Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Butterscotch Blast Cookies

The whole whirlwind of getting things ready for school also includes making cookie dough and cookie mixes so that when the kids need either something in their lunchbox or an afterschool snack... I'm at the ready. This particular recipe can also be put into quart-sized jars and given as gifts, with instructions to add the butter, egg, and vanilla. I usually just blend the dry ingredients, pop it in a freezer bag, and leave them in the freezer until I need them. One can also mix the wet ingredients in and freeze the dough. Either way, this makes a dozen and a half 2 inch cookies.

Butterscotch Blast Cookies

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup english toffee baking bits (such as Heath Bits-o-Brickle)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350*F. Blend flour, salt, soda together in a bowl. Set aside. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg, and blend to combine. Add vanilla. Add the flour mixture slowly, until well mixed. Stir in oats, pecans, chips, and toffee bits. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, drop by heaping tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes and let cool on the baking sheet for one minute longer. Makes 18 cookies.

For Gift Jar instructions: Mix 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 egg, and 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract together. Add dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
On a parchment-lined baking sheet, drop by heaping tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes and let cool on the baking sheet for one minute longer. Makes 18 cookies.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Huevos Mom-cheros

Since there is no possible way to make huevos mom-cheros look appetizing on film, I am not posting a photo with this one. Just make it. Trust me... it's a fantastic (albeit healthy) way to start the day. And its quick. Really quick.

Huevos Mom-cheros

4 egg whites
1/2 cup salsa
2 Tbsp. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 Haas avocado, diced

In a microwave-safe bowl, cook the egg whites in the microwave (I use 1000 watt) on high for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Remove from microwave; caution, bowl may be hot. Sprinkle cheese on the eggs and top with the remaining ingredients. Serves one.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

When Life Hands You Lemons...

I really like lemons. Zesting a lemon is by far, one of the most fragrant experiences you can have, in my opinion. Nothing smells quite as alive as a lemon. Lemons clear your head, shooing away the fog of the day.

This loaf is my version of Dorie Greenspan's Yogurt Cake with Marmalade Glaze which appeared in the February 2005 issue of Bon Appetit. I usually have a slice with a cup of tea in the middle of the night after the kids have long been asleep. It both relaxes and recharges me, and if you think that is a juxtaposition of sorts, just try it and you'll know what I mean.

Lemon Yogurt Loaf

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup fat-free Greek style yogurt (or regular fat free yogurt if Greek isn't available)
1 cup sugar
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
1/2 tsp pure lemon extract
1/2 tsp (packed) finely grated lemon peel
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup canola oil
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened, for greasing the loaf pan

For Glaze:
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 lemon (with peel), sliced extremely thinly, seeded, and chopped

Preheat oven to 350*F.
Butter a 9 x 5 x 3 inch nonstick loaf pan and set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir the flour and baking powder together with a fork. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon extract, lemon peel, and vanilla; whisk until well blended. Add all of the flour mixture to the yogurt mixture and whisk until combined and there are only smallish lumps. Whisk in oil until combined and no lumps appear. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 50-55 minutes.

While loaf is baking, place glaze ingredients in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat over medium low heat until mixture starts to bubble. Gently swirl pan until all of the sugar is dissolved. Simmer for an additional 3 minutes, or until the lemon peel becomes translucent. Turn heat off and set aside.

When the loaf is finished baking, allow to cool for 15 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Place loaf right side up on cooling rack, and set rack over a piece of aluminum foil or back over the empty loaf pan. Using a toothpick, bamboo skewer, or a fork; pierce the top of the loaf every half inch or so. Spoon glaze and lemon peel over the loaf slowly, covering the entire top of the loaf. Let cool completely before slicing.