Tag Archives: Recipes

Recipe: Doggie Biscuits

Halloween doggie treats!

Batty dog biscuits

I admit I have a bit of a baking addiction. Since I’m trying to cut down on baked sweets, and can only foist so much sugar upon my co-workers before I fear they’ll start to hate me, I was thinking about alternatives. After literally tripping over our dog I remembered dog recipes. I could bake something for a pup Aejaz, and actually feel good giving him something with no fillers, or other junk.

Aejaz says "WANT"

While I didn’t have any cute dog bone shaped cookie cutters, I do have lots of Halloween ones. Some festive bats worked perfect and I’m pretty sure Aejaz is happy with any shape. These could probably be called Drool Biscuits.

Gourmet Doggie Biscuits
adapted from Food.com

  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup powdered milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 4oz. jars pureed baby food (any flavor, I used carrots)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, or stand mixer, combine all ingredients together into a thick dough.

Knead on a floured countertop (or with dough hook) for about 4 minutes until the dough is nice and smooth.

Sprinkle a little more flour over the dough to make rolling easier.

Roll out the dough to about 1/2 inch thickness.

Use cookie cutters or a small drinking glass to stamp out shapes. Alternately, you can use a pizza cutter to cut into squares.

Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for about 22 minutes. At this point they will still be moist. If you prefer them drier (keep longer) cook for 5 more minutes then turn off oven and let sit for 20-30 minutes.

Let dog biscuits cool before serving.

To keep fresh, store in a sealed container.

Andhra-Style Egg Curry

I don’t usually care for eggs, but there’s something about this style of egg curry I just love. After perusing online recipes and watching my Mother-in-law while she was here, I came up with my own version to match what I’ve remembered. Mr. PieKnits is from the Indian state Andhra Pradesh, and like most places, it has it’s own regional style of cooking. This matches closer to what you’d get as “home-cooking” vs. what you’d find at an Indian restaurant.

Yummy Andhra-style Egg Curry

Andhra-Style Egg Curry

  • 6 eggs, hard boiled
  • Tamarind pulp, nickle sized piece
  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
  • Tiragamata spice mix (1/2 teaspoons ea. of urad dal, mustard seeds and cumin seeds)
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • 1 onion, diced fine
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic (minced or paste)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Chopped fresh coriander leaves to garnish

1.  Boil eggs, peel and make four slits around egg lengthwise being careful not to cut all the way through. Set aside.

2. Place tamarind pulp in small amount of water to steep.

3. Heat oil/ghee and add Tiragamata spice mix and curry leaves and fry until you hear seeds pop.

4. Add onions, garlic and ginger, saute until translucent.

5. Add tomatoes and chilies cooking until oil separates

6. Add spices, tamarind water and 1 cup additional water bring to a boil then down to simmer for 5-10 minutes.

7. Add in eggs and season with salt, simmer an additional 4-5 minutes.

8. Just before serving, sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

9. Serve with hot rice (Basmati or Sona Masuri) or Roti and enjoy!

Note on ingredients: If you can’t get or find some of these spices/ingredients feel free to substitute or omit. Don’t let it stop you from trying Indian. There are no definitive recipes for curries! Every house has their own way, so experiment.

See more recipes here.

White Bean and Rosemary Spread/Dip

I have a great food processor, a love of all things hummus-like and a gigantic overgrowing rosemary bush. This recipe? perfect solution.

Yummy White Bean Dip

Excuse the utilitarian serving bowls. Bad blogger me didn’t want to dirty some pretty serving dishes just for the sake of a photo. Call it being lazy green.

White Bean and Rosemary Spread/Dip
adapted from Food.com

  • 2 (16 ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped (1 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I go light on this)
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest of
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons tahini sauce (optional)
  • 2 – 3 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped (optional)
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup olives, sliced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup toasted nuts (optional)
  • rosemary sprig (to garnish) 

Combine all except optional and garnish ingredients in a food processor bowl fitted with the steel blade. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds.

From here you can divide into separate portions to add optional ingredients or leave as is. I added tahini sauce to the entire batch, then sun-dried tomatoes to 1/3.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl(s) and refrigerate at least 20 minutes to let flavors meld.

Use as a spread on sandwiches or serve with crisp bread, chips/crackers and/or veggies as a dip. I may go do that immediately upon completing writing this…

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies, again…

Yep, I did it again. Had to try another chocolate chip cookie recipe. As I’m a chewy, deep flavor type of cc cookie type person, when I saw this recipe using browned butter my thought process pretty much went – “Oh! I love browned butter, must try!”.

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Browned Butter

While these were very tasty I did have a few comments. One, if you plan to chill the dough, because of the melted butter, it becomes very hard. If you like to snack on the dough as much as the finished baked good then this is a bit annoying, as well as difficult to portion out. I also tried lowering the baking temp as I usually like the softer cookie that produces but it will turn out wide flat cookies (again due to browned butter, cookie spreads fast before setting up). So def. stick with the 375 in the recipe. The brown butter taste does dissipate a bit in the baked good but still a very nice flavor. I may try my usual recipe next time with more a 1:1 ration of creamed butter and browned.

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
via Cooks Illustrated

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)

1.  Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.

3. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.

4.  Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but will require 3 batches.) I also sprinkled a little sea salt on top.

5. Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.

Makes about 16 large cookies.

Recipe: Nutty Meringue Cookies

A good friend of mine started “cook through” blog awhile back where she is cooking her way through The Joy of Cooking. Although I read several “foodie” blogs I really enjoy her posts. As she is someone who wanted to start learning how to cook and just started at it, which is exactly what I did, learning as I went.

One of her posts that I kept thinking about was for “Nutty Meringue Kisses“. Airy crunchy cookies studded with pecans that are surprisingly low in fat, sign me up! So I got out my copy of The Joy of Cooking I scored at the thrift store but alas, that recipe wasn’t in my version!

mmmmmm

From her description of the recipe I set out scouring the web to find something that sounded similar. The inclusion of almond extract is what really sold me, I love almond extract! I could not find a recipe that looked spot on but I found a decent looking one and modified it. They were worth the hunt, delicious. They even earned a rare Mr. PieKnits approval (he typically doesn’t eat sweets).

Nutty Meringue Kisses

Pecan Meringue Cookies

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon
    vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2/3 cup superfine or granulated sugar
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

1. Preheat oven to 250°F. Cover baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add the salt and continue to beat/whisk at high speed until the whites barely hold soft peaks.

3. Gradually add sugar, approximately 2 tablespoons at a time, beating in each addition until mixture is stiff and shiny and stands in peaks.

4. Beat in extracts (can use all vanilla, all almond or half and half like I
did). Fold in pecans.

5. Drop meringues onto cookie sheet using two spoons. Alternately fill pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch tip and pipe on to sheet.

6. Bake 45 minutes. Switch off oven and leave in cooling oven for another 45 minutes.

Makes about 12 cookies.

I made bread!

As much as I love to bake, yeast breads still present a challenge for me. I haven’t always had the best results, so I was thrilled with this loaf!

"almost" no-knead bread

I’m a huge bread junkie. I could live on it. No matter how big the Atkins craze got I never even considered it for a second. Not giving up my carbs, nuh-uh no way.

So determined to try more healthy baking as well (trying to stay away from my nemesis The Cookie) I decided to go with a basic. The extremely popular NY Times “No-Knead Bread” seemed a good start. I then came across Cook Illustrated’s version “Almost No-Knead Bread” with a little kneading and using beer and vinegar to add more flavor. Cook’s Illustrated is another love, I highly recommend their cook books if you like to know the hows & whys of a recipe. Anyway, this came out tasty and chewy like “a real bakery” bread, success!

Recipe: Candy Corn and Peanut Cookies

It’s that time of year again when the stores fill with those specialty seasonal food items. Candy Corn being ubiquitous for Halloween I always have to have some. A while back I tried a candy corn and salted peanut mix and woh. It takes on a whole new flavor, almost like a Pay Day candy bar.
Being my cookie obsessed self, I promptly thought “Hey this could be a cookie”!

Candy Corn and Peanut Cookies

After a few tries I had what I was looking for. I admit my first attempt was a rather spectacular failure. I had from the start been concerned with the candy corns becoming overly melted. I knew I’d want to bake them at a low temperature and I went ahead and just mixed them in the dough for the first trial batch. Oh yes, did they melt. Giant molten pools of orange-ish goo that hardened to the baking sheet and reduced the cookies into a big crumbly mess when trying to remove them, oops. However, they were still tasty cookie crumbles!

So I found the solution was to insert a couple candies into the center of each dough ball making sure they were completely covered so the dough acts as a kind of container. Then once they’re removed from the oven, pressing a few candies on top so they keep that distinctive kernel shape. Success! A nice combination of salty/sweet with the candy corns making an almost nougat like middle.

I <3 Halloween

Candy Corn and Peanut Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted flour (140g)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup salted peanuts
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup candy corns

1. Heat oven to 325°F.

2. Cream together butter, peanut butter and both sugars with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

3. Add egg and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated.

4. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt.

5. Add flour mixture to butter mixture stirring until blended. Stir in peanuts.

6. Form 1 inch balls of dough, inserting one or two candy corns into the center. Make sure dough completely covers the candy on all sides. Place on baking sheet and slightly flatten.

7. Bake 13 to 15 minutes.

8. Remove from oven and immediately press a few candy corns into the top of each cookie. Let cool several minutes (baking sheet should be cool enough to touch). Carefully transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.

Have a Happy Halloween!

Recipe: Chocolate-Stuffed Peanut Butter Brownies

Chocolate and peanut butter and brownies combined? Oh yeah I had to try this out immediately.

Choco-PB goodness in a pan

While this recipe does classify itself as a brownie, I’d say it straddles the line of bar cookie as well – which is only too fine in my book. It has a nice soft texture and is just lightly sweet so the combined chunks of chocolate PB cups don’t overwhelm.

Chocolate-Stuffed Peanut Butter Brownies
via bettycrocker.com

  • 1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 36 miniature chocolate-covered peanut butter cup candies, unwrapped (from 15.6-oz bag) (I used only 20 on top)
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)

1. Heat oven to 350°F (if using dark or nonstick pan, heat oven to 325°F). Grease bottom and sides of 13×9-inch pan with shortening or spray with cooking spray.

2. In large bowl, beat brown sugar, butter, peanut butter, vanilla and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon, until well blended. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. Cut 12 of the candies into fourths (about 3/4 cup). Stir cut-up candies and chocolate chips into batter. Spread in pan.

4. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

5. Immediately press remaining 24 candies in brownies in 4 even rows of 6 candies each. Cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.

Quick Cookie

Sometimes you’re just craving a fast cookie fix. I love baking from scratch but I also know that mixes can do a fine job on occasion. I’ve always loved Confetti Cake from a mix and when I saw this cookie version all thought ground down to “Must Have Now”.

This is certainly the antithesis to my last posted recipe but oooh wow are they yummy. If you love a good soft sugar cookie (as I happen to do) this is your man, er cookie.

Sweet sweet deliciousness

“Funfetti” (Confetti) Cookies
via pillbury.com

  • 1 pkg. Funfetti® or Confetti Cake Mix
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 can Funfetti® Vanilla Frosting

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, combine cake mix, oil and eggs; stir with spoon until thoroughly moistened.

2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. With bottom of glass dipped in flour, flatten to 1/4-inch thickness.

3. Bake at 375°F. for 6 to 8 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets.

4. Spread frosting over warm cookies. Immediately sprinkle each with candy bits from frosting. Let frosting set before storing. Store in tightly covered container.

Yield: 3 dozen cookies.

It’s so damn easy you feel you’ve gotten away with something!

Belated Cookie

Wow where did the last several weeks go? I’m such a bad blogger, I totally missed my 4th Blogiversary!
In attempt to make up for it lets give away some goodies (damask print soft needle case, amongst a few other fun things); yes I think so. Nothing fancy to enter, just leave a comment (let’s say by May 21st)!

Also, have a cookie – or at least a cookie recipe, the touted NY Times “Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie“.

NY Times Bestest Choco Chip Cookies

I had been curious to try these out to compare them to my beloved Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. With my lovely sister coming to visit for a week I knew it was perfect timing, as we have long shared a near obsession with cookie dough. In fact we used to make batches with zero intention of it ever seeing the inside of an oven. Therefore this recipe’s instructions for the dough to rest in the fridge for 24-36 hours were easier for us than perhaps some. (Although perhaps regrettable after coming home from the bar and diving into it.)

I did actually happen to have both specialty flours as well (yeay for bulk grocers) although substitution seems common with good results. Somewhat pathetically only two small batches actually make it to cookie stage and as you can see from the photo I just managed to snap this last remaining cookie before they all disappeared. So the verdict? One of the best I’ve had. I don’t think one recipe is actually any better than the other as they both have their strengths. I think the NY cookie is more true to the original sugar cookie with chocolate chunks origin with clean and balanced flavors. I think this one would probably have wider appeal. However I really love the deep more caramelly flavor and supreme chewiness of the other recipe, as a more personal preference.  I think I will adopt the chilling and adding sea salt steps to that recipe and see myself making both in the future.

New York Times Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling

  • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons
  • (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
  • 1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)
  • Sea salt.

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

Note: Disks are sold at Jacques Torres Chocolate; Valrhona fèves, oval-shaped chocolate pieces, are at Whole Foods. [I used an organic high cocoa% chocolate chip instead. I feel the smaller pieces make a more enjoyable dough and prefer less chocolate to cookie ratio in the final product as well.)


The Bluebonnet Knitting Guild was kind enough to invite me back to present on Double Knitting tonight. Check out the guild if you’re in the Grapevine/North Dallas area!