Monday, September 19, 2011

No-Bake Cookies

I LOVE no-bake cookies. Peanut butter, chocolate, crunch and deliciousness. I'm sold. Also, they're so easy I could have them on hand at all times if I wanted to (although, let's be honest, my pants wouldn't fit for long if I did that).

No-bake cookies from One Lovely Life
2T butter
1/2c milk
2c sugar
2T cocoa
3/4c crunchy peanut butter
2c old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2t salt
1t vanilla
1/2c coconut (optional)

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in cocoa, milk & sugar. Stir to melt ingredients together. Bring to a boil that extends over the whole surface of the mixture and remove from heat as soon as the boil gets there (otherwise the mixture will dry out).

Stir in vanilla, salt, peanut butter, coconut (if using) and oatmeal until well mixed. Stir until mixture has thickened then drop spoonfuls onto wax paper and wait until they cool (or, if you can't wait, dig in when they're cool enough to touch).

Makes about 2 dozen

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting

These are WONDERFUL. Seriously, if you love cinnamon, you will be a happy camper. Also I'm thinking about making them in a donut pan and rolling them in butter and cinnamon sugar next time. Either with frosting or without they are wonderful!

The original recipe was for a cake but, since I was making these for tailgating, I didn't really want to lug a cake around the Grove (the Grove is where Ole Miss Rebels tailgate, see here).

The only caveat about this recipe is that the frosting is really  sweet. Like going to give you a small child like sugar high sweet. So be prepared, make a cup of coffee to go along with it and enjoy!

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting

(recipe from Foodie with Family)
makes 24 cupcakes


For the cake:

1 1/2c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 T ground cinnamon
2 sticks butter, softened to room temperature
1 3/4 c fine or superfine sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 T vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. whole milk, warmed to room temperature

For the buttercream: 

1/2c light brown sugar, packed
2 1/4 sticks butter, softened to room temperature
1 t ground cinnamon
3-4 c confectioner's (powdered) sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/4 c of half and half, plus more if needed


To bake the cake:
Preheat the oven to 325. Butter and flour cupcake pans or use cupcake skirts. In a large bowl whisk together flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. 
Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale in color. Beat the eggs in one at a time, fully incorporating each egg and scraping down the bowl between each. Add about 1/3 of the milk, beat to incorporate, then 1/3 of the flour, again beating to incorporate. Repeat until all flour/milk is added.
Divide into cupcake pans and bake for 20-25 mins.

To make the buttercream:
Beat together the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon until fluffy and pale in color. Add 3c of powdered sugar and the vanilla extract and beat, starting on low and moving up to high, until it is fully incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and add the half and half. Beat to incorporate again. Add another 2c of the confectioner's sugar and beat, starting on low and moving up to high, until fully incorporated. Check the consistency of the buttercream. If it needs to be thicker, add the remaining confectioner's sugar. If it is too thick, add more half and half a teaspoon at a time, beating after each addition, until it reaches the consistency you like. Then frost cupcakes, sprinkle with more cinnamon and sit down to a cinnamon-inspired bliss :D

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Orecchiette with Chorizo, Roasted Eggplant and Roasted Tomatoes

Where I live we are still a good month (or two) away from Fall. While this has its drawbacks I do love that tomatoes are still local and in season!

This recipe was entirely inspired by a visit to my local farmer's market. I saw the golden tomatoes, fresh eggplant and chorizo from a farm down the road and knew I had to do something to enjoy these last flavors of summer.

I just roasted my vegetables, cooked my chorizo and pasta and combined everything. It's a great way to enjoy something spicy and a little sweet (from the golden tomatoes) all at the same time. If you choose not to add the chorizo/parmesan it would be a great vegan dish.

Orrchiette with Chorizo, Roasted Eggplant and Roasted Tomatoes

Serves 4-6


2 small or 1 large eggplant cut into cubes
2 roma tomatoes, quartered
1 large golden or other heirloom tomato cut into 1/8s
1 can Hunt's fire-roasted tomatoes, drained (they don't have to be fire-roasted but I really like these)
1 lb chorizo sausage or italian if you prefer something milder
1 small can tomato sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
3-4T olive oil
1 lb orecchiette pasta

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss tomatoes and eggplants in 2T olive oil then spread on a baking sheet with vegetables not touching. Place baking sheet in oven for 10 mins, then toss vegetables and place sheet in oven for another 10-15 mins.

Boil water and cook pasta according to package directions.

While vegetables are cooking take chorizo out of casings and cook in high sided saute pan over medium heat until done through. Take cooked chorizo out of pan and set on a plate covered in paper towels (this way it's not too greasy). Wipe out the pan then place the remaining 1T of olive oil in the pan. Heat to medium heat then saute garlic for about 30 seconds. Add canned tomatoes and sauce and simmer for 5 mins.

After vegetables are finished roasting add them, along with chorizo, to the tomato sauce. Toss to coat and let flavors marry while sauce simmers another 4-5 mins. Then place pasta in bowls and generously apply sauce. Serve garnished with a sprinkle of parmesan, if desired. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Morning Glory Muffins

These muffins are FANTASTIC. Not only are they delicious but they also fill you up until lunch (which for some of us is a tall order). The recipe makes about 36 muffins so halving it is probably your best bet unless you have a tailgate/brunch/heard of people coming to your house. Enjoy!

4c all-purpose flour
2 1/2c sugar
4t baking soda
4t ground cinnamon
2t salt
12 carrots, peeled, coarsely grated in food processor
1c raisins
1c pecans
1c sweetened flaked coconut
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, grated
6 large eggs
2c vegetable oil
2t vanilla extract

Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350. Generously butter muffin cups (or use paper liners).

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Stir in carrots, raisins, pecans, coconut and apples. Whisk together eggs, oil and vanilla in another bowl, then, add to flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling them to the top. Bake muffins, in batches if necessary, until springy to the touch, about 30 mins per batch. Cool in pans for 5 mins, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm or room temperature.

Muffins keep, stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Recipe from my Aunt Shelia, culinary mastermind!