Category Archives: cookies

Best New Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

I’m sure most people will say who needs another chocolate chip cookie recipe, but when the source of that recipe is Dorie Greenspan, the ultimate baker of cookies, well one most stop , bake, taste and enjoy. This recipe is a slightly more adult version of the classic cookie adding spices you might not think of adding to the cookie- ground coriander and nutmeg. Before dismissing this, please reconsider…. these spices enhance the flavor, but the flavor is indeed subtle and delicious. I like the idea of adding some spice to chocolate chip cookies and plan to experiment myself with cinnamon and chinese-five spice powder. These cookies have a nice chewy texture, more so than a classic chocolate chip. This is definitely a great alternative and also seems to appeal to those who may not normally like a chocolate chip cookie. I highly recommend Dorie’s cookbook, “Dorie’s Cookies” published in 2016. It’s a great cookie bible from one of the greatest baker of our time. I use this book over and over again. I especially enjoy how Dorie suggests variations and changes to her recipes to try for fun. If you can’t have fun baking and eating cookies, well when can you have fun?

From by the bay, wishing you fun chocolate chip cookie food memories!

Best New Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

By Dorie Greenspan from Dorie’s Cookies 2016

Makes about 50 cookies

  • 1 3/4 cups (238 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (91 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces; 226 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 grams) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 10 ounces (283 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (or 1 2/3 cups chocolate chips)

Directions

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
  2. Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
  3. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed for about 1 minute, until smooth. Add the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes or so, until well-blended. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes inches Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in 3 portions, mixing only until each addition is incorporated. On low speed, or by hand with a rubber spatula, mix in the chocolate and nuts.
  4. Spoon the dough by slightly rounded tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between spoonfuls.
  5. Bake the cookies- one sheet at a time and rotating the sheet at the midway point- for 10-12 minutes, or until they are brown at the edges and golden in the center; they may still be a little soft in the middle, and that’s just fine. Pull the sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to rest for 1 minute, then carefully, using a wide metal spatula, transfer them to racks to cool to room temperature.Repeat with the remainder of the dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.
  6. Repeat with the remaining dough, being certain to use cool baking sheets.

Peppermint Shortbread

Well, with Christmas fast approaching, perhaps you are looking for that perfect Christmas cookie for your platter or maybe you are looking for something new to add to try for the holiday. Well, search no more this is soon to be your favorite cookie. Consider a cookie that combines the taste of shortbread, candy canes and chocolate……….what????

Yes, your Christmas dreams should have visions of peppermint shortbread dancing in your head! If you don’t care for chocolate and yes there are some who don’t , this cookie is delicious without chocolate too. I only dip half of my cookies and both versions are eaten quickly!

From by the bay, wishing you sweet peppermint shortbread food memories!

Maryann

Peppermint Shortbread

Adapted from Ina Garten Shortbread recipe 2008 as published for the Food Network

  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup red and green peppermint candy crunch ( crushed into small pieces)
  • 6 to 7 ounces good quality dark chocolate

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Add the candy crunch and mix through. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 2″ round cutter. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.

When the cookies are cool, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put 3 ounces of the chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. (Don’t trust your microwave timer; time it with your watch.) Stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to heat and stir in 30-second increments until the chocolate is just melted. Add the remaining chocolate and allow it to sit at room temperature, stirring often, until it’s completely smooth. Stir vigorously until the chocolate is smooth and slightly cooled; stirring makes it glossier.

Drizzle 1/3 to 1/2  of each cookie with just enough chocolate to coat it. Place on a rack so chocolate can set. Place in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Entertaining: What’s Cooking Labor Day Weekend!

If you are like me, you are finding it very hard to believe that September and Labor Day Weekend are here!  But with that we like to celebrate Labor Day Weekend with friends and family. Here are a few of the recipes I’ll be using to entertaining this weekend!

Part of my holiday weekend will be filling the house with some sunflowers, while I still can. Nothing says late summer more to me than sunflowers! In addition, I’ll be using the best of the produce from the farm stands this weekend and corn is still at it’s peak! I’ll be making some corn hummus with corn leftover from another meal. You need just four extra ears.  This recipe calls for roasting the corn in the oven at 425 for 45 minutes wrapped in foil. I’ve been making my corn like this all summer, it’s easy to prep in advance and really easy to serve a crowd of people. I prep it before anyone arrives, leave it on a tray in the oven and just turn the oven on an hour before I want to serve it warm. Delicious!! so make a few extra and also make Roasted Sweet Corn Hummus

Another favorite meal that is an easy meal for a crowd that is delicious and super simple to make is Brisket with Cola Barbecue Sauce. You’ll love the flavor using your favorite NON-DIET Cola in your sauce!

Wondering what to serve along side this dish , you definitely need some fresh coleslaw. I like to make my Grandma’s Coleslaw with Warm Dressing.  Definitely, a comforting complement to the brisket!

The perfect dessert for a crowd is a crumble and this crumble mixes blueberries and plums for a slightly sweet and spicy dish. You will love my Blueberry Plum Crumble!

If you need a breakfast brunch idea for the weekend, one of my favorite dishes is Vanilla Bourbon Soaked French Toast. I use big thick slices of brioche soaked in vanilla and bourbon. Bourbon? Why not it’s a holiday weekend and the french toast is topped with a  yummy mixed berry and plum compote!

I will definitely try to bake some cookies this weekend to have around the house and in celebration of sunflowers I think I’ll be baking sugar cookies topped with sanding sugar to look like my beautiful sunflowers! Use my Favorite Sugar Cookie recipe!

From by the bay, make great friends and family food memories this weekend!

Maryann

 

Roasted Sweet Corn Hummus

Brisket with Cola Barbecue Sauce

Grandma’s Coleslaw with Warm Dressing

Blueberry Plum Crumble

Vanilla Bourbon Soaked French Toast

Favorite Sugar Cookie

Entertaining: What to Cook for the 4th of July Weekend!

It’s a big holiday weekend – family picnics, barbecues with friends, sun, water, fireworks ….. food is an important part of our celebrations! Here are a few of the recipes, I’ll be cooking over the long weekend. Mornings will start slowly, after that first cup of coffee I’ll be taking out my muffin pan to make Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins

I like to keep lunches light , it’s better for jumping into the pool or to enjoy a game of kanjam so a salad is nice, I’ll probably make a nice Heirloom Tomato Salad with Fresh Ricotta

Keeping it easy for dinner so starting with a great burger topped with my Whiskey Special Sauce

Side dishes are the key, make them in the morning before the day gets going and you can enjoy the day your self, I’m going old school with my Deli Style Macaroni Salad

Another classic side dish with a twist is my Jalapeno Kale Coleslaw, it is a delicious and healthy second side.

If I can find some corn in the farm stand, you can be sure that I’ll be making and although it’s perfect just grilled or even boiled, I’ll like make Fresh Corn and Zucchini Salad

Now for dessert…. I’ll still be taking advantage of all those fresh berries that are around and make my Red and Blue Firework Crisp and if I have time I’m make some star shaped  cookies using My Favorite Sugar Cookies !

From by the bay , wishing you and your family a very Happy 4th of July!

Maryann

Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Fresh Ricotta

Whiskey Special Sauce

Deli Style Macaroni Salad

Jalapeno Kale Coleslaw

Fresh Corn and Zucchini Salad

Red and Blue Firework Crisp

My Favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe

Savory Rosemary Parmesan Biscotti

Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs. I love the taste, aroma and look of rosemary. This is my must have herb that I use over and over again while cooking. It’s especially nice that rosemary also offers some health benefits as well. This recipe is a delicious change up on the traditional biscotti. It’s a savory version prepared with rosemary, parmesan cheese , walnuts, cracked black pepper and fennel seeds. This biscotti is perfect served with a runny cheese and a glass of wine for cocktails or on the side of a green salad , soup or omelette. You’ll love the taste!

From by the bay, wishing you rosemary flavored food memories!

Maryann

 

rose-mar-y

noun

  1. an evergreen shrub, Rosmarinus officinalis, part of the mint family, which is native to the Mediterranean region, having thick, narrow leaves and pale-blue, bell-shaped flowers, used in cooking to flavor foods, as well as used in perfumery and medicine. Rosemary is a traditional symbol of remembrance.

Rosemary has several health benefits. Some of the benefits are reducing anxiety, elevating mood, boosting memory, offering brain protection, pain relief, headache relief and anti-inflammatory.

Savory Rosemary Parmesan Biscotti

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted softened butter, 12 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • coarse sea salt such as Maldon for topping

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the peppercorns and fennel in a spice grinder and pulse until coarsely ground. In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, fine sea salt, rosemary, fennel and pepper. In a separate bowl, using a mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add three of the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add the cheese and nuts and mix well, then add the dry ingredients until the mixture just comes together. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and with floured hands roll into logs to a length of about 12 inches and width of 1 1/2 inches. Whisk the remaining egg and brush it over the dough. Place logs side by side on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the logs with the coarse sea salt, and bake for about 30 minutes or until the logs are light brown and firm to touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 20 minutes on a rack. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs into 1/2 inch slices and arrange the slices cut side down on the baking sheet. Return to the 350 degrees F oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Turn, and bake another 5 minutes or until firm to the touch. Cool completely before storing.

 

Chocolate Chip Biscotti

One of the many things I love about cooking is that inspiration can come from the most unlikely places. My inspiration for this recipe came from my health club. Yes, you heard that right, my trainer had just returned from a trip to Rome and brought back with her bags of the most amazing chocolate chip biscotti. These crispy little biscuits were so delicious, I was charged with creating a version as close to the original as possible. I’m sharing my version of chocolate chip biscotti, here are a few tips : italians typically use their “00” flour for baking. This flour is low gluten and very fine, used in Italy for making pasta and sweets. If you can’t find type “00” flour use pastry flour or all purpose flour. It will have a slightly different texture. It’s very important to use a high quality chocolate. I like chopping my own chocolate . These biscotti are crispy and not too sweet. You will be transported to Italy with each bite. This is a cookie you will always want on hand.

From by the bay, wishing you crispy biscotti memories!

Maryann

blog-choco-biscotti

Chocolate Chip Biscotti

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups flour ( use type “00” flour if available)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar, plus extract to sprinkle on top
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sambuca
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup good quality dark chocolate, chopped coarsely
  • 3/4 cup blanched almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped

Directions

Heat oven to 350° F.  Place almonds on a baking sheet and toasted in the oven for approximately 8 minutes as they start to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and cool. Coarsely cut and set aside. In a bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Place aside.  In a stand mixer, oil and 3/4 cup sugar together. Add the eggs and continue to mix. Add sambuca, and vanilla. Add flour until combined.  Add toasted almonds and chocolate. Mix to combine. Cut the dough in half and roll into two logs, each approximately 2 inches wide and 12 inches long. Place logs side by side 3 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the top of the logs with extra sugar. Bake on center rack for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Take the logs out of the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Use a serrated knife and cut into 3/4  inch slices. Place cookies on baking sheet cut side up in oven and bake for 10 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool. Store in an air tight container for 1 week.

Whiskey and Rye Chocolate Chip Cookie

blog whiskey rye chip cookie

It’s Fall and time to get back into the kitchen to bake. I can’t think of a better cookie than this bumped up version of a chocolate chip cookie. This is by far my favorite recipe. It’s crispy, sweet and salty. Chocolate is in every bite thanks to using different sizes of chocolate bits in the cookie. You will want to make this recipe over and over again.

Enjoy!

From by the bay wishing you sweet chocolate food memories!

Maryann

Whiskey and Rye Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe by San Francisco Cooking School

Ingredients

  • cups chocolate wafers (discs, pistoles, fèves; preferably 72% cacao), divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup rye flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla paste
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt

Ingredient Info

  • Find chocolate wafers (do not use chocolate wafer cookies) at specialty food stores, some grocery stores, and online.

Preparation

  • Pulse ¾ cup chocolate wafers in a food processor until pea-sized pieces form. Whisk all-purpose flour, rye flour, baking soda, and kosher salt in a medium bowl.
  • Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large bowl, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, until light and fluffy, 3–4 minutes. Add egg, vanilla, and bourbon and beat until fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and slowly add dry ingredients, mixing just to blend. Fold in chopped chocolate and remaining chocolate wafers.
  • Portion dough into 16 balls (about ¼ cup each) and transfer to a rimmed sheet sheet as you go. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill at least 3 hours or up to 1 day.
  • Position rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°. Scrape vanilla seeds into sea salt in a small bowl and mix to combine (save pod for another use).
  • Divide dough balls between 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 3″ apart. Flatten each ball to about ¾” thick and sprinkle with vanilla salt. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown around the edges, 14–18 minutes (cookies will firm up as they cool). Let cool slightly on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.
  • Do Ahead: Cookies can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Memorial Day Weekend Cookout Recipes

 memorial table
Kick off your summer cookout weekend with some of these favorite recipes!
From by the bay , wishing you delicious cookout food memories and a Happy Memorial Day!
Maryann
blog onion jam burger
Short Rib Burger with Rosemary Onion Jam
Serves 6
Ingredients
2 pounds ground short rib
6 sesame seed buns
6 slices smoked cheddar cheese
6 tablespoons onion jam
12 slices pancetta cooked, crisp
4 ounces baby arugula leaves
Directions
Cook burgers , as preferred. Cut rolls through middle and toast. Add the cheddar cheese to top of burger and melt. To assemble place some arugula to the toasted bottom of the bun. Place burger with cheese on top of the arugula. Top with the onion jam and then the cooked pancetta. Finish with the toasted top of the bun and enjoy!

 

blog jalapeno slaw

Jalapeno Kale Coleslaw

Serves 6

Ingredients for salad

1 head of green cabbage , finely shredded

1 cup of kale, remove ribs and finely shredded

1/2 cup red onion finely sliced

Ingredients for dressing

1/2 cup olive oil

juice of 4 limes

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 small jalapeno seeded and chopped

Directions

To make dressing combine all the ingredients in a food processor and first pulse and then mix until emulsified. Pour dressing over salad and mix well. Serve cold or at room temperature.

 

blog deli mac

Deli Style Macaroni Salad

Serves 6

1 pound cooked elbow macaroni

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup Mexican sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

4 tablespoons whole milk

3 celery ribs, chopped finely

1/2 onion ,chopped finely

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a medium saucepan add the vinegar and sugar and bring to a bowl, dissolving the sugar. In a large bowl add macaroni and pour the sugar/vinegar mixture over and stir. Place in the refrigerator to cool for an hour. Remove bowl from refrigerator and add the remaining ingredients. Combine well. Cover and refrigerate until ready for use.

blog mustard

Homemade Beer Mustard

Ingredients

1 1/2 ounces yellow mustard seeds

1 1/2 ounces black mustard seeds

4 ounces beer or lager ( such as Shiner Bock)

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon dried yellow mustard

2 teaspoons fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup chopped white onion

Directions

Mix the mustard seeds and beer together in bowl, cover and set aside overnight. (The mustard seeds will soften and soak up most of the beer. Stir in the remaining ingredients, then blend in a food processor until nearly smooth (you may need to do this is batches). Spoon the mustard into clean jars; tap gently to remove all the air bubbles. Store in refrigerator up to 1 month.

blog pickles

Pickled Cucumbers with Dill and Lemon

Makes 1 quart

Ingredients

  • 1 pound kirby cucumbers
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 springs dill
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

Directions

Have ready a 1 quart size glass container such as a mason jar. Trim the ends off of the kirby cucumbers and slice in 1/4 inch rounds. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Peel and crush the garlic cloves. Take the glass jar and layer the cucumbers, then shallots , garlic and dill. Repeat until you have layered all your ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients into a saucepan and bring to simmer.  Remove from heat and pour over the cucumbers. Let cool to room temperature. Seal tightly and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. The pickled cucumbers will last about 2 weeks stored in the refrigerator.

blog star cookies

Sugar Cookies

From the Food Network, Alton Brown

Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
Directions
Watch how to make this recipe
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat. Sprinkle with colored sanding sugar and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/sugar-cookies-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Award Winning Party Foods

and the winners are these delicious appetizers that will make your party Oscar worthy!!

From by the bay wishing you Award winning food memories!

Maryann

blog clam dip

Caramelized Onion Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha hot chili sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup good quality mayonnaise

Directions

In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 25 minutes. Let the onions cool slightly, about 15 minutes.
In a food processor add  1/2 the onions and the remaining ingredients and blend. Stir in the onions and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Serve at room temperature.

blog chili parm crackers

Chili Parmesan Crisps

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degree F. On a parchment lined baking sheet , take half the shredded parmesan and form a rectangle approximately 8″ by 12″. Sprinkle half the chili flakes and all the salt uniformly over the cheese. Layer the remaining cheese lightly pressing down. Sprinkle the remaining chili flakes over the cheese. Bake in the oven until golden brown, approximately 10 minutes. Cool and break into piece. Store in an air tight container until ready to serve.

Options: substitute 1 teaspoon of red chili flakes with one of the following:

minced rosemary, minced thyme, crushed black pepper or fennel seeds

 

blog olives 1

Marinated Olives with Orange and Cranberries

Ingredients

1/2 pound green pitted olives, such as manzanilla
1 shallot, minced
1/4 fresh orange cut into 1 inch pieces, with rind
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon rosemary leaves
Directions

Bring 1 cup water to boil in small sauce pan. Remove from heat and add cranberries. Let sit 15 minutes and drain and cool in mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

blog peanut cup

Mini Peanut Butter Cups
Makes 12 mini cups
Ingredients
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
6 tablespoons ground graham crackers
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 ounces milk chocolate
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoons light corn syrup
Coarse Sea Salt , such as Maldon
Baking Spray
Directions
Take a non stick mini muffin tin and spray with your baking spray or line each cup with a paper liner. In a bowl add the sugar, cinnamon and graham cracker crumbs, mix and set aside. Use a glass bowl to microwave peanut butter and butter in 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval until mixture is smooth. Usually, doing this twice will work. Add this mixture to your graham cracker mixture and stir to combine. Use a teaspoon to place mixture into the bottom of each muffin tin. Place filled muffin tin into the refrigerator to set. Now add the chocolate to the microwave and melt using 30 second intervals to stir the melting chocolate 2-3 times should do it. Once the chocolate is melted add the cream and corn syrup. Stir until smooth. Take the peanut butter filled muffin tin and fill with melted chocolate. Sprinkle coarse sea salt on the top. Place back into the refrigerator and let set for another 30 minutes before serving. You can remove the peanut butter cups from the tin and store in a plastic container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Variations: to the ground graham crackers , cinnamon and sugar mixture you can omit the cinnamon and add 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder to have a chocolate peanut butter bottom, or you can use bittersweet chocolate instead of milk chocolate and omit the light corn syrup to top your peanut butter cups.

blog star cookies

Sugar Cookies

From the Food Network, Alton Brown

Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
Directions
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat. Sprinkle with colored sanding sugar and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

Recipe courtesy of Alton BrownS

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

blog caramel bits

I’m obsessed with caramel baking bits. Gone are the days of having to unwrap little caramels out of the plastic and chopping them to bake. I’ve added these little bits to my favorite chocolate chip recipe along with some sea salt and the results are wonderful. If you don’t want caramel in your cookie feel free to replace the caramel with more chocolate chips for a delicious chocolate chip cookie. Either way you will love these cookies. It’s the perfect Valentine to your family all year long!

From by the bay, wishing you salted caramel food memories!

Maryann

blog caramel tray

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

approximately 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus two tablespoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened ( 1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  • 1/2 cup caramel baking bits
  • coarse sea salt such as Maldon to sprinkle on top of the cookie.

Directions
Preheat over to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl add the butter using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment beat until pale yellow. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add both sugars and beat until fluffy and smooth. Scrape down sides of the bowl.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined about 15 seconds. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the butter mixture slowly and mix at a low speed. Next add the chocolate and caramel bits and combine. Drop in rounded teaspoons of dough onto silpat or parchment lined baking sheets. Sprinkle each cookie with coarse sea salt. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes, until slightly brown on bottom. Remove and cool on wire racks. Store in air tight containers.
blog caramel cookies