Coconut Chocolate Fudge Truffle Cookies

 

Coconut Chocolate Fudge Truffle Cookies

Coconut Chocolate Fudge Truffle Cookies


I think we’ve all learned by now that I like the combination of chocolate and coconut. I don’t think I realized it myself until I started this blog. But now, when I look back through the blog and see the recipes for different treats with that flavor combo, like Mounds Bar Brownies or Chocolate Bundt Cake With A Creamy Coconut Filling orrrrrr Browned Butter German Chocolate Chip Cookies or ๐Ÿ˜› Samoa Wanna Be Cookies, it makes me realize that umm, yeah, I guess I use that combo a lot. But my family hasn’t killed me yet and they are actually some of my more popular postshere so it seems I’m not the only one who likes it. That of course means I feel perfectly safe posting yet another hehe.

These cookies, like practically everything else I make, started out somewhat different. The original recipe comes from The Gourmet Cookbook I actually wasn’t that thrilled with thatย  cookbook. I only found two recipes in the book that interested me enough to try them and their Truffle Cookies was one of them. On a side note however, if you can get a hold of a copy of Gourmet Todayย  grab a copy. I personally found about 25 recipes in there that I tabbed, which for me, was enough to make it worth buying from Amazon. Just got it in the mail today actually and I’m looking forward to making some recipes from it.

But, as I was saying, the recipe was somewhat different when I saw it in the book. I didn’t make a ton of changes to it but enough to make the flavor profile of it quite a bit different. The original was just a plain chocolate truffle cookie and while there’s nothing wrong with that lol, I am, as we know, incapable of keeping a recipe the same. So I went to that favorite of mine… chocolate coconut. I love Almond Joy candy bars so I also threw in some sliced toasted almonds. I’ve mentioned before that while I like coconut, I won’t use it unless it is toasted. I just don’t like the texture of it untoasted. But if you don’t mind it, feel free to omit the toasting of the coconut and almonds. But I highly suggest doing it. It adds a nutty crunchiness to the cookies. If you want to try the cookies the way the book wrote it, just omit the coconut and almonds altogether as well as the coconut extract.

You know the drill…

Coconut Chocolate Fudge Truffle Cookies

  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced thin
  • 1 12 ounce package semi sweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring
  • 3 eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small baking dish, combine the coconut and the almonds. Toast at 350, stirring once during cooking, until both are light golden brown. Don’t overcook. Nothing worse than the smell of scorched coconut. Don’t ask me how I know this *whistles innocently* Go ahead and shut off the oven after that because the dough has to chill.
  2. Melt together the unsweetened chocolate, butter and one cup of the chocolate chips in a small heavy bottomed saucepan, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder and the coconut almond mixture.
  4. Beat together the sugar, extracts and eggs. Pour in the melted chocolate mixture and beat until well blended, then add the flour mixture and mix until well combined. Stir in the remaining chocolate chips.
  5. Chill the dough in the fridge in a covered bowl for about two hours or until firm.
  6. Preheat oven to 350. Using your lightly dampened hands, roll the dough into small (about 1 inch) balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  7. Bake at 350 until puffy and set, about 11 minutes. They will still be soft in the center
  8. Cool on the baking sheet for ten minutes, then remove to a rack to finish cooling.
  9. Hide from the family and eat them all yourself because you love them and want to save them from overeating.

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Lemony Cheese Risotto

Lemony Cheese Risotto2

There are some foods that transcend space, time and all things earthly. Once upon a time, I would have put Twinkies and Ho Ho’s in that category. Yeah yeah, I know. Who the heck puts snack cakes in with transcendental foods? I also put Cheetos, a rare ribeye steak, roasted brussel sprouts and salted caramel gelato in there so am I forgiven? Anyway, Twinkies and Ho Hos lost their spot cause they bite donkey toes now that they have changed over. I was close to being institutionalized when I found this out, but I’ve since moved on. Brachs Gummi Candis and Whole Foods Salted Caramel Brownies have filled the Twinkies void. Sorry, pretend Hostess people.

But one food that always seem to fit the whole beyond earthly, etc etc, is a good risotto. I made sure to put the word good in there because I’ve had and made some pretty bad ones. At their worst, they can be gummy, mushy, hard, flavorless and a waste of good Arborio rice.

At it’s best however, it’s creamy (with no added cream) full of flavor, a dish that can make the meal shine. This version? it’s the kind that will make you take up meditation just so that you can think about this rice. It will make you see heaven. Honest. It will. Would I lie to you?!

Go. Cook. Be free. Make risotto. Thank me later. Cause you really WILL thank me. You can cut this recipe in half, but it reheats well and makes a great lunch with maybe a chicken breast and a salad.

Best. Risotto. Ever.

Lemony Cheese Risotto

  • 1 lb arborio rice
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 42 ounces chicken broth, heated to almost boiling and kept hot
  • 1/2 cup white wine (don’t use something you wouldn’t drink)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup crumbled bleu cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Mozzarella
  • zest of one lemon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, in chunks
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  1. In a large sauce pot, combine your olive oil, chopped onions and minced garlic.
  2. Cook over low heat until the onions are soft and tender, about ten minutes.
  3. Pour in the rice. Stir well and cook for about 2 minutes, until all the rice is well coated.
  4. Put the heat on medium and pour in the wine. Cook, stirring constantly, until all the wine is absorbed.
  5. Pour the lemon juice into the broth.Add in 1/2 cup of hot broth to the rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until all the broth is absorbed. Add new broth, continuing to stir, 1/2 cup at a time, each time the previous amount is absorbed.
  6. When all the broth has been used, add in the Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, bleu cheese and mozzarella cheese.
  7. Stir in the butter and stir until it is melted. Use pepper as desired. You can also salt it but I have never seen the need as the Parmesan adds a sufficient salty flavor.
  8. Serve garnished with more cheese and lemon zest.
  9. Thank me. Preferably with big bills. ๐Ÿ˜›

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Maple Pumpkin Bread With Maple Glazed Pepitas

Maple Pumpkin Bread With Maple Glazed Pepitas

Maple Pumpkin Bread With Maple Glazed Pepitas

Up until recently, Starbucks and I were very good friends. We had sleepovers, braided each others hair, talked about boys and cried together over all the other mean coffee places. Then one day, I cheated on my friendship with Starbucks. I found a NEW bff. It’s name was The Daily Grind. I played there one day on a whim and well, I’m ashamed to say, that after that, I never gave Starbucks coffee a second thought. Though every once in a while, I go back there for nostalgia’s sake. But Starbucks can’t make Milky Way Lattes; The Daily Grind can.

There’s one problem with this new relationship however. My new bff coffee place doesn’t sell baked goods. Oh, they have some wrapped stuff that was mass produced in somewhere like Taiwan, the best place ever to get fancy pastries :-pย  But they don’t have the pumpkin bread you can get at Starbucks.ย  I can’t go to Starbucks anymore though. They all look at me funny, like I’m wearing a big red letter A on my chest. It’s just too awkward, too painful remembering the good times *sobs a little and takes a sip of my Milky Way Latte to calm down*

So what did I do? I made my own. Yes, you heard that right, Starbucks!!! I don’t need yourย  high priced pumpkin bread anymore! I have no reason to come crawling back to you groveling for forgiveness just so that I can sneak a piece of pumpkin bread. Buahahaaaaaaa!!! Guess what else? My pumpkin bread? It’s better than yours. Yep. Better. It’s moist and spicy and pumpkiny (yes, that too is now a word. I swear, the world needs ME to revise the dictionary. Language would be so much more interesting.) with a hint of maple in the bread. It’s also not as overly sweet as your bread and MINE is covered in sweet/salty maple glazed pepitas. Take THAT, Starbucks!

Sorry. I’m calm now. You all know how those break up moments can be, right?

You know the drill….

Maple Pumpkin Bread With Maple Glazed Pepitas

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 7 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons maple flavoring
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 16 ounce can pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup dry roasted Pepita’s
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 inch loaf pans (or use a product such as Bakers Joy and spray them)
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, regular sugar and spices.
  3. In another large bowl, at low speed with a hand mixer, combine the eggs, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla extract and maple flavoring. Mix well. Pour in the vegetable oil and the can of pumpkin in and mix well.
  4. Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ones and mix at low speed just until well combined. It’s fine if there are some small lumps left.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the two loaf pans.
  6. In a small bowl, toss the pepitas with the maple syrup. Sprinkle evenly between the two pans of batter.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean, with at most a few loose crumbs on it.
  8. Cool in the pans set on a rack for five minutes.
  9. Loosen the breads from the pans by running a butter knife around the edges then turn the loaves out onto the rack to finish cooling.

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Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

 

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing


I’m not normally big on cakes. One reason is because I stink at the whole frosting and decorating process. Thus why you get a highly cropped photo lol. Editing is a great way to hide the flaws. The other reasons? I don’t know. Simply that when it comes to desserts, I’m a creamy type of girl, i.e., ice cream, mousses, puddings etc. After that, I love a good pie.

But there are times I just want a big old slab of plain old chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. It’s one of those simple pleasures, one of those foods that takes you back to childhood birthdays immediately. Well, for most people anyway. When I think of childhood birthdays, I think of Dressels cakes, which were sold in grocery stores in Chicago back in the dayย  (whipped cream and strawberries. YUM!) and of my brother “accidentally” telling me to cross the street on my 8th birthday and my getting thrown about 72 miles by an oncoming car. Really. Seventy two miles. Maybe even 722 miles.ย  He had it out for me. My brother, not the car driver. ๐Ÿ˜›

Where was I? Oh yeah, chocolate cake. Years ago, I got a free sample copy of Cuisine Magazine. On the back cover was a luscious looking chocolate cake. I have saved that issue, mainly for that recipe, ever since. Today, I made it. This is chocolate cake nirvana. Old fashioned moist, dense chocolate cake filled and topped with a smooth rich chocolate icing. Not a bit of powdered sugar in sight in this frosting, this is the kind that uses cocoa, sugar, cream and butter that are heated, then cooled until thick enough to spread. Basically, a richer than usual ganache. This is extremely easy to make. No 500 steps, no adding things in 2 tablespoon increments then beating for a year. You mix your dry, you mix your wet, then you combine. Don’t overbeat this however. I did to mine a little and it became a bit tough. Just beat until it’s combined and there is no dry flour mixture left showing, rather like you do when you make brownies or pancake batter. The frosting is also easy. Just melt your butter, pour in the other ingredients, heat and voila, there you go. Just chill until it’s spreadable, then eat it out of the bowl spread onto the cake.

You know the drill. ๐Ÿ™‚

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

  • Cake-
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar (it helps the leavening process)
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Icing-
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I also used a touch of orange extract just because it’s one of our families favorite flavor combos)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8 or 9 inch cake pans with cooking spray (I always use Bakers Joy when making any sort of cake) or grease and lightly flour your pans.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa.
  3. In a large measuring cup, combine the hot water, oil, vinegar, coffee granules, and vanilla. Pour all at once into the dry ingredients and whisk (no mixer here please) just until combined. It’s ok if there are some small lumps left. Remember, don’t overbeat this.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  5. Cool cake layers in the pan for fifteen minutes, then invert out onto a wire rack. The inverting helps you have layers that are flatter rather than domed.
  6. While they cool, make your icing. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter.ย  Stir in the sugar and coca powder. The mixture will be thick and grainy. Remove from the heat
  7. Combine the heavy cream, sour cream and vanilla in a measuring cup. Put the pan back over medium heat and whisk gradually into the cocoa mixture. Cook until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is smooth, glossy and hot to the touch. Do NOT boil.
  8. Remove from heat and then either cool at room temp until totally cool and thick enough to spread or, better method, chill in the fridge for about 30 to 40 minutes, until thick enough to spread.
  9. Lay one layer flat side up on a plate. Spoon about 1 cup of the frosting onto to it and spread to cover. Lay the other layer carefully on top, pressing down lightly to help prevent sliding. Use the remaining frosting to cover the tops and sides of the cake, making sure to eat a bite or six as you do so. No one will notice. ๐Ÿ˜€
  10. Enjoy chocolate nirvana. You’re welcome. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Creamy Cajun Shrimp & Bacon Alfredo

Creamy Cajun Shrimp & Bacon Alfredo

Creamy Cajun Shrimp & Bacon Alfredo


I think we’ve all learned how bad I am at following recipes, right? Well, today, I just threw the cookbooks out the window. Sorry, darlin… I’ll call a glass repair guy tomorrow.

I had a pound of very rare in our household (both because of cost and because my husband hates it so I rarely make it) jumbo shrimp. I had spent two days trying to figure out what to do with them. Batter fried? Tasty, but it doesn’t stretch far and since this is a rare treat, I wanted it to seem like more. Heck, give me an hour and I can finish a pound of fried shrimp myself. Gumbo? Too much trouble and I always use Andouille in my gumbo which I don’t have right now. So I started looking at recipes for Shrimp Alfredo. I didn’t like any of them lol. So I just went into the kitchen and started throwing Cajunish and Alfredoish (yes, those are now both official words) ingredients together. Those and bacon. Bacon makes everything better. I mean… it’s BACON!

I must say; this sauce turned out wonderfully. Spicy, creamy, shrimpy :-p Seriously, it’s quite good. Not too spicy but has a nice bite for the heat seekers like myself. The green peppers and onions and garlic make their presence known. Add in the bacon and shrimp and oh my… seafood (bacony) Heaven on a plate. Ok, so the pic is of it in a bowl. Work with me here.

Note… I had no fettuccine , linguine or other traditional pastas here so I used Penne. I actually think I prefer it now. The shape helps it catch more sauce then you can on a flat noodle shape. But use what makes YOU happy.

You know the drill…

Creamy Cajun Shrimp & Bacon Alfredo

  • 1 pound shrimp (I used jumbo but you could use large or extra large too. Just don’t go smaller or you could end up with overcooked shrimp. Save the smaller shrimp for something where it’s not sitting in a hot sauce)
  • 1 pound bacon, cooked until crisp, crumbled, 4 tablespoons of drippings reserved
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons salt free Cajun seasoning (it can be hard to find but it’s worth it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce (optional)
  • 2 cups half and half or heavy cream
  • 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan Cheese (if you use that canned dried stuff, I’ll cry)
  • 8 ounces of Mascarpone cheese (could sub cream cheese)
  1. Start a large pot of water boiling. When water comes to a boil, cook your pasta to desired doneness. Drain and set aside in a covered bowl.
  2. While it heats, pour your reserved bacon droppings in a large skillet. Add in the green pepper, onion and garlic. Saute over medium heat until the veggies are soft and tender.
  3. Pat your shrimp dry then add into the veggie mix. Also add in the Cajun seasoning and red pepper flakes Saute just until the shrimp start firming up and turning pink. They will finish cooking as the sauce heats.
  4. Pour the cream into the shrimp mixture. Pour in the hot sauce also if using.
  5. Turn heat down to low and simmer for five minutes or until sauce starts to simmer (don’t boil it), stirring frequently. Add in the mascarpone and stir until smooth and melted Add in the crumbled bacon and serve the sauce over the warm pasta.
  6. Garnish with more Parmesan cheese. Because you can never have too much cheese.

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Honey Oatmeal Wheat Bread

Honey Oatmeal Wheat Bread

Honey Oatmeal Wheat Bread


I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a huge store bought bread sort of a person. I prefer my carbs in junk food form, preferably with a label that says “Ben & Jerry” or “Brachs Juicy Berries Gummi Candy” (yes, I’m still addicted to those.) I DO however, love artisan breads, good bakery breads or homemade breads. In a nutshell? I’m a bread snob. Well, confession time, unless I’m having Chicago public school flashbacks and craving a ham sandwich on mushy store bought white bread spread with butter. Don’t judge.

So, all of that said, I rarely have the budget for the good artisan breads that a lot of grocery stores carry now and I don’t live near a bakery. So if I want good bread, I have to make it myself. I’ve been baking bread long enough now that I am able to play with recipes without ending up with a disaster so that’s what I did here. I took a recipe I’ve had for years for oatmeal bread/rolls and mixed it up a bit. The results were completely awesome! This bread tastes great, not as strongly flavored as whole wheat would be but not as bland as white bread. It has a mild nutty flavor from the oats and the wheat flour. And the texture is out of this world. It is soft, ALMOST but not quite as soft as store bought which will please the mushy bread addicts lol. Yet it has a nice chewy bite to it and a density to please those of us who like breads with more character. Another plus is that the wheat gluten keeps it fresh longer plus adds a bit to the texture. I have it listed as optional but you really really need to buy some. It’s inexpensive and worth getting.

You know the drill. ๐Ÿ™‚

Honey Oatmeal Wheat Bread

  • 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oatmealย  plus extra for sprinkling on the loaves
  • 2 tablespoons Vital Wheat Gluten, optional but highly recommended (you can find it in the flour aisle, usually on the top shelf. It contributes a LOT to bread texture and freshness so please buy some.)
  • 2 packs dry yeast (I use the Red Star Platinum yeast)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups milk, warmed to between 115 and 120 degrees (NO hotter)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup honey plus more for brushing on top of loaves
  • sea salt for sprinkling on top
  1. Lightly grease two 9 inch loaf pans and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the wheat flour, 4 1/2 cups of the bread flour, oatmeal, yeast and salt. Mix well on low speed.
  2. Combine the milk and butter in a measuring cup. Stir to melt the butter, then add in the warm water and the honey. Pour this over the flour mixture, and using the dough hook, mix on low speed until it all comes together as a dough. Knead for about 2 to 3 minutes on low. If the dough is still more than just a LITTLE bit sticky and tacky, add more flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Machine knead after each addition for a minute or so, then check stickiness again. You want a nice firm but not dry dough. Your finger should just barely stick to it and it should have a sheen rather like what a semi gloss paint looks like when dry.
  3. Turn the dough out into an oiled bowl, turning it once to make sure all sides get the oil on them. Cover with a clean towel and put somewhere warm to rise. I usually turn my oven to it’s lowest setting, then turn it off after about 2 minutes of preheating. That leaves it a nice warm 80 degrees or so which is a perfect rising temp. Let it rise until it is doubled in bulk, about 60 to 90 minutes.
  4. When it’s doubled, punch it down (that’s always the fun part hehe) and divide it into two equal pieces. Start your oven preheating to 350 degrees. Now you can go one of two ways.
  5. First way to shape your dough is free hand- just…well, shape it into a dough shape. Not hard and the pro of it is it leaves you with less seams to pinch shut. it’s usually how I shape my loaves. Con is it takes some time to learn to free hand shape and not have a misshapen loaf.
  6. Two is to roll or pat the dough out into about a 9 inch rectangle and then roll it up tightly and pinch shut the seams with a damp finger. Pro to that is a prettier loaf (unless you miss a seam like I did on the one loaf in the photo…oops), con is if you don’t roll tightly enough, you end up with a loaf that has a hole running through the middle.
  7. Either way you go, shape the dough into two loaves and place in the prepared pans.
  8. Warm up about 1/4 cup of honey until it’s liquidy. Brush it evenly over the two loaves. Sprinkle with some extra oats and then with some coarse grained (I use kosher, same kind you see on pretzels) salt. Let the bread rise again in a warm place (NOT in the preheating oven lol) for 30 minutes or until it is almost doubled in bulk
  9. Bake at 350 degrees until the bread is golden brown and crusty looking, about 45 to 55 minutes.
  10. Let cool in the pan for five minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling, though we all know half a loaf, at least, won’t make it to cooled before it gets eaten hehe.
  11. When cooled, what doesn’t get eaten can be stored in ziploc bags for a few days. I made mine 4 days ago and it’s still wonderfully soft and fresh. THAT is why you need to buy the vital wheat gluten. Trust me on this.

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Sticky Asian Chicken Thighs

Sticky Asian Chicken Thighs

Sticky Asian Chicken Thighs

My brother in law Phil is a complete Asian food addict. Seriously. It’s a sickness. He is one of our countries beloved postmen (post people… post unisex? Heck, who knows what the PC term is these days.). When his day off was on Wednesday, his unwavering routine was to go to a neighborhood Chinese buffet for lunch. Every. Single. Wednesday.ย  The rest of us set our calendars by his routine. When he went on a Tuesday recently, we were all fairly sure that the world was ending.

His brother, my husband, is the same way. Say it with me class… anal creature of routine. It freaks me out because I am such a live by the seat of my pants, let life be a surprise sort of a gal. *laughs hysterically* Sorry. I couldn’t even fool myself with that one. I admit it. I too am one of those slightly rigid “don’t mess with my world, I like it the way it is” type of people. I’ve never decided if I admire or feel sorry for those of you who are the spontaneous live on the edge sorts.

I think my BIL would like this one. Marybeth, you need to make this for Phil! This is fall off the bone tender, spicy sweet (can be made more or less spicy depending on the amount of sriracha you add), a little bit salty and nice and sticky.I of course didn’t get sticky because I have those dainty girl manners and used a knife and fork. In reality, I simply hate sticky hands but dainty girl manners sounded cooler.

You know the drill… git to cookin’!

  • 3 lbs chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (you want the sesame for flavor but you can’t use too much because it’s quite strongly flavored and you need enough oil to help prevent sticking, thus the olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha (more or less as desired)
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (I know… sounds weird but believe it or not, a lot of “authentic” <aka Americanized> lol, Asian recipes use it for tang and flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil. Trust me. Line the pan.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except for the chicken.
  3. Place the chicken in the prepared pan.
  4. Pour the sauce over it and turn the chicken in the sauce a couple of times to coat.
  5. Bake at 350 for about 75 minutes. Turn the chicken twice while cooking, making sure that you start and end with the chicken skin side up.
  6. Wonderful served with rice and the extra pan juices.

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Oatmeal Raisinet Cookies

Oatmeal Raisinet Cookies

I feel sorry for my husband at times. Why? He’s type 2 diabetic but man, does he love his sweets. Though he would deny that to his death bed. He also loves his savory snacks mind you but when I bake, he is all over it. There was a time I would buy him sugar free treats from the store, but he has come to realize that he prefers a few of the ‘real thing” as opposed to more of the artificial ones. He gets jealous as can be of me (in a loving way of course lol) because, even though I’m overweight (perils of food blogging) I have great blood sugar readings. If anything, I run too low. He also hates me for my low blood pressure too hehe. I am one weird fat woman physically. :-p

One of the things he loves is cookies. Non sweet lover or not (yeah, right. You know better, darlin’), he can eat his weight in cookies. Especially if it’s chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin. So I have had to make sure I have good recipes for both to keep the man supplied. The things we do for love, huh? *Bats eyes in my husbands direction and attempts to look flirtatious* But hey, the man willingly makes me cups of tea whenever I ask and sometimes, I don’t even have to ask. PLUS, he is the one who gets our 16 year old up for school in the mornings. He’s pretty awesome.

Ok, I’m done gushing now lol.

These are some pretty good oatmeal cookies. The original recipe came from food.com and I have just barely adapted it. One thing I do is just make half the recipe because the full recipe makes an ungodly amount of cookies, which is fine for say, Christmas goodie trays but not for everyday unless I’m serving cookies for dinner. The half recipe makes about 5 dozen smallish cookies. I also added the raisinets as the original just called for chocolate chips as we love raisins in oatmeal cookies here, plus I added more vanilla, some cinnamon and a little less sugar because they were far too sweet as written. Ok, so maybe I adapted it a bit more than I thought lol. When cooking these, watch them carefully. With a 375 temp, they can get overdone quickly. If you want chewier cookies, go for the lower cooking time. If you prefer crispier, go for the higher cook time. Either way though…

You know the drill. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 cups oatmeal, divided in half
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 18 ounces raisinets (one bag and 2 individual sized boxes equals this amount)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets (I do two at a time) with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (you can do this with a heavy wooden spoon or hand mixer but it’s a fairly thick dough so it will be harder to stir) cream together the butter and sugars.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed, then add in the eggs and vanilla. beat well on low speed.
  4. In a food processor or blender, pulverize 1 1/4 cups of the oatmeal. In a large bowl, combine it with all the other dry ingredients, including the rest of the oatmeal. Don’t add the raisinets yet. Stir well to combine.
  5. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ones, about 1/3 at a time, and mix well.
  6. Scrape down the bowl again, take the bowl off the base and stir in the raisinets.
  7. Use a small scoop to make cookies on the prepared sheets.
  8. Bake at 375 for 8 to 10 minutes. Let sit on sheet for one minute, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.


Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

 

Ramblings And Reviews #2

It’s been an…interesting… couple of weeks here. Some good, some bad. My favorite Kitty, Horatio, died on the 19th of last month. He was about the best cat ever and I still miss him.

me and horatio

When he died, I told myself that that was it… no more indoor cats for me, just the cats we have that live outdoors. But, fate, as it often does, intervened. I was just fiddle farting around online one day and found myself going to the page for the local shelter. So what happened? We now have not one, but two, kittens in the house. Go figure. When I first thought about it, I was just going to get this little girl whom we have named Sierra-

SierraBut then she seemed lonely. Extremely loving, but lonely. So I had to get her brother. I justified it by reminding myself that they were rescue cats. No crazy cat lady here *coughcough*

This is her brother Opie. So named because he is a whiny sidekick but yet still cute as can be, like his namesake lol. If Sierra leaves his side, he whimpers and follows her around.

Opie

I have come to the conclusion (ok, I came to the conclusion years ago, but I’ve been in denial) that I have a serious lip balm addiction. I can barely make it through a store w/out buying another one. The bottom of my purse, which btw, I only keep lip balm and old receipts in, is covered in lip balms. Many many of them. One of my favorite brands is Eos. I absolutely love their products. They aren’t oily or greasy feeling on my mouth, just smooth. Plus they taste great. That can of course defeat the purpose of not getting chapped lips if you find yourself constantly licking your lips like a starving fat girl, but hey, I’ll deal with that drawback by just putting on more. I also love the lip balms from Kiss My Face, especially their Sliced Peach, but I haven’t been able to find it anywhere in months now. *Sobs* I would LOVE to try their Maple Sugar one, but I’ve never seen it in stores at all.

EosLately, I have been on a binge with the new “Hello” bars from Lindt

LindtOh. My. Gosh. I would say which one is my favorite but for the life of me, I can’t decide. When I try a piece of the coconut one, I’m in love. Then I try one of the others… same thing. They are pretty darn awesome!

On a non food addiction, beyond the bazillion lip balms, I have, for months now, loved this Body Butter from Trader Joes.

Trader Joes Body ButterIt smells fantastic; a strong but not overpowering coconut scent and it leaves you oh so smooth and soft. Just don’t eat it, tempted as you’ll be. ๐Ÿ˜›

Onto an actual good for you treat… I’ve been loving both of these products below lately. I found mine at Whole Foods.

ButtersThe Justins Vanilla Almond Butter is amazing. Smooth and creamy with just the slightest hint of vanilla. I would tell you that I use it in all sorts of wonderful recipes, but so far all I do is squeeze it out of the little pack into my waiting mouth hehe.

While I enjoy the Cacoa Bliss the texture takes a bit of getting used to. it has that slightly gritty texture that anything made with real coconut is going to have. But the taste is pure heaven. Coconut Chocolate Heaven. Go. Buy some.

Joshie

Why yes, that IS a pair of underwear on his head. And yes, I have every intention of saving this and using it for blackmail purposes when he becomes an ornery teenager. ๐Ÿ™‚

Last but not least, here’s your silly child pic for the week. I think my son needs massive therapy. ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m so proud!

Have a great rest of the week, everybody! Go cook something decadent and fattening!

 

 

 

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Caramel Pie With Salted Caramel Sauce

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie With Salted Caramel Sauce-001

I am one of those weirdos who owns enough cookbooks to fill a room. It would be a small room yes, but a room nonetheless. Adding in cooking magazines like those Holiday ones that come out yearly and old issues of Gourmet and Food And Wine, etc etc, as well as paper cookbooks like the ones Pillsbury used to put out monthly (do they even still do that?) I have over a thousand cookbooks. It’s a sickness. Honest. And in our modern era, it’s a sickness that has gotten worse. How? Because now, I can get a cookbook out of the library and if it’s one that I find I’ve put about 10 or more sticky tabs in to save the pages, that means it a keeper. That used to mean that I would have a bazillion overdue books lol. But now it means that I can find the same cookbook on Amazon and buy it, sometimes for as little as 4 bucks with shipping, and tab the hell out of that bad boy.

But a lot of my favorite cookbooks are older ones that have proved to be tried and true. My Fanny Farmer Baking Book is one that I use often as are, surprisingly enough, a handful of the old Pillsbury paper cookbooks. Probably because, back when I was still learning to cook for a family, I found many recipes that went into our traditional holiday routine from them.

Another that I use is an old spiral bound Nestle Toll House cookbook. I was looking through it for inspiration the other day when I saw a recipe for Toll House Pie. It’s one that many home cooks have made… a chocolate chip cookie dough set into a pie shell. Sounded like something I could play with. The first time I made it, I undercooked it. Plus, the recipe had NO vanilla in it at all and far too much butter, to the point where I had to clean my oven because it lefts puddles of scorched butter on the bottom of it.

This time, I did it MY way. I added in some vanilla extract, used less butter, browned the butter for a nutty flavor (on a side note, with the browned butter, this batter was good enough to just eat out of the bowl! OMG, it was yummy!), added some caramel bits and topped the slices with some salted caramel sauce and chocolate sauce. All in all, made that way, it can be either a special dessert for the family or something worthy of guests.

Don’t be tempted to add extra chocolate chips or caramel to this. You know you’ll want to (we ALL do it ๐Ÿ˜› ) but I think that was part of the reason my first pie didn’t cook correctly. There was just too much in it for it to cook through even though it seemed done. Stick to the measurements here.

You know the drill. ๐Ÿ™‚

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Caramel Pie With Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, browned to a golden brown, then cooled to room temp
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup Kraft caramel bits (you can also use whole caramels; just cut into quarters to get the 1/2 cup measure)
  • 1 9 inch pie shell, unbaked (you can use store bought or homemade. I went the lazy route this time and used a frozen shell)
  • A half batch of this caramel sauce or you can use pre-jarred (I used Trader Joes Salted Caramel sauce because it’s amazing and almost as good as homemade) for drizzling…pouring…eating plain…bathing in…whatever
  • Chocolate sauce for drizzling
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy.
  3. Add in the flour, sugar, dark brown sugar and vanilla extract.
  4. Blend in the browned butter, then fold in the chocolate chips and the caramel bits.
  5. Spoon into the pie shell and smooth top with a rubber/silicone spatula. Eat what’s left on the spatula. Make sure it’s a lot. You can thank me later.
  6. Bake at 325 for 60 to 70 minutes. The top should be golden brown and dry looking. Let cool to room temp before slicing then use a hot sharp (preferably serrated) knife to get clean cuts. Cut this into VERY thin slices as it’s quite sweet and rich. You should be able to get ten slices from this pie easily.
  7. Top each slice with a (large) dollop of salted caramel and drizzle with chocolate sauce. Sprinkle each slice with a little sea salt if you’re so inclined. If you’re really into overkill and diabetic comas, spoon on some whipped cream too. I won’t judge.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.