Chewy Peanut Butter Cookie

Last month, a friend of mine from church’s father passed away.  I wanted her to have a little something waiting when she got home from the funeral.  Because I knew she was gluten intolerant, I scoured through cookbooks and found this recipe in Alton Brown’s Every Day Cook recipe.  I didn’t find them to be as chewy as peanut butter cookies often are, but I did use a natural peanut butter, which may have impacted the recipe.

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Chewy Peanut Butter Cookie

1 c smooth peanut butter
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside.  Beat together the peanut butter, brown sugar, and sugar until well-combined with a wooden spoon in a large bowl.  Add the egg, baking soda, vanilla, and salt and beat until well-combined.

Roll the dough into 1-ounce balls, place 8 per prepared sheet pan, then flatten with the tines of a fork.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cookies look dry and are just lightly browned.  Cool the cookies for 2 minutes on the sheet pans.

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Apple-Molasses Cookies

We’re in the midst of apple season and one of my favorite times of the year.  When I came across this recipe from The Apple Cookbook, and had some leftover sorghum on my shelf, I knew I wanted to make these cookies to bring into a couple departments on campus who have been going above and beyond.  These cookies are softer and a bit more cake-like than many cookie doughs, but the flavor was awesome.  I’d highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for something yummy.

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Apple Molasses Cookies

3 c flour
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 c butter, softened
1 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c molasses
1/4 c apple juice or cider

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, ginger, baking soda and nutmeg.  In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar.  Add the eggs and beat until combined.  Beat in the molasses and apple juice.  Stir in the flour mixture and beat until smooth.  Cover and refrigerate for approximately 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Grease two baking sheets.  Using a tablespoon, drop spoonfuls of the dough 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges.  Remove from the pans and cool on wire racks.

Farmer Cookies

If you know me, you know that I grew up in the rural Midwest.  Having grown up in this area, I am well-aware that we are heavy in the midst of harvest season.  With all the rain, cold, and bizarre fall that we’ve had, I know more than one farmer who is uncertain what this might mean for them and the end of their year.  As I looked through the 75th Anniversary cookbook, I also came across this recipe for farmer cookies and knew I needed to make them to share with some non-farmers in my life.  However, if you know a farmer, consider making these and leaving them in their truck, waiting on the edge of the field, for when they wrap up the long nights they are undoubtedly putting in right now.

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Farmer Cookies

1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
1 c shortening
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
2 c oatmeal
2 c rice krispies
1 c chocolate chips
2 1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

Mix ingredients well, starting by creaming sugars, shortening, and eggs.  Form into balls and bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.

Crispy Cabbage with Poppy Seeds

I am all about the cabbage — usually in the form of brussels sprouts, but sometimes in other formats as well.  When I saw this recipe in the New Midwestern Table cookbook, I knew I wanted to check it out.  It didn’t crisp up as much as I thought it might, despite the fact that I used a gigantic skillet, but I liked the presence of the ginger and poppyseeds in the cabbage dish.

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Crispy Cabbage with Poppyseed

5 Tbsp butter
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
8 cups shredded cabbage
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Ready your seasonings, because once the cooking starts, it will go fast. Heat your very widest skillet over high heat. Seriously, it should be almost comically oversize for this amount of cabbage. If you have nothing larger than a regulation 10-incher, you should probably cook this in two batches to avoid steaming—instead of lightly charring—the cabbage. When the skillet is hot, add the ghee and the ginger. The ginger should fry immediately. Dump in the cabbage and stir. Add the garlic, thyme, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, salt, and pepper. Spread the cabbage out evenly and continue to fry over very high heat, stirring every 45 seconds or so, giving the cabbage time to caramelize on the bottom. Watch that it doesn’t actually burn, but let it get a little dark on the edges. Cook until the cabbage has lost its raw taste but before it goes completely limp, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved butter froth, stir to combine, turn out into a serving dish, and serve immediately.

Toffee Bars

In my stretch of making sweets for folks without buying new flour, I was on the hunt for recipes where the base was cake mixes and cookie mixes.  This recipe came from OLMC cookbook I mentioned in one of last week’s posts.  They were super easy to make and had a good non-chocolate flavor.  Definitely worth considering if you have a similar need.

Toffee Bars

Toffee Bars

1 yellow cake mix
2 eggs, beaten separately
1/3 c butter, melted
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 bag toffee chips
1 c chopped pecans

Mix cake mix, butter, and 1 beaten egg.  Pat into greased 9×13 pan.  In the same bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, 1 beaten egg, vanilla, toffee bits, and pecans.  Pour mixture over crust.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Sauce Au Chien

In this last stretch of summer before the temperature dropped, I found myself wanting to use the grill and cooking from Mark Bittman’s Quick and Easy Recipes.  With jalapenos, onions and other items readily available, not to mention that I’ve been on a spicy kick lately, this recipe looked just intriguing enough.  Minus a few flare-ups throughout the cooking process, the chicken was nice and flavorful, with just the right amount of kick to it.  It was light and refreshing and delicious.

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Sauce Au Chien

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Sauce Au Chien

1 Tbsp slivered or minced garlic
6 scallions, trimmed and minced
1 jalapeno, habanero, or scotch bonnet chile
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 Tbsp peanut, grapeseed, or other neutral oil
8 chicken thighs (about 2 lbs)
juice of 1 lime

Start a grill or preheat the broiler.  Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: Combine the garlic, scallions, chile, 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper, the allspice, and oil in a small bowl.  Add 1/2 c boiling water; stir and let sit.

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and grill or broil it, turning 2 or 3 times, until it is cooked through, about 15 minutes.  Taste the sauce and add more chile, salt, pepper, or allspice if needed.  Stir in the lime juice (which must be added at the last moment to retain freshness).  Serve the chicken hot or at room temperature, passing the sauce at the table.

Apricot Crumble Bars

A good friend of mine found out recently that her mother needed to have surgery.  I wanted to give her something to take along to the hospital, and I knew my friend was vegan.  I looked around at different recipes and found this one from The Good Neighbor Cookbook.  It was great because it called for butter, and while I was unsure whether it would work to use margarine, I thought it was worth it.  These had a great fruity flavor to them.  I have no doubt they would be great with almost any flavor of jam in the middle of them.

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Apricot Crumble Bars

1 1/2 c flour
3/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 c cold butter, cut into pieces
1 c pecans, chopped
1 c old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 c apricot preserves

Preheat the oven to 375.  Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking pan.  In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt.  Add the butter and pulse several times, until the dough comes together.  Transfer to a large bowl and gently knead in the pecans and oats.

Reserve 1/2 c of the dough and press the remaining dough into the prepared pan.  Spread the preserves in a thin, even layer over the dough, leaving a 1/4 inch border around the edges.  Crumble the remaining dough over the preserves.

Bake until the edges are golden, 25 to 30 minutes.  Let cool for at least one hour on a wire rack before slicing.