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Showing posts with label cookies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cookies. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2 Great Cookies for New Year's Eve or Any Fun Time

Planning New Year's Eve with friends, the big question is: celebrate a one of our homes or go out. The question was answered quickly.

None of us wanted to go out to a restaurant or go to a club. So the plan is we'll have a pot luck dinner. We'll hang out. Watch movies. Cook together. Try some new cocktails and a good wine (I was on a press trip to Napa last month and brought back a delicious bottle of Luna Vineyards' Pinot Grigio).
Right now we're putting together a pot luck menu that includes a hard boiled eggs with anchovies, grilled side of salmon, a chicken dumpling dish with lots of shiitake mushrooms and fresh vegetables, a cole slaw recipe I've been working on, assorted salads, maybe a thick cut steak to char on a carbon steel pan and assorted desserts including home made hot fudge sauce and caramelized almond slivers to make hot fudge sundaes.

I'm definitely bringing plates of the cookies I made when I wrote two recipes for Zester Daily. The "magic" of the two recipes is one uses egg yolks, the other egg whites. They are completely different. The pound cake cookies are crispy and light-as-air, perfect for dipping in coffee or tea. the financier cookies are adapted from a French cake recipe. They are chewy and filled with nutty flavors from the hazelnut and sweet from the orange simple syrup.

Making The Most Out of Yolks and Egg Whites

So, Happy New Year to everyone. All my best wishes for a healthy and happy 2015.




 

Friday, December 27, 2013

New Year's Eve Treats: Salmon with Crispy Skin and Buckaroo Cookies

Where does time go? Last I looked, it was almost Thanksgiving. Now it's almost New Year's Eve. 2013 was a good year. Wishing everyone a great 2014.

On New Year's Eve we're having friends over for a late dinner and an evening of movie watching. We've seen most of the movies in Oscar contention and we have our favorites (HerNebraska Philomena and Fruitvale Station). But we have more to watch so we'll enjoy the evening with food and films.

Two of the treats I'll make include holiday cookies and salmon filet with crispy skin.  A few months ago for my oldest son's birthday party, we had a dinner at Napa Valley Grille in Westwood. Franklin likes farm fresh food, simply prepared, not fussy. We sampled the menu and the food was delicious. The chef stopped by to see if everyone was happy. A friendly, nice guy, chef Taylor Boudreaux sent out a pasta dish with truffles as a gift to the table. What a nice thing to do.
One of the dishes we had at the dinner was  a salmon filet with crispy skin. It's a simple dish but I've never been able to get the skin right at home. Chef Boudreaux agreed to do a video demonstration.
The interview and video are on Zester Daily. He makes it look so easy. He shared the magic. I tried it at home. It worked! So cool.

Chef's Secret To Crispy Skin For Pan-Seared Salmon Filets

Alana Vague, a friend of a friend, was baking cookies as holiday gifts. She put them in little brown paper bags, nicely tied with a ribbon.  They are delicious and Alana says they're easy to make, a recipe from her great-grandmother. They'll be perfect to snack on while we're watching movies.

Alana's Great-Grandmother's Buckaroo Cookies
Yield: a lot

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups quick oats
1 cup butterscotch chips
2/3 cup chocolate chips

Directions

Cream butter and sugars
Add eggs and vanilla
Add dry ingredients
Stir in oats and chips
Drop by tablespoon on cookie sheet
Bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes
(I bake them for 7ish then let them rest on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes or so)

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Jersey Shore: Mandolettes and Mandelbrot

Like many people, we're taking an end of summer trip. This time of year makes us appreciate those things that fill us with joy. Spending time with friends and family, having leisurely meals, taking long walks on the beach, and, special to this summer, watching the Olympics and following the political campaigns.

More than usual, the fall will bring big changes to our household because our son, Michael, is preparing to leave for his freshman year at college. So it was important to find time to take a trip to New Jersey to visit with Michelle's parents.

With few exceptions, Michelle's extended family has stayed on the East Coast. A few years ago they had a family reunion at a nearby resort and 75 aunts, uncles, and cousins came for the weekend. Sunday at Helen and Warren's means brunch for 20, setting up a table in the living room, bringing out the folding chairs, and sharing platters of bagels, lox, coffee cake, cold cuts, cheese, egg salad, tuna salad, fresh fruit, and lots of Helen's special iced coffee.

This trip Helen and Warren taught Michael how to play bridge because bridge is one of the intramural activities at UC Davis and Michelle's parents are bridge mavens. We ate lobsters, a rare treat, because StopRite, the local mega-supermarket had them on sale for $5.99/pound. And Helen made us mandolettes and mandelbrot from a family recipe.

During the year we're the happy recipients of Helen's cookies, but this time we enjoyed being in the kitchen while she made them for us. Luckily there were enough left over so we could take some with us, although not many survived the plane trip home. They are so delicious.

Mandolettes

Yield: about 2 dozen
Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour
Grated rind of 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots or dates
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a cookie sheet. Mix the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until thick. Using a spoon mix in the flour, lemon rind, and cinnamon, then add in the dried fruit, nuts, and chocolate chips. Mix well.

Put the batter on the cookie sheet, making 2 strips 2" wide.

Bake 16-18 minutes or until lightly browned. Slice into 1/2" cookies while still warm. Transfer to a rack and let cool. Store the cookies in an air-tight container and refrigerate. They can be frozen.

Mandelbrot

Yield: about 2 dozen
Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 pound walnuts (roughly chopped)
3 cups flour

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat together the eggs, sugar, oil, salt, and vanilla until the mixture is smooth and custard colored. Add the baking powder and flour and mix well, then fold in the chopped walnuts. Form the dough into three logs about 2" wide and a foot long. Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned. While still warm, slice into 1/2" wide cookies. Place the individual cookies back on the cookie sheet and return to the oven for another 5 minutes and brown on both sides. Remove and let cool on a wire rack.

Keep the mandelbrot in an air-tight container. They can be frozen.