Tag Archives: brown sugar

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

15 Feb

flourless peanut butter cookies

Can we talk about all the things I love about this recipe? Since there’s no flour, it’s great for gluten-free folks, and there’s also no worry if you’ve run out of flour in your cabinet (or butter, for that matter). Another perk of the lack of flour is that you don’t have to worry about overworking the dough. This means that you can taste and adjust the quantities of peanut butter, sugar, and salt, if you’d like (so long as you don’t mind raw egg – or taste before adding the egg), so it’d be easy to practically just eyeball the recipe (not something a lot of baked goods can claim). Last, but most important, these cookies are delicious – and seriously addictive. These are probably the best peanut butter cookies I’ve ever eaten. Every time I ate one, I found myself saying, “I could eat a million of these” and needing to tuck the container out of sight. They’re healthy, I tried to convince myself when inevitably grabbing another moments later – there’s no butter or flour, plus there’s added protein from the peanut butter (shh, don’t remind me about all that sugar). You probably want to double the recipe – trust me. You can thank me later.

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Black Bean Kimchi Quinoa Salad

7 Dec

black bean kimchi quinoa salad

Okay, I know I just posted about quinoa bibimbap, and yet here I am posting another recipe using both quinoa and kimchi. But this recipe doesn’t follow traditional Korean flavors; instead, there’s great fusion going on here with the incorporation of black beans and zucchini. In fact, you could take this recipe even further from your usual Asian flavors by seasoning it with a more traditional salad dressing instead of the mix of rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and brown sugar I use here. The black beans and zucchini are a surprisingly good match for the fermented flavors of the kimchi, and the overall effect is a great meal option that’s healthy but not boring.

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Momofuku Pulled Pork

21 Nov

momofuku pulled pork

It’s not often that a recipe comes along that I can eat for multiple days straight. I get easily tired of eating the same thing and am always craving something new – that question about, if you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, leaves me feeling panicked contemplating the possibility. But despite the large quantity of pulled pork made by this recipe, taken from the menu of the famous New York restaurant Momofuku, I found myself wanting even more when I ran out (after 48 hours straight of using it in every meal). The recipe is deceptively simple (though, admittedly, requires some patience), with the shoulder rubbed with salt and sugar, then cooked for hours in low heat, and finally glazed with brown sugar at the very end. The result is moist, tender pork with an addictive salty-sweet crust – I can never resist the salty-sweet combination. For my first few meals, I ate this with a Korean spread reminiscent of how its served in the restaurant, alongside homemade kimchi, a scallion ginger relish (recipe included at the bottom of the post), thinly sliced cucumber, and leaves of butter lettuce (there’s also rice served in the restaurant, but I didn’t find it necessary here). But because the pork itself is so simple, there’s no need to stick to serving it Asian-style – I also had this on a salad with black beans, apples, blue cheese, and a red wine vinaigrette, as well as in a sandwich on crusty French bread. No matter how you serve it, this version of pulled pork is worth cooking up

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Fall Salad with Butternut Squash, Apples, and Blue Cheese

16 Nov

fall salad with butternut squash apples and blue cheese

I’m starting to miss fall. Winter, I don’t mind skipping – bitter cold and biting wind, all the color sucked out of everything, and root vegetables and leafy greens the only thing in season (and even those shipped from milder climates further south). But fall is pleasantly cool with gorgeously tinted leaves and matching squashes of various shapes and sizes, driving an hour or two to taste crisp apples straight from the tree, and cinnamon-scented everything. I’ve been craving seasonal fall dishes. So I decided, despite the rising temperatures here, to put together this fall salad. Everything was easily available here (except for the radicchio called for in the original recipe which I chose to replace with red cabbage, for color, and arugula, for bite), and the end result has a great mix of flavors and textures. Butternut squash roasted with brown sugar for extra sweetness and ancho chile powder for spice, as well as sweetness from a honey garlic vinaigrette and apple slices, but all balanced by spicy arugula and crisp cabbage, the crunch of pepitas, and the funkiness of blue cheese. Not quite your typical fall salad, but a great remedy for my homesick self.

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Snickerdoodle Bars

5 Oct

snickerdoodle bars

I’m a big fan of cinnamon – it’s a major flavor in many of my favorite sweet and savory dishes, featuring in garam masala, spiced chocolate, and even my favorite chili recipe. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’m a big fan of snickerdoodles. But I prefer my cookies in bar form (easier to make and much more decadent!), so these snickerdoodle bars are, in my opinion, even better than the traditional snickerdoodles. I dialed up the cinnamon, adding extra to the batter and a thorough topping of cinnamon sugar (using turbinado sugar for a little change in texture – I like the crunch on top). Perfect for any other cinnamon lovers out there, and you certainly won’t have a hard time getting anyone else to eat them either.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

22 Jun

chocolate chip cookie bars

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not really a traditionalist. So maybe it’s not surprising that I prefer these chocolate chip cookie bars to regular chocolate chip cookies. They’re still the classic combination of sweet buttery cookie dough and rich chocolate chips, but the bar form means they’re nice and golden brown on the outside while staying soft and nearly underbaked on the inside. Plus they’re easier to make since there’s no measuring out dollops of dough and multiple batches to bake. The sprinkle of sea salt at the end certainly doesn’t hurt either.

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Brownie Cookies

28 May

brownie cookies

Some people love brownies, and some people love cookies, but most people, myself included, love both. For all of them, these are a revelatory dessert. All of the chocolate decadence of a brownie in cookie form. The key to this magical crossover dessert is large quantities of melted chocolate and eggs which give the cookies a fudge-like texture. Simple to make and guaranteed to please, these cookies should most definitely make their way into your life. You’ll never look at brownies or cookies quite the same way again.

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Garam Masala Cookies

18 May

garam masala cookies

When it comes to desserts, I much prefer the unusual to the ordinary. I’ve never been one for vanilla ice cream or chocolate chip cookies; they’re tasty, sure, but way too boring for me. Give me something complex and exciting! These garam masala cookies are definitely in line with my dessert philosophy. Yes, they’re sweet, as cookies are meant to be, but they’re also nutty from brown butter and spicy from garam masala. At first, these fragrant cookies are reminiscent of spice cookies, with the familiar flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. But then there are those less familiar notes from the other components of the garam masala. While unusual, these cookies are still thoroughly enjoyable even for less adventurous eaters and were scarfed right up when I baked them for a party. So, whether you always prefer unique desserts or usually opt for more vanilla options, these cookies are worth throwing together the next time you have a chance.

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Candied Kumquats

11 May

candied kumquats

Kumquats, if you’ve never had them, are a citrus fruit about the size and shape of grapes. Unlike other citruses, you can eat the peel of a kumquat, and in fact, the peel is pleasantly sweet while the flesh itself is quite tart. These flavors make kumquats great for eating straight, but they’re even better when candied. The basic formula for candying citrus is easy – water, sugar, and fruit. But I’ve changed things up a little here for this recipe. Brown sugar and bourbon add extra sweetness and depth while a dried chile lends a little kick. The result is complex and delicious. These candied kumquats can be used for both savory and sweet applications; they’d be just as at home on top of a salad or in a lamb stew as on top of a cake or mixed into ice cream. My absolutely favorite use, though, is as a replacement for the traditional orange slice and maraschino cherry in an old-fashioned. Top a spoonful of these (making sure to get some of their syrup) with ice, bourbon, and bitters, and you’re really in for a treat.

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Carrot Cake Muffins Baked in Eggshells

11 Apr

carrot cake muffins baked in eggshells

Usually I’m all about taste, but every once in a while, I decide to cook something mostly for the visual impact. These muffins baked inside of eggshells were perfect for a spring brunch (where I also served scrambled eggs from the emptied out eggs – waste not, want not). You can use this technique with your favorite muffin or cupcake batter, but I decided that carrot cake muffins (a less sweet and more breakfast friendly take on classic carrot cake) with a “yolk” made from a cream cheese filling seemed like a great fit. I was pretty pleased with how these turned out, but I’d definitely do some things differently next time. The batter stuck to the eggshells which I hadn’t quite anticipated, so I think swirling a drop of oil inside them before filling would be useful. I filled my eggs using a plastic bag with the corner cut off, but I think a professional pastry tip would make this a lot easier and quicker. I also overfilled the shells, and while it’s easy enough to scrape off the overflowing muffin after they’re baked, this meant that my “yolks” didn’t end up as pretty little balls in the center of the egg as hoped, so stick to filling the eggs a little less than 2/3rds full. Learn from my mistakes so you don’t have to make them! Even with these small issues (and the hours spent emptying eggshells and piping batter in them), everyone at brunch was very impressed, and it was really fun to crack away the shell and reveal a muffin!

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