Posts Tagged ‘treats’

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies {Kids Cook Monday}

Monday, November 14th, 2011

I know, here we are on the cusp of holiday baking season — the arrival of Gourmet’s annual cookie issue was better than Christmas to many a food blogger — and here I am with plain old chocolate chip cookies. But before the hustle and bustle of the holidays, why not enjoy a simple pleasure. A recipe simple enough to make with the kids, an easy after-school treat for a rainy Monday, or, in my case, a quick way to assuage a mama’s guilt after a weekend away.

oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate chip cookies can be a polarizing matter — do you like yours crispy or chewy? I add oatmeal, which makes them healthy (it does, right?) and lends the perfect crisp-chewy texture, in my opinion. Like many recipes, it is based off the back of the chocolate chip package. Aside from the addition of oatmeal, I also double the salt and add almond extract with the vanilla. (I can’t take credit for that either — it’s a tip gleaned from Giada.) I’ve been known to use a mix of raisins or cranberries, or even coconut, with the chocolate chips, but I’ll leave those choices up to you.

Recipe: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Ghiradelli’s baking chip package

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated cane sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 ounces chocolate baking chips

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Beat butter and sugars at medium speed until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla and almond extracts, continuing to mix on low speed until well combined. Add flour, baking powder and salt, then gradually add oats until just incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.

3. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and drop dough by tablespoon onto pans. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until centers are dry and edges are lightly golden. Remove to cooling rack and try to hold back little hands at least until the cookies are no longer piping hot.  Makes about 3 dozen cookies, depending on the size of your scoops.

Preserving Summer: Peach Gelato

Friday, August 21st, 2009

redhaven peaches at market

It’s peach season and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they hold out long enough for me to can some for winter. In the meantime, here’s the peach gelato that made me swoon, if I do say so myself.

Ever wonder what the difference is between ice cream and gelato? Sherbet and sorbet? As far as I can tell, from my extensive google research, the difference between ice cream, gelato, sherbet and sorbet is something like this:

  • ice cream, French = milk, cream, eggs
  • ice cream, Philadelphia/American = milk, cream, no eggs
  • gelato = milk, maybe eggs, no cream
  • sorbet = just fruit, no dairy or eggs
  • sherbet = milk, no cream and no eggs

Still confused? Short version: if you taste the cream first, it’s ice cream. If you taste the fruit first, it’s gelato. That’s the official FoodieTots definition at any rate. Now I set out to make Philadelphia-style peach ice cream, but the bottle I had labeled cream was in fact buttermilk; instead I used my cream-top whole milk, so while it has a little cream it is mostly milk. It has the texture and strongly fruit-forward taste of gelato, so that’s what I’m calling it.

peach gelato

Recipe: Peach Gelato

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 peaches (1 1/2 pounds), peeled
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla)
  • 1 cup cream-top whole milk
  • juice of 1 lemon wedge

Instructions: I use the boil/ice bath method to peel peaches. It seems like a hassle but trust me, it’s a lot easier and time saving in the long run then trying to scrape peels off with a paring knife.  Score the bottom of each peach with a small “x” cut, then drop them into boiling water for 20 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and place them into a colander set in ice water for several seconds, then set on cutting board and leave several minutes to cool. The skins will pretty much slip right off at that point.

Dice the peaches and place in a medium stock pot over medium high heat, add honey and seeds of the vanilla bean. Cook until peaches begin to fall apart, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for several minutes. Add milk and blend in small batches in a blender, or use an immersion blender in the pot. I recommend the regular blender to make sure there are no chunks — in a home freezer, the chunks of fruit get too icy and aren’t as flavorful as in commercial ice creams. Stir in the lemon juice and pour into a glass bowl or pitcher. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator (I leave it overnight) and then process according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. (I use the Kitchen Aid ice cream attachment and mix it for 10-12 minutes, until it thickens and reaches a very soft icy consistency, then freeze for 3-4 hours.) Enjoy!

Shared with Fight Back Fridays at the Food Renegade, because once you’ve had homemade ice cream — or gelato — you’ll never go back to that commercial chemical goop from the supermarket.

Banana Mini Cupcakes with Chocolate Hazelnut Frosting

Friday, February 6th, 2009

We were invited to a toddler pre-game playdate on Super Bowl Sunday and brought these mini cupcakes. The bananas added enough sweetness that I was able to reduce the sugar in the recipe by half; the frosting of course more than compensates for the not-too-sweet cake. I called it Nutella frosting, but I actually used an organic chocolate hazelnut spread from Whole Foods.

banana chocolate hazelnut cupcakes

Banana (Mini) Cupcake Recipe
From The Cupcake Project

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup raw sugar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 bananas

Instructions: Cream butter and sugar in mixing bowl. Mix in eggs one at a time until incorporated. Add sour cream, flour and baking soda and mix just until ingredients are combined. Add vanilla and mashed bananas and mix until smooth. Drop batter by tablespoons into lined mini cupcake tin. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean, but be sure to remove before they start to turn brown. (For full-size cupcakes, bake 20 minutes.)

Chocolate Hazelnut Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread, melted
  • 1 pound confectioners sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk, additional as needed

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and mix until smooth. Add additional milk as needed to reach spreadable consistency. Frost cupcakes and top with banana or chocolate flavored jelly beans. Enjoy!

Treats: Egg Nog Pancakes

Sunday, January 4th, 2009
On the eleventh day of Christmas …

Woke up still feeling sick today and saw this recipe in my Twitter feed, from Sandy of Eat Real (follow her @eat_real) – perfect treat to brighten our morning. The toddler helped me mix the batter and then devoured quite a few of these wonderfully tasty and fluffy pancakes.

(Note: minor alterations to Sandy’s recipe, used 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour and brown sugar in place of regular.)

Treats: Grandmom’s Snowball Cookies

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

On the ninth day of Christmas …

… Grandmom D.’s Snowball Cookies. These are hardly unique, but it’s the only recipe I have passed down from my English grandmother, and it just wouldn’t be Christmas without them. The toddler was quite happy to help by sprinkling “sugar snow” on them.