Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipes in this PostPumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

My Introduction to Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

When Spane was a toddler, I had him on a reward system and he had been an exceptionally good boy. I took him to the store, and as we were passing by the bakery aisle, he insisted that he wanted the fresh pumpkin cookies. I don’t like pumpkin, but since he was deserving a treat, I bought them for him. When he ate one, he loved it, and made me taste one. Wow! They were great! My only problem was that they had preservatives and GMO pumpkin, I thought I could do better, and I did.

What’s Special about These Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are usually hard after they have cooled off.  I like them when they have not cooled completely and are still bendable. These cookies are like little pillows, nice and soft, and chewy, with just the right amount of chocolate and not overwhelmingly sweet.  They remind me of muffin tops, but are denser.

You can get non-GMO pumpkin puree at your local Whole Foods or other organic food store.  If you don’t care about GMO, then regular pumpkin puree will do fine.  If you want to use fresh pumpkin, you will have to puree it first and adjust the moisture as fresh pumpkin puree has more moisture than canned.

When I made this recipe, I halved it because I had a small can of puree.  Using a small ice cream scoop, I still wound up with 4 dozen cookies.These cookies should be stored covered, with a bit of paper towel over them.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies YouTube Video


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Round Pistachio Baklava

Recipes in this PostRound Pistachio Baklava

A Little History of Round Pistachio Baklava

When I was a little girl, my mother brought me a special dessert.  It was baklava, and I loved it. It wasn’t until I was a lot older and moved to a community that had a large Armenian population that I learned that there were a lot of varieties of the venerable dessert. The history of this pastry is long and contested – some say it originated in Ancient Rome citing a recipe from Cato the Elder in 160 BC, some say the Romans stole the recipe from the Greeks, and Byzantine Turks say it was already theirs – Wikipedia Baklava.

I had no idea how the dessert was made, and when I found out it was made with Filo dough, I thought it being so gossamer that I would never be able to handle it. Of course, I was also convinced that I was unable to make decent rice, and frying completely perplexed me.

I have lately been watching YouTube and found the Heghineh Cooking Show. She demonstrates all kinds of good Armenian food, and one day, it was a round baklava with pistachios.  The way she did it, and explained it, I thought, you know what, I can do that!  I have already conquered rice and mastered frying, so why not Filo, too?  I decided to make it for a small dinner party because I was getting kind of tired of cakes or fruit.

Round Pistachio Baklava

Completed Baklava Taste Test

Working with Filo

If you have already worked with filo dough, then this recipe should be a breeze for you.  If not, and you need to see the method of making these luscious pastries, then head on over to the YouTube video by Heghineh. Please note that you will probably not use the entire roll of dough, some might stick together too much, or get too torn to work with.  I would say I lost about 6 sheets.

There are a couple of things I did differently.  I used Cortas Rose Syrup that I buy at Armenian stores or at Amazon (it makes a fine cocktail with vodka over ice), and I used True Orange that you can also get at Amazon.  I also messed up with the first baklava and forgot to squeeze them together, so I ate those.
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Strawberry Balsamic Pie

Recipes in this Post Strawberry Balsamic Pie

So, I asked my son if he wanted strawberries because they are in season and on sale at the supermarket. He said no, we don’t eat them fast enough, and they go bad. I told him I would make some kind of dessert, and bought not one, but two containers of lovely red, ripe strawberries.

When you are going to buy strawberries, check them carefully. Thoroughly look them over, especially on the bottom, where an errant bruised one is oozing fluid and making the others near it go bad. Also check that their top part of the fruit is red, not pale green. If it’s pale green, the fruit is not ripe and will be tasteless.

After you get your berries home, unless you intend to eat them immediately, just put them in the refrigerator. Do not wash them! When you wash them, they will go bad quickly. If you must wash them, then let them dry in a single layer on a paper towel on a sheet pan, before putting them in the refrigerator.

You will enjoy this pie. You can buy a pre-made graham cracker crust, or you can make one yourself. I have a container of graham crumbs, so I make mine. I will put the recipe for the graham crust in as well.

Strawberry Balsamic Pie

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 38 minutes

Category: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Serving Size: 1 slice

Calories per serving: 372

Fat per serving: 16 g

Saturated fat per serving: 7 g

Carbs per serving: 53 g

Protein per serving: 5 g

Fiber per serving: 2 g

Sugar per serving: 43 g

Sodium per serving: 217 mg

Trans fat per serving: 0 g

Cholesterol per serving: 37 g

Nothing like fresh strawberries with sweet balsamic vinegar to bring out their bright flavor. This makes a great summer pie. If you don't feel like turning on your oven, use a pre-made graham cracker crust.

Ingredients

For the Crust
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
1/4 cup sugar
For the Filling
1 can (10 oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
4 cups Strawberries sliced
For the Topping
1 cup Whipping cream
2 tablespoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract

Instructions

    Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare the pie crust by combining all the crust ingredients together, then turning them into a pie plate. Use the back of a measuring cup, or a glass to flatten and evenly distribute the crust. Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 8 minutes, remove and set aside to cool completely.
    To make the filling, combine the lemon juice, vinegar and condensed milk, stir til thickened, a few minutes. Put the strawberries in with the milk mixture and toss completely. Fold that into the pie shell.
    Refrigerate at least one hour. Put the bowl you are going to make the whipped cream in the refrigerator at the same time.
    To make the topping, have ready a chilled bowl. Put the cream in the bowl and start beating it. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
    Spread the whipped cream on top of the pie and serve immediately. Refrigerate left overs, if you are lucky enough to have any.

Notes

Make sure the berries are completely dry when doing this. You can either slice or half the berries, depending on their size.

https://the-good-plate.com/2017/08/strawberry-balsamic-pie/
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Apple Yogurt Raisin Bread

Apple Yogurt Raisin Bread
Recipes in this Post

I used to make bread every week for my roommate who didn’t think a meal was complete without bread. I haven’t been making bread lately, but I have been making pizza dough and Calzone. Now that I have a working Kitchen Aid Classic stand mixer, I can make as much bread as I like.

I don’t usually do things that are complicated, and when I started making this bread, I thought it would be complicated, but, in truth, it wasn’t. If this is your first time making bread, you might be intimidated by this, but trust me, it’s going to be okay.

Apple Raisin Bread YouTube Video


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Most Popular Recipes 2016

Most Popular Recipes 2016Recipes in this Post

2016 – What a Year

Some many things happened in 2016 that just absolutely floored people. The person who won the popular vote, Hilary Clinton, lost the electoral vote, and much to many people’s chagrin, Donald Trump is our new President-Elect. There were many technological breakthroughs, including the Amazon Echo, an AI which is so useful, it almost becomes part of your family. Many of our favorites in the entertainment industry are no longer with us, including David Bowie, Prince, Carrie Fisher, a list that is too long and sad.
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Shortening Peanut Butter Cookies

Shortening Peanut Butter CookiesRecipes in this Post

T’was the night before the night before Christmas, and all through the pantry a lot of peanut butter was found…

As I looked through my Rollout Cookies recipe, I thought that I wanted to make another kind of cookie for Christmas. I had just bought a large container of peanut butter, and that sounded like a really good idea. I also decided it was time to use up some of the shortening I had in my pantry, and I found this lovely recipe for peanut butter cookies from Crisco.

These cookies are nice and soft, different from the crunchy cookies I am used to and really don’t like very much. These melt in your mouth, they are just delicious!

Tonight was special because we got an early Christmas present from my friend Adel. She got us an Amazon Echo Dot. Let me tell you how wonderful it was to be able to say “Alexa, set a timer for 8 minutes”, and she said, “Starting now”. It was perfect because I had dough on my hands that I didn’t want to get on our old-fashioned timer. Alexa is a lot more accurate than the old stand by, too. She will be very helpful in the kitchen indeed.

Shortening Peanut Butter Cookies YouTube Video


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