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.

20130414-163609.jpg

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.

bacon cookies copy

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!
20130414-170740.jpg

20130414-170802.jpg

20130414-170753.jpg

20130414-170824.jpg

20130414-163931.jpg

20130414-163819.jpg

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.

20130414-163915.jpg

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.

dessert · Grow Your Own Way · Holidays · kid-friendly · Recipes

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

Rhubarb is suddenly abundantly in season, and it’s just begging to be put into a pie or a berry crumble. But why fuss with a pie when you can make something so much easier and, in my opinion, more delicious? Crumble is fast, easy and lets you use that other bountiful fruit: strawberries. I got this recipe from a coworker a couple years ago, and it’s been a hit at every gathering I bring it to.

7a33792314df2ffe00b357f596735753I love how quirky, tart and yet versatile rhubarb is. We didn’t grow any in our garden this year, but a friend told me it’s actually pretty easy to cultivate, so we are going to plant some next year. Do you remember a few months back when I wrote that Mark didn’t want to plant any vegetables? Look how far we’ve come — not only do we have peppers, herbs, tomatoes and zucchini bursting right now, we’re planning on adding rhubarb next year! I’m so proud of him. Maybe I can convince him to do strawberries next year, too?

To make this crumble, start by rinsing and chopping 3 cups of strawberries and 3 cups of rhubarb. This is about one pound of rhubarb, or 4-5 stalks, and about 12 oz. of strawberries (the standard container size). If you’ve never bought rhubarb before — as Mark hadn’t when I sent him to the store for these ingredients — I always say they look like pink celery.

Once you’ve chopped the strawberries and rhubarb into bite-sized pieces, add the 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of (white) sugar. Combine in a bowl and let them sit for half an hour so the juices draw out and blend.

In the meantime, you can make the topping. I like to do it over low heat on the stove, so the butter can melt in the pan and then you can add the oats and brown sugar and flour.

Once the mixture has come together, set aside off the burner and get ready to assemble your crumble. Preheat the oven to 375 and get out a 9×13 baking dish.

Top with the crumble mixture, spreading out evenly.

Bake for 45 minutes; it will be browned and bubbling. You can serve it warm or cool. I like to serve it warm with a bit of vanilla ice cream on the side!

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups each of strawberries and rhubarb
  • ½ C flour
  • 1 C Sugar

I let those sit together for 30 minutes after mixing. Meanwhile, make the topping.

Crumble topping:

  • 1 C each of butter (yes, that’s two sticks), brown sugar & rolled oats
  • 1 ½ C flour

DIRECTIONS

Spread the berry mixture in a glass 9×13 baking dish and top with the crumble. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool and serve either warm or cool. I love it with ice cream! I have also used this recipe filling in a pie.

PS: Do you know the difference between cobbler, crumble and crisp?

 

dessert · Holidays · kid-friendly · Recipes

Strawberry Yogurt Cake

‘Tis the season for fresh strawberries! What better occasion than my mom’s birthday to try a new recipe? This moist cake is made with Greek yogurt, whole wheat flour and a delicious lemon frosting that comes together for a perfect warm-weather, light-eating dessert.

I found this recipe on the blog one perfect bite. It was easy, and gave me the perfect opportunity to use my new KitchenAid stand mixer.

To start, rinse and chop the strawberries. Set aside and preheat the oven to 325 F. Then, grease and flour a Bundt pan. Next, sift together 2 1/4 cups of the flour, all the baking soda and the salt, and set aside. With your mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Next, in thirds, alternate beating in the flour mixture and the yogurt, mixing just until incorporated.

Then, toss the reserved strawberries with the remaining 1/4 cup of flour. Gently mix them into the batter.

Scrape the batter into your prepared pan. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow cake to cool in pan for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

To make the glaze, simply mix the confectioners sugar and lemon juice until they form a paste-like consistency. Then, drizzle over the top of the cake and serve!

Since the recipe called for 8 oz. of Greek yogurt and 12 oz. of strawberries, I had extras of both because yogurt is sold in 7 oz. cups and strawberries in 16 oz. containers. So, I blended the extra into a smoothie.

Strawberry Yogurt Cake

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided use
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups flour (I used whole wheat but you could use regular)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 oz. plain Greek yogurt
  • 12 oz. fresh strawberries, diced
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.

Sift together 2-1/4 cups of flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice and vanilla extract.

In thirds, alternate beating in flour mixture and yogurt, mixing just until incorporated.

Toss strawberries with remaining 1/4 cup of flour. Gently mix them into batter.

Scrape the batter into your prepared pan. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow cake to cool in pan for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Once cooled, combine confectioners’ sugar and reserved 2 tablespoons lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over top of cake. Enjoy!