Thursday, December 29, 2011

Little Bites of Heaven

I apologize for the fuzzy picture but these little treats are all gone so I can't redo the photo. I will be making these again in various configurations and promise a better photo next time.  If I have gotten nothing else from I got the recipe for these tasty, melt in your mouth, cheesy popovers.   I used this recipe for Gorgonzola Popovers but I used Brie instead of Gorgonzola.  I'm sure Gorgonzola will be just as good but I didn't have any.  I think almost any cheese would be good in these. Of course, I'm prejudice because I love cheese.  I also used snips of green onion because I didn't have parsley.  I may try it with parsley too but the onion was nice.

I always thought popovers would be hard to make but they are not.  Just mix the ingredients and put them in the mini muffin tins and then add a bite of cheese.  I guess the secret is in not opening the oven to check on them.  The whole process probably took me 30 minutes from start to beautiful golden bites of fluffy popover and melty cheese.  It took me a little longer to eat them but not much.  I did only make a half recipe and good thing because I probably would have eaten an entire batch.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Salt and Pepper Cookies

I saw these cookies on The Chew one day over the holiday. The show was sponsoring a cookie contest and there were 5 finalists featured.   These Salt and Pepper Butterscotch-Pine Nut Cookies (the eventual winner) sounded intriguing so I decided to make them.  It is a basic cookie dough (butter, eggs, flour and sugar) with butterscotch chips. The secret is the toasted pine nuts that you add 1 Tablespoon of salt and 1 1/2 teaspoon of pepper to before mixing them into the dough.  The cookies then have a salty sweet taste with just a hint of heat.  I find them just a bit addicting and I've been giving the cookies away so I won't eat them all myself.  I will definitely make these again.  I think I might reduce the salt just a tiny bit.  And, make sure to fully incorporate the salt and pepper nuts. I found I had a few spots of INTENSE pepper or salt and so I'll be mixing more thoroughly next time.  I also think these would be good with semi-sweet chocolate chips. 
P.S.  I recently purchased a  non stick silicone baking liner (generic, not Silpat) and used it for the first time with these cookies.  LOVE IT!  Less than $10 at Target - I'll be going back for more.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Christmas!

And so this is Christmas
And what have we done
Another year over
And a new one just begun

And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

War is over over
If you want it
War is over

-John Lennon

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Coffee Spice Cookies from Food Network

I made coffee spice cookies just before my niece arrived. I wasn't sure about them. I felt they were okay, but nothing special. I was contemplating crushing them up and making a  crust for a lemon cheesecake with them, which I still think would be very good, but my niece liked them as is.  So we polished them off during her visit. I grew to like the coffee-spicey taste. I will make a double batch next time so there are enough to eat and enough to make cheesecake with. 

I left out the chocolate sprinkles on purpose and I am glad. It just didn't seem they'd add anything good, even though I do love chocolate. 

Also, these were super easy to make.  Just mix everything together, roll into two logs and refrigerate. Then slice and bake. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bonne Femme!

It was hard to decide which recipe to make first from my new cook book The Bonne Femme Cookbook but I finally decided on starting with a starter.  I chose Flaky Green Olive and Cheese Spirals.

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 T water
  • 1/2 C chopped pitted green olives (I used 14)
  • 3/4 C (3 oz) shredded Pyrenees sheep's cheese such as Ossau-Iraty or Petit Basque
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced

  1. Thaw the puff pastry (see package directions).
  2. Whisk the egg and water together in small bowl.
  3. Unfold the pastry on a lightly floured board and brush with some of the egg wash.  Reserve the remaining egg wash.
  4. Top the pastry with the olives, cheese and garlic.  (I mixed all together and them spread them on the pastry.)
  5. Roll up the pastry, starting at the short side. ( My pastry was almost square so I just picked a side.)
  6. Refrigerate the roll for at least 15 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  7. Slice the roll into 15,  1/2 inch slices and lay flat on a parchment lined baking sheet.  I cut mine a little thicker and ended up with 12.
  8. Brush the slices with reserved egg wash.
  9. Bake 15 or 20 minutes, until golden.
  10. Serve warm or at room temp.

Here is the result:

These were very easy to make and very tasty.  Flaky pastry, salty olives and mild cheese.  Delicious!  I got the green olives from the olive bar at Whole Foods so they were marinated which I think added some nice flavor.  I've never had either of the cheeses mentioned so I got both and mixed them.  They were quite similar but the Petit Basque has a little stronger taste; I will use it by itself next time.  The author suggests an alternate filling using one of her tapenade recipes and goat cheese.  I'll probably try that one too. And I might do one with blue cheese.  Yum!

I learned about this book over at verbatim. Karen was the copy editor on the book and she is mentioned in the acknowledgments.  Thanks Karen, I love the book.