White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

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Today is my last blog post of 2014, and what a year it has been. There have been a lot of changes, both good and bad, and, honestly, I’m kind of ready to leave it behind. A new year always holds such promise for fresh starts and trying new things, and I could use that right about now.

One resolution that affects you, my readers, is that SMiLes by Meg will have a new home sometime early in 2015! For Christmas, my brother got me a new domain name (website, for anyone who doesn’t do that stuff), and as soon as I have the time to figure it out, I’ll be building that new site and transferring to it full time. Don’t worry, I’ll let you know when that switch is going to happen!

Anyways, for my last post of the year, here’s one more cookie from my cookie tins that could realistically be made for the rest of the winter – and would also be great for New Year’s Eve: White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies!

Full disclosure: the reviews on this one have been that they are a grown-up cookie – kids were bigger fans of the gingerbread men and reindeer cookies I’ve made before.

First, chop eight ounces of white chocolate into chunks. Set four ounces aside for later use. I used Ghirardelli, but Lindt makes a good baking bar, too.

 

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Put the other four ounces in  a small saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted.

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In a large bowl, beat butter with a hand mixer on medium-high speed for 30 seconds.

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Add the sugar and baking powder and beat until fluffy.

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Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract until combined.

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Add the melted white chocolate and beat until smooth.

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Add the flour and beat until combined, scraping down sides to ensure all is mixed in.

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Stir in the peppermint chunks and white chocolate chunks. I used candy cane pieces that I found at Michael’s, but you could also just crush up candy canes or use the Ande’s peppermint pieces as well.

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Drop the cookie dough by the rounded spoonful onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

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Bake at 375°F for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges.

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Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. I think these would be especially good with hot chocolate, but they are pretty delicious on their own.

Enjoy!

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White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup chopped candy canes

Directions:

  1. Melt 4 ounces of white chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly.
  2. Beat butter on high speed in a large bowl using a hand mixer for 30 seconds.
  3. Add sugar and baking powder and beat until combined.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla extract and continue to beat.
  5. Add melted white chocolate and beat until smooth.
  6. Add flour and beat until incorporated.
  7. Stir in remaining white chocolate chunks and peppermint pieces.
  8. Drop by rounded spoonful on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 375°F for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly golden at edges. Cool completely on wire rack.

Chocolate Cranberry Haystacks

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This was the first weekend that really felt like the holiday season. It was cold, curl-up-inside-with-a-book weather, and it took a significant amount of self control not to turn on Christmas music while I was baking (I have a rule with myself – no Christmas music until after Thanksgiving). So, when my aunt Anne texted me a picture of what she was baking, I immediately asked for the recipe.

You see, Anne is the one who introduced me to the gloriously easy, insanely addicting recipe for peanut butter haystacks, which I know a lot of you enjoyed. In a festive twist, this particular recipe uses dark chocolate and cranberries, making it perfect for the upcoming season, and just as addicting.

Also, this recipe is easy. Like, start-keeping-cornflakes-around-just-to-make-it easy. I mean, how can you not make them when this is all you need:

 

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So, without further ado, straight from the kitchen of Ina Garten via Anne Pickett: Chocolate Cranberry Haystacks!

First, melt about 3/4 of the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until just melted.

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Add the remaining quarter of the chocolate, and stir until smooth.

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Combine cornflakes and chocolate in a medium bowl using a rubber spatula.

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Fold in the cranberries, trying not to overly crush the cornflakes (this may seem impossible, but some crushing is fine).

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Drop by the rounded spoonful onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Allow to harden at room temperature.

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Transfer to a platter and store in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to serve. Yupp, it really is that easy.

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Cranberry Haystacks

Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
  • 5 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 cups cornflakes
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

  1. Melt 3/4 of the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each addition, until just melted.
  2. Add the remaining 1/4 of the chocolate and stir until smooth.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the cornflakes and chocolate, stirring with a rubber spatula to coat.
  4. Fold in the cranberries.
  5. Drop by the rounded spoonful on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Allow to harden at room temperature.

Sea Salt Brownies

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In school on Friday, a student asked me what I do over the weekends.  I realized that when I was a student, I, too, had a hard time imagining my teachers existing outside of the classroom.  Did they just do biology experiments all weekend?  Did they sleep at their desk?  Did they have a life?

Well, this weekend anyways, I spent my Friday night with a group of other teachers that I’m friends with.  We baked, made hexaflexagons (these will blow your mind), and were all in bed at a reasonable hour.  So you can decide for yourself if we have lives, but I definitely enjoyed myself.

Per request of said teachers, I found a brownie recipe to make this particular weekend.  However, though I do enjoy a classic brownie, I usually like there to be something at least mildly more complex about them (like my Mexican Brownies).  This preference developed one summer in college when a friend (hi Marj!) introduced me to the wonder that was the Atticus Bakery Salt Brownie.  It was fudgy, sweet, salty, and huge.  Basically everything I wanted in a dessert at the time.  And about a block away from the apartment we were subletting that summer, which was also pretty clutch.

Anyways, with these brownies in mind, I set out to find something that might be close online, and stumbled upon this recipe from Food & Wine magazine.  I basically did exactly what it says to, except without as much patience as they seem to think bakers of brownies have.

First, I directed my lovely sous chef of the evening, Kristen (she teaches Chemistry), to chop up some dark chocolate for me.

 

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Then, in a medium saucepan over the lowest of low heats, I melted together the butter and chocolate, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

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Once melted, remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the cocoa.  Then whisk in the sugar.  Then whisk in the eggs.  Then whisk in the vanilla.  Then whisk in the flour.  You should be seeing a pattern here – whisk in all ingredients one at a time.

Pro Tip: The more utensils you use to combine ingredients, the more utensils you get to “clean” (i.e. lick) at the end of the process.

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Finally, the end result will look something like this:

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Now this is where I may have made an error according to the original recipe, but I’m calling it a decidedly better decision.  The recipe says to line a 9×9 inch baking dish with aluminum foil.  I lined an 8×8 dish without totally realizing that’s what I did.

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Pour the batter into the dish and smooth the top (this lets you use another utensil).  Sprinkle liberally with sea salt.

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Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes.  Even though that’s for a 9×9 pan, I also did 35 minutes for my 8×8 pan, resulting in an exceptionally fudgy brownie.  When you put the toothpick in at the end, there should still be batter on it when you pull it out.  I’m not gonna lie, that was the most exciting part of the recipe for me.  It gave me permission to underbake my brownies, which, let’s face it, we all want to do anyways when we make brownies but feel restricted by the “toothpick should come out clean” convention.

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Next, let your brownies cool for an hour in the pan at room temperature and another hour in the fridge.  I was not that patient, and compromised with myself at around 45 minutes, but I do actually think waiting the whole hour would be worth it for the ease of cutting.

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When they are ready to cut, you may notice the middle has sunk in a little.  That’s just an indication of how wonderfully dense and fudgy it will be.

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Cut the brownies into 16 pieces.  As you can see, my cutting was quite difficult because I didn’t wait the full time (note the excessive chunks of brownie on the knife), but this doesn’t affect their enjoyability, I promise.  Store them in the fridge to keep them nice and dense.

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Though not quite the same texture as the one from Atticus, and definitely not as large, this recipe did become my new favorite brownie recipe.  If you’re unsure how you feel about adding salt, they would be perfectly delicious without it.  However, I highly recommend trying it with the salt, because once you go salted dark chocolate, you never go back.

Enjoy!

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Sea Salt Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • sea salt for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate over very low heat, stirring constantly until smooth.  Remove from heat.
  2. Whisk in, one at a time, the cocoa powder, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and flour.
  3. Line an 8×8 baking dish with aluminum foil and pour batter into dish.
  4. Sprinkle liberally with sea salt.
  5. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes.  A toothpick inserted in the middle should still have batter on it.
  6. Allow to cool for 1 hour at room temperature in the pan.  Allow to cool an additional hour in the fridge.
  7. Remove brownies from pan and cut into 16 pieces.

Chocolate Chip Coconut Biscotti

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It is impossible to say exactly how awesome it was to go home to Massachusetts this weekend.  I spent four whole days with my family for Thanksgiving break, and I am already looking forward to going back for Christmas.  Unfortunately, I was so caught up in the awesomeness of being home that I forgot to photograph while I was baking things for Thanksgiving.  I made Pull Aparts successfully for the first time ever (a yeast recipe very similar to monkey bread) but alas, I have no proof for you.  I also made some pretty delicious brickle from a Serious Eats recipe, but, again, I have no proof.

So instead, in honor of the first day of December, I decided to begin a month-long project of cookie recipes.  Every Christmas (for the past couple of years at least), I’ve made cookie tins for friends and family.  Usually, I do this with two full days of cookie-making, but I’m not sure I have two full days in a row this year to make that happen, so my cookie recipes will be coming in a steady stream all month.  Don’t be surprised if you get an update that I posted on a not-Sunday – I just don’t want you all to miss any cookie I decide to make.

First up – Chocolate Chip Coconut Biscotti.  I’d never made biscotti before this, but I’d always wanted to.  Also, I was home, so naturally I had to make a coconut recipe for my mom.  These went to a Boxwood Tree party she was going to, so hopefully someone that was there will chime in and let us know how they tasted.

First thing’s first, whisk together the flour and baking powder.  Note the red bowls and appliances – my obsession with yellow is only matched by my mom’s obsession with red.

 

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Then, in a stand mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy – about 2 minutes on medium speed.  I was very excited to get to use a stand mixer.  Still debating whether I need one in majestic yellow or buttercup – anyone know which one is the lighter color?

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Action shot:

 

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Add the eggs one at a time and beat each time.  Then add in the vanilla and coconut, mixing until completely combined.

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I may have gotten a little out of control with the action shots of the stand mixer.  The whole hands-free mixing thing was pretty exciting.

Next, add the flour while the mixer is on low speed and mix until there are no more streaks.

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Finally, add the nuts and chocolate chips and mix until combined. The original recipe called for mini chocolate chips and almonds, but I had pecans and walnuts on hand and the grocery store didn’t have the mini chocolate chips, so I went with regular size.  The mini would probably be pretty good, but if you like big bites of chocolate, there’s nothing wrong with the regular ones.  Also, any chopped nut works.  If you are looking for an almond joy flavor, then the almond/dark chocolate/coconut combo is perfect, but if you just want good biscotti, choose your own adventure.

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Let the dough chill, covered, in the fridge for 30 minutes.  In the meantime, you could make origami Christmas trees to decorate your windowsill.

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However, I will warn you that this becomes an extremely addicting craft which may cause you to go to Michael’s and spend $2/sheet on squares of pretty paper to make them with.  For that reason I’m not including the steps, though the internet is a wonderful thing for finding this sort of craft.

Once the dough has chilled, shape it into two loaves on a cookie sheet.  The loaves should be about 10 inches long by 3 inches wide by 3/4 inch thick.  I may or may not have used a ruler, but we’ve already established that I can be obsessive about things.

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Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes or until brown and cracked on top.  They should spring back when pressed.  Let them cool on the cookie sheet for 30 minutes more.

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A close up of what I mean by cracked:

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Once cool, transfer them to a cutting board and slice them on the diagonal, about half an inch thick.  Put the pieces on cookie sheets cut side down.

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Bake at 325°F for about 20 more minutes, or until brown on top and dry.  They will continue to dry on the cookie sheet as they cool, so resist the urge to eat them warm since biscotti are way better when they reach the right texture.

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Finally, stack them up and serve them with some hot chocolate!  (Credit to my mom on the stacking job – I only wish I could have made them look as nice)

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They’ll keep in an airtight container stored at room temperature as well.  And they pack nicely into tins if you want to give them as gifts.  I also can’t think of a reason not to dip them in chocolate to make chocolate-dipped biscotti, I just didn’t have the time.

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Chip Coconut Biscotti

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.
  2. In a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment on medium speed to beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
  4. Add the vanilla and coconut, mixing until well combined.
  5. Add the flour with the mixer on low speed until there are no streaks remaining.
  6. Mix in the nuts and chocolate chips.
  7. Chill in the fridge, covered, for 30 minutes.
  8. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a 10 inch by 3 inch by 3/4 inch loaf on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes or until brown and cracked on top.
  9. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 30 minutes.
  10. Transfer to cutting board and slice on the diagonal into 1/2 inch thick pieces.  Put the pieces cut side down on the cookie sheet and bake for an additional 20 minutes at 325°F, or until brown on top.
  11. Allow to cool so that biscotti will dry out.

Haystacks

 

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This is probably the most satisfying thing you can make with only three ingredients.  And there is no baking involved.  They are crunchy, they are peanut buttery, and they are sweet.  The first time I had them was when my aunt made them (shout out to Anne!) for a family party, and I probably ate between 5 and 25 before my mom had to cut me off.  So when I wasn’t totally sure what to make this weekend, I was digging through recipes that people have emailed me and found it, as well as multiple variations that may make later appearances.

All you need is peanut butter, butterscotch chips, and corn flakes.

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Yupp, that’s it.  Also, don’t get me started on how ridiculous it is that one little tiny thing of peanut butter costs $3.49 while I could get 3 cans of tomato sauce for my chili tonight for $1.  That’s criminal.

Anyways, melt the peanut butter and butterscotch chips in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently.  This is what it looks like at first:

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After a minute or two:

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And once it’s all done and smooth:

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Take the mixture off the heat and add the corn flakes.  As you stir, you’ll crunch them up, which is totally fine.  Don’t feel like you need to carefully fold them in – it will drive you crazy and is impossible.

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Once combined, drop by rounded tablespoon onto a cookie sheet.  No need to grease it – the peanut butter does that for you.  If you are a real neat freak, you can put wax paper down, but I didn’t have any.  Also, no need to worry about spreading – you aren’t baking them, so you can put them as close as you want as long as they aren’t touching.

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I got 22 out of the recipe with enough left over to lick the spoon.  Put them in the refrigerator and let set until hardened.  Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  They are like crack, so you might want to keep them out of sight if that’s an option.

Yes, they really are that easy.  And there really isn’t much else to say about them.  Other than if something only takes 3 ingredients and 10 minutes to prepare, you literally have no excuse not to give these a try.

Enjoy!

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Haystacks

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 11 oz package butterscotch chips
  • 3 cups corn flakes

Directions:

  1. Melt peanut butter and butterscotch chips over low heat in a large saucepan until smooth, stirring regularly.
  2. Remove from heat and mix in corn flakes until combined.
  3. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Refrigerate until set.

 

Chocolate Swirl Blondies

 

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November really is an awesome month to be a teacher.  I’m currently enjoying a long weekend due to the Teacher’s Convention, which I am spending in Philadelphia with my boyfriend.  However, I did bake before I left for Philly, mostly so that I could use lots of butter that said boyfriend wouldn’t want in treats baked for him.  I’ve also been on a huge blondie kick recently, which is strange because I love chocolate and they are basically brownies without chocolate, but I decided to go with it.  And thus I bring you: Chocolate Swirl Blondies.

First up, grease a 9×13 pan with lots of butter.  Make sure you get the corners.  I don’t think they would stick without the butter, but better safe than sorry.

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Then, put the brown sugar and butter in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth.  As soon as the butter is melted, take it off the heat.  Otherwise the horrible smell of burnt sugar will fill your kitchen and you’ll have to start over.

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Next, let the mixture cool for a little bit.  I was impatient and decided cooling was a one minute process, but that is false.  You are about to add an egg, and you really don’t want that to cook in the heat.  Recommendation: pour the batter into a bowl and let it cool there instead.  Then it won’t be in the hot saucepan anymore.

Once you feel it is adequately cooled, probably 5 to 7 minutes (wash the saucepan in the meantime, it will make the clock go faster!), add the eggs one at a time, stirring constantly.

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Then, stir in the vanilla.

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Finally, stir in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda until there are no more dry ingredient streaks.  A common theme with my recipes: the batter is delicious.  Definitely a clean-the-bowl-with-a-spatula-before-you-wash-it kind of recipe.

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Finally, stir in the chocolate chunks.  Now, I actually originally intended these to be chocolate chip blondies, not chocolate swirl blondies.  However, I forgot to take into account the fact that the batter was prepared over heat, and was warm.  And would melt the chocolate.  So if you want the chunks to hold their shape, make sure your batter has at least come to room temperature before stirring them in.  Otherwise, let them melt and make cool swirly patterns.

Spread the batter into the greased pan and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Allow to cool to room temperature before cutting.  This will prevent them from completely just sticking to the knife.  Which is fine if you also want to lick the knife, but not if you want to serve them in any sort of shape that resembles a bar cookie.

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Once you do cut them, and if you did take the chocolate swirl route, the blondies are more like blondies with a chocolate center.  Delicious, even if not true blondies.  They will fix a craving for both chocolate and cookies though.  Kind of like a bar form of a chocolate chip cookie when the chips melted. I think that’s actually why I like bar desserts: more sweets per serving without the hassle of the fork you’d need for cake.

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Anyways, though they didn’t turn out exactly as intended (I really wanted the added crunch of chocolate chips interspersed), they were still good enough for an entire tray to disappear during the course of a one hour class.  Next time, I would be a little more patient with allowing the batter to cool, but the mistake was by no means detrimental to the final product.

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Swirl Blondies

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 oz package chocolate chunks

Directions:

  1. Grease 9×13 pan with butter and set aside.
  2. Melt butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth.  Allow to cool and transfer to large mixing bowl.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring to incorporate.  Add vanilla extract and stir.
  4. Add dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda) and mix until no dry streaks remain.  Fold in chocolate chunks.  Spread into greased baking dish.
  5. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool on wire rack before cutting.

 

Healthy Pumpkin Pie

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Happy Diwali!  Sorry for the Monday morning rather than Sunday afternoon post – but I don’t have school today so for me its like a Sunday.  And I don’t have school Thursday.  And I don’t have school Friday.  And I don’t have school next Monday.  Life of a school teacher in November.

But anyways, that means good things for the blog, because I’ll have lots of time to experiment!  And this week was definitely an experiment.  My boyfriend, who we already know has much healthier tendencies than I do, came to me with the request of trying to make a pumpkin pie that was healthy.  Now, I’ve never actually made pumpkin pie before, or pie crust from scratch, but I did go to that technique class last week so I pretended to be an authority on the subject.  Also, I probably should make healthy recipes on occasion because either way I will end up eating too much of what I make.

So he found a recipe for nonfat (as in no fat at all – amazing, right?) whole wheat pie crust and low calorie pumpkin pie filling, and we gave it a shot.

First, use a food processor to pulse together the banana and whole wheat flour until there are no chunks of banana left and it feels a little like Floam.  I only have a mini chopper (looking at you, Santa), so I did it in two batches.  The banana should be cold before you do this (it’s replacing your cold butter), and be careful not to over process.  This crust does have a tendency to get tough, and I probably got a little carried away with my pulsing.

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Once combined, turn out onto a clean surface (I use my handy-dandy pastry mat) and add the truvia and cinnamon.

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Add warm water by the teaspoon and pull it together into a ball.  I added about 4 teaspoons, but it will depend on your flour.  Whole wheat flour soaks up liquid like nothing else you’ve worked with, so it usually needs more than a recipe calls for.  Again, the texture you are going for is simply not crumbling into pieces.

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Once combined, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer while you prepare the filling.  Side note – this dough is delicious.  It tastes like cinnamon banana goodness.  Entirely possible that you might want to just eat it at this stage and say screw the pie.  But for the sake of baking, we continued.

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For the filling, combine the pumpkin, milk, eggs, stevia, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.  Whisk together until smooth.  This is where the I’ve-never-made-pumpkin-pie uncertainty came in for me.  I knew the final product was not a liquid pie, but I had a liquid filling.  Don’t worry, it does set in the oven while baking.  You have not ruined it already.

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Back to that no fat pie crust.  Take it out of the freezer and put it on your pastry mat.  You actually probably won’t need any additional flour to prevent sticking – the only problem I had with mine was that I let it get a little too cold, as I got a legitimate arm workout trying to roll it out.  Anyways, roll it to the 9″ pie markings on your mat, or, if you don’t have a pastry mat, roll it so that it’s big enough to drape over your pie pan.

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Feel free to cut the edges to make them clean and just eat them.  Or, if you’re a perfectionist, you can play Frankenstein and push them into the crevices that don’t quite reach the 9″ mark.

Now, for those of you who think I’ve lost my affinity for butter, turning to healthy recipes and such, do not despair – I did have one non-negotiable step in here.  I refuse to use cooking spray when making a pie crust.  It doesn’t work the same way.  So make sure you grease your pie plate liberally with real, old fashioned butter.

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Drape the pie crust over your pie plate and push it into the corners.  Cover with aluminum foil and put some kind of weight (pie weights, beans, rice…) in the middle to hold its shape.  Bake at 350°F for 5 minutes.

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Remove from oven and remove tin foil.  Bake again for about 5 more minutes.  You want the crust to be mostly baked, but not completely, so that the pumpkin filling doesn’t just turn it all into a pumpkin soup.  However, don’t bake it too much because then you’ll have a rock pie.

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Add the filling to the pie and bake for an additional 45 minutes at 350°F, or until the middle doesn’t jiggle when you move the pan.  If you are worried about the edges of the crust, you can make a tin foil ring to put around the outside, which I didn’t do, but I probably should have.  Take it out and let it cool on a wire rack to room temperature.   Trust me on this one, warm pumpkin pie tastes funky.  You actually should let it cool and that maybe even chill it more in the fridge before serving.

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Now, this experiment was definitely not a bust in the sense of the chocolate biscuits.  The pie, for what it was (a healthy recipe with a nonfat crust) satisfied that pumpkin flavor you might be craving.  However, unless your family REALLY is committed to having a healthy Thanksgiving, I probably wouldn’t serve it for the main dessert.  The crust is not flaky, due to the lack of butter, and the sweet factor isn’t totally there.  For me, a buttery, flaky crust is super essential to the pie experience.

But, if you are looking for a healthy pumpkin pie as a casual treat to have around or as an alternative to your main dessert course for those guests who insist they are on a diet but need pie, this would work.  I know my attitude after Thanksgiving dinner is “I’ve already eaten 3 days worth of calories, may as well keep it going”, but there may be people out there who can get to the dessert table and would appreciate the healthier choice.  This pie will satisfy those people.

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If you have any recommendations to improve the crust, PLEASE share them in the comments.  The filling was pretty good as is, but regular sugar instead of stevia would also work well I think.  Next week, expect something back on that full fat kick (and probably getting away from pumpkin), but for those of you trying to stay healthy through the holiday season, this one was for you.

Enjoy!

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Healthy Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 banana, cold
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 packages (1 tablespoon) truvia
  • 1-4 teaspoons of warm water

Filling

  • 1 can pure pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon stevia

Directions:

  1. Prepare the crust: Pulse together banana and whole wheat flour in food processor until no chunks of banana remain.  Turn onto pastry mat and add truvia and cinnamon.  Add warm water by the teaspoon (about 4) until dough is no longer crumbly.  Wrap and chill.
  2. Add all of the filling ingredients to a bowl and whisk until smooth.
  3. Remove pie crust from freezer and roll out thin to fit over 9″ pie plate.  Drape over greased pie plate and push into corners.
  4. Cover with aluminum foil and pie weights.  Bake at 350°F for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove aluminum foil and weights and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Add filling to crust and bake for 45 minutes or until center is set.  Remove and allow to cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
  7. Chill in the refrigerator before serving.