Mint Chocolate Cookie Dough Pops

Our inspiration recipe this time sounds pretty good.

The filling does have raw egg in it, which seems a little strange. Though I think there are versions of key lime pie and chocolate mousse with raw egg, so maybe it’s not that weird.

Sidebar:

We’re moving this coming Wednesday. This past Tuesday, we closed on our houses – both the one we are buying and the one we are selling. Although we’d given them four weeks advance notice of the closing date (and we were pre-approved back in March), the bank was still asking us to sign more and more paperwork up to and including the day of the close. We were supposed to sign everything at 4pm. It didn’t come through until 6:30pm. As you can imagine the whole thing was quite stressful.

My son was having a picnic the next day at school, for which I had promised to make him his favorite chocolate mint cookies. By the time we got home at 8ish, I was too tired to start cookie baking. Instead, I headed to the grocery store to buy pre-made cookies. I HATE doing that. I really want to make everything for him from scratch.

The stress of the past weeks and months, combined with a mother’s guilt resulted in me having a total melt down in the grocery store. Tears in the bakery section. I picked up a package of chocolate chip cookies, and started to cry. I’m sure everyone there thought something was really wrong with me.

“Nothing to see here!” I wanted to tell them. “Just sad about buying these chocolate chip cookies! I’ll get over it!”

I know you’re wondering about my point in giving you a behind the scenes look into my emotionally unstable mind. Well, here it is: The inspiration recipe gave me a chance to relieve my conscience somewhat and finally make those Mint Chocolate Cookies. Only I decided to change it up just a bit, and leave them unbaked.

Then I decided to make them into pops and dip them into white chocolate and decorate them with regular chocolate. (This backlash of guilt got a little bit out of hand it seems.)

These are really rich, but really delicious if you’re a mint fan. And they’d be just as good all rolled into little balls, without the stick and dip. But they won’t be as effective at assuaging your guilt, I’d wager.

Mint Chocolate Cookie Dough Pops

  • 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 c light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1 t pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 c good unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 c flour
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1 4.67 oz package Andes mints
  • 1 6 oz package Bakers white chocolate
  • Chocolate chips and coconut oil for decoration

Cream butter and sugars. Add vanilla and cocoa, and beat until well blended. Add flour and salt, and mix until just blended. Unwrap all the Andes mints and chop them roughly. Add them to the dough and mix until just combined. Chill for an hour in the fridge. Roll heaped tablespoons of the dough into balls. Place on lollypop or cakepop sticks if desired. Freeze for 15 minutes. While the pops are freezing, unwrap the white chocolate and melt in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl.* Dip each cookie dough pop into the melted chocolate to coat. Place on parchment to set up. Drizzle with melted chocolate** to decorate if you like.

*I do 30 seconds, then stir, then 30 seconds, then stir. Repeat until the chocolate is just melted. Don’t over microwave it or it will burn.

**I used 1/4 C chocolate chips and 1 T coconut oil to thin it out. I put it in a ziploc bag and snipped off the end for drizzling.

About the Recipe Swap: The recipe swap is organized by Christianna at the Burwell General Store. Each month, a collection of bloggers reinterprets a classic recipe selected by Christianna. Click below to see what other recipe swappers did with this one.

 

Advertisements

Bagels!

I’ve always wanted to make these.

But first, in news that makes me feel like an old lady even though I’m pretty sure 35 is supposed to be the new 21, my 10yo turned into an 11yo last week.

The number is high, sure, but the really sad thing? He didn’t ask for any toys. Only iTunes credit, and Microsoft points, and iPod accessories. THOSE ARE OLD PEOPLE GIFTS. And if he’s an old person…? And I’m his mother….? Do the math. Oh well. I will concede that he’s much easier to take care of now than ever, and that it so much more fun to take him to the movies now that we can see films that aren’t for kids. Even though he still talks through the whole thing. But hubs does that too, so I don’t think that’s something you ever grow out of.

But, back to bagels.

After mixing and kneading and rising, the 6yo and I shaped the dough into rings.

She took a great deal of pleasure in this task, and wanted to do all of them. Since it took her like 5 times longer to form one than me, it was a good lesson in patience. For me.

They look kind of sad in their uncooked state don’t they?

Once they were all formed and rising a second time, we got to work planting this guy:

A SpongeBob chia pet of course. I’ll give you an update if he actually grows any chia hair.

After the bagels rise, you boil them then bake them at the highest heat your oven can go to (mine was 525). Between those steps, right after you pull them out of the water and before putting them in the oven, you can top them to make flavored bagels. I left some plain (for kids), did a few salt tops (just a psrinkling of Kosher salt), and an “everything” (or rather everything I could find in my pantry that seemed like it should go on an everything bagel – equal parts salt, garlic  powder, onion powder, caraway seeds, and sesame seeds).

These turned out super delicious – even the 11yo ate 3 of them (plain of course). He later stated, “usually, the store bought version is better than what you make, but this time yours are better.” An underhanded compliment, I think, but I’ll take it.

Bagels, slightly adapted from How to Be a Domestic Goddess

  • 7 C all purpose flour (bread flour would probably be even better if you have it on hand)
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 package rapid rise yeast
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 1/4 C warm water
  • 2 more T sugar, for boiling

Combine flour, salt, and yeast (in the bowl of a stand mixer if you’re using one). Mix the 2 T sugar, olive oil, and water together, then drizzle this into the flour mixture with your dough hook running. You want your dough to be kind of dry, so add more flour if you need. Knead until smooth, elastic, and springy. It will take a while. I did about 7 minutes with the dough hook, then finished off for about 10 minutes by hand. The 6yo helped too. Place in an oiled boil and leave to rise for an hour.

After it’s risen, punch it down, knead about 6 turns, then divide the dough into 3 parts. Divide each part further into 5 smaller pieces. Each of these smaller pieces is one bagel. Roll them into a rope shape and squeeze the ends together. Secure those ends pretty good, or else they may come apart and look more like crescents (like a couple of ours did). Place on a greased baking sheet and leave to rise for about 20 minutes. While they are rising, heat your oven as high as it will go, 500 or more. Then put a big pot of water on the boil and add the second 2 T of sugar.

When 20 minutes is up, boil the bagels, two or three at a time, for one minute, turning once. Return them to the baking sheet, top if you like, then bake them for 15 – 20 minutes.

 

Pumpkin pie filling – Secret Recipe Club

SRC day!

Secret Recipe Club

Jennifer Sikora seems like a pretty cool chick. She’s got a great hubs (high school sweethearts – adorable!), a couple teenagers,  and even a few cute canines. She also has a beautiful, brutally honest, totally happy ending. I loved reading about her life – and of course her recipes.

It was hard to pick, but finally, after noticing a sad little can of pumpkin in my pantry, I decided to make her pumpkin flan.

I adjusted it a bit, so mine’s more like little baked custards – otherwise known as pumpkin pie filling. Not much to look at, but so good. I’ve been eating them for breakfast. They turned out so nicely, I’m going to bake another batch with the rest of my can of pumpkin. If you aren’t watching your sugar due to an impending beach vacation, like I am, feel free to add some in with the nutmeg and vanilla. 1/2 C should do. I also used coconut milk in mine (the end result doesn’t taste coconutty – I just like the fatty richness it adds), but you could use whole milk or half and half if you wanted.

A little maple syrup on these goes a long way.

Pumpkin Pie Filling

  • 3/4 C coconut milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon stevia*
  • 3/4 cup solid-pack pumpkin

Preheat your oven to 350

Arrange ramekins** in a 9X13 or similar dish with sides (I used a giant skillet), and put about 4 cups of water on the boil (you’re going to bake these guys in a water bath).

Warm up your coconut milk just a touch (I microwaved mine for about 45 seconds). Whisk together eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and nutmeg. Whisk in pumpkin, then coconut milk. Divide filling among ramekins, then place baking sheet in oven. Pour hot water into baking pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until set.

*I’m ok with a little stevia. It adds just a touch of sweetness. I don’t like swapping it one for one with sugar, though, because it starts to taste cloying and weird.
**I used 3 one cup capacity ramekins plus a mug. That’s what fit in the skillet I used to bake them.

And no, this guy wouldn’t touch them. But doesn’t he look like a sweetheart? (The other night, out of the blue, he asked me to “never post something humiliating about him on the internet.” I don’t think this counts, right?)

See all the Secret Recipe fun here:


Brownie Cut outs – Secret Recipe club

This month, I was lucky enough to be assigned the Secrets from the Cookie Princess blog.

From her description:

“For 2011, I made 142 dozen cookies. I know it’s less than last year, but I also made pie, bars, muffins, candy and a bunch of other stuff. Don’t judge me.”

What’s not to love about that? (and no one here that just let their children eat popcorn for dinner is judging, believe me.) Someone at Secret Recipe HQ must know my weakness for baked goods. There were plenty to choose from here. I was tempted by these PB Chocolate Surprises, and then these Lumberjack Cookies. But finally, I settled on these Brownie Cut out cookies. And they were a big hit.

I even served them on this adorable Fishs Eddy notebook paper plate that my sweet boss gave me. Kind of like a love letter, written in chocolate hearts.

Brownie Cut outs, from Smitten Kitchen, via the Cookie Princess.

 

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking powder.  Set aside. In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment, beat butter then add sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, vanilla and cocoa powder, one at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape sides of bowl as needed to incorporate. Switch to a paddle attachment and gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, stirring until combined. Turn dough out onto a counter top and knead together any last bits of dough to create a ball.  Divide into 4 parts, wrap in plastic and chill for at least an hour. Working with one part of dough at a time, roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface to between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick, depending on your preference. Cut into desired shapes and arrange on cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8 (for 1/8 inch thick cookies) to 11 minutes (for 1/4 inch thick cookies), until the edges are firm and the centers are slightly soft and puffy.  I served mine with a little bit of powdered sugar on top.



Creation does not always enhance affection

People say that children are more likely to eat what they help cook.

I am reasonably sure these people are not the parents of picky eaters.

Take, for example, the 6yo. She is pictured here doing all the work of zesting and juicing Meyer lemons to make Ina’s Lemon Bars.

She enjoyed this work thoroughly, and took a great deal of pride in the task.

After taking a bite of the finished bar, however, she declared it “too sweet,” and ran out to play.

(In case you were wondering, the 10yo wanted nothing to do with these either. But if you are a lemon bar lover like me, and you are up to the task of eating most of a pan full of lemon bars, also like me, Ina’s recipe is delicious.)

We make donuts

Santa brought me one of my wishes. By way of my little sister.

The Babycakes donut maker. Almost as cute as my baby niece.

I had a little help mixing the ingredients.

The 6yo did most of the stirring, while the 2yo niece added the ingredients.

They were a big hit. But how could anything coated in butter and sugar be bad?

Admittedly, this one ate only the topping. She licked it off, took one bite, and claimed she was done.


Cinnamon Sugar Donuts, adapted from the booklet that came with the Babycakes donut maker

  • 1/3 C oil (I used a light EVOO)
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 C buttermilk
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 C flour
  • 4 t baking powder
  • 1/2 baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt

Coating

  • 4 T melted butter
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 T cinnamon

Beat sugar and oil, add eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir dry ingredients into wet until just mixed. Pour into donut maker, and bake for 4 minutes.Mix cinnamon and sugar and place in a saucer or shallow bowl. Melt butter into a separate, similar dish. Dip donuts into melted butter, then into cinnamon sugar.

Note that you could probably make mini muffins out of these, if Santa didn’t bring you a donut maker. I’d bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

Mushroom Custards – Recipe Swap

Inspiration.

I always used to think of it as something dramatic. “Inspiration strikes,” they say. And “strikes” is, if not violent, at least something reasonably significant. That time when the skies open, the heavenly host sings, and you are handed that game-changing idea.

I’ve found that it rarely works like that. In fact, never, in my case. Rather, inspiration is something you choose to seek. Once found, it comes not in one huge rush, but in small ideas and little pushes that lead you to the next inspiration.

For 2012, my intention is to be open to the inspiring things that are everywhere around me, and to seek inspiration more often.

Hmm. I just paused to read that.

Have I really become so serious? And didn’t the post title imply a recipe for mushroom custards?

Ah, well. Apparently 35 (and a half) is the age at which you become morosely reflective over things like creating a recipe for recipe swap. I’m sure I’ll return to my normal madcap, slapdash ways tomorrow. Until then, I present the series of inspirations that lead to mushroom custards.

#1 Classic Recipe presented by Christianna at Burwell General Store.

#2 Ologie Holiday Party, where each of 7 teams was tasked with creating a signature drink, appetizer, and themed display to go with it. My team (represented by the sweet little pine cone drinks below) served an appetizer of rye crackers, carmelized onions, mushroom ragu, and goat cheese.

#4 Bacon. Always its own inspiration.

With an idea of an earthy, savory custard in mind, I borrowed Lidia’s custard technique, and Elise’s onion technique. And mushroom custards were born.

Before you start, carmelize your onions, cook and chop your bacon, then saute your mushrooms.

You can use nice ramekins, but I love these Pampered Chef mini bowls because they have their own lids.

These would make a nice first course for a winter dinner. They’d also double nicely, but I made only three since I’m the only one around this house that would even consider eating such a thing.

Mushroom Custards

  • 1/4 C chopped bacon
  • 1/4 C carmelized onions
  • 1/4 C sauteed mushrooms
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C whole milk
  • 1/2 t salt

Preheat the oven to 375, and place a rack in the middle. Butter ramekins. I used 3 one-cup glass dishes. Whisk eggs and milk together until smooth, then stir in rest of ingredients. Pour evenly into ramekins, then place in a 9X13 pyrex or other large, flat dish. Place in oven, with the rack pulled out. Pour hot water into the 9×13, until it reaches about half way up the sides. 

Bake 10 minutes, then jiggle it. If they’re still liquid-y, put them in for 5 more minutes. After that check them every 2-3 minutes. You want them a little wobbly in the middle, but no liquid should come to the top when you press with a finger.

When finished, remove them from the oven, then the hot water bath. Let cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Continue reading