Andean Potato and Cheese Soup (Locro de Papa)

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Andean Soup

I have never cooked with queso fresco before. I saw some in Costco the other day, so I picked up a package. I bought 2 eight-ounce blocks, so you’ll probably see another cheese recipe or two before I use it up. Queso fresco (or “fresh cheese”), is mild, mellow and a bit salty and a bit buttery. If you’re not a feta fan, this would be a good, slightly more mild substitute.

This soup was delicious. It’s a traditional Equadorian soup that’s light but filling. It can be served as an appetizer or as a light main course. I enjoyed the little bites of chewy cheese that accompanied the chunky vegetables. If you like a slightly spicier soup, you can up the red chili flakes.

This is a nice soup for a cold winter night. My husband and I both loved it. The boys, not so much.


Andean Potato and Cheese Soup (Locro de Papa)

Recipe from thekitchn.com

Olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 1/2 pounds (about 4 fist-sized) all-purpose potatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Pinch dried chile flakes (or to taste)
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 ears ripe corn, kernels sliced off (or 2 cups frozen corn)
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
6 ounces (1 well-rounded cup) queso fresco, cubed
1 cup whole milk
Salt
Pepper

Warm a teaspoon or two of olive oil in a large pot (at least 5 quarts) over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent and just starting to turn golden-brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the potatoes and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cook until the edges of the potatoes are beginning to soften, another 5 minutes.

Clear a space in the middle of the pan and add the garlic, oregano, and cayenne. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds, then stir into the onions and potatoes. Add the stock to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer the soup until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the corn kernels, peas, queso fresco, and milk to the soup. Bring back to a simmer (do not boil) and cook until the corn and peas are tender, another 5 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

 

Yield: 6 – 8 servings

Two years ago: Mini Hot Cocoa Cookies
Three years ago: Granola
Four years ago: Quick Chick Pea Curry
Five years ago: Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Tart
Six years ago: M&Ms Cookies
Seven years ago: Chick Pea Salad with Lemon and Parmesan

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Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

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If you are a fan of Funny Bones, these cupcakes are for you. The chocolate cake recipe is amazing, as is the peanut butter filling. They taste just like Drake’s Funny Bones without the chocolate coating on the outside, and with a much better chocolate cake. Funny Bones were my favorite of the Drakes cakes of my childhood. I also liked Devil Dogs, Yodels and Ring Dings, but the Funny Bones were my hands-down favorite. As far as other snack cakes went, I was never a huge fan or Twinkies or Sno Balls. I much preferred the chocolate snacks.

These cupcakes are easy to make and easy to fill. The filling comes together in no time because it only uses three ingredients: peanut butter, butter and Marshmallow Fluff. I’m not a big fan of recipes that have junk like pre-made Marshmallow Fluff in them, but when these seemed like they might taste like Funny Bones, I had to try them. They were a huge hit in our house, except with one of my sons, who still basically only eats peanut butter. He eats so much of it in sandwiches that he’s turned off by anything else that has peanut butter in it. Even these!

I’m usually a frosting fan, but with the creamy peanut butter filling, these cupcakes don’t need anything more than a dusting of powdered sugar. There was a little filling left over, so I frosted a couple of cupcakes with the filling. My sons ate those and raved about them.

Here’s what I learned when making this recipe: when the directions say to lightly spray a muffin tin, do just that. Don’t be heavy-handed with the cooking spray or it will pool at the bottom of the muffin cups. When you dust the pan with cocoa, you’ll end up with a chocolatey sludge. Not ideal. Your butter definitely wants to be at room temperature before you use it in the frosting.

This is going to be one of my go-to chocolate cupcake recipes, even if I don’t fill them. I loved the texture and flavor of the cake.

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Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cupcakes
Recipe from Martha Stewart

Cooking spray
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup warm water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat 12 standard muffin cups with cooking spray, then dust with cocoa, tapping out excess. In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Using a mixer, beat in eggs, buttermilk, oil, and 3/4 cup water on medium until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Divide batter among cups and bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes and let cool completely on rack.

In a large bowl, using mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and peanut butter on high until fluffy, 3 minutes; fold in marshmallow topping. Transfer to a zip-top bag and cut off one corner to make a 1/2-inch opening.

With a melon baller, scoop out center of each cupcake base and set aside (these pieces will plug cupcakes after filling). Hollow out each cupcake a bit more, discarding crumbs. Fill cavities with peanut butter mixture and replace plugs. (Refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 1 week.) To serve, dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Yield: 18 cupcakes

Two years ago: Chicken, Ham and Cheddar Roll-Ups
Three years ago: Orange-Scented Almond and Olive Oil Muffins
Four years ago: Coconut Blondies
Five years ago: Asian Pork Tenderloin
Six years ago: Black Bean Brownies
Seven years ago: Sugar Spiced Nuts

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pecans and Maple

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Sweet Potatoes Pecans Maple

I have had my eye on this recipe for a long time. I’m a huge fan of recipes by Yotam Ottolenghi. One tastes more interesting and full of flavor than the next. His combination of herbs and spices may seem a bit strange, but the resulting dishes end up tasting wonderful.

This is a very interesting sweet potato salad. My husband said it reminded him of something that would be served at Thanksgiving. I think it’s the cinnamon that made him feel that way. It’s like no other potato salad you’ve ever tasted. A bit sweet and a bit savory with a big explosion of flavor. I love it, as did my husband. The boys would have none of it. Too many colors and flavors for them.

The original recipe called for sultanas. I had to look that one up. One site I found said it was a pale green grape. Another site said it was a golden raisin. I am not a huge fan of raisins, so I decided to use grapes. I didn’t notice the spice from the red pepper flakes. If you like a little spice in your salads, I’d up this to 1/2 teaspoon. You want to make sure you have fresh herbs for this recipe. Dried won’t do.

My kitchen scale was put to good use when I had to measure the pecans and the grapes.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pecans and Maple
Recipe adapted ever so slightly from The Ottolenghi Cookbook

2 sweet potatoes (about 850g [2 lbs] in total)
3 Tablespoon olive oil
1.5 ounces pecans
4 scallions, roughly chopped
4 Tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 Tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1.5 ounces sliced grapes
salt and pepper

For the dressing

4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 Tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Wash the sweet potatoes and scrub the skin. You’re not going to peel them. Cut them into a 3/4 inch dice. Spread them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (for easy clean-up) and toss them with the olive oil until they are all coated in oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast them for 30 minutes, gently stirring them after 15 minutes.

On a separate baking tray, toast the pecans for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and chop roughly.

To make the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl with some salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

When the potatoes are cooked, transfer them to a large bowl while still hot. Add the scallions, parsley, cilantro, red pepper flakes, pecans and grapes. Pour the dressing over and toss gently to blend. You may not need all of the dressing. Season to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 4 servings

Two years ago: Chicken and Rice Soup
Three years ago: Cajun Jambalaya
Four years ago: Red Velvet Cupcakes
Five years ago: Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cakes
Six years ago: Shrimp with Spiced Masala and Coconut Milk
Seven years ago: Breakfast Cookies

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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

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I have been making these cookies for a while now and they’re delicious. I found the recipe on the back of a bag of King Arthur flour. I love the addition of oats to a good chocolate chip cookie.

If you cook these according to the instructions, leaving the centers of the cookies looking a little shiny (or underdone) when you take them out of the oven, you’ll end up with a chewy cookie. The last time I made them, I cooked them a little longer and I ended up with nice crispy cookies. Both ways are good, it just depends upon your preference.

These cookies have a lot of chips. If you’re a chocolate chip fan, this recipe is for you. The next time I make these, I’m going to try cutting the chips by a half cup.

I brought a batch of these cookies on a ski weekend with friends, and they were a big hit. They received rave reviews.

 

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Recipe from King Arthur Flour

1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt or 3/4 teaspoon regular table salt
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

 

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line several cookie sheets with parchment paper, or lightly grease with non-stick vegetable oil spray.

Beat together the butter and sugars until smooth.

Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla one at a time, beating well after each.

Whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and add to the butter mixture in the bowl.

Mix until everything is thoroughly incorporated. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and mix briefly.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Decide what size cookies you want to make. A muffin scoop (1/4 cup) will make 20 large, palm-sized cookies. A tablespoon cookie scoop (4 teaspoons) will make 50 medium (2 3/4″ to 3″) cookies; and a teaspoon cookie scoop (2 teaspoons) will make 100 small (2 1/2″) cookies.

Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2″ to 2″ between cookies.

Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown, with slightly darker edges. Their middles may still look a tiny bit shiny; that’s OK, they’ll continue to bake as they cool on the pan.

Remove the cookies from the oven, and as soon as they’re set enough to handle, transfer them to racks to cool.

Yield: 20 to 100 cookies, depending on size.

One year ago: Sugared Pretzel Cookies
Two years ago: Carrot Soup with Ginger and Lemon
Three years ago: Zvi’s Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Four years ago: Roasted Butternut Squash
Five years ago: Parmesan Cheese Crackers
Six years ago: Cardamom Spritz Cookies
Seven years ago:: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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Parker's Split Pea Soup

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pea soup

NYC is about to be dumped on by about 24 inches of snow. Schools are closed tomorrow, roads close tonight at 11pm, as does mass transit. It’s going to be a ghost town here in a couple of hours, which is odd for the city. It’s not snowing at all right now, but AccuWeather’s minutecam says the snow will arrive in 6 minutes!

What do you want when it’s cold and snowy outside? A hot bowl of soup! This is my all-time favorite pea soup. I’ve made it numerous times. I like that half of the peas are added at the beginning, then the other half later. Half of the peas get mushy and the other half retain some structural integrity, like the carrots and the potatoes. If you prefer a creamier soup, add all of the split peas at once.

The recipe indicates that you’ll have to skim the foam from the soup when it starts to cook. I had to do this several times. I just read a tip online saying that if you thoroughly rinse your peas before adding them to the soup, you won’t have the foam problem. I plan to try the tip next time I make this soup.

I found that my soup needed to cook longer than the amount of time specified in the recipe. I also found that I needed to add more water or chicken stock to keep the soup from getting too thick. Stay close to the cooking soup and stir it frequently so it doesn’t burn or stick to the bottom of the pot. This soup has an amazing amount of flavor of such a simple list of ingredients.

This soup makes great leftovers.

Parker’s Split Pea Soup
Recipe from Ina Garten via FoodNetwork.com

1 cup chopped yellow onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups medium-diced carrots (3 to 4 carrots)
1 cup medium-diced red boiling potatoes, unpeeled (3 small)
1 pound dried split green peas
8 cups chicken stock

In a 4-quart stockpot on medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with the olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, 1/2 pound of split peas, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Skim off the foam while cooking. Add the remaining split peas and continue to simmer for another 40 minutes, or until all the peas are soft. Stir frequently to keep the solids from burning on the bottom. Taste for salt and pepper. Add additional water or chicken broth if you find the soup to be too thick. Serve hot.

Yield: 6 servings

One year ago: Eggnog Doughnut Muffins
Two years ago: Chocolate Chocolate-Chunk Muffins
Three years ago: Baked Ziti with Tomato, Mozzarella and Sausage
Four years ago: Rosemary Parmesan Coins
Five years ago: Mashed Yellow Turnips with Crispy Shallots
Six years ago: Big Dutch Baby

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Chocolate Ricotta Muffins

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choc chip muffin

I know I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve officially become more of an occasional food blogger. With four boys in middle school, my time is devoted to them – bringing them here and there, helping with homework, encouraging them to do their homework rather than fool around, etc. I’m still doing a lot of cooking, but I have less time to stage and photograph the recipes that I like. I’m going to do my best to get back to it.

I made these muffins on Saturday morning for breakfast. I had some extra ricotta in the refrigerator and I’m always happy when I can get a little extra protein and calcium into something that the boys eat. All of the boys loved them. As soon as they saw the muffins set out for breakfast, one son said, is there broccoli in these? Another asked about zucchini. They’re wise to my tricks. I was happy that I could honestly tell them that I did not try to hide any vegetables in the muffins.

This recipe made a dozen standard-sized muffins, plus a dozen mini-muffins. The recipe states that you should let the muffins cool for 30 minutes before serving them. My boys ate them as soon as they came out of the oven. There were a couple of downsides to this: one son found that the muffins stuck to the wrapper and another son found out that the chocolate chips were molten and very hot. Once the muffins cooled, neither of these problems existed.

I dusted the muffins with powdered sugar. The boys are already asking when I can make them again.

 

Chocolate Ricotta Muffins
Recipe from Molly Katzen

Nonstick spray for the pan
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
7 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup ricotta
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray 12 standard-sized (2 1/2-inch-diameter) muffin cups with nonstick spray or line them with paper liners.  You may need to spray a couple of additional cups or some mini-muffin cups.  The batter made 12 standard sized muffins plus 12 mini-muffins.

Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, cocoa, and sugar in a medium-sized bowl.

Place the ricotta in a second medium-sized bowl, and add the eggs one at a time, beating well with a medium-sized whisk after each addition. Add the milk and vanilla, and whisk until thoroughly blended.

Pour the ricotta mixture, along with the melted butter, into the dry ingredients. Using a spoon or a rubber spatula, stir from the bottom of the bowl until the dry ingredients are all moistened. Don’t overmix; a few lumps are okay.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. For smaller muffins, fill the cups about 4/5 of the way. For larger muffins, fill them even with the top of the pan. If you have extra batter, spray one or two additional muffin cups with nonstick spray and put in as much batter as you have.

Bake in the middle of the oven for to 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly browned on top, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven, then remove the muffins from the pan and place them on a rack to cool. Wait at least 30 minutes before serving (see comments in text above about this).

Yield: 1 dozen standard-size muffins plus 12 mini-muffins

One year ago: Chocolate Mint Crackle Cookies
Two years ago: Peppermint Cream Squares
Three years ago: Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic-Cranberry Sauce
Four years ago: Clementine Vanilla-Bean Quick Bread
Five years ago: Peanut Butter and Jam Jewels
Six years ago: Lemon Bars

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Mallobars

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Mallobars

My sisters know that I love to bake so they periodically send me recipes to try.   This was one of them.   I noted that the original recipe is from Melissa Clark, a NY Times food columnist whose recipes I have enjoyed in the past, so I figured I’d give it a shot.

My assessment:   this recipe is for those those who love to bake and who have a lot of patience.   They take a LONG time to make. They literally took me all day to make. There are many steps involved and long periods of waiting between them.

Did I like them?   I thought they were pretty good.   Not my favorite dessert.   Did my boys like them?   Yes. They LOVED them.  Would I make any changes the next time I make them?   Yes.   I’d leave the cinnamon out of the cookie base.   I’d also leave some of the honey out of the marshmallow layer.   I’m more of a vanilla marshmallow fan than a honey one.  I thought the chocolate layer was good.

If you make these, give the bars time to set and the chocolate layer a chance to harden before cutting them or you’ll have a chocolatey mess.  The chocolate will smear all over the marshmallow layer and they won’t be pretty at all.

Note: you need a candy thermometer for this recipe.

Mallobars
Recipe from Cook This Now by Melissa Clark via Project Foodie

For the graham cracker base:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the marshmallow layer:

3 envelopes unflavored gelatin (about 3 tablespoons)
1 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the chocolate glaze:

9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream

First, make the graham cracker base. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugars, and honey until smooth. In a medium bowl, combine the flours, salt, and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer and beat until the dough just comes together.

Wrap the dough in plastic and pat into a disc. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 9  13-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, or in between two sheets of parchment paper, roll out the dough into a rectangle that just fits the prepared pan. Carefully transfer the dough to the prepared pan. Squish it to fit if it starts to tear (the dough is soft). Prick dough all over with a fork. Bake the graham cracker base until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Allow the crust to cool completely before topping with the marshmallow. (The graham cracker base can be made a few days ahead; store, covered in foil, at room temperature.)

While the graham cracker base cools, prepare the honey marshmallow. Place the gelatin in the cold water to bloom. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the sugar, honey, and 1/2 cup water, stirring until the sugar dissolves, until the mixture reaches 240°F on a candy thermometer.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. When the sugar mixture has come up to temperature, carefully pour it into the egg whites while whisking. Continue whisking until the mixture has cooled slightly, about 1 minute, and add the gelatin and water mixture and the vanilla. Continue whisking until the mixture begins to thicken and quadruples in volume, 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape the marshmallow onto the graham cracker base and smooth the top with a spatula. Allow the marshmallow to set for 4 hours or overnight at room temperature.

To prepare the chocolate glaze, place the chocolate pieces in a bowl. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream just to a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate has melted and the glaze is smooth and shiny. Pour the glaze onto the set marshmallow and smooth with a spatula. Allow the glaze to set, about 30 minutes, before cutting into squares. If you’re in a hurry, put the bars in the refrigerator to cool the chocolate.

Yield: ~ 18 2-inch bars

One year ago: Shredded Brussels Sprouts
Two years ago: Halloween Treats
Three years ago: Baked Flounder with Tomatoes and Basil
Four years ago: Red Lentil Soup with Lemon
Five years ago: Spinach and Chicken Tortilla Bake
Six years ago:Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Chocolate Sugar Cookies

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I have made these three times in the last two weeks. I like them because they have a great chocolate flavor, they’re very easy to make, and I always almost have all of the ingredients on hand. I made them for a bake sale at the boys’ school recently and I was told that everyone loved them. I certainly loved that ones that I ate. When they’re baked, they remain every so slightly chewy in the center, which I like. They’re not a crisp cookie. They’re also not overwhelmingly sweet.

When I made these, I didn’t roll the balls of dough in sugar as stated in the recipe. I made a ball out of the dough, flattened it a bit and dipped just the top in sugar. This worked perfectly for me. I didn’t need to sprinkle any extra sugar on top either.

Give these cookies a try. If you’re sending cookies to someone for the holidays, consider these. They’re a sturdy cookie that should travel well.

 

Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Recipe from Cooks Country, May 2013 via Table For Two

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
14 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large egg plus 1 large yolk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets. Place granulated sugar in a shallow dish and set aside. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl. Whisk to combine.

Microwave 10 tbsp. butter, covered, in a large bowl until melted, about 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir in remaining 4 tbsp. of butter until melted. Allow butter to cool, about 5 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and melted butter together until no lumps remain. Add in the egg and yolk and mix until smooth. Gently add in the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Working with 2 tbsp. of dough at a time, roll balls in granulated sugar and divide between baking sheets. Using a bottom of a drinking glass, flatten cookies to 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle each sheet of cookies with 1½ tsp. remaining granulated sugar if desired (n.b. I skip this step).

Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are slightly puffy and edges have begun to set, about 10 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking (cookies will look slightly underdone between cracks). Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Let cookies cool completely before serving.

Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

One year ago:   Asian Quinoa Salad
Two years ago: Malted Chocolate Madeleines
Three years ago: Ground Turkey Shepherd’s Pie
Four years ago: Shortbread Candy Bars
Five years ago: Joanna Pruess’ Molasses Spice Cookies
Six years ago: Cheddar Apple Frittata

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Corn-Shrimp Dumplings

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I’m a little late posting these. I made them in September, at the tail end of the corn season here in the Northeast. If you’re inspired to make them when fresh corn isn’t in season, you can certainly use frozen corn in its place.

I tried this recipe because on the Food and Wine website, it was advertised as being “a cinch to make”. I wouldn’t say the dumplings were hard to make, but they were quite time-consuming. They were delicious, but labor intensive. In my book, that’s not a “cinch to make”.

I found gyoza wrappers at my local Fairway market. Not every supermarket sells them, but many specialty markets do. My gyoza wrappers must have been smaller than those used by the recipe author. She made 20 dumplings. I was able to make many more. My dumplings only took a teaspoon of filling. That’s probably why it took me so much time to make them. Note to self: buy bigger gyoza wrappers next time.

These dumplings freeze beautifully. If you’re freezing them, put them on a cookie sheet so they’re not touching and put them in the freezer. Once they’re frozen, you can put them in individual containers. You don’t want to freeze the dumplings in a pile, or they’ll freeze stuck together and be very difficult to separate.

I served these with a sweet chili sauce and they were really great. I tried dipping them in soy sauce as well, but the chili sauce was my favorite. Trader Joe’s sells a great sweet chili sauce.

 

Corn-Shrimp Dumplings
Recipe from Food and Wine

1 ear of corn, shucked, kernels cut off the cob
1/2 pound shelled and deveined shrimp, chopped
2 scallions, minced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
Kosher salt
20 small, round gyoza wrappers*
Soy sauce, for dipping

In a medium bowl, mix the corn kernels with the shrimp, scallions, garlic and ginger and season with salt. Brush the edges of the wrappers with water and spoon 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each. Fold one side of the wrapper over to form a half moon, pressing the edges together to seal. In a steamer basket, steam the dumplings over simmering water until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.

* the number of wrappers needed will depend upon their size. I needed many more than 20.

Yield:  20 or more dumplings

One year ago: Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Two years ago: Homemade Halloween Oreos
Three years ago: Creamy Curried Celery Root Soup
Four years ago: Mini Nutella Cakes
Five years ago: French Toast
Six years ago: Quick Oat Bran and Banana Muffins

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Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

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This is now one of my favorite desserts. These ice cream sandwiches are so much better than the ones that you buy in the store! They’re easy to make too. I hesitated to make them at first, envisioning a very thin brownie layer sticking to my pan, or breaking as I tried to pick it up, but with the directions below from Smitten Kitchen, they’re a dream to make. Check out her site for photos of the brownies being made if you have any questions.

You need two 8×8″ baking pans for this recipe. The proportions are perfect for that size pan. You’ll ultimately make 16 ice cream sandwiches. You might be thinking to yourself, isn’t a 2×2″ ice cream sandwich kind of small? No! When it includes two homemade brownie layers that are rich and chewy, and a generous portion of ice cream, it’s the perfect size.

I love a good vanilla ice cream and these days I’ve been eating Trader Joe’s vanilla. As ice cream goes, it’s on the inexpensive side, and I love how rich and creamy it is. It worked perfectly in these ice cream sandwiches.

This dessert rated a double thumbs-up from each of the boys.

 

Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches
Recipe from SmittenKitchen.com

For the brownies
:
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

For the filling:
2 to 3 cups ice cream

Heat oven to 350°F. Line two 8×8-inch square baking pans with parchment paper, extending it up two sides. Butter the parchment and exposed sides of the pan or spray them with a nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium heatproof bowl over gently simmering water, heat chocolate and butter together until about 3/4 of the way melted. Remove from heat and stir until smooth. Stir in sugar until fully combined, then eggs, one at a time and vanilla. Stir in salt until combined, then flour, until it just disappears.

Divide batter between two prepared pans and spread it evenly. Bake on different racks for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating once top to bottom and front to back, until a toothpick inserted into the center of each pan comes out batter-free. Transfer the hot pans directly to your freezer (you can put down dish towels or a cooling rack to protect shelves). Chill until cold and firm, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove first pan from freezer, and, working quickly, cover with ice cream. Use a spatula to press it down and smooth the top. Remove second brownie pan from freezer. Run a knife between edges of brownie and pan to make sure it’s not sticking anywhere and use the parchment sling to lift the brownie out of the pan, remove the parchment and place the brownie on top of the ice cream. Place the empty brownie pan on top of the brownie lid, to weight it, and press down a little. Keeping the weighting pan on top, return brownie-ice cream stack to freezer until fully firm, another 30 minutes. Run a knife around brownie stack again to make sure it’s not stuck, and use the parchment sling to transfer the ice cream sandwich block to a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares.


Yield: 16 ice cream sandwiches

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