Monday, March 31, 2008

Bacon and Leek Tart

I found this recipe in my Real Simple Magazine. It looks gourmet but was super easy to throw together. I was headed out to a baby shower that day and I decided to bring this along. I must say that it is perfect baby shower food or brunch food too. It was devoured quickly, but was ever so delicate looking, even though I'm sure it is loaded with fat. If you have never tried leeks I suggest that you do. I love them because although they look like a giant green onion, they are sweeter and don't have that "make you cry" attribute. I always have to wash them very well because they are always full of dirt when I buy them and you have to cut off all of the tough darker green parts.
This is a great little dish to serve along side some light soup or a little sandwich. I cut mine into smaller, oh I don't know...3 bite pieces? The only thing I would have done differently with mine is cut my leeks smaller width wise.

Bacon and Leek Tart

8 slices bacon, cut into 2 inch strips

2 leeks (white and light green parts) cut into 2 1/2 inch strips

1 17.3 ounce frozen puff-pastry sheets, thawed (I used a 16 ounce box from Trader Joe's and rolled it out just a bit)

4 ounces fontina cheese (or Swiss, but fontina just makes me say "yummmm").

Heat oven to 375F. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 6 minutes, but not too crispy because you are also going to bake it. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings and return to medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for 3 minutes. Unfold the puff pastry and place on 2 parchment lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with the cheese and scatter the leeks and bacon over the tops. Bake until the pastry is golden brown and crisp, about 25 minutes. I even rotated mine halfway through. Cool and cut into squares. Serve at room temperature.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Two Bit Wonders

I feel like I have to make all of my new cookie recipes from the King Arthur Cookie Companion because there is a seemingly endless amount of cookie recipes. This one was so easy and I have some friends that love coconut. If you love coconut MAKE THESE. Three words, SUPER SWEET CHEWY. I happen to love coconut and I am restraining myself to not eat every single one of these. It's very hard. They really are just 2 ingredients. 2 super yummy ingredients:coconut and sweetened condensed milk. The recipe suggests unsweetened coconut, but I only had sweetened on hand and it is a bit of a sugar overload however, very delicious and I'm not complaining.

I am also making my favorite rolled sugar cookies for Easter's tradition.

Two Bit Wonders

5oz or 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk (small can)

6-8 oz unsweetened coconut. About 2 cups(heaping cups)

*Make sure that you use enough coconut. I ended up adding more because the sweetened condensed milk was baking all flat around the edges of the cookies. It took me a couple of times to get it right. They should bake into little mounds.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease.
Mix together the sweetened condensed milk and the coconut in a medium sized bowl. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven for 13-14 minutes.

Cool on cookie sheet until set. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack.

Makes 15 cookies.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Magic in the Middles

Can I say RICH? Another success from the King Arthur Cookie Companion. These are a definite must for the peanut butter-chocolate lovers. They are incredibly chocolatey and the peanut butter filling is soft and perfect. I don't know if I didn't cream them long enough because the dough was pretty dry and dense. They were a little tricky to shape around the peanut butter filling, but I just sort of mashed it in there. They also cracked around the edges when I flattened them. I'm not sure if that was supposed to happen or not. They are very yummy though and my 4 year old had fun helping me to fill them. I was impressed with her skills. She was doing as well as I was.

Magic in the Middles
from King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar (and extra for dipping)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
Preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
To make the dough: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In another medium-sized mixing bowl beat together the sugars, butter, and peanut buuter until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the egg, beating to combine, then stir in the dry ingredients, blending well.
To make the filling:
In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter and confectioner's sugar until smooth. Roll the filling into 26 one-inch balls. (I used a hand mixer to combine)
To shape the cookies:
Break off about 1 table spoon of the dough (It's about 1 level tlbs), make an indentation in the center with your finger, and press one of the peanut butter balls into the indentation.

Bring the dough up and over the filling, pressing it closed; roll the cookie in the palms of your hand to smooth it out. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
Dip the top of each cookie in granulated sugar and place on the prepared baking sheets about 2inces apart., Grease the bottom of a drinking glass and flatteneach cookie to about 1/2 inch thick.
Bake the cookies for 7-9 minutes, until they're set. Remove them from the oven and cool on a rack.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Chocolate Chunk Ranger Cookies

I took an incredible recipe and made it even more incredible, these were probably the best cookies I had ever made so they're definately worth trying!

Prep: 25 minutes
Bake: 8 minutes
Oven: 375 degrees F
Makes: 48 cookies

1/2 c butter, softened
1/2 c granulated sugar (I used splenda)
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c wheat flour
1 c quick oats
1 c coconut
1 c (or more) bittersweet chocolate (I took a block and broke it into chunks)
In a large mixing bowl beat butter on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar (or splenda), brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat until combined. Beat in egg and vanila until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining flour. Stir in rolled oats, coconut, and chocolate.
Drop dough by 1/8 c drops onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes or until golden around the edges. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely....Be ready to induldge in complete yumminess!