Puppy Chow Cookies – Simple and Delicious

For those who are unfamiliar with the term Puppy Chow it is also called Muddy Buddies. You know, the Chex cereal munchie recipes.  I saw this recipe and thought of my friend, Jenni.  Had to make these cookies for her.  When I first tried them I thought they were tasty.  However, they were even better the next day!

Puppy Chow Cookies
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Ingredients for Cookie

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups flour

Ingredients for Coating

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar

Directions for Cookies

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter and peanut butter together until smooth. (I used my stand up mixer) Add both sugars and mix on medium.  Add egg and vanilla until all combined.
  3. Add flour, baking soda and salt. Mix on low speed.
  4. Roll into a ball about an inch round and place on baking sheet.  Lightly flatten.
  5. Bake for 8-9 minutes until lightly browned around the edges.
  6. Remove from oven and place on wire rack.  Let cool completely. (I had to omit the let cool completely step.  I made before work and had to get them done!!  Next time, I will let cool completely. Just sayin’!)

Directions for Coating

  1.   In a 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth.
  2. Put powdered sugar in a bowl
  3. Dip both sides of cookie in chocolate.  Then dip in powdered sugar to coat both sides. (Since I did not let them cool long enough I had to take a knife and frost both sides of cookie with the chocolate. Then dip in the sugar.)
  4. Place back on cooling rack until chocolate is set.

Got it all done in less than an hour.  I would say “Simple and Delicious”.  Enjoy!!

Food Quote – Alan D. Wolfelt

 

I often use this method. Sometimes keeping my mouth shut and offering a seat in my kitchen while I listen works wonders. Plus, there is always something I can offer.  Whether it is cake, cookie, casserole or cheese, it is in my kitchen!  (Sometimes hugs work, too!!)

“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.”  -Alan D. Wolfelt

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Nut Horns – Not so Simple but Delicious

Kent mentioned he always enjoyed the Nut Horn cookies his mom made during the holidays.  I sent a text to Lisa and she was able to send me a pic of the recipe.December 001  I also spoke with his mom to see if she could explain how she made them too.  I was a little thrown off by the Seven Up. She also warned me that the dough was very sticky and you have to refrigerate overnight and keep it refrigerated while making the cookies.

This was my first attempt.  These cookies are a work in progress.  Next time I make them it should be much easier.  They are very delicious but not so simple.  I was glad I could make them for Kent.  I think only one of them looked like he remembered but at least he and the rest of the crew enjoyed how delicious they were.  Hey, looks aren’t everything you know!!

Nut Horns

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Ingredients

Cookie batter (you need to make the night before)

1 cup butter
4 egg yolks (set aside the whites)
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Seven Up (Yes, the soda)

Nut filling

1 1/2 cups ground walnuts
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
1-2 Tablespoons milk

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven 375 degrees.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together the cookie ingredients.  I used my stand up mixer.
  3. Put cookie dough in refrigerator overnight.
  4. You can mix together the nut filling ingredients the day you are going to fill the cookies.  It takes not time at all to mix together.  I ground the walnuts in my food processor but you can buy them that way too.
  5. Next day you will take 1 inch balls of dough and with rolling pin roll between plastic wrap.  I sprayed each piece of plastic wrap with Pam.  This batter is very sticky to work with.
  6. Kent’s mom cut into a diamond shape, put 1 teaspoon filling in the middle, rolled into crescent shape.  Pinch the dough to hold the cookie together. Do not pinch the ends.  Place the pinched portion on the bottom of cookie sheet.If you don’t do this the cookie may not stay a crescent and will open up. Also, you don’t have to cut into diamond, you can roll as is.  When I rolled out the ball, I tried to keep it more of an oval versus a circle.
  7. Dip half cookie in egg white and then in sugar.  You can use colored sugar.  I did not.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.

Enjoy!!

 

Syrian Lentil Soup – Simple and Delicious

For New Year’s Eve an Italian tradition is to have ‘good luck’ food.  Every year my Aunt Mary would bring the lentil soup on New Years Eve.  At midnight after everyone kissed and hugged each other we would eat sausage, lentil soup, cookies, fruit and the leftovers from dinner earlier that evening.  I know there was a lot of food but I only remember what I enjoyed.  Actually, I did not enjoy the lentil soup when I was little.  I do now though!!

Well,  I found this lentil soup recipe and decided to make it for Christmas Eve.  I’m a week early but this sounded so good I had to give it a try.   I will make again for New Years.  That’s how much we all enjoyed it!!

Syrian Lentil Soup

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Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 medium celery rib, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 pound red or brown lentils (I used red)
5 cups chicken broth or water
1 small bunch spinach (I had a bag and used a little more than half)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1.  Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan.
  2. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook over medium low heat until tender and slightly golden, about 8 minutes.
  3. Stir in the cumin and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the lentils and broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 20-30 minutes.
  6. Stir in the spinach and simmer until tender.
  7. Add the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and serve.

Simple and Delicious!!  Best of luck to you!!

Pitka – Village Style

For Christmas this year Martin requested I make Pitka the way his Grandma used to make it.   (All along, that is what I thought I was doing.)  He calls it “village style”. He had a lengthy conversation with his grandma and she explained the recipe.  I made it the way she told me and it was good but a little chewy. (I should have left in the oven a bit longer. Darn!!)

I ended up making another Pitka on Saturday.  I played around with the ingredients a bit. This one turned out tasty too.  Very similar to soda bread.

I am posting both of the recipes I did because we enjoyed both breads.   By the way, this takes no time at all.  The Pitka I made in prior years took a long time but they were delicious just the same.  I will make my third attempt New Years Eve.  This one will be closer to what Olga told Martin.  Third time is a charm! 😉

Pitka One

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Ingredients

8 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 egg yolk (set aside the egg white to brush top of Pitka before baking)
3 cups yogurt
2 Tablespoons sunflower oil or vegetable oil

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour baking pan.  I used my cast iron skillet for my first attempt.  That was a good choice.
  2. In a large bowl add dry ingredients.  Whisk together and make a well by pushing the flour mixture to sides of bowl.
  3. Add eggs, egg yolk, oil and yogurt in center of bowl.  Mix with hands.  You can add more yogurt until combined.  (I had to put this in my stand up mixer to combine.)
  4. After mixed together form a round, flat bread.  (approx 9″ round, 2-3″ height)  Place in prepared baking pan.  Brush top with egg whites.
  5. Bake for 45-60 minutes (that would be longer than I did!!)
  6. Take out of oven.  While warm, wrap in a towel.  When cooled place in plastic bag to store.

Simple and Delicious!

Pitka Two

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Ingredients

4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup yogurt
1/4 cup buttermilk

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour 9″ round cake pan or whatever you want to use.  I could have used my cast iron skillet but wanted to try a different pan
  2. In a large bowl add dry ingredients.  Whisk together and make a well by pushing the flour mixture to sides of bowl.
  3. Add yogurt and buttermilk in center of bowl. (You could just use yogurt.  I liked the buttermilk addition.)  Mix with hands. (I was able to mix by hand with this recipe)  You can add more yogurt or buttermilk to combine.  (I did not need to add anymore.)
  4. After mixed together form a round, flat bread.  (approx 9″ round, 2-3″ height) Place in prepared baking pan.
  5. Bake 30-45 minutes
  6. Take out of oven.  While warm, wrap in towel. When cooled place in plastic bag to store.

When making Pitka for Christmas Eve the Bulgarian tradition is you put a coin and positive notes (“good health”, “happiness”, etc.) in the Pitka.  I cleaned off a quarter and wrapped that in foil.  I put notes on parchment paper and folded and placed in the Pitka.

We enjoyed both breads.  However, Martin missed the egg white brushed on top of Pitka 2.  We did end up eating the entire Pitka 2.  Like I previously mentioned Pitka 1 was not baked all the way through.  Too chewy.  I will post number 3 after New Year’s.

Wishing us all a peaceful 2016.  My New Year’s wish; Let there be peace on this earth please!  Let us all break bread together!!

Italian Chocolate Cookies

My brother, Tony texted me last night for a couple of Italian cookie recipes.  The Italian Lemon and Italian Chocolate.  I have been making these cookies for years.  It just so happened this weekend is my cookie making weekend.  Since he is so crazy busy I thought I would make them and send some his way.  I ended up baking those today along with the Spritz cookies.  They are boxed and off to Syracuse (sent some to Scott too) for Christmas Eve.  Here is the Italian Chocolate recipe I got from the Syracuse Newspaper many years ago!

Italian Chocolate Cookies

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Ingredients
(this recipe makes 2 dozen cookies)

2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 ounce whiskey (I used Kent’s Woodford Reserve Bourbon)
1/2 cup whole milk

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together all dry ingredients in a large bowl (I used my stand up mixer)
  3. Add shortening, whiskey and milk.  Mix on low to blend together and increase to medium until all combined.
  4. Add chopped walnuts and mix into batter.
  5. Form dough into small balls, press slightly.  The dough balls weigh 1 ounce or about 1″ rounds.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.  I turn the baking pan around after 7 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and dip immediately in a chocolate frosting.
  8. EAT!

I dip in a chocolate ganache.  You could do frosting or a chocolate glaze.  Whatever works for you.

Enjoy and have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Chocolate Coconut Macadamia Nut Cookies

December 2015; Saw these on my blog last night. Thought I should make them again.  Great choice!  You should add this recipe to your holiday cookie list this year!!

First post March 2014;  Eric saw the recipe for the German Chocolate Cake.  He thought a cookie with coconut and nuts sounded enticing.  I found this recipe and gave it a shot.  They are quite tasty.  I need to get Eric’s opinion though.  Eric and Rachel will be over for pizza night tomorrow.   We shall see what they think of these very “simple and delicious” cookies!

Chocolate Coconut Macadamia Nut Cookies

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Ingredients

10 1/2 ounces All Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup dark brown sugar (you could use light brown)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used combo of semi sweet and bitter sweet)
1 cup sweetened coconut, shredded
1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.March 13 2014 001
2.  Using stand up mixer, cream together butter and sugars.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Add in dry ingredients until combined.
3.  Add coconut, macadamia nuts and chocolate chips.  Stir together by hand.
4.  Drop cookies (about 1-2 Tablespoons) onto parchment lined cookie sheet.
5.  Bake 15 minutes.  I rotated cookie sheet half way through.  This helps to make an evenly baked cookie.

Gingerbread Bundt Cake

I was in the kitchen trying to figure out what to make for the weekend.  I mentioned I wanted to make another bundt cake.  Martin suggested a gingerbread bundt cake.  He wanted me to add toffee bits to the batter and top with a chocolate peppermint glaze.  I wasn’t too sure about this.  He likes to challenge me with different recipes and random ingredients.  I, like aways, accepted the challenge.  I am glad I did because this cake was simple and delicious.

Gingerbread Bundt Cake

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Ingredients

2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons of gingerbread spice OR 2 1/2 teaspoons ginger, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup (12 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup water
1/2 cup toffee bits (you can add these or not)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease and flour a 10-12 cup bundt style pan.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, spices, salt, baking soda and baking powder.  Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl (I used my stand up mixer), beat together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition.  Stir in the molasses.
  5. Add the flour mixture in three additions alternately with the water, starting and ending with the flour.  Mix until smooth.  If using toffee bits, stir into batter.
  6. Pour the batter in the prepared pan, smoothing the top.
  7. Bake the cake for 45-55 minutes.  (All I needed was 45 minutes)
  8. Remove the cake from the oven, cool in pan for 10 minutes, the turn it out onto plate.

While the cake is cooling you can make the ganache. (Just click the link to my ganache recipe.)

Pour the ganache over the top and allow to drip down the sides.  Top with toffee bits.  Allow time to cool and serve.

Enjoy for this holiday season or any time of year!!

 

 

Chocolate Ganache

Simple and Delicious.  Need I say more!

Chocolate Ganache

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5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (you can use chocolate chips)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or whatever extract you desire)

1.  Put chopped chocolate in small mixing bowl.
2.  Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring just to a boil and remove from heat. (Or you can put in microwave for 30 second intervals.  It takes 60 to 90 seconds to get hot enough)
3.  Pour cream over chocolate and whisk until smooth. Add vanilla extract (or extract of your choice) and your done.

This is a thin frosting.  It is more like a glaze. I drizzled over my Snicker Cheesecake, Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt cake and Gingerbread Bundt cake.

I am sure you could think of many things to do with this rich, chocolate deliciousness. Like ice cream is a start!

Enjoy!!  🙂

Lemon Bundt Cake – Simple and Delicious

I am on a bundt cake roll this Holiday Season.  I was going to bake my Italian lemon cookies tonight but I am too lazy.  Why not a lemon bundt cake?

Lemon Bundt Cake

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Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk (I used 3/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice)
1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray and flour your bundt pan
2.  In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and lemon extracts.  (I use my stand up mixer.)
3.  Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Add to creamed mixture alternating with milk.  Stir in lemon zest.
4.  Pour batter into prepared bundt pan.  Place in oven and bake for 50-60 minutes.
5.  Remove from oven.  Cool for 10 minutes on cooling rack.  Invert onto a plate.  Cool 10 minutes longer and drizzle with glaze.  (I put parchmant paper under the cake before drizzling with glaze.  After I poured the glaze over the cake I removed the wax paper.  No mess and that works for me!)

Glaze:

Ingredients
2 cups Confectioners Sugar
2-3 Tablespoons, juice of lemon
1 Tablespoon sour cream
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

Place all ingredients in medium bowl and whisk.  I always sift the confectioners sugar.  I don’t like lumps in my glaze and that seems the best way to prevent that.

Enjoy!!