Friday, January 17, 2014

7 Quick Takes : Recipes Edition

I have had some fun adventures in the kitchen over the past several weeks and I figured why not share them and link up with Jen at the same time!

- 1 -
The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

Idiot Proof Baking
Super delicious cookies! Seriously the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever tasted! They were pretty good when hot but actually much more yummy once they had cooled. 

Ingredients (yield : 3 dozen)
  • 3/4 C butter
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 C flour
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 - 1 tsp salt (depends on your preference)
  • 1 1/2 C chocolate chips
  • Cream butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla - beat well.
  • Add dry ingredients; mix until just combined. 
  • Stir in chocolate chips
  • Drop onto parchment paper or greased surface and bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • Place pan on wire rack for 5 minutes before removing cookies (important!)
- 2 -
Better Than Brownies Cookies

Quadrupled the recipe. Surprise yield of 16 dozen cookies. Oops.
These cookies are a chocolate lover's dream. I certainly had my fair share over the holidays! I kept waiting to get sick of them but I never did (one of those good things that's also a bad thing). I certainly would discourage you from quadrupling the recipe! That is unless you want to be up to your elbows (literally) in chocolate. Who knew the Kitchen Aid bowl was that deep?! My mother-in-law told me that she doesn't even double a recipe if she can help it. Considering that her cookies are awesome I think I'll follow her lead from now on and just make several separate batches.

  • 16 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 eggs
  • 1⅓ C granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ C all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 C semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set it over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally, until completely melted and smooth.
  • In the meantime, stir together the eggs, vanilla and sugar in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.
  • Add the melted chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and stir to combine well. Slowly add the dry ingredients, folding them into the batter. Once all of the flour is incorporated, stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Scoop 1½ tablespoons of dough (a medium cookie scoop's worth) onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until they are firm on the outside. Like brownies, do not over-bake! Leave to cool completely on the baking sheets. 

 - 3 -
Apple Cheddar Scones

My husband and I agreed that while these are some very yummy scones, the next time I make these I will add more cheddar and apple. The end result was great but still felt like it needed a little more oomph! Found out today that this is easily remedied by applying apple butter. SO GOOD!!! I should also say they almost require tea as a companion. I originally made these goodies for a book club I was hoping to go to but after a long day and the onslaught of snow/rain I stayed in. As far as nights in go it's a little hard to beat sipping tea and eating a warm scone while watching Elementary. Anyways, on to the recipe!
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 C cold butter
  • 1 C buttermilk
  • 1 C shredded cheddar (will use more in the future)
  • 1 C diced peeled apple (ditto)
  •  In a bowl combine the first five ingredients 
  • Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs
  • Stir in buttermilk until just moistened (I had to add several heaping tablespoons of flour after I failed to pay close enough attention to this step)
  • Fold in cheese and apples
  • Pat in a 9" circle and cut into 8 wedges
  • Separate wedges and place on greased baking sheet
  • Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown 
I got a pastry blender for Christmas and was inappropriately excited to have a chance to use it for this recipe. Seriously, I know it's a simple cutting action but I have never been able to use two knives to get butter to blend in properly.

- 4 -
Cranberry Brie Bites

Mine did not achieve this perfect golden brown color
I am stealing this recipe from Tablespoon because the pictures are amazing and I cannot seem to locate the original website that I used. The recipe calls for cranberry sauce but I imagine that you could use jam just as easily. The next time I make these guys I think I'm going to increase the amount of brie used per pastry. Basically I think that if you can add more cheese to a recipe you almost have to. Also, we sampled these hot and after they had cooled and we both thought they were much tastier after having cooled. Just a thought.

  • 1 package (17 1/4 ounces) frozen puff pastry, thawed 
  • 1/2 lb Brie cheese
  • 1 cup cranberry sauce (purchased or homemade)
  • Thaw the frozen puff pastry, and cut with a pizza cutter.  The puff pastry sheet I used was folded in thirds.  I cut down those lines, then cut the sheet into quarters the other direction.
  • Place each puff pastry square into a separate holder ofmini muffin tin  
  • Fill with brie and cranberry sauce.  
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, or until the puff pastry is golden brown on the edges.
  • Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

- 5 -
Applesauce Pork Loin
Clearly not my picture
This is the best pork I have ever tasted. I found the recipe at Taste of Home and it's just perfect - not a lot of ingredients, not a lot of prep required, and a whole lot of flavor as the end result! The only negative thing I will say is that the cooking time has been way off both of the times I have made this. The pork has been completely thawed both times and I have followed every step of the directions completely so I have no idea what that's about. Oh well - it's worth the wait! We had leftovers after both meals and I chopped up the remaining pork (including the sauce) and sauteed it with mushrooms then added eggs and it was kind of amazing. 
  • 1 boneless pork loin roast (3 lbs)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 C applesauce
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 3 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, brown roast on all sides in oil. Place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Combine the applesauce, mustard and honey; spread over roast. Top with rosemary.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 1 to 1-1/4 hours or until a thermometer reads 145°. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Yield: 10-12 servings.
- 6 -
Chicken Suiza Cornbread Bake
Not my photo either - I don't do garnish. Ain't nobody got time for that!
I found this recipe at All Recipes and between the reviews and the ingredients I knew I had to try it! It requires a little bit more prep than I prefer with our dinners but again, totally worth it! The one thing I will say is that Frank's Red Hot Sauce or Sriracha Sauce make a B-I-G difference in the flavor! I wouldn't include them in the cooking process but some liberal use of either when it comes to eating and you have a scrumptious meal ahead of you!
Ingredients (Crust)
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cream-style corn, drained
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C egg substitute (I used real eggs)
  • 1 (8.5 ounce) package corn bread mix
Ingredients (Chicken Topping) 
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp canned green chile peppers, chopped
  • 4 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms (ran out - used canned)
  • 1 1/2 C reduced-fat sour cream (yeah right - used regular sour cream)
  • 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 8 oz package Monterey Jack cheese, shredded  
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  • Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until tender.
  • Dice one or two boneless, skinless chicken breast halves and stir them into the skillet after the onions and garlic are soft. Cook and stir about 5 minutes; the chicken pieces should be cooked through, and will continue to cook as the casserole bakes. Remove from heat and set aside. 
  • In a large bowl, combine corn, cream-style corn, salt, and egg substitute. Beat in muffin mix. Fold in cooked onion mixture. Pour into prepared baking dish.
  • In a large bowl, combine chicken, green chiles, mushrooms, sour cream, salt and pepper. Spoon over corn mixture to within 1 inch from edge. Sprinkle top with cheese.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.
- 7 -
Healthy Mexican Chicken Bake
While I did not take this picture this is exactly what the end result looked like
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 oz shredded Mexican cheese blender
  • 1 C salsa
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season one side of chicken breasts with half the cumin, half the garlic powder, salt, and black pepper; arrange chicken breasts with seasoned sides down in the hot oil. Fry until chicken is lightly browned on the bottom, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Season the top of each chicken breast with the remaining cumin, remaining garlic powder, salt, and black pepper; flip chicken and cook until other side is lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. If the skillet gets dry, pour in just enough juice from the salsa to keep it from burning.
  • Transfer chicken breasts to a 9x9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with Mexican cheese blend. Loosen all the drippings from the skillet with a little more juice from the salsa and pour on top of chicken breasts. Spoon salsa over cheese layer. 
  • Bake chicken breasts until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, 20 to 25 minutes.  
Another recipe off of All Recipes! Because I am lazy and did not want to bother with dirtying and washing another dish I used a cast iron skillet and simply put it in the oven when it was time to bake. It is really tasty and goes great with rice and refried beans. Heck, if you wanted to you could shred the chicken after it bakes and just make burritos or fajitas or tacos or, well, you get the idea :)

~ Happy Friday ~


  1. Wow! This really makes me want to get off my rear end and bake something!

    1. I always forget how much I love to bake until I get back into it :)

  2. Thanks for some new ideas! Can't wait to try one of the cookies tonight!

    1. Enjoy! Please let me know how the recipe works out :)

  3. Mmmmm I'll take some cookies, please :)

  4. It's always a treat to see a post of yours in my blog feed. And thanks especially for the chocolate cookies and cornbread bake recipes. I have to avoid wheat but I can use masa for the cookies instead (I live in Mexico so that's more common anyway). And I LOOOVE cornbread with stuff in it!