regular baker for the celebration cakes.

So last week when one of guests wanted to get a decadent white cake with white frosting for his girlfriend’s birthday celebration I thought of Pearl’s again.  Well, the cake was a huge success!  It was decorated very simply but elegantly as he requested.  They loved it so much that they took the rest of the cake home with them to continue the celebration for a couple more days.

When I went to pick up the cake I saw their display of cupcakes and couldn’t resist getting a Peanut Butter & Jam cupcake for Dan and a vegan Carrot Cupcake for me.  Let me tell you they didn’t last very long.

If you are visiting with us here at Foxfield Inn you should stop into Pearl’s for an afternoon treat.  We’re sure you will enjoy their cupcakes!

Dan & Kathryn