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Archive for the ‘cookies’ Category

For months I have been on the lookout for recipes that use miso, a lot if at all possible. About a year ago, I made some delicious chicken wings with honey, butter and a few spoonfuls of red miso in an effort to use of some miso I had on hand. You see, I have three tubs taking up space, one white, one red and one brown, leftover from a past consulting project and a year later the problem hasn’t diminished in the slightest. That miso is still there and though it will keep indefinitely properly wrapped, I don’t want to keep it indefinitely. Make soup, my friend said. It’s not a bad idea, the average miso soup recipe uses about ¼ cup, but I’m a little tired of soup. So instead, the tubs get shoved into a quiet forgotten corner until I move something and am confronted with their presence. Which is exactly what happened the other day. I need to deal with this stuff or toss it once and for all. It was time to start looking for some ideas.

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If you weren’t aware, I’m a fan of pork fat. Using lard rather than butter in some recipes, particularly baking recipes, changes the flavor and texture for the better. A pie crust made with lard, or my preference of a lard/butter combo, is like no other. Today, in honor of Cinco de Mayo, I had the idea to do some very traditional Mexican cookies from none other than Chicago’s own Chef Rick Bayless. And I was going make them with lard.

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Well Happy Valentine’s Day friends. That ever so special day of chocolate, hearts and overpriced flowers. I’m doing a few chocolate posts for the month and this is no exception though today, I’ve holiday’d it up for you. I’ve made cookies and if you’re going to make cookies for Valentine’s Day, they have to be heart shaped. It’s a rule.

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I have a soft spot in my heart for old school American Chinese restaurants. They are the food of my childhood, serving up comforting favorites like crispy egg rolls, chop suey and day-glo orange sweet and sour pork. Theses restaurants may not have been authentically Chinese but they served up some delicious food and the Ho-Wah in Phoenix Arizona was no exception. It is long gone but is, to this day, the standard by which I judge all American Cantonese restaurants. A storefront with an old neon sign and a very particular typeface will stop me in my tracks every time. The food may be hit or miss but when I’m lucky enough to find a good one, it brings me right back to those childhood meals at Ho-Wah and I’m happy.

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Here we are; the final day of The 12 Days of Cookies. And a Merry Christmas to you too! I saved this one for last because they are the essence of Christmas. Literally. They’re peppermint. If Christmas doesn’t smell like peppermint, then I don’t know what does. Today the final cookie to cap off my series of “one dough, many cookies” are Peppermint Crisps. Or Peppermint Candy Canes. Really depends on what you want to do and how much time you want to spend doing it.

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The finish line is in sight on this little 12 Days of Cookies project. So far we’ve taken a basic butter cookie dough and made a bunch of different cookies: Jam Thumbprints, Mexican Chocolate Crinkles, Butter Rum Bars, Cranberry Pistachio Coins, Candied Ginger Spice Buttons, Russian Teacakes, Apricot Rosemary Shortbread, Chocolate Hazelnut Buttons, Dark Chocolate Mocha Sandwich Cookies and Coconut Lime Sticks. All from one dough. A pretty good mix if I do say so. Today’s cookie, for Day 11, is a simple but delicious one. Pecan Triangles.

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I know … you put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up. I’d drink that so I understand why they wrote a whole song about it. Sounds wonderful, belly ache or not. Lime and coconut are a delicious combination and one I especially like in just about anything. In fact, last year around this time I made chewy Chile Lime Macaroons so it’s not like I haven’t explored this territory before. So for Day 10 of this 12 day cookie adventure, I did something a little different; buttery, crumbly yet tender. Today it’s Coconut Lime Sticks.

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