Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Cookies!!

This Holiday season I made so many cookies!! I did them all in one day so unfortunately for the blog there aren't step by step pictures, only final products.  So, for any of you who got cookies and liked them, here are the recipes!

Low-Fat Sugar Cookies:

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar 
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

First, combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
In large bowl or electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar until creamy. 
Add egg substitute and vanilla extract and stir well. 
Gradually add flour mixture, stirring constantly, until combined, but still somewhat crumbly. 
Divide dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lightly flour counter or other working surface, and turn out one half of dough onto it. Roll out to between 1/8- and 1/4-inches in thickness, then used lightly floured cookie cutters.  Gather scraps, and roll out again, until no more cookies can be cut. 
Place cookies at least 1 inch apart on lined baking sheet and bake 9-10 minutes or until edges turn golden. While the first batch are baking is a good time to repeat the rolling and cutting process with the second half of the dough.
Let baked cookies sit 1 minute on baking sheet, then remove to wire racks.

My variations included: Peppermint where i added crunched up candy canes to the dough before baking then topping with peppermint glaze.  Red and White Cookies where i just added red dye to the dough before baking, rolled the white dough into a log and the red into a sheet then covered the log in the red, refrigerating, and then slicing into cookies.  My decorations were regular cut outs in the shapes of stars, bells, and stars of David; melting snowmen; and the peppermints.

Royal Icing:
3 ounces of egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar.
First, in a mixer, add the egg and vanilla and beat until frothy.
Add in the sugar and mix on low until the mix in shiny.
Beat on High until stiff.
Add food coloring if needed.

Peppermint Glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar
3 tbs milk
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
combine in a bowl.

Orange Cranberry Pinwheels:
1 cup cranberries
1 cup pecans
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 tsp orange zest
3 cups flour
In a food processor;   Blend  cranberries, pecans and brown sugar until only small pieces remain. Set aside or cover and chill until needed.
In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar. 
Add baking powder, salt, eggs and orange zest. 
Beat only low/medium for roughly 1 minute.
 Add flour by the spoonfuls, mixing on medium speed until ingredients have been mixed well.
 Cover and chill for at least one hour.
Place dough between two sheets of wax paper. Roll into a large rectangle roughly 1/4″ thick. Remove top layer of wax paper. Evenly spread out the cranberry filling over dough to 1/2″ from all sides.  Some people may want to do this in halves.
Roll Dough into a log, begin rolling from one of the short ends. Dough may stick at first. Gently guide dough by pulling up on wax paper. Cut of grody ends. 
Transfer rolled dough log to a clean sheet of waxed paper rolled and taped shut or large tupperware and chill for 2-3 hours.
remove from fridge or freezer and slice into 1/4 inch cookies.
Bake for 8-10 minutes at 375.
Let cookies rest on tray for 1-2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Peanut Butter Cookies:

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
1 egg's worth of egg whites
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
First beat butter until creamy.
Add sugars.
Mix in PB and egg.
Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Chill for at least an hour.
Preheat Oven at 300 and bake cookies for 15 mins.
I decorated mine as reindeer using Hershey Special Dark Candies for the eyes and nose and chocolate covered pretzels for the antlers.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sinful Cinnamon Apple Bread

    Now, that its Winter break I finally have time to post some of the food I made over the last few weeks!  I made this bread for my Memoir class' final day party and it was a hit.  The recipe I found online was a flop so this one is my own creation.  Hope you like it!

Here's What You'll Need:
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour 
2 teaspoons baking powder 
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt 
2 large eggs, beaten 
1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar 
2/3 cup vegetable oil 

1/2 cup milk (add more if dough is dry)
3 medium-size Granny Smith's peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes 
1/2 cup unsalted walnuts

Preheat your oven to 350 and butter 2 loaf pans.

Peel and cube your apples.

Mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; set aside. 

Combine the remaining ingredients and blend thoroughly.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine just until blended thoroughly (do not beat). 

Pour into the prepared pan(s). 

Bake the loaf pan for 45 minutes, it could take much longer, my oven is funky so just keep an eye on it, its done when you can insert a wooden skewer and it comes out clean.

Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing from the pans. 


Coo Coo for Coconut Apricot Chicken

     The other night I was just utterly tired of the usual dinners that my diet allows and decided to spice it up a bit. I had some coconut left over from when I made granola so I decided to give this recipe a try, and its so yummy!  The recipe I found was for a whole family so I scaled it down to dinner for one, but you can adjust as you want. Here we go:

What You'll Need:
1 egg (I used egg white)
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 chicken tenderloins
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons apricot preserves
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Preheat your oven to 400.

Mix the coconut, flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. 

Dip the chicken in the bowl with the beaten egg and then coat with the coconut mixture.  Then place on the baking sheet. 

Drizzle with the melted butter.  

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, flipping once halfway.

To make the apricot sauce, mix the apricot preserves and the Dijon mustard in a small bowl.  Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

When the Chicken is done, pour the sauce over and serve, I ate mine with rice and it was super yummy.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Katatouille: Playing the Mandoline

   Recently my mom bought me a fun new toy for my kitchen, a mandoline, and no its not the instrument.  The first thing I made were potato chips that were cut so thin they actually crisped! fun!  Well this time I wanted to try ratatouille, like the kind in the movie, but I didn't have any of the right ingredients (eggplant, squash, zucchini). So, I decided to use the veggies I had and try to deplete our lemon surplus.  So here's Katie's Ratatouille or "kat"atouille. 

Here's What You'll Need:
1 Russet Potato
1 Yam
1 or 2 Lemons
1 Carrot
A Handful of Sliced Mushrooms.
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to season

First preheat your oven to 375.
Set up your mandoline, or if you don't have one, a knife will do but it's much less fun.

Slice each veggie and one or half a lemon in thin slices, the third setting on the mandoline.  You'll use about half the yam.  BE VERY CAREFUL, always use the hand guard!
Coat the veggies in Olive Oil and seasonings.

Arrange the veggies and lemon slices in rows alternating which you use in a square casserole dish.  Use the rest of your lemon and squeeze the juice over the veggies.

Bake for 45-50 mins.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving-in-a-Rush: Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Happy Turkey Day!  My roommates and I hosted this year's Thanksgiving potluck at our apartment and the food was so yummy! Props to all the amazing chefs and grocery shoppers :P  My contribution actually came from a recipe my mom just tried that I tweaked a bit, it should be easy but I had some difficulties due to a crappy oven and my short attention span.  But I made a simple and easy pumpkin spice cupcake recipe and tried to make cinnamon cream cheese frosting which actually turned out pretty yummy.  Here we go!

What You'll Need:
1 box of Spice Cake mix (my mom did carrot cake and said it was yummy too)
The ingredients said mix calls for
1 15oz can of pumpkin
1 can cream cheese frosting

First, make the cake mix according to the directions on the box.

Then add in the can of pumpkin.

Pour the mix into lined cupcake tins, you'll have more batter than you can use due to the pumpkin.

Bake according to the box, here's where I ran into trouble.  My cupcakes wouldn't bake in the middle, and then I forgot they were in there and they burned, not to the point of being inedible, just dry.

Then move the cupcakes to a rack to cool, if they're burnt like mine cut the tops off and disguise with frosting.

To make the frosting simply mix together the frosting and as much cinnamon as you see fit, it'll be more than you think you need.

Then frost and enjoy!!

Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Hey All, it's been a while since I've posted anything, blame my diet.  So, here I go again, unfortunately, this post is going to be sub par picture wise as I totally dropped the ball and only took a few and none of the finished product.  I guess I got to distracted towards the end having to go bake at the guys' place.  Anyway, here are the cookies I made for Chris when he came to visit over Veteran's Day Weekend :)

What You'll Need:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 1/2 large banana, mashed
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

First, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. 

Next, combine butter and sugars, mix until smooth.

Then add in vanilla extract and egg.

Next, add the banana. Beat well.

Slowly add in flour mixture until just combined. 

Stir in oats and chocolate chips.

Place the cookie dough in large tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets and  Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-18 minutes or until golden. 

Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Healthy Fully Loaded Granola

   So on my last trip up to SC I brought Chris some goodies, including the PB cups in my previous post, and some home made granola.  The granola was a success and two fails.  Success: it tastes really good. Fails: it was meant to be granola bars but crumbled to pieces and  its sticky ( to some people) and so didn't really go over well, but is still getting eaten :P Oh well, live and learn right? Anyway, here's my recipe that I based loosely on ones I found online.  The ingredients don't have specific measurements, just add however much you like.

Here's what you'll need:
Wheat Germ
Nuts (I used peanuts, almonds, and walnuts)
Sunflower Seeds
Dried Fruit (Cranberries and apricots for me)
Sweetened Shredded Coconut
Chocolate Covered Pomegranate Seeds from Trader Joe's
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Maple Syrup (again real not eggo)
1/2 cup Honey

First, Preheat your oven to 350.
Put the oats, nuts, seeds, and wheat germ in a bowl and mix them together.
Pour the mix into a glass baking pan and toast for 20ish minutes, until the oats brown a bit.

Cut your dried fruit into small pieces.

When the toasted dry mix is out, pour it into a bowl and add the coconut and pomegranate seeds.  You should use a spoon or two to mix as the chocolate will melt and make a mess.

Add the cinnamon, vanilla, honey, and maple syrup. Place the mix back in the baking sheet and press down to flatten.  Bake for 30-45 mins until browned and hardened.  

Let the Granola cool and then scoop into a tupperware container.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Crazy Good Vegan Cookies

  I know what you're thinking. Vegan cookies? gross. But I swear to you, they're delicious!!  My friend Lexi and I had a sleepover and decided to whip some up, her being vegan-minded and all.  They're really easy (if you have a food processor, or in my case a magic bullet) and so tasty!  Here we go:

What You'll Need:
2 cups roasted almonds
4 cups oatmeal
A pinch or 2 of salt
1 1/4 cup of flour
1 cup canola oil
1 cup maple syrup (the real stuff, not that fake Eggo crap)
Your favorite jam, or 2, or 3

First things first. Put your almonds into the food processor and chop! Make sure not to get them too fine, the big chunks are the best. Put them in a big bowl.

Then do the same to the oatmeal, but this can be pretty finely ground.
Combine the two in the big bowl.

Add in the salt and flour.

Next add your canola oil and maple syrup.

Stir up all the ingredients into you get a big sticky ball of dough (yes Chris, sticky)
Let the dough sit for 15-20 minutes to stiffen a bit.

Then doll out about a tbs of dough onto a sprayed baking pan, or foil if like me you don't have any baking sheets :( careful not to burn your fingers like me too!

Then, using the backside of a big wooden spoon, make indents into the balls of dough.

Fill these holes with a tsp of jam, or more depending on the size of the cookie, I like to spread it out over the cookie top a bit cause its so yummy ;)

Bake your cookies for 13-40 minutes, its hard to time due to varying oven crapiness, basically until they look darker tan and the jam is all bubbly.

Let them cook on a rack and then eat up!!