Archive for the ‘Shaped’ Category

Back in the kitchen

November 3, 2009

October was as much of a whirlwind as I expected it to be. I believe I was out of town more days than I was home. All that traveling and eating out made me want to come home and eat basics. Oatmeal, fresh fruit, toast. I’m just now getting around to wanting some time in the kitchen.

An interesting recipe that I didn’t blog about but is worth sharing is this recipe for Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash from Eating Well. I love that the recipe delivers a lot of flavor without the fat and sugar from the way I usually make it. I subbed Monterery Jack for the Swiss, but otherwise pretty much followed the recipe. It’s also worth noting that it reheats well.

Today I’m going to talk about biscotti. This is not at all what I had in mind when I set out to make biscotti, but I had these ingredients and didn’t want to run to the grocery store to get other things. The Biscotti di Prato I blogged about back in January were better than these in my opinion, but I would make these again to satisfy a need for a bit of sweet, with a bit of tang, in a good crunchy satisfying cookie.

Cranberry, Chocolate Chip Biscotti with Pecans

The original recipe is from Cooking Light. I made a few modifications. I really wanted to add pecans, and I intentionally added more oil. I’m glad I did because I don’t think I would have gotten these to come together without it. Even with the added oil I had to work at it to get them to come together enough to shape into logs. I also felt they would be a little blah without something more in the way of flavoring so I added some cinnamon. My original plan was to drizzle these with white chocolate but I decided they didn’t need it, and I’m saving the white chocolate for another recipe another day.

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Biscotti with Pecans (adapted by Sue)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans

Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with non stick baking parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer whisk together the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vanilla, and eggs. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are thoroughly wet. The mixture will be crumbly. Add the cranberries, chocolate chips, and pecans and mix until evenly distributed.
Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and mix the ingredients with your hands until bigger chunks start to cling together. Divide the dough in half and make two rolls each about 8 inches in length. Transfer the rolls to the parchment paper and press the logs into pieces that are about 1 inch thick.
Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.
Remove the logs from the oven and allow them to cool on a rack for 10 minutes.
Cut the logs at 1/2 inch intervals and stand the cookies up on the unlined baking sheet. Bake for another 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove the cookies from the baking sheet and allow to cool completely.

Yield: 26 cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

August 28, 2009

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

As soon as I tasted these cookies I was pretty sure I had already tried a very similar recipe. Closer inspection revealed that my taste bud memory was accurate.

These are very good peanut cookies. That said I have a few other thoughts about them. I don’t think the chocolate chips added a lot. Yes, you know they’re there but these cookies are all about the peanut butter. The roll in the sugar is sort of pretty and adds a bit of crunch but omitting the milk yields a slightly firmer cookie and a bit more crunch without sacrificing too much to texture.

I would make these again if asked, but left to my own devices I would either make the One Bowl Criss Cross Peanut Butter cookies from Cookie Madness, or my old standby peanut butter cookie recipe that came with my Kitchen Aid mixer years ago.

Today’s recipe came from Smitten Kitchen. Compare them to this recipe from Cookie Madness and you’ll see the similarities.

At stack of cookies

At stack of cookies

Super Simple Sticky Buns

June 22, 2009
Super Simple Sticky Buns

Super Simple Sticky Buns

PJ Hamel from King Arthur Flour recently wrote about these rolls on the Baker’s Banter blog. As soon as I read her entry I knew I would have to make these sooner rather than later. I believe the recipe was inspired by one  in the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Last winter I made numerous loaves of bread from the book, but I haven’t tried any of the sweeter breads from there until now.

This recipe is “ridiculously” simple to make. I didn’t have any of the Sticky Bun Sugar, or Baker’s Cinnamon Sugar so I made the substitutions suggested in the recipe. You’ll find the recipe here. PJ’s blog entry about how to make them is here. You’ll also notice she recorded a You Tube video about making them.

You can  mix these up with a big spoon and a 6 quart container. No kneading. No kidding. I chose to leave my pecans in halves instead of chopping them. I knew that not everyone would want the nuts and they would be easier to pick off that way and share. I recommend only making what you’ll serve warm. We all agreed that they’re excellent warm out of the oven, but I didn’t like the texture of the topping when I reheated one to eat the next day. I will definitely make these again, and my 19 year old son wondered if he could make them on his own in his new apartment. The answer is, definitely! Go for it!!

I have more dough in the fridge that I could use to make challah bread, more sticky buns, or I might see what I think of regular cinnamon rolls out of the dough. They are so good and so easy! I might not ever make sticky buns the ‘hard’ way again. Thanks to PJ from King Arthur Flour, and Jeff and Zöe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

Criss Cross Peanut Butter Cookies

January 16, 2009
Anna's Best Ever Peanut Butter Cookies

Anna's Best Ever Peanut Butter Cookies

When I saw Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips on sale in November I picked up a couple of bags. I knew that at some point I would make these cookies before my son goes back to college. Today was the day. We had a favorite peanut butter cookie recipe before discovering these at Cookie Madness, but we quickly decided that these are even better. If you make them, wait until they’re completely cool before sampling. We think this is the rare cookie that isn’t best warm from the oven.

The baking spree will slow down in a major way next week when we no longer have our son around to help make the baked goods disappear. In the meantime we’ll be enjoying his last few days at home.

Our son criss crossing the cookies.

Our son criss crossing the cookies.

For the recipe click here. If you love peanut butter cookies be sure to give these a try. They really do take peanut butter cookies up a notch.

Six cookies

January 2, 2009
Six Cookies

Six Cookies

Yesterday’s cookie was good and liked by those who ate them including me, but I felt they were a little sweet. Anna from Cookie Madness suggested knocking back the sugar a little which I thought was a great idea. This morning I made one quarter of a batch which yielded six cookies. Yesterday I added a little flour to make them easier to roll in a cinnamon sugar mixture but this morning I decided to skip the flour and the roll in the cinnamon sugar.

You might wonder what a person does with the rest of an egg? Truth be told I made these before I had breakfast this morning, and even before I made a cup of tea! Once I had the cookies in the oven I scrambled up the rest of that egg and ate it for breakfast. The other thing you might wonder is how do you measure 1/4 of an egg? First break the yolk and stir the egg. I have a teeny measuring cup that has measurements in millilters. My egg was about 50 millilters, so I used approximately 12.5 ml. which is roughly equal to a scant tablespoon or 2 and 3/4 teapoons. This isn’t science, just guesstimation.

How do they taste? Less sugary! I prefer these over the cookies I made yesterday. It may have been enough to skip the roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture, but the addition of the salt and removing some of the sugar from the cookie itself made these into cookies which don’t leave me reaching for a cup of tea to wash them down.

Peanut Butter Star Kisses – Take Two

1/4 c. sugar minus 1 1/2 teaspoons

1/8 t. salt

1/4 c. peanut butter

1/4 t. vanilla

1/4 egg (break up the yolk and stir the egg prior to measuring)

six chocolate stars or kisses

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place sugar, salt, peanut butter, egg and vanilla in a bowl and stir the mixture together until well blended. Divide dough into six portions and roll into balls. Place the balls on the foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and lightly press one chocolate candy on each cookie.  Let the cookies sit on the baking for three more minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Peanut Butter Star Cookies

January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Peanut Butter Star Cookies

Peanut Butter Star Cookies

The start to the New Year has been calm and lovely. The sun is shining and the temperature was above zero when I got out of bed this morning. The morning was spent reviewing all kinds of recipes and remembering recipes I’ve made in the past. I thought I would make something to use up the huge stash of walnuts I have but that didn’t happen and just when I declared this a non baking day I decided at the last minute to mix up these cookies.

These are ridiculously easy to mix up. I mixed ours up with a spoon. They could be gluten free but I really wanted to give them a roll in cinnamon and sugar and my dough was a bit sticky so I added a tablespoon of flour. You could easily make them the way Anna at Cookie Madness did and drop them from a spoon.

The recipe made 28 cookies. I had cookie eaters standing at the counter waiting for the ok to dig in. I’m hoping there are some left once the chocolate stars set so I can try them warm and fully set. The cookies are on the sweet side so have your favorite beverage ready to accompany them. At our house the sweetness was welcomed by the coffee drinkers, milk drinkers and tea drinkers alike.

For the recipe visit Cookie Madness