cartoon by marc johns.

Monday, February 3, 2014

S'mores Cookies: Chocolate Chip, Marshmallow, & Golden Graham Cookies

Inspired by the chocolate chip marshmallow cornflake cookies that the famous Momufoku Milk Bar makes in NYC, I thought I would try my hand at a chocolate chip, marshmallow, cereal combo cookie.  Rather than cornflakes, I thought Golden Grahams, in the hopes that the flavor profile would taste like a s'more, which, for those of you that don't know, is one of my all time favorite desserts.  While these cookies do not necessarily taste like a s'more, they sort of do, and they are delicious.  They spread out a lot when baking because the marshmallows melt, making a large thin cookie that is crispy and chewy at the same time.  I used a pretty typical chocolate chip cookie dough base recipe, although I added much less sugar to compensate for the Golden Grahams and marshmallows.  I highly recommend trying these out, with any cereal that sounds good to you, for a fun change from a typical chocolate chip cookie.

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1+ cup granulated sugar (depending how sweet you want the cookies.  I did probably a little less than 1 1/4 cup sugar - maybe a couple tablespoons under.)
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I used white whole wheat flour.)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups Golden Grahams
2/3 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups mini marshmallows

To the baking:

1. Cream butter and sugars together.
Ready to cream.
2.  Add egg and vanilla.  Beat again.
Ready to mix.
3. Add flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.  Mix until dough just comes together.
Ready to mix.

4. Add the Golden Grahams and chocolate chips.  Stir to combine.
Lots of toppings.

Looks good even without the marshmallows!
5.  Add the marshmallows and combine.  At this point it will feel like you have not enough dough for all of the toppings.  Just do your best - the cookies are really the toppings with some dough to hold it together.

6.  Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour and up to overnight.  This is very important otherwise the cookies will not set.  If you bake them at room temperature the cookies will not hold a shape.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 F. Once refrigerated, use a tablespoon to scoop dough onto cookie sheets.  The baking trays should either be covered in parchment paper or non-stick baking sheets (silpas sheets).  Just spraying or buttering the trays is not enough.  The cookies expand A LOT so be sure to give them plenty of room.  I did 5 or 6 to a baking sheet.

7.  Bake the cookies for 16-18 minutes.  Allow to cook on trays before removing or the cookies will fall apart.  I actually think these cookies taste better when cooled rather than work because the texture settles instead of just being a ball of goo, but you may eat them whenever you like, obviously! Enjoy.  Makes about 15 cookies.

Pile of cookies.
Close-up of marshmallow-y goodness.
Recipe adapted from Momufoku Milk Bar.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Quick & Easy Veggie Soup

Close-up of finished product.
This recipe is so easy that anyone could do it.  It also tastes great, is healthy, and completely vegetarian, and very easy to make vegan. As we know, these are the kind of recipes I love most.  The hearty chunks of veggies paired with the tomato-based broth make for a warming, satisfying dish.  This is an easily adaptable recipe; feel free to add any vegetables you wish.  The same base is great with zucchini, kale, potato, sweet potato, beans, or mushrooms.  If you like spicy soups, add some jalapeƱo.  Try it out with your favorites.  I recommend pairing it with a grilled cheese sandwich for the perfect meal.  (Maybe try out this recipe!)  This soup is ready to go and full of flavor after about 20-30 minutes, but as always, the longer you simmer a soup, the more the flavors marry and the better it tastes.  Enjoy!

3 carrots, peeled & chopped
3 sticks of celery, chopped
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (I use fire roasted, but any type is fine.)
1 carton of vegetable broth (I use low sodium.  Can also use chicken broth if you prefer, but then it wouldn't be vegetarian.)
2 1/2 cups water
3 cloves minced garlic
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
3-4 sprigs of thyme (optional)
splash of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups pasta (optional) (I just use any shape leftovers I have around)

1.  In a large stock pot over low heat, put a little olive oil, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and thyme.  Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.  I like to put whole sprigs of thyme in the pot as well as the 3 tablespoons of just the thyme leaves.

Over low heat.
2.  Allow the vegetables and herbs to soften, stirring occasionally.  After about 10 -15 minutes (or longer, if you choose), remove sprigs of thyme.  Add the can of tomatoes, including the liquid in the can.

Tomatoes in.
3.  Stir and add a little more salt and pepper.  Cover and heat on medium for 5 minutes (should begin a light boil).  Then add the carton of vegetable broth and the cups of water.

Added broth and water.
4.  Cover and continue to heat for about 10-15 more minutes.  Soup should be simmering for at least 10 minutes.  

5.  If using pasta, add into the pot and continue to cook, covered, for about 8 - 10 more minutes.

Pasta in.
Serve hot.  And enjoy!  Makes about 4-6 servings.

Recipe adapted from Donna Hay.