Posts Tagged butter

Carrie’s Confections: Samoas Cookie Pie

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Monthly Feature, By Carrie Jaeger

It’s that time of year when those little girls in green use their sweet faces to convince you that you’re doing something good by buying 17 boxes of cookies. I have no self-control if treats are in the house (I have been known to eat ½ a pan of Rice Krispies Treats in an afternoon…oops), so I’ve been spending the last few weeks averting my eyes and pretending to be on my phone each time I go to the grocery store. Thin Mints from the freezer are my favorite, but a close second are the coconutty crack known as Samoas. So, when I saw this recipe come across my Facebook feed, I knew I had to try it.

Recipe: From Averie Cooks
-½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
-1 large egg
-½ cup light brown sugar, packed
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
-¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
-1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
-1 ½ cups sweetened shredded coconut, loosely laid in measuring cup (not packed)
-2/3 of a 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (about 10 ounces)
-½ cup salted caramel sauce (I used this one, also from Averie Cooks, or store-bought, regular caramel sauce may be substituted)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9-inch pie pan and set aside.
2. Melt butter. Cool slightly and whisk in egg, brown sugar and vanilla, until smooth.
3. Stir in flour and salt until just combined; don’t overmix.
4. Press batter into prepared pie pan. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes or until edges firm up slightly and center has begun to set up.
5. Remove pie dish from oven, and evenly sprinkle 3/4 cup chocolate chips over the crust. Top chocolate chips with evenly spread coconut.
6. Evenly drizzle the sweetened condensed milk and then the caramel sauce.
7. Return pan to oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until edges begin to bubble and center appears set. Watch carefully, as coconut, caramel and condensed milk are all prone to burning. Pie will continue to set as it cools, so better to under bake and overbake.
8. Melt ¾ cup of chocolate chips. Evenly drizzle across top of pie (pie does not have to be completely cooled to add drizzle).
9. Cool at least 4 hours before serving. Store at room temperature (tightly wrapped) for up to 5 days. Can be frozen up to 6 months, also.

The Taste – YUM! Not quite as addicting as the cookies (maybe because it’s so easy to just pop one of those little suckers in your mouth every time you pass by the box), but the taste is right on! Sticky caramel, coconut and chocolate….what’s not to love? I was afraid that it would be sickeningly sweet, but surprisingly, was not. The crust is a little dry for my liking. I would bake it less next time or use more butter.

The Ease – Had I not made the caramel (and ruined it the first time), this would have been a breeze! The homemade caramel was DELCIOUS though…worth the extra trouble!

The Fat-Assness – Yeah…probably in the same ballpark as it’s super healthy cookie equivalent. Extra gym time required for this one.

The Clean-Up – Easy! Essentially one mixing bowl, one bowl for melting the chocolate, measuring cups/spoons, and the pie plate. One extra pot if you make the caramel.

The Problem – The only problem I ran into was when making the caramel. Once the sugar water starts to boil, just leave it alone until it reaches the desired amber color. I thought whisking it would be a good idea. It wasn’t. The sugar crystalized before it caramelized and I had to start again. Boo.

The Verdict – Definitely a keeper!

The Tip – When filling a piping bag, it can be tricky to hold the bag and fill it without making a mess. Free up one hand by folding the top of the piping bag over a cup to hold it open. Now you’ve got 2 hands to scrape all of the goodness out of the bowl and into the bag!

Happy baking!

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Mighty Good Recipe: Zara’s Chicken and Dumplings

Comfort food at its finest.

Comfort food at its finest.

Last week, several of us foodies were fortunate enough to partake in Zara’s Chicken and Dumplings. They were magical, and thus, I begged her to share the recipe. And she did!

Zara wanted to let the readers know that this is a quick recipe breakdown … and measurements aren’t so accurate because she often cooks from taste.

Here you go!

Pour 2 quarts of homemade chicken stock ( you can use boxed if necessary, but obviously it impacts taste and depth a lot) in a large pot. Next, boil 5 chicken breasts in the stock until the chicken is just cooked through (don’t overcook or it’ll be chewy). Remove chicken and shred after cooling. Then pinch off little pieces of dough (recipe below) and add to simmering stock. Season with salt, white pepper (only a little because it’s sharp) and dried sage. Taste as you go.. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes and check dumplings for doneness. Cook longer if necessary and stir to make sure it doesn’t stick to bottom. Finally, add chicken the last 5-10 minutes of cooking.

Dumpling Ingredients:
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk (a bit less than a full cup)

Directions: Mix dry ingredients, cut in butter, stir in milk and combine. Make sure there’s flour covering exterior of dough so it’ll thicken stock.

*Note: In a hurry, you can easily use pre-made Pillsbury biscuit dough as opposed to making the whole dough.

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Mighty Good Recipe: Hillcrest Farmers Market Italian Sausage Panini

Fantastic ingredients!

Fantastic ingredients!

It’s time for another Mighty Good Recipe!

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you know how much I enjoy heading to the Hillcrest Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. In fact, it’s one of my favorite social events of the week. I typically run into a handful of friends while milling around the various tables, drinking coffee, and soaking up the gloriousness that is Hillcrest.

I always end up buying way too much, but that’s a good thing. The vendors are wonderful folks and many of their products are of the highest quality.

And while some people head to these markets with focus and purpose, my brain is a clean slate (no jokes, please), and I typically buy what inspires me at that moment. Many of the ingredients for this recipe below were purchased at last Saturday’s market.

Ingredients
-1 loaf of rustic bread (from Mylo Coffee Co.)
-roasted red peppers (from North Pulaski Farms)
-1 package of Italian sausage (from Freckle Face Farm)
-1 cup of Amy B’s garlic sauce
-1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
-2 tablespoons butter

Directions
Cook the Italian sausage in a pan (medium heat) for 10 minutes. Once the casings are brown, add a half cup of water to the pan, cover, and let cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Plug in a sandwich press (if you have one), or place 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet (set on medium heat). Cut the bread into fairly thick slices. Cut sausage links (length-wise) and place on one slice of bread. Top with sliced red peppers, a spoonful of garlic sauce and some cheese. Place the second slice of bread over the top. Add butter to the outside of both slices. Place inside sandwich press until brown and crispy. If you’re using a pan, it should take about 5 minutes per side.

Note: Amy B’s garlic sauce can be purchased in the Little Rock area by contacting Amy directly on her Twitter account. This is my favorite sauce, but if it’s unavailable to you, then any tomato sauce will do.

Support local!

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