Brown Butter Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Brown Butter Peanut Butter Cup CookiesUm, so, yeah. It’s probably a good idea to eat some cookies.DSC_0007DSC_0010DSC_0025It’s February. You’re probably cold. I mean, even I’m cold. It’s probably, I don’t know, 70 degrees around here lately. Which is 21 C if you were wondering. Which, is basically as frigid as it gets around these parts. So what I’m trying to say is, it’s probably a good idea to eat some cookies. DSC_0027DSC_0069DSC_0071It’s almost valentine’s day. Do you hate valentine’s day? Ugh, so many people do, it’s like you must be uncool if you like it. Unless you are sending out these valentines. But really, you should be excited about it. Want to know why? Chocolate. Duh. Also, those giant heart shaped reese’s peanut butter cups. You know the ones I’m talking about. You get Christmas tree shaped ones at Christmas, egg shaped ones at Easter, pumpkin ones on Halloween, and heart ones for Valentines. AKA: the only four holidays worth celebrating–for that exact reason. Easter is actually the best one, because See’s candy makes like four pound bordeaux eggs. But what I’m trying to say is, it’s probably a good idea to eat some cookies. DSC_0081DSC_0089It’s a Saturday. See, what I’m trying to say is, it’s probably a good idea to eat some cookies. 

Brown Butter Peanut Butter Cup Cookies (adapted from For me, For you.. who adapted it from NYT)

So, before you freak out when you look at the ingredients list and see not one, but two types of flour plus instructions to sift..let me tell you this. These cookies are awesome. Now, they say pretty explicitly that the real secret is to chill them for at least several hours, and ideally a couple days, before baking. This is pretty key to develop flavors and also keep them from being thin, weirdo chocolate chip cookies. Let me drop some truth bombs on you. I have made this with both kinds of flour listed, and with regular ol’ all purpose. Both times were awesome. I have been impatient and chilled this for only an hour, and I’ve let it go a full day or more. Can’t go wrong, yo. Either way, so long as the dough is nice and cold when it goes in the oven. For me this made about 38 pretty hugenormous cookies. Another win.

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups mini peanut butter cups–about 9 oz (we found these in a bulk bin section of I don’t remember what store. But I’m pretty sure you can find something in any grocery store; if you can’t find minis just chop up bigger ones!)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips–about 6 oz (or better yet, use some chopped dark chocolate. We just didn’t have any on hand at my mom’s house when I made these)
  • 2 cups minus 2 tbsp cake flour–240g (which you can totes make yourself)
  • 1 2/3 cups bread flour– 240g (these two flours are different densities, the weights and measurements are both correct.)
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda–7.5g
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder–7.5g
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt –7.5g (the weight of salt can vary quite a bit depending on what type you are using)
  • 2 1/2 sticks butter– 280g
  • 1 1/4 c brown sugar– 270g
  • 1 cup + 2tbsp white sugar– 227g
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract– approx 10mL
  • Extra salt, and possibly some milk or water.

Procedure

  1. First up. Brown you butter. In a pot, melt the butter over medium heat, stirring it pretty much constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon. It will melt, then it will foam like crazy, then it will become clear-ish. Soon after that, don’t look away! and don’t stop stirring! You will see little brown bits start to form on the bottom. Keep on stirring and stirring until it smells like heaven in your kitchen and the butter is browned. I let mine get reaaal brown this time, but you will know by the smell if you’ve burnt it. Don’t let it burn, as long as you keep stirring and take it off the heat once it is fragrant, you should be fine
  2. Set aside and let cool. You don’t have to let it re-solidify, but if you want to, you can stick it in the fridge to make this part faster.
  3. Sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl.
  4. In a large bowl (or in your mixer with the paddle attached), cream together the browned butter and the sugars until super light a fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Pour in vanilla and mix. 
  5. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Fold in your peanut butter cups and chocolate chips/chunks. Note: if your dough is super dry and crumbly, it is probably because browning the butter evaporates out some of its liquid. Add milk or water, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is no longer crumbly, if needed.
  6. Press plastic wrap into the top of the dough and stick the bowl in the fridge for at least an hour, and up to 72 hours. You can totally cook it in batches if you want.
  7. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the bowl from the fridge and let it soften ever so slightly.
  8. Scoop out big ol’ scoops (I used an ice cream scooper and got two per scoop. They were giant) and place 1-2 inches apart on baking sheets. Sprinkle with a bit of salt if you like, and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the centers are soft and smell so dang good you burn your mouth because you have to eat one right that second.
  9. yum. Try to let them cool before you eat them, but I don’t blame you if you can’t.

Stinky Bread

stinky bread7Dudes. Lets talk. One. Now that it’s almost February you are all just about bored of your “diets” also known as “resolutions” yes? As evidenced by my first post of 2012, I’m not so much big on depriving oneself just because its January. Two. It’s almost the Super Bowl which means a) the end of the best time of year b) I finally can accomplish things on Sundays and c) you’re looking for snack recipes. Boom. I gotcha covered. stinky bread6stinky breadstinky bread2stinky bread3stinky bread4So. Stinky bread. It’s not for the faint of heart, I’m not gonna lie. Also, it’s not a recipe, it’s just a thing. It’s a thing that my family does, and I’m thinking your family should start to do it too because it’s a) awesomely delicious b) really dang easy and c) can feed a crowd for less than six bucks. Boom. Again. So let’s get right to it and stop faffing around, shall we? stinky bread5

Stinky Bread(I’m pretty sure my aunt Carrie is the one who came up with this..but it could have been a different family member. who knows.)

Ingredients

  • Butter, softened. I don’t know how much because I don’t know how many people you are feeding!
  • Blue Cheese–twice as much of this as your butter. it’s all about the ratios.
  • Garlic, minced. (1 clove per baguette) um, this is totally optional but also totally delicious. your call
  • Baguette, sliced into 1/2 inch thick pieces

Procedure.

  1. Turn on your broiler. Get excited. In a small bowl, mix together butter, blue cheese and garlic (if using). Schmear this all over your baguette slices. Pop those suckers onto a baking sheet and under the broiler. Keep your eye on them! They only take a minute and you don’t want them to burn! Once they are brown on the edges and the cheese is gooey and bubbly, you should put them on a plate and offer them to your guests/family/friends/significant other/dog or whoever is around. They won’t last long, so you’ll have to head back into the kitchen to make some more, pronto.

Cold-be-gone Spicy Vegetable Soup

DSC_0058Happy Holidays! We are in California visiting family and friends for the holidays for the first time in a looooong time. Last year we left for Thailand the day after Christmas so we didn’t come home for the holidays. It’s nice to be back. It’s nice to be cold for the first time in, um, years.DSC_0035DSC_0039DSC_0047DSC_0049

But maybe because it’s been cold, or maybe because it’s been rainy, or maybe because of all the planes and the driving and the family and the excitement.. Brett has a cold. Boo! So I made some soup. Because soup, it helps. It helps warm your bones. It helps mend things that are broken and makes colds feel better even if it doesn’t quite help you kick them to the curb. So. In case you have a cold too, here’s some soup for you. So you don’t have to be sick on Christmas.

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Happy December!

Woah! Can you even believe it! December?! When the heck did this happen?! I was pretty sure yesterday was August, but all this Christmas music on the radio is begging to differ.

Thanksgiving Pies

It seems I’ve been a bit MIA. Well. That’s not exactly true. I’ve been around! I’ve been busy! And even busy cooking! If you follow me on Instagram [which clearly I'm obsessed with] you’d know I haven’t died. You see, I hosted my first ever Thanksgiving! It was epic. I planned for weeks. Which explains my hiatus, hopefully. But we did it. I served seven people a one-hundred-percent homemade Thanksgiving. In my house, which, by the way, if you didn’t know, is exactly 15X18 feet. Incluing the bathroom and the closet. Like, people, I live in a garage. We have no table and no chairs and only two plates. But we begged, borrowed, and stole, and between our landlords (who are epic and awesome) and my cousin (who was out of town so I raided her apartment) and my mommy (who helped me bake pies and didn’t disown me when I yelled at her like a million times. love ya, mom) I DID IT. I should say WE DID IT. Because I had a lot of help.

Apple Cheddar Scones

In other news. I don’t have a recipe to share with you right now. Proms I’m working on one. But I want to make sure I get weight measurements because it has come to my attention, that uh, well, Americans are ridiculous. I kind of already knew that. But I have a darn scale so it’s high time I start using it, and so I’m working on making things American-and-Rest-of-the-World friendly. Meaning I’m adding weights to things. It’s gonna take some time.

MmmmMMMM

Meanwhile, if for some reason you just can’t live without me (aw gee, thanks!) you can still keep in touch on facebook and instagram. And if you’re subscribed
then you’ll be the first (kind of!) to know when I finally get back to regular posting!

Happy December!!!!!!

My Favorite [ridiculously easy] Pasta

Oh, hey there, November! When did you get here? How did you sneak up on me like that? How did my little brother just turn twenty-freaking two? How is Thanksgiving next week? I had such grand plans. They involved butter, sugar, and lots of practice. They used egg whites and whipped them to peaky perfection. And purple sweet potatoes and coconut milk. And getting me to like brussel sprouts. So many things I had planned! And yet, here I am. Trying frantically to clean out my refrigerator to make room for a turkey that can feed eight. and three pies. And how many sides? I lost count. 

So if you are finding yourself in the same boat, with November flying by without you being entirely prepared for it, lacking motivation to do grocery shopping before the epic bender you’re going on this weekend, and your refrigerator stockpile slowly dwindling in the face of what you know is going to be a pie-turkey-potato-green bean EXPLOSION next week, this one’s for you.  Continue reading

Homemade Snickers Bars

Happy Halloween!!Here’s a treat.

Not a trick. Continue reading

Better-than-Twix Bars

It’s almost halloween. So I know you’re gorging on candy.

Or maybe you’re one of the smart ones, and you’re waiting until November 1st, when it all goes on sale, to stock up. Or you’re the lazy one, and you’re waiting until your son/daughter/friend/sister/brother/roommate/random person goes trick or treating and you plan on stealing all of their candy. Sorry, I mean, “testing to make sure it’s safe”. Either way, it’s a candy kind of a month.

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Fully Homemade Lasagna

I’m not 100% sure about this, but I think lasagna is my favorite pasta dish. Ever. I want to say it always has been. But unfortunately, I was a rather fickle child known to tell horrendous lies just to get out of eating food I decided I didn’t like for whatever reason. Like, uh, I told my family I was allergic to spaghetti one time. Immediately after polishing off my slice of pizza. [people, those are exactly the same ingredients..] I was a weird kid. But anyways. I’m pretty sure I’ve always liked lasagna, and now I’m sure I LOVE it with all caps. Like, LOVE love. big time.

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Handmade Noodles

Homemade noodles were  one of those bucket-list things for me. Which probably makes me a pretty boring person considering most people have awesome! fun! exciting! things on their bucket list, like, I don’t know, skydiving or swimming with sharks. Me? I wanted to make noodles. But I don’t have a pasta machine. I have one teeny tiny, low, wood laminate counter. And a rolling pin. And some determination. And I made noodles.

Turns out they shouldn’t have been relegated to my bucket list, they should have been on my do-this-right-now-like-immediately list. Which means you should probably put them on yours too, because, uh, they are awesome. And really not hard at all. Seriously! It just takes one tiny counter. And a rolling pin. and some determination, in the form of arm strength. But not a lot of strength. I mean, shoot, I did it. Also, they taste like no noodles you’ve ever had before. Unless you, unlike me, eat at fancy restaurants where they actually make fresh pasta. Or unless you, unlike me, have discovered the joys of fresh pasta eons ago and think I’m waaay behind the times. I generally am. But I’m catching up.

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Pasta with Walnut Sauce

We Love Nick. What’s that? You have no idea who Nick is? That’s okay. I have a feeling you love him too, you just don’t know it yet. Nick is my cousin’s fiancée, and also our friend. Because we like him. So, well, you probably don’t know him. But let me tell you about him: he gave me this recipe. It was delicious. And deliciously easy. I think that’s all you need to know for now.

Do you know how awesome walnuts are? Um.. they’re like one of those superfoods people talk about a lot these days. They’re one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat and they are really high in omega-3-fatty acids which, if you didn’t know, make you smarter. Fact. Or something like that. Anyways, this sauce is mostly walnuts which means this pasta is ridiculously healthy for you. Another win. Because it means you can eat giant servings of it for several days in a row and feel really good about yourself. And have an extra-large milkshake for dessert. It’s called balance, people.

So. Grab yourself a bag of walnuts (okay, I know they are kind of pricey. But you can get a three pound bag at costco and eat walnuts for the rest of forever. Just make sure you keep them in the freezer so they don’t go bad.) And let’s say a silent ‘thank you’ to Nick for this kick butt pasta sauce recipe. Thanks Nick!

ps. check this recipe out on the Magic Bullet Blog too!

Walnut Pasta Sauce (courtesy of Nick. and also his mother, whose recipe this really is. I think. I adapted it only slightly.)

So not only is this recipe ridiculously easy to make (like, blend and dump easy) and ridiculously healthy for you, but it is also vegetarian and could oh-so easily be made  gluten free. I’ll mention below what you can sub out to make it so!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts, toasted until deep golden brown (you can do this in a 375 degree oven or on top of a stove, tossing them often, just watch them carefully if you do it on the stove so you don’t burn them. But don’t skip the roasting step! it’s what brings out all the nutty flavor of the walnuts)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup half and half (you could use milk or cream or whatever you have. or even a non-dairy alternative.)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • a large 1/4 tsp italian seasoning
  • 3 tsp fresh squeeze lemon juice
  • 1 lb linguine, fettuccine or other pasta; cooked and drained (if you use brown rice pasta, this recipe is gluten-free. Ta-da!)

These are the instructions as they were given to me: Blend first [11] ingredients. Dump onto pasta.

I’ll add that you should then mix it well and serve it with some wine. But that’s just me.