Monday, December 27, 2010

Banana-Oat-Chocolate-Chip-Walnut Cookies

Whenever I have overly ripe bananas, I make banana bread. However, I had just made a double batch of bread and still had left over, much too ripe, bananas to use up.

The search began for a recipe. And, hooray! Enter "Cooking Light" magazine.

These things kick. They are chewy, but not too cake like. Crisp, but soft. Lots of flavors and chunks, and subtle banana flavor throughout the entire confection.

I am a HUGE fan of natural banana flavors. The artificial kind, such as laffy taffy or popsicles, makes me want to throw up. Luckily, comprised of mashed bananas, this bread is the good kind of fruit flavor.

Make these instead of banana bread next time. I pinky promise, you'll be glad you did.

Cooking Light's Banana-Oat-Chip-Walnut Cookies

  • 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 medium)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 5.6 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • Cooking spray

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add egg; beat well.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to banana mixture in bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until golden. Cool on pans 2 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

*UPDATE* I don't know why this thing insists on writing parts of this post in all caps. If you know why and can help me change it, let me know! Otherwise, it just looks like I am yelling about these cookies. No matter how many times I try to reformat. I assure you, while they are delicious. I am not yelling. I am merely stating delicious facts.

Yay CAPS! Happy New Year, all :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Moylan Christmas Cookies

My mother is one of five sisters and, every year, as far back as I can remember, we have Christmas cookies that they each make in bulk (1 cookie type, 5 batches- one per family) and then trade.

It's a fun tradition, and a delicious one, that everyone looks forward to reaping the benefits of once all the sisters swap cookies. I was considering doing one post per cookie but, then I realized, I'd have to wait 7 weeks for all my holiday goodies to be posted! I mean, really, that is MUCH too much time. So, here we have listed below all 6 holiday cookie recipes and then the infamous recipe for Moylan family fudge. Which means a short blog post but a HUGE collection of holiday recipes. All of which are extremely worthwhile.

Make and enjoy :)

Resess Cup Cookies:
-1/2 c butter
-1/2 c brown sugar
-1/2 c sugar
-1/2 cup peanut butter
Mix and add
-1 egg
-½ tsp vanilla
-¾ tsp baking soda
-½ tsp salt
Put into mini muffin tins sprayed with Pam. Bake 8-10 mins at 350. Press peanut butter cup into cookie and let sit at least 10 min.

Toffee Squares:
-1 c brown sugar
-1 c margarine
-1 egg yolk
-1 tsp vanilla
-2 c flour
-6 hershey bars

Cream butter, sugar, add eggs, flour, and vanilla. Spread on a greased sheet, bake at 350 for 20 mins. Spread hershey bars on hot toffee, smear. Tops with nuts while warm and cut (usually we just use a pizza cutter) while warm.

Basic spritz cookies:

for 6-7 dozen.

1/2 cup butter softened
1/4 cup crisco shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
green food dye for tree shape

Mix butter and shortening in large bowl. Cream together on medium high speed.

Add the sugar gradually. Beat till light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Add egg and vanilla, mix well using medium speed.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt, THEN add to green butter/sugar mixture in 3 additions,
mixing well after each addition. Dough will be stiff.

Fill your cookie press. Press cookies on ungreased uncoated baking sheet (I never use uncoated, but may try this, would help them
not to stick to the cookie press)

Bake at 375 for 10 to 12 minutes, or until LIGHTLY browned around the edges. Do not overbake (The recipe said that, not me)

Did I mention you need to add the green dye before the flour? Yeah, you will make the mistake once, and then try to add it after the flour, and it will take you about an hour to try to get the color consistent, and by the time you are done you will have green fingers because you got so frustrated trying to mix it, you started using your hands......
Hopefully this will only happen to you once. I was not so lucky, but it was not written in the recipe, so I was supposed to remember,
yeah, right.....

Almond Butter Cookies (Crescents or Snowballs):
2 cups butter
¾ c sugar
1 ½ c finely chopped almonds
3 ½ tsp vanilla
3 ½ c flour
Mix, bake at 350 9-10 min. Roll into balls (as shown above) or crescent shapes. Ungreased pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Pecan Tassies:
-1/2 c butter
-1/2 c margarine
-6 oz cream cheese
-2 cups flour
Mix and chill for 1 hour. Form into approx 48 balls, press into mini-muffin tins.
For filling:
-2 eggs
-1 1/2 c brown sugar
-2 tbls melted butter
-1 1/2 c chopped pecans
-1 tsp vanilla
-Dash of salt
Bake 25-30 min @ 350. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies:
-3 c soft butter (6 sticks)
1 ½ c brown sugar
6 egg yolks – save the whites
3 tsp vanilla
6 c flour, ½ tsp salt
Mix all except flour/salt. Combine flour/salt together and blend into dough. Roll into balls. Dip in slightly beaten egg whites. Roll in chopped nuts. Bake 5 min, remove and press centers. Bake 8 mins more. Let cool, place jelly in middle.

And last but not least!!!

Moylan Family Fudge:
-2 qt saucepan
-1 stick butter/15 lg marshmallows
(melt together)
-add 2/3 c evaporated milk (5 oz can)
-2 cups sugar
-A sprinkle of salt
Cook on med heat until at a boil. When it bubbles, stir for 5 min. Remove immediately.
Add 1 cup semi sweet chips, 1 tsp vanilla, & 1 cup walnuts.
8X8 greased, let it cool

Monday, December 13, 2010

S'more Brownies = S'mownies

Okay, to be honest, I didn't make these brownies myself.

I've been traveling a lot for work lately. A lot. I was at my place in DC last weekend and won't be back there again until shortly before New Years. For the 2 days I was home, my roomie and I decided to have our pals over so I could see them all before the holidays. We ate a lot, watched Christmas movies.

So, anyway. I didn't make these. I tossed the ingredients on the kitchen counter and set my roommate up with a bowl and asked her to, (pretty please with sugar on top), make these festive brownies for our friends.

Luckily, my roommate is a good sport so, even though the flavor combination and concept seemed flawed, she did as I asked and made these lovely brownies.

Yummmm- look at the toasted marshmallow top. Fabulous.

The basic premise of these treats is creating a basic spin on the s'more. Chocolate, marshmallow, graham crackers. I bought the red and green marshmallows for our holiday party but, next time I think I'll go with the ordinary confections.

For those who are curious, I wasn't baking them myself because I was cleaning and tweaking like a crazy person. Plus I was unpacking, repacking, and trying to scrub every surface within reach at the same time. My roommate was being extremely patient, watching all this and also allowing me to be OCD and arrange, rearrange, and replace to it's original place again without saying a word. While she was baking for me in the kitchen, I was arranging the rest of the food made and gathered on our big Christmas trays.

See? Arranged. I love those napkins, by the by.

Anyway! So, most of those cookies are all store bought. I'll make/post my family's traditional cookies soon- once I have time again and am not being a crazy person.

However, just a small note: the pretzel rods shown are dipped in White Chocolate and rolled in crushed candy canes. Simple and delicious.

Hope you guys have more time then I do. And are having your own fabulous holiday soirees :)

-1 box brownie mix & all the ingredients the box requires
-1 bag miniature marshmallows
-1 box graham crackers.

Make the boxed brownies according to the directions. Grease 9 by 13 pan, line with graham crackers. Pour brownie mix over the top, bake according to box directions or until a tooth pick comes out clean when tested, (approx 25 mins @ 350). Remove from oven, top with marshmallows, spread evenly across the top. Turn oven up to "broil" setting, and "toast" the marshmallow topped treats until golden. It won't take longer then 2 mins so, really, do not walk/look away.

Enjoy & Merry Christmas :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

PW's Lemony Pasta

So, in case this hasn't been made clear by my track record here, I am relatively obsessed with the blog Pioneer Woman Cooks. This is yet another recipe provided by her web site, one among the many I plan on making and have been working through slowly but surely.

SO! Lemon pasta. It looks just as fresh and delicious in the pics as it does in person. And the taste is phenomenal.

It's zesty and also savory. I am a big fan of cheesy lemon pastas, usually with chicken in them as well. I would love to try this recipe with some chicken added into the mix. Or perhaps served next to some fish.

Oooh, yum. That actually sounds like a winning combination. White fish or shrimp with lemon pasta? Can't miss.

If you feel like you are being called to make this then, you should bite the bullet and just go make this. If you like, I could suffer through having some more. Especially if we are trying it with a protein. And if I don't have to do the dishes.

But, in simpler terms. This recipe is delicious, a snap, and reheats well. A fantastic weeknight meal, served with some kind of meat and perhaps a salad, you'll flip. Promise.

Enjoy :)


-1 pound Thin Spaghetti

-4 Tablespoons Salted Butter

-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

-2 cloves Garlic, Minced

-1 whole Lemon, Juiced And Zested

-2 cups Sour Cream

-½ teaspoons Kosher Salt, Or More To Taste

-Plenty Of Grated Parmesan Cheese

-Flat-leaf Parsley, Chopped

-Extra Lemon Juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook spaghetti until al dente.

In a skillet, melt butter with olive oil over LOW HEAT. When butter is melted, add minced garlic. Squeeze lemon juice into the pan. Turn off heat.

Add sour cream and stir mixture together. Add lemon zest and salt. Taste, then add more salt if necessary. Pour mixture over drained spaghetti and stir together, then pour spaghetti into an oven safe dish.

Bake, covered, for 15 minutes. Then remove foil and bake for an additional 7 to 10 minutes. (Don’t bake too long or the pasta will dry out.)

When you remove it from the oven, squeeze a little more lemon juice over the top. Top generously with Parmesan cheese, then chopped parsley. Give it a final squeeze of lemon juice at the end.