theboxexperiment

Attempting to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Farmer’s Market, Memorial Day, and Candy Cookies May 28, 2011

Filed under: Dessert — theboxexperiment @ 3:25 pm
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Happy Memorial Day Weekend! We ventured to the farmers market this morning and ran into some friends we know who live in town. We talked to some vendors everyone was super friendly. They had tons of fresh strawberries, lettuces, herbs, potted plants, etc. In the end we came home with 2 bunches of asparagus for $8, 1 very long zucchini for $2, 1 doz eggs for $4 (no-hormone, no-chemicals, free range), a mint plant for $2.75, and a big rosemary for $3.75.

Today, we are having a barbecue with several friends, one of whom came from Boston for the weekend (not just for the bbq 🙂 )! We are very pumped to have her here. The bbq today will be your traditional, relatively unhealthy variety with hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, potato salad, corn on the cob, and for dessert…candy cookies!! These are great, I’ve made them for my students and for adults and everyone loves them. They are a special treat for every once in a while!

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup of butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • M & M’s
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, cut into bite size pieces

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray or line the cookie sheet with a silpat baking mat. (Cooking spray only required if your pan is not “non-stick”
  3. In a large bowl, mix the butter, white sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until creamy and smooth.
  4. Slowly beat in the eggs.
  5. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt together thoroughly.
  6. Slowly add the flour mixture to the egg mixtures until well blended.
  7. Add most of the M&M’s and most of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and mix carefully.
  8. Drop by rounded spoonfuls on cookie sheets.
  9. Add the remaining M&M’s and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup pieces to the top of the cookies.
  10. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown. (Today I made gi-normous cookies that are taking longer to bake.
  11. Allow to cool before moving them to a wire rack.
  12. Enjoy.


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Snow Day and 6 Ready to Go Bananas January 27, 2011

Filed under: Bread,Breakfast,Dessert,Fruit — theboxexperiment @ 9:02 pm
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…sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. Wonderfully, DC had its first snow day today and just in time for my birthday! I brought tons of work home to do but instead JEM went out to a birthday lunch and then I did some serious baking.

My baking from scratch recipe list is pretty limited but I can make a mean apple pie, banana bread, and Uncle Pete’s Dessert (a pudding-y goodness concoction that is all together awful for you but sooo good). We had 6 bananas that were about to turn into compost so I searched and found these recipes on For the Love of Cooking.net.

Banana Cinnamon Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup of mashed bananas, about 3 small bananas
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fresh nutmeg, grated

Steps:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Pull out a non-stick baking sheet (or a sticky one and coat with Pam)
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla
  4. Continue to beat until the mixture is well combined.
  5. Mash the bananas in a bowl with the baking soda. Let sit for 2 minutes. (This gives the cookies their lift.)
  6. Mix the banana mixture into the butter mixture.
  7. Mix together the flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  8. Add to the butter and banana mixture then stir until just mixed.
  9. Drop by the spoonful onto the cookie sheet.
  10. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until nicely golden brown.
  11. Let cool on wire racks.
  12. Mangia.

Like I’ve said, I’ve never really done baking from scratch. All the cookies I’ve done are Tollhouse and generally the pre-made stuff that you just need to drop onto a cookies sheet. I ALWAYS over cook them and they come out flat and crunchy. These are exactly the opposite, fluffy and moist–SO good.

Banana, Blueberry, Lemon Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups of blueberries
  • 2 tbsp grated lemon zest, divided
  • 3 tbsp sugar

**Mentally replace the baking soda w/ baking powder 🙂

Steps

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Coat a muffin tray with cooking spray.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest together in a small bowl.
  4. Beat together the bananas, eggs, brown sugar, melted butter, lemon juice, and vanilla until well blended. (Probably easier if you have an electric blender, I don’t but it worked just as well to do it by hand.)
  5. Stir in the dry ingredients until just mixed.
  6. Carefully add 1 cup of blueberries and gently mix together.
  7. Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin tray.
  8. Sprinkle the remaining blueberries evenly over the tops of each muffin (push them down a bit).
  9. Combine the sugar and remaining tablespoon of lemon zest together and sprinkle evenly on top of each muffin.
  10. Bake for 25-27 minutes or until a knife (or toothpick) comes out clean.
  11. Let cook on a wire rack.
  12. Consume