Tag-Archive for ◊ make ahead ◊

13 Jun 2019 Cowboy Cookies
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Crisp, buttery and slightly chewy

I have no idea why these cookies are called “Cowboy Cookies”. Coconut, oats and Rice Krispie’s don’t scream cowboy to me. Well, maybe the oats do. Legend has it that Laura Bush made these cookies popular after she submitted a recipe to Family Circle in 2000, which was running a best presidential candidate’s spouse’s cookie contest <sigh>. Laura Bush’s Texas Governor’s Mansion Cowboy Cookies won the contest. So maybe the fact that these cookies originate from/are popular in Texas make them “cowboy”?

Laura Bush’s recipe differs from mine in that hers has NO Rice Krispies but does have 2 cups of chopped pecans stirred in (4 years later she submitted the recipe again, with chocolate chips stirred in along with the pecans,but still no Rice Krispies! What was she thinking?). My recipe has no pecans or chocolate chips, although I am sure you can add some if desired.

I am pretty sure my recipe pre-dates Laura Bush’s published recipe. I think I started making them in the 1980s. I know my daughter Abby was baking them and selling them by the dozen in the early 2000s.

I like these cookies because, although they look like (and bake like) chocolate chip cookies, they are NOT Chocolate Chip Cookies (Laura Bush’s recipe seems a lot like Chocolate Chip Cookies though!). My Cowboy Cookies are slightly crisp and buttery with a slight chew from the coconut and oats, and they are not over-the-top sweet.

Cowboy Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening (Crisco, do not use the butter flavored kind, just the plain, regular, old fashioned kind, either the sticks or the tub are OK)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats (NOT instant)
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 cup Shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 325º. Beat the butter and shortening together for a minute or so.  Add in the sugars and beat for 5 minutes with an electric mixer.  Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add flour mixture to butter-sugar-egg mixture.  Stir in oatmeal, Rice Krispies and coconut.  Drop by tablespoonful onto cookie sheet.  Roll dough into a ball, then flatten slightly with finger or palm of hand.  Bake in preheated 325º oven for 12-14 minutes.  Cookies will have a very light tan tinge when done.  Don’t over bake. Remove cookies from oven and cool on racks. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!

03 Jun 2019 Filipino Chicken Barbecue (Skewers)

I know nothing about Filipino cooking, but my daughter organized a Boodle Fight for one of our cookbook club meetings. Knowing nothing, and needing to know something fast, I researched cookbooks and ordered one that sounded good, landing on “I Am A Filipino: And This Is How We Cook” by Nicole Ponseca. I made several recipes, Chicken Barbecue, Banana Ketchup Ribs, Pancit, Coconut Flan.  Two recipes were keepers, as is, no changes…, Chicken Barbecue and Banana Ketchup BBQ Ribs.

Good news, Epicurious is going all out on promoting this recipe, too, it’s a keeper! Can you see the chicken on the skewers in the picture above?  Look at all that food! A Boodle Fight is a GREAT idea! If you can’t do all of it, start with the Chicken Barbecue Skewers.

You’ll need some Banana Ketchup, which is ketchup made from bananas, not tomatoes, but tastes nothing like bananas, and is still a vibrant red color! I bought my first bottle of Banana Ketchup on Amazon.  It cost 4 times the amount of my 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th bottle of Banana Ketchup.  If you have a Filipino market close by, a bottle of Banana Ketchup will cost less than two dollars, if you order it off of Amazon it will cost over eight dollars. Do what you have to do, get a bottle of Banana Ketchup and make the Chicken Barbecue on Skewers.

Filipino Chicken Barbecue (Skewers)

  • 2 1/4 cups (540 ml) banana ketchup
  • 1 cup (240 ml) 7UP or Sprite
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) white sugarcane vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (110 g) packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (35 g) minced garlic
  • 3 pounds (1.4 kg) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Cooking spray or vegetable oil, for greasing
  • Wooden skewers
  1. Stir together the banana ketchup, 7UP/Sprite, lemon juice, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, and garlic, keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Add the chicken pieces and toss. Cover the bowl or pour mixture into a Ziplok bag and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and preferably overnight.
  3. When you are ready to cook the meat, heat a grill pan over high heat or heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium.
  4. Reserving the marinade, thread 3 or 4 pieces of chicken on each skewer, letting the pieces touch slightly, and set them on a plate or baking sheet.
  5. Pour the marinade into a saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes; set it aside.
  6. Spray the pan or grill grate lightly with cooking spray. Place the skewers on the grill pan or grill and cook, turning them and basting them often with the heated marinade, until they are cooked through or the center of a piece of chicken registers 165°F (75°C) on an instant-read thermometer. This should take between 8 and 15 minutes, depending on your cooking surface (discard any leftover marinade).
  7. Transfer to a platter. Serve and share.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!

31 May 2019 Madelienes

Madeleines. What are they anyway?  Almost a cookie but really a slightly dry cake?  Yes, that’s right! No frosting? Nope, but they are often dusted with powdered sugar… No caramel swirl? Never! No bits of chocolate? Not usually… And what’s with that lump on the back? Gotta have a lump in the back! Sooo…, what’s the big deal? Madeleines are super plain, super dry, and super yummy, I love them! Madeleines are popular tea cakes in cafes around the world. The world loves them!

Madeleines are French tea cakes, but thought of as a cookie, and are instantly recognizable with their scalloped shell shape that is ribbed on one side and smooth, but with a hump, on the other. Direct from the oven these buttery cakes have wonderfully crisp edges, tender crumb and are best eaten right away, although they will keep in a tin on the counter for 3-4 days. A dusting of powdered sugar is all that they really need, although some brush still warm Madeleines with a tangy lemon glaze.  Starbucks dips tips of their Madeleines into chocolate.

Madeleines are quite easy to make, but you’ll need to purchase scalloped Madeleine molds to get started. The molds are available in different sizes and materials, but you’ll probably find non-stick pans to be the easiest to use.

I have tested out many recipes over the years.  This one is from Epicurious, but with changes to cooking times, method, and ingredients (I doubled the lemon zest, upped the vanilla, added in some baking powder, reduced the oven temperature and reduced the baking time).

The recipe below makes 24 Madeleines.

Madeleines

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (usually from one medium lemon)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (125 grams) all purpose flour
  • 5 oz (10 tablespoons, 1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (plus extra to brush in molds)
  • Powdered sugar
  • Extra melted butter to brush on pans
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Brush each madeleine mold with melted butter (use the additional butter, not the 5 oz needed for the batter!)
  3. Beat eggs and sugar with electric mixer just to blend
  4. Beat in vanilla, lemon zest, and salt
  5. In another bowl, whisk flour with baking powder and salt and then add gradually to butter-sugar-egg mixture.
  6. Gradually add melted and cooled butter to mixture, beating with electric mixer just to blend
  7. Spoon 1 tablespoon batter into each buttered madeleine mold
  8. Place in preheated oven and bake for 9-10 minutes or until edges are slightly browned and there is a visible hump in the middle of each madeleine.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for about 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  10. Repeat with remaining batter. Recipe makes 24 standard sized madeleines
  11. When cool, dust with powdered sugar. If necessary dust with powdered sugar again just before serving.

Note: Batter can be made one day ahead. Refrigerate batter and baked on day two.

Variation: replace lemon zest with orange zest and add 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom to the flour mixture.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today! I hope you find someone wonderful to share these special treats with 🙂

10 May 2019 Tropical Mango Scones

It takes a lot to get true mango flavor in baked goods.  This scone recipe manages it but it does require mango in three different forms: crushed freeze-dried mango, dried mango, and diced frozen mango. Then throw in a bit of coconut and a bit of lime zest and you have a Tropical Mango Scone. You also have to add an egg. An egg? In a scone? I am usually a scone purist. No eggs! But I’ll make an exception, just this one time, because it works in this recipe.

The original recipe only called for frozen mango, which is interesting in itself. I’d never baked with frozen mango. I didn’t think it would work, but it did! I added the freeze-dried mango (always available at Trader Joe’s, and now starting to show up in main stream grocery stores) and the dried mango (available everywhere) to boost the flavor.

Tropical Mango Scones

  • 2 cups (260g) all-purpose flour
  • approx. 20 grams (less than one ounce) freeze-dried mango crushed to a fine powder
  • ½ cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • ½ cup diced dried mango
  • ½ cup sugar + additional teaspoon sugar (divided use)
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • zest of 2 limes
  • ½ cup butter, frozen
  • ½ cup heavy cream + additional 1-2 Tablespoons (divided use)
  • 1 egg
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup dried mango, diced
  • 1 cup frozen mango, diced into ¼ inch chunks
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combine flour, crushed freeze-dried mango, flaked coconut, diced dried mango, sugar, lime zest, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Stir well to combine.
  4. In another bowl combine ½ cup heavy cream, egg, and vanilla and whisk until combined.
  5. GRATE the frozen butter into the flour mixture then, using a fork, stir the butter into the flour mixture until well combined.
  6. Drizzle the cream-egg-vanilla mixture over the flour-butter mixture. Using the fork, combine the ingredients into a cohesive ball, this may take awhile. If the mixture is too dry, work a little extra cream into the mixture.
  7. Gently fold in the frozen mango mini-chunks.
  8. Divide the dough in half. If necessary sprinkle with a bit of flour. Shape the dough into a circle about the size of a salad plate.
  9. Place onto one side of prepared baking sheet
  10. Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, divide dough into six equal pieces.
  11. Repeat with remaining dough in bowl (SEE NOTE BELOW).
  12. Brush tops of scones with the additional 1-2 heavy cream, then sprinkle with additional 1 teaspoon sugar.
  13. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  14. Remove from oven and share 🙂

NOTE: The second half of the dough can be placed on a plate and frozen for later baking. No need to defrost before baking. Just place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar. Might need to bake 2-4 more minutes.

Thank you for stopping by my kitchen today!