Monday, October 26, 2015

Halloween Chocolate Chip Spider Cookies

Halloween Chocolate Chip Spider CookiesThese creepy chocolate chip cookies are a quick and creative way to get into the Halloween spirit. We forgot we needed to send something to our kids' classes for Halloween so this was an easy go to recipe that was a guaranteed crowd pleaser.

The Ingredients: Halloween Chocolate Chip Spider Cookies

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup packed brown sugar (you can use a little less if you want for both white and brown sugar)
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325F. I like to use either our clay cookie sheets or silpat to keep the cookies from burning and they also make the cookies chewy. if you need to use a cookie sheet, watch the bottoms very close, so they do not burn, as there is a lot of sugar in this recipe and they can burn easily. 

In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, olive oil, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy.  Sift in the the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix in the sifted ingredients until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. 

I like to do very small cookies, about a tablespoon each, but you can change the size, just adjust cooking time accordingly. To ensure you can make spiders from the chocolate chips, ensure you have at least one chocolate chip on the top of each cookie.  Bake for 10 - 15 minutes in the preheated oven.

When the cookies come out of the oven, move to a cooling rack.  While the cookies are still warm, drag a toothpick through the melted chocolate chip 3 times on each side to create spider legs.  

Enjoy your creepy Halloween chocolate chip cookies!

Click Here to Read More..

Monday, January 5, 2015

Potato & Leek Soup

With the colder weather upon us, soups are a great way to warm up from a cold autumn day outside raking up leaves. This one was a great hit tonight with even our 3 year old asking for a bowl of his own.
The Ingredients: Potato & Leek Soup
Makes 6 - 8 servings

2 tbsp butter
3 diced leeks
4 finely peeled and diced medium / large potatoes (I used white potatoes)
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup sherry
4 1/2 cups stock (I used chicken stock)
2 tsps cumin
2 tsps sea salt
1 tsp (or more to taste) freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme (or 1 tbsp fresh thyme)
Finely diced or grated cheddar cheese

Prep time: 10 - 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes

Finely chop and clean 3 stocks of leeks. Put a stock pot on high heat for 2 minutes and add butter. Once melted, add leeks and sea salt. Reduce heat to medium (depending on stove). Saute leeks for 10 minutes stirring frequently to avoid leeks turning brown. Add 1/2 cup of stock and minced garlic. Turn heat back up to high and cook until stock is reduced (approx 3 - 4 minutes). Add sherry and potatoes along with the cumin, black pepper and thyme. Cook over high stirring frequently until the alcohol has cooked off (until no strong odor our alcohol is left). Add stock and bring to a boil. Cover and let simmer for approx 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Time will depend on the type of potato used. A starchier potato will hold it's shape better.

Remove half of the potatoes and puree in a blender (HOT BLENDER WARNING! hot liquids in a blender will expand so leave room at the top, hold the top down with a tea towel and start with short bursts. Speaking from experience, you'll only learn this lesson once!).

Serve and top with cheese (if desired).

Click Here to Read More..