Posts Tagged 'Cookies'

A RECIPE: Peanut butter sandwich cookies

The best part about my job is getting exposed to half a dozen new recipes a day. It’s rather like flicking through a new issue of Gourmet and thinking oooh that looks good only I see it in the flesh and then I get the instant satisfaction of actually getting to taste it. Not so good for the ever-nearing (230 days- gasp!) wedding waistline but my mouth is rarely disappointed with me. It’s often the devil and angel on the shoulder story although for me the devil’s fixed firmly to my face (or maybe it’s my greedy mits) and the angel flits around in my head and is hardly worth its halo. That saying: well I don’t get to eat this everyday sort of doesn’t work when one day its short ribs and the next is peanut butter pie. I eat a lot of salad when I’m not at work.

Don, though still remarkably svelte has gone up two trouser sizes since we met 4 years ago- poor guy, he never stood a chance. Dating me is like becoming a guinea pig- try this, taste this, what do you think of this? But then Don never had the less is more mentality in him either. He has two little devils and they sit in prime-viewing position, a little higher on his face. Right now he’s stretched out across the sofa cradling his full belly after the brunch we hosted earlier today. Freshly baked bread, courgette & feta fritatta, baked marmalade French toast, homemade granola, fresh fruit, bacon and pumpkin muffins- all on his plate, piled up like a Christmas dinner. You would think I starved him most of the time. I on the other hand after a ten mile run (the angel was momentarily in control) pre-brunch am trying to ignore the ever persistent tummy rumblings.

Now, back to that peanut butter pie I mentioned oh, 200 words ago. I raved last week about the guys over at Baked in my neighborhood Brooklyn and this week I’ve found myself unable to move on. Their peanut butter pie filling gave me the idea to use it as a filling between peanut butter cookies- something that I’ve been working on for months.  What’s the second best part about my job? Stealing other peoples’ ideas Blog inspiration. The cookie recipe I stole from the talented Heidi over at 101 cookbooks who I have not had the pleasure of meeting but that doesn’t eliminate her from my recipe pilching- I’m ruthless. In both the filling and the cookies I’ve cut down on the sugar content because I like the salty taste of peanut butter and I think the sugar inhibits it. Pair the crisp salty peanut buttery cookies with a creamy sweet and slightly tangy filling and let’s just say it’s a happy-lie-on-the-sofa-and-clutch-your-belly-situation.

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A RECIPE: Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (with avocado)

A while back I was given a recipe for avocado oatmeal cookies and my boss and I looked at each other, raised our eyebrows and similtaneously said: bleh. Without even giving the recipe a chance on its own we omitted all the spices and wacked in some coconut, good quality chocolate chips and hallelua we had avocado and oat cookies. Only what blew us away was that they were truly magnificent. Perhaps some of the best cookies I’ve ever eaten- no joke. And I wasn’t the only one saying it,

So, what’s the deal with the avocado? Well, the whole point is to use the avocado as a partial replacement for butter, which means that you’re getting a little more healthy fat and a little less lardy fat. I’m pretty sure that this still doesn’t classify them as healthy or part of your five-a-day and I’m sure that some of you are thinking ‘what’s the point- if you’re going to eat a cookie, eat a cookie’. But- I live my life along the lines of ‘it’s the little things that count’ and a little more avocado and a little less be butter without altering the flavour is certainly not going to hurt you. In fact I think it’s a wonderful thing. It’s like buying a dress in a sample sale- it’s still a great dress but you feel especially smug knowing that you snagged it for half price. Need another reason to try them? How’s this-there is something extraordinarily satisfying about giving a begging pair of hands a cookie, walking away and then turning back over your shoulder to say: “oh, by the way- it has avocado in it….mwahaaha!”

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A RECIPE: Cheats biscuits

I’m ashamed. This recipe is really such a con. Oh, I know that’s probably not the best way to introduce a recipe that I think everyone should try but it really is a recipe for cheaters. And there I was condemning Delia Smith for discarding her reputation as the woman who made everything perfectly from scratch by publishing her latest book. It’s not that I’m against cutting corners- I love simple recipes, I love taking the easy route but you’ll never find me serving a tart from the freezer aisle. Häagen Dazs ice cream, maybe.

A recipe calling for a boxed cake mix or store bought cake ordinarily makes me cringe. I am a girl who makes her own trail mix for crying out loud! Having said that, I now believe that having spent over a year living with a New York sized kitchen and now entirely without, cheating is allowed. Life is too short to overly stress when it comes to cooking, or pairing matching socks; for that matter. I confess, I poached an egg in the microwave only last week- is that cheating or just cooking for survival?

But still I was bothered by this recipe and yet when I made them I was so excited to photograph their glossy chocolate coatings and even more thrilled to find them to be perfectly delicious straight out of the freezer. Don was less enthused to begin with-“peanut butter and apricot? This kitchen thing is really getting to you.” Yes, yes it is heaven knows I’ve been whining on about it for weeks now- and it’s been a long few weeks for me too, I’ll have you know. But, this combination works! Don came around to the idea and I had to hide the rest of the batch in the freezer ready for my next sugar craving attack.

Still, I debated long and hard about whether or not I should risk my integrity by publishing it. But sometimes the trashiest recipes are the best and if I do ever get around to writing The Kitchen Renovation Cookbook- Living Without, this will ultimately be amongst the other stove-free recipes. This one is the result of scouring through boxes of ingredients on my living room floor in desperation for something sweet. A simple square of chocolate was just not going to cut it. Who says living without a oven means you can’t have, dare I say it- semi-homemade biscuits? Apparently, cheaters do win. Sometimes.

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A RECIPE: Emptying the cupboard cookies

Emptying the Cupboard Cookies

If you’re anything like me then you have an overstocked baking cabinet full of half used or nearly empty packets just waiting for an influx of moths that you just can’t bare to waste.  When I was getting ready to move last week I pulled out all sorts of ingredients, which I couldn’t bring myself to toss away and yet also didn’t want to haul to my new home in Brooklyn. These cookies could have been a complete disaster- lets face it the very title itself suggests that they are a real hash of things thrown together. Which they are. But somehow, by chance, perhaps,  they came out to be really good and proved to be a superb source of energy as I barked out orders to my boyfriend about what to carry next and how to pack it in the van.

I’m not going to begin to suggest that you should go out and buy all of these ingredients to make these cookies, nor that you might have all of them in your cupboards already- but the great thing about these is that they’re flexible. So, you only have walnuts in your cupboards- no almonds, coconut, hazelnuts or peanuts- just make up the weight with the walnuts. You can also exchange the dried fruits, drop the seeds altogether and if you don’t have whole wheat flour then just use plain. This recipe is yours for the taking. I personally like them because they are packed full- every nibble has a nut, so to speak. And even if the ingredients’ list does read much like my list for Santa this year, the directions are very short (again, much like my directions for Santa: “buy these gifts for me”).

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