Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies

I like to indulge in the occasional cookie and I can’t think of a better way to indulge than with shortbread. I’ve made shortbread the traditional way, where it’s super crumbly and that’s great, but during a trip to London, I fell in love with shortbread cookies that were rolled out and cut into various shapes and sizes. I love this variation of shortbread especially since you can dip your shapes into chocolate – delicious! I experimented with dulce blond chocolate from Whole Foods for a lovely dulce de leche taste, a major success. This is a perfect cookie for any holiday, you can try hearts for Valentine’s Day, Trees for Christmas or Bunnies for Easter to name just a few ideas.
From by the bay, wishing you buttery shortbread food memories!
Maryann
blog choc shortbread
Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from Betty Crocker
Makes approximately 48 cookies
Ingredients
1 cup unsalted butter, softened ( 2 sticks), plus 1 -2 tablespoons
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup chocolate ( semi- sweet, bittersweet or dulce blond)
2 teaspoons shortening
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use an electric mixer to beat together  1 cup butter, sugar and vanilla. On low speed slowly add the flour to combine. If the dough is crumbly add the additional tablespoons of butter. Roll dough 1/2 inch thick on lightly floured surface. Roll dough in one direction to keep the dough smooth. Cut into small rounds using a floured 1 1/2 inch cutter. Place on non stick cookie sheets 1/2 inch apart. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until set and the bottoms are golden brown.  Remove from oven and place onto wire rack to cool, about 30 minutes. In a small microwavable bowl add the chocolate and shortening. Microwave on high for 1 minute, remove from oven and stir briskly. Repeat process until chocolate is smooth and melted. Dip half of each cookie into the melted chocolate and place on wax paper until chocolate is set.
Alternate ideas: skip the chocolate and add 2 teaspoons of lemon zest or chopped finely rosemary or finely chopped crystalized ginger. Also, you can cut into other shapes, I like to cut into little mini shapes for a delicate treat.

Speculoos Cookie Dough Truffles

Wondering what you can make for your special someone this Valentine’s Day? Look no further than this cookie dough truffle recipe. Making your own truffles is a wonderful way to say ” I love you”. This truffle uses speculoos cookie dough, which is easy to find – thank you Amazon grocery!
I used bittersweet chocolate to coat the little cookie dough truffles, I love the depth of flavor from the bittersweet chocolate, especially when set off with a little sea salt!From by the bay wishing you cookie dough food memories!
Maryann
blog cookie dough truffle 2
Speculoos Cookie Dough Truffles
yield 1 1/2-2 dozen truffles
2 tbs unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup TJ’s Speculoos Cookie Butter (or Biscoff spread, or any other Speculoos spread you prefer)
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup ground shortbread cookies
2/3 cup dark chocolate, melted
optional toppings: fleur de sel, cinnamon chips, white chocolate
Directions:
In a medium bowl, beat together butter, cookie butter, vanilla and ground cookies until well combined.  Cover and chill for 30min-1 hour.
Roll dough into 1/2 tbs sized balls, and use a fork to dip and fully coat in melted chocolate. Set on parchment paper, and repeat with remaining dough.  Freeze for 1 hour to set, then keep in freezer or refrigerator.
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Best Crispy Baked Hot Chicken Wing Recipe

I may not be a big football fan, but I am a fan of Game Day Food and Super Bowl Sunday. A must have for game day is of course hot chicken wings. I did a lot of recipe testing to find a recipe that delivered super crispy wings without having to fry. This recipe from Bon Appetit delivered on the crispiness and taste without being dry. It’s a perfect game day food and super easy to make.
From by the bay wishing you yummy Game Day memories!
Maryann
BLOG HOT WINGS
CRISPY BAKED HOT CHICKEN WING RECIPE
Adapted from Bon Appetit Test Kitchen
INGREDIENTS
HONEY BUFFALO SAUCE
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup honey
WINGS
3 pounds chicken wings, tips removed, drumettes and flats separated
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 400°. Set a non stick wire rack inside each of 1 large rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Place all ingredients in a large bowl; toss to coat. Place wings on the prepared rack and spread out in a single layer. Bake wings until cooked through and skin is crispy, 45–50 minutes. Remove wings from oven place in bowl, pour sauce on top toss and place back in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes until it starts to brown. Serve immediately.

Toasted Steel Cut Oatmeal with Maple Soaked Raisins

Oatmeal, we all know it’s heart healthy and a great breakfast to start your day. It wasn’t until I tried steel cut oats that I went from liking oatmeal to loving it. Oats are grass and the grain is called a groat. Steel Cut oats are made from the inner portion of the oat kernel. The grain is run through steel blades and cut into tiny pellets. It’s the least processed of the oat cereals and the results when cooked is a nuttier taste with more texture. This is a  much more chewy, hearty and tasty oatmeal. Cooking with steel cut oats takes longer to make but it’s well worth the results. This oatmeal stands alone well, but it you are looking to pump up the flavor top your oatmeal with maple soaked raisins for a real breakfast treat!
From by the bay wishing you some tasty maple soaked food memories!
Maryann
 

 blog oatmeal

 
Toasted Steel Cut Oatmeal
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup steel cut oats
3 cups boling water
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Directions
In a large sauce pan, melt the butter and add the oats. Stir for 2 minutes to toast. Add the boiling water and reduce heat to a simmer. Keep at a low simmer for 25 minutes without stirring or until liquid is almost gone. Add the milk and simmer for 10 minutes, Add brown sugar and salt to the oatmeal stirring gently to combine and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Spoon into a serving bowl.

Maple Soaked Raisins

Ingredients
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup maple syrup

Directions
In small sauce pan add the raisins and maple syrup and gently simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside and let cool and let the raisins continue to soak in the syrup. Rewarm to serve on top of hot oatmeal or any other breakfast favorite such as pancakes , waffles or french toast.

BLOG OATS

 

Potato Soup with Small Dumplings

There is nothing better on a blustery cold day then a warm bowl of soup. I have fond memories of my grandmother taking out her dutch oven on such days and making this soup from the staples she always had in her pantry. Her original recipe didn’t include the bacon. I happened to have some bacon leftover in the fridge and decided to use it. You could just as easily not use the bacon and just throw all the ingredients for the soup into the pot and simmer away, making this about as easy as any soup you could make. If you are feeling up for it by all means take the extra steps to fry the bacon and saute your onions and celery, the results were delicious. What really makes this potato soup so magnficent to eat, is not the bacon, it’s the dumplings you simmer into the soup at the end. Again, these are no fail dumplings just stir and drop into the hot soup to simmer into yummy small white balls soaked with the flavor of the soup. It’s the perfect comfort food to warm you from the harsh cold of winter.From by the bay wishing you warm potato food memories!
Maryann
blog potato soup
 
Potato Soup with Small Dumplings
Serves 6
Ingredients for soup
4 ounces thick bacon, chopped
6 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
5 cups water
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3-4 cloves
optional: chopped parsley for garnish
Ingredients for drop dumplings
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Directions
In a Dutch oven cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon with slotted spoon onto paper towel and set aside. In the bacon fat saute the celery and onion until softened. Add the potatoes, water, salt, pepper and cloves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Remove the cloves out of the soup. With a potato masher, puree most of the vegetables.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. If the soup is too thick for your preference you can add some water and continue to simmer. To make the dumplings, combine the egg, water, salt and flour mixing until smooth. Drop by teaspoonfuls into the boiling soup. Cover and simmer until the dumplings are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley and crisp bacon pieces.

Leftover Eggnog? Try Eggnog Pancakes!

blog eggnog pancakes

Every year as I am looking towards the holiday, I’m stocking up on all kinds of food items for entertaining my family and friends. Once we get past Christmas I’m beginning to see what I still have left and how to use it. Something I buy every year is eggnog, I can’t help myself, but no one really seems to drink it anymore. It doesn’t stop me from buying it though, in fact, I like to use eggnog to transform something ordinary into a delicious holiday or post holiday treat. This year was no different as I looked into the refrigerator to see a bottle of eggnog with a mid january expiration date, I decided  to make pancakes for a weekend brunch with fantastic results. The eggnog gave a richer egg taste to the pancakes, but the pancakes were still light and fluffy. I think it’s the perfect comfort food for a cold January weekend morning to bring some warmth and a little post holiday cheer into your day.

 

From by the bay wishing you, eggnog food memories!

Maryann

 

 

Eggnog Pancakes
Serves 4-6


Ingredients

11/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 cups eggnog
2 large eggs, at room temperature
optional: confectionery sugar and maple syrup

Directions
In a medium bowl combine all dry ingredients and mix. To this add the eggnog and eggs and combine. Do not over mix. Batter will be a little lumpy.  Set aside for 20 minutes. Heat a griddle pan and spread 1/4 cup of batter for each cake, Cook two minutes on the first side until the edge starts to bubble and flip and cook another minute. Place on baking sheet and keep warm in oven until all cakes are made and ready to serve. Serve with confectionery sugar and maple syrup



Port Soaked Cherries, Blue Cheese and Pistachio Dip

Here is a perfect holiday cheese dip for New Year’s Eve or any festive party. This delicious dip starts with uses fresh cherries soaked in a port wine reduction and then added to a creamy cheese base with the flavor really kicked up by adding some crumbled blue cheese. As if these flavors weren’t enough the dip gets some nice crunch to it’s texture by adding chopped pistachios. This dip has beautiful color – reds and greens mixed together. Serve with some crusty bread or potato chips on the side and enjoy!
From by the bay wishing you festive food memories!
Maryann
blog port cherry dip
Port Soaked Cherries, Blue Cheese and Pistachio Dip
 
Ingredients
1/2 cup port wine
1/4 cup fresh chopped cherries, pitted
1/4 cup roasted and salted pistachio nuts, chopped
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
optional: extra chopped pistachios for garnish
Directions
In a small saucepan add port and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes thickening the liquid and reducing to half. Add the cherries and set aside for an hour. In a food processor add all ingredients except the port, cherries and pistachios. Blend well. Remove from processor and place in a bowl. Strain the cherries from the port and add to the dip along with the chopped pistachios. Fold well to combine all ingredients. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use in an air tight container. Allow to come to room temperature before serving. Sprinkle some chopped pistachios to garnish.