Monday, February 28, 2011

Kicked Up Bacon Cheese Mashed Potatoes


These mashed potatoes are definitely not for the faint-hearted, but OMG, are they ever delicious. It is an excellent combination of ingredients, and an excellent recipe. Anything with bacon is delicious, don’t you think?

The potatoes were very creamy, rich, and had great flavor. This recipe is similar to a loaded baked potato, but instead in a mashed potato form with all the delicious toppings (Bacon! Cheddar! Green onions! Sour cream & chives!) incorporated within. Definitely not an everyday recipe, but perfect for holidays, special occasions, or to pair with a delicious steak. I halved the recipe since it is just the 2 of us, and we had plenty leftover; however, I am posting the original full recipe below.

Kicked Up Bacon Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:
  • 4 baking potatoes such as russets, about 3 pounds, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1-3/4 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning, divided
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled (we cook ours in the oven)
  • 1/2 pound (8-oz) sharp Cheddar, grated
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives or 4 green onions, chopped
Directions:

  1. Place the potatoes and 1 tsp salt in a heavy 4-quart saucepan and cover with water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain in a colander and return to the cooking pot.
  2. Add the cream, butter, remaining 3/4 tsp salt, and black pepper.
  3. Place the pan over medium- low heat and mash with a potato masher to incorporate the ingredients and achieve a light texture, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add the bacon, grated cheese, sour cream, and chopped chives and stir until thoroughly combined.
  5. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Source: Adapted from Emeril Lagasse

Friday, February 25, 2011

Kickin' Chili


I’ve heard of friends making chili using V8 juice, and I found this recipe that I was eager to try. I liked the minimal ingredients, and especially that the chili can be made in less than 2 hours. This chili definitely packs some heat! It wasn’t so hot that I was gulping down water, but after a few bites, you can definitely feel the heat inside your mouth and feel a warm sensation. While I still have my favorite chili recipe, this one is delicious and simple… and cooks in less than 2 hours.

Kickin’ Chili

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp garlic salt
  • 3 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Canola oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped roughly
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • (2) 7-oz cans diced green chiles (Omit if using diced tomatoes with green chiles)
  • 16-oz can dark red kidney beans, drained
  • 16-oz can light red kidney beans, drained
  • (2) 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 46 oz. bottle Spicy Hot V8 Juice
  • Chili toppings- Avocado, Sour cream, Shredded cheese, Oyster Crackers

Directions:
1. In a 5-qt dutch oven or large pot, brown the beef over medium heat until tender; drain grease and return pot back to the stove.
2. Add in black pepper, garlic salt and cumin; mix well to combine.
3. Remove the cooked ground beef from the pot, add the oil, and add in onion, jalapenos; cook until onions and jalapenos become tender. (This took me 15 minutes.)
4. Add in garlic, and cook for a few minutes.
5. Stir in the green chiles followed by the beans.
6. Add in the tomatoes (with their juice) and cilantro; stir until everything is combined together.
7. Slowly begin pouring in V8 juice to desired consistency. Let simmer over low heat until heated through (approximately 30-60 minutes).
8. Serve hot with sour cream, shredded cheese and diced avocado.

Note: To alter dish to a less spicy version, reduce (or omit) the amount of jalapenos used and/or use regular V8 juice or tomato juice in place of the spicy hot version.

Yield: 6-8 Servings

Source: Slightly adapted from With a Cherry on Top

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pioneer Woman’s Favorite Meatloaf


I’m always intrigued when bloggers indicate their recipe as their “favorite”. To me, if it’s your favorite, your search for the "perfect" recipe is over. I’ve tried a lot of Ree’s recipes over the years, and I was especially excited to try her favorite meatloaf. My DB loves meatloaf, but his favorite is using McCormick’s Meatloaf seasoning packet. In trying to stay true to cleaner eating (and knowing exactly all the ingredients going into our bodies), I am constantly on the search for a meatloaf made with ingredients I am familiar with and are (relatively) healthy.

Her meatloaf has the traditional ingredients (ground beef, seasonings, parsley), but uses milk-drenched bread to keep it moist. She then wraps slices of bacon around the meatloaf (for flavor and added moistness), and tops it off with a sweet mixture of ketchup and brown sugar glaze. I personally think anything tastes better with ketchup!

While I finally found my favorite meatloaf recipe, this is a good one to throw in the mix. I would definitely recommend grating your own parmesan cheese, and don’t skimp on the glaze. Round this meal out with some roasted potatoes, fresh greens, and a salad- and you’ve got yourself a hearty meal.

Pioneer Woman’s Favorite Meatloaf

Ingredients:
Meatloaf

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 6 slices white bread(I used whole wheat bread)
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup (heaping) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ tsp seasoned salt
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 10 slices thin/regular bacon(I only used 7-8 slices)

Sauce

  • 1-1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • Tabasco, to taste (I used 10 squirts)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Pour milk over the bread slices. Allow it to soak in for several minutes.
3. Place the ground beef, milk-soaked bread, Parmesan, seasoned salt, salt, black pepper, and parsley in a large mixing bowl.
4. Pour in beaten eggs.
5. With clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined.
6. Form the mixture into a loaf shape on a broiler pan, which will allow the fat to drain. (Line the bottom of the pan with foil to avoid a big mess!)
7. Lay bacon slices over the top, tucking them underneath the meatloaf.
8. Make the Sauce:Add ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and hot sauce in a mixing bowl. Stir together.
9. Pour 1/3 of the mixture over the top of the bacon. Spread with a spoon.
10. Bake for 45 minutes, then pour another 1/3 of the sauce over the top.
11. Bake for another 15 minutes.
12. Slice and serve with remaining sauce.

Source: Pioneer Woman

Monday, February 21, 2011

Goat Cheese and Honey-Stuffed Fig Muffins


Sorry the picture is blurry, but if you are a fan of goat cheese, these muffins are for you. My friends loved these muffins! The muffins are made with whole-wheat pastry flour with a tangy lemon-goat cheese filling within, and surrounded by dried figs. It is a surprising twist to your traditional hearty breakfast muffins.

You can easily interchange the ingredients to what you have on hand- I personally am not a fan of goat cheese so I substituted it with reduced-fat cream cheese. Next time, I’ll throw in some chopped walnuts for some added protein. A great breakfast alternative.

I purchased dried figs for $3.99 at Trader Joe's, and used about 1/2 of this container:


Make sure to cut off the tops of the figs:


Here is what the inside of a fig looks like- Doesn't it remind you of a Fig Newtons?


Goat Cheese and Honey-stuffed Fig Muffins

Ingredients:
Filling

  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) soft goat cheese (or reduced-fat cream cheese)
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest

Fig Muffins

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/4 cups (6-7 oz) chopped dried figs (or dates) (Can pick this up @ Trader Joe's)
  • 2 Tbsp turbinado sugar (Can pick this up @ Trader Joe's)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425º F. Grease muffin tins or use liners.
2. Make the Filling: Combine goat cheese, honey, 1/4 tsp vanilla, and lemon zest in a small bowl until thoroughly mixed.
3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine dry ingredients (cinnamon through salt).
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk eggs, then add brown sugar and vanilla.
5. Add in the buttermilk.
6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Don’t over mix.
7. Fold in figs.
8. Fill each muffin tin halfway. Top with a teaspoon of the goat cheese mixture.

9. Add more batter on top. Sprinkle with sugar.

10. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.


Yield: 12 large muffins

Nutrition Information (per muffin): 234 calories; 4.5 g. fat; 47 mg. cholesterol; 155 mg. sodium; 43.3 g. carbohydrate; 3.7 g. fiber; 5.1 g. protein

Source: Originally on How Sweet It Is, As seen on Prevention RD

Friday, February 18, 2011

Rachael Ray’s Chicken & Dumplings



I’m always looking for easy and quick meals to make after work. By the time we leave work, work out, and drive home, it may be anytime between 7-8pm. Thus, cooking a healthy and hearty dinner can be a challenge… that’s why I like to turn to Rachael Ray’s “30-minute meal” recipes. Her recipes, in my opinion, can be a hit or miss, so I always refer to her reviews prior to making it.

Since the weather is turning cold and wintery out there, I wanted to make something hearty and comforting from the cold weather. I really liked that this recipe didn’t use a cream of… soup, and it was on the table in about 45 minutes. Tasty, hearty, and quick!

Plated!

Rachael Ray’s Chicken & Dumplings

Ingredients:
  • 1-1/2 pounds chicken breast tenders
  • Seasonings: Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, or Combination of salt/pepper/garlic powder/pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced or thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning, 1/3 palm full
  • 2 Tbsp flour, a handful
  • 1 quart chicken broth or stock, canned or paper container, preferred brand Kitchen Basics
  • 1 small box biscuit mix (preferred brand Jiffy Mix)
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen green peas

Directions
1. Dice tenders into bite size pieces and set aside. Season well with seasoning.
2. Place a large pot on stove over medium high heat. Add oil, butter, vegetables and bay leaf and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. (Make sure that the veggies are sauteed enough to be soft.)
3. Season mixture with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning.
4. Add flour to the pan and cook 2 minutes.
5. Stir broth or stock to the pot and bring to a boil.
6. Add chicken to the broth and stir.
7. Place biscuit mix in a bowl. Combine with 1/2 cup warm water and parsley. Drop tablespoonfuls of prepared mix into the pot, spacing dumplings evenly. Cover pot tightly and reduce heat to medium low. Steam dumplings 8 to 10 minutes.
8. Remove cover and stir chicken and dumplings to thicken sauce a bit.
9. Stir peas into the pan, remove chicken and dumplings from heat and serve in shallow bowls.

Source: Adapted from Rachael Ray

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rosemary Grilled Chicken Thighs


A summer classic you can make all year round. The chicken thighs are marinated in a rosemary-honey mustard vinaigrette and then grilled. The chicken had a remarkable flavor with the tanginess from the vinegar, and the woodsy flavor from the fresh rosemary. Chicken breasts are a healthy option, but we loved the flavor from the chicken thighs. It’s easy for weeknights too- we marinated the thighs before we left for work, and grilled them when we returned. All the flavors blended really well, and we served this with a light salad and fresh veggies.

Rosemary Grilled Chicken Thighs

Ingredients:

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1/2 lemon

Directions:
1. Combine the garlic, oil, mustard, vinegar, honey, salt, and rosemary in a shallow dish or large ziploc bag.
2. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Allow to marinate chilled for at least one hour or, up to 24 hours.
3. Prepare grill.
4. Grill chicken thighs 5-7 minutes per side, or until an internal temperature of 165 has been reached. Remove from grill and cover with aluminum foil.
5. Allow to rest 10 minutes, then top with the juice of 1/2 a lemon before serving.

Source: Originally from Southern Living, September 2008, As seen on Pink Parsley

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Favorite Pot Roast!


I know the web has a slew of recipes for crockpot pot roast. I even have a few on my blog myself. But, the search is over for me. This is hands-down my favorite pot roast recipe. EVER.

What really sets this pot roast recipe apart from the rest is that it is braised in a tomato-based sauce, and the combination of that with the fresh rosemary and thyme made this dish incredible.

I originally made this over the stovetop, but Sandra from She Cooks and Bakes suggested her crockpot version, which is noted below. There was a lot of liquid leftover, but it made a great gravy when I placed some of the liquid and cooked vegetables into the blender and pureed them. Add some mashed potatoes, fresh green beans, and these cheesey garlic biscuits, and you’ve got yourself an easy comfort meal.

My Favorite Pot Roast

Ingredients:

  • 1 (3 to 4 pound) piece beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 15-oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 yellow onion, halved
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bunch baby carrots
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, stems removed and sliced in half (Omitted)
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves

Directions
1. Season all sides of the beef with a fair amount of salt and pepper.
2. In a large Dutch oven (5-qt would be perfect) or other heavy pot that has a tight cover, heat 2 Tbsp of the oil over moderately high heat. Brown the meat on all sides, taking the time to get a nice crust on the outside.
3. Pour in the tomatoes and the beef stock.
4. Scatter the vegetables and herbs around the pot roast, season with salt and pepper; and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil.
5. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Braise for about 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices, until the beef is fork tender.
6. Slice the pot roast and arrange on platter surrounded by the vegetables. Serve with the pot juices.

Crockpot instructions
1. Season all sides of the beef with a fair amount of salt and pepper.
2. In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot that has a tight cover; heat 2 Tbsp of the oil over moderately high heat. Brown the meat on all sides, taking the time to get a nice crust on the outside.
3. Line your crockpot, and add your vegetables to the bottom (onion, garlic cloves, carrots, celery stalks, and mushrooms).
4. Place the seared beef on top of the vegetables.
5. Pour the crushed tomatoes, beef stock, and fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, and bay leaves on top .
6. Give it a quick stir, cover, and cook it on LOW for 6-8 hours.

Source: Adapted from Tyler Florence, Crockpot instructions from She Cooks and Bakes

Friday, February 11, 2011

Peanut Butter Sugar Cookie Cups


This is hardly blog-worthy, but I decided to put it on here anyways since it's such a simple dessert that is great for parties (since they're portable and are individual servings) and uses minimal ingredients. Anytime I bring these to a snack day or to a friend's home, they get rave reviews, and it's really difficult to only have 1 cookie cup.

You first bake the sugar cookies in a mini-muffin tin. Once they are baked, remove them from the oven and immediately insert a Reese's cup.

I have been making these for years, and I always have a bag of Betty Crocker's Sugar Cookie Mix on hand.

YUM!


Here are the only ingredients you will need:

The prepwork is really easy. Actually, the most tedious step in this recipe is unwrapping the Reese's cups. If you're looking for an easy snack idea (and fun to do with children), look no further. (Note: The sugar cookies stay nice and soft, which are a perfect compliment to the soft Reese's cups.)

Peanut Butter Sugar Cookie Cups

Ingredients:


Directions:
1. Make sugar cookies according to package instructions. Instead of baking them on a cookie sheet, roll them into small balls and place them into a mini-muffin tin. (You'll make approximately 30 balls.)
2. Bake the cookie cups according to package instructions.
3. While the cookie cups are baking, begin unwrapping the Reese's cups. Unwrap at least the # of cookie cups you are baking.
4. Once they finish baking, immediately insert the Reese's cups into the center of the sugar cookie cups until the Reese's cups are flush with the sugar cookie cups.
5. Allow the cookie cups to cool down, and enjoy!

Yield: 30 sugar cookie cups

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Crunch Top Apple Pie


Naomi, David, and their baby daughter Anna are 3 of our closest friends, and we decided that we wanted to start a tradition by having an annual Holiday Dinner. They invited us over for dinner, and we wanted to bring a dessert we could all share. We know Naomi loves fruit pies, and David loves apple pie. Easy enough. I have a great custard apple pie that I love, but I wanted to bring a more traditional apple pie with a streusel topping. Some friends suggested this recipe from Paula, and WOW, we all kept going for more servings.

I read through quite a few reviews on this recipe, and I am glad I did because I altered the original recipe. Many reviewers said that 16-oz of applesauce made their pie too runny and was unnecessary- thus, I halved my amount. I also doubled the amount of streusel topping because... well, why not? Who wouldn't want some extra golden, buttery, sugary topping? Doubling the streusel topping was perfect and wasn't overkill. I also added a wee bit more apples. My edited suggestions are below.

I also didn’t have time to make homemade pie crust, but I saw Marie Callender’s ready-made pie crust in the freezer section at my grocery store, and man- it tasted great. It was flaky, buttery, and the best pre-made pie crust I’ve ever eaten. I used granny smith apples, which provided just the perfect tartness to counterbalance the sweetness of the pie. The only downside to this pie was that, even though I halved the amount of applesauce from the original recipe, it was still kind of runny:

The next time I make this, I will try experimenting reducing the volume of applesauce. Even with the bit of runniness, it was delicious.

Crunch Top Apple Pie

Ingredients:
Dough and Filling

  • Dough for a double crust 9-inch pie (homemade, frozen, or refrigerated; We used this and loved it)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Dash salt
  • 4 cups peeled, chopped cooking apples (such as Granny Smith)
  • 8-oz jar of applesauce (or 2 single-serve applesauce, which are 3.9-0z each)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp butter, chopped into small pieces

Crunch Topping

  • 6 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • Dash salt
  • 2 Tbsp butter, at room temperature

Vanilla bean ice cream (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Line a 9-inch pie pan with half of dough.
3. Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl.
4. Stir in apples, applesauce, and lemon juice.
5. Spoon apple mixture into pie pan and dot with butter.
6. Cut remaining crust into strips; arrange in a lattice design over top of pie.
7. For crunch topping, combine flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Using a fork, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.
8. Sprinkle over top of crust.
9. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F and continue to bake for about 45 minutes, or until crust and topping are golden brown. (I baked an additional 10 minutes so the crust could get a bit more browned on top.)
10. Serve with vanilla ice cream (to make it a la mode).

Yield: 1 pie

Source: Adapted from Paula Deen

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sweet & Salty Olive Oil Granola Clusters


I love Milk & Honey’s granola, but it was getting quite expensive to continuously purchase and pay for shipping. I made this granola and I loved it, but wanted to have more than 1 granola recipe to choose from.

I kept seeing this recipe on various blogs, but I always turned my eye to it- “Olive oil granola?”. I don’t think so. But with so many bloggers raving about this recipe, I knew it was only time until I tried it.

It’s actually really, really good, and you can’t even taste the olive oil. This granola combines the sweet and salty combinations we all love, made with a maple syrup base and a hint of cinnamon. Even my DB loved it- he tops it on yogurt, eats it as a snack, and it’d make a healthy ice cream/yogurt topping as well. This is my favorite traditional granola recipe.

Sweet & Salty Olive Oil Granola Clusters

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of old-fashioned oats
  • 1-1/2 cups pistachios, hulled (Can use walnuts or pecans)
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup dried fruit (Craisins, dried berries, dried apricots)
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg white

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, pistachios, almonds, coconut, and fruit; mix well until combined.
3. Add in the maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon; toss until evenly combined.
4. In a small glass, whisk the egg white until it becomes frothy and foamy (about 2 minutes). Mix into the granola mixture.
5. On a baking pan covered with parchment paper, spread the mixture out in an even layer. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, to get evenly browned.
6. Remove from heat and let cool completely. As it cools, it will begin to harden and form into one large piece.
7. Once it is cooled, using your hands, break up the granola into clusters of your desired size.
8. Store in an air-tight container or resealable plastic bag.

Yield: 11 cups

Source: Originally from The New York Times, As seen on With A Cherry On Top, who adapted it from The Kitchn

Friday, February 4, 2011

Coconut Almond Granola


My favorite granola is (hands-down) from a Chicago-based restaurant, Milk & Honey. I’ve tried various muesli and granola from all places, but nothing has made me fall in love with granola until I first tasted Milk & Honey. Their granola has the perfect amount of crunch and flavorings, and they are relatively healthy as well. I CRAVE this granola, and when I place an order from them, I have to literally ration myself how much granola I can eat daily- or else 1 bag will be gone in 1 day.

I’ve been on the hunt for some homemade versions (I’ve made some previously, but none blog-worthy), and I was so happy to find this recipe. This granola was the closet alternative, and much more cost-effective. It possesses the perfect crunch, texture, flavors, and I love knowing what I’m putting in it. The ginger flavor was prominent when I first tasted it out of the oven, but it mellowed out as it cooled down. When I first removed it from the oven, it didn’t seem dry, but it will dry out once it cools. Although this is still my favorite granola, I still love this deliciously nutty, crunchy granola sweetened with maple syrup.

Coconut Almond Granola

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of oats
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded
  • 1/4 cup almond slices
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • a dash or two of nutmeg and ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil*, melted
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

Directions:
1. Mix everything together in a large bowl and bake at 300º F for 30-45 minutes. (I baked mine for the full 45 minutes.)

* Coconut oil- I would recommend you use a virgin/extra virgin, organic coconut oil. You can find this in the natural section of your grocery store, Trader Joe's, or in bulk at Costco.

Yield: 6 servings (1/2 cup each)

Source: Originally from The Vegster, As seen on Prevention RD

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters



This could possibly be my favorite cookie ever. I love them so much that Darin and I ate 12 cookies in 1 sitting in less than 1 hour. Since the original instructions suggested to chill the dough for 2 hours (up to 1 day), I made the first batch of 12 cookies with no refrigeration, and refrigerated the remaining cookie dough until the following evening. I definitely thought the cookies baked more evenly with no refrigeration. The cookies didn’t spread much, and they were divine.

Definitely don’t overbake these puppies. You want to take them out when there’s just a little color on them- they will continue to bake while they rest on the cookie sheet once they are removed from the oven. I suggest taking them out at 13 minutes- they may not look done, but allowing it to rest for a few minutes on a cookie sheet will bake them into perfection.

The batter has a really light, airy, mousse-like whipped texture. I took a small spoonful of the cookie dough, and it was delicious! The cookie reminds me of a buttery peanut butter cookie with a slight hint of cinnamon, oatmeal, and warm chocolate chips. DIVINE.

Gooey chocolate, Oatmeal, and Peanut Buttery-ness... What's not to like?


Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters

Directions:
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup peanut butter--chunky (my choice) or smooth (but not natural)
1 cup sugar
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chunks, or 1 1/2 cups store-bought chocolate chips or chunks

Directions:
1. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
2. Whisk together the oats, flour, baking soda, spices and salt.
3. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla.
5. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, beating only until blended.
6. Mix in the chips.
7. If you have the time, cover and chill the dough for about 2 hours or for up to one day. (Chilling the dough will give you more evenly shaped cookies.) (Sara’s note: I preferred to make the cookies without chilling the dough.) If the dough is not chilled, drop rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto the baking sheets. If the dough is chilled, scoop up rounded tablespoons, roll the balls between your palms and place them 2 inches apart on the sheets. Press the chilled balls gently with the heel of your hand until they are about 1/2 inch thick.
8. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes (I took mine out at 13 minutes, which was perfect) , rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back after 7 minutes. The cookies should be golden and just firm around the edges.
9. Lift the cookies onto cooling racks with a wide metal spatula - they'll firm as they cool.
10. Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.

Storing: Wrapped airtight or piled into a cookie jar, the cookies will keep at room temperature for about 4 days. Wrapped and frozen, they'll be good for 2 months.

Playing Around: You can substitute soft, moist raisins for the chocolate chunks or just stir in some raisins along with them. If you're really looking for crunch, toss in chopped peanuts too (salted or not). With or without the chocolate chunks, raisins, and nuts, these cookies are great with ice cream or around ice cream - think about them the next time you want a chipwich-ish ice cream sandwich.

Yield: ~50 cookies (2 tsp cookie dough)

Source: Originally from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours, As seen on Proceed with Caution
 
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