Thursday, March 25, 2010

Poo Cookies

This week I decided to try to make the Vanilla Bean Melting Moments with Caramel Filling that was made last week. The recipe calls for a piping bag to pipe the cookies onto the cookie sheet. This was my first time using a piping bag and while it was oddly satisfying to pipe the cookies, after making a couple I realized that this would not work.

Because it looked like poo. Not intentional!! So I quickly added a couple more drops of cookie dough and then it looked like this

Now the poo has ears! I crossed my fingers and sent these cookies into the oven.

BUT something was missing....

No more poo cookies, teddy cookies!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Lemon Butter Cookies

I made lemon butter cookies last week. It's quickly become one of my standby recipes because it only requires a few ingredients, most of which I probably already have lying around. Best of all, it makes 4 dozen little cookies, which is the perfect amount to share!

Lemon Button Cookies
adapted from Food and Wine
makes 4 dozen

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
Zest of 1 lemon plus a few squeezes of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a food processor, pulse the butter with 1/2 cup of the confectioners’ sugar until combined. Add the cornstarch, lemon zest and juice, vanilla and flour and process until a soft dough forms. Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide it into 4 equal pieces.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll each piece of dough into a 12-inch rope. Cut each rope into 12 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Transfer the balls to the baking sheet; they won’t spread much. Bake the cookies on the center rack of the oven for about 22 minutes, until the bottoms are golden but the tops are still pale.

Sift the remaining 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Add 12 warm cookies to the bowl at a time and toss to coat. Transfer the cookies to a clean baking sheet. While the cookies are still warm, poke 4 shallow holes into each one with a toothpick or skewer to make a buttonhole pattern. Let the cookies cool completely before serving or storing.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Vanilla Melting Moment Cookies

Oh. My. Gosh. ... I am going to be a fat woman by the end of the week... my boyfriend will not be pleased. But, MAYBE, if he could taste these, he wouldn't mind? We could both be fat together? haha... These are so good, I've already eaten two and I haven't even put them into sandwiches with the filling I made. I originally got the recipe from Natalie, but after I made them (which took NO time by the way), I decided her recipe needs a little tweaking. Not the ingredients, but the instructions. As a warning, this cookie is sooo fattening. For example, when I was finished making the batter, my lips were chapped so I rubbed some of the cookie dough on my lips and voila! greasy and unchapped! probably because it's mostly butter... maybe that's it... haha. Here is Natalie's recipe, but with MY instructions:

Vanilla Melting Moment Cookies

6 ounces butter, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour, sifted
1/4 cup cornstarch, sifted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Place the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy
3. Stir in sifted flour and cornstarch until well combined
4. Place the mixture in a piping bag (I just used a plastic bag) and pipe 1 inch drops onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Flatten the drop into a cookie shape. (Natalie said to give them room to grow, but mine did not budge. Maybe it was something I did, but they cookie-fied in the same exact shape and size that I piped them... which is not going to help when I make my sandwiches, so I would flatten them myself next time.)
5. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, although I would keep an eye on them on the early side since everyone's ovens are different. (I left mine in for about 18 minutes, and left them in there even while the oven was cooling. They got a little browny on the edges but I liked that taste wise.)

As I type this, I'm letting them cool as I'm freezing the filling I made. I have NO idea how this filling is going to work since it's more like light and fluffy frosting rather than something that will stay between two dense cookies (I did not have the ingredients to
make the caramel filling that Natalie made). I whipped 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream with 1 tbsp of powdered sugar, a dash of vanilla extract, and generously sprinkled cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice on top. It smelled really good and tasted even better. SO light and SO fluffy and might be perfect for something else (not as a dense cookie filling, but maybe as a frosting for a pumpkin cupcake or something). I have the filling in the freezer now hoping it'll harden some while the cookies cool.

Pictures are below!

cookies on tray

Sandwiches with Heart

Update: The filling is definitely not meant for this kind of cookie, although I think I'll definitely use it for topping strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries! YUM!! It was really yummy, and it tasted fine with the cookie, but not good for a filling. The cookie flavored overpowered it anyway... The filling needs to shine for itself.

Hi Jonathan! <3

Vegetarian Enchiladas with Cilantro Lime Rice and Vegetarian Refried Beans

Cooking for a vegetarian is like... well, I don't know what it's like, but it's HARD! It's hard to be able to create a variety of meals with different flavors... we usually just rotate between macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, and bean and cheese burritos. But, I also don't know many recipes, so maybe it's all my fault! I came across a recipe for vegetarian enchiladas and decided to roll with it. I decided to pair it with cilantro lime rice and refried beans, and this is what came out of the oven...

And this is what came out on my plate...

Before I give the recipes, I'll tell you how it all tasted: The enchiladas were good, although not fantastic. After the first couple of bites it got better, although I don't think that means much. The rice... how to put this... weird. The recipe calls for sugar, but I think next time i'll leave that part completely out of it because the sweetness was just weird. Everytime I took a bite of rice, I had to put something else in my mouth at the same time to avoid the sweetness. Just not my cup of tea... Although if I ignored the sweetness, the rice was really good! The beans were good, but I didn't MAKE them, I just used a can of vegetarian refried beans and added some stuff to it. Yums.

Vegetarian Enchiladas
(Yields 4 Enchiladas)

1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 of a 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tbsp ancho chili powder
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 of a 16 ounce can of black beans, drained
2 tbsp cilantro leaves, chopped
4 whole wheat tortillas
colby jack cheese (for topping enchiladas)
black pepper
sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, spray large baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Sauce: heat olive oil and garlic in small sauce pan over medium heat until garlic is golden. Whisk flour into olive oil and cook for a few minutes until mixture turns golden. Gradually whisk in vegetable broth. Bring mixture to boil, then reduce heat so sauce can simmer. Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chili powder, and cumin. Season to taste with salt. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes
3. Filling: combine cottage cheese, black beans, and cilantro in mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Spread a little more than 1/2 a cup of sauce on the bottom of prepared dish, spread the filling in the middle of each tortilla, roll the tortilla and place fold down in the baking dish, side by side. Pour remaining sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle as much cheese as you like on top. 5. Bake for about 30 minutes until dish is bubbly or cheese is golden. Let rest about 10-15 minutes before serving.

Serve with sour cream if you want! If you like sour cream, definitely add it on top.

Cilantro Lime Rice
(Yields enough for probably 4 servings)

1 cup uncooked rice
1/2 tbsp butter
1 clove minced garlic
2 vegetable bullion cubes
1/2 tsp lime zest (I didn't have this, so I just used a LOT of lime juice)
2 cups water
1 tbsp lime juice (I used more)
1 tbsp sugar (I wish I hadn't used this)
3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

1. In a large skillet, combine rice, butter, garlic, lime zest, bullion cubes, and water. Bring to a boil and stir well all the while.
2. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 20-30 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, combine lime juice, sugar, and cilantro - pour over and then stir into the cooked rice.

For the beans, I used about 3/4 can of Vegetarian Refried Beans, cooked some roughly diced onions in olive oil sprinkled generously with oregano, and mixed it into the refried beans that were warming in a sauce pan. I also sprinkled some chili powder (but didn't taste it).

Now I want to make some dessert!!! Maybe there will be another post tonight...... haha

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I made alfajores about a month ago. It is basically dulce de leche sandwiched between two shortbread cookies. The dulce de leche was very simple to make: I just took a can of condensed milk and boil it in water, completely submerged, for about 3 hours. It is VERY important to keep the can completely submerged the entire time because otherwise the pressure that builds up inside the can will cause it to explode! With my track record, I was lucky that I didn't end up spending my weekend scraping dulce de leche off the kitchen ceiling.

Friday, February 26, 2010

My First Panini!

I went out and bought a panini maker specifically for this sandwich. I also bought a roll of french bread specifically for this sandwich. I "pesto'd" both the insides of the bread, put a layer or two of mozzarella, thickly cut tomatoes, and as many leaves of spinach I could fit in my hand, put it all together and into the panini maker and TA-DA!!!

I bit into it, and it was delicious. I want one right now.

Tracy + Dani = Trani

Hey Tracy! I hope you like it... hahaha