Sunday, June 28, 2015

4 Perfect Snickerdoodle Cookies



My obsession with small batches of cookies continues. This time I made the classic Snickerdoodle. They turned out perfectly! Crisp edges, soft chewy center, and lots of cinnamon sugar.


Good thing this recipe only makes 4 cookies because I would have eaten 10 if they had been there!
That is why this small batch of cookie thing is a winner for me, no self-control over here!


What you need,

2 tbsp. butter (I used salted as usual)
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
½ tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. cream of tartar

1 tbsp. granulated sugar
¼ tsp. cinnamon

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper.

In a medium bowl cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until well incorporated. Stir in the vanilla.
Sift in the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar.

Mix until all the ingredients are fully combined.
The dough will be a little sticky, but that’s OK.

In a small bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon.

Divide the batter into 4 equal amounts. Roll the dough into the cinnamon sugar. I find if you put the dough into the sugar and then roll it, this seems to help it not stick to your hands too badly. If you had time you could refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes that would help too.

Place the dough balls onto the prepared baking pan.

Press just slightly to flatten the tops, don’t press too much the cookies will spread out on their own.

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the edges are crisp and the center is just set.
Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.


Now I dare you not to eat all 4 of these beauties at one time. They are JUST THAT GOOD! They are so soft and chewy, the perfect Snickerdoodle.

Enjoy!

Jen

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Greek Pasta Salad



As the weather is getting warmer I feel less and less like cooking big meals. I have always been a big fan of a big Greek salad!


This pasta Greek salad is a winner. You can make it well in advance which is always great.  It is cool and refreshing which makes for a perfect summer meal!


What you need,

For the salad,
2 cups uncooked, rotini pasta or whatever you like
½ cup chopped cucumber
½ cup halved cherry tomatoes
¼ cup chopped red pepper (you could use green if you want)
¼ cup sliced red onion
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tbsp. chopped Kalamata olives

For the dressing,
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. fresh cracked black pepper

Combine all the ingredients for the dressing into a small mason jar and shake it up really well. You can keep this dressing in the fridge for up to a week.

Cook your pasta as directed on the box. Drain the pasta and let it cool completely in the fridge.
In a large bowl add the pasta, cucumber, tomatoes, red pepper, onion, feta cheese and olives. Toss to combine. Spoon on the dressing until the salad is well coated. Let the pasta salad rest in the fridge for at least an hour to let the flavors combine.

This salad will stay good for a day or two in the fridge in an airtight container.


I really loved this salad. It is everything I love about a Greek salad plus pasta which is always a winner for me!

This salad makes a great lunch to take to work too, and I am always looking for a good work lunch!

Enjoy!

Jen



Sunday, June 14, 2015

Saskatoon Berry Crisp



One of my favourite summer desserts is a fruit crisp. Whether it is apple, rhubarb, blueberry, peach, mixed berries or Saskatoon, a crisp is always a winner.

The recipe for a crisp is almost always the same, give or take a little sugar. You can whip one up with any fruit you have on hand, even a mixture of fruit is great. Served plain or with a perfect scoop of vanilla ice cream, or even a little drizzle of heavy cream, a crisp is the perfect way to end a summer meal.


This Saskatoon Crisp is one of my all-time favorites. I can’t tell you how many times as a kid I got up early early (6am) to go to fishing with my dad. We would always finish fishing by around noon in the summer because it gets too hot. On our way back to town we would always be on the lookout for some perfectly ripe Saskatoon’s. If we spotted a bunch we pulled over, grabbed our berry picking pails and went to town. If we were lucky we would pick enough to make a big old crisp when we got home. The perfect end to a giant fish fry!


What you need,

3 cups Saskatoon berries
½ cup granulated sugar
1-2 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1½ tbsp. cornstarch

For the topping,
½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 heaping cups oats (I used quick cook because it is what I had!)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9 inch square baking dish.
In a bowl toss the berries with the sugar, lemon juice and corn starch. Place the berry mixture into the prepared pan.

In a separate bowl use a fork or your fingers, I find fingers work the best, to combine the butter with the sugar, flour and oats. Mix just until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.

Sprinkle the topping over the berries to cover.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Serve warm or cold, with our without vanilla ice cream!


There you have it a super simple but absolutely amazing summer dessert‼

Enjoy!

Jen

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Small Batch of Cookies Part 2 – Peanut Butter Cookies



So remember a couple weeks ago I posted that amazing recipe for a small batch of perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies. 

Well now I am obsessed. I can’t stop making small batches of cookies.
As much as I enjoyed the chocolate chip I felt I needed a change, hence the Peanut Butter!


I have always loved Peanut Butter Cookies! This recipe is my all-time favourite; I have made it a million times. It makes about 4 dozen cookies so this tiny little batch that makes only 4 perfect cookies is a better option when you are trying to not eat ALL the cookies.


What you need,

2 tbsp. butter (I used salted like I always do)
2 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp. packed brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
¼ tsp. vanilla
6 tbsp. all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. baking soda

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl cream the butter, peanut butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and beat well. Stir in the vanilla.  
Add the flour and baking soda and stir until well combined.

Divide the dough into 4 portions and roll gently into balls. Place them on the parchment paper and press the tops with a fork to make a cross hatch pattern.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges but the middle is still a bit soft looking.

Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the pan for 4-5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.


These cookies are crazy good. Perfectly puffy and soft, just like a Peanut Butter cookie should be.
I think ¼ cup of chocolate chips added in at the end would be amazing but sometimes you just need to be a purist and go straight Peanut Butter!


I am thinking about trying a small batch of Oatmeal Raisin next, they are my in house taste testers favourite!
I am also working on a snickerdoodle, a sugar cookie and a chocolate chocolate chip!

I might have a cookie problem. Oh well there are worse problems to have! Right???

Jen


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Mini Rustic Raspberry Tarts



The berries this spring have been amazing. The raspberries especially! They taste just like I picked them off the tree. I have eaten a ton of them.
I decided to do a little baking with them, and what better than a pretty little tart!


These rustic raspberry tarts are super simple. They look kind of fancy so they would be great for a dinner party. AND they taste amazing!


What you need,

2 cups fresh raspberries
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch

1 batch pie dough, I bought mine but if you are fancy you can make your own. You will need enough for a top and bottom crust

1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. sanding sugar

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl carefully toss the raspberries with the sugar and cornstarch.

Carefully roll out the pie dough. Cut two 8 inch circles, one from each piece of pie dough and place them on the parchment paper.

I also cut 8 smaller flower shapes from the remaining pie dough. Place those on the baking sheet as well.

Pile about ¼ cup of the raspberries onto the center of each 8 inch round circle, leaving about 1 inch around the edges. Carefully fold up the edges of the pie dough all the way around. Remember this is a rustic tart so it doesn’t need to look perfect. Just make sure the berries won’t spill out

Then place 1 tbsp. of the berries onto 4 of the small pie dough shapes.
Then top each one with a second pie dough shape. Press the edges with a fork to seal them well.

Brush all the exposed dough with the beaten egg. This will help the dough get nice and brown and crisp. Sprinkle on the sanding sugar liberally. This will make the tart look pretty and well it is sugar, it will taste amazing!

Bake for 30-35 minutes until the dough is nice and golden.

Cool on a wire rack until cool.

Serve with a sprinkling of powdered sugar or a big old scoop of vanilla ice cream, either would be lovely.


These tarts were fantastic. There are only 2 of us so that is why I only made 2 of the bigger tarts. You could carefully roll the extra dough to get 2 more larger rounds instead of making the little filled tarts. I just didn’t want to waste the dough. I really loved the little tarts you can just grab them and go! Delish!


This type of tart would work well with strawberries or blackberries, even blueberries.  I can’t wait until nectarines and plums are in season, I think they would be really great too.

Enjoy!

Jen