Tag Archive for 'cookie'

Mom’s Peanut Butter Cookies

moms cookies-2

Tre(e)mendous Love

The secret lives of trees. I read this really charming article that I can’t seem to get out of my mind, it talked about tress care for each other. I know, how can I say that and not expect you to flashback to Avatar? No harm in that. That’s certainly what I thought about when I read the adapted piece, which was authored by Melissa Bryer of Treehugger.com.

“ They can count, learn and remember; nurse sick neighbors; warn each other of danger by sending electrical signals across a fungal network know as the ‘wood wide web’; and keep the ancient stumps of long-felled companions alive for centuries by feeding them a sugar solution through their roots,” reveals Peter Wohllenben, A German forest ranger and author of “The Hidden Lives of Trees; What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World” which was released in September.

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To understand the deep connection trees have with each other was mindboggling. In many ways it seems like the perfect message for this post – EVERYTHING cares and often times we just don’t understand how or speak the language of other living things. >Too touchy feely? I get that sometimes when I say things like, “ I don’t want to perpetuate any more negative energy.” But this is really thinking beyond the branches, right?<

To enlighten you further, the research that Wohllenben conducted revealed that artificially spacing out trees to allow for more light and growth was counter productive as trees exist less like individuals and more as communal beings. By working together and sharing resources, via their root network, their resistance is increased against damaging influences. Much like humans throughout time, it was the family structure and sense of community that has often kept mankind afloat. And to bring this concept into the home, it is a sense of family and dining around the table sharing food, that personally gives me the connection to my family on a daily basis. Cooking helps ground me, it helps me find my roots when things get stressful and it also provides me a great amount of entertainment. I can appreciate trees finding their strength as communal beings – for as much as I like to be an individual these past few years have taught me just how important my family and community can be when life becomes scary.

This gluten free recipe is the first one I’ve developed when my mom was diagnosed with diabetes a number of years ago. She really didn’t eat many desserts but she always loved peanut butter cookies. The look on her face when I baked up the first batch of these was sheer happiness. I’d like to believe that it took a little of the edge off of her diagnosis. It was my way of saying that we’d find a way to get around it. That’s just what family does.

The cookie recipe is quite simple. Five ingredients, a bowl, spoon cookie sheet and 12 minutes in the oven will do. The crunchy peanut flavor and consistency is really spot on. It is exactly what a peanut butter cookie should be; crunchy, super soft, and chewy. Added perks- it is gluten fee, lactose free and refined sugar free. You’ll be amazed at how something so ‘free’ of the bad ingredients is so very good! After sinking your teeth into one of the gems you just might have your new favorite dessert.

moms cookies 1.2

Ingredients

1 cup crunchy peanut butter

2 TBS maple syrup

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsps unsalted peanuts, rough chopped

sea salt, sprinkle (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a spoon mix all ingredients until well blended. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Drop by teaspoonful onto a cookie sheet. Use fork to make a crisscross design. If using sea salt, sprinkle on top before baking.

Bake for 12 minutes and let cool. Store cookies in an airtight container.

Chocolate Chip Cookie – Bean Cake Cookies In Disguise (Gluten Free)

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I have lived on the edge of holding on. Holding onto quotes, phrases, and people. I am horrible at good-byes. And permanent good-byes terrify me. This type of closure pushes a hole deep into my heart. I guess I just can’t let go, so I live by Continue reading ‘Chocolate Chip Cookie – Bean Cake Cookies In Disguise (Gluten Free)’

BlogHer 10 Food-gaism and Alfajores (prounced al-fa-hor-es)

While I’d love to tell you that my time time at BlogHerFood 2010 #blogherfood was all about the sessions at the conference, that is not entirely true. In all honesty, it was also about the food and most importantly about the people. That is not in any way to minimize the quality sessions that I attended, I thought that the show organizers really put a lot of thought into making this event full of enrichment tracks and packed with speakers I couldn’t wait to hear. But at the end of the day, I know my experience was all the more satisfying because of what the people attending brought into the mix– the ‘social’ into ‘networking’; the element most often missed as we communicate on Twitter and FaceBook and LinkedIn.

For my second attendance at #blogherfood I wanted to bring something special to a few special people that I was fortunate enough to meet over the past few years. (The Ultimate Cappuccino Brownie was the treat I brought to BlogHer 09 Food – worth a try if you love the coffee and chocolate combo!) And I’d like to think these little colorful boxes, with home made treats inside, were coveted by those who received them and enjoyed by them as much as I enjoyed making them with my lovely friend Avanti Morocha.

Inside each box were four petite home baked alfajores. What is an alfajores you ask? Well it is something like a blond Oreo cookie stuffed with caramel sauce – the cookies are a soft butter cookie infused with orange zest, and drenched in powdered sugar, and well the rest is just yummy goodness.

While the word alfajor stems from the Arabic al-hasú, which means filled or stuffed, the history of this cookie can be traced to Andalusia Spain. Alfajores are popular in Argentina, Uruguay and Peru, although they can be found throughout South America in many different varieties.

Note: Immediately following the recipe post is my photo essay, which I hope reflects some of the great photo tips I learned from Todd Porter and and Diane Cu.

Avanti Morocha and Gina von

Avanti Morocha’s Soon-to-be-famous ALFAJORES

Ingredients

1¼ cup cornstarch
½ cup flour
2 tsps baking powder
3 TBS butter, room temperature
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp orange peel, zested
2 TBS milk (more if necessary)
1 cup manjar blanco (caramel), you can buy Nestle’s Dulce de Leche (13.5 oz) can

Directions

In a medium-size bowl, sift flour, cornstarch and baking powder. In a small-size bowl whip butter and sugar until well creamed. Add egg yolks, one at a time, while beating the butter mixture. Add sifted ingredients and orange peel.

Knead with hands, forming a ball. Cover with a cloth and set aside for 20 minutes. Often times, if the recipe is doubled, the mixture may seems too dry, and you will need to add additional milk.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Generously flour a flat surface and roll dough approximately 1/8 inch thick. Using a small cookie cutter, about the size of nickle. Cut circles and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until edges begin to color. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

To assemble, the caramel cookie sandwich, take one cookie and generously spread with manjar blanco/dules de leche. Cover with another cookie. Generously sprinkle with sifted confectioner’s sugar.

Don’t hold back, gobble them up! They are worthy of the work involved to make them.

Yields: 54 cookies, plus some tasters

Note: If you want to make the manjar blanco recipe, read on:

Ingredients

10 cups of milk
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract or half of a stick of vanilla

Directions

In a medium-size sauce pan, lightly coated with water, boil the milk, stirring constantly. When the milk begins to boil, add the sugar and vanilla and stir with a wooden spoon being careful to not let it stick to the pan. When the mixture begins to stick to the spoon, and you start to see the bottom of the pan, move to a plate. The mixture should not be loose.

Continue to stir it, once it is removed from the heat so that the mixture softens slightly.
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BlogHer Food 10 Begins!

The party at Orson’s kicked off the Scharffenberger and TootiFoodie Chocolate Adventure Contest complete with a fun blind taste test of some of their previous adventure ingredients, and chocolate recipe sampling. Thank you to Marcia Gagliardi/Tablehopper, Scharffenberger, TuttiFoodie and Orson, it was a great way to start the fun and get those taste buds flowing.

Tour of a few of the Ferry Building’s Culinary Offerings

Back on the conference show floor, Chef Elizabeth Falkner invites attendees to cup cake decorating party gourmet-style.

La Petite Soirée was an event to behold, the foodie theme was SF food carts and each one was better than the next – Girl From Empanada, Sataysfied, Local Flavor, Good Eats + more! I wish it had been possible to bring a second stomach to this event, as I was stuffed and wished I could eat seconds! Thank you to Stefania Pomponi Butler, Helen McSweeney Kristen Doyle, and Jane Maynard.

Back at the show, the cooking demonstrations continued and so did the prizes.


Closing Key note was an inspirational treat with Shauna James Ahern, Michael Ruhlman , Molly Wizenberg

And for the foodie event crescendo (AKA the closing party), at the California Culinary Academy, home of Le Cordon Bleu, Elise Bauer, Jaden Hair, and Ree Drummond hosted the first all gluten free party I’ve ever attended. It proved to me that everyone could eat gluten free and not feel deprived; it was delicious! I am still dreaming about at least 6 of the recipes served. I am inspired!

Thanks to BlogHer for such a great conference! It was mentally stimulating, socially engaging and totally foodgasmic!

To read additional recaps of the conference, there are a few links to reference (and if you’d like to have your post added to the list, just send me an email at bowllicker@gmail.com):

The Italian Dish: BlogHer Food 2010 in San Francisco

Panini Happy: Memorable Moments from BlogHer Food ’10

Bay Area Bites: BlogHer Food Conference, Day 2

Celiacs in the House: BlogHer Food 2010

Celiac Teen: BlogHer Food and Irish Soda Buns

Chef Druck: 9 Cheap Props Every Budding Food Blogger Needs

Dine and Dish: Defining Success (Recipe: Slice and Bake Sugar Cookies)

Eat the Love: Don’t Forget the Homos! Blogher Food 2010

Everyday Alice (of SavorySweetLife): BlogHer Food 10 – My Blog Conference Take Away

Food Blogga: Nine Things I Learned at BlogHer Food 10 Conference

Food Woolf: How to Go to a Food Blogging Conference

In Jennie’s Kitchen: Chestnut Orange Crisps

Picky Palate: BlogHer Food Extravaganza

Steamy Kitchen: Oinker

Use Real Butter: something about best intentions + blogher food 2010 recap

What’s Gaby Cooking BlogHer Food and San Fran

Will Write for Food: BlogHer Food, the Love Fest

White on Rice: Appreciation- Speaking at Blogher Food 2010

***And last of all, for those whom might enjoy reading my take-aways from BlogHer 09 Food: The Denied Inner Cook (the monster post unwrapped) you may just see a few familiar faces. Enjoy!