Wednesday, April 28, 2010

chocolate peanut butter cookies

These always remind me of chocolate chip cookies, but inside out.
Or backwards.
Or opposite.
And I am aware the those chocolate chip cookies are not peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips but it just seems opposite, right?
Anyway...these are really really good and that's about all I have to say. 
So, go make these and try not to eat all the cookie dough before the oven preheats.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Makes about 24-30 large cookies.
2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 1/2 sticks butter, softened
2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1-2 cups peanut butter chips

Preheat your oven to 350*.
Sift together dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl, until light and fluffy.

Beat in eggs and vanilla.

Slowly add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined.

Add peanut butter chips (plus a few leftover white chocolate chips...) and stir until well incorporated.

Drop by tablespoon-ful (or larger, if you want huge cookies, like me!)

Bake for 8-9 minutes.  Remove to cool and find your happiness!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

sticky buns

Sticky buns, monkey bread, cinnamon rolls.
No matter what you call them, these little babies are perfect for a Sunday breakfast! 
You know cinnamon buns are good with you get that sugary stickiness all over your hands, your face, your mouth....pretty much everywhere.  Like, when you find a spot of that caramel-y goodness on one of your fingers or at the corner of your mouth about four hours after you've finished the dishes.
See how lovely and sticky?

These buns are super simple and beyond fast.  I used leftover dinner roll dough from last night's dinner but you can use canned biscuits if you'd like.  And I only made 12 buns for us for breakfast but you can easily double or triple for a family get-together or brunch and it will take almost the same amount of time!

Sticky Buns
Makes 12 buns.
1/2 stick butter, cut into 24+ pieces
24 teaspoons sugar
24 sprinkles of cinnamon
Leftover dough from dinner rolls, biscuits, etc OR 1 can of canned biscuits (8 large ones)
1 can condensed milk (you won't use all of it...well, maybe you will.)

Preheat your oven to 375*. 
Take a non-stick muffin pan out.
Put 12 pats of butter in the muffins cups.

Put 1 teaspoon of sugar over each butter pat.

Sprinkle a dash or pinch of cinnamon over the top.

Roll the dough into little balls, about the size of a marble or gobstopper.  (or cut the canned biscuits into thirds and roll)  Put 4 little balls on top of the butter and cinnamon sugar.

Add another pat of butter to the top.

Put another teaspoon of sugar over the butter.

Aaaaand one more dash of cinnamon on top.

Bake for about 15-17 minutes until golden.

Drizzle about a tablespoon of condensed milk over the top of the buns. 

Let sit for about 10 minutes so the buns can soak in all the gooey goodness.  Pull apart and enjoy!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

potato pierogi

Pierogi are "a dish consisting of boiled or baked dumplings of unleavened dough stuffed with varying ingredients. They are usually semicircular, but are square in some cuisines."
Okay, okay, blah blah.  The GD pierogi are a way easier version.
Take egg roll wrappers and fill them with simple mashed potatoes.  Whip up a quick sage brown butter sauce and serve!

Potato Pierogi
Serves 4-6.
1 1/2 pounds baking potatoes
4-5 tablespoons butter
3 onions, finely diced
Salt and pepper
1 package egg roll wrappers
4 tablespoons butter
Handful fresh sage leaves

Peel and dice the potatoes.  Add to boiling, salted water.  Cook until tender, drain and return to pot.

Melt butter in a large skillet, add onions, and saute until tender and browned.

Add to potatoes and mash!

Cut egg roll wrappers into rounds.  You'll get 4 per wrapper.

Spoon about a teaspoon or so into the middle of each.  Brush the edges with water.  Press to seal.

This is much easier if you make a little assembly line.

Set aside on a parchment-lined cookie sheet until you are done with all of them.

At this point, you can put the cookie sheet, directly in the freezer.  Once frozen, you can collect them and put them all in a ziplock bag. 
If you are making them for dinner, continue on!
Melt the rest of the butter in a small saucepan.  Over medium heat, continue stirring until the butter solids start to turn brown.

Add sage leaves and fry.  Set aside.

In a non-stick skillet, fry up the pierogi until browned on both sides.

Lay out the pierogi on your serving dish.

Pour the sage brown butter sauce over the top and enjoy!

Monday, April 19, 2010

mocha semifreddo

Do you have an ice cream maker?  I don't.

*hint, hint, Hubby*

But, okay, since we don't, how do you make ice cream? 
One word.

Semifreddo means "half-frozen" in Italian.  It's a egg custard that is frozen until it almost has the consistency of ice cream.  It can be flavored in a thousand different ways but today, we are going with mocha.  Kahlua and espresso really punch of the flavor and give it a kick.  It has a great gingersnap crust that lines the bottom of the semifreddo and adds crunch.  It's a great make-ahead needs at least 8 hours to freeze so make this the night before a dinner party and that's one less thing to stress about the day of!

Mocha Semifreddo
Serves 8.
Nonstick cooking spray
8 ounces purchased gingersnaps (about 20 small cookies)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar, divided
8 large egg yolks
1/3 cup brewed espresso (or really really really strong coffee)
2 tablespoons Kahlua liquor (optional)
Pinch of salt
1 cup whipping cream

Spray a loaf pan with the nonstick cooking spray and line it with plastic wrap.  You want the the plastic wrap to hang over all the edges. 

Grind the cookies very finely in a food processor.

Add the melted butter and process until all the crumbs are moistened. 

Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared loaf pan.  Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Whisk 1/2 cup of the sugar with the egg yolks, espresso, Kahlua and salt.

Set the bowl over a simmering saucepan of water but do not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl.  Whisk the egg mixture until it is thick and creamy and a thermometer registers 160*, about 5-6 minutes.  Set immediately in a large bowl of ice to cool completely.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar until you get firm peaks.

Using a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the custard, very gently.  You don't want to deflate the cream. 

Pour the custard over the prepared crust. 

Fold the extra plastic wrap over the custard and cover completely, using more wrap if necessary. 

Freeze at least 8 hours, or up to 3 days.  Unwrap and invert onto a cutting board.  Remove plastic wrap and flip back over so the crust is on the bottom.  Cut into 1/2-1" slices and serve with more gingersnaps crumbled over the top.  Enjoy!

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