cartoon by marc johns.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Honey Baked Nectarines with Vanilla & Brown Sugar

This is a lovely, yummy, summery recipe.  You can use the honey, vanilla, and brown sugar on a variety of ripe fruit - I used nectarines, but this would be delicious with peaches, plums, pears, or all 4 fruits.  It is a nice, light, healthy dessert option.  It tastes especially good with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or greek yogurt drizzled with honey.  The fruit is also a good brunch option.  Put it on top of pancakes, waffles, or oatmeal.  This recipe is also SUPER quick and easy.

Really, this is the best of all worlds - easy, healthy, and delicious.


3 nectarines
3 teaspoons of brown sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
3 tablespoons of honey 

To the Cooking:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2.  Cut the nectarines in half, remove the pits, and place skin-side down in an oven-safe baking dish.  

Halved and Ready.
3. Drizzle the honey over the nectarines.

4.  Put the vanilla on the nectarines.

Vanilla and Honey.
5.  Sprinkle the brown sugar over the nectarines.

Brown Sugar, Vanilla, and Honey.
6.  Place the nectarines in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.  Take the nectarines out of the oven and scoop up the juices and pour over all the fruit.  

The juices have been scooped.
7.  Put the nectarines back in the oven for 15 more minutes, or until brownish and a little sticky.  Scoop up juices and pour over fruit.  Serve warm.  Makes 6 servings.  Enjoy!
The Final Product!
Recipe adapted from blog Food Opera.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Cookies

These cookies are very delicious.  The classic peanut butter and chocolate combo always works for me.  Also, the texture of these cookies is really nice; the peanut butter part of the cookie is crunchy and the chocolate part is chewy, so you get the best of both worlds!  (I can never decide if I prefer soft, chewy cookies or crunchy cookies).  AND they look pretty.  (Although they look like skinny cinnamon rolls, so they kept making me want them to taste like cinnamon...I am gonna work on a cinnamon roll cookie, and I will let you know when I succeed!)

These are the first cookies that I have ever made that involve a swirl of two different batters.  You make the peanut butter batter first and put it in the freezer to firm it up for about an hour.  Then you make the chocolate batter while the peanut butter one is hardening.  Once the peanut butter batter is firm, you roll it out flat, spread the chocolate evenly on top of the peanut butter batter, and then roll it up into cylinders and put it back in the freezer  Then all you do is slice the cylinder into cookies.  (I know this sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn't because while the dough is in the freezer you can be off doing other things).


Peanut Butter Dough
Peanut Butter Dough Ingredients.
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup of creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 packed cup of light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Swirl
Chocolate Swirl Ingredients
1 (12 oz.) bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 oz.) can of sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon of shortening

To the cooking!

1. Cream butter, peanut butter, sugars, and eggs.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Mix into the wet mixture and blend all together.  
Action shot of blending.
3.  Divide the dough into 2 parts.  Pat each part into spheres.  Wrap the spheres with saran wrap and put into the freezer until firm (about an hour).
Close-up of dough.
Peanut butter dough spheres.
4.  Roll out one sphere flat on lightly floured surface saran wrap.  (Don't roll too thin - the thinness of the dough is the same thinness as your cookie!)
Rolled out dough.
5. In a medium bowl, melt the chocolate chips with the sweetened condensed milk and shortening in the microwave.  Set microwave for about a minute, stir, and heat for another 30 seconds.  Continue like this until mixture is totally melted, combined, and smooth.  
Chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, shortening.
All melted and smooth.  Yummmmm.
6. Spoon dollops of the chocolate mixture onto the rolled out dough, using about half the chocolate.  Spread the chocolate evenly on the dough.  
Spreading the chocolate on the dough.
7.  Using the saran wrap as a guide, roll the dough and chocolate into a cylinder.  
Rolling into a cylinder.
8.  Wrap the cylinder in in the saran wrap.  Place the cylinder into the freezer for about half an hour.  It is okay to leave in the freezer for longer.     
All wrapped and ready for the freezer.
9.  While the first batch is in the freezer, roll out the second ball of dough and spread chocolate on it.  (You can re-melt the chocolate  if it has hardened).  Then roll it into the cylinder and put in freezer.

10.  Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease cookie sheets. 

11. Remove the firmed up cylinders and cut into slices about 1/4 inches thick. 
Slicing the cylinder.
A slice.
12.  Bake 13-15 minutes, or until cookies no longer feel gooey.  Makes about 50 cookies. Enjoy!!!! 

The final product.
Recipe adapted from RecipeGirl.com