Ooey-Gooey-Chewy Cookies

Chocolate Brownie Cookie

score some brownie points

Life can be hard sometimes, amirite? It’s all about choices. And decisions. And compromises. What to wear. What to watch. What to eat. Like, do you go for a cookie or a brownie?

Well, why should you have to choose?

Why not get both?


Yep. A cookie. A brownie. You can have it all. And actually, not to blow your mind again, but you can have it all — and less. That’s right. Because these ooey-gooey chocolatey cookies are flourless. Which is hard to believe, I know. But it’s true. Just check out the recipe. But what’s really great is that they’re so chock full of rich, chocolate flavor, you won’t miss the flour one bit.

See, life’s not so hard all the time.

Chocolate Brownie Cookies
3 cups of powdered sugar
3/4 cups of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
5 oz of bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Heat your oven to 350º. Make sure your rack is in the upper third of your oven.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Next, whisk in the egg whites and egg until it resembles a thick fudgy mixture. Then fold in the bittersweet chocolate.

Drop rounded tablespoons of batter onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through, until cookies are puffed, cracked and set around the edges. Let them cool completely on the cookie sheet. Then eat.

Easy as Chicken Pot Pie

chicken pot pie with crumbly topping

a pie for me, a pie for you

Well, well, well. It’s been a long time, hasn’t it folks? Over a month if my calendar is correct.

Sidebar: Is anyone else in shock that it’s already November? 2013 has flown by. And yet, still no hover boards or flying cars. Sigh.

Luckily, I can take comfort in one of the most comforting dishes ever created – chicken pot pie. While I’m a fan of flaky pie crust surrounding a warm, saucy mixture of chicken and vegetables, I’m not a fan of making flaky pie crusts. That’s something this aspiring baker needs to work on. It would help if I actually liked fruit pies (which I don’t), but that’s a story for a different day.

But even without a pie crust, you can get the same comforting meal on your plate. Much like a crisp, this version of chicken pot pie has a crumbly topping, which takes almost no time at all to make and even has a little kick of cayenne pepper to keep things interesting. This recipe might seem like it has a lot of steps (it kinda does), but you’re basically using the same pot over and over again. Makes for easy clean up, right? And it’s also simple enough that you can enjoy this comforting meal on a weeknight. Because sometimes (many times) you need comforting on a Monday to get you through the week.

Chicken Pot Pie with Crumble Topping
For the filling:
1 ½ to 2 lbs of boneless chicken breasts
3 cups of chicken broth
1 small onion, finely diced
2 large carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
8 oz of mushrooms, diced
1 teaspoon of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of tomato paste
4 tablespoons (½ stick) of butter
½ cup of flour
1 cup of milk
2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup of frozen peas
Olive oil

For the topping:
2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
3/4 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of pepper
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
6 tablespoons of butter, cut into ½ inch cubes and chilled
½ cup of grated Parmesan
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of heavy cream

Bring the chicken breasts and chicken broth to a simmer in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook until chicken is done, about 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a large bowl. Pour broth through a fine mesh strainer into another bowl and reserve. Don’t rinse Dutch oven.

Heat your oven to 450º.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and cayenne. Add butter cubes, and using fingers, rub butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse corn meal. Stir in the Parmesan, and then mix in the cream until combined. Crumble mixture onto a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until light browned and fragrant. Remove from oven and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery, season with salt and pepper, and cook until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. While veggies are cooking, cut chicken breasts into small cubes. Add cooked veggies to the same bowl as the chicken.

Heat another tablespoon of oil in the Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until juices are released, about 5 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and tomato paste, increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, until liquid has evaporated, mushrooms are well browned and a dark fond begins to form on the surface of the pan, about 5 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to the bowl with the chicken and veggies.

Heat the butter in the Dutch oven over medium heat. When foaming subsides, stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk and the reserved chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom to loosen the browned bits and then cook until the sauce thickens and can coat the back of a wooden spoon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Then mix in the chicken, cooked veggies and peas.

Pour the mixture into a 9×13 baking dish (or several individual pie dishes) and top with an even layer of the crumbled topping. Bake until bubbling and topping is browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly and then eat.

What The Fluff?! Cookies

WTF cookies

holy $#%&

What the F#@$ is in these?!

Yep. That’s pretty much the response from everyone who’s tried these cookies. I think that’s pretty accurate considering they have some unusual ingredients. Originally based on a Momofuku Milk Bar recipe (that famous bakery in NYC known for putting weird things like breakfast cereal into their cookies), I changed it up by replacing mini marshmallows with Fluff.

What’s Fluff, you ask?

It’s that gooey, marshmallow-y concoction that got it’s start in Union Square, Somerville (just a stone’s throw from where I now live) almost 100 years ago. In fact, the annual Fluff Festival was this past weekend. Nowadays, most people use it to make fudge or frosting or a Fluffernutter sandwich. Unlike regular marshmallows, Fluff is vegetarian friendly. And when mixed into cookie dough, it bakes up all ooey-gooey-wonderful, resulting in cookies that are both crispy and chewy. And 100% irresistible.

WTF Cookies (aka Cornflake & Fluff Cookies)
1 ½ cups of flour
½ teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup (2 stick) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup of sugar
2/3 cup of packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon of vanilla
3 cups of cornflakes
½ cup of milk chocolate chips
½ cup of peanut butter chips
3/4 of a 7.5 oz jar of Marshmallow Fluff

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat for about 4 minutes, scraping down the side as needed. Add the flour mixture a little at a time until well combined. Beat in the cornflakes a little at a time, and then stir in the chips and the Fluff. Cover and chill the dough for at least 3 hours, or overnight. It’s very important you do not skip this step. The dough needs to firm up before baking.

WTF cookies bowl

stirring in the magic ingredient

Heat your oven to 375º.

Roll golf ball-sized balls of dough and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet a few inches apart. Pay attention to this too, as these cookies spread a lot. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the cookies have flattened and the edges are browned. Let cool completely on the baking sheet, and then enjoy.

Muffin Topped

chocolate banana bacon mini muffins

a complete breakfast!

Remember those breakfast cereal commercials from the 80s? Anyone who sat around in their pajamas in the wee hours of Saturday morning should know what I’m talking about. The announcer would always say: Part of a complete breakfast! And they they’d cut to a plate of toast and some random fruit next to the bowl of Frosted Flakes or Trix, as if eating bread and real fruit made the cereal better for you.

That story doesn’t really have anything to do with these mini muffins, because they don’t have cereal (although watch out of a future recipe that does). But they could be considered a complete breakfast. You’ve got your bananas, always a morning-time staple. You’ve got everyone’s favorite breakfast meat, bacon. And you’ve got chocolate for good measure. (Also cinnamon for that cozy kick.)

But here’s the real question:

Are these breakfast muffins masquerading as decadent little treats, or decadent little treats pretending to be — and doing a darn good job of it — breakfast food? I’ll let you decide.

Chocolate Banana Bacon Mini Muffins
2 ½ cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of salt
½ cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup of sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup of milk chocolate chips
6 slices of bacon, cooked & crumbled
Maple Sugar Camp Mix

Heat your oven to 400º.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then add the vanilla. Add the flour mixture a little at a time until well combined, scraping down the sides as needed. Beat in the mashed bananas, and then stir in the chocolate chips and crumbled bacon. (Or: If you want non-bacon eaters to enjoy them, divide the batter in half and only put bacon in some of it.)

Lightly grease a mini muffin pan and then spoon batter 3/4 of the way into each cup. Sprinkle each with Maple Sugar Camp Mix, and then bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until puffed and lightly browned. Let them cool completely in the muffin pan. Then remove muffins and enjoy.

Refresh Your Taste Buds

lemon-lime basil shortbread cookies

(almost) summer stack

Now that the weather is warming up and summer is little more than a hop, skip and a jump away, I’m craving something citrus. And these little crumbly shortbread cookies are definitely cirtus-y — and savory thanks to the addition of fresh basil. That might sound weird but the combo makes for one really refreshing cookie. If you’ve got a food processor, you can make a batch of these in no time at all. Then you can nibble on these while you wait for summer to officially get here.

Lemon-Lime Basil Shortbread Cookies
1 cup of flour
½ cup of powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
½ teaspoon of lime zest
2 tablespoons of fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, chilled & diced

Heat your oven to 325º.

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until large, moist clumps form. Measure tablespoons of dough and roll into balls. Place on a baking sheet 2 inches apart. Using the bottom of a glass or measuring cup lightly dusted with powdered sugar, flatten the balls into 2 inch rounds. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the edges are lightly brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

lemon-lime basil shortbread cookies

oh! who did that?

Proof is in the (Bread) Pudding

parmesan bread pudding

you can eat your meat AND pudding

Everyone knows bread pudding, but this one isn’t for dessert. Well, you could have it for dessert, but then you’d have to eat something sweet for dinner. That’s because this version of bread pudding is savory. It’s a comforting meal with the right mix of salty Parmesan, salty pancetta, fluffy bread and the distinctive bite of broccoli rabe. You could use regular broccoli and good ol’ bacon, but the broccoli rabe and pancetta class it up a bit.

Parmesan Bread Pudding with Broccoli Rabe & Pancetta
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 medium bunch of broccoli rabe, trimmed & cut into ½ inch pieces
6 eggs
1 ½ cups of milk
6 to 8 slices of country-style bread, cut into 1 inch pieces
½ cup of grated Parmesan, plus 2 tablespoons
6 slices of pancetta
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Heat your oven to 350º.

Add a tablespoon of oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir until the garlic is soft, about 30 seconds. Add the broccoli rabe, season with salt and pepper, and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Add the broccoli rabe mixture, bread and ½ cup of Parmesan and stir to combine. Transfer to a lightly greased 1 3/4 quart baking dish. Add the pancetta slices to the top and the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan.

Bake until puffed, browned and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool slightly and then eat.

200th Post: Ciabatta Breakfast Pizza

ciabatta breakfast pizza

put an egg on it

Well folks, here we are: Post Number 200. I really can’t believe it. I didn’t think I’d ever make to 100, but then I did. And now there’s 100 posts more. Wow. A gigantic THANKS to everyone who’s egged me on over the past 2+ years.

I’m very happy that this little endeavor of mine has evolved from an egg-centric blog to one that now includes everything – cookies, chicken, baked goods, ice cream, brussels sprouts – that I love to make and eat. This ciabatta breakfast pizza fits in quite nicely. It’s comforting and easy, a little spicy and cheesy, and puts a new spin on a classic dish – French bread pizza. Plus, it’s something you can eat for brunch or supper, which in my book means it’s a truly awesome dish.

Ciabatta Breakfast Pizza
1 demi loaf of ciabatta bread, cut in half lengthwise
2 to 3 links of hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
4 slices of hot pepper Colby Jack cheese
3 eggs
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Scallions, chopped (for garnish)

Heat your oven to 450º.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, breaking it into pieces, and cook until brown and no traces of pink. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 more minutes.

Place the bottom half of the ciabatta bread on a baking sheet, and put the other half aside for another recipe (or make 2 pizzas). Lightly drizzle the bread with olive oil and a sprinkle of garlic salt. Place the cheese slices on the bread, allowing them to slightly overlap, and then add the cooked sausage on top. Bake for 10 minutes, until the cheese melts and the bread crisps.

While the pizza bakes, fry the eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Gently place the eggs on top of the pizza and garnish with chopped scallion. Cut into pieces and eat.

ciabatta breakfast pizza

a slice of eggy heaven

Thanks again everyone. Here’s to 200 more posts!

Cornbread in a Jiffy

cast iron skillet corn bread

cornbread saving time

Bust out your cast iron skillet, because it’s cornbread time! Like many of you out there, I grew up eating Jiffy Mix corn muffins. That delightfully retro blue box always had a place in our cupboard, and those crumbly muffins still hold a special place in my heart. But – you can make your very own cornbread from scratch in the same amount of time. It’s true. This recipe is pretty traditional, meaning it’s more savory than sweet. Because cornbread is to be eaten during supper, not after.

Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread
– ¼ cup of vegetable oil
– 2 cup of cornmeal
– ½ cup of flour
– 2 teaspoons of baking powder
– ½ teaspoon of baking soda
– 1 teaspoon of salt
– 1 egg
– 2 cups of buttermilk
– ½ cup of shredded Cheddar cheese
– 1 tablespoon of diced chives
– Pinch of cayenne pepper

Heat your oven to 450º.

While the oven is heating up, pour the oil into a cast iron skillet and then place it in the oven until sizzling.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg and buttermilk, and then add it to the flour mixture and stir until well combined. Next stir in the cheese, chives and cayenne.

Take the skillet out of the oven, carefully add the hot oil to the batter and stir until combined. Pour the batter into the skillet and then bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Slice and eat.

Going Bananas

banana oat bars

shh … they’re good for you

This recipe might lead some to believe that I’ve lost my mind. I haven’t. Well, I don’t think so. But I am branching out from my typical kind of baked good. Last week I was looking for something new to do with my ripe bananas. I love banana bread but just wasn’t in the mood. So when I found these banana oat bars I was intrigued. The most interesting thing: there’s no flour or sugar or eggs, so if you’re in the know, that makes them vegan. And if you know me, you probably just fell off your chair. But listen: they’re good. Really! I drizzled the top with a little maple syrup for a touch of sweetness. You could also mix in pretty much anything you like – craisins, raisins, chocolate chips, almonds – and these chewy, granola bar-like treats will make a great breakfast or satisfying afternoon snack. So who’s crazy now?

Banana Oat Bars
– 2 very ripe bananas
– 2 cups of rolled oats
– 1 teaspoon of vanilla
– ½ teaspoon of salt
– ¼ cup of dried & pitted dates
– ¼ cup of walnuts, roughly chopped (or pecans, hazelnuts or almonds)
– Maple syrup (or cinnamon or nutmeg)
– Cooking spray

Heat your oven to 350º.

In a mixing bowl, mash the bananas until smooth. It should look like banana pudding. Stir in the oats and vanilla, and then stir in the salt, dates and nuts. Lightly coat a 9×9 (or similar) baking dish with cooking spray. Press the mixture evenly into the dish. Lightly drizzle maple syrup over the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges are golden. Let cool on a wire rack and then cut into bars.

Pe-can Pan-cakes

toasted pecan pancakes

pe-cans really can-do

Fun fact: Growing up in Texas, we had pecan trees all around our neighborhood. That seems so awesome now, because like a lot of things (bell peppers, mushrooms, craisins, shrimp) pecans are something I didn’t like until I was older. It’s a shame, really. I remember friends of my parents bringing over giant bags of them that they pulled right out of their own backyards. My dad would sit at the kitchen table cracking them open, then my mom would put them into one of those nut choppers with the handle and grinder them into bits so she could toss them into cookies or breads. Ah, memories. These pancakes are sure to give you some new memories, especially with toasted pecans mixed throughout the batter. Toasting the pecans really brings out the sweetness. Make sure to save a few so you can sprinkle them on top.

Toasted Pecan Pancakes
– 1 ¼ cup of flour
– 5 teaspoons of brown sugar
– 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
– ¼ teaspoon of salt
– ¾ cup of buttermilk
– 1 large egg
– 1 teaspoon of vanilla
– 1 ½ teaspoons of melted butter
– 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
– ½ cup of toasted pecans, roughly chopped, plus extra for garnish
– Maple syrup
– Cooking spray

To toast your pecans, heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pecans and cook, constantly moving the pecans around the pan, until fragrant and they turn dark brown. Set aside to cool and then roughly chop.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk, egg, vanilla, melted butter and oil. Whisk the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture until smooth. Use a rubber spatula to mix in the chopped pecans. (Adding a splash of maple syrup to the batter won’t hurt either.)

Heat a non-stick griddle or skillet over medium heat. Lightly coat with cooking spray (or use butter if you prefer). Working in batches, pour ¼ cup of batter for each pancake onto the griddle. Cook until small bubbles form, flip and cook until golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm until all of the pancakes are made.

toasted pecan pancakes

as the butter melts, it loses calories — true story

Plate the pancakes. Top with a small pat of butter, some toasted pecans and a drizzle of maple syrup.