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Posts Tagged ‘salt’


Cheddar Oat Crackers - Meatballs&Milkshakes

I’ve had some rolled oats in the cabinet for a while, and I decided to try this recipe to use them up. It’s a healthier version of my cheddar parmesan crackers, and the oats give them a heft that makes them a more filling snack so you will eat fewer and get full faster. Perfect for the new year, as many try to balance out all the holiday eating.

Cheddar Oat Crackers

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup milk

3/4 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

4 ounces cheddar, grated

2 tablespoons cold butter, cubed

2 eggs, 1 beaten with a splash of water for egg wash

flaked sea salt such as Maldon

Soak the oats in the milk for a few minutes while you combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a food processor and pulse a couple times. Add the cheese and butter and pulse until it starts to resemble sand. Add in the oats and 1 egg, and pulse until it comes together. Turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into a disc. Refrigerate for 2 hours until chilled.

Roll out in two sections between two sheets of parchment paper as thinly as you can, to about 1/8″. Cut or use a ravioli cutter or cookie cutter to create crackers. Put them onto a silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the crackers with the egg wash and sprinkle sea salt on top.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 12-14 minutes, until they start to brown. Let cool before removing and serving.

Cheddar Oat Crackers - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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Chocolate Peppermint Cookies - Meatballs&Milkshakes

These crunchy chocolate mint cookies are a riff on Thin Mints, and I suppose if you dipped them in chocolate instead of drizzling, they would be exactly alike. I’ve always been a big fan of Thin Mints, and I will definitely be making these again. They’re a great addition to your holiday cookies, but they’ll be good all year long as well.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 sticks butter

3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup sugar

1 egg

6 ounces dark chocolate

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon cream

Combine the flour, salt, and cocoa in a bowl. Beat the eggs and sugar together in a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the extracts. Add the egg and beat until combined. Add the dry ingredients in two halves, and beat until just combined.

Remove to two pieces of plastic wrap, and create 2 inch logs out of the two halves of dough. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to a couple days.

Slice the logs into 1/4 inch slices and adjust into rounds. Place and inch apart on parchment or silpats on cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheets.

Melt the chocolate, butter, and cream together until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled cookies and allow to harden by placing cookie sheets in the refrigerator.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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This is a traditional Ligurian recipe made from chickpea flour, so it’s gluten-free. I particularly liked making it really thin, so it gets nice and crispy. You can change the toppings or leave them off completely, and it’s a delicious hearty snack. This is an adaptation of an original recipe from Marcella Hazan, the Julia Child of Italian cooking.

Farinata

2 1/2 cups water

1 3/4 cups chickpea flour

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped rosemary, fresh or dried

1/4 cup chopped gaeta olives or your favorites

2 tablespoons grated parmesan

2 tablespoons caramelized onions

Whisk together the water, chickpea flour, salt, oil, and rosemary. This mixture can be refrigerated for a few days, if you can’t use it all at once. I made 3 flatbreads from this recipe, but could have made 4.

Pour a thin layer into an oiled frying pan so that it just barely covers the bottom. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, caramelize some onions by sauteing them in a little olive oil until they start to turn light brown. Make sure to season with a little salt.

Sprinkle the onions, parmesan, and olives over the farinata, and bake for another 20 minutes, until the edges start getting brown. Remove with a spatula and cut into wedges.

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Lemon bars are a favorite of mine during the summer. I love the tart freshness, especially when it’s hot outside. This recipe from the Flour Bakery cookbook is a pretty decadent version, with lots of eggs and butter, but it’s worth it. Fortunately, I brought these to a barbeque, so I wasn’t tempted to eat them all.

Lemon Bars

Shortbread

2 sticks unsalted butter

6 tablespoons (75 grams) sugar

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups (160 grams) flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Lemon Curd:

2 cups lemon juice (freshly squeezed)

1 stick butter

1/4 cup heavy cream or milk

8 eggs

4 egg yolks

2 cups (400 grams) sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the shortbread, cream together the butter and sugars in a mixer for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla in until combined. Scrape down the bowl to make sure everything is combined.

Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in another bowl. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture on low speed until evenly mixed. Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

To make the curd, combine the lemon juice, butter, and cream in a saucepan. Bring to just below a boil. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and yolks and then add in the sugar. Pour a little of the lemon juice mixture into the bowl to temper the eggs and bring them up to temperature. Pour the whole mixture into the pan gradually, whisking together everything. Switch to a wooden spoon and constantly stir the mixture for 8 minutes, until it becomes thick and coats the back of the spoon. Remove from the heat and pour through a sieve to remove any solids. Stir in the salt and vanilla.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 9 by 11 pan with parchment paper. Roll out the dough and press into the bottom of the pan to about a 1/2 inch thickness. Bake for 20-30 minutes until it turns a light brown color. Pour in the lemon curd and bake for another 20-30 minutes until the curd sets. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Remove from the pan with the parchment paper and cut into squares.

Optionally, you can dust powdered sugar over the top with a sieve. Do this at the last minute though, because it will dissolve into the lemon curd. Enjoy!

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I found this recipe on Serious Eats and I couldn’t wait to try it because I love milanos. I know, they’re probably not that good for you and have tons of things in them that I can’t pronounce, but I love them. And that’s even more reason to try this recipe. It was also the first time I used my new kitchen scale, which was rather exciting.

Unfortunately, the texture wasn’t exactly the same. No nice little crunch, but the flavor was pretty similar. If you’re not expecting them to taste like milanos, they’re totally yummy. SO, let’s just call them sandwich cookies. They’re quite tasty and the chocolate filling hardens up nicely so they’re not too messy. Try them out. Just don’t expect them to taste exactly like milanos.

Faux Milanos

3/4 ounce cornstarch

8 ounces flour

4 ounces butter

3 1/2 ounces sugar

2 ounces corn starch

1/4 teaspoon salt

14 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 ounce powdered milk

1 egg and 2 extra whites

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

2 ounces cream

pinch of salt

Combine the corn starch and flour in a bowl. With a mixer, cream together the sugar, butter, salt, baking soda, powdered milk, and half the vanilla extract. Mix for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the whole egg and combine. Add half the dry ingredients and combine. Add one of the egg whites and combine.  Add the remaining dry ingredients and combine. Add the remaining egg white and combine. Transfer to a piping bag (or a ziploc with the corner cut off).

Pipe the dough into 1/2 inch wide, 2 inch long cookies. They will work best if you can make it as thin as possible, so keep the tip close to the cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes at 300 degrees or until they start to brown. Let cool.

Melt the chocolate with the cream and remaining vanilla extract and pinch of salt in a double boiler or just in a bowl (I sometimes even use the microwave). You can pipe the chocolate onto the flat side of a cookie or just spoon it carefully on. Place another cookie on top, making sure to match them for size. Let them cool at room temperature or in the fridge until the chocolate hardens.

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So, I went a little nuts with the baking last weekend because I was baking for the New Music Bake Sale in Brooklyn. I made two kinds of cookies and some banana bread, and it was tons of fun. I realized after the fact that I should have made my gougeres since they are probably the most popular thing I’ve ever made. Oh well. You’ll just have to wait for those.

I’ve been slowly baking my way through the Flour Bakery cookbook, and so far I haven’t really been disappointed in anything. These peanut butter cookies are no exception. They are a little more cakey than I probably would prefer, but then again, most peanut butter cookies get that way because of the texture of peanut butter when baked. I definitely have to agree they are delicious and I would definitely make them again. They are just the right amount of sweet and salty, and fresh out of the oven they are amazing.

Peanut Butter Cookies

2 sticks butter

1 cup sugar

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 jar chunky peanut butter (1 3/4 cups)

2 2/3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Cream together the butter and sugars for 5 minutes with a hand mixer until smooth and light in color. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Scrape down the bowl and then add in the peanut butter and combine.

Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in another bowl. Slowly add to the wet ingredients and don’t over beat. Refrigerate overnight.

Roll into 1 inch balls and flatten into discs. Using a fork, make cross-hatch marks on top (the traditional peanut butter cookie decoration).

Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until they start to brown around the edges. Let cool on a rack.

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I love most kinds of pizza, but my favorite will always be the NY slice. I’m particular about the slice too– I prefer a slice with a crispy crust, flavorful sauce, and not an excessive amount of cheese. The crispy crust is key, and I usually prefer when I get the reheat– they put the slice from the pie back in the oven and the edges get the nice crispy cheese and the crust is perfect. Oh, and it has to be a plain cheese slice. No bbq chicken or pasta on my pizza.

I also like homemade pizza, although it’s definitely a different animal. I prefer them like this, with a crispy flatbread-like crust. You can always add your favorite toppings and people can personalize their own at a party. I’m not a big fan of the way most people do prosciutto on pizza. It turns that unappealing gray color and the whole slice comes off when you try to take a bite. I do it a little differently. I crisp up the prosciutto in the oven on a sheet pan and then crumble it over the cooked pizza. Perfect!

Pizza with Pesto, Arugula, and Prosciutto

1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

3 1/2 cups flour plus extra for dusting

2 tablespoons salt

1 1/2 cups warm water

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 tablespoons pesto

1/2 cup arugula

parmesan or pecorino

3 pieces of prosciutto, crisped in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes

Proof the yeast with the warm water and honey in a bowl (not metallic) for 5 minutes until it starts to foam up. Add the salt, flour, and olive oil and mix together. Dump out on a floured surface and knead together for 5-10 minutes. You may need to add more flour if it feels too wet. Let it rest in an oiled bowl under a damp kitchen towel for 1 1/2 hours. Turn out onto a floured surface and cut into quarters. Roll into balls and let sit for another 15 minutes. Roll out and top with your toppings.

Preheat a pizza stone (or sheet tray) in an oven at 450 degrees for an hour. Once you’re ready to go, it will happen fast. Move the rolled out dough onto the stone carefully, it will immediately start to bubble and cook. Work quickly and spread the pesto on the dough and then some shavings of cheese.

Pop back in the oven for 10 minutes, until it starts to brown on the edges. Take it out and let cool for a couple minutes. Sprinkle the arugula and prosciutto pieces over the top. Cut and serve!

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