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Chocolate Peanut Butter Globs

Chocolate Peanut Butter Globs

It’s cold and snowy out and it’s been this way for a while.  So to treat myself and the family I decided to make something very decadent.  Chocolate Peanut Butter Globs.  The recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa, Foolproof cookbook.

One word: WOW!  The batter itself is very light and bakes like a chocolate souffle cookie.  The add-ins are plentiful and make it rich.  Very rich!  I can only say that if you haven’t made these yet then you should makes plans to do so.  Soon!

Alright, now that I’ve let you know just how great these are let’s talk a bit about making them.  There’s only a couple of steps to making these including melting chocolate in a double-boiler and pre-mixing a couple of sets of ingredients.

Mixed Add-Ins for Peanut Butter Globs

The ingredient list itself isn’t too bad either.  The only thing I needed was peanut butter chips as I don’t typically use them.

It all comes together pretty quickly and before you know it you’re putting globs of this delicious looking batter onto your cookie sheets.

Dough for Chocolate Peanut Butter Globs

They go in for 15 minutes exactly and cool on the cookie sheet.  I tried one when it was still pretty warm and it was amazing.  It was all melty chocolate and soft brownie flavor.

Needless to say I’m glad this recipe only makes just under two dozen or so cookies.  I can only overdo it so much.  The rest of the family agrees that these are a keeper.  They’re easy to make and the taste is chocolate deliciousness.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Glob

I would use this recipe as the dessert after a lighter meal.  The richness of the cookie would pair well with a baked chicken dinner with a couple of vegetable based side dishes.  Remember this recipe the next time you want something rich and decadent!

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2014 in Desserts

 

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Soft Vanilla Sandwich Cookies

This weekend I was asked by my DH to “bake up a cookie”.  This request was seconded by my stepson.  I agreed as long as I was able to choose the cookie.  I didn’t get an resistance with that statement so I was off and running.

For those of you that are new here you will find I refer to my Fine Cooking – Cookies magazine quite often.  It has yet to let me down and so that is where I went in search of a new cookie recipe to try.

I was open to anything, as long as it didn’t contain chocolate chips.  They’re not a favorite of the DH.  As I was scanning the pages I came across this one.

Fine Cooking source

Fine Cooking source

I have been trying new recipes lately as I find I’ve been stuck in a bit of rut.  I don’t typically make sandwich style cookies so I figured this was a good place to start.  I also liked that the ingredient list was minimal as I did not want this to be too time intensive.

The batter was a cinch and I had the cookies in the oven within 10 minutes.  Here’s where I ran into a bit of a problem.  I used the two cookie sheets as directed and rotated them halfway through the baking time.

The first rotation showed me that one sheet had cookies that had spread and were already brown on the edges.  The other sheet had not spread at all.  Back in they went with me hoping that the puffy ones evened out and the others didn’t burn.

I pulled them out at the 10 minute mark which was the minimum required bake time.  Unfortunately their bottoms were almost all overdone.  Not to the point of being burnt but definitely crispy.

I let them cool and then moved them to the cookie racks.  Then I started creating the sandwich part by adding raspberry preserves to one half and apricot preserves to the other.  While they didn’t look like the picture the flavor was excellent!

Even though they didn’t turn out exactly as I had expected I will make them again.  The next time I make these I plan on reducing the temperature and cooking them one sheet at a time on the middle rack.  I’m hoping this helps as the flavor makes them worthwhile.  I would suggest trying them but watch out for potential over baking.

Until next time!

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2014 in Desserts

 

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New Recipes For A Winter Birthday Dinner

We recently had my parent’s over to celebrate my Mom’s birthday.  She had only requested fish, but beyond that I was free to create the menu as I chose.  I knew right away that my main course would be salmon.

For Christmas my husband had given me the newest Barefoot Contessa cookbook, Foolproof.  In it she has a recipe called “hot smoked salmon” which I had tried recently.  It is delicious!  I knew it would be a hit.

Foolproof - Ina Garten

The salmon recipe is just the right balance between sweet and hot.  It calls for both white and brown sugar along with lemon zest and a healthy amount of fresh ground black pepper.  We have a cedar grilling plank, so the salmon was baked on that in the oven.  So good!

To round out the menu I had a traditional vegetable salad with chopped spinach, tomatoes, and cucumbers and rice pilaf with sauteed mushrooms made from scratch.  I used a basic Rice Pilaf recipe, then sauteed an 8 oz. package of fresh, sliced baby Bella mushrooms and incorporated it into the Pilaf.  I didn’t go overboard with my side dishes for the dinner because I wanted everyone to have room for this…

Stacey’s Recipes Cooking Tips

I had pinned this Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte recipe a while ago.  I knew I didn’t want to go with traditional cake and ice cream.  Then, as I was going through my recipe boards I saw this pin and knew it was the right choice.  Plus, my mom is a huge peanut butter and chocolate fan.  Let’s be real though, who isn’t?

I ended up making this dessert the day of the dinner, which means I was putting it in the freezer to set.  Luckily that worked out.  It was close though.  I was putting on the ganache topping only minutes before my parents arrived.  In the freezer it went again and it was perfectly set by the time we finished dinner.

This was one of my more favorite recent menus.   I would make any of these recipes again as they were all fairly easy and turned out wonderfully.  Let’s recap on the final menu.

Winter Birthday Dinner Menu

Dinner: Hot Smoked Salmon, Rice Pilaf With Sauteed Mushrooms, Garden Salad

Dessert: Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2014 in Desserts, Meals

 

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Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner

It’s just over three weeks until Thanksgiving.  Wow, time is flying by!  We’re having the in-laws over the weekend before Thanksgiving for a little pre-holiday shopping.  I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to have for dinner that day.

I want to keep the flavors seasonal, but not make it too formal.  With the big meal only a few days later I don’t want to go overboard.  I had been looking at a couple of chicken recipes, but I don’t think poultry is the way to go.  Then, I ran across this recipe in my Fine Cooking magazine from last November.

Pork chops with cranberry maple sauce

Fine Cooking (source)

That’s right, pork chops.  This recipe is for a pan-seared pork chop with a cranberry maple sauce.  I love the idea of the cranberry and maple flavors, which I’m going to carry through out the menu.

Maple is a favorite flavor of both my DH and MIL and perfect for a November meal.  It goes well with both sweet and savory dishes.  The addition of the cranberry flavor helps to cut through the sweetness of the maple.

I am planning on a cranberry almond shortbread tart for dessert.  I’ve checked the reviews on it and there’s a little concern it may be too tart.  I’ll do a trial run on this one and see if it needs to be sweetened up at all.

Cranberry Almond Shortbread Tart

Fine Cooking (source)

I still have to figure out what I’d like to do for appetizers, but here’s the final menu.  I can’t wait, it’s going to be so good!

Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner

Appetizers: TBD

Dinner: Pecan, Radicchio, and Asian Pear Salad, Pork Chops with Cranberry Maple Sauce, Maple Roasted Carrots, and Yeast Rolls.

Dessert: Cranberry Almond Shortbread Tart

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2013 in Meals

 

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Dessert Choices For Christmas

There’s something about the holiday season that makes you want to pull out all the stops.  You want to show up with a dessert that makes everyone “ooh and ahh” about it.  Plus, you want it to taste as delicious as it looks.

I’ve run the gamut from super-rich, chocolatey cheesecakes to dense almond tortes with fresh cranberry sauce.  Each fit the occasion perfectly and was well worth effort.

Almond Torte with Cranberry Jam

Almond torte, yum!

This year I’m on the hunt for a really awesome dessert.  I’ve thought about making something I’ve already made, and know that the taste is guaranteed amazing.  Or, I could pick something new that looks like it could be awesome.  Like a croquembouche!

Croquembouche

So fun!

I have a recipe for an eggnog cream-filled version, using white chocolate as the “glue” and drizzled over the tops of the pastries.  It’s in the “Southern Living Big Book of Christmas” holiday book.  It looks amazing!

It’s going on the shortlist for now.  I’m still on the fence about adding anything I’ve done before.  If I did it would have to be the “Black Forest Tart” from the Taste of Home Holiday magazine I mentioned here.  It was so rich and chocolatey.  We’ll have to see!

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2013 in Holidays

 

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Creamy Brussels Sprouts With Mushrooms

Myself, and a large chunk of the population, enjoy Brussels sprouts during the holidays.  Now, did I always?  Definitely not.  I had tried them a few times and they just didn’t do it for me.  Then, about five years ago my mother-in-law made Brussels sprouts with cheese sauce for Thanksgiving.  I put one or two on my plate fully intending to try one, but not expecting to like it.  Surprise surprise, I did like this recipe and proceeded to eat the leftovers for the following two days.

That Thanksgiving side dish has brought me to the following recipe.  I ran across this one in my Taste Of Home Holiday magazine, circa 2008.

Creamy Brussels Sprout Bake

Taste of Home Recipe

I’ve made it twice, once for Christmas Eve and once for Thanksgiving.  Both times I felt like it needed just a little something more.  I was still in the “follow the recipe exactly” mindset back then though so I didn’t feel comfortable tweaking it.

That’s not the case anymore.  Since I had some fresh mushrooms that needed to be used I decided today was a good day to try it with some changes.  That included using Portabella mushrooms, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Not a big change, just a little tweak.

Ingredients for brussels sprouts bake

All chopped up.

I added the garlic, salt, and pepper to the mushroom mixture while it was in the frying pan.  Then, that was added to the cream cheese mixture (which I added a little salt and garlic powder to).  Next up, baking time.

Recipe in the pan

Ready for the oven

I added the cheese at the end, put it in for a little longer, and then we’re ready to eat.  It looks tasty!

Creamy brussels sprouts ready to eat.

Ready to eat!

Overall, I was happier with the additions.  It’s a heavy side dish, so keep that in mind.  I made it as a main dish for tonight and it was more than adequate.  It’s a good recipe to keep on hand, but it still doesn’t beat the one that my mother-in-law made.  I need to ask her if she still has that recipe!

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2013 in Holidays

 

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Christmas Cookies 2013 – The Planning Continues

So, I thought I’d be planning out my Thanksgiving recipes today.  Then I started reading through one of my recent Christmas board pins.  It was linked to a list of “49 Things That Taste Like Christmas” and that was where I found two new cookies for this year’s Christmas Baking list.

Candy Cane stuffed cookies

Candy Canes and Cake Batter, Yum!

One of them is the Candy Cane Cake Batter cookie shown in the pin.  The other is a sandwich style cookie with a brownie like cookie and candy cane butter cream filling.  They both look amazing!

I’m thinking this year may be a bit more heavy on the peppermint flavor.  For a few years it was heavy on the chocolate.  While I don’t think there’s anything wrong with all most of the recipes being heavy on the chocolate, I figured it’s good to change things up.

Chocolate and Peppermint

Chocolate and Candy Canes = Flavor of Christmas

One of my favorite, non-chocolate, Christmas cookie recipes is the Candy Cane Cookie.  It’s not a peppermint flavor though, it’s an almond flavored cookie.  The peppermint comes in to play by way of the candy cane dust sprinkled over the baked cookie.

I’ll be following up on those when I start my holiday baking.  That won’t happen until after Thanksgiving.  Last year’s baking weekend was Black Friday weekend.  That means we focused a lot more on candies, fudge, and trying out new recipes.

So now I have three cookies on my final list.  It’s off to a good start but still nowhere near complete.  While I continue building out the list let’s review some favorites from my 2011 Christmas Baking list.

2011 Christmas Cookies

Candy Cane Cookies, Slice and Bake Peppermint Cookies, Double Ginger Crackles, Lime Nut Buttons, Vanilla Bean Angel Pillows (these include homemade vanilla sugar!), Italian Fig Pockets (everyone loved these), Eggnog Cutouts

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2013 in Holidays

 

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