Monthly Archives: August 2011

S’mores Cookies, A Big Druckin Effort

S’mores = childlike glee. Right? I remember first trying one as a Girl Scout, way back in the wilds of WA state. Ours was a chocolate-deprived household (my sister is allergic), so the mere prospect of unbridled chocolate consumption sent my head spinning. Combine that with an actual invitation to play with fire, and I was SOLD. I’ve loved this uniquely American invention ever since.

Like a fur pillow, marshmallows are actually hard to sleep on. Right Kanye?

And I must confess, I love me some milk chocolate. I understand the health benefits of dark chocolate, and I know foodie pundits consider milk chocolate at best to be a lesser chocolate, and at worst, not chocolate at all, but druck it — I love the stuff, and I’m not alone. (Thank you, Canada!)

For some reason, semi-sweet chocolate is just right in a cookie, and milk chocolate soars to new heights in a s’more. So when my mom sent me this recipe for S’mores cookies, I jumped at the chance to get sticky with it.

I used two marshmallows per cookie, which made my cookie tops strangely boob-like.

Mine didn’t turn out like the picture, as often happens. But they were delicious. Usually, by the time I’m done baking cookies, I’m so over baking cookies (and so full of cookie dough) that the thought of eating them makes me slightly sick. This time, I had to beg the boyfriend to hide them from me.

That said, I have two quibbles with these cookies. One, they are pretty labor intensive. You pull them out when they’re almost done, plop on the toppings, then bake again, watching to make sure the marshmallows don’t burn.

Two, I was surprised by the less-than-orgasmic reception they got. (Especially given my own embarrassing, involuntary moans of pleasure.) So in sum, I wouldn’t tell you to drop everything and make these. I would say, maybe make these, if you have time and TiVo, because there will be lots of pauses. On the bright side, you burn lots of calories running to and from the oven. More cookies for you!

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Druckin Fresh Peach Pie, Y’all!

I love the LA Times Thursday Food Section. Something about it hearkens back to a more innocent time, when a neighbor might show up on your doorstep with a basket of sun-ripened tomatoes or even a freshly baked pie. (A girl can dream.) Chefs share recipes, foodies share recent obsessions and local farmers’ markets report on what’s in season. Last week, PEACHES!

Sexy, sweet, and suggestively shaped, when it comes to food porn, peaches are a natural. I had to put some in a pie. According to the fruit guy at the Santa Monica Farmers Market, yellow freestone peaches are a pie-baker’s best bet. So I picked up 2.8 lbs (about 7 peaches). And since I can’t make my mother’s tried-and-true, easy-as-pie crust recipe work for me, I turned to a chubby little friend for help.

My oven won’t bake the bottom crust, no matter what I do. So now I just pre-bake it, lining it with foil and filling it with pie weights or beans or whatever will weigh it down and prevent ugly crust bubbles. As for the peaches themselves, lots of recipes tell you to boil those babies, or ‘blanche’ them, cooling them off in an ice-water bath and then slipping the skins off.

First the hot tub, then the plunge pool. These are some lucky sons of a peach.

I just used a potato peeler and it worked FINE. As I peeled and sliced, I kept squeezing lemon juice over the cut peaches to keep them from turning brown. (Also known as oxidizing. Thanks Jared!) 1/2 cup of brown sugar (to taste), 2 big tablespoons of quick-cooking tapioca, sprinkle of cinnamon, mix, dump into pre-baked crust.

Break up two tablespoons of butter into about six pieces, dot filling with them, then top with remaining crust. Cut holes in crust to vent steam, then brush with one egg beaten with a splash of water, sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400• until brown and bubbly.

Really like your peaches wanna shake your tree.

This recipe is loosely based on an easy one from the Food Network. We ate our slices warm from the oven with generous, melting scoops of Haagen Dazs vanilla and it tasted heavenly — like sunshine and sweetness and summertime. Still not as good as my mom’s. But that won’t stop me from trying!

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Druck You, Skippy Peanut Butter Cookies

This! THIS is why I have a blog! I made peanut butter cookies weeks ago for my boyfriend and his awesome volleyball posse, and they were perfectly peanutbuttery and magically delicious and I lost the druckin’ recipe and now I want to… (Pause to figure out just how dramatic I’m feeling, given my OCD tendencies and the fact that losing anything, even a hair clip, makes me worry that I’m losing what’s left of my mind.)

Have you seen me?

Wait. I know exactly what I want to do. I want to continue my tireless search for the original recipe. THERE. Not exactly a wall punch, but my KEYBOARD is going to suffer a lot of very angry, determined keystrokes! In the meantime, I made the Skippy version, which yields 6 dozen perfectly acceptable PB cookies. (Recipe here.)

Martha Stewart, nee Kostyra. You do us Polish girls proud.

I meant to make half Skippy, half Martha Stewart (recipe here), because Martha’s called for more PB and less flour, resulting in (hopefully) a melt-in-your-mouth PB sensation rivaled only by the miraculous invention that is Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch. But I kind of forgot to split the recipes, and once you’ve made six dozen cookies (72 to be exact), you’re ready to get the hell outta the kitchen.

Everyone needs a little Cap'N in 'em.

If you can name the marshmallows in a bowl of Lucky Charms (hint, green clovers!), you just happen to have a great PB cookie recipe or you’ve kitchen-tested Martha Stewart’s version, I’m all ears! Talk to yer Momma! Please!

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Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Jalapenos & Corn? Druck Me.

Prepare yourself. I’m about to say something that borders on un-American: I often find mac ‘n’ cheese bland and porridge-y. It’s a deceptively difficult dish. You have to cook the pasta perfectly al dente, or it will turn to mush in the oven.

You have to season (and maybe slightly over-season) carefully, taking into consideration that pasta is spongy and will soak up the saltiness of the cheeses and somehow redistribute it into the atmosphere, you know not where. And to breadcrumb or not to breadcrumb? That IS the question.

Corn you ear me? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

So when I saw this recipe in the LA Times Food Section, courtesy of a national restaurant chain called Famous Dave’s, I was intrigued. Corn? Jalapenos? Whaaaaaat?! The sweetness of the corn, coupled with the kick of the jalapenos and the (fingers crossed) saltiness of the cheese could make this a very satisfying hybrid of a cheesy corn casserole (YUM!) and good ol’ pasta y formaggio.

Instead of making this myself, I figured I’d just swing by Famous Dave’s. Too bad the closest one is in Long Beach! And while I’m on the subject, the logo with the pig wielding a slab of ribs is SERIOUSLY disturbing.

Hey piggie! Why ya eatin' yourself?! Huh? Stop eatin' yourself!

For one thing, that pig is a CANNIBAL. For another, I’m a city girl who doesn’t like to be reminded that she’s eating actual ANIMALS. Come on, Famous Dave! Meat comes from the STORE. Everyone knows that!

If you make this, or have an even more intriguing mac n cheese recipe, disturbing logo or personal experience with cannibalism, please let me know! I live to hear from you!

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Sourdough Bread Drucked with Cheese & Butter

Before you get too excited, I must confess that I haven’t made this. YET. But if I went to this nice lady’s dinner party and she served this, I would grab it like a football, put out a stiff arm and RUN back to my car. (Then I’d spike it and do a victory dance!) GAZE! GAZE UPON ITS BUTTERY, CHEESY GLORY!

Fill bread with cheese and pour butter over. Words to live by.

If you click on the pic, you’ll get a recipe, but the photo is pretty self-explanatory. Buy a round loaf of sourdough. Slice it as shown but not all the way through. Fill crevices with cheese. Mix melted butter with chopped scallions and a spoonful of poppy seeds. Pour over. Wrap in foil and bake at 350• for 15 minutes. Unwrap and bake for 10 more.

This may belong on thisiswhyyourefat. But I don’t care. I may make it this weekend just for practice, so I can have it perfected by the time holiday season rolls around. You’re welcome, future well-fed friends and relatives!

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