Smoked Almond Toffee Mini Milk Chocolate Kisses

Ever since I tried smoked almonds a few months ago I’ve been planning on making some kind of cookies with them. So here we are.

D&D_266016 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup smoked almonds, chopped
8 ozs toffee pieces
5 ozs mini milk chocolate kisses

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Over a piece of waxed paper, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.

In bowl of stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time and blend well after each addition. Mix in vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add almonds, toffee, and kisses.

Scoop dough onto baking sheet with a couple inches in between. Sprinkle with a little Maldon salt if you’re in the mood. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, turning the pans half way through.

Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Source: Mod Meals on Mendenhall & cute firefighter guys never hurt. Recipe modified by, um, me.

2 Feb 2018

Dulce de Leche Krispies

I have always loved rice krispie treats. They taste amazing and are dead simple. My mom always made them around the holidays – I really do not remember them any other time to be honest, but I will make the when ever the mood strikes.  And make them you should because the store bought ones are vile.

The first time I made a mistake with rice krispie treats, it turned out to be an excellent depth to the general recipe on the box. I let the butter brown just a little bit – wow – that made a different.

So the next time, I did the same thing and then added some vanilla to the mix. Even better.

And then I did all of the above and salted them with crushed Maldon salt* and it was stunning.

I think this idea also will work for me. I am a huge fan of dulce de leche – so much that I will purchase dulce de leche ice cream and I am really not a fan of ice cream in general. That should be impressive. It is to me.D&D_1917

I got this recipe from Food & Wine magazine online and just had to give it a go. The author, Marcia Kiesel, switches out the marshmallows for the dulce de leche. The addition of nuts is also an interesting twist. I think that will inspire me to try different nuts – salted pistachios perhaps – in the future just so see how it works.

2 dozen krispies

3/4 cup crispy rice cereal
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
3 1/2 ounces blanched sliced almonds
5 tablespoons dulce de leche at room temperature, plus more for topping
Sea Salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the rice cereal with 1 teaspoon of the vegetable oil. Spread the oiled rice cereal in an even layer on a large nonstick rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until the rice cereal is very crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool to room temperature.

In a the same large bowl, mix the sliced almonds with the toasted rice cereal. Using a rubber spatula, blend in the 5 tablespoons of dulce de leche and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of oil, stirring well to coat the rice cereal and almonds thoroughly.

Line nonstick rimmed baking sheets with parchment and spray lightly with cooking spray. Scoop rounded tablespoons of the rice-almond mixture onto the pan and gently flatten them into 2 1/2-inch-wide disks. Lightly sprinkle the krispies with salt. Bake them until they are lightly browned, about 12 minutes.

Let the krispies cool on the baking sheets for 1 minute. Carefully transfer them to a platter to cool completely. Dollop each one with 1/4 teaspoon of the remaining dulce de leche and serve.

The krispies can be stored in an airtight container overnight. Guessing they won’t last much longer than that.

Source: Food & Wine

9 June 2017 – The Boy really liked them and they went over well in the test kitchen.

 

Toffee Macadamia Nut Cookies

So, I had a half a can of macadamia nuts lounging around in the refrigerator – I always either refrigerate or freeze nuts – and wanted to do something other than the typical white chocolate macadamia cookie. They are great, don’t get me wrong, and I did make a batch of them, but there has to be something else to do with macadamia nuts. And this recipe just happened to fall into my lap.D&D_1972

I made the dough first thing in the morning with the plans to bake them at the end of the day, so they will be in the fridge aging for about 6-7 hours. I like to do this when ever possible. To my mind, it makes for more relaxing baking. Make the dough, then in a day or two bake the cookies. This is also the way I get a decent bit of baking done during the week.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup toffee bits + a little more
1/2 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts + a little more
flakey salt, such as Maldon, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Over a piece of waxed paper, sift together flour and baking soda.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars until well combined and lighter. Mix in the egg and the vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients until flour just disappears. Do not over mix. Stir in toffee and macadamia nuts.

Using a cookie scoop (#), scoop out dough and place a couple inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle each cookie generously with flaky salt and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are golden, but the centers are still soft-ish. Let cool on baking sheet 5 minutes and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

source:  iamafoodblog.com/toffee-macadamia-nut-cookies/

Went for 11 minutes and that was a bit of a mess. Tossed those out – 8 minutes, turning half way through was the best bet,

These went over well at the test kitchen (office and students). That makes me happy. I like making things that people like.

24 June 2017

 

Butter / Egg Usage – October 2016

1 October 2016 – Red Onion White Wine OJ Butter Sauce Pasta with spinach tortellini  – 4 Tbs

14 October 2016 – Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Cookies – 16 Tbs / 2 large eggs

15 October 2016 – Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins – 5 1/2 Tbs / 2 large eggs

19 October 2016 – Shortbread – 16 Tbs

19 October 2016 – Best Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies – 12 Tbs / 1 large egg

25 October 2016 – Cheddar, Corn, and Sausage Muffins – 4 Tbs / 2 large eggsdd_1591

27 October 2016  – Lemon Bars – 16 Tbs butter / 5 large eggs

28 October 2016 – Pecan Sandies – 16 Tbs butter

28 October 2016 – Lemon Crisps– 8 Tbs butter / 1 large egg

97.5 Tbs = 12.1875 sticks = 48.75 ozs = 3.04 pounds 

13 eggs 

I will have to add this all up just to see where it gets me for this year. This is not a bad month after all. Might even make up for my crappy summer. But probably will not. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies – redux

I have had a habit of making cookies in the fall/winter (when the baking is so much easier) for people that I really appreciate. Especially for all the staff at the restaurants that we go to. And now it is time to start baking again for this fall, at least our version of fall – which is not saying much — sigh. dd_1578

There is a sweet boy that works at our favorite local on the beach and I have been remiss to ask his name, but I finally did last weekend and asked him what kind of cookies he liked. I think I might have scared him a bit – I mean who does that. He said chocolate chip, so this is a new version of the standard. Because Toll House Cookies are a total standard – at least for me. But I totally wanted to make some really exotic kind of cookies …  but he said chocolate chip cookies, so there we are. Simple as it is ….

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups unsifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips (12 oz bag)

Preheat  oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment.

Sift flour, baking soda, and salt over a sheet of waxed paper.

In a stand mixer, beat butter with sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until creamy and lightened in color. Add eggs, one at a time and then add vanilla. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Gradually mix in flour mixture into butter mixture. Stir in Ghirardelli chocolate chips.

Drop by disher* #30 onto parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.

* a disher is apparently a name for a cookie scoop – or an ice cream scoop. Had no idea at all, but thanks to Alton Brown I know how to determine the size of the disher. The one I had was a 40, so I then purchased a 30 and a 20.

I really liked these cookies. They were crispy on the edges and that is what I like in a chocolate chip cookie. Not a huge fan of the chewy cookie, unless they are oatmeal cookies. These seemed to go over well with the Boy, and the office. So, all in all that is a good thing. I do value the opinions of my friends and family – just as long as they are honest in their assessments. I think these were a success.

Brickle bits of Snicks

I think we all love the idea of a recipe that we can make with the things we have on hand. That said, it is so very annoying when you think you have something that you always have on hand – and then you don’t have it at all. Damn it.dd_img_0450-edit

I had that happen tonight. I was making Snicks for a good friend because I remember he liked them and I just knew I had everything. Crisco – check, butter – check, eggs – check, brickle – check, and the rest … sugar, flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, blah blah. Oh, holy crap – why do I not have ground cinnamon. I mean I looked everywhere in the pantry  and nada, nope, nothing. It cannot be a Snick without cinnamon. Thank goodness my dear mother-in-law lives around the corner and she bailed me out. Once again.

I guess I am not as good as putting things on the grocery list as I thought. Although cinnamon is typically one of those ingredients that I order from Penzey’s or the Spice House, but I can manage with grocery store cinnamon. Then I realized I needed to refill my supply of cream of tartar too, and hell, looking around the kitchen I need several other things. I think this just may be the pre-baking season clean up and restock.

8 Tbs of unsalted butter, softened
1/2 vegetable shortening, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of brickle bits (Heath’s – it is in the baking aisle)*
__
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt over a piece of waxed paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time and beat until incorporated. Add flour mixture in thirds and mix until just combined. Mix in brickle pieces.

Use a #40 disher to make cookies, rounding them in your hands before rolling them in the 2 tsp cinnamon and 1/3 cup of sugar sifted together. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 9-11 minutes**, turning half way through. Cool on the baking sheet for a minute and then remove to a cooling rack to cool.

Made 36 cookies.

* If you want this to be easy, one bag equals 1 1/3 cup of brickle pieces. I prefer a bit less so that is why I go for a scant one cup. Your call. But please do not try to store the brickle in the fridge – humidity and brickle does not go well together. I store mine in the pantry in a zip top bag and it has worked out well.

** 9 minutes worked perfectly for us.

Modification of a recipe from Cookie Madness.

 

Cranberry White Chocolate Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

I thought this might be my longest recipe title for a cookie, but I now know that is not the case – just wait for it. I make cookies (or just bake) for people, it makes me happy – the Boy, friends, co-workers (who are also friends), and even occasionally I make something that the MotH* enjoys. This was a recipe I told my friend from Iowa about and made these cookies for them. As I have said many times, I do love a “breakfast” cookie (definition: any cookie w/oatmeal and nuts), but I have to admit that I was not sure about this recipe the first time I saw it about four years ago. I guess it was just the white chocolate, or any kind of chocolate for that matter,  because all the other flavors and the ones I added made this an instant favorite of mine, but I was still hesitant about the white chocolate. But once I tried these – thanks Dana! – I was so sold on them. They seem like a fall cookie, but as you can tell, I made them this spring for my Iowa friends – who I miss.

D&D_1305And I ate these cookies for breakfast. Yep. I did. Hello, oatmeal and pecans. Love me some “breakfast” cookies.

2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg – yes, freshly grated
6 ozs dried cranberries – yes, by weight
2/3 cup white chocolate chips (or a 4 oz bar chopped up) Ghirardelli as usual
1 cup chopped pecans, Renfroe’s as usual – local is best.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Over a piece of waxed paper, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and then add the oats.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time of course, mixing well after each and then add the vanilla.    Add flour mixture, which includes the oats, to the butter mixture in a few additions, mixing well after each. Stir in cranberries, white chocolate chips, and pecans.

Drop by rounded teaspoons (or cookie scoop) onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

*Man of the House

Source: My friend Dana –  have no idea where she found this, and kind of don’t care. I like recipes from friends. We both added things to the recipe. She added cinnamon, vanilla, and walnuts. I added freshly grated nutmeg and pecans to replace walnuts because we have amazing local pecans, and kept the vanilla and cinnamon. Duh.

I think I could make these cookies every week and eat all of them, but I just do not.

White chocolate surprises me on a regular basis. I do not expect to like it, but there are several cases where I do.