Monday, February 21, 2011

World, meet the cookie brownie

Going through left over Valentine's candy I found some Hershey Hugs for half price.
I thought to myself, "I need to make a cookie like a peanut butter blossom but with Hugs."
And thus the quest began.

I talked with my sister-in-law, a very good baker.  I discussed things with my mom, another accomplished baker.  I glanced through, checked the index in multiple cookbooks, read the suggestions on the Hugs' bag, and I thought about what I wanted.  It had to be chocolate and chewy like a brownie, but not a brownie.  I also wanted to make something from scratch - not just make a brownie mix and pretend it was a cookie.

That's when the 1963 Betty Crocker's Cooky Book came through once again.  I took old Betty's brownie recipe, made some modifications, experimented a bit, and ended up with a cookie I'm quite pleased with.  It kinda looks like a brownie and it tastes like a brownie, but it's not as crumbly, gooey or sticky as brownies can be.  So it travels like a cookie but tastes like a brownie.

2/3 C margarine, softened
4 Tbsp oil*
2 C + 1 Tbsp sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 C + 2 tsp cocoa powder*
3 1/4 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 bag Hershey Hugs, unwrapped

Beat shortening, oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
Separately mix cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt.
Blend together.
Make small balls out of dough and place on greased baking sheet.
Bake at 350 for 8 minutes.
Place Hug in center of each cookie, softly pressing down on each one.
Allow cookie to cool on baking sheet.

*You can use 4 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and blended with shortening.  Omit the cocoa and oil if using squares.

I hope you like it!  Let me know if you try it and enjoy it.  But don't tell me if you don't like it - I can't handle rejection.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

everyone was right about kale chips

Kale Chips, people!  They're awesome!  Awesome!  My friend, Laura, was right!  Eat these and feel like a super hero!

This is what you do:

Buy kale - a super food amongst super food, bring home, don't even put it away.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper.

Cut the leafy-ness off the main stalk.

Wash and dry.

Drizzle with olive oil.  Not too much.

Sprinkle with salt and season salt.  Not too much.

Bake for 10 minutes or so, until the edges are brown.

Eat the crispy, delicious chips, licking your fingers a the end.  Feed them to your kids (who will like them and want more).  Feel no guilt when you eat the whole pan.  Clean up by throwing away the foil.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mom's Meatloaf

This is meatloaf for people who think they don't like meatloaf.  And I understand why you think you don't.  When I was a kid this meatloaf was a family favorite and I never understood why people cracked jokes at poor meatloaf's expense.  And then I had it at someone else's house and I knew. 

But this recipe - that she found in her old microwave's cookbook! - is incredibly flavorful and has a great amount of zing.

As we learn from Yo Gabba Gabba, "Try it; you'll like it!"

2lbs hamburger
1 pkg dry onion soup mix
1 sleeve of saltine crackers, crushed
2 eggs (can be omitted - just use a bit more ketchup)
1/2 C ketchup

1 C ketchup
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp mustard
1 tsp worchestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix meat, crackers, soup mix, eggs, saltines and 1/2 C ketchup and spread into 9x13" pan.

Mix topping ingredients and spread over meat.

Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Home Made Instant Potato Soup

My friend Katie gave us an awesome anniversary / Christmas gift this past year:  a picnic bag with a bottle of wine, crackers, and some home made instant soup mixes in mason jars.

We've only had one of the soups and it was so good I asked for the recipe.  And now I'm going to share it with you so you can warm yourself during this blizzard.  brrrrrrr!

Home Made Instant Potato Soup

2 C instant mashed potato
1 1/2 C dry milk powder
2 T instant chicken bouillon
2 t dried minced onion
1 t dried parsley
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t dried thyme
1/8 t turmeric
1 1/2 t seasoning salt

Combine all ingredients.  Fits in 1 qt jar.

Use 1/2 C mix with 1 C boiling water.

When we made it I added a heaping 1/2 C of the mix so it was a little thicker.  I also added some unpeeled, roughly cut red potatoes and some carrots.  Sausage, parsnips, celery, onion, and cheese all taste yummy with it, too.