Peanut butter blossoms (by Boyfriend!)

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This recipe comes from BHG: New Cookbook: 12th edition which is available on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca

Time required: 1 hr

Yields: 54

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $48

Cost per cookie: 88 cents

Spring is in the air folks… The cats are acting like kittens, my allergies are flaring up in huge raging hives, and the bake sales at work have begun for another season.

I was asked if SpatulaGoddess could make something for the bake sale fundraiser for whichever cancer research thing was going on at the time, and I said “No. but I can make something for you.”, not offended by this but it seems my colleagues forget that I was baking my own goods before I met SpatulaGoddess.  I won’t say that I have ever made anything as exquisite as my lovely, but I have never served anything that lasted, and the compliments abound… maybe it’s just been too long since I’ve baked for them… BAH!!!

I love peanut butter cookies who doesn’t?   I know the ones I love are in the Red Checkered Cookbook that my mom used, and also got for me when I moved out, so I went looking there, my original plan was to make peanut butter ninjamen cookies, but once I found page 218 in that wonderful book my plans changed BIG TIME, beside the cookie recipe I was looking for I saw the recipe I used.  I changed the hershey kisses with Reese’s mini peanut butter cups… ENJOY.

Kitchen implements I used:

  • Nemo the KitchenAid
  • large baking sheet
  • parchment paper
Ingredients

Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • ½ C white shortening
  • ½ C smooth peanut butter
  • ½ C granulated white sugar
  • ½ C golden brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ⅛ tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TBSP milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1¾ C white flour
  • ¼ C granulated sugar (reserved)
  • 1 package of mini peanut butter cups

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 176°C / 350°F 

Step 1-4

Flour, milk/egg/vanilla, sugars/baking powder/soda, shortening/peanut butter

1. Put shortening and peanut butter into mixing bowl.

2. Put the ½ cup of granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda, in a separate bowl.

3. Put milk, egg, and vanilla in a separate container.

4. Put flour in a separate bowl.

Nemo doing his thing

Nemo doing his thing

5. Beat “Step 1” ingredients with an electric mixer for 30 seconds.

6. Add “Step 2” ingredients and beat until combined, scraping the bowl.

7. Beat in “Step 3” ingredients.

8. Beat in as much of “Step 4” ingredient as you can, stir in the rest.  I am guessing this was written for those that do not have access to a Kitchen Aid… cuz Nemo KICKS ASSSSSS and has no issues mixing in almost 2 cups of flour.

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm  Peanut butter balls in sugar

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Peanut butter balls in sugar.

9. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls, and roll them in the rest of the sugar.

10. Place balls 2 inches apart, (ballroom) am I right fellas?  Ahem.. anyways back to the topic at hand.  2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

11. Bake at 350°F for 10 – 12 mins or until edges are firm and bottoms are lightly browned.

12. Immediately press a mini peanut butter cup into the middle of each cookie, and transfer to a wire rack and let cool

Cooling

Cooling

Verdict:  As I said to my buddy from work whom I sent a pic of these to after making them… “I AM A MUTHER$&#*^$ GENIUS!!!”  These far exceeded my expectations, I was thrilled with how great these  turned out.  SpatulaGoddess was so impressed she wants me to make more… But isn’t willing to let me play with the centres.  I know there are other great things to stick in the middle of a peanut butter cookie.

Playlist: Godsmack, Disturbed, Slipknot, Random J-pop… that’s how I roll

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Patty’s lemon yo-fu

If you are tired of your spousal unit eating all your desserts, make something they won’t touch. Fruit! Citrus! Yogurt! TOFU!

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It’s kind of weird but good. This was inspired by my Healthy Desserts cookbook. I added banana and yogurt because it was tasting rather blah without it.

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Time required: 30 min

Yields: 4

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $26

Cost per portion: $6.50 (almost as ridiculous as going to Booster Juice actually)

Kitchen implements I used:

  • bad ass blender
  • zester
  • juicer

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of extra-firm silken tofu, drained
  • 1 lemon, use zest and juice
  • 1 banana
  • box of raspberries
  • ¼ C honey
  • 4 heaping spoonfuls of vanilla yogurt

Instructions:

1. Blend the shit out of the tofu. Which is harder than it sounds.

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2. Zest and juice the lemon.

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3. Throw everything in the blender except the raspberries and puree or whatever until it’s smooth.

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4. Chill for a bit, add berries, voila!

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Verdict: I liked this but I’d like it better if it came out yogurt smooth, it was a bit gritty going down. It tasted good. I doubt Boyfriend will eat it. His eyebrows almost shot off his face when he saw me pickup tofu at the grocery store (which by the way was in the deli aisle).

Playlist: construction

Patty’s apple strudel explosion

If a pastry explodes in the oven, does it make a sound? More importantly, does it still taste good?

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I researched how to make traditional strudel pastry but it sounds like a nightmare so, not today. I trawled the entire grocery store looking for phyllo pastry and discovered it’s kept near the frozen berries. This is my first strudel and I’m pleased with the results, however next time I’ll add raisins and reduce the lemon juice.

Shout-out to Boyfriend for being my camera man.

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Time required: 1.5 hours

Yields: 6 pieces

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $24

Cost per piece: $4

Kitchen implements I used:

  • large baking sheet
  • parchment paper

Ingredients:

  • 3 apples
  • 3 TBSP golden brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP water
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 TBSP powdered corn starch
  • ¼ C lemon juice
  • 4 sheets of phyllo pastry
  • 2 TBSP melted butter
  • 3 tsp finely ground bread crumbs

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F / 176°C. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and dust with flour.

2. Peel, core, and mince the apples. Toss them in a sauce pan with the water, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer and cook on Med-Low for 10 min, stirring often.

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3. Combine corn starch and lemon juice, whisk until smooth, then add to cooked apple mixture and simmer for 1 more minute before removing from heat.

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We do not want juicy strudel.

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4. Place one piece of phyllo on the baking tray. Brush with butter, and sprinkle one teaspoon of breadcrumbs. Don’t stress about making this even, doesn’t really matter.

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Do this two more times, then add fourth and final layer (do not add butter or crumbs to top layer).

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5. Spoon the filling down one side vertically, leaving room at the edges.

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Give camera man 2 thumbs up.

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6. Use the parchment paper to support the pastry as you lift it, you’re trying to tuck it over and under the apple filling, and then carefully roll it over like so. Once you’ve got the first turn, peel the parchment paper back towards you.

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Keep turning it, and between turns try to smooth it with your hands to an even shape.

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This was a little nerve-wracking, worried about tearing it.

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Roll it up 3-4 times until it’s at the edge.

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7. Brush butter inside the open edge then flip it so the seam is on the bottom. Tuck the ends in.

8. Dust with a cinnamon sugar mix.

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9. Bake 20-25 min until golden brown.

10. Cool on rack at least 5 min before serving. Mein gott! What is this?

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Verdict:

You want to get judged harshly? Tell people in advance you are using phyllo instead of making the pastry yourself. 

Response from best friend: “0_0 That is really shocking.”

This was fairly simple to make. Aside from the explosion, it turned out great. I may have had a tantrum when I saw that, but I cut it in thirds first, and got 4 nicely sliced pieces, and 2 messy pieces. Cutting through the strudel after it’s baked it harder than I anticipated.

Playlist: Eric Carmen – Hungry Eyes

Chocolate fudge fail

Blast. I was really looking forward to this. How disappointing.

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This recipe comes from Old Tyme Fudge. I love that website. I’m pretty sure it’s a great recipe and I screwed up. Phooey.

I wrote up this post last night after I put the fudge sludge in the pan. So, just pretend it set and follow along.

Before you get started: Have you read my fudge guide? I have done this successfully before, I swear.

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Time required: 8.5 hours (about 1 hour of actual doing stuff)

Yields: about 30 pieces

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $34.

Cost per piece: $1.14

Kitchen implements I used:

  • KitchenAid mixer
  • 8″ square pan
  • tin foil
  • heavy-bottomed sauce pan (2.2 qt size is not big enough)
  • silicon spatula
  • lots of extra spoons

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate (I used Callebaut Belgian chocolate)
  • 3 C sugar
  • 2 TBSP corn syrup
  • 1¼ C milk
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions:

1. Line the square pan with foil and grease it. Also grease the entire inside of the sauce pan, all the way up the sides. Grease the flat beater of the mixer too.

2. Chop the chocolate and melt on Low heat until smooth.

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3. Combine everything in the sauce pan except the butter and the vanilla.  Heat on Medium, stirring constantly.

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And definitely using a bigger pot next time.

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4. Once mixture boils, reduce heat to Med-Low and STOP STIRRING. Insert candy thermometer.

Yikes. This is almost disaster territory. Perhaps this was a portent of things to come.

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5. Once mixture reaches 238°F / 114°C, remove from heat.

6. Carefully place pot into cold water bath. Add butter but DO NOT STIR.

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7. Let it cool (it only took 30 min this time) until temp falls to 120°F / 49°C.

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Once the mixture has cooled to this stage, there will be a skim on top, just ignore it. Transfer to mixing bowl and pour in the vanilla.

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8. Beat it. How long? Who knows.

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I planned to do 28 minutes on speed 2 which worked great for my penuche batch, but after 13 minutes it has acquired “that frosting look” which I’ve read about before.

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9. Pour into prepared pan and smooth, let sit at least 4 hours.

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10. Lift out of pan and score the top with a knife, then slice into squares.

What’s this what’s this?!

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Argh!!

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God, no! That is never a good sign. Fudge shouldn’t rise with the knife.

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Verdict: It tastes delicious but is a failure. Supposedly fudge is ready to be poured once it looks like frosting. Whoever said that can go directly to hell and not pass go. I will freeze this until I figure out what to do with it. I’ll try this again soon, stay tuned.

Playlist: 46 albums of Sailor Moon music!

Chocolate avocado pudding

I know. It sounds weird. But it’s strangely delicious.

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I found this recipe in a book called Healthy Desserts, there is no author listed but the byline says Culinary Notebooks. I got it at Chapters.

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Time required: 1.5 hours

Yields: 3-4 puddings

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $24

Cost per pudding: $6

Kitchen implements I used:

  • food processor
  • ramequins

Ingredients:

  • 3 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • ½ C cocoa
  • ⅔ C honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • dash of coarse sea salt

Instructions:

1. Peel and pit the avocados, and use a butter knife to gently separate the peel from the fruit. I fumbled one and dropped half an avocado on the floor so I didn’t have enough. Curse and scream as desired.

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2. Puree until smooth, and add everything except the salt. Mix well.

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During the taste test it was way too bitter so I doubled the amount of honey from ⅓C to ⅔C which improved things dramatically, however I find it now tastes a bit too honeyed. Foiled again.

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3. Spoon into ramequins and sprinkle with sea salt.

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5. Cover in plastic wrap and chill for an hour.

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Verdict:

“Here, try it.”

“No thank you.”

“You… don’t want it? Why not??”

“You said it was bitter!”

“That was before I added more honey! Try it. Before my feelings are hurt.”

“Okay… it tastes… like chocolate pudding.”

“But do you like it?”

“It tastes like chocolate pudding.”

“So that’s a yes?”

Playlist: Bat for Lashes – Siren Song