Wednesday, March 26, 2014

S'mores Cookies


  • 11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • (optional) 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 2 ½ cups flour

  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • 1 cup mini marshmallows

  • 3 regular sized Hershey’s bars, broken into pieces

  • 1-2 packages graham crackers, broken into squares


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon to combine. Set aside.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter with white and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.

  3. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixer and combine on low speed.

  4. Fold in the chocolate chips and marshmallows. Chill dough in refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight (I did one batch right away and another after chilling overnight and found there was no difference.)

  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking pans with parchment paper. I used one 11x17 pan and one 9x13 pan but you can really use any sized pans you want.

  6. Lay out graham crackers side by side on the pans as close as possible (they should be touching). I used 16 graham cracker squares on one pan and 10 squares on another. You may have to add or remove graham crackers according to how much dough you have. If you want your cookies thicker you will use more dough and less graham crackers.

  7. Place tablespoons of dough on graham crackers about 1 – 1 ½ inches apart. I averaged about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough per graham cracker square as seen in the picture above. Press down slightly with fingertips.

  8. Bake for 5 minutes then remove from oven to press Hershey’s bar pieces on to the top. You can place as many pieces or as little as you want depending how much chocolate flavor you want.

  9. Bake for an additional 5 – 7 minutes or more if your cookies are thicker. They will be done when the edges begin to turn golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool. For clean cutting make sure cookies are completely cool and cut with a sharp knife.

Mexican Short Rib Tacos


6-8 beef short ribs- 2 inches tall (3-4 lbs) or substitute a 2-3 lb beef roast
kosher salt
1-2 T oil
4 C beef stock
1 16 oz dark beer
5 -6 dried New Mexico chilies-destemed, seeds removed.
8 garlic cloves- whole
1 large onion- rough chopped
1 T cumin seed
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp allspice
2 bay leaves
1 T mexican oregano
2 T brown sugar
one large onion sliced into ⅓ inch rings
1 T olive oil
Corn or flour Tortillas
handful Cilantro
hot sauce
½ Cup queso fresco cheese ( optional)

Pre-heat oven to 300 F
Generously salt and pepper all sides of the short ribs. (Use more salt than you think) Heat oil in a heavy bottom Dutch oven over medium high heat. When the oil is hot,add the ribs and brown all sides of the ribs - be patient, it takes time and this step is quite important. If splattering, cover partially with a lid. You want a nice deep color on all sides. This is crucial! Be careful not to overcrowd ( you may want to do in batches). Once they are nice and brown, remove and set aside. In the same pot, turn heat to down medium and add onions and whole garlic, stirring constantly until golden brown and just tender about 3-4 minutes. Add cumin, cinnamon stick, allspice, oregano and bay leaves, and stir for 1-2 minutes. Add beer, stock and place the short ribs in the liquid with the bone sticking strait up. Liquid will just come to the top of the ribs. Turn heat to high, bring to a boil. Cover with a tight fitting lid ...or with two-three layers of foil, creating a tight seal. Place in the middle of the hot oven and bake for 3 hours, without opening the lid.

In the mean time, slice one large onion into ⅓ inch thick rings and sauté in a little oil on medium high for 5 minutes, turn heat to low and sauté until caramelized and golden, about 10 more minutes.
You could also make pico de gallo or pickled radishes ( optional) … see link above.

After 3 hours, the meat will be fork tender and flavorful. Leave the meat in the braising liquid until ready to serve. When ready, remove ribs from the liquid. Skim the fat, from the pot. Using a fork, or tongs, separate meat from bone and fatty parts and set meat aside. Taste the meat for salt, adding more if necessary. Fish out some of the flavorful chili peppers from the liquid and toss with the meat along with a few tablespoons of the juices left in the pot. The little bits of cumin seed are good too. Remember the meat will dry out quickly once removed from the cooking liquid, so if not serving right away, keep the ribs in the liquid.
Place cheese on tortillas, then place directly on the racks inside a 350 F oven, until melted. Remove from the oven, and place some of the meat, caramelized onion, cilantro and hot sauce inside the tortilla. Serve.


Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4

Lemon Meringue Muffins

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 25 min.

MAKES: 12 servings


  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened

  • 1 cup sugar, divided

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 egg whites


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and 2/3 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in yogurt, lemon juice, peel and extract.

  2. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture; stir just until moistened. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake 17-19 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes clean. Remove from the oven. Increase oven setting to 400°.

  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high after each addition until sugar is dissolved. Continue beating until stiff glossy peaks form.

  4. Spread or pipe meringue onto muffins. Bake 6-8 minutes longer or until meringue is golden brown.

  5. Cool 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 1 dozen.

Nutritional Facts

1 muffin equals 188 calories, 7 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 52 mg cholesterol, 135 mg sodium, 28 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 4 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 fat.

Chai Banana Cake

Makes 1 (9”) loaf or 5 (3”) loaves

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 medium (over-ripe) bananas
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, salt, allspice, and nutmeg together, into a mixing bowl and set aside.
2. Pour milk and chai into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and steep for 20 minutes, discarding the used chai. Then in a small bowl, mash bananas with chai milk. Set aside.
3. In another mixing bowl cream together butter and sugar, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of the bowl and add mix in eggs, one at a time.
4. Stir in the vanilla and banana mixture, until just combined.
5. Add in flour mixture and stir together until fully combined.
6. Grease an 8″x8″ baking dish or an 11″ (oval) baking dish and pour in banana cake mixture.
7. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the bread.
8. Allow bread to cool in pan for about 20 minutes before removing and allowing bread to cool completely. Slice and serve.

Fruit Salad Ice Pops


  • 1 peach, cut into 1/2-inch slices (1/2 cup)

  • 2 kiwis, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds

  • 3 ounces blueberries (1/2 cup)

  • 4 ounces strawberries, hulled and halved ( 3/4 cup)

  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups 100 percent white-grape juice


  1. STEP 1

    Arrange some of each fruit in eight 3-ounce ice-pop molds, making sure pieces fit very snugly. Pour enough juice into each mold to just cover fruit. Insert ice-pop sticks and freeze until solid, 6 hours (or up to 2 weeks).

White Chocolate Truffles


12 oz white chocolate baking bars or squares, chopped
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 cup flaked coconut


  • 1In 2-quart heavy saucepan, heat 8 oz of the white chocolate, the whipping cream and rum over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is softened and mixture can be stirred smooth. Remove from heat; transfer to small bowl. Place plastic wrap over surface of mixture. Refrigerate about 2 hours until mixture is firm enough to hold its shape.

  • 2Line cookie sheet with waxed paper. Scoop rounded teaspoonfuls of white chocolate mixture onto cookie sheet; roll lightly to shape into 1-inch balls. Freeze 15 minutes. Heat oven to 350°F. Bake coconut in a shallow pan for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.

  • 3In small microwavable bowl, microwave remaining 4 oz white chocolate uncovered on High 45 to 60 seconds, stirring once, until softened and chocolate can be stirred smooth. Place coconut in resealable food-storage plastic bag or between sheets of waxed paper; crush slightly with rolling pin. In shallow dish, place coconut. Dip each truffle in melted white chocolate; coat immediately with coconut. Return to cookie sheet; refrigerate 10 minutes or until firm. Store covered in refrigerator.

Violet and Lemon Eclairs

 choux pastry


(175g) 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
(33g) 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp sugar
(240g) 1 cup water
(120g) 4.2 ounce unsalted butter
1/4 tsp kosher salt
4 eggs
preheat the oven to 375f
Line two sheet pans with baking paper
in a bowl combine the flour and sugar,
in a heavy based pan add the water and butter stir until the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat and tip in the flour, sugar and salt, using a wooden spoon stir rigorously until the mixture comes together and forms a ball, put back on the heat and continue stirring for a minute.
tip the dough in to the bowl of a mixer and let cool for five minutes,
in a bowl add the eggs and mix, them slowly add a 1/4 at a time mixing it completely before you add the next 1/4.
add the mixture into a piping bag with a plain tip and pipe the eclairs,
lower the oven to 350f
bake eclairs for 35 minutes,
lover oven to 325f
remove them from the oven and prick them with a knife and bake for another 10 minutes until golden brown. place on cooling rack

to make lemon cream

zest of half a lemon
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp powdered sugar
whip the cream till soft peaks and add the lemon juice, zest and powdered sugar, then continue to whip until stiff peaks.
pipe into the eclairs, then ice them, by mixing powdered sugar and a little water and then i added some purple food colouring, i used a few drops of violet extract.

to candy the violets brush on egg whites then dip in sugar and leave to harden.

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