With Sweet Dreams and Even Sweeter Days

Monday, September 24, 2012

Biscoff Glazed Oatmeal Cookies




Everyone has their way of de-stressing when things get a little overwhelming.

A part of me wishes my go to de-stresser was something like taking a jog or yoga. 

But nope.  It seems my way to zone out when I can't even comprehend how many things I have to do and how many places I have to be, is to make cookies.  Lots and lots of cookies.

These particular gems came out of my most recent stress out, and let me say... I'm so glad they did.

Super soft oatmeal cookies (aided by the addition of greek yogurt) are baked until golden and then smothered by a sweet Biscoff glaze.

I mean I guess you don't have to smother the cookies with the glaze, but I think you'll be inclined to do just that.  Not only does it keep the cookies fresh for days, but it also maybe makes them a little bit addicting.

I'm talking "I just had two for breakfast and I'm debating whether or not I can rationalize having one as a mid-morning snack."

Rest assured it can be done.


But you're familiar with Biscoff right?  It's a spread that's becoming more and more well known in the United States and is similar to peanut butter in texture but instead of peanuts ground up to make it the spread uses.....cookies.

Therefore you know it's gonna be great.

And these cookies are just as fantastic.  So in lieu of 8 million + adjectives, I'm just going to let them speak for themselves.

Make them.  Love them.

Enjoy.


Biscoff Glazed Oatmeal Cookies
Printer Friendly Version
Servings: About 18 cookies

Ingredients:

For The Cookies:
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 stick (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 6 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)

For The Glaze:
- 1/4 cup Biscoff Spread
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons light corn syrup

Directions:
Whisk together oats, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and flour in a bowl until combined.  In a large bowl beat butter, oil, and sugar until well combined and fluffy.  Beat in egg until fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.  Beat in yogurt and vanilla until combined.  Add in flour slowly, mixing just until combined.  Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with either parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.  Measure out approximately 2 Tbsp of dough for each cookie and space on baking sheets at least 2 inches apart.  Bake for 12-14 minutes, rotating pans halfway through, or until edges are light golden.  Let cool on wire racks for 5 minutes and then let cool completely on wire racks.  When cookies are cool make icing.

Combine biscoff, milk, powdered sugar, and corn syrup in a bowl until smooth.  Place rack with cookies over paper towels.  Pour/spoon glaze over cookies and allow at least 30 minutes to set (if you can).  Enjoy.

Recipe adapted from: Bake at 350

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Beer Batter Bread


The old standby.

A favorite sweatshirt.

A song that brings you back to a certain time with only a few notes.

A birthday meal.

Something that, if had every day would certainly not be the most extraordinary, but every once in awhile feels like the best thing in the world.


In a baking life where repeats are practically nonexistent, this beer batter bread is a wonderful standby.  I think I've made it around 4-5 times in the past few years (which trust me is monumental) and every time I wonder how it's taken me so long to come back to it.

Yeasty and chewy, comforting with just a hint of sweetness, the perfect bread to whip up on a whim.

It goes great with soups, sandwiches, and all on its own, preferably smeared with some softened butter and a generous sprinkle of sea salt.

My next idea is a a killer breakfast sandwich loaded up with bacon eggs and cheddar on this, or a grilled cheese would be amazing too.

The options are endless and if you try this out with a different beer every time, you'll never be bored.


And I recommend you do just that.

Easy and wonderful every time.

An enduring favorite of mine.

Enjoy.


Beer Batter Bread
Printer Friendly Version
Servings: 1 loaf

Ingredients:
- 3 cups flour
- 3 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 (12oz) bottle of beer (unopened at room temperature)
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter (melted)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degress F.  Grease a 9x5 inch baking loaf pan.  In a bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Open the beer and add all at once.  Stir until just combined.  Pour into pan and drizzle with melted butter.  Bake 35-40 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.  Let rest in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, the turn out onto wire rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature with butter.  Or with soup.  Or make killer sandwiches.  Anything goes.  Enjoy.


Recipe adapted from: The William Sonoma Baking Book

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Orange Bourbon Barbecue Sauce


In theory, the time between summer and fall has the potential to be one of the most magical times of the year.

The days warm enough to hold all the wonderful outdoor activities that we associate with summer, with the nights and mornings cooling off enough to hint at the weather that's just around the corner.

In practice, it doesn't always go that well.

(Maybe I drank a pumpkin spice latte in 90 degree heat because I was so excited about them coming back, or maybe I got caught in an air-conditioned classroom that was freezing in a summer dress.  Maybe.)

When we can hit the mark between summer and fall just right though, it is one of the most wonderful things imaginable.  And this sauce is there.

With the days cool enough to be able to stand over a simmering pot but with the weather nice enough to still get out there and grill, you basically have no reason not to make this.

This sauce is out of this world.

Think making your own barbecue sauce is obsolete?  It'll take just one taste to change your mind.  All of the normal suspects of homemade barbecue sauce (brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar etc) come together with bourbon and orange to create something that is absolutely out of this world.  The sweetness of the orange juice reminds of the long summer days while the slight spice from the bourbon echoes the colder nights that will be here before we know it.

And it could not be easier.

This would be great with any food associated with regular barbecue sauce.  We enjoyed ours warmed over grilled chicken, but next time you better believe I'll be going at it with some homemade french fries.  Oh yes.

So while maybe I haven't got my wardrobe or coffee choices down pat just yet, this sauce is definitely spot on.

And is one of the best way to savor the last days of summer and welcome in fall.

So so good.

Enjoy.


Orange Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
Servings: 2-3 cups

Ingredients:
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced - I used the kind from a squeeze bottle and it worked great)
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 3/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp black pepper (ground)
- 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:
Heat olive in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onions and sauté until slightly browned and mostly clear (about 5 minutes).  Add garlic and sauté for a minute or so more.  Bring the heat to low and add the bourbon, scraping the pan as you go.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 35-40 minutes, or until reduced and thickened.  Store mixture in an airtight container.  


Recipe adapted from: Joy the Baker




Sunday, September 2, 2012

Candied Cherries


In the time that I've been baking, I've used the things that I've made to say one thing or another.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm a big proponent of words (as anyone who's ever spent any time with me can attest) and feel if I was going to err on a side, it probably would be of over-using them.

Words can hurt, words can comfort.  I know in my case words can often inspire.


But, on occasion, there are some things that words can't say.

And the act of sharing or just enjoying food with someone is a way to fill in the blanks.  Little kindnesses we could sometimes use just a little more of.


Fresh cherries are combined with sugar, lemon juice and water, then simply cooked and cooled to create a topping that was an exclamation point on the various treats I chose to put with them... brownies, ice cream, and sherbet all making the list.

They were also an exclamation point on the ending of an awesome summer.  

Easy to make.  Easier to share.  

Enjoy.


Candied Cherries

Ingredients:
- 1 lb sweet cherries (fresh or frozen) 
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 drop almond extract

Directions:
Stem and pit the cherries.  Combine cherries, water, sugar, and lemon juice in a large saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Turn down the heat until cherries come to a low boil and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally for the first 15 minutes and frequently the last 10 minutes so cherries don't stick.  One the syrup has thickened, take off and add almond extract.  Allow pan and cherries to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container until ready for use.


Recipe adapted from: The Perfect Scoop