Saturday, December 31, 2011

You Say Brookies, I Say Delicous!

Over Christmas break, I have been "reading" my favorite genre of literature. Cookbooks, recipes books, or what my grandmother would say receipt books. Cookbooks can be considered literature, right? If not, they should be. One can find very creative works between the covers of these books. 

After spending some time reading Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook by Dede Lahman and Neil Kleinberg, I had to try one of the cookie recipes. The authors called these chunky chocolate cookies a cross between brownies and cookies or Brookies.  Clever name, isn't it? I guess they could be called Crownies, too :)

I'm betting these would go great with a cup of joe. Crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. I don't drink coffee, but it has what seems to go well with coffee.  I know a tall, cold glass of milk works nicely with these babies.  Mmmm, Mmmm, good!


1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon butter
2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks
2 eggs
¾ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1. Melt oil, butter and 1 cup of chocolate together in microwave.
2. In separate bowl whisk together eggs, brown sugar and vanilla. Fold melted chocolate into egg mixture.
3. In separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the chocolate mixture.
4. Fold in remaining chocolate chunks.
5. Scoop out tablespoon size balls of dough and place on greased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes at 350


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Most Wonderful Time of The Year

This has been a wonderful Christmas for me and my family. 
Nothing says Christmas more than spending time with family and friends,

and traveling to Philadelphia to spend Christmas with our favorite doctors
Unlike last year, there wasn't twelve inches of snow. No snow at all. In fact the weather was wonderful.

We attended the performance of Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, visited the Longwood Gardens to see the Christmas lights, prepared and consumed some wonderful and amazing meals,

and ate way too much of the Christmas goodies like these babies....

Lemon Truffles
2 cups white vanilla chips
10 oz lemon curd
3 cups crushed vanilla wafers
1 cup powdered sugar
Optional: chopped pecans and toasted coconut

1. In  a microwave, melt vanilla chips until smooth. Stir in lemon curd, vanilla wafer crumbs, and powdered sugar. Chill until firm enough to handle.
2. Roll into 1/2 inch balls. Roll either in chopped pecans or toasted coconut. Chill until firm.

It was indeed a wonderful, wonderful time. Thank you, Lord for all these blessings!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ho Ho Ho...Merry Christmas Cooking

 Love this time of the year....trying new recipes and sharing with family and friends. Where should I begin??

This is a fun recipe and was a huge hit at school. 

 Are they not cute? They are made from Bugles (yes, that corn snack from General Mills) and red vanilla favored melting chips (found in cake decoration aisle). And no, I did not think this up myself. Shelly at Cookies and Cups shared this recipe last year. So simple and so easy to toss into a snack mix.

Santa Party Mix 

Red Melting disks
White sprinkles (nonpareils)

3 cups mini pretzels
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup salted peanuts
2 cups Rice Chex
2 cups holiday colored M&Ms
8 oz. white chocolate for melting

1. Melt candy melts, along with a tablespoon of shortening in 30 second intervals on half power in microwave until melted. Immediately start dipping the Bugles. Let them set up for 10 minutes or so on wax paper or parchment paper.
2. Remelt the red candy (if necessary) and dip the wide end of the Bugle into the red candy. Dip into the white sprinkles. Allow to set up.
3. Mix together pretzels, cranberries, peanuts and Chex.
4. Melt white chocolate according to package directions and drizzle over the mix. Spread out to allow chocolate to harden.
5. Add M&Ms and Bugle Santa hats.

This time of the year also calls for making recipes handed down from mothers, grandmothers and aunts. This peanut brittle recipe is one given to me by my mother-in-law many, many years ago.

She made batches of this candy every year at Christmas and is loved by my husband and son. 

It took me several attempts when I first tried this recipe. Either I cooked the raw peanuts too little or too much. Ugh! Nothing is worse than burnt tasting peanuts or chewy raw peanuts. After several attempts, my mother-in-law shared the secret. Cook the mixture until the peanuts make popping sounds. Be patient. They will begin to pop around the time the mixture begins to turn a golden burn.

Peanut Brittle
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
2 cups raw peanuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1. In a heavy skillet (iron skillet works great), combine syrup, sugar and peanuts. Heat on high until you hear the peanuts popping and the mixture begins to turn  a golden color.
2. Remove from heat and add salt and baking soda. Mix completely. The mixture will begin to foam.
3. Pour onto a greased or parchment paper cookie sheet to cool. 
4. Once cooled, break into small pieces.