Wednesday, May 04, 2016

General Tso's Tofu

I've been going out to dinner a LOT lately (and will be going out to dinner a LOT in the next couple weeks, too) so to make up for it, I'm trying to make meals at home as much as possible this week. I somehow had everything I needed to make this. It's my favorite thing to order from Chinese takeout, but it's hard to find a restaurant that does it well. The tofu needs to be crispy or else it gets too saturated in sauce and is like eating a wet sponge. This recipe actually makes the tofu a very nice texture. Nice and crispy, nicely seasoned. I added some baby carrots, broccoli, and water chestnuts, and served it over rice. It was ok...

tofu

The problem is the sauce! It just isn't as flavorful as I'd hoped (even with extra sambal oelek!). I ended up adding a little sriracha. And by "a little," what I mean is this:

tofu

I would not make this recipe again. Sorry, guys.

General Tso's Tofu
Vegetarian Times, March 2015

1 pkg. firm tofu (16 oz.) drained
2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. mirin (rice wine)
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 Tbs. cornstarch
1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
2 Tbs. sugar
1 1/2 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
4 tsp. mirin (rice wine)
2 tsp. rice vinegar
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. sambal oelek chile paste, optional
2 tsp. vegetable oil
4 green onions, green parts chopped ( 1/3 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 cups steamed broccoli
2 cups steamed brown or white rice

To make Crispy Tofu: Cut tofu block into two broad slabs. Wrap tofu slabs in paper towels, and place between two cutting boards. Weight top cutting board with soup cans, and press 30 minutes. Unwrap tofu, and cut into 1-inch cubes.

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, mirin, oil, garlic, and ginger in resealable container. Add tofu, and toss to coat. Marinate 30 minutes, or overnight. (Tofu should absorb all liquid.)

Preheat oven to 350°F, and coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Sift cornstarch over tofu, and turn to coat evenly. Spread tofu on baking sheet. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until firm and crispy, turning several times to brown all sides.

To make Sauce: Whisk together broth, sugar, soy sauce, mirin, vinegar, sesame oil, cornstarch, tomato paste, and sambal oelek (if using) in small bowl. Set aside.

Heat vegetable oil in wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add green onions, garlic, and ginger, and stir-fry 1 minute. Add broth mixture, and cook 1 minute, or until thickened. Stir in Tofu. Serve with steamed broccoli and rice.

Servings: 4

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Dark Chocolate Stout Cookies

I had a lone bottle of oatmeal stout in my refrigerator and decided to make these cookies. Even though it calls for Guinness, I decided my oatmeal stout would be a good substitute. Turns out it was an excellent decision. These cookies were delicious and fluffy. Not quite a brownie cookie, but definitely cakey. I thought they were okay when they came out of the oven, but the next day they were great. I ran out of cookies by 2:00 PM. Success!

Moral of this story: as long as it's a stout, use whatever kind of beer you want. I bet this would be even better with a milk stout or a chocolate stout!

cookie

Dark Chocolate and Guinness Cookies
Heather Christo

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup Guinness Stout
2 cups flour
1 cup dark cocoa
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
11 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare sheet pans with silpats or parchment paper.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until creamy.

Add the eggs and beat until fluffy.

Add the Guinness.

Combine the dry ingredients and add to the batter. Add the chocolate chips and mix well.

Scoop the batter onto the sheet pan, and bake the cookies for 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the sheet pan.

Yield: this recipe makes 24 very large cookies, but I made smaller cookies (and got about 50) and reduced the baking time to 9 minutes.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Anzac Biscuits

If you've known me for a long time, you remember 5-6 years ago when I was going through the torturous infertility treatment process, which eventually resulted in no children and a divorce. During the whole thing, I developed an amazing support system on the infertility blog network and made some lifelong friends. One such friend is Ms Kate, who lives in Australia. I've never been to Australia. She's never been to America. We have exchanged boxes of food (yay Tim Tams!) and talk regularly on the internet. Seriously, the internet is incredible.

Anyway, my beautiful Kate posted on her Facebook the other day about baking some Anzac Biscuits. I was immediately inspired to make them for Cookie Monday. Anzac Biscuits, so named for the Australia New Zealand Army Corps, are made of oatmeal and coconut. Depending on how long you bake them, they can be chewy or they can be crispy. Most of the traditional recipes call for golden syrup, which is like our American corn syrup but made of cane sugar. I've found it before and used it long ago, but I haven't been able to find a jar of it in years. If you have some Lyle's Golden Syrup or something similar, look for a traditional recipe. But if you can't find it, use this Americanized version, which I found on Pinterest. It doesn't substitute corn syrup, because corn syrup is gross and doesn't taste very good. instead, it uses a combination of maple syrup and honey. This is AMAZING and tastes awesome. It mixes well with the brown sugar and everything caramelizes so beautifully during baking.

These are delicate little cookies and are VERY sensitive to the heat. All my cookies looked like they were burned or severely overbaked, and they weren't at all. It's all caramelized and delicious! It just looks burned. So probably they really will burn quickly if you're not careful. They're soft and chewy, and the coconut disappears into the batter (in a good way). These were very popular at work!

cookies

Anzac Biscuits: Chewy Oatmeal Coconut Brown Sugar Cookies
Averie Cooks

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons honey (golden syrup may be substituted)
2 tablespoons maple syrup (golden syrup may be substituted)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned whole rolled oats (not instant or quick cook)
Heaping 3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 pinch salt, optional and to taste
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon baking soda

In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.

Add the brown sugar, honey, maple, and stir to combine. (If you prefer drier cookies, reduce honey and maple to 1 tablespoon each)

Add the flour, oats, coconut, optional salt, and stir to combine; set aside.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, add the water and heat on high power to boil, about 1 minute.

Slowly and very carefully add the baking soda to the water. Use caution because it will bubble up vigorously. Stir to dissolve the baking soda.

Pour water-baking soda mixture over dough and stir to combine. Dough will look like streusel topping. Fluffy and loose, but when squeezed together, compacts to form a dough.

Using a medium 2-inch cookie scoop, form heaping two tablespoon mounds (I made 15). Place mounds on a large plate, flatten mounds about halfway with your palm, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or up to 5 days, before baking. Do not bake with warm dough because cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter, and these cookies are already prone to spreading and baking flat.

Preheat oven to 350F, line baking sheets with Silpats, or spray with cooking spray. Place mounds on baking sheets, spaced at least 2 inches apart. Bake for about 9 minutes, or until edges have set and will be just beginning to brown (the coconut in the dough is prone to burning so watch them) and the tops are just beginning to set, even if undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center. Do not bake longer than 9 to 10 minutes for soft cookies because they firm up as they cool; bake for 10 to 12 minutes if you like firmer, crisper cookies. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.

Store cookies airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 4 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.


Yield: I doubled the recipe and got about 40 cookies

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Mexican Cauliflower Steak Sandwiches

I am all about cauliflower lately. Roasting it whole, ricing it, pan-frying slabs of it, etc. This is another unique recipe I found to continue using cauliflower. It involves quick pan-searing, then rubbing it with spices and roasting it. Then it goes onto a sandwich with some spicy avocado mash (let's not call it guacamole, because it isn't). Instead of lettuce, I used some kale. Other than that, I followed the recipe. It's pretty delicious.

cauliflower

cauliflower

Mexican Cauliflower Steak Sandwiches
Connoisseurus Veg

1 medium cauliflower crown
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Salt, to taste
2 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 sandwich rolls, sliced open (4 to 6)
Shredded lettuce
Hot sauce (I usually use Tapatio)

Preheat oven to 400º.

Remove outer leaves from cauliflower and trim stem. Place on a large cutting board, stem side down. Starting at the center, cut into 1 inch thick slabs, retaining any florets that break off in the process.

Coat a large skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, arrange cauliflower slabs and any stray florets in skillet and cook until lightly browned on bottoms, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on opposite sides, about 2 minutes more.

Coat a large baking sheet with remaining oil. Arrange cauliflower on baking sheet and sprinkle with lime juice, garlic, cumin, ancho chili powder, salt and pepper. Bake until tender, about 15 minutes.

While cauliflower roasts, place avocados in medium bowl and mash well with a fork or potato masher. Stir in cilantro, lime juice, tomato, onion, jalapeño, salt and pepper.

Stuff rolls with cauliflower steaks and top with guacamole, shredded lettuce and hot sauce.

Serves 4

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Tuna Pan Bagnat

First of all, let's discuss Cookie Monday this week. I made Brown Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies again and people enjoyed them. Yum! There's a good picture on the original post, but here's one from this week:

cookies

Now I will tell you about a sandwich I made this week. The farmer's market has officially opened, so I bought a great baguette and of course had to have a sandwich. I had everything I needed to make this tuna sandwich, so I did! You make all the components, stuff it into the bread, and then wrap it up for awhile to let everything blend together.

Here is my wrapped sandwich.

sandwich

I have made similar recipes before and really enjoyed it. I really liked this one, too. I would make this again.

sandwich

Tuna Pan Bagnat
Cooking Light, March 2009

1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped pitted nicoise olives
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces premium tuna, packed in oil, drained
1 hard-cooked large egg, chopped
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces whole-wheat French bread baguette
1 garlic clove, halved
1 cup thinly sliced plum tomato (about 1)

Combine first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine basil and oil; stir with a whisk. Cut bread in half horizontally. Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving a 1-inch-thick shell; reserve torn bread for another use. Rub cut sides of garlic clove over cut sides of bread; discard garlic. Drizzle basil mixture evenly over cut sides of bread. Spoon tuna mixture on bottom half of baguette. Arrange tomato slices over tuna mixture. Cover with top half of baguette. Wrap filled baguette in plastic wrap, and let stand for 20 minutes. Cut filled baguette into 4 (3-inch) equal portions.

Serves 4

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Tater Tot Breakfast Nachos

Tater tots. Tater tots made into nachos. Tot-chos.

Breakfast toppings, in addition to nacho toppings. Breakfast tot-chos.

I feel like this is a sufficient description, and thoroughly explains why this was the best dinner ever.

tots

Tater Tot Breakfast Nachos
I Am A Food Blog

1 package tater tots
Eggs, as many as desired
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 jalapeño, sliced
Sliced green onions
Chopped cilantro
Sriracha or hot sauce, if desired
Sour cream, if desired

Bake the tater tots on a lined baking tray according to the package. While baking, fry eggs sunny side up and set aside.

When the tots are done, remove from the oven and top with cheese, jalapeños and green onions. Bake until the cheese is melty and delicious. Remove from the oven and top with sunny side up eggs, cilantro, hot sauce and sour cream. Enjoy immediately.

Serves 4

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Strawberry Dump Cake

Last weekend, my friends decided that we were going to have a cookout at my house, because I am the only one with a grill. Everyone showed up with stuff to barbecue, snacks, guac, and drinks. I decided to make a cake at the last minute, so I picked this ridiculously easy cake recipe. I still have a bunch of strawberries in the freezer from the farm and from my garden last summer, so I used those.

This did not turn out how I'd expected, but it still tasted good. If we call it a "cobbler" rather than a "cake," it's a little bit more acceptable. In theory, the liquid from the strawberries is supposed to mix with the cake mix and create a cake. It doesn't quite work like that. Not really sure why. But, it was a tasty and worked well as a last-minute dessert.

Sorry for this picture. I was hungry.

cake

Strawberry Dump Cake
Magnificent Mayhem

1 Box Yellow Cake Mix
Frozen Strawberries (slightly thawed)
1 Stick Butter (OR 1 can of Diet 7up to make it lighter)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Soften the butter either by leaving it out for a little bit or by sticking it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. You don't want to completely melt it-just soften it.

Mix the dry cake mix with the butter. (Or pour about 3/4 of the can of diet soda in a bowl with the cake mix.) Mix with a fork until crumbly.

Place strawberries in a greased baking dish.

Pour cake/butter mixture over berries evenly. (Note: The amount of strawberries and the size of dish you use is determined by your preferred strawberry to cake ratio.)

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. (Note: Baking time varies, depending on how thawed the strawberries were.)

Friday, March 25, 2016

Asparagus and Scrambled Egg All-Day Breakfast Sandwiches

I have this great cookbook called The Farm by Ian Knauer. I got it from a library clear-out sale. Hah. It's amazing and has tons of recipes finding ways to feature fresh produce. It also has a great tutorial for canning. I have a bunch of ideas for this year!

book

I decided on a whim to make these sandwiches. I only had marble rye, so I used that instead of a roll. I also used spinach instead of lettuce, I sprinkled some chives on the eggs, and I added tomato to the sandwich. Mixing cream cheese in with the eggs was a genius move and resulted in super-fluffy, delicious scrambled eggs. This sandwich is delicious. I love it. I'm probably going to make it again for breakfast tomorrow.

sandwich

Asparagus and Scrambled Egg All-Day Breakfast Sandwiches
The Farm, by Ian Knauer, page 30

8 ounces asparagus, trimmed and halved crosswise
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teas pon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 sub or hoagie rolls
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 cup baby lettuce or arugula
6 large eggs
3 ounces cream cheese, cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 450.

Toss the asparagus with the oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.

Split and toast the rolls, then spread them evenly with the mayonnaise and divide the lettuce among them.

Whisk together the eggs, cream cheese, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Heat the butter in a large cast-iron or heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat until the foam subsides, add the eggs, and scramble the way you like them.

Divide the asparagus among the rolls, top with the eggs, and serve.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Cauliflower Rice

First, let me show you the unicorn poop cookies I baked for some people I love very much:


Recipe HERE

I also baked a batch of Margarita Lime Cookies with Tequila Glaze for my coworkers for Cookie Monday. Hooray!

OK now I will tell you about cauliflower rice. This is cauliflower, pretending to be rice.

rice

I am in NO WAY attempting to eat "whole 30" or "paleo" or anything like that. I'm just Lauren, a girl who wants to eat more produce. But this is also apparently a great way to replace rice and grains in your diet, if you're trying to do that. My instructions come from my friend Denise.

Cauliflower Rice

1) Chop cauliflower into florets.
2) Pulse in food processor 10-12 times.
3) Saute in a pan, OR freeze in a flat layer in a ziploc bag, OR spread it out on a baking sheet at 400* for 15 minutes.

SO I did this and portioned it out. I have two bags of it in the freezer, and I baked the rest. I tossed in some garlic, cumin, and lime because I was going to use it in a burrito bowl. It turned out fluffy and delicious, like rice. But not rice. It's pretty neat. I don't think you can use this interchangeably with regular rice, but it certainly works well as a side dish or as a base for larger dishes, like a burrito bowl or buddha bowl. I'm interested to see what else I can do with it.

Here's the recipe for cilantro-lime rice, except I didn't make mine in a pan and I added cumin.

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
House of Yumm

1 head cauliflower
1 lime
2 cloves garlic
1 handful chopped cilantro

Remove the leaves from the cauliflower, and cut the head in half. Remove the cauliflower from the core so you only have the florets. Place half the cauliflower into the processor and process until only small pieces remain. Remove from the processor and place into a pan. Process the remaining cauliflower repeating the steps.

Mince the garlic and add to the cauliflower in the pan. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. When cauliflower is slightly toasted, and garlic cooked, remove from heat.

Toss with cilantro and juice from the whole lime.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Fried Green Cabbage

My gosh, this picture is just so awful, please keep reading for the recipe because I swear it's great.

Here's what happened: I made this cabbage dish from the Penzeys catalog for St Patrick's Day (along with some potatoes, cauliflower, and eggs, because what the hell it's my life don't judge me). I took a picture, took a little bite, and then immediately forgot to keep taking photos so I could just sit down and eat the rest of it. It's really good. It's very similar to the buttered cabbage/halushki I make all the time, but it's a little more decadent with the caraway and sour cream. I love it. This is not an every-day recipe because then we'd all fart all the time and weigh a thousand pounds, but it certainly will remain in the repertoire for St Paddy's. It's just so good.

cabbage

Fried Green Cabbage
Penzeys catalog

1 head cabbage (with 1 tsp. salt for soaking)
1/2 teaspoon caraway weed
1 medium onion, minced or 4-5 scallions, chopped
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice (1/2-1)
2 tablespoons sour cream

Cut the cabbage in quarters and soak for 30 minutes in salted ice water. Drain well. Coarsely shred the cabbage and steam in a small amount of water with the caraway seeds, covered, for about 5 minutes. Drain again and make sure the cabbage is completely dry. In a large frying pan, heat the butter and saute the onion or scallions for about a minute or until lightly golden. Stir in the mustard then add the cabbage, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and sour cream before serving. This dish is best served immediately.

Servings: 7

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts

I took off from work yesterday. I watched a lot of Food Network. Did you know Valerie Bertinelli has a cooking show? I didn't. Now I do. I saw her make this cauliflower dish and, since I had all the ingredients, I made it for dinner. I only used one cauliflower but I did not halve the amount of topping. I was worried that it would need spices, but nope! It's perfect. This was delicious and simple and great. I had it with some couscous. I also had some leftovers for lunch today. I love this and would definitely make it again.

raisin

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts
Valerie Bertinelli

2 heads cauliflower, cut vertically into 1/2-inch-thick steaks (4 to 6 steaks total)
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Place the cauliflower steaks on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. Transfer to the oven and bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, flipping after the first 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the pine nuts to a dry medium saute pan and toast over medium heat until brown, about 3 minutes. Add the raisins and the butter, and season with salt. Cook until the butter has melted and coats the pine nuts and raisins. Off the heat, stir in the parsley.

Transfer the roasted cauliflower to a serving platter. Pour the pine nut-raisin mixture over the top.

Servings: 4-6

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Slice & Bake Cookies

A couple weeks ago, I made Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies - mostly so I could use up some overripe bananas - and they were extremely well-received. So it was disappointing to follow that up with this failure. so disappointing, in fact, that I just didn't bring the cookies in at all.

The main problem was the texture. I made the dough, wrapped it well, and froze them Saturday morning. Sunday morning, I took them out, let them sit, and then went to slice. Nope. This is what happened:

crumbly

No matter how soft I let the dough get, this just. kept. happening. So then I tried to smush it together in my hands to form little patties and then flatten them out on the pan, but even that didn't work because they kept falling apart. I did not miss any ingredients, so I'm not sure why this happened.

The other problem was that they weren't particularly tasty. The chocolate flavor of the dough is very subtle and I don't like that. If a cookie is going to be called a chocolate cookie, it's got to be chocolatey. Like the Mocha Almond Fudge Cookies. I don't play around with this. My friend tried them this morning and said they probably would have been ok to bring to work, but I was just so unhappy with how they turned out, I couldn't bring them in. I'll do better next time!

cookies

Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Slice & Bake Cookies
Eating Well

1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour (see Tip)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips, divided
1 cup sugar
5 tablespoons canola oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whisk white whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.

Place 1/4 cup chocolate chips in a small, heatproof bowl; microwave on Medium for 1 minute. Stir, then continue microwaving on Medium, stirring every 20 seconds, until melted. (Or place chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot, but not boiling, water. Stir until melted.) Let cool slightly.

Beat sugar, oil and butter in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on high until smooth, scraping down the sides. Add eggs, vanilla and the melted chocolate; beat until smooth, scraping down the sides. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Stir in the remaining 3/4 cup chocolate chips.

Place half the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap and shape into a 10-inch log (it's OK if it's not perfectly round). Repeat with the remaining dough. Wrap and freeze until just firm, about 45 minutes. Reroll the logs to make them rounder and return to the freezer until very firm, at least 1 hour more.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Remove one roll of dough at a time from the freezer and let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Unwrap the dough and slice crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, turning the dough a quarter turn after each slice to help keep the cookies round. Place 1/2 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. If your cookies aren't as round as you want them to be, shape the dough with your fingers.

Bake 8 minutes for soft cookies or 10 minutes for crisp cookies. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining roll of dough, if desired.

Make Ahead Tip : Store wrapped rolls of dough in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Yield: 6 dozen {HAH, there is NO WAY I could have gotten 6 dozen, even if the dough had cooperated}

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Breadcrumbs and Capers

First of all, I didn't make this with capers. Anything that's delicious with capers is even more delicious without them, so I skipped them entirely.

cauliflower

I mostly followed the recipe but I did sprinkle some paprika and garlic powder onto the cauliflower as well. This was a good idea flavor-wise, but burned the hell out of my casserole dish. It's ok! It was worth it. I didn't bake it for the full hour and a half - it was ready after about 50 minutes. There's a tip at the end about adding some mustard and maple syrup, but I didn't do that. I have half the cauliflower as leftovers so I might try adding it when I reheat it to see what happens. As it is, this was lovely. I had it with some garlic couscous and had a thoroughly enjoyable dinner. Roasting a whole cauliflower is a great idea! I will try some other recipes for roasting cauliflower in the near future.

cauliflower

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Breadcrumbs and Capers
Dig Inn

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup capers, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 head cauliflower
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

Heat skillet on medium heat, add oil and then bread crumbs.

With a wooden spoon brown breadcrumbs to a light-brown color.

Add capers and parsley.

Transfer breadcrumbs to a kitchen paper towel lined plate – this will absorb the excess fat.

Preheat the oven at 450°F.

With a small prep knife, cut the leaves off the cauliflower head.

In a bowl season cauliflower with salt, pepper and thyme leaves and then transfer into an oven-proof dish such as a French oven or casserole pot, cover with a lid.

Cook cauliflower for 1 hour 20 minutes then remove the lid. Continue to cook for 10 minutes. Cauliflower should have a brown roasted look and soft texture in the middle when pierced with a small knife. If not cook for 10 more minutes.

Sprinkle roasted cauliflower with the breadcrumb mixture.

Mix 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard and 1 tablespoon maple syrup and pour over the cauliflower for an extra tasty version of the whole roasted cauliflower recipe.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Old Fashioned Iced Oatmeal Cookies

I thought these were going to be like the iced oatmeal cookies you can buy at the grocery store, because those are tasty. AND THIS RECIPE IS SO MUCH BETTER. Mostly tastes the same, but less processed, and definitely much softer.

I watered down the icing a little too much so it wasn't as lovely white as it should have been and instead was just shiny. BUT SO GOOD. I also made the cookies smaller than the recipe recommends and then baked them on the low end of the baking time. Perfect.

Seriously, these are really, really good. Make them asap.

cookies

Old Fashioned Iced Oatmeal Cookies
Saving Dessert

FOR THE COOKIES:
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (2 sticks)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

FOR THE ICING:
3 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
2 tablespoons warm water
2 cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.

Add the rolled oats to a food processor and pulse 10 times. Don't over process because you want a variety of textures not just a ground oat flour. In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk or stir to combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter on medium-high about 30 seconds. Add the brown and granulated sugars and mix on medium-high until the batter lightens and becomes fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until the yolk disappears into the batter. Lightly beat in the vanilla. Add about 1/3 of the oat and flour mixture to the butter and egg mixture, mixing on a low speed just until blended. Continue adding the flour mixture until it is fully incorporated.

Using a 2 tablespoon size ice cream or cookie scoop (not heaping - leveled straight across the top of the scoop), roll the dough into balls and place on the prepared baking sheet at least 2 inches apart. I was able to fit 6 cookies at a time on each pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottoms just being to brown. Do not over bake.

Remove the pan from the oven and let the cookies rest for 5 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

To prepare the icing combine the confectioners' sugar with the milk or cream and water. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the icing is somewhat thick. Place the icing in a shallow dish or container, about 4x4 inches. Quickly dip the tops of the cooled cookies into the icing and let the excess drip off. Set the dipped cookie on the rack until the icing has set.

Store the cookies in an airtight container or refrigerator.

Yield: I got about 4 dozen cookies from this recipe, making them smaller than called for

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Kale Salad with Tandoori Roasted Chickpeas

I've been making more of an effort to eat "clean" (not in a crazy way - I do not have that kind of motivation), make good food choices, do some meal-prep, stick to portion sizes, etc, but this was a bad week filled with taco dip and Super Bowl goodies. Last night I made this super easy salad with roasted chickpeas. I was a little bit nervous about the dressing, because I've made a lot of similar dressings that were way too sweet. I used the honey instead of maple syrup, which I think helped prevent it from being too sweet.

The salad is delicious, the dressing is delicious, the chickpeas are delicious. I wish I'd done a better job drying the chickpeas after rinsing them, because I felt like they didn't crisp up as much as they should have. So, if you make this, be sure to dry them off well before you season them. I definitely plan to keep this recipe around to make again.

kale

Kale Salad with Tandoori Roasted Chickpeas
Minimalist Baker

Tandoori Spice Blend
3 Tbsp cumin
2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp paprika
3 tsp ginger
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp cardamom

Salad and Chickpeas
10 ounces kale (~6 cups) loosely chopped or torn
1 can chickpeas (15 ounce) rinsed, drained and thoroughly dried
1 1/2 Tbsp olive, avocado or grape seed, oil
2 1/2 Tbsp tandoori masala spice blend (DO NOT USE THE WHOLE AMOUNT OF SPICE BLEND YOU MADE - note the measurement here!)
1 head garlic
1/4 cup tahini
2 Tbsp olive oil + more for roasting garlic
2 lemons, juiced (~1/3 cup)
1 Tbsp maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)
1 Pinch salt + pepper
Hot water to thin

Peel apart garlic cloves but leave the skin on. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Add drained chickpeas to a mixing bowl and toss with oil and seasonings.

Add garlic cloves and seasoned chickpeas to a baking sheet. Drizzle garlic with a bit of olive or grape seed oil. Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until the chickpeas are slightly crispy and golden brown and the garlic is fragrant and slightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside.

Squeeze garlic out of skins / peel away skins and add to a mixing bowl. Add all remaining dressing ingredients and whisk vigorously to combine, smashing the garlic with the whisk. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired, adding more lemon for brightness and maple syrup for sweetness. Set aside.

Add kale to a large mixing bowl. Before adding dressing, add 1 Tbsp each lemon juice and olive oil to the kale and massage with hands to soften the texture and lessen bitterness. Then add as much dressing as desired (some may be leftover) and mix with a spoon.

Top with chickpeas and serve. Best when fresh, though leftovers keep in the fridge for up to a few days.

Serves: 2-3

Monday, February 08, 2016

Soft & Chewy Red Velvet Cookies

Valentine's Day is next Sunday so I decided to go with that as my theme for this week's Cookie Monday. I have a bunch of boxed cake mixes that my coworkers gave me, including a red velvet mix, so I took to Pinterest to find a good cake-mix-cookie recipe. I didn't want to use the basic cake mix recipe - I wanted something better. This recipe is great because it incorporates the cake mix but adds it into a slightly more complicated cookie recipe. Plus! It's a soft-batch cookie! And those are my favorite.

The cake mix wasn't red enough once it was mixed so I did have to add some extra red food coloring. The cookies were great and I think people liked them a lot. I have a few left over so I'm going to add some ice cream and make some little sandwiches. Yes!

cookies

Soft & Chewy Red Velvet Cookies
The Domestic Rebel

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 & 1/4 cups red velvet cake mix (the dry mix)
1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 & 1/2 cups white chocolate chips, divided

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar with the paddle attachment for about 2 minutes, or until creamy and smooth. Beat in the egg and the vanilla to combine. Last, add in the red velvet cake mix, flour, and baking soda until a soft dough has formed. Stir in ONE cup of the white chocolate chips.

Chill the mixture in the fridge for AT LEAST two hours, or overnight if possible. Chilling is MANDATORY as it prevents the cookies from spreading into thin, globby saucers during baking.

Once dough has chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone liners or spray them lightly with cooking spray. Drop rounded Tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto each cookie sheet, keeping about 2" apart from one another. Bake for approx. 9-11 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time to ensure even cooking. Cookies may appear slightly undone but do NOT overbake as they will continue to set up as they cool.

Place a couple more white chocolate chips onto the tops of the freshly-baked cookies for an extra bit of sweetness or to make them prettier, if you'd like. Allow them to cool on the pans before serving.

Yield: I got about 4 dozen

Quick-Pickled Cauliflower and Swiss on Rye

I'm not sure what drew me to this sandwich. I think I just had all the ingredients available. You also know by now that I like weird grilled-cheese sandwiches. And this definitely is weird. I'm not sure why it's called "quick-pickled" because you are not pickling it at all, just kind of soaking it in a liquid. It calls for sparkling apple cider but I used apple cider vinegar instead - partially because that's what I had available, and partially because that at least makes it more of a pickle. Except it didn't. What I ended up with was mostly just cauliflower coated in honey-mustard.

Anyway, beyond that, this sandwich was also not as grilled-cheesy as I wanted. I had to take a photo of it in the pan because every time I flipped it or lifted it, it fell apart. The cauliflower coating makes the bread really soggy, really quickly. I have no idea how this could be avoided. And! The cheese doesn't bind it together very well. So I'd flip it but nothing would be stuck together and the bread would break apart.

The redemption here is that the sandwich was pretty good. The apple and mustard and caraway and rye go really well together. It was hard to eat since it kept falling apart, so I wouldn't make it again. But I do feel like you need to know that at least it was delicious.

cheese

Quick-Pickled Cauliflower and Swiss on Rye
Vegetarian Times, Jan/Feb 2016

1/4 cup sparkling apple cider
3 Tbs. finely chopped chives
2 Tbs. whole-grain mustard
1 Tbs. honey
1 tsp. ground caraway
1/2 lb. cauliflower florets, cut in 1/2-inch pieces (2 cups)
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped (1 cup)
4 oz. shredded Swiss cheese (1 cup)
8 slices dark or marbled rye bread
2 Tbs. butter, melted

Whisk together cider, chives, mustard, honey, and caraway in medium bowl. Add cauliflower and apple, and stir to combine. Let sit at room temperature 10 minutes.

Stir in shredded cheese.

Preheat panini or sandwich press to medium heat.

Scoop heaping 3/4 cup cauliflower mixture onto each of 4 bread slices. Top each with another bread slice, and gently press down.

Brush both sides of panini press each with 1/2 Tbs. melted butter. Press 2 sandwiches 3 to 5 minutes, or until bread is browned and crisp on outside, and filling is heated through. Repeat with remaining 2 sandwiches.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Brownie Roll-Out Cookies (Now With Dinosaurs)

It is a known fact that I like dinosaurs. I am a 31 year old with the whimsical interests of a 7 year old - dinosaurs, narwhals, unicorns. I'm kind of lame.

But my friends appreciate my lameness, and for Christmas my workwife Janet bought me this rolling pin, embossed with dinosaur print. After rolling out cookie dough, I can roll over it with this and print the entire dough with little dinosaurs. SO COOL. So then I had to find a recipe to use it.

Because I'm still getting the hang of it and not very good at rolling out dough (I'm too short so I don't have as much leverage to apply pressure), I picked a chocolate dough. This allowed me to make jokes about people pretending they are searching the mud for dinosaur tracks. Most of them turned out pretty good! And the chocolate cookie dough was yummy. Not too sweet. I will strongly compare it to the crust of a chocolate poptart (which I happen to love). I would definitely make this cookie dough again, and I will try the dinosaurs again in the near future with a different recipe.

dinosaur

Brownie Roll-Out Cookies
Smitten Kitchen

3 cups all-purpose flour (375 grams)
1/2 teaspoon salt (3 grams)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup lightly salted butter (225 grams) softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5 ml)
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Whisk dry flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and cocoa in mixer. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.

Roll out cookie dough on floured counter. Cut into desired shapes, brushing extra deposits of flour off the top. (It does disappear once baked, though, so don't overly fret if they go into the oven looking white.) Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes (the former for 1/8-inch thick cookies, the latter for 1/4-inch cookies) until the edges are firm and the centers are slightly soft and puffed .

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Yield: I used a 2" round cookie cutter and ended up with about 40 cookies.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Kale Salad with Sauteed Apples

Another thing I made this weekend was this very fibrous salad. It's kind of more autumn-y than wintry, but that's fine. It was super fast. I didn't love it. It was just ok. Maybe if I had sauteed the kale a little bit. The textural difference between the kale and apples was bothering me, though the shallots were nice. I did like the dressing. I didn't have pepitas. Would that have made a difference? I don't think so. I probably wouldn't make this again.

kale

Kale Salad with Sauteed Apples
Brooklyn Supper

1 large bunch kale, any kind, cut into thin ribbons
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, smashed and minced
sea salt to taste
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for cooking
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
4 crisp apples, cored and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/2 cup raw, hulled pepitas

Prep the kale, set in a large bowl, and toss with lemon zest. To make the vinaigrette, use a fork to whisk the garlic into the lemon juice. Add a generous pinch of sea salt. Drizzle in 3 tablespoons olive oil, whisking until emulsified.

Drizzle half the dressing over the kale leaves and massage with fingers. Rough the kale up a bit. Set aside while you prep the toppings.

Set a large cast iron skillet over medium/medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and the shallots. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until shallots have browned, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, slice apples, toss in the skillet, and cook just until apples are warm and have lost their bite, 5 - 7 minutes. Remove shallots and apples from heat, add another drizzle of oil, and toast the pepitas, cooking just until they pop, about 1 - 2 minutes. Toss warm pepitas with sea salt.

Fold the warm apples, shallots, and pepitas into the prepared kale leaves. Taste for salt levels and adjust if needed. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to a day.

Baked Eggs on Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

We had a blizzard this weekend (YOU MAY HAVE HEARD) so mostly I just wanted to eat Kraft Mac & Cheese and tater tots. Last night, I did throw together a quick dinner. It required minimal effort and was very yummy. [Note: I did not make cookies. I was too sore from shoveling.] The eggs didn't bake quite the way I wanted them to, but it was still okay. I've made other baked egg recipes I liked better so I probably wouldn't make this again. Oh well!

tomato

tomato

Baked Eggs on Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Cookie & Kate

3 cups sweet cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes (about 16 ounces) halved
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove, pressed or minced (optional)
Sea salt, preferably of the flaky variety (like Maldon)
Freshly ground black pepper
4 eggs, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Arrange the halved tomatoes in an even layer in a medium-sized baking dish or oven-proof skillet. Bake the tomatoes for 12 minutes, then remove the dish.

Top the tomatoes with all of the Parmesan, drizzle on the olive oil, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons basil and season with salt and pepper. Stir the garlic into the mixture, if using. Gently crack an egg over the tomatoes, keeping the yolk intact. Repeat with the remaining eggs, dispersing them somewhat evenly over the dish.

Return the dish to the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Check at 8 minutes-you're done when the egg whites have set but the yolks are still soft. They should still jiggle in the centers when you shimmy the pan. (They'll continue cooking after you pull the dish out of the oven.) Sprinkle the cooked eggs with salt, pepper and the remaining 1 teaspoon basil.

Serve right away in shallow bowls with toast.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Coffee Cake Cookies

I printed this recipe out a few weeks ago but have put off making it. I didn't think it would make enough cookies (I was wrong) and I really didn't want to use shortening (which I normally don't, but I DID - SORRY EVERYONE) but they were just so intriguing. So, I ended up making them for Cookie Monday.

These were SUPER popular. A lot of people asked for the recipe. I did have a few left over at the end of the day because I forgot to hand them out after lunch, but several people did take seconds. I made the cookies smaller than the recipe instructed, and I ended up with about 4 dozen cookies. The baking time was the same - about 9 minutes per batch. As usual, I slightly underbaked.

The big problem was that the recipe makes WAY WAY WAY too much crumble. It's a huge waste of ingredients. I had read about that in the comments on the original blog post, but I was doubtful. I shouldn't have been - seriously, after making 4 dozen cookies, I still had this much topping left over:

crumble

So, if you decide to make them, please reduce the amount of topping you make. By at least half, if not more. But you really should definitely make them. Even with the shortening.

Coffee Cake Cookies
Cookies & Cups

Topping:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cup flour

Cookies:
10 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 1/3 cup flour
optional ~ 1/2 cup powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350°

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone liner. Set aside.

Mix all the crumb ingredients together in a medium bowl and cut together with a pastry cutter or a fork until evenly mixed. Refrigerate while making cookie dough.

Mix together butter, shortening and both sugars for 1-2 minutes on medium speed, until combined and smooth.

Add in cinnamon, eggs and vanilla and continue mixing until evenly combined.

Turn mixer to low and mix in baking powder, salt and flour, mixing until dough comes together evenly.

Scoop cookies out, using a cookie scoop or spoon (about 3 Tablespoons) and place on lined cookie sheet. If using a spoon, form the dough into rounded balls.

Make an indentation in the center of the cookie dough.

Scoop at least 1 Tablespoon of Crumb Topping into the center of the dough pressing lightly to stick.

Bake cookies for 9-10 minutes, or until edges start to get golden.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 3 minutes on cookie sheet, then transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Yield: 2-4 dozen depending on size of cookie

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Salted Vanilla Chip Oatmeal Cookies

OK, so, I hated these. I made them, and I hated them. I'm not sure why. The white chocolate? Normally it's hard to screw up an oatmeal cookie, and the addition of some flaky sea salt on top was nice. So I guess I just hated the white chocolate chips. I did post a disclaimer on Facebook telling people that I hated the cookies. The concensus was that I should bring them in anyway, because, "Have you seen our office? We'll eat anything." OK.

Anyway, I forgot to bring them to work on Monday. And then I brought them to work today instead, but then I forgot them in my office until noonish. Then I remembered and gave them to my coworkers.

They apparently did not hate them as much as I did. They actually ate them. I think they weren't as popular as previous weeks, for sure. But it wasn't so bad. I guess it's just me. I didn't know I hate white chocolate in salted oatmeal cookies. Oh well, live & learn.

oatmeal

Salted Vanilla Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Bake or Break

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter (12 tbsp) softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
8 ounces white chocolate, chopped
coarse salt, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

Whisk together oats, flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and vanilla until creamy. Add brown sugar and sugar, beating until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add oat mixture. Stir in white chocolate.

Scoop batter by tablespoonfuls onto prepared pans. Sprinkle each with coarse salt. Bake 12-14 minutes, or until edges are browned but centers are slightly soft.

Cool cookies on pans for a few minutes. Then, transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Yield: 5 dozen

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Mocha Almond Fudge Cookies

I almost made something different for Cookie Monday, but I'm glad I didn't. These were super simple chocolate cookies with the addition of cinnamon-toasted almonds. I slightly underbaked them for a fudgy, soft cookie. The feedback I received all day yesterday was the following: "These are the best cookies you've ever made."

Well, OK. That's a heavy claim, but it's not wrong. This is a really, really great cookie. I bet they'd make good ice cream sandwiches, or chopped up in some homemade ice cream. Or just eaten in mass quantities while you're making more. Yum!

cookie

Mocha Almond Fudge Cookies
How Sweet Eats

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup chopped almonds
1 cup chocolate chips

Add chopped almonds and cinnamon to a saucepan and toast over low-medium heat. Watch them the entire time and occasionally shake the pan to move them around. This takes less than 10 minutes.

Cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Add flour, cocoa powder, coffee powder, baking soda and salt and mix until combined.

Fold in chocolate chips and almonds. Refrigerate dough for 2-4 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees, roll into balls and set on baking sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. {I baked for 9.}

Yield: It's supposed to make 30 cookies but I got 55. Unsure how, but I did!

Saturday, January 02, 2016

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

I haven't posted in almost a month! This is what happens when I take a cookie hiatus for the holidays. Geez. Sorry, guys. I did do a little bit of baking though.

For Christmas, my mom usually makes Christmas tree-shaped spritz cookies with the cookie press. This year she was very stressed out so I whipped up a batch of her recipe. My family can be harsh critics, but they agreed the cookies tasted just like my mom's. Hooray!
trees

I also made a batch of Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies for dinner at a friend's house. They were best the day they were made, but still good a couple days later. Some people added ice cream and that's a great idea.

And then I made these no-bake cookies because I found a bunch on Pinterest and thought they looked interesting. I didn't take a picture because I forgot. They're bar cookies. Go to the original website to see a photo. So, these actually turned out kind of terrible. The peanut butter flavor wasn't strong enough, but I couldn't add more or it would screw up the texture. Instead, it tasted like buttery graham cracker. Not terrible but not even a little bit how I'd pictured. I won't make these again.

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
Sally's Baking Addiction

1/2 cup salted butter, melted
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 8 full sheets)
1 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons (215g) creamy peanut butter (not natural style)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Line a 8x8 or 9x9 square baking pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, and powdered sugar together until combined. Stir in 3/4 cup of peanut butter. Spread into prepared baking pan.

In a small bowl, microwave 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter with the chocolate chips until melted. Stir until smooth. Spread over peanut butter layer.

Chill until completely firm, at least 3 hours. Allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before cutting. Bars stay fresh stored in the refrigerator. Serve chilled. (Setting them out for a few hours at room temperature for serving is OK.) Bars may be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.