Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Soft Maple Sugar Cookies

This just may be our FAVORITE cookie recipe!

Soft Maple Sugar Cookies 

Sweet Community Rating:Not yet rated!
Prep time :0:15
Bake/Cook time :0:08 to 0:10
Yield :22 cookies
Chef :Jessica Segarra

Description

Maple is one of the most under-appreciated flavors, but not for long! These sweet and soft maple sugar cookies pack a double whammy with maple flavoring in the cookie as well as the icing - making them the perfect Fall dessert.

Ingredients

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour* 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened 
1/3 cup vegetable oil 
1 1/2 cup Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
1 large egg 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1/2 teaspoon maple extract 
2 cups Dixie Crystals Confectioners Powdered Sugar
2 tablespoons water 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1/2 teaspoon maple extract 
Sprinkles

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter, vegetable oil and sugar until well combined.   Mix in egg, vanilla extract and maple extract.
  4. Add flour mixture 1 cup at a time, mixing until completely combined.
  5. Roll 2 tablespoons of dough into balls and place on prepared baking sheet, leaving room for spreading. Lightly flatten dough balls with bottom of a cup into a disk shape.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, just until edges are set.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes on baking pan.  Transfer to a cooling rack.
  7. For icing: In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, water, vanilla extract and maple extract until smooth.
  8. Using a spoon, smooth icing onto top of each cookie. Quickly sprinkle with sprinkles if desired and let set for 10 minutes, or until hardened.
  9. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

BAKERY STYLE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

yield: 12-18 COOKIES
These Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Cookies are gooey, chocolatey, XL, and filled with brown butter!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 sticks butter (we’re going to brown it!)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract, optional
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, about 6 minutes, until it becomes brown in color. It will foam, reduce, then foam again. Once it’s done cooking the foam is a light brown and it will dissipate after you remove it from the heat. Once it starts to brown, keep stirring so it doesn’t burn. Let sit for about 5 minutes to cool. (Here is a visual on how to brown butter.)
  2. Pour into an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. While still hot, add both sugars and mix on low until combined. Let sit to cool for a few minutes.
  3. While butter mixture is cooling, combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir and set aside.
  4. Turn mixer (with butter mixture bowl attached) on low. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing completely. Mix in vanilla extract and almond extract (optional, but it adds great flavor). Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
    Important: Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill dough for at least 3 hours. I chilled mine overnight. It must be COMPLETELY cold before you bake it for these to turn out properly.
  5. NOTE: to make it easier to scoop, let the dough chill for about 30 minutes so it's not too liquidy, then scoop your dough onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Cover with plastic and chill for several hours or overnight, then place on baking sheets as in step 7 below.)
  6. Preheat oven to 350°. Line cookie sheets with parchment or silpat liners. If your dough has been chilling overnight, you may need to let it sit at room temp for about 20 minutes before you can scoop it. Even then, it’s gonna be an arm workout. It’s worth it!
  7. Scoop out 1/4 cup sized balls and place 6-8 on a sheet. They don’t spread a lot, but they’re BIG cookies.
    Bake for about 11-12 minutes. They will be golden on the outside and still doughy on the inside - perfect! Let cool for 5 minutes, and then remove from pans to cool completely.

NOTES:

Note: several readers have commented that the dough is "dry" when scooping. If you've measured your flour correctly (spoon/leveling, not packing) then the reason for this is because of the chilling. The dough isn't dry so much as crumbly. Spending overnight in the refrigerator makes the dough really hard and hard to scoop. It's an arm workout, but it's worth it. Squish the dough together as much as possible (or let it warm up a little on the counter before scooping) and they'll still turn out fine! The note in step 5 will reduce this issue!

Slow Cooker "Melt in Your Mouth" Pot Roast



Slow Cooker "Melt in Your Mouth" Pot Roast

Ingredients:

1 chuck roast (mine was 3 pounds)
Olive oil
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 stalks celery, cut into large chunks (optional)
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon corn starch

SEASONING MIX -

2 tablespoons steak seasoning (mine is store-bought and has a blend of peppercorns, garlic, paprika, parsley and salt)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried rosemary

Directions:

Combine together seasoning mix in a small bowl.  Set aside.

Coat both sides of meat with olive oil.  Sprinkle on a third of the seasoning mix onto each side.


Sear both sides of the meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Transfer roast to slow cooker.

Place the vegetables in a large bowl.  Drizzle on a little olive oil to coat vegetables.  Sprinkle on the remaining seasoning mix.  Add the vegetables to the same skillet that was used to sear the meat. Sauté for about five minutes - stirring occasionally.

Transfer the vegetables to the top of the roast in the slow cooker.  Pour in the beef broth. Cover with lid.


Cook on low for 9 hours or on high for 6 hours.

Using a turkey baster, retrieve most of the cooking juices from the slow cooker.  Transfer juices to a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat on the stovetop.  Whisk together the cornstarch with a little water.  Blend into the pan juices while whisking.  Bring back to a simmer until thickened.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Transfer the roast and vegetables to a large platter.  Ladle the gravy over.  Serve immediately.

The Best Cornbread (and Fluffy Honey Butter)


The Best Cornbread
I often use half to 3/4 finely ground white whole wheat flour with good results - and sometimes I get crazy and use 100% whole wheat flour (always finely ground white wheat); the cornbread is a bit more dense with all wheat flour but still delicious. 
Over the last few years of making this, I've toyed with the sugar amount and almost always end up decreasing it (often cutting it in half). The cornbread is still plenty sweet and delicious. 
INGREDIENTS
    Cornbread:
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (see note above)
  • 2/3 cup sugar (see note above)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • Honey Butter:
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
DIRECTIONS
  1. For the cornbread, add dry ingredients, make a well and add oil, butter, eggs, and milk into the center. Stir until just mixed (batter will be runny – don’t be alarmed!). Bake in an 8” square pan at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. This doubles perfectly for a 9X13-inch pan.
  2. For the honey butter, whip all together with an electric mixer and serve at room temperature (can be refrigerated and softened).

Coconut Chicken Thai Curry


Coconut Chicken Thai Curry
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Author: 
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped into 1" pieces and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
  • 2 zucchini, cut into ½" x 2" spears
  • 1 red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, sliced
  • 1 cup green onions, chopped (about 8 stalks)
  • half a yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste (or 1" piece of fresh ginger, grated)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated or finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons red thai curry paste
  • 1 16 ounce can coconut cream (or coconut milk or light coconut milk)
  • salt and pepper
  • red pepper flakes for garnish if you like it spicy
  • 2 cups cooked rice (or cauliflower rice or a baked sweet potato for Paleo/Whole30), for serving
Instructions
  1. Heat a wok or your largest skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon coconut oil and cook the chicken breast until golden brown and cooked thru, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate.
  2. With the heat still over high, melt another tablespoon of coconut oil in the wok. Add in all the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Cook the vegetables until starting to brown slightly on the edges, but still crisp tender, about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and ginger, cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add in the thai curry paste and stir to combine. Add in the coconut milk and stir to combine. Add the chicken back in, and cook for another few minutes until heated thru.
  3. Spoon the coconut chicken thai curry over rice (or cauliflower rice) and serve warm. Top with red pepper flakes if you like more spice.
  4. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container for 3 days.

Bangkok Coconut Curry Noodles


bangkok coconut curry noodle bowls
serves: 4 servings  Pinch of yum
INGREDIENTS
For the Coconut Curry Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced (or a paste - I like this stuff)
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 14-ounce can regular coconut milk
  • ½ cup reduced sodium chicken or veggie broth (optional - see notes)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hot chili paste (sambal oelek)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
For the Bowls:
  • 4 ounces rice noodles - I use brown rice noodles but they can be hard to find - so I buy these ones
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • half an onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli florets
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup chopped asparagus
  • 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • sesame seeds for topping
  • limes for serving
  • a handful of fresh basil for serving

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Noodles: Soak the noodles in a bowl of cold water. Start this right away - they need at least 20 minutes or so of soaking. When they're soft, drain and rinse.
  2. Sauce: Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the shallots and ginger; stir fry for 3-5 minutes. Add the curry paste; stir fry for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, sugar, chili paste, fish sauce, and soy sauce. Simmer for 15 minutes or so while you prep the rest of the ingredients - it should thicken slightly. If you're adding the broth to make the sauce go farther, you might need a little extra simmer time for the sauce to thicken.
  3. Vegetables and Assembly: In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the onion, carrots, broccoli, and asparagus. Stir fry for about 5 minutes until the broccoli and asparagus are bright green. Add the noodles and toss around in the pan with the vegetables. Add the sauce and toss together until just combined (if you cook it too long at this point, the noodles might get too sticky). Serve topped with the purple cabbage and sesame seeds and a squeeze of lime or basil leaves if you want.
NOTES
If you want more of a saucy, soupy consistency to the curry, add the broth with the coconut milk. Otherwise leave it out - you won't have as much sauce and it will be more like a velvety, sticky sauce on the noodles (also yummy). The pictures here show the version WITH the broth.

For a vegetarian or vegan version, make sure your curry paste is vegetarian, or make your own, and omit the fish sauce in this recipe or use a vegan alternative (you could make up for the missing saltiness with more soy sauce).

For those who like spice, add more chili paste or anything else you like to get a touch more heat! I would rate this as mild +.

Healthy Cookie Dough Balls




Healthy Cookie Dough Balls
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups Almond Flour
  • ¼ Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • ¼ Cup Coconut Oil (softened)
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 2 Tablespoons Almond Butter (I use Justin's)
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla
  • Mini Dark Chocolate Chips to taste
Instructions
  1. Mix all the all the ingredients together in a bowl. Using your hands for this, as opposed to a spoon or spatula, seems to be the best way to combine everything.
  2. If you find that the mixture is too dry, continue to add a tablespoon of water at a time until it reaches the desired dough-like consistency.
  3. Roll the dough into small balls, and store in the refrigerator or freezer. I really love these frozen!
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