Thursday, August 28, 2014

brown butter brown sugar cookies



These chewy, moist, and delicious cookies have quickly become a favorite for me and my family (next to the sugar cookie).

What makes them so special is the butter (and the brown sugar!). Instead of whipping room temperature butter until it's light and fluffy, like most traditional cookies, you brown the butter in this recipe.

Have you ever browned butter before?




It's a simple process of melting butter in a sauce pan and stirring it over medium heat until it browns. The darker the butter browns, the more it smells and tastes like toffee. Yum. Can you see where I'm going with this?

Browning the butter makes for a more buttery, toffee flavored cookie. And it is so darn good.

You can bake this recipe into cookies, or a cookie pie.





Since hot Summer days deter me from leaving my oven on for too long, I find it quick and easy to bake a cookie pie . . . and then I slice it up and serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

              . . . or how about a soft scoop of Pumpkin ice cream in the Fall!?




brown butter brown sugar cookies
24 cookies
.     .     .     .     .     .     .
14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1 3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
.     .     .     .     .     .     .
TOPPING
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
.     .     .     .     .     .     .

Preparation
In 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, heat 10 tablespoons butter until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and transfer browned butter to the heat-proof bowl of a stand mixer. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter to melt; set aside to cool for 15 minutes.

While butter is cooling, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In shallow baking dish or pie plate, mix granulated sugar and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, rubbing between fingers, until WELL combined; set aside.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and baking powder; set aside.

Add remaining 1 3/4 cups brown sugar and salt to bowl with cooled butter; attach paddle and mix on medium-low speed until no sugar lumps remain, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula; add egg, yolk, and vanilla and mix on medium-low speed until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.

Roll two heaping tablespoons of dough into ball between your palms, roll the ball in the sugar mixture, and then place it on the prepared baking sheet spacing the balls about 2 inches apart (you should be able to fit 12 cookies on each sheet).

Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are browned and still puffy and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone); 12 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking.

Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes then using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.

Recipe Note: Use fresh brown sugar, as older (harder and drier) brown sugar will make the cookies too dry.

recipe courtesy of Cook's Illustrated





LET'S STAY in touch!








Sharing with . . . .

Stephanie Lynn, It's Overflowing, Twelve O Eight, Carrie This Home, Cooking for the Seven Dwarves, Huckleberry Love, Dwellings, Smart Party Planning,  The Dedicated HouseMod Vintage LifeLori's Culinary Creations, Home Stories, StoneGableAn Extraordinary DayBetween Naps on the Front Porch, Rustic Refined,  Tumbleweed ContessaA Stroll Thru Life,Elizabeth & Co,  My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Savvy Southern StyleThe Recipe CriticOur Home Away From HomeJanine Huldie,  Fluster Buster   Kitchen Meets Girl,  Craftie Allie,  Wednesday morning The Blissful Bee,  The Newlywed Pilgrimage Chic California, Lamberts LatelyLive Laugh RoweSweet Bella Roos, The Charm of Home, From My Front Porch to Yours, I'm Not a Trophy Wife,  Delightsome Life.Posed PerfectionKatherine's CornerNancherrowThe Freshman Cook,  Jann OlsonHome  Maid Simple,  Rooted in ThymeEveryday Enchanted Home, Pure Grace Farms A Dish of Daily Life, Bacon Time, Sunflower Supper Club, Tater Tots and Jello,  Cooking with CurlsMade from PinterestSimply GloriaOne More Time Events, 3 Little Greenwoods



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

a sunflower garden . . . and end-of-Summer zinnias



The little ones and I wrote an "end-of-Summer bucket list" . . . a list of things that we all want to do before school starts in early September.

Our list is simple . . . and includes things like . . .

decorate small frames with the seashells that we found at the beach a few weeks ago
stroll on the pier with corn dogs and lemonade (done!)
plant sunflowers (done!)
make fresh strawberry lemonade (done!)
and enjoy hot cocoa on the beach at sunset




It was our oldest daughter who asked if we could plant sunflowers.  They're her favorite flower . . . so it makes me happy to think that we could have a sunflower garden for her to admire into Fall.

Knowing that it's a little late in the season to plant them, I thought we would get a jump on this item first.

I'm so glad that we did, because we searched and searched for sunflower seeds . . . and had a difficult time finding any. We finally found 1 packet (the last one!) at Home Depot. The packet actually contained 4 varieties of sunflowers, which was perfect.




Everyone was able to pick their favorite sunflower (including me), which made this task even more fun.

The little ones and I prepped the dirt near the back fence with new soil and flower food, in hopes of giving these seeds a fighting chance.

They patiently helped . . . and LOVED dropping their seeds in the 20+ holes that I made for them.

We planted the seeds based on their height, in hopes that the sunflower garden will appear more lush and colorful.




While shopping for sunflower seeds, I found these beautiful zinnias!

Their colors remind me of the end-of-Summer, EARLY Fall. I've planted several around out patio and back yard . . . and just adore them.











LET'S STAY in touch!







Sharing with . . . .

Stephanie Lynn, Twelve O Eight, Carrie This Home, Cooking for the Seven Dwarves, Huckleberry Love, Dwellings, Smart Party Planning,  The Dedicated HouseMod Vintage LifeLori's Culinary Creations, Home Stories, StoneGableAn Extraordinary DayBetween Naps on the Front Porch, Rustic Refined,  Tumbleweed ContessaA Stroll Thru Life,Elizabeth & Co,  My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Savvy Southern StyleThe Recipe CriticOur Home Away From HomeJanine Huldie,  Fluster Buster   Kitchen Meets Girl,  Craftie Allie,  Wednesday morning The Blissful Bee,  The Newlywed Pilgrimage Chic California, Lamberts LatelyLive Laugh RoweSweet Bella Roos, The Charm of Home, From My Front Porch to Yours, I'm Not a Trophy Wife,  Delightsome Life.Posed PerfectionKatherine's CornerNancherrowThe Freshman Cook,  Jann OlsonHome  Maid Simple,  Rooted in ThymeEveryday Enchanted Home, Pure Grace Farms A Dish of Daily Life, Bacon Time, Sunflower Supper Club, Tater Tots and Jello,  Cooking with CurlsMade from PinterestSimply GloriaOne More Time Events, 3 Little Greenwoods


Sunday, August 24, 2014

an end-of-Summer gathering . . . all our Summer favorites



We celebrated the end-of-Summer with a small, casual gathering of friends.

I can't believe how fast our Summer flew by!  

Our 5 and 6-year-old are still enjoying another week and a half of Summer vacation before returning on September 4th. So I couldn't think of a better weekend to gather friends for food and fun. 





We celebrated with all our Summer favorites . . . 

.     .    .     .     .    .    .
home-grown heirloom tomatoes
Smoked Apple & Chardonnay sausages
Feta, Spinach & Garlic sausages
hot dogs
.     .    .     .     .    .    .
Weinhard's Root Beer
.     .    .     .     .    .    .






We gathered in our patio & yard . . . and enjoyed a relaxed setting.

Since we're still picking tomatoes (almost daily), I filled small bowls with these sweet, healthy bites . . . and placed them around for everyone to enjoy.  They are so darn good!

Along with sweet grilled corn, I served a delicious array of flavorful and juicy sausages.

Two of my favorites this Summer were Smoked Apple & Chardonnay  and Feta, Spinach & Garlic. Both are so incredibly good. And for a more casual feel, instead of piling them on a platter, I sliced them  . . . and laid then them on a wooden board as they came off the grill.  They made for great hors devours or a main coarse.

               And as the sun set, I lit small candles for our main table . . . and turned on our globe lights. We relaxed and visited well after the sun set that evening.

The gathering of good food and good friends . . . it's a wonderful way to bring Summer to an end.







 

 






LET'S STAY in touch!








Sharing with . . . .

Stephanie Lynn, Twelve O Eight, Carrie This Home, Cooking for the Seven Dwarves, Huckleberry Love, Dwellings, Smart Party Planning,  The Dedicated HouseMod Vintage LifeLori's Culinary Creations, Home Stories, StoneGableAn Extraordinary DayBetween Naps on the Front Porch, Rustic Refined,  Tumbleweed ContessaA Stroll Thru Life,Elizabeth & Co,  My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Savvy Southern StyleThe Recipe CriticOur Home Away From HomeJanine Huldie,  Fluster Buster   Kitchen Meets Girl,  Craftie Allie,  Wednesday morning The Blissful Bee,  The Newlywed Pilgrimage Chic California, Lamberts LatelyLive Laugh RoweSweet Bella Roos, The Charm of Home, From My Front Porch to Yours, I'm Not a Trophy Wife,  Delightsome Life.Posed PerfectionKatherine's CornerNancherrowThe Freshman Cook,  Jann OlsonHome  Maid Simple,  Rooted in ThymeEveryday Enchanted Home, Pure Grace Farms A Dish of Daily Life, Bacon Time, Sunflower Supper Club, Tater Tots and Jello,  Cooking with CurlsMade from PinterestSimply GloriaOne More Time Events, 3 Little Greenwoods



Friday, August 22, 2014

watermelon . . . and a lobster!

 


I'm so bummed that it's taken me so long to share this fun and easy Summer food idea with you . . . watermelon lobsters!

I bought a lobster cookie cutter in May, just so that I could use it to cut lobsters out of watermelon rounds . . . and they came out so cute! Kids love them, too. 





I made watermelon lobsters for almost every Summer gathering we hosted this year.

They make a great addition to any picnic or BBQ.

I've served them on a white platter, with a few scattered home-grown strawberries . . . and on a bed of frozen blueberries. Both ways look attractive . . . and are a festive addition to any Summer table!


 


preparation
.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .
Cut watermelon in half, then cut into disks that are at least 1-inch thick
Using cookie cutter, slowly press down through the watermelon to cut out shape.
*The lobster arms tend to be more fragile, so be careful when removing the watermelon from the cookie cutter.
Display on a bed of frozen blueberries, or on a platter. 
Add chocolate chips for eyes (see photo below), optional
Enjoy!
 .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .
Cut the extra pieces of watermelon into cubes and serve in a bowl








LET'S STAY in touch!






Sharing with . . . .

Stephanie Lynn, Twelve O Eight, Carrie This Home, Cooking for the Seven Dwarves, Huckleberry Love, Dwellings, Smart Party Planning,  The Dedicated HouseMod Vintage LifeLori's Culinary Creations, Home Stories, StoneGableAn Extraordinary DayBetween Naps on the Front Porch, Rustic Refined,  Tumbleweed ContessaA Stroll Thru Life,Elizabeth & Co,  My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Savvy Southern StyleThe Recipe CriticOur Home Away From HomeJanine Huldie,  Fluster Buster   Kitchen Meets Girl,  Craftie Allie,  Wednesday morning The Blissful Bee,  The Newlywed Pilgrimage Chic California, Lamberts LatelyLive Laugh RoweSweet Bella Roos, The Charm of Home, From My Front Porch to Yours, I'm Not a Trophy Wife,  Delightsome Life.Posed PerfectionKatherine's CornerNancherrow, The Freshman Cook,  Jann OlsonHome  Maid Simple,  Rooted in ThymeEveryday Enchanted Home, Pure Grace Farms A Dish of Daily Life, Bacon Time, Sunflower Supper Club, Tater Tots and Jello,  Cooking with CurlsMade from PinterestSimply GloriaOne More Time Events, 3 Little Greenwoods



Thursday, August 21, 2014

my Keurig . . . and an Italian Roast affogato



My sister bought me a Keurig for my birthday, and I couldn't have been more excited!

She bought me the K-10 Mini Plus, which is a personal-size brewer. It's great, because she's knows that I'm not a fan of leaving appliances out on the counter-top (except for my Kitchen Aid. I use it almost every day!). So its small enough to tuck away in the corner, or back into the cupboard. Perfect. Perfect.



 


She also bought me 'The Entertainer' box, which includes 48 cups that range from light to dark roast coffees, hot chocolate, and herbal teas!

I was so surprised (and excited) to see that Keurig brews hot chocolate and cider!! We're big hot cocoa drinkers in the Winter. They're so much fun to enjoy with flavored creamers and marshmallows.

And tea . . . I love relaxing with a cup of herbal tea at sunset.








So even if you're not a coffee drinker, it's hard to dismiss this amazing little machine. It can brew just about anything in less than 2 minutes. I love mine!!

We've entertained quite a bit this Summer, so I've been a big fan of simple desserts . . . especially in the heat. Here have been a few of my favorites . . .

.     .     .     .     .     .     .
sliced Sherlyn melon with a scoop of raspberry sorbet
root beer floats & Weinhard Black Cherry floats
& affogatos
.     .     .     .     .     .     .

I shared a few of these favorites in posts throughout the Summer. I love that they're so easy to assemble, with little to no baking involved . . . and yet they're refreshing and so good!

Affogatos are new on my list of favorites!

The most well known espresso-based 'dessert' drink is Italy's . . . affogato. Some versions add whipped cream, or even liqueur ~ like amaretto.

I had one for the first time while vacationing in Peru several years ago. Although affogatos didn't originate from there, many countries have a very similar coffee-based 'dessert.'

Side note . . .
I recently had lunch at CHADO's in Los Angeles and they serve a similar 'dessert' drink, but with a Madagascar Vanilla Bean Tea (instead of coffee), a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and a dollop of clotted cream . . . Oh. my. goodness. It was so good.




Since I'm not a fan of espresso, I like to make mine with a full-bodied Italian Roast. 

They're so simple to prepare! Here's my version . . . .

Italian Roast affogato
.     .     .     .     .
Italian Roast coffee
quality vanilla bean ice cream
chocolate covered espresso beans, chopped (optional)
.     .     .     .     .




Preparation
.     .     .     .     .
brew Italian Roast, pour into a small pitcher or carafe
scoop a generous dollop of vanilla bean ice cream into a shallow cup or bowl
slowly pour hot Italian Roast coffee over the ice cream
sprinkle chopped chocolate covered espresso beans on top
Serve with a spoon . . . and enjoy!
.     .     .     .     .





This has quickly become a favorite dessert for me. Not just because it's so fast and easy to make . . . but because I love the combination of the rich, creamy vanilla bean ice cream with a light hint of a full-bodied coffee bath.

Add a few chopped chocolate covered espresso beans for added yumminess . . . and you have you a . . . sigh . . . deliciously, unique dessert.






LET'S STAY in touch!








Sharing with . . . .

Stephanie Lynn, Twelve O Eight, Carrie This Home, Cooking for the Seven Dwarves, Huckleberry Love, Dwellings, Smart Party Planning,  The Dedicated HouseMod Vintage LifeLori's Culinary Creations,  StoneGableAn Extraordinary DayBetween Naps on the Front Porch, Rustic Refined,  Tumbleweed ContessaA Stroll Thru Life,Elizabeth & Co,  My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Savvy Southern StyleChef in Training, The Recipe CriticOur Home Away From HomeFinding FabulousThe Style Sisters, Fluster Buster  Pure Grace Farms, ,Kitchen Meets Girl, Lady Behind the Curtain Craftie Allie, Fine Craft Guild, Wednesday morning The Blissful Bee,  The Newlywed Pilgrimage Chic California, Lamberts LatelyLive Laugh RoweSweet Bella Roos, The Charm of Home, From My Front Porch to Yours, I'm Not a Trophy Wife,  Delightsome Life.Posed PerfectionKatherine's CornerNancherrow,  Jann OlsonHome  Maid Simple,  Rooted in ThymeEveryday Enchanted Home, A Dish of Daily Life, The Cottage MarketBacon Time, Sunflower Supper ClubTshirt and Jeans, Tater Tots and Jello,  Cooking with CurlsMade from PinterestSimply GloriaOne More Time Events, 3 Little Greenwoods



LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...