Tag Archives: cookies

recipe testing

There has been some serious recipe testing and tweaking happening this week, and then THE OVEN BROKE. We’re talking complete short circuit. Somehow I am going to get a gas range out of this, but in the meantime we are seriously inconvenienced what with the FOOD BLOG, Levi needing to BAKE CUPCAKES for a school event this week, and the upcoming BAKE SALE. Luckily, I have friends who have ovens.

Oh yeah, the bake sale. Attention Olympians and other PNWesterners! There is a bake sale happening. Come eat our food! Click here to learn more about Bake Olympia: food bloggers bake to fight hunger.

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meringue practice

I will let you in on a little secret: everything we make isn’t food blog worthy. Okay, you probably already knew that. It can be hard to tell, since there are not a lot of failure photos. For example, the orange meringue pie we made for Pi Day? Delicious. But the meringue was a total failure. It turned into more of a seven minute frosting. It tasted great, but it wasn’t a gorgeous fluffy meringue with perfectly golden peaks. If there is anything I have an excess of around here, it is eggs. So I need to practice my meringue. What better place to start than meringue cookies?

Success!

This attempt was this recipe from Joy of Baking, only substituting vanilla bean for extract.

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Tagalong-Trefoil Cheesecake Bars

In our neck of the woods, we’re approaching Girl Scout cookie season! Since Jess is a life-long and professional Girl Scout, cookie season is an important part of our year. The other day, Jess asked me to come up with a Girl Scout cookie dessert to make that night for a work potluck. I quickly settled on the idea of cheesecake bars featuring two different cookies.

My first thought was that Trefoils (or Shortbread Cookies depending on your geographic location) would pair well with a lot of the other cookies. How about a Trefoil shortbread crust? Mmm, shortbread!

I thought peanut butter cheesecake might be good, so I went with Tagalongs for the second cookie (or Peanut Butter Patties depending on your geographic location).

And so Tagalong Cheesecake Bars with a Trefoil Crust were born. I’m told they were a hit at the potluck, and I know Levi and I sure enjoyed the little pieces that were left behind for us.

Tagalong-Trefoil Cheesecake Bars

for the crust:
1 box Trefoil cookies
½ cup butter, melted
¼ cup sugar

for the filling:
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
⅓ cup peanut butter
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons flour
4 eggs
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 box Tagalong cookies

Preheat the oven to 325° F.

In a food processor, pulse the Trefoil cookies until finely ground (makes a little over 2 cups). In a medium bowl, stir together the ground Trefoils, melted butter, and sugar. Press the mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9X13” pan.

In a stand mixer, mix the cream cheese, peanut butter, brown sugar, and flour until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the milk and vanilla and mix on low speed until combined.

Roughly chop the Tagalong cookies. Sprinkle half of the chopped cookies evenly over the prepared crust, and then pour the filling mixture on top. Sprinkle the remaining Tagalong cookie crumbles evenly over the top of the filling.

Bake at 325° F for 40-45 minutes. The center should be set, only jiggling slightly. Cool and then chill completely before cutting into bars.

Find out when cookie season happens in your area at girlscoutcookies.org, or better yet, get a Girl Scout Cookie app for your phone.

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design-inspired cookies

Jess and I both gasped when we saw one of our favorite design trends on a cookie: CHEVRON!

Check out these chevron-striped cookies from The Adventures of Sweet Sugarbelle.


(Photo by The Adventures of Sweet Sugarbelle)

You know, this could save me a ton of money if I focus on putting some of these design trends we are obsessed with on baked goods instead of around the house.

Be sure to see the list of links on the bottom of her Pinterest inspired cookie post. There are more cookies to “ooh” and “ahh” over, including MUSTACHE COOKIES. Amazing!

And if you’re not on Pinterest yet, you should be! I see something wonderful on there everyday. Organize the gorgeous and inspirational stuff you find online.

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day twenty-five


(Click here for an explanation of the project.)

Here’s what we ate for $2.74 yesterday, January 26, 2011.

BREAKFAST

whole wheat peanut butter waffle $0.18
2 tablespoons maple syrup $0.15
banana $0.25

LUNCH

tempeh curry $0.66
1/2 cup cooked quinoa $0.18

DINNER

leek & potato soup $0.52
1/3 block baked high protein tofu $0.66

SNACKS

2 peanut butter no bake cookies $0.14

total $2.74

Leeks! We haven’t taken much advantage of our rule that stuff from our garden is free during this project. Even though we try to change up our garden, leeks are something we will probably grow every single year. Leeks are not cheap, never mind organic leeks. We have a ton of them despite our less than stellar gardening weather this past year. Go leeks!

This soup tastes like a big bowl of buttery leeks and creamy potatoes. The orange color comes from carrots. We used vegan bouillon cubes instead of chicken broth and omitted the bone marrow. To keep the cost down we also used dried dill. We splurged on organic carrots and potatoes. And with the biggest expense, the leeks, being free, it was only 52 cents per bowl.

Our cost for the day was so low we decided to go for dessert, and our friend Patrice’s chocolate oatmeal refrigerator cookies had reminded me of the cookies my dad used to always whip up without warning when we were kids. There are about a billion recipes online for chocolate peanut butter no bake cookies.

Now that I’ve made them as an adult, I get why my dad loved to make them. They are super delicious, incredibly cheap, and take like five minutes to make. Seriously, you dump a few ingredients in a pot, bring it to a boil, boil for a minute, and then stir in peanut butter, oatmeal, and vanilla. You do have to wait a bit for them to set up, but you can speed the process up in the fridge or freezer. They are sugary, fattening cookies. They aren’t exactly healthy, but as far as cookies go, at least these ones have some protein and fiber.

THE COST:

2 cups sugar $0.50
4 tablespoons cocoa $0.32
1 stick butter $0.63
1/2 cup milk $0.13
1 cup peanut butter $0.64
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups oatmeal $0.59

Makes 40 small cookies (we made a half batch and got 20).

Total $2.81
7 cents per cookie

The only ingredient I haven’t priced is vanilla. We don’t do Costco, but we buy a big bottle of vanilla at the local restaurant supply store (you don’t have to pay to shop there!) and it lasts an eternity.

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Pumpkin Season Begins

We began our official Pumpkin Season ’09 last night. Krista baked pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (not vegan) for dessert. It was three star recipe in our household, but the reviewers on the food network love it (five stars!). It is kind of puffy and a little too cake-y for our tastes, but that’s a common side effect of baking with pumpkin puree. Near the end, our oven hit its stride & the final few batches were a little under done & more delicious. However, even mediocre pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are awesome. Pumpkin & chocolate are a terribly underrated combination.

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