Sunday, December 28, 2008

deeeelicious recipes

As I'm not sure how I'd go about making cookies and veggie burgers funny, I'll just provide you with the following recipes I've discovered recently. They are so magically delicious that I felt the need to share.

First, the cookies I distributed for Christmas -

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
(I think these are actually the tastiest cookies I've ever had.)

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a mixer beat together the butter with the sugars until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until smooth after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add in the vanilla. On a low speed beat in the flour mixture a little at a time. Gently mix in chocolate chips.

On an ungreased cookie sheet, drop teaspoons of the batter about 2 inches apart. Bake until just cracked on top, about 8 to10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking time. Cool completely.

The recipe calls for topping the cookies with a peppermint glaze, but I omitted it for two reasons: 1) I think icing on a cookie is a bit much, and 2) they'd get all stuck together and not be as easily packagable for gift givery. Instead, I added about a teaspoon of peppermint extract to the batter and called it a day. (In another batch, I used 1 c. chocolate chips, and 1 c. chopped Andes mints, but I think it's cheaper, easier, and every bit as tasty to just use the extract.)

I baked them for 7 minutes which made them verra, verra soft and fabulous, because who wants a crunchy cookie? Gross. Just make sure to let them cool almost completely if you soft-bake them because they will completely disintegrate if you pick them up too early.

I also gave peanut butter fudge, and I am hesitant to share the recipe with you because I prefer everyone thinks of me as slaving over the stove with a candy thermometer and praying for just the right humidity. Actually, I just nuke it and stir it up.

Peanut Butter Fudge, courtesy of Alton Brown

Microwave 1lb (2 sticks) of butter with 1 cup of peanut butter for 2 minutes in a BIG plastic mixing bowl. After 2 minutes, take it out and give it a stir. Nuke it for 2 more minutes, then remove it and immediately stir in 1lb of powdered sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Spread it in a pan lined with wax paper and chill.

I like to cut it with a pizza cutter before it's completely chilled so I can get a nice clean line. I find that when I cut it after it's chilled, it kind of splinters and doesn't look as pretty.

Having eating entirely too many chocolate peppermint cookies and peanut butter fudge, I decided to give up food for 2009. I really only made it for a couple of hours, so I decided instead to start eating a buttload of fruits and vegetables and give up meat and dairy products almost entirely. I found the following recipe in a cookbook called 1000 Vegetarian Recipes from Around the World, which contains mostly just recipes instructing you on how to cook the hell out of once-nutritious vegetables and smother them in cheese.

This one for veggie burgers, however, it not half bad, especially after I made it better.

Black Bean/Soy/Veggie Burgers

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. sunflower oil (Who the heck has that? I used canola.)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped (I used a whole head of roasted garlic instead)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
5 oz white mushrooms, finely chopped (Because I think mushrooms smell and taste like ball sweat, I substituted the recommended 4 oz. of finely chopped carrots and zucchini)
1 1/2 canned red pinto or red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (I used black beans instead.)
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley (I didn't have any.)
a handful or so of all purpose flour
salt & pepper

I also added a couple tablespoons of wing sauce and two pounds of ground soy, a delish and convincing substitute for ground beef. I also used white pepper instead of black. I added one beaten egg to the whole mix at the end to bind it.

Preheat the broiler.

Mash the beans together with the meatless ground (or just the beans alone if you're not using it) with a fork or a potato masher in a big bowl.

Saute the onions for about 5 minutes. Throw in the spices, and then the carrots and zucchini (or mushrooms, barf) for another 5 minutes. Add the veggies to the mix. Season with salt & pepper. Add the beaten egg, and stir it all together. Add a little bit of flour here and there til it seems dry enough to hold together. Form it into patties and put them on a cookie sheet lined with foil.

This next part works better if you have two identical cookie sheets.

Cook them on the middle rack under the preheated broiler for 7 minutes. If they seem too gooey to pick up and flip (which they probably will), put the other cookie sheet on top (also lined with foil) and flip it over QUICKLY. Remove the cookie sheet that is now on top and gently peel back the top layer of foil to avoid tearing the patties. Broil for another 5 minutes, or until it looks dry on the outside. Let them cool a bit before you handle them.

I ate mine topped with sliced avocado, and it was deeeelicious.

Here's hoping the moon/cheese wheel/piggy teakettle face is on its way out.

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