Saturday, February 28, 2009

Vanilla Bean Malt Cookies

About 6 months ago I came across a recipe for pancakes that contained malted milk powder. Next time I made some buttermilk pancakes, I tried them with the malt powder and it's definitely a winner. So I've started adding it to pancake and waffle batters, certain muffins, and even some of my homemade bread. It's unique taste and tang is delicious and subtle. I usually substitute it for part of the sugar and flour in a recipe.

In my usual search for good recipes I was surprised to come across a recipe for Malted Cookies. I have never even heard of a malt cookie so had to try it. Apparently the original recipe is from a Martha Stewart cookie cookbook but was posted by My Baking Adventures.

I really like the way the cookies turned out. They have a unique taste and are perfect as a food pairing to coffee, tea, milk, etc. If you like nuts in a cookie this recipe would accommodate them well, but I preferred them without.

Do try them, I think you'll like them.

Ingredients and Method:

2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup malted milk powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 sticks of butter
4 ounces cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds removed
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Decorative sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

With a mixer, combine cream cheese, butter and sugar until well blended. Add vanilla seeds, egg, and vanilla extract and mix well.

Add the flour, baking powder, salt and malted milk and mix until incorporated.

Chill dough in refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with decorative sugar.

Bake for 12 - 16 minutes. You want to bake until the edges of the cookie is turning brown.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Whipped Cashew Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter. Peanut Butter Cups. Peanut Butter Brownies. Peanut Butter Cheesecake. Peanut Butter and Jelly. Peanut Butter Parfaits. Peanut Butter Cupcakes. Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream. Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches. Peanut Butter in a spoon right out of the jar....

All of them delicious!!!!

Peanut Butter Salmonella? Not so good.

So I decided to take my world famous, delicious, unique, peanut butter cookies recipe and substitute a nut I like better. What? Heresy? A nut better than peanuts? Yeah, CASHEWS!

I love Cashews. We all love cashews. Admit it. But they are Expensive!!! But currently, they ain't got no salmonella, ya know?

But I've never baked with Cashews. Never even thought about it.

Until SALMONELLA showed up in freakin' peanuts!!!!

So give it a try. I bet you like them....

By the way, I am NOT talking about butter cookies with cashews in them, NO, I'm talking about real whipped cashew butter as the base for the cookies. OMG, these are good.

These cookies have to be tried to be believed. Four ingredients only and absolutely delicious. They just melt in your mouth. Please note they have NO flour. It can be a fragile cookie (which is what makes it so good) so my advice is to measure the ingredients exactly.

1 cup Cashew Butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Cream together pecan butter and sugar. Add eggs and baking soda and mix thoroughly.
Chill dough in refrigerator for 30 - 45 minutes.

Use two spoons to drop tablespoons onto parchment paper on cookie sheet at least 1 1/2 inches apart as the cookie will spread during baking.

Top with decorative sugar or granulated sugar before or after baking. I prefer, before.

Bake at 375 degrees for 12- 15 minutes. (Bake until they start to brown around the edges)

Let cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from sheet and transferring to a rack to cool.

Enjoy! (Especially with a cup of Starbucks coffee or ice cold milk)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chocolate Souffle Cookies

So, I haven't made any cookies for a while and thought it was time. So I searched and searched to find the cookie I wanted to bake this weekend. To be honest, I'm tired of Chocolate Chip cookies, and I'm tired of Snickerdoodles, and I'm tired of Sugar cookies, I guess due to the recent holidays.

So I was reading the Noble Pig site the other day and came across Chocolate Souffle Cookies. Instantly knew that's what I wanted to make so I adapted the recipe there. There is no flour in this recipe, just egg whites, a bit of sugar, fine chocolate and a touch of vanilla and cream of tartar. That's it! These cookies are easy, quick, and delicate but absolutely delicious. I love a chocolate cookie that is so soft inside and a bit crunchy on the outside and as light as a feather. I've just finished baking them, and have already eaten two of them warm from the oven with a glass of milk. Heaven, who needs dinner?

Do try these, I think you will really enjoy them.

Ingredients and Method:

3 egg whites
8 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip egg whites until soft peaks form. (If the bowl is chilled and the whites are room temperature it will whip much quicker)

Add cream of tartar and sugar and extract and continue to beat until the whites just begin to stiffen.

Meanwhile melt chocolate in microwave in 30 second increments. Add melted chocolate to egg white mixture and fold in until all one color.

Drop by tablespoons full onto parchment paper on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with decorative sugar and bake in 350 degree oven for 10 - 12 minutes. Let cool.

Enjoy! These will not last long.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Potato Skins

I love potato skins. Ones that are well made anyway. And so many of the ones you get just aren't that good. But I think if you try this recipe, you'll be pleased. I make these often during football season. Quick and easy and delicious finger food. Goes well with cold beer for some mysterious reason. And (Nate) even a college kid could make them.

2 large russet potatoes
2 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
sliced green onion
olive oil
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese

Wash the potatoes and pierce several times with a fork. Microwave for 7 minutes on high.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. When potatoes are done in microwave place in oven for 40 minutes.

Remove potatoes and slice each in half the long way. Scoop out potato leaving 1/4 inch of flesh next to the skin.

Reserve scooped potato for another use. (Mashed potatoes or even sauteed with butter as hash browns for breakfast the next morning)

Brush the inside of the potato with olive oil and return to oven and bake until the flesh begins to brown and become a bit crispy.

Immediately remove from oven and add cheeses and crumbled bacon, return to oven and broil (watch carefully) until cheese begins to melt and bubble.

Remove from oven, add dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with chopped green onion.

Serve immediately.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Simple Overnight Baguette

If you read my blog often, you know I love homemade bread. So here's another one you can try out. It's simple, easy, and delicious.

This bread is a bit rustic and artisan style with a few simple ingredients and yields a crusty, chewy exterior and nicely crumbed interior. This dough is extremely versatile and you just can't go wrong in my opinion.

Directions and Method:

1 cup water
1 package dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups flour (I prefer King Arthur Bread flour)
Up to 2 cups flour additional added before kneading

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly, reserving the two cups of flour for the next day. Dough will be runny. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The following morning, remove from refrigerator and let come to room temperature. This can take 5 or 6 hours, don't worry. As it warms the dough will rise slightly and become puffy.

Add additional flour in 1/2 cup increments combining completely until a sticky bread dough forms.

Scrape out onto lightly floured surface and knead 10 -15 times only. Form into baguette shape and place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet or baking stone. Cover and let rise for 90 minutes.

The easiest way to form a baguette shape is to roll the dough out 6 inches wide and 10 to 12 inches long. Grab one of the long sides and roll up jelly-roll style and place the loaf seam side down on the parchment paper, tucking the ends under.

Add two cups water to an ovenproof pan and place on bottom rack of oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees until water is starting to steam.

Place loaf in oven on higher rack for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 450 degrees and bake for 15 more minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for 10 minutes and serve immediately. You generally don't want to immediately slice into a loaf of bread just removed from the oven as the crumb is still setting a bit as it cools. Be patient, it'll taste just as good.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Maui Ribs

So the search continues to try and duplicate the delicious Hawaiian food I had with my son in Corvallis at Local Boyz. I made Shoyu chicken which was very good and very close to the shredded chicken we had there. But the main item we're trying to duplicate here are the ribs. They were thin, almost boneless, and absolutely delicious. We fought over them to see who could have the last one. They were dark, and pungent, and sweet, and savory all at the same time. I've never tasted a rib like it. I also had no clue as to what cut of meat it was.

So here's what happened. Someone posted a comment anonymously on my Shoyu chicken recipe and mentioned my description of the ribs reminded him or her of Azeki's ribs in Maui. This led me to begin searching Maui Ribs, Azeki's etc. and I think I've figured it out.

Here's the deal. The meat is Korean Beef Short Ribs (cut "Flanken" syle). The sauce is a basic sauce of soy, sugar, etc. with a healthy dose of sesame oil. (Recipe below) And I believe one strong component that makes these so delicious is they are marinated for FOUR days! Yeah, four days.

So although I've posted this recipe, the ribs just started marinating tonight, so I will amend it and complete it on Sunday.


1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 oz fresh ginger minced
5 garlic cloves minced
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 cups brown sugar

Place mixture in a large freezer bag with the ribs and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 days, turning every so often.

After two days, it looks like this:

After 4 days, remove from marinade and pat dry. Grill on Barbeque over low heat as the marinade will burn quickly if the heat is too high. There is no need to baste the meat while
cooking as it is just fine as is.

Try to grill until the sugar in the marinade begins to "crust" up.

Enjoy! These are delicious!!!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Slow Cooker Shoyu Chicken

So, I have a son who attends Oregon State University. I went to stay with him last weekend at his off campus house as we attended my daughter's deployment ceremony.

One day, he decided we should have lunch at some place in Corvallis, Oregon called Local Boyz. I obviously was hesitant being the gourmet kind of guy I am (cough!) but agreed. Needless to say, we drove to some hole in the wall place, that was on the second floor of some structure not even part of a strip mall. 12 tiny tables, water jugs and glasses, and a line out the door. I was dubious. We ordered a combination plate which consisted of macaroni salad, rice, soy chicken, steak tips, and Hawaiian BBQ small ribs. It was................. wait for it............... fabulous!

I told my son I will try to find and duplicate the food we had that day.

I will kill to get the BBQ recipe for those ribs, but have been unsuccessful so far. (Ok, I wouldn't actually kill, but maiming is not outside the realm of possibility, they were THAT good) The first thing is, the "ribs" are a very thin cut of pork (oops, update, just found out it's beef!) with small bones showing and I can't find that cut of meat, much less duplicate the sauce.

That being said, I DID find a number of recipes for Soy Sauce chicken, or Shoyu chicken and took the best of each and adapted it to this rendition. (See link for the main one Food Network)

So please try and enjoy this recipe. It really is simple, easy, and delicious.

Ingredients and Method:

6 - 12 chicken drumsticks (larger ones are perfect)

1 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 cups soy sauce

3 cans chicken broth

1/4 cup white wine

1 cup pineapple juice

1/4 cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

chopped green onion for garnish

4 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 water

Combine all ingredients except green onion, cornstarch and water in slow cooker. Rinse the drumsticks and add to cooker.

Cook on high for 4 hours.

After about 3 hours you should see the meat falling from the bones in the crockpot. Remove all the chicken drumsticks and debone. At this time skim some of the fat and any stray ginger you might come across from the crockpot and discard. Return the chicken to the broth, and continue to cook for one hour.

During the last half hour, take 4 tablespoons of corn starch, dissolve in a half of cup of water and stir into the crockpot and leave on high for the last half hour stirring occasionally to thicken the sauce.

Serve warm over freshly cooked rice garnished will the green onions. This tastes even better the next day after it's steeped overnight.