Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Dipped Molasses Cookies

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Hi everyone! Happy almost-weekend-before-Christmas!

I’m feeling particularly cozy today. The rain is coming down in torrents, which I actually enjoy in spite of the Hermione-hair it gives me. As I write this I’m sitting in my local Barnes & Noble, bundled in an enormous scarf and sipping hot chocolate. The only thing missing is one of these dipped molasses cookies.

I’m not eating any because this recipe only makes 2 dozen, so they’re safely set aside until Christmas Eve. Consider this a warning, because if you don’t double this recipe you may regret it! These are my favorite out of the Christmas cookies I’ve baked so far this year.

The molasses cookie recipe is just slightly adapted from America’s Test Kitchen. I saw an adaptation online where the cookies were dipped in white chocolate. However, the memory of the cinnamon/vanilla almond bark used with the Gingerbread Biscotti I made recently was still fresh in my mind, and I decided to use it again with these cookies.

I’m so glad I did. I like that you can see the cinnamon specks in the almond bark, and the gentle flavor doesn’t compete with the perfected Test Kitchen recipe.

Another option is to drizzle the coating on top if you like a lighter approach. These were so delicious dipped though – I highly recommend doing it this way.

Happy baking this weekend! Good luck!

Dipped Molasses Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Adapted from In Katrina’s Kitchen

Ingredients
2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp allspice
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp salt
12 tbsp butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup molasses

For the cinnamon dip:
12 oz vanilla-flavored candy coating (almond bark), chopped
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, spices, pepper and salt.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes). Add the egg yolk and vanilla, and beat until combined. Add the molasses and beat again until combined. With the mixer on low, add in the flour mixture until incorporated (about 30 seconds). Give it one more stir with a spatula to make sure all ingredients are incorporated.

Take 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Repeat, placing dough balls about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until cookies begin to set around the edges but are still doughy in the middle.

Cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. (Reserve some parchment paper for later.)

Place almond bark in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute, then stir. Continue microwaving, stirring every 15 seconds until smooth. Stir in cinnamon.

Dip each cookie in the melted almond bark, covering halfway. Let the excess drip off, then place on leftover parchment paper to harden. (You will probably have some dip left over.) Let the almond bark set completely (around 30 minutes), and enjoy!

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Gingerbread Biscotti

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Gingerbread Biscotti has become my go-to afternoon treat this holiday season. It is the perfect little bit of sweetness to have with black coffee. I’ve been getting them from Starbucks, but decided to attempt a batch on my own.

It wasn’t difficult at all! It just requires a little attention and time during the baking process. But, believe me, this biscotti is so worth the time. It was excellent. It was spicy, crisp, and the cinnamon flavored coating gave it just the right touch of indulgence.

I absolutely recommend you give this a try! The chocolate chips are optional, but I thought the chocolate was a delicious accent to the overall flavor.

Gingerbread Biscotti

Slightly adapted from Land O’Lakes

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs
3 tablespoons mild molasses
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup mini real semi-sweet chocolate chips, if desired

For the coating:
6 ounces vanilla-flavored candy coating (almond bark), chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Add butter, sugars and spices to the large bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium, scraping bowl often, until well combined. Add eggs and beat until combined. Add molasses and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low and add in flour and baking powder, beating until mixed. Stir in mini chocolate chips.

On a floured surface, split dough in half and form into two logs, about 12 inches long. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Place logs on baking sheet 3 inches apart and flatten slightly.

Bake for 22-25 minutes or until top is golden brown and slightly cracked. Remove and cool on cookie sheet for 15 minutes. Change oven temperature to 325 degrees.

After cookies have cooled, place on cutting board and slice diagonally with a serrated knife, making the slices about 1/2 inch thick. Place on an ungreased baking sheet, cut side down. Bake for 9 minutes, then turn slices over and bake for another 5 to 7 minutes or until cookies are dry. Cool completely.

Place almond bark in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute, stir. Continue microwaving, stirring every 15 seconds until smooth. Stir in cinnamon.

At this point you can either dip biscotti, or drizzle coating on top (after placing biscotti on waxed paper). Let it set for around 30 minutes, and enjoy!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Snickers Brownies

Friday, February 3rd, 2012


Hello chocolate! I’m so happy to see you again!

My month without dessert is fiiiiinally over. No more staring glumly as others attempt to convince me that the dessert they’re eating is totally gross…as they reach for seconds.

It’s possible I went a little overboard with this recipe. I’m not sure if it’s even ethical to think about eating these.

It all started the other day when I came across a recipe for brownies with peanut butter chips and chocolate frosting, which sounded delicious. But then my chocolate-deprived mind said to itself, why not make these even better by adding some chopped Snickers on top?

I chose the peanut butter version to echo the peanut butter chips inside the brownie.

As I was looking over the ingredient list for these brownies, I felt a little concerned that my version would be too sweet, so I described the recipe to my sister Halley. This was our conversation:

“….and then I’ll add chopped up Snickers on top. Do you think that sounds too sweet?”

“What?”

“Do you think that sounds too sweet?”

“What?”

“I said….oh. You’re never going to comprehend what I’m saying are you?”

“Nope. I don’t understand the phrase ‘too sweet’.

So, I happily tromped off to Target and bought my ingredients.

In summary, these brownies are certainly rich and decadent, but in my family culture that is exactly the way dessert should be.

If you do like things a little less rich, you could always skip the candy on top, and even leave out the frosting. These brownies are fudgy and deliciously rich with just the peanut butter chips.

As for my family, they happily cut big pieces and piled whipped cream on top. To each his own!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Snickers Brownies

Recipe adapted from Hershey’s

Makes about 36 bars

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 2/3 cups (10-ounce package) Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips

For the frosting:
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons Hershey’s Cocoa
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons milk

For the topping:
1 11.5-ounce package Snickers Peanut Butter Squared pieces (or about 12 pieces)

Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

Beat the butter, cream cheese and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder. Gradually add dry mixture to batter, and beat well. Stir in the chips and pour into prepared pan.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the brownies begin to pull away from the side of the pan. Cool completely (this is important!).

While the brownies are cooling, prepare the frosting. In a medium bowl, beat softened butter and cocoa together until blended. Gradually add the powdered sugar, alternating with the vanilla and milk. Beat until the frosting reaches spreading consistency. Makes about 1 cup of frosting.

Chop the Snickers squares into smaller pieces. When the brownies are completely cool, frost them and sprinkle the Snickers on top. Press the candy lightly into the frosting so it sticks. Cut into bars.


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Eggnog Quinoa and Pineapple Spinach Smoothie

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011


I have always liked Thursdays. For one thing, you know there is good TV on the way (hello Big Bang Theory/Parks and Rec!), and Friday is right around the bend. These days I have Thursdays off which makes them even better!

My aunt stopped by this morning, and I took the opportunity to ask her about a couple recipes she makes regularly. Both of these recipes include a respectable amount of healthy “super foods”. This is good if, like me, you are feeling the need to walk in righteousness for awhile during this post-Halloween-pre-Thanksgiving time…

The first recipe I tried was eggnog quinoa. My family has tried a couple variations on this dish, using both pasta and rice. However I have recently discovered quinoa and wanted to see what it would taste like. This dish is not altogether healthy, but quinoa is packed with protein and a smaller serving will keep you really full.

First things first – heat up some butter.

Add in the (cooked) quinoa, eggnog, raisins and spices. Simmer, then enjoy!

This was so good (and easy to make). It was sweet and warm, with a slight aroma of spice and holidays. I think it would be great as breakfast – it sort of reminded me of porridge or oatmeal.

Next up – Pineapple Spinach Smoothie! Just looking at this spinach makes me feel virtuous.

I’ve been putting spinach in my smoothies since I saw this blog post a month ago. However, I knew my aunt has been making one that turns out entirely green in color so I wanted to find out about it!

She has been making an adaptation on a recipe that came with her Vitamix blender. This smoothie contains spinach, Greek yogurt, pineapple, whey protein powder and a bit of ice. It blended into a gorgeous, creamy, light green.

This smoothie was so refreshing! I loved it. It’s a little bit tart, so if you don’t like that you can add some sweetener. I am going to start having this in the morning as well – a really clean, bright start to the day.

So there you go – two nutritious recipes! These were both so easy to make. Also, the measurements are really up to you – feel free to include more or less of the ingredients depending on what you like.

Have a happy Friday/weekend!


Eggnog Quinoa

Serves 2-3

Ingredients
1 Tbsp butter
2 cups cooked quinoa (follow directions on package for cooking)
3/4 cup eggnog
1/3 cup raisins
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tbsp brown sugar
Dash of nutmeg
Dash of cinnamon

Directions
Heat butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Toss in the cooked quinoa. Add in 1/2 cup eggnog, and keep adding until it reaches the consistency you want. Add in the vanilla, sugar, spices and raisins. Turn the heat to low and let it simmer for a few minutes.

You can enjoy right away, or take it off the heat and let everything settle together for awhile.


Pineapple Spinach Smoothie

Inspired by Kelvin Wu’s Red Green Protein Smoothie and Vitamix’s Emerald Smoothie

Serves 2-3

Ingredients
2 cups baby spinach
12 oz Greek yogurt (vanilla or honey flavor)
1 1/2 – 2 cups fresh or frozen pineapple
2 scoops whey protein powder
ice, as needed
1 Tbsp agave nectar, or sweetener of your choice

Directions
Blend together. Enjoy!

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Jessie's Kitchen Chronicles