Thursday, May 31, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pudding

There will be lots of cookies dough recipes hitting the web this week as Quirk books publishes Lindsay Landis's new cookbook, The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook. 
 We loved this easy to read, spiral bound book that lays flat when open. It is full of photos and quick tips for making the recipes a success. She starts with a simple basic recipe for each treat, but then gives you several ideas to take it up a notch. We really loved the recipes where she suggested adding peanut butter because around here, we believe peanut butter goes with anything, especially cookie dough. This book covers everything from Candy, Cookies, and Brownies, to Cakes, Custards and Pie. There is also a section for Indulgent Breakfast- who could resist  cookie dough in their breakfast? There really is something for everyone in here. 

 Our first recipe was the eggless chocolate chip cookie dough which is the base for many of the recipes, including the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough truffles (above). While these truffles had great texture, they were a little light on flavor, so on the next attempt we used dark brown sugar and this really boosted the cookie dough flavor. This was delicious stirred into vanilla ice cream.

 Next we made the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough pudding. It was silky, creamy and cool, full of brown sugar flavor and mini chips sprinkled throughout for a nice bite of chocolate. Cookie dough has long been a favorite in our kitchen ever since the kids were old enough to sneak a bite, and we can't wait to try some of the other recipes in this book over the summer. 

 Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pudding
 Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook.

 3/4 cup light brown sugar divided*
 1/8 teaspoon salt
 3 tablespoons cornstarch 
2 cups whole milk
 1/2 cup heavy cream 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 
1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
 * I used dark brown sugar 

In a saucepan, whisk together 1/2 cup of the brown sugar, salt and cornstarch until no lumps remain. Add milk and heavy cream and whisk over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken and starts to bubble, about 5 to 7 minutes. Lower heat to medium-low and continue to whisk until thick, about 5 minutes more. 
Remove from heat and stir in the remaining brown sugar, vanilla and butter until smooth.
Pour pudding into a large serving bowl or individual dishes. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing plastic onto the surface of the pudding and chill until set, 1 to 2 hours. Before serving, remove plastic wrap and sprinkle pudding with 
chocolate chips. 

 This fun little book will be released June 5 and is available for pre-order at

link:  Foodie Friday

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pink Fluff

The mandatory ingredients for the May Improv Challenge were strawberries and cream. Although there are countless tasty things you can do with those ingredients, Mini Me knew right away what we should make- Pink Fluff. This dessert is as simple to make as the name itself. Sweet, ripe berries are mixed with freshly whipped cream and topped with a brown sugar crumble, and the whole thing is put in the freezer so it can become a cold, semi-solid delicious summer dessert. Mini Me's birthday is smack in the middle of summer and she has chosen this many times over a traditional cake. It works for me because I don't have to spend hours with the oven on, and it can all be made a day or two ahead, so we can do lots of fun things on her actual birthday. This is recipe it not exactly new (it is from one of my mom's very old sorority cookbooks) but I have updated it to fit this decade- no more dream whip here! 

You can substitute any frozen fruit for the strawberries- peaches, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries all work well, as does any combination of fruits. We like to use whatever fresh fruit is in season and just cut it into 1-2 inch pieces and freeze on a rimmed cookie sheet until frozen solid before using.

Pink Fluff

1 1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup chopped nuts -optional
2 egg whites
1 cup sugar- a
1 10oz package frozen strawberries (or fresh strawberries, cut into chunks and frozen)
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Combine the flour, brown sugar, and nuts, if using. Mix in the melted butter and crumble on a rimmed cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool. Reserve about 1/3 cup for topping. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs in the bottom of a 9x13 pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the egg whites, sugar, lemon juice, and frozen strawberries until light and fluffy, about 15-20 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice to make sure there are no big chunks of fruit.

In a separate bowl beat the heavy cream until about double in volume and slightly stiff.
Fold the cream into the berry mixture. Pour into the prepared pan, sprinkle with reserved crumbs and freeze until frozen, about 6 hours. Cut in serving size pieces and garnish with fresh strawberries.
printable recipe

You can easily make this in individual serving dishes if you have room in your freezer.
For more about the Improv challenge visit Kristen at the Harried Antics of a Frugal Homemaker

link:Foodie Friday

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Soft Sugar Cookies

 I generally try not to bake just to eat. I try have a purpose and place to send most of the treats- cupcakes for someone's birthday, muffins for the church office, donations to bake sales, cookies for parties and holidays...Soft frosted sugar cookies have been on my "to bake" list for quite some time, but I until recently I didn't have an occasion to make them.
As with most things I put on my list, once I finally make them I wonder why I didn't make them sooner. These cookies are no exception. They were a delicious way to end a lunch date with friends, tender and soft with a delicate vanilla flavor and just the right amount of sweet, spring colored frosting. 

Soft Sugar Cookies
adapted from allrecipes.

2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup room temp butter 
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/3 cups AP flour

Preheat to 350°

Cream butter, shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy.
On medium speed add the eggs and vanilla until mixed well.
Over low speed add baking powder, salt and flour and mix until it comes together.
Chill dough for an hour.
Scoop or Roll into "walnut sized" balls, placing about 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake 8 - 10 minutes until edges are golden. Do not overbake.
When cookies are done let them cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes and remove to a wire cooling rack.
Frost when cool.

American Butter Cream Frosting

1 cup softened butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup milk
pinch of salt
4 cups of sifted powdered sugar
Color as desired

1. Cream the butter and slowly add powdered sugar and beat until fairly well incorporated, mixture will be crumbly.
2.Add salt, milk and vanilla beat at medium-low speed until combined and then up your speed to med-high and beat until light and fluffy.

 printable recipe

Link: Foodie Friday