Thursday, 10 January 2013

A Little Bit of Everything Cookie


A Little Bit of Everything Cookie
I've been following Becca from It's Yummilicious and her facebook page - I enjoy her site, recipes  and her wonderful pictures!  She posted an awesome picture and recipe of her Monster Cookies and I thought - what a great way to use up all the little bits of candies from all my Christmas baking! I had little bits of this and that....

As you can see my ingredients are a little different but made up the a total of 2 cups of  candy - I had a bit of the mini peanut butter cups, vanilla chips, M&M's and chocolate chips.
So here it is - with a little twist ...
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup powdered (confectioner's) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 4 ounces, softened
  • 2 cups of mixed candies M&Ms, mini chocolate peanut butter cups, milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
Here's is what you do to put it together......
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oatmeal, salt, and baking soda; set aside.
Using an electric hand or stand mixer, cream the butter and both sugars until well combined, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing on medium-high speed to incorporate each one completely before adding the next. Add your vanilla extract and then Add the peanut butter and mix on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute.
Turn off the mixer and add the dry ingredients and then mix on low, mixing only until BARELY combined. Over mixing will result in a tough cookie. Use a wooden spoon and stir in the 2 cups of candies and chocolate chips.
Scoop a medium spoonful of dough about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets.
Bake the cookies for 9 minutes. DON'T OVER BAKE – the cookies should just be set, but still slightly wet on top and very lightly golden around the edges. Let the cookies sit for 1-2 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Store in a airtight container for up to 4 days (the baked cookies freeze well, also).
Notes *** Granulated white sugar can be used instead of powdered sugar, increase the amount to 1 and 1/4 cup.

The cute little COOKIES BAG are available on our website.

Original Recipe from It's Yummilicious


Saturday, 5 January 2013

Smell that Bread! No-Knead Bread

No-Knead Bread
 It is almost like you can smell it just from seeing the picture!
So right to the recipe -- super easy but you need to plan the day before because it needs 12 to 18 hours to be done.  My dutch oven was my Grandma's and then my Mom's and now mine - many roasts, baked spaghetti, and loaves have been baked in this.
In a big bowl add:
 6 cups of All Purpose Flour
2 1/2 teaspoons of salt
Mix these two together first then add
1/2 teaspoon of yeast
2 and 2/3 cups of cool (not cold and not warm) water.
**Note feel free to add seasoning at this point too - rosemary, Italian, herb***
Mix with a wooden spoon until it comes together - it will be very sticky.  If you find it a little dry just add a little more water a bit at a time.
Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and a light tea towel.  I place my bowl in a warm part of the kitchen (not near any drafts) and wrap the bowl with a couple of heavier towels.
Let it sit overnight for at least 12 hours - 18 is good too!
When your time is up - add some flour on your counter and pull out the bread - don't do too much to it - just enough to make it into a ball.
Place it on a cookie sheet covered with a  well floured cotton towel seam side down.
Cover again with another cotton sheet (make sure there is flour on the top of the bread ball)
Let rise for about 2 hours.
After an hour and half - turn your oven on to 424 degrees F.  Place your dutch oven in the oven while it is warming up.
When your oven is ready - take your dutch oven out and carefully pick up your loaf in the tea towel and drop it into the dutch oven - shake it a bit to centre it in the dutch oven.  REMEMBER the dutch oven is hot so don't forget your mitts! :)
Put a lid on the dutch oven and put back in the oven for 40 minutes
Then uncover and continue to bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
Place on cookie rack to cool for about 1 hour--- ok try and let it cool before you slice into it- it really is important not to slice a hot loaf of bread.

You need it place it on the rack so the bottom doesn't get soggy. And if you cut it while it is hot the steam will escape and result in drier bread. I will confess I don't always follow the rule because it's so hard to resist bread out of the oven ... it is almost torture having this wonderful aroma of freshly baked bread wafting from the kitchen and being told to wait an hour to eat it.


I had people ask if they could just bake it in a loaf pan - I guess you could but it would not be the same at all!

Why?  Well a dutch oven holds a little secret when baking bread and that is to make a loaf that is soft and moist on the inside and crusty on the outside lies in the balance of heat and humidity. The long, (no) knead-free fermentation process allows the dough to develop good flavor, and then the Dutch oven creates the humid conditions needed for a crisp crust.  For those of you that are afraid to try bread - this is a great recipe to start with -- at true artisan bread! Why pay $6.00 or more at a bread shop when for pennies you can make this and you feel so good about doing it and of course eating it too. :) 
This is great as toast too!