Saturday, December 22, 2007

Who's scared of a little raw egg?

Not me. "Testing" the dough (you know, to make sure it isn't poisonous before I bake it and feed it to my loved ones) is usually my favorite part of making cookies. And I will just say that the dough from these S'mores Cookies I made was the best cookie dough I have ever tasted. I really did not want to bake these cookies but instead eat it all with a spoon. But of course I couldn't do that (or could I??).

So where did I get this magic recipe for the best evah cookie dough? From a recipe exchange hosted by Katie from the WC board. Everyone who wanted to participate submitted a recipe to Katie who then randomly (you know, with respect to allergies, religious/dietary restrictions, etc) assigned the recipe to someone else. When I opened my email and saw this recipe I was happy...but come on, who wouldn't be happy with something called s'mores cookies? And without further ado, here is the recipe:

Smores Cookies
  • 1 Stick butter
  • 1 Stick margarine
  • 1 Cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Cup chocolate chunks
  • 1 Cup crumbled graham crackers (leave some chunks at least ½ inch in size)
  • 1 Cup mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 375 degrees – use UNGreased cookie sheet or parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl beat butter and margarine with mixer on medium-high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, white sugar and baking soda. Beat until mixture is combined, scrapping sides of bowl occasionally.

Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer and stir in the rest. Fold in chocolate chunks, marshmallows and graham crackers.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2-inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes or until edges are slightly brown. Transfer to wire rack and let cool.

** With the chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers you can use a little more or less to taste….

** you can also push in some marshmallows towards the end of baking so that they're still gooey fresh from the oven!

The verdict? These were good. Really good. Really good chocolate chip cookies. While I really liked them, they weren't what I was expecting. I guess I was imagining lots of marshmallows and graham crackers held together by a little bit of cookie...I hope that makes as much sense to you as it does in my head :)

If I made these again, I would definitely take the suggestions at the end to up the marshmallow and graham crackers. But even if I never want smores cookies, I think this is going to be my go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookies...the dough was that good ;)

And the picture? Oh yeah, about that. I forgot to take one. And they are long gone now in my belly and the bellies of DH's coworkers. But here is a similar one ;)

photo from with a little "photoshopping" from me

Monday, October 22, 2007

Not so monster Monster Cookies

Anyone who knows me (should) know that I have a major sweet tooth - you might could call it an addiction because when there are sweets in the house, they are like crack to me. So when I found the blog Cookie Madness a few months ago I was hooked - a whole blog devoted to yummy desserts (not just cookies). What I especially like about this blog is that she doesn't just make fru fru desserts, but things that everyday people eat (and make) - that is the main appeal to me because I just can't do fru fru.

I can't tell you how many of her entries I have starred in my Google Reader to make, but this is the first one I have actually gotten around to making. Halloween Monster Cookies. When I needed to make a few cookies to bring to a friend, this seemed perfect because she has scaled the original recipe down to only make 8. But I made them smaller than called for, so that's why I called them "not so monster." I'm not going to post the original here because I didn't make any changes* and besides, you really should check out her awesome blog!

* Okay, I did make a couple changes. I made them smaller (as I already said) and used 1/3 cup regular M&M's. Plus I replaced the chocolate chips with a 1/3 cup candy corn to compensate for the lack of Halloweeness. But I don't really consider those changes.

Mini Apple Coffe Cakes

I had some apples that needed to be used pretty soon and wanted to make something yummy with them - more specifically I wanted to make this apple cake from MrsPresley's blog Good Eats and Sweet Treats, but when I opened my refrigerator, I was dismayed to find that I only had one stick of butter left to make a cake that called for 3 (yes 3) sticks. Oh, and I also only had one egg. So I had to scratch that idea. I also had to scratch any idea of making something that called for eggs because I needed that one egg to make cookies for a friend.

Enter my Dining on a Dime Cook Book. As a cook on a budget, I love this cookbook because it has tips to save money at the grocery store along with simple recipes that won't break the bank. In there is where I found a simple coffee cake recipe that had much fewer ingredients than I have seen in a recipe. I followed the recipe exactly except with the addition on chunks of apples. Oh, and the fact that mine was cooked in mini loaf pans in a toaster oven instead of an 8x8 pan in a real oven :) I changed the order of the directions slightly to make more sense.

Apple Coffee Cake
  • 2 cups flour (I used half whole wheat)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 rounded Tbsp shortening
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 medium diced Apple (I used Gala)
Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and shortening. Set aside 3/4 cup of the mixture for the topping. Add milk to remainder of flour mixture and mix until smooth. Pour batter into an 8x8 buttered pan.

  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
Combine 3/4 cup of reserved flour mixture with above ingredients and sprinkle over the top of batter. Bake for 30 minutes.

This recipe filled two mini loaf pans and also made 4 muffins. These were really yummy and were had just the right amount of crumbliness (is that a word?) Despite the minimal list of ingredients, they packed a good flavor. Plus Justin said we could consider it healthy since they had whole wheat and fruit in them :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pizza Night

Every Friday night at my house is (homemade) pizza night. Period. So even with the oven out of commission, nothing was going to stop me from enjoying this (albeit new) tradition. But the task was not a difficult one, as a toaster oven is just a teeny, tiny, tabletop oven…right? Whatever the toppings, the crust is always the same. I found this recipe a few months back and absolutely love it. Made as it, it is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside and rises to heights that put some chain pizza restaurants to shame. I say “made as is” because I no longer make it as is. I am real big on whole wheat, so I simply replace the all purpose flour with whole wheat. I started doing half and half, then slowly whittled the ratio down until I was brave enough to try it all whole wheat. This crust still is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, but it doesn’t rise as much and has a nutty flavor to it. But that is to be expected. I still love it, though (I love whole wheat), and will continue to make it this way. I've included three pizzas in this post, a calzone, southwestern chicken, and oreo. There are no recipes, just a description of what I did.

For the calzone, I rolled my balls of dough out, topped half with cheese and turkey pepperoni and put some green pepper on one side for Justin (because I could only cook one at a time and neither of us was waiting to eat), folded the empty side over, and crimped the two sides together. I dipped mine in pizza sauce while Justin ate his without.

The next weekend I decided to make a southwestern chicken pizza. I first took a chicken breast and cut it into bite size pieces. I then sprinkled them with a little cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes before grilling. For the sauce, I (not all the way) drained a can of black beans and put it in the food processor with the same spices. When it was to the sauce consistency I like, I spread a little over a prebaked crust (which I had sprinkled with a little garlic powder and red pepper flakes before baking). I topped with a little cheese, the chicken, then a little more cheese. I baked it for about 15 minutes on 400.

I'm sure by now everyone has seen the commercial for Domino's new Oreo Pizza. If you can get past the disgustin Oreo beards on the actors, you see nothing but a glorious crust filled with crushed Oreos. When I first saw it I thought "that's my kind of pizza!" So tonight, though I have never had one, I decided that was going to be our dessert to go with the chicken pizza. I prebaked that same white pizza dough (I know, I know I said I use whole wheat, but I didn't think the Oreos would taste very well on ww dough) and topped with cream cheese frosting. I then crushed about 10-15 oreos and piled them on the crust, after which I drizzled with a powdered sugar/milk glaze. I put it in the ove just to warm everything, since the crust was already baked, for about 8 minutes. It also gave the powdered sugar and the oreos a little chance to brown, so it was really yummy. I will definitely be making this again (though not on a reguar basis because look at the sugar on that!).

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Zucchini Chicken for one

I don't think I have ever had zucchini before (well, except in zucchini bread, but that doesn't count). But that didn't stop me from getting a big craving for it when I saw it in at the farmer's market. So of course I had to buy a big, beautiful one. It sat in my fridge a couple days before I actually figured out what I was going to do with it. I had seen this recipe on awhile back, so I figured this would be easy enough for me to whip up on a weeknight. Below is the recipe how I made it. Keep in mind that I made just enough for me.

Zucchini Chicken
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs plus 2 tsp
  • 1 teaspoon parmesan cheese
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 medium zucchini, sliced (I actually used three slices cut on a bias)
  • 1 slice of tomato
  • 2 tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Mix 1/4 cup bread crumbs with pepper and parm cheese. Coat chicken in buttermilk, then breadcrumb mixture.

In skillet, brown chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Saute zucchini slices until they begin to brown.

In a greased baking dish or pan, lay down zucchini slices down and sprinkle with leftover bread crumbs and tbsp of cheese. Layer tomato slice, then chicken. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes (I of course baked it in the toaster oven at 350 for about 30 minutes), then sprinkle with remaining cheese and cook for 10 minutes more to melt cheese.

I served this with brown rice mixed with little slices of sauteed zucchini.

The whole time I was putting this together I was talking to Justin on the phone, and I kept asking him if he liked zucchini. And if I like zucchini. And what did zucchini taste like. Turns out he's never had it either. Too bad he wasn't home to try it, because it was really good! I think I like zucchini now, but I can't really describe how it tasted in this. The chicken, though, was really moist and had a lot of flavor to not have a lot of ingredients. The only thing I didn't like was the tomato. But then again, I'm not very fond of tomatoes. But I will say that it added a nice sweetness to the dish that wasn't bad when eaten with both the zucchini and the chicken.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Salmon Patties

If I had to make a list of my all time favorite meals, this one would be right up there near the top. It is so simple, but I have always loved salmon patties! They are just so comforting. I would request it for my birthday dinner, when I came home from college, and it was even the meal I requested the first time Justin cooked for me.

Another reason I like salmon patties, atleast when it comes to me making them, is that they are so easy! And as we all know, I like easy meals!

Salmon Patties
  • 1 can pink salmon, drained
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • salt & pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together and form into 6 patties.
At this point I would normally pan fry in a little bit of oil, but this last time I just sprayed the pan with Pam and cooked them until golden brown without any extra oil. Each side took about 5-7 minutes.
I actually cooked half of the batter for me, then added a small chopped onion in the rest for Justin.

These must always be served with the same thing : macaroni and cheese and french style green beans. I served mac 'n cheese this time, but I never have canned vegetables, so I served it with steamed broccoli.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Sugar Rush

So I needed some sugar therapy this afternoon and wanted to bake something. Of course, I was too lazy to make anything difficult. So I decided on the easiest cookie I know - 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies. I have been making these since I was little and never make any other peanut butter recipe because they are so simple and tasty. But today I decided to change them up a bit - I made them in to chocolate chip peanut butter s'more cookies.

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of sugar (I used brown because that is all I had)
  • 1 cup peanut butter

Mix ingredients together. I added in a handful of chocolate chips this time. Roll into balls, flatten slightly, and bake for 8 minutes at 350. Of course, in the toaster oven they take more like 14 minutes :)

Now for the s'more filling. I'm not exactly sure how much filling is needed for this recipe because it makes a small batch, so I am going to tell you how I normally make it for a normal batch (I usually do this with chocolate chip cookies). The directions might not be the clearest, but it is the easiest way I can think to explain.

S'more Filling

  • 1 jar of marshmallow fluff
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar, plus more

Mix marshmallow fluff with sugar, then dump out on counter sprinkled with powdered sugar. Knead in more sugar until you get a smooth consistency. Pinch off pieces and roll into balls, size is up to you, then sandwich between two cookies.

Let me just tell you - these were sweet. But so good! And since I ate it hot out of the oven, it was practically melting as I ate it. Yay for ooey gooey cookies! I made mine a little on the large size, so one was just enough for me. Oh - and you might want to try these with a large glass of milk to wash them down :)