12.24.2013

Changes for 2014

 
I won't be posting to this blog any longer.
Going forward, the recipes will be posted to my main blog, Life At Cobble Hill Farm, and not separated out to this cooking blog.
 
It's getting harder and harder to keep up with 3 blogs.  :)
Eventually, all the recipes will be transferred to Life At Cobble Hill Farm and at that time I'll delete this blog.
 
I hope you'll join us over there!

12.12.2013

Triple Peanut Butter Cookies


Let's face it, peanut butter is so good, how can a cookie that incorporates it in 3 forms be anything but delicious?  These are sweet, a bit salty, chewy, rich and the perfect thing to eat with a glass of milk.



Triple Peanut Butter Cookies
source:  Lightly adapted from a recipe by King Arthur Flour
Makes 6 dozen cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light or dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups chopped salted peanuts
1 1/3 cups peanut butter chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Prepare 2 baking sheets by either lightly greasing them or lining them with parchment paper or silpat liners.

In a large bowl, mix together the butter, sugars, and peanut butter.  Cream until fully incorporated.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Mix just until combined.  Stir in the peanuts and peanut butter chips.

Drop the dough by Tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheets.  Bake for 12-14 minutes, until cookies are set and lightly browned around the edges.  Remove the pans from the oven to a cooling rack.  Allow the cookies to cool on the pans for 5 minutes then transfer them to cooling racks to cool completely.

12.07.2013

6 Weeks of Fudge Recipes - Week #5: Cake Batter Fudge


Last year I shared truffle recipes and the Cake Batter Truffles were one of the most popular.  This tastes very similar and is even easier, if that's possible.  Although it doesn't taste like fudge, more like cake batter candy, it looks a lot like it.  I have not tried freezing this recipe, so I'm not sure if it will turn out or not, so I've only given refrigerator storage instructions.


Cake Batter Fudge
Source:  very lightly adapted from a recipe by Sally's Baking Addiction

2 cups + 2 Tablespoons Supermoist white or yellow cake mix (or any brand white or yellow cake mix)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup milk
2/3 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles

Spray an 8×8 baking pan with nonstick spray or butter. Set aside.

Mix together cake mix and powdered sugar in a large bowl. Add milk and butter (do not stir them in) and microwave for 2 minutes. Once done, immediately begin mixing everything together until the butter is fully melted. The batter will be very thick. Fold in white chocolate.  Stir until almost fully incorporated then add sprinkles. Stir gently. You do not want the sprinkles to leak their color.

Spoon into prepared baking pan, making sure it is level and smooth at the top. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container up to 10 days.

Additional Fudge Recipes from This Series:
Week 1 - Pumpkin Pie Fudge
Week 2 - Quick and Easy Rocky Road Fudge

Week 3 - Peanut Butter Fudge
Week 4 - Maple Walnut Fudge

12.06.2013

Sugar Cookie Bars with Peppermint-White Chocolate Frosting


I adore sugar cookies but I'm not a fan of cutting them out, baking them, and then carefully frosting them.  They are beautiful, I just don't like to take the time to do this.  A couple of years ago, Barnes and Noble offered a Peppermint Sugar Cookie bar at the Holidays that I thought tasted pretty yummy.  So when I came across a sugar cookie bar recipe, I knew I could recreate the tasty treat.
These are soft, moist, and delicious, and the best part - they are super easy.  Although I don't use food coloring typically in our food, I did so for photography purposes.




Sugar Cookie Bars with Peppermint-White Chocolate Frosting
Source:  Adapted from a recipe by Cooking Classy
Cookies:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg white
1 1/2 Tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Peppermint-White Chocolate Frosting:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces white chocolate, melted {can use vanilla candy melt}
2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 Tablespoons half and half
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
A couple drops food coloring (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.   Prepare baking dish by buttering a 13" x 9" baking dish, set aside.
In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy about 3-4 minutes. Stir in egg and egg white. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until blended. Slowly add dry mixture and stir until well combine.
With buttered hands, gently press (so gently almost patting) mixture into buttered baking dish. Bake 17 - 20 minutes until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and edges are lightly golden. Cool completely, then frost and cut into squares. 
To Make The Frosting:
In a mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, whip together butter, melted white chocolate, powdered sugar and half and half until fluffy. Blend in vanilla and peppermint extracts as well as food coloring, if using.

12.05.2013

5 Weeks of Soup Recipes - Week #4: Taco Soup


Another favorite from our household.  When the weather is chilly this is the perfect comfort food.  I make it for lunch on the weekends {and leftovers for during the week} and the entire house smells so good.

As with most soup recipes, this one is very adaptive.  If you want a cheesier version, make a cheese sauce {flour & butter roux + milk + shredded cheese} and stir it in.  If you want a beefier version, add more beef broth.  If you want all beans and no meat, that's good too!




Taco Soup

1 pound lean ground beef, ground turkey, or shredded cooked chicken
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small red or green pepper, chopped
1/3 cup frozen or fresh corn {don't bother un-thawing if it's frozen}
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups beef broth
1 - 10 oz can Rotel tomatoes, undrained
15oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 package taco seasoning
1 cup dried pasta {I use medium elbows}
Crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and/or sour cream for serving

Brown ground beef or turkey in a dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat, seasoning with salt and pepper, breaking it up, until no longer pink. Drain and remove to a bowl.  Set aside.

To the dutch oven, add the vegetable oil and then the onion and pepper.  Cook 4-7 minutes, until onion is translucent, and pepper is lightly browned, stirring often.  Add the removed ground beef/turkey {or shredded chicken if using}, corn, chicken broth, beef broth, tomatoes, black beans and taco seasoning.  Bring to a boil.  Once at a boil, add the pasta and cook according to pasta package instructions.

Serve with crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and a dollop of sour cream, if desired.

Previous Weeks' Soup Recipes:

12.03.2013

6 Weeks of Homemade Food Gift Ideas - Week #6: Homemade Mustard {3 Recipes}


I am a huge fan of mustard and am always on the lookout for new flavor combinations.  This makes a fantastic gift or even an item to bring for an appetizer. 

When you first make mustard it can be quite spicy.  It mellows as it sits in the refrigerator.   The nice thing is, it's the perfect item to make and have on hand for any forgotten gifting.   If you are giving this as a gift and have made it the same week you're gifting it, just add a note to the label to enjoy it in a week or two.


Coarse Mustard
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

1/2 cup brown or yellow mustard seeds
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons salt
3 Tablespoons honey

Pour the mustard seeds into a medium mixing bowl and cover with water 3 inches higher than the seeds.  Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature overnight, or up to 12 hours.

Drain any remaining water from the seeds.  In a blender, combine half the soaked mustard seeds with the vinegar, garlic, salt, honey and 2 Tablespoons water.  Blend until smooth.  If it's too thick add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time.  Stir in the remaining seeds.

Transfer to jars, seal, and refrigerate.  If you try it in the first couple of days it will be spicy - it mellows with time as it sits in the refrigerator.  Keeps up to 6 months.


Honey Mustard
Makes about 1 1/4 cups

1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds
2 Tablespoons dry mustard
1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar {berry vinegar is good too!}
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced

Pour the mustard seeds into a medium mixing bowl and cover with water 3 inches higher than the seeds.  Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature overnight, or up to 12 hours.

Drain any remaining water from the seeds.  In a blender, combine the soaked mustard seeds, dry mustard, vinegar, sugar or honey, and salt.  Blend until smooth.  If it's too thick add water 1/2 teaspoon at a time.  Taste.  Add more honey if desired.

Transfer to jars, seal, and refrigerate.  If you try it in the first couple of days it will be spicy - it mellows with time as it sits in the refrigerator.  Keeps up to 6 months.


Honey-Beer Mustard
Makes about 3 cups

1 1/2 cups dark beer
1 cup mustard seeds
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice

In a medium pot over medium-high heat combine the mustard seeds and beer.  Bring to a boil, watching carefully so it doesn't boil over, and remove from heat once it begins boiling.  Allow to sit until almost all the liquid is absorbed, about 2-3 hours.

Transfer the seeds {including any remaining liquid} to a food processor.  Add the vinegar, honey, salt and allspice and pulse until the seeds are coarsely ground, scraping down the sides as needed.

Transfer to jars, seal, and store in the refrigerator.  If you try it in the first couple of days it will be spicy - it mellows with time as it sits in the refrigerator.  Keeps up to 6 months.


Check out some other fantastic food gift ideas:
Candy-Dipped Pretzel Sticks
Hot Cocoa Mix and Homemade Marshmallows
10 Additional Homemade Holiday Food Gift Ideas
All-Purpose Baking Mix/Homemade Bisquick
Gifts In Jars - Cranberry Walnut Quick Bread & Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Homemade Chai Tea Concentrate