Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Best Ever Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


I LOVE  pumpkin chocolate chip cookies... nothing says 'Autumn time' like a warm pumpkin chocolate chip cookie still warm from the oven don't you agree? I have been looking for a recipe that was awesome for these cookies... I have posted some but some are too spongy... others are too dry.. This one was just perfect. Try adding a 1/2 cup cinnamon chips along with the chocolate chips for additional yumminess! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Cooking classy
Yield: About 30 cookies
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup  vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup  milk chocolate chips
  •  Optional: try adding 1/2 cup cinnamon chips along with the chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt for 20 seconds, set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together granulated sugar, brown sugar and vegetable oil until combined. Mix in egg and vanilla then blend in pumpkin puree. With mixer on low speed, slowly add in flour mixture and mix just until nearly combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed (batter will be pretty wet).
  •  With a rubber spatula, fold in chocolate chips while folding batter to evenly combined. Drop dough 2 Tbsp (either using a medium cookie dough scoop or using two spoons) at a time onto baking sheets lined with Silcone liners or parchment paper, spacing cookies two inches apart. Bake in preheated oven about 10 to 12 minutes until cookies are nearly set (you don't want to pull them out before they are done or they'll taste raw, not a cookie you want to under-bake. The top layer of the cookie should be cooked through). 
  • Allow to cool several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Store in a single layer in an airtight container . (I think they are best when eaten still slightly warm)... soft pillowy cookies! Enjoy!


Saturday, October 15, 2016

No Churn Peanut Butter Ripple Ice Cream

Oh my heavens this is good..... and easy. I found this recipe here and had to give it a try. I have been wanting to make a rich creamy homemade ice cream for a while. I borrowed my parents ice cream make this summer and made a root beer ice cream but man after getting the ice, the ingredients and then letting in churn and churn and then still having to freeze for a couple of hours before eating, this recipe seemed like heaven. AND it was!! So rich and creamy and perfect. I did have to top mine with chopped dry roasted peanuts.... I love ice cream and nuts.... but that's optional. Go ahead... give this one a try. You won't be sorry.

No Churn Peanut Butter Ripple Ice Cream
Ingredients
6 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter, divided
¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons peanut butter chips
2 cups (16 ounces) heavy cream
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
1 In a medium size saucepan, combine 4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup) of the creamy peanut butter and peanut butter chips. Heat over low heat until completely melted. Remove from heat and set aside to cool a bit.
2 In a large bowl using a hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, and remaining 2 Tablespoons of the peanut butter on high speed until smooth and thick (about 3-4 minutes).

3 Spoon ⅓ of the ice cream into the bottom of a freezer-safe container or bowl (I prefer a loaf pan). Layer half of the melted peanut butter chips evenly over the ice cream, using a spatula to spread it around. Spoon another ⅓ of the ice cream on top of the peanut butter layer, and repeat layering with remaining melted peanut butter chips and ⅓ of the ice cream. Submerge a butter knife into the container and run it up and down the length of the container to "swirl" the peanut butter. Cover tightly and freeze overnight, or at least 8 hours. Ice cream can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Puff Pastry Tarts

I love baking... I love autumn time and the fruits that are available at the grocery stores and farmers markets. I especially LOVE the smell of fall baking... Yum!! I haven't baked with puff pastry much but Alton Brown had a Good Eats episode on puff pastry and showed this recipe. I tweaked it a little but the original recipe is here. Enjoy!!

Puff Pastry Tarts
Ingredients:
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
Sugar, for dusting (I used cinnamon sugar)
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced into wedges

1 ripe peach, peeled, and thinly sliced into wedges
1 ripe plum, thinly sliced into wedges
Apricot or peach  jam

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. After puff pastry has thawed, place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Unfold, and cut into 3 even strips. Move so they are a couple of inches apart.
I used a mandolin to cut my apple slices, just have them thin as possible. The peaches and plums I had slightly thicker. 
Poke pastry sheets with a fork down the center but leave about a 1/2 inch on the sides un-poked to provide an outlet for steam. Sprinkle pastry with sugar (or cinnamon sugar) and arrange apple slices an plum / peach slices on top.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Poke the crust; if it feels soft it needs more time in the oven.
Microwave some apricot jam for 30 seconds. When the tarts come out of the oven dab (don't brush) the jam on the tarts. Cool tarts at least 4 hours and seal in a resealable plastic bag. Serve at room temperature or heat in the microwave and top with ice cream or fresh whipped cream.
Enjoy

Best Bacon Jam ever!

 I first got introduced to Bacon Jam at a cute little cafe in Dayton, Washington. I ordered a smoked turkey panini that had bacon jam on it and was hooked! I found this recipe while searching for a good one on line and it's amazing! I made panini's on focaccia bread with smoked turkey, provolone cheese, thin sliced tomatoes, lettuce and the bread was spread with a garlic aioli, and of course this bacon jam--see the picture at the bottom.  You gotta try it! The next day I made grilled hamburgers and we put this on those too! So delicious! This reminds me of a good baked bean taste... only without the beans. Enjoy!

Best Bacon Jam
original recipe found here
Makes: 2 cups
INGREDIENTS
1 lb. thick cut bacon
2 extra large sweet onions, quartered and thickly sliced
½ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup strong brewed coffee
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


Cut the bacon into half inch slices and add to a large frying pan. Don't worry if the bacon pieces stick together, they will come apart as they cook. Cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until the bacon is cooked but still quite chewy. A few crispy bit are ok.
Using a slotted spoon remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings and reserve for another use.
Add the onions to the pan and cook for about 8-10 minutes then reduce the heat to low. Add sugar and stir. Continue to cook until the onions have caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add the coffee, ½ cup of water and the reserved bacon and increase the heat to medium. Continue to cook, stirring about every five minutes, until the onions are thick and jam-like, about 30 minutes.
 Remove from heat and stir through the balsamic. Taste for seasoning and salt if necessary.
Use immediately or refrigerate for up to a week. Bring back to room temperature before serving. There will be little spots of white fat when you take it out of the fridge. As the jam comes to room temperature, these will disappear.
LOVE this stuff!