Sunday, May 23, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies (Skippy Truffle Cookies)

I found this recipe in a magazine and it has been a favorite ever since.  This is a very rich cookie, so eat with a glass of milk!  It makes about 24 cookies, and I could probably eat them all in one day!


1 c. Skippy® creamy peanut butter (Any Peanut Butter works, we like Peter Pan, chunky is also good)
1 c. light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 large egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, with a wooden spoon, combine all ingredients except chocolate chips until blended. Stir in chocolate chips just until combined. On ungreased baking sheets, using slightly rounded teaspoonfuls, drop dough 2 inches apart. (Do not flatten.)
2.  Bake 9 minutes or until cookies are puffed and golden. (Cookies will be very soft.) Place baking sheets on a wire rack and let stand for 5 minutes. Remove cookies from sheets and cool completely.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Chicken Stew

Found here
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
2      Tbsp olive oil
2      chicken breast, skin-on and bone-in* (~1 1/2lbs), trimmed excess fat
2      stalks of celery, cut into bite-size pieces
1      carrot, peeled, cut into bite size pieces
1      small onion, chopped
2      small gloves of garlic, minced (about 1 tsp)
1      can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, with juice
1      can (14 oz.) low sodium chicken broth
1/2   cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
1      Tbsp tomato paste
1      bay leaf
1/2   Tbsp fresh (or 1/2 tsp dried) thyme
1      tsp Italian seasoning
1      tsp red pepper flakes (adjust to your own taste)
1     can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained (I skipped this ingredient since it is not something I usually have!)

1.  Brown the chicken - Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a heavy 5 1/2 quart saucepan over medium heat.  When the oil is hot but not smoking, brown the chicken breast skin size down first, 3 to 4 mins on both sides, until the pink is almost gone. Remove chicken from saucepan, discard the skins. (I used frozen chicken breast, and did not brown them, I boiled them until they were almost cooked through and it turned out great!). 
2.  Saute the veggies - With the oil from the chicken in the saucepan over medium heat, (add more olive oil to make up to about 2 Tbsp), saute the celery, carrot and onion until the onion is translucent, about 4 to 5 mins. Add the minced garlic to the veggies and stir for a few seconds.  Season the veggies with salt and pepper to taste. 
3.  Add liquid, seasonings and chicken - Stir in tomatoes with juices, chicken broth, basil, tomato paste, bay leaf, thyme, Italian seasonings and red pepper flakes. Put the chicken breasts and any juice came out back the pan, press to submerge. 
4.  Let it simmer - Bring the cooking liquid to a boil and turn down the heat to medium0low and simmer gently, uncovered, until the chicken is almost cooked through, about 25 mins.  Flip over the chicken breast and stir the mixture occassionally.
5.  Add beans - Take out the chicken breasts and let it cool for 5 mins.Add the chickpeas and simmer until the liquid has reduced to stew consistency, about 10 mins. 
6.  Add shredded chicken - Remove and discard the bones from the chicken breast. Shred or cut chicken into bite-size pieces.  Return the chicken meat to the stew. Bring the stew to a simmer.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cowboy Cupcakes

I made these cookies after Easter, and since I am a cupcake lover, I wanted to make a cupcake interpretation of them, so here we go!!!  Use any cake/cupcake recipe you like, or cake from a box (can't go wrong there!).  The recipe I used for both cake and frosting is written below.  Troy and I actually liked these best the day after making them!  Weird, I know.

Cupcake: (Take from my Hello, Cupcake! Cookbook)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
*1/4 cup Coconut
*1/4 cup Oats
*1/4 cup Mini Chocolate Chips
*1/4 (heaping) tsp Cinnamon

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 standard 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners; set aside.

2.Whisk together flour, Cinnamon, Oats, Coconut, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Combine milk, oil, and vanilla in a small bowl; set aside.
3.In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, alternating with milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture; beat until well combined, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.  I then mixed in the Chocolate Chips with a wooden spoon.
4.Fill muffin cups two-thirds full with batter. Transfer muffin tins to oven and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack; let cool completely before decorating.

Frosting: (found here)
*I cut this in half and it was enough to frost all the cupcakes and then some.

3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
3½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. salt
3 tbsp. milk
2½ tsp. vanilla extract

I just added everything into my Bosch (any electric mixer works fine), turned it on for about 2 min, and everything turned out great!

Optional:  (for all of you fellow cocnut lovers out there) Top frosted cupcakes with some toasted Coconut!