Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Black Forest Cookies

My jeans have been mysteriously shrinking in the wash.

I refuse to believe it has anything to do with these cookies.
Or the 40 peanut butter cups I ate last week.
You think I'm joking or exaggerating but I'm not.

I have a chocolate and peanut butter addiction.
 It can not be cured.
 I just accept it and try to live my life the best I can.

I made these cookies to try to get myself off 'the cups'.
It worked for about 5 minutes. 
Then I ran out of cookies.

Next time I'll be sure to make a double batch.

Black Forest Cookies
Makes: about 36

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 package (about 12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cherries


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder; and salt; set aside.
  2. Place chopped chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat; whisk in sugars, then eggs, until smooth.
  3. Whisk in dry ingredients just until combined (do not overmix). Fold in chocolate chunks and dried cherries; press plastic wrap directly onto surface of dough, and refrigerate until firm, 30 to 45 minutes.
  4. Drop mounds of dough (equal to 2 level tablespoons) about 2 inches apart onto prepared sheets. Bake just until edges are firm (but not darkening), 11 to 13 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Cherry Almond Granola

Chunky nuts and tart cherries make this my favorite granola. 
That's saying a lot if you've ever tried the peanut butter and chocolate granola on this site.

I can't really describe to you why this is so great, it just is. 
Something about the toasted nuts and warm cinnamon make this granola both nutritional and decadent.

All I can say is:

Make it.
Eat it.
Love it.

Cherry Almond Granola
Makes: about 6 cups
Slightly adapted from Martha Stewart
4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
½ cup coarsely chopped almonds
½ cup coarsely chopped pecans
½ cup dried cherries
½ cup sweetened dried coconut flakes
½ tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
⅓ cup coconut oil
¼ cup honey
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together oats, almonds, pecans, cherries, coconut, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine oil, honey, and sugar. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Drizzle syrup over oat mixture; toss with a wooden spoon. Pour granola onto sheet pan and spread evenly. Bake, stirring occasionally, until golden (about 25 minutes). Let granola cool completely on a wire rack. Break it into chunks and store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chinese Chicken Salad

Occasionally I emerge from my sugar coma and I'm forced to make something other than cookies for dinner. It usually happens around the time that I'm looking in the fridge and realize I have a bunch of vegetables that are going to be compost if I don't eat them, and soon!

This event occurred yesterday. (Mark it on your calender.)

Sometime between my 12th Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and 27th maple glazed almond I spotted this recipe.

The shock that I had all the ingredients on hand to make this wonderful looking salad propelled me into motion. (Not to mention my secret love affair with chicken salad sans mayo.)

The results were spectacular and well worth setting aside the junk food for.
This salad is bursting with flavor and has lots of great texture and color.

Try it out for you next lunch, supper or picnic! 

Chinese Chicken Salad
Serves 6
Adapted from: A Farm Girl's Dabbles but originally from Barefoot Contessa Parties!

For the salad:
3 large chicken breasts
2 tbsp melted butter
salt and pepper

½ lb sugar snap peas, cut into 1'' pieces
2 sweet bell peppers (red, orange or green), cored and seeded and sliced into 1'' pieces
1 cup coarsely grated carrot
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
½ cup raw chow mein noodles

For the dressing:
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
⅛ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp honey
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
¼ cup creamy natural peanut butter
½ tsp salt
½ tsp fresh ground pepper

1. First, prepare chicken. Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush melted butter all over the chicken and season liberally with salt and pepper. Place on a foil lined sheet pan and roast for 35 - 40 minutes, until chicken is just cooked. Once chicken is completely cooled, use to forks to shred the chicken in bite sized pieces.
2. Combine the shredded chicken, snap peas, bell peppers, carrots and chow mein noodles in a large bowl.
3. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients and pour over the chicken and vegetables. Gently combine. Sprinkle the 2 tbsp of sesame seeds over the salad and season to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Balance Cookies

Did you notice I've been away for awhile?
Well I haven't actually been away.
My blog has been away from me.... ie: I was somehow blocked from my Blogger account.

You don't believe me. I can tell. 
But it's true.
I've still been cooking.
Well, mostly baking. That's what I do best.
I just haven't been able to share the baking love.
My lovin' from the oven... if you will.

You don't have to worry about missing out on baking love anymore, because I'm back.

I didn't want to kill you with sugar and butter and chocolate right off the bat (although that would be a nice way to die, wouldn't it?) so I made you some gluten free, dairy free, egg free cookies.
Packed with toasty almonds and sesame seeds these are tasty and appropriate for people with all kinds of allergies.

Except nuts. 

Turn off your computer and walk away if you have a nut allergy. 

Balance Cookies
Makes: about 2 dozen
Source: In the Kitchen with Anna

2 cups brown rice flour
1 cup ground almonds
3 tbsp lightly toasted sesame seeds
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp fine salt
⅓ cup honey
¼ cup vegetable oil
whole almonds for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Stir the rice flour, ground almonds, sesame seeds, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. In a seperate bow, whisk the honey and oil and add to the rice flour mixture.
3. Scoop tablespoonfuls of dough and use your hands to shape each into a ball, placing 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Press each cookie to flatten and press a whole almond into the center of each.  4. Bake 1 sheet at a time for about 15 minutes or until cookies start to brown a little on the bottom.

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