kid-friendly · Recipes · Tips and Tricks

How to Revive Stale Cookies

Don’t you hate it when someone makes you homemade cookies and you don’t have time to eat them all?

Yeah, that never happens to me either.

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But I did recently have a huge batch of cookies left over from a get-together that was cancelled at the last minute, and I stuck them in the fridge where they didn’t spoil…but then they didn’t stay soft and chewy, either. So I adapted a trick I’d heard a long time ago for re-moistening stale bread, which calls for using your microwave and a glass of water, and found it to be a sure-fire way to bring hard cookies back to life. Pin it for later, you won’t be sorry!

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All you do is place the stale cookie on a paper towel in the microwave next to a small glass of water. Heat for 30 seconds, see if it’s reached desired softness, and go for another 10 or 20 seconds if not. Voila! Moist, chewy cookies can be yours again, no matter when the goodies were baked or how long they’ve been hanging out in the refrigerator. This also works for stale bread, as I mentioned above, as well as hard pizza crusts and any other starch that’s turned hard and inedible. Enjoy!

Looking for a good cookie recipe? Don’t miss the easy Martha Stewart 5-Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe in my last post!

Recipes

Nutella Cookies

Nutella freaks, beware: this recipe has only three ingredients, takes almost no time to pull together, and results in a chewy, hazlenut-y, sweet-yet-salty cookie that will be IMPOSSIBLE for you to resist.

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I love the simplicity of this recipe, which has no added sugar or oil. Don’t let that fool you, though — there’s plenty of sugar and oil in Nutella itself, so it’s a little disingenuous to call these a reduced-guilt option.

And if you’ve never tried Nutella (clearly you never studied abroad in Italy, where you might have eaten this every day for breakfast?) it’s time to get acquainted. Made with hazlenuts, cocoa and skim milk, Nutella is a super tasty spread enjoyed on toast, crackers or fruit, particularly popular in Europe, and which American companies are just now starting to copycat. (I don’t know what took them so long, either.) It’s not health food, but it’s delicious and a little bit goes a long way. I’ve had a huge tub hanging around in my cupboard for a couple years, so I started to poke around online for ways to make baked goods out of it.

If you’re on Pinterest, I know you’ve seen the type of pin that gave me this recipe — Make cookies! Using just two unexpected ingredients! They’re probably already in your kitchen right now! How can you not go make them? I’m even guilty of posting some of this stuff myself.

Well, I decided I’m going to tackle a few of these recipes, and I started here. I hope you enjoy them!

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Nutella Cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of Nutella (a little less than one small jar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • Good quality sea salt, for sprinkling

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350.

Blend all ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl, adding a dash of water if the batter seems too dry when you’re done.

Roll small balls of dough by hand and bake on a cookie sheet, flattening slightly by hand before placing in the oven, for 6-8 minutes or until set.

Optional but exciting: sprinkle with sea salt before baking. (HOLY MOLY YUM)

Let cool and serve.

These keep well in a storage container or plastic bag for up to a week.

I had some help in making these (but not eating them, not just yet) from my two sous chefs. What a team!

Have a great weekend everyone 🙂

Uncategorized

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookies

I got this great recipe from the Food Network online. I got invited to a “bacon theme” shindig last weekend, and knew immediately that I wanted to bring bacon cookies like Mark and I had in New York a couple years ago. I thought peanut butter was a genius addition, and I was definitely right.

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These are sweet & salty and just a little bit different.

I used peanuts with sea salt; you could also try honey roasted. When I make these again, I think I’ll make them smaller and that I’ll add more chocolate chips and cinnamon. Also, I’ll really ball them up tightly and then flatten them into thinner cookies than I did here.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of chipotle or ancho chile powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 strips bacon (1/3 pound)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (preferably creamy)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped peanuts
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, chile powder and salt in a large bowl.Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy, then transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Keep the drippings as you’ll use them in a moment.
Once cool, crumble the bacon, discarding (by mouth?) any chewy bits or fat. Beat the butter and reserved bacon drippings in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Beat in the peanut butter until combined, about a minute.
Beat in the granulated and brown sugar until creamy, about 4 minutes, then add the egg and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 more minutes.
Reduce the mixer speed to low; add the flour mixture gradually, scraping down the bowl if needed, until just combined — don’t over mix.
Stir in the peanuts and all but 2 tablespoons each of the chocolate chips and bacon. Form the dough into 12 balls and arrange 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Flatten with your fingers, as the cookies will not spread in the oven. Press the reserved bacon and chocolate chips onto the top.
Bake until golden, about 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Serve fresh!
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Optional adjustments:

  • You can leave out the peanuts and add in more chocolate chips.
  • You can bake the bacon in the oven instead of in a pan on the stovetop, to avoid splatter and the smell of bacon all over your house.
  • You can omit the chili powder (or, conversely, double it to pump up the kick)!
  • Whole wheat flour substitutes well.

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It’s important to note that these don’t keep as long as regular cookies because of the bacon (as if they’d hang around very long anyway!)

Another tip: Make sure you use creamy peanut butter and not chunky, which can make the cookies too bulky. My favorite brand is Teddie’s, which is made just a couple miles from my house, in Everett, Mass. Once you have this natural brand, carried at major supermarkets, I swear you’ll never go back to Skippy! 

Original Recipe at FoodNetwork.com.

Recipes

Two-Ingredient Cookies

I was highly skeptical of this, but I’m willing to try anything. Two ingredient cookies? We’ll see….

Courtesy: The Burlap Bag blog

…but they are surprisingly tasty! And dare I say….not all that bad for you?

The only ingredients are overripe bananas, and 1 cup of quick oats. That’s it.

Of course, if you want to, you can add in raisins, walnuts, cranberries, etc. Even chocolate chips. But you don’t have to. The only critical thing to remember is to grease the cookie sheet when you make these, or you’ll have a real mess on your hands. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes and you’re done.

Check out the full recipe @ The Burlap Bag.

News · Tips and Tricks

Austin-Boston Food Swap

This year, for the first time, I was lucky enough to participate in the Austin-Boston Food Blogger Swap (#atxbos), which matches food bloggers from Austin, TX and Boston, MA to swap foodie care packages in the month of October. The only rules? A $30 limit and a passion for local food products!

I swapped with Austin blogger Christy Horton, a pastry and dessert blogger at Epicuriosities.com, last week. Check out the fun stuff she sent me:

Make sure you check out Christy’s blog, Epicuriosities, and follow her on Twitter @Christy111luv. She sent me her own recipe for Southern Corn Bread, which I’ll definitely be making (and blogging!) soon. I may even take her tip to throw in the candied Jalapenos to keep it Texas style. I hope she enjoys her Boston food package as much as I liked getting her sweet n’ hot Texas goodies!

And here’s what I sent to Texas: Bostonians will recognize Taza Chocolate, Slumbrew’s Porter Square Porter, Pemberton Farms mustard & more.

Thanks to the Boston Food Bloggers and Austin Food Blogger Alliance for putting this swap together. I can’t wait to participate next year 🙂

Did I miss any awesome local products? If you have ideas, leave them in the comments!