Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bri's Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

You know those cookbooks that are the backbone of your menu rotation? The ones written by ladies in your church or work or neighborhood? That's where this recipe came from; a stake cookbook that I just happened to buy about 2 weeks after we moved in. Lucky break on my part as I've used it a ton but this particular recipe is Bri's favorite cookie recipe. She made them all by herself and they were awesome!

Bri's Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
6 doz cookies

2 c. butter flavor Crisco (we used a combo of Crisco and butter)
2 c. sugar
2 c. packed brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 c. ground oatmeal (grind in blender)
4 c. flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 bag chocolate chips

Cream Crisco, sugar, and brown sugar together. Add eggs one at a time. Add all other ingredients in the order listed. Mix well. Add chips or whatever else you would like to include (nuts, craisins, etc) and stir together. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes

Monday, January 25, 2010

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes


Cupcakes seem to be all the rage right now and I have to confess that I don't really get it. Maybe that's because I'm not a cake person or maybe it's because I tend to forget to set the timer and end up with baked goods that are too done, I'm not really sure. I do think they are super cute and have succumbed to the cute factor and bought a cupcake cookbook. Martha Stewart's Cupcakes.

I tend to shy away from Martha's recipes as a rule because she is so fussy and the ingredient list is always as long as my arm but this one has sucked me in. I've been looking at it for 2 weeks now and today's the day. Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes here we come. Of course I added more spices because it just felt like I should and I'm not sure that the browned butter was really worth all the time it took to hover over the pan until it finally turned brown but the result was a pretty darned good pumpkin cake that smelled divine. Add to that the Cinnamon Cream Cheese frosting (it's yum on graham crackers too) and we have a winner. I guess Martha knows what she's talking about after all!

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes
adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes

1 1/2  sticks unsalted butter, room temp (I didn't have unsalted butter so I just reduced the salt)
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 4 tsp cloves
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 325. Line muffin tin with paper liners (I've never had real success with the foil ones). In a saucepan melt the butter over med-low heat and continue to cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until the butter begins to turn golden brown. Skim the foam (this is the butter fat separating from the rest) from the top, and remove from heat. Pour into a bowl to stop cooking (you can go from golden brown to black before you realize it even happened if you aren't paying attention...but I don't know anything about that). Let cool.

In another bowl blend together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices. In your mixer blend the eggs, sugar, and pumpkin until smooth. Pour in the butter and mix well. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix just until combined.

Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups, fill each about 3/4 full. The batter isn't runny like a typical cake batter, it's kind of fluffy and stiff so don't get in a hurry, just be patient as you are divvying it out. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick come out clean. Set your timer, do as I say not as I do! :)

Cool on wire racks completely.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick butter, softened
1 8 oz cube cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer until fluffy. Reduce speed to low (this is critical or you are going to have a giant mess). Add sugar slowly, 1 cup at a time until fluffy and mixed well. Add cinnamon and vanilla. Frost away!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup


This was an experiment that turned out pretty good. I will probably do it again as I really like the enchilada taste but don't feel like I can spend the calories on my Chicken Enchilada Soup very often. If you wanted to thicken this up you could easily make a slurry with a couple of tablespoons Masa Harina and water or broth and add it to the pot. The Masa would add a corn tortilla taste that if you are leaving the corn chips or tortilla strips off would be nice to have.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Serving Size  : 8 

1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast diced
15 oz can diced tomatoes
10 oz can enchilada sauce
4 oz chopped green chiles
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. water
2 c. chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 cups corn
2 Tbs. olive oil (for cooking chicken)

1. Brown chicken in Dutch oven. Add tomatoes, enchilada sauce, chiles,
garlic, water, broth, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir;
Add corn and stir.
2. Cook in either a crock pot on low for 6-8 hours or on the stove for 1
hour.
3. Garnish with tortilla chips or strips

Nutrition (calculated from recipe ingredients)
----------------------------------------------
 Calories: 199
 Calories From Fat: 40
 Total Fat: 4.5g
 Cholesterol: 7.7mg
 Sodium: 679.5mg
 Potassium: 228mg
 Carbohydrates: 33.7g
 Fiber: 1.3g
 Sugar: 1.8g
 Protein: 5.1g

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sharing Recipes

I saw this quote yesterday and thought that it was really great. It's exactly how I feel about sharing a recipe. Someone once asked me if when I shared recipes I actually shared the whole recipe or did I hold something back so that it would be exclusively mine. That hadn't ever occurred to me! People do that?!? I guess that I really feel like if I have found something that is tasty and my family enjoys it I would love to have someone else enjoy it as well. Anyway...here's the quote:

"The recipe that is not shared with others will soon be forgotten,but when it is shared, it will be enjoyed by future generations."

Awesome.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars


This is a blast from the past recipe that was a staple at our house growing up. I'm pretty sure that "Have a piece of oatmeal chocolate chip bar" was said by my mom almost as often as "have an apple, have an orange, have a piece of toast" when we complained that we were hungry. This was a much better option, in my opinion than a piece of toast.
I'd misplaced the recipe so after a frantic call to my sister, post it note in hand, I headed to the kitchen. It was just as easy as I remembered and tasted better than I had remembered! I did add a vanilla glaze at Julie's suggestion and that dressed the bars up enough that people thought I had fussed.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars
servings: 24

1 c. butter flavor Crisco
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 c. flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 c. water
2 c. oatmeal
1 c. coconut
1 pkg chocolate chips

1. Cream together Crisco, sugars, eggs and vanilla.
2. Add flour, salt, soda and water. Mix well.
3. Add oatmeal, coconut, and chocolate chips; fold in.
4. Bake in a large baking sheet at 375 for 20-25 min. I bake mine for about
23 min. They are fairly chewy so if you like them more cakelike cook for
only 20 min.

Nutrition (calculated from recipe ingredients)
----------------------------------------------
Calories: 233
Calories From Fat: 102
Total Fat: 11.6g
Cholesterol: 22.4mg
Sodium: 168.9mg
Potassium: 69.5mg
Carbohydrates: 30.9g
Fiber: 1.7g
Sugar: 14.5g
Protein: 2.7g

Monday, January 4, 2010

Fluffy Whole Wheat Bread


The words "fluffy" and "whole wheat" aren't often put together in a sentence unless it's to say "I wish this whole wheat bread were more fluffy". However, this recipe is as close as I've come to bakery high whole wheat bread and as an added bonus it tastes awesome!
(Have I mentioned how much I love my mixer?)


Fluffy Whole Wheat Bread

Serving Size : 24
Categories : Bread
2 3/4 cups of hot water
1/3 cup of Oil, Olive is fine
1/3 cup of honey
2 Tbs Molasses
1 Tbs Salt, Sea Salt is good
7 1/2 cups of 100% Whole Grain Wheat Flour
2 Tbs of Dry Active Yeast

1. Place the first five ingredients in the bowl and mix

2. Add: 2 Cups 100% Whole Grain Wheat Flour and 2 Tbsp Dry Active Yeast (If you’re not sure about your yeast proof it in a little warm water first.)

3. Add: 4 Cups of 100% Whole Grain Wheat Flour.

4. Mix until the consistency is some what even. Then continue to slowly add flour 1/2 Cup at a time until the dough quits sticking to the sides of the bowl. It should be tacky to the touch. The trick is to have enough consistency to stand up with the least amount of flour so the bread will be fluffy. In any case do not exceed 7 1/2 cups of wheat flour. Don’t over mix or the bread will be tough.

5. When your dough is finished, Cover the bowl and let it rise for about 30-45 minutes. The dough will be larger but it doesn’t need to double when using a heavy mixer.

6. Grease two bread pans with Crisco or butter. You can also flour the pans to reduce sticking.

7. Mix again just enough to knock it down at least close to the original size.

8. Drop the dough on a floured surface so you can work the dough and shape it. Roll it in the flour and shape it in your hands to make a nice ball getting enough flour on it so it isn’t sticky. Divide the ball in half and do it again. Shape the loaves by turning the dough under itself over and over. When the dough is shaped right the sides and ends will be sealed and all you will see is a nice oblong shaped loaf with smooth sides and top. Drop the loaves in your bread pans and let them rise until almost doubled. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 36 minutes.

9. When done turn the bread out of the pan to a rack to cool. You can eat it right away (a great time for real butter) don’t wrap it until completely cooled. Put in tinfoil to store on the counter.

Nutrition (calculated from recipe ingredients)
----------------------------------------------
Calories: 176
Calories From Fat: 33
Total Fat: 3.8g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 286mg
Potassium: 199mg
Carbohydrates: 32.7g
Fiber: 4.8g
Sugar: 5g
Protein: 5.5g