June 26, 2012

Snickerdoodles with Biscoff "Frosting"

A few weeks ago, the hubby and I became obsessed with these cookies.

On their own, these snickerdoodles are great. Lots of cinnamony and sugary goodness. But with biscoff added to the mix...these cookies are dangerous. I bet you can't just eat one. 

I took a shortcut and instead of making a filling to sandwich between two cookies (like in the original recipe), I decided to "frost" them with biscoff spread. Best.decision.ever. We were eating these cookies like they were going out of style! I froze several bags of dough balls in one morning to take out once baby arrives- for our sanity, for when family and friends drop by. 

Our obsession decreased, gradually, and we moved on to chocolate chunk cookies...which are, I have to say, some of the best cookies I've ever made! I gotta make more though, we ate them all before pictures could be taken. ;) Stay tuned!

Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Put butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Reduce speed to low and gradually mix in flour mixture.

3. Stir together cinnamon and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough into balls, I used a heaping teaspoon of dough. Roll balls in cinnamon and sugar. Place cookie dough balls on prepared baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, until edges are golden. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

June 21, 2012

Summer Garden Pasta

The summer months should be spent relaxing, reading, hanging by the pool, and taking long walks with an ice cream cone in hand. They shouldn't be about fancy dishes or long hours spent in the kitchen. Although, I will admit, I did roast a chicken the other day when it was 90 degrees out..what can I say, I suddenly have a lot of time on my hands (ie, school's out, I'm waiting for this baby to pop out, gotta keep myself busy somehow). 

Really though, I do find myself looking for easier meals to make in the summer: salads, quick pastas, new marinades for things to throw on the grill. I watched Ina Garten make this easy pasta dish one afternoon when I had no dinner plan in mind. I ran into the kitchen and gleefully cheered aloud that I had all necessary ingredients on hand. I added chicken to it as I need heavy amounts of protein lately (baby is HUNGRY) but it really isn't necessary. The flavors come together so well and if I could have a glass of wine, I totally would have with this!

Source: Foodnetwork

4 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
Good olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
18 large basil leaves, julienned, plus extra for serving
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound dried angel hair pasta
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

Combine the cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, basil leaves, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature for about 4 hours.
Just before you're ready to serve, bring a large pot of water with a splash of olive oil and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil and add the pasta. Cook al dente according to the directions on the package (be careful - it only takes 2 to 3 minutes!). Drain the pasta well and add to the bowl with the cherry tomatoes. Add the cheese and some extra fresh basil leaves and toss well. Serve in big bowls with extra cheese on each serving.

June 5, 2012

Roasted Mini Apple "Pies"

Talk about cuteness overload.

I'm in love with these mini apple "pies."

This is one of the easiest, simplest, and quickest desserts I've ever made. I recently watched several hours of the Food Network. I was a complete couch potato (pregnancy allows for that though, right?) and jotted down a ton of new things I want to try before baby decides to make her arrival. In possibly 6 more weeks, yikes! These mini apple pies are one of the many I wrote down. I also happened to have everything in the fridge at that very moment, therefore, this is the first thing that I'm sharing with you. Another perk for this recipe- you might not need to make a special trip to the store!

I'm sure you could jazz it up and make some sort of caramel sauce to go with it. Which would be divine, mmmm. If you do that, tell me how it goes! But the simplicity of this can't be beat. Roll out your store-bought pie crust, slice some apples and toss them in cinnamon and sugar. Make your own whipped cream or dollop some out of a tub of Cool Whip. Dessert is ready under 15 minutes. 

Source: Foodnetwork

1 (9-inch) refrigerated rolled pie crust
2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
cookie cutter or glass

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper sprayed with vegetable cooking spray.

Unroll the pie crust out on a work surface. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 8 disks of pastry. Arrange the pastry disks on the prepared baking sheet. Using the tines of a fork, prick the pastry all over. Bake until brown and crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely, about 10 minutes.

Slice the bottom of the apples to create an even surface for cutting. Slice each apple into 6 (1/2-inch) slices.
Cut each apple slice in half and remove any seeds or pieces of core. In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Add the apple slices and toss until coated. Shake off any excess mixture. Arrange the apple slices on the same baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until dark brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

In a medium bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the cream until thick, about 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until the cream is very thick.

To assemble the pies: Place the pastry disks on a work surface. Divide the cooked apple slices among 4 of the disks. Dollop about 2 tablespoons of the cream on top of the apples and cover with the remaining disks. Serve immediately.