Archive for Marienne’s Recipes

Mushroom Strudel with Sour Cream and Fresh Dill

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In addition to the HUNGRY HEARTS HOLIDAY HOP giveaway, Amanda Usen will be featuring Hungry Hearts authors on Writer.Chef.Romantic this week and gifting their books to lucky winners. Stay tuned to get in on the fun! If you’d like to party in real time, please join our Facebook Party December 26th – January 1st.

 

 

This is a favorite recipe with family and friends and works equally well as an appetizer or a side dish. I usually make it as a strudel and cut it into slices to serve but it can also be made into individual triangle or it can be made in muffin tins (full size or mini) for little “purses” or bite-sized tarts. No matter how you shape it the buttery, flaky, crunchy goodness blends with the creamy, savory mushroom filling for perfectly heavenly mouthfuls. Make a lot. Your guests will love it!

Mushroom Strudel with sour cream and fresh dill

2lbs of assorted fresh mushrooms (I like to use a mix of crimini, shitaki and button but any combination will work)

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1 package of frozen filo dough, thawed

1/2 cup bread crumbs (I use unseasoned but add a teeny bit of black pepper and garlic powder)

1 bunch fresh dill

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil for sauteeing

Preheat oven to 400F (if you plan to bake this right away, if you’re making it ahead, preheat oven before you put strudel in to bake)

Brush the mushrooms clean and slice them into uniform slices. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauce pan and saute the mushrooms until they are cooked down and have released their moisture. You don’t want them dried out but you do want to make sure they’re nicely cooked and all the water has been released and has evaporated (you don’t want moisture ruining your pastry dough).

Spoon the mushrooms out of the saute pan with a slotted spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool. While it’s cooling, rinse and finely chop your fresh dill. You want to add this to taste as well but I’d say you’ll need several tablespoons or more. Add a generous spoonful of sour cream to the mushrooms along with the chopped dill. Stir. It should be creamy and the consistency of a very thick dip/spread. Taste it to see if you want to add more dill. Once you get it to the right flavor set it aside to come to room temperature.

Melt a stick of butter. Set up your work space with your roll of filo dough (keep it covered with a damp towel whenever you’re not using it so it doesn’t dry out—there are tips about this on the box).

Place a cookie sheet on your work space and put down a layer of filo dough. Brush it quickly and evenly with a thin layer of melted butter. Sprinkle on a tablespoon or two of bread crumbs then add another layer of filo dough. Repeat until you have 6-8 layers of dough. Spoon the mushroom filling down the center of the dough and roll it like a jelly roll. Make sure to tuck the ends under then carefully flip the roll over enough that the seam is facing down. brush the whole loaf with a final coating of melted butter. If you’d like to, for decoration, you can place some more chopped dill or even a few sprigs atop the roll and brush them with butter to keep them in place.

If you have used a small box of dough or made a lot of mushrooms you may have enough ingredients to repeat this process. If you do, go ahead and do it all again!

At this point you can refrigerate the studel (if you’re going to serve it later that day) or you can freeze it for use another time.

When you are ready to bake it, place it in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the loaf is a golden brown color. Allow to cool at least a little before slicing and serving. May be served at room temperature.

Refrigerate any leftovers and reheat to serve.

To make individual filled triangles, prepare the filo dough as above but use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the dough into long rectangles. Put a spoonful of mushrooms at one end of the rectangle then fold the dough over into triangles again and again until you’ve reached the end and have a neat triangle packet. Brush the whole top and any seams with butter. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Bake until golden brown.

To use muffin tins, prepare the dough as above. Spray the muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray or brush each tray with melted butter. Prepare the filo dough as above but once it is layered cut the dough into square that are slightly larger than the size of the muffin cup. Press a layered square of dough into each cup, fill with mushroom, tuck the corners down on top of the filling to cover it, brush with butter. Bake until golden. Allow to cool slightly then gently pop each one out of the muffin pan with a spoon or dinner knife, being careful not to pierce the crispy crust.

Enjoy!

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Grandma Rose’s Marmalade Cookies

Welcome to the HUNGRY HEARTS HOLIDAY HOP!
We are so excited to CELEBRATE FALL with mouthwatering Thanksgiving recipes and delicious EXCERPTS from today’s hottest food-loving ROMANCE writers! Hop around and fill out the Rafflecopter form on each author’s site to enter our Grand PRIZE Giveaway: a Harry & David Crater Lake GIFT BASKET Classic!
In addition to the Grand Prize, one SWAG pack will be given away on Amanda Usen’s blog on each day of the hop. Visit each day for an AUTHOR spotlight and more FALL GLEE.
When the seasons change, our hearts fill with GRATITUDE. Life is grand, isn’t it? Hop with us and share your love of all things food, fall, and THANKS-giving!
To see all the awesome participants in this hop, click below!

Now, about those Marmalade Cookies mentioned in the title of this post….

My novel Then, Again is a foodie romance that is dedicated to my grandmothers and all the wonderful food-related memories they gave me while I was growing up. This recipe is one of my favorite cookies. My grandmother, Rose, used to bake them at holidays when I was a child then later sent them to me in care packages while I was away at college. It’s a simple recipe but I bake a lot and have never come across any other recipes that duplicate the taste and texture of these treats. Honestly I don’t even like marmalade but somehow in these cookies it’s wonderful. Try them. Enjoy them. Share them with your family and friends. Taste a bite of my memories.

Marmalade Envelopes
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup white sugar
½ cup unsalted butter
2 eggs
Small jar of orange marmalade (I use Smuckers brand)
Powdered sugar

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
Melt butter and add sugar. Stir until combined. Mix in eggs one at a time. Gradually add flour, stirring slowly until a loose dough is formed. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
When ready to bake:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Sprinkle flour on counter top or rolling surface. Scoop out a large spoonful of dough and roll out using a lightly floured rolling pin.  The dough is fairly delicate and becomes softer as you roll it, so go carefully, be sure to flip it over and flour the surface beneath it each time you flip.
Roll dough to between 1/8 inch and ¼ inch thickness. Use a sharp knife or pizza wheel to cut the dough into squares about 2×2 inches. Place a small spoonful of marmalade in the center of each square and fold the corners in toward the center. Pinch the dough shut at each corner so you wind up with a little sealed pouch.  You may reroll scraps as you repeat the process with all of the remaining dough.
Place each cookie gently on an ungreased cookie sheet approximately 2 inches apart (they will spread while baking).  Bake until just starting to turn golden at the corners (roughly 8-10 minutes). Let sit on cookie sheet for a few minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once cool sift powdered sugar over the top to coat. Store in an air tight container.  When ready to serve you may sprinkle with additional powdered sugar to freshen the look.
Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.
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Pumpkin Maple Ice Cream

I’ve been on an ice cream making kick lately. Today’s creation is the best one yet! It tastes like pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream. Totally yummy! And seeing as there’s a bit of pumpkin in it I think it counts as a serving of fruits/veggies! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Maple Ice Cream

1 3/4 cups heavy cream (whipping cream or full cream, depending on where you live)

1 1/4 cups 1% milk

1/2 cup grade B maple syrup (or amber grade A maple syrup)

3/4 to 1 cup of canned pumpkin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 pinches of salt

Whisk ingredients together in a bowl or in a large measuring cup with a spout (for easier pouring). Chill in fridge until cold (at least a half hour). Whisk again briefly, just to combine, then place in ice cream machine. It took roughly 22 minutes in my Cuisinart ice cream maker. Makes 1 quart.

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Guest Post by Taryn Raye – Decadent Date Cookies

Today I’m handing my blog over to my lovely fellow Turquoise Morning Press author Taryn Raye. She’s graciously agreed to share a favorite recipe. Without further ado, please welcome Taryn and her awesome recipe and be sure to read the blurb about her novel Castaway Hearts!

 

Taryn Raye’s Decadent Crunchy Date Cookies

Thanks so much for having me Karen! It’s great to be here and I’m so excited to share this recipe with you and your readers.

With school starting back and fall fast approaching, I find that my thoughts often turn to comfort foods and treats that are perfect for chilly fall days and cold wintry nights.

Years ago, my grandmother made these cookies, only once, but I remembered fondly how rich and decadent the nutty fruity flavor was and how unique the ingredients, yet it was simple to make. It wasn’t until I was a grown woman that I finally asked her for the recipe though. I wanted a taste of something that reminded me of my childhood, of home, something I knew my family would love, as well.

For the past few years, my husband and I have found pleasure in making cookies and candies for the holidays together, as gifts for our closest friends and relatives. Along with things like peanut butter and chocolate fudge, lemon drop cookies, dipped pretzels and peppermint bark, Crunchy Date Cookies are an automatic for our list. It won’t be long now before the holidays sweep in and sneak up on us, so I thought what time is better than now to share it. You might want to add it to YOUR holiday treats for you or someone you know who has a bit of a sweet tooth.

 

Crunchy Date Cookies

Ingredients-

½-cup brown sugar

8 oz. package chopped dates

½ cup white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 stick regular margarine

Dash of salt

 

Cook these ingredients together for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

 

FOLD IN:

1 ½ cups Rice Krispies cereal

1 Cup chopped pecans

 

Let cool long enough that you can handle it. Form into balls and roll in powered (confectioner’s) sugar.

Enjoy!

Check out Taryn’s novel Castaway Hearts…

 

 

Blurb:

Twice orphaned, Catherine Barrett arrives in Virginia a stranger to her closest kin and secretly engaged to the one man her family would disapprove of- her seafaring grandfather’s apprentice. Add to her troubles, the rich and intriguing older brother of her secret betrothed, Dawson Randolph, a plantation owner who is as heartless as he is handsome. Heartbroken when her intended sets sail for his maiden voyage, Catherine finds it difficult to adjust to her new life, hoping to befriend the one man who is, undoubtedly, the match her grandparents wish for her. Dawson’s distaste for her secret engagement to his brother makes it clear he has no designs for marriage to anyone.

Especially her.

Ten years since the tragic loss of his young wife and infant son, Dawson Randolph is convinced love and marriage is a fool’s game and resents being pardon to his brother’s hidden engagement. Damned by his instant attraction and his own growing desire, Dawson vows to befriend her against his better judgment. Determined to bring her happiness in a time of fear and uncertainty, Dawson puts aside his animosity to become her confidant, only to realize Catherine holds the key to his heart. When tragedy strikes at sea, Catherine’s guilt pushes Dawson to the fringes of her life as madness consumes her.

Can his love save her before she drowns in her own grief? Or is he doomed to love her from a distance, always in the shadow of her love for his dead brother?

Castaway Hearts is available in eBook & print from-

Turquoise Morning Press-

Also available on Amazon for-

Kindle or Print

On Nook from Barnes & Noble

Various formats on

Smashwords, All Romance Ebooks, OmniLit, or Bookstrand.

***

About Taryn Raye- I was born and raised in a small town in Kentucky.  My father is a carpenter, my mother a homemaker and I have one younger sister. The town I grew up in is the famous home of Wild Turkey Distillers and a hop, skip and jump from Lexington, home of Keenland and the Kentucky Wildcats. I live in the country with my wonderful husband, who doesn’t mind that I often live multiple lives- the one we share and the ones bouncing around in my head. I have a 13 year old stepson, a 9 year old daughter and we have one furbaby- Miscellaneous- aka Mizzy- our 9 year old female cat. As you can tell, I love to bake.

Here are just a few places you can find Taryn Raye-

Website

Blog

Twitter

FB Page

Goodreads-

Google +

 

 

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Gingerbread Cookies

 

I spent years looking for a good gingerbread recipe that used butter instead of shortening, but I never found one I loved, so I made up this one. Whether you like your gingerbread cookies soft and chewy or nice and crispy, this is the perfect recipe. The dough is easy to work with, the cookies are flavorful but not overpowering, and they last for weeks in an airtight container. In a word: yummy.

 

 

Gingerbread Cookies

 

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup molasses

1 egg

1 tablespoon white vinegar

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

confectioner’s sugar and milk (for glaze)

 

Place butter in large bowl and beat with electric mixer for one minute or until soft and creamy. Add sugar, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Beat until well combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in molasses, egg and vinegar. Beat in flour.

Divide dough in half and wrap each portion in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 in thickness. Cut with cookie cutter and place one inch apart on cookie sheet (works equally well with large cookie cutters or the little mini-cutters).

Bake for 5-6 minutes until cookies become a lighter brown. Cool on sheet for a minute or two before transferring cookies to a rack to cool completely.

Decorate as desired. (I mix 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of milk, until the mixture is a good drizzling consistency, then I drizzle the cookies with the glaze. They can be iced entirely or decorated with the glaze or frosting of your choice.)

Layer between slices of waxed paper and store in airtight container.

Note: if you prefer a chewy cookie, take them out of the oven while your finger still leaves an indentation in the dough, if you like a crunchy cookie, bake a few minutes longer.

Enjoy!

 

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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

 

After years of trying different Chocolate Crinkle recipes I finally settled on this as the best one. They stay soft and chewy for at least a week if packed in an air tight container, which makes them perfect to make ahead for an event or to ship to out-of-town friends who may be in need of a chocolate care package.

Soft. Fudgy. Delicious.

Try them. You’ll like them.

 

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

4 ounces unsweetend chocolate, melted

1/2 cup oil (I use expeller pressed canola, any vegetable oil will do but do NOT use olive oil)

2 teaspoons baking power

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

confectioner’s sugar

 

Melt chocolate in large microwave safe bowl. Add sugar, oil, baking powder, vanilla and eggs. Beat with hand mixer on medium-high speed, scraping sides of bowl, until well combined. Mix in as much flour as possible using mixer. Stir in last bit of flour by hand. The dough will be quite firm. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1-2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Scoop dough into 1 inch balls (I use a 1/2 tablespoon measuring spoon). Roll each ball in confectioner’s sugar and place on cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Press down on each ball just enough that it won’t roll off the sheet when you’re putting it in the oven (trust me on this—powdered sugar burning onto the bottom of your oven is not something you want to deal with).

Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges of each cookie are set and the tops are all crackled. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Store in air-tight container. You can redust them with fresh confectioner’s sugar if needed.

Enjoy!

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Best Ever Frosted Sugar Cookies

Looking for the perfect cut out cookie and the ideal frosting to make them beautiful and that much yummier? Look no further. These sugar cookies are simple to make, easy to work with, look fantastic and taste delicious. Who could ask for anything more? You can make them ahead of time, as they stay fresh for weeks if stored in an airtight container, then frost them when you need them to look fabulous and be ready for eating. The icing recipe below is the best I’ve found for decorating—it develops a thin crispy shell but the frosting beneath remains creamy and delightful. Color it, don’t color it, add sprinkles—the only limit is your imagination.

 

 

Best Ever Sugar Cookie Recipe

(makes about 100 three-inch cookies)

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened

2 cups white sugar

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

5 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

In a very large mixing bowl cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for AT LEAST one hour (can be refrigerated overnight if that works better time-wise). *Note- I usually refrigerate this a minimum of two to three hours, it’s easier to work with the dough when it’s nice and firm.

When you’re ready to bake…

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Roll out dough in batches, on lightly floured surface, to 1/4 inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter of your choice to cut out the desired shapes. Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Leave about 1/2 an inch or so between the cookies as they will puff a little while baking.

Bake 7-10 minutes (depending on size and shape of cookie)—start checking them at 7 minutes and continue baking until the edges just start to turn golden brown.

Cool on a rack and store in an airtight container.

 

Best Ever Icing for Sugar Cookies

4 cups confectioners sugar

5 tablespoons heavy cream

8 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 teaspoons vanilla extract (though you can use any flavor you’d like)

food coloring,  if desired

Heat the cream and butter in a large saucepan until the butter is melted (don’t let it brown!).

Stir in the sugar and the extract.

Remove from heat and beat until thick and creamy.

You can divide the icing into bowls and color each differently (a few drops of food color).

As the icing cools it will get a firm shell on it (like pudding skin). If you are still frosting cookies when this happens, just give the icing a vigorous stir. If it becomes too stiff add a little more cream, a few drops at a time, until it returns to the proper consistency.

The icing hold sprinkles or colored sugar well, but make sure to get the decorative items in place on the cookie BEFORE the icing starts to harden.

Store the frosted cookies in an airtight container SEPARATED by layers of waxed paper. They will stay fresh for two weeks.

Enjoy!

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The Ultimate Chocolate Cake Recipe

In honor of the season finale of The Bachelor I have decided to give up my Ultimate Chocolate Cake Recipe. Why? Because it is SO (drink) AMAZING (drink)! Seriously,  I know I haven’t posted a recipe in a while, and I know I’ve promised some of you that I would eventually post the absolute best chocolate cake recipe, ever (I don’t mean to brag, but really, this one’s that good), so without further ado…. It sounds complicated, and I’ll admit there are quite a lot of steps and it’s a bit time consuming, but follow the directions and I really think you’ll enjoy the outcome. This is the culmination of years worth of frosting, filling and cake batter experimentation and a combination of several recipes—the result is a super moist, ultra chocolaty cake with a rich creamy ganache filling and the perfect buttery, sweet fudge frosting. Try it. You’ll love it.

Chocolate cake recipe

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar, packed
3 eggs, room temperature
½ cup cocoa
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Kahlua
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
¾ cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour two 8” or 9” round cake pans (or one 9×13 metal pan).

In a large bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

Set some water to boil, you’ll need it at the end.

In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and brown sugar. Start at a slow speed to get it combined, otherwise the mixture is too dry and will fly out of the bowl. Once they are starting to cream together, turn the speed to high and beat for 3 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating on high for one minute after each egg is added.

On medium speed add a scoop of the flower mixture, mix, add a scoop of the sour cream, mix, add the vanilla and kahlua, mix… continue alternating between wet and dry ingredients until they are all combined.

On low speed mix in the ¾ cup of boiling water. Stop mixing as soon as it is combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan(s).

Bake for approximately 35 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Allow cakes to cool in pans for 10 minutes, then run a knife along the edge of the cake to separate it from the pan and turn it out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

WHILE THE CAKE IS BAKING AND COOLING MAKE YOUR FROSTING AND FILLING!

Chocolate Ganache Filling

1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces of semisweet baking chocolate, broken into chunks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
EITHER 1 tablespoon of Kahlua OR 2-3 Tablespoons raspberry jam (your choice)

Place chunks of chocolate in a small mixing bowl.

In a small heavy-bottomed pot bring cream, butter and sugar to a boil (stir mixture as it heats so that butter is completely melted and sugar is dissolved).

As soon as the cream starts to boil remove it from the heat and pour it directly over the chocolate chunks. Cover the bowl with a plate (to trap in the heat) and allow it to sit for a few minutes.  Remove plate and stir the cream/chocolate, in one direction, until chocolate is completely melted.

Place bowl in freezer. Check every ten minutes and give it a good stir until it reaches a thick, frosting-like consistency. It will firm on the edges first, so make sure to stir the firmer edge parts into the still-soft center when you mix it.

Once it reaches the desired texture you can leave it at room temperature.

Chocolate Frosting

12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
3 oz semisweet chocolate (I use Nestle’s semisweet baking bars, but others will do—DO NOT USE CHOCOLATE CHIPS)
1 1/8 cups cocoa (I use Hershey’s)
3 3/8 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
7-8 tablespoons milk

In large  mixing bowl melt butter and chocolate on HIGH in microwave for two minutes. Stir until all chocolate is melted. Set aside to cool.

Sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa.

When melted butter/chocolate mixtures is room temperature begin stirring in the cocoa/sugar, roughly a half cup at a time. When it starts to get thick switch to a handheld electric mixture and alternate adding the milk, sugar/cocoa/ and vanilla until all the ingredients are combined. Add more milk a tablespoon at a time if you want the frosting to have a fluffier consistency. If you accidentally add too much milk, don’t panic, just add a tiny bit of cocoa and powdered sugar until it firms to the desired texture.

ASSEMBLE THE CAKE!

Place one layer of cake on whatever cake tray/plate/server you want to use. Spread on the ganache (it will be thick, so spread gently so you don’t shred/break the cake). Place the second layer of cake on top. Frost with the desired amount of frosting. (Note: the frosting recipe is actually a batch and a half of my original recipe, but I find this is a good amount of frosting to generously frost a cake this size and still have a little frosting left over for eating, bribing spouse/children/significant other/roommate/neighbors into doing favors, etc.)  Cover with a cake dome and store at room temperature, but not in sunlight. (If you don’t have a cake dome, strategically place toothpicks on the top and sides of cake and tent it with plastic wrap until you have the whole thing covered— the toothpicks will prevent the plastic wrap from touching the frosting.)

Eat any leftover frosting or ganache. :)

Enjoy!

(Sometimes I have to make a double batch, which yields a large, two-layer sheet cake. Somehow it always disappears….)

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Sweets for your Sweetie—Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Most of the recipes you’ll find on this blog are tried and true recipes I’ve been making for years, but once in a while I’ll come across a new recipe that is so good I simply have to share it immediately. Last week someone emailed me a recipe for Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies. It sounded so good I made a batch that day. The original recipe credit goes to http://picky-palate.com  ( http://goo.gl/oKMO0 ) for coming up with the idea for this insanely good treat. Below you’ll see my tweaked version of this recipe. I made it the original way first (and it was awesome) but I prefer it with the adaptations I’ve made (I prefer semi-sweet chocolate chips, used dark brown sugar for richer flavor, and used more vanilla because, well, I always use more vanilla than things call for). Either way you try it,  I highly recommend you make a batch of these as soon as possible. So, so good.

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1 cup white sugar

1 1/2 TABLESPOONS pure vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

10 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

24 Oreo cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream together butter and both sugars. Mix in eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture in small batches. The dough will get fairly stiff. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Lay a dozen Oreos on a cookie sheet and place a rounded tablespoon of dough on top of each.

Take a second rounded tablespoon of dough and place it on the other side of each Oreo.

Use your fingers to mold and pinch the dough shut so that the Oreo is completely surrounded in chocolate chip goodness.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cookies are turning slightly golden in color.

Allow them to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before moving them to a rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container. This should make 24 jumbo cookies.

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Super Bowl of Soup ;) – Super Split Pea Soup Recipe

In honor of the Super Bowl I’m posting a recipe for a Super Bowl of Soup. I know. I’m ridiculous. I’m okay with that. This recipe for split pea soup is a favorite among my friends and is often requested even by people who “don’t ever like pea soup.” I’ve always liked pea soup, and this is by far my favorite recipe. It’s made with Canadian bacon, which adds a nice smoky flavor but not a lot of fat (or calories). It’s creamy, smooth, hearty, and reheats well. It’s also one of the only ways I can get my children to eat green vegetables. This recipe can be doubled, and often is at my house.

Super Split Pea Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1-2 cups carrots, diced (depending on how much carrot you want in your soup)

6 ounces bacon, diced

1 bag dried split peas (green or yellow), sorted to remove any non-pea items (pebbles, etc.)

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dried thyme

8 cups chicken stock (If you have homemade stock on hand, great, if not you can use boxed or canned or bouillon cubes or some combination of all of them.)

In a large stock pot melt butter in olive oil until butter is completely melted and bubbly. Add diced  carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots begin to caramelize a teeny bit (if your carrots are too wet when you add them, this won’t happen, so dry them off first, and if for some reason they still don’t start to caramelize it’s no big deal—the caramelization just adds an extra touch of flavor but it’s not essential).

Add your diced Canadian bacon and stir. Add the split peas and stir.

Pour in your 8 cups of chicken stock. Add the bay leaves and the thyme.

Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for anywhere from one to two hours, until you have a creamy, thick soup. (The time varies depending on the brand of peas, and sometimes depending on the bag of peas. If the soup is getting thick but is still grainy, add more stock or plain water and continue cooking—-it will become creamy eventually!)

Once the proper texture is achieved, fish out the bay leaves (or offer a prize for the diner who finds them) and serve immediately! Note: Pea soup thickens as it cools. If you allow it to thicken, simply thin it out with a tiny bit of water while you reheat it—this will be necessary when reheating any leftover soup and it in no way compromises the flavor  of the soup.

I love to serve this soup with warm, toasty sandwiches—some family favorites include grilled ham and cheese, warm cheesy chicken salad on buttered toast (recipe to be given in future blog), or any kind of Panini. It’s also great served with some nice fresh hot bread (or rolls) and butter.

Let me know if you make it and what you choose to serve with it! Enjoy!

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