Monday, November 15, 2010

Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies Recipe


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (we used whole wheat flour and I don't think it made a difference)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats (I'd go closer to 2 cups of oats)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (we got these huge milk chocolate chips which were good, but I almost think they made the cookies too I'd stick with the semi-sweet)


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Mix in the quick oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
  3. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pumpkin Things

I'm obsessed

Pumpkin Butter

Pumpkin Butter
Adapted from AllRecipes

1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree, approx. 3 1/2 cups **I did not use this exact amount at all, plus I roasted the pumpkin and pureed it in apple cider until it was about the consistency of canned pumpkin
3/4 cup apple juice **definitely use apple cider instead. I ended up using way more than this because I added some for pureeing. It doesn't matter how much you use. You can always reduce it to the right consistency by cooking more
2 teaspoons ground ginger **I used way more spices than they called for...
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/3 cups brown sugar **I used about this much sugar, maybe a bit less
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Juice of half a lemon

1. Combine pumpkin, apple juice, spices, and sugar in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently. Adjust spices to taste. Stir in lemon juice, or more to taste. **cook it as long as you want, until it's the right thickness. I like mine really thick and 30 minutes was about right for me.
2. Once cool, pumpkin butter can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge.

To preserve: Spoon hot pumpkin mixture into hot jars, filling to within 1/4 inch from top. Remove air bubbles; wipe jar rims. Cover at once with metal lids, and screw on bands. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

This is amazing....obvi

Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, October 2007

I made a few of my own adaptations to this, using only milk and no cream (to me, it makes no difference to me in dishes like this, so I figure I’ll give my arteries a break), and doubling almost all of the spices. Oh, and I added bourbon, but you probably anticipated that.

1 1/2 cups whole milk (Or 1 cup heavy cream plus 1/2 cup whole milk)
3/4 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice **I skipped this...expensive...and used lots of the other spices
Pinch of ground cloves
2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
5 cups cubed (1-inch) day-old baguette or crusty bread
3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted* (can skip this step if using the second set of instructions)

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

Gourmet’s Instructions: Whisk together pumpkin, cream, milk, sugar, eggs, yolk, salt, spices and bourbon, if using, in a bowl.

Toss bread cubes with butter in another bowl, then add pumpkin mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to an ungreased 8-inch square baking dish and bake until custard is set, 25 to 30 minutes.

Alternate, Come On, Be Lazy With Me, instructions: While preheating oven to 350°F with rack in middle, melt butter in bottom of a 8-inch square baking dish. Once it is melted, take it out of the oven and toss bread cubes with butter, coating thoroughly. In a separate bowl, whisk together all the remaining ingredients. Pour them over buttered bread cubes in baking dish, stirring to make sure all pieces are evenly coated. Bake until custard is set, 25 to 30 minutes.**I used this technique. I don't really see why not...

Irish Soda Bread

I'm not sure how much this will actually appeal to others. And logistically, it was sort of a pain (dry, so I added more milk, but then it took forever to cook, etc.), though way easier than other kinds of bread. BUT it is totally amazing. It freezes really well and is extremely dense and hearty and wonderful.

Brown Bread (Irish Whole Wheat Soda Bread)

original recipe:

One very large loaf (or two small ones)

I used T110 flour, which in France, is a light whole wheat flour. Which is wholemeal flour in Ireland, and similar to whole wheat pastry flour in the United States. You can use whatever is available to you, as making soda bread isn’t supposed to be a stressful experience. Still, the loaf was a bit heavy. So I think next time I’m going to cut the amount of wheat germ or bran in half, or leave it out completely, to lighten things up a bit.

I also think the large loaf, while a necessity if you’re running an inn and feeding a lot of people, was pretty big for just me, so I would make two smaller loaves and reduce the baking time to compensate. Irish soda bread should be served the same day it’s made; any extra can be frozen.

2 1/4 cups (250g) whole wheat flour
2 3/4 cups (120g) wheat bran or wheat germ, or a combination
4 cups (500g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 ounces (60g) butter, salted or unsalted
2 1/2 cups (600ml) buttermilk*
2 teaspoons molasses

1. Put the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. (180ºC.) Line a sturdy baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and put it on the oven rack.

2. Mix the whole wheat flour and wheat bran or germ in a large bowl.

3. Sift in the white flour mixed with the baking soda and salt. Stir the flours together, to combine.

4. Cut the butter into little bits and rub them into small pieces with the flour mixture using your fingers, until as small as possible.

5. Stir in the buttermilk and molasses until the dough is uniformly damp. Turn out onto a lightly floured countertop and knead not-too-vigorously, until the dough forms a smooth ball. (If making two, divide the dough into two equal-sized pieces and roll each separately.)

6. Use a sharp serrated knife to slice a cross deeply into the top of the bread, about 1-inch (3cm) deep. Place the brown bread loaf on the hot baking sheet, being mindful that the baking pan is hot.

7. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the loaf is firm on top and when you tap the bottom, feels hollow. (If baking smaller loaves, I would begin to check them for doneness after 25 minutes.)

8. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack for one hour.

*For those who can’t get buttermilk, mix 1 part plain whole-milk yogurt with 1 part low-fat or regular milk and let stand for five minutes before using.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Wicked Good Pumpkin Whoopies (Yields 18 pies)

Cookie ingredients:

  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 15 oz can pumpkin puree (approx 1 ¾ cups)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cloves


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease baking sheets if needed.

2. Combine the oil and brown sugar. Mix in the pumpkin and eggs, beating well. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, 1 teaspoon vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Mix well.

3. Drop dough by heaping teaspoons onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cookies cool then make sandwiches from two cookies filled with filling

Whoopie Pie Filling

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until light and fluffy.