Peanut Butter Cookies

My coworkers keep giving me a hard time because I never bring in baked goods.  Sorry that I’m usually spending my cooking time for dinner to feed MYSELF and not you people, but alas, I decided tomorrow was as good a day as any for peanut butter cookies.

Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp peanut butter (chunky or smooth will work)

Preheat your oven to 350 deg F.  Line your cookie sheets with a Silpat or parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.

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Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla.

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Beat on high until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, add the egg and continue to beat on medium speed until incorporated.

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Add the peanut butter and mix on medium/low speed until combined.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

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French Bread (with honey butter)

Oui oui!  It’s my first foray into the art of bread making and went for it by making the French bread recipe from Emily Ansara Baines’s “The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook”, a gift from my dear friend and twin Scully (note:  she is not actually my twin).

The recipe calls for dousing the finished loaves in honey butter, so really, there was no going wrong with this bread.  It does take some work (and time), but the result is pretty satisfying.

French Bread

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Makes 2 loaves.

  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package (or 5 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tbsp cornmeal (i was out of it)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp honey

In the bowl of a stand mixer and the paddle attachment, combine 2 cups of the flour, the softened butter and the salt.  Slowly add the water to make a gross watery floury swamp.  Beat until it’s sort of blended.  Change to the dough hook and then start adding the flour.

Eventually you’ll get a ball of dough.

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Birthday Cake!

Momufoku Milk Bar strikes again!  The first time I was flipping through their cookbook at the Austin Food and Wine Festival, I saw this:

I was sold and bought the cookbook immediately.  How couldn’t I?  That cake is preeetty.  Now let me say this one tiny thing:  I don’t even LIKE cake really, but I had to make this.  So when a friend’s birthday was approaching, I decided to give it a go.  Of course I never remember to photograph the final product so believe it or not the cake did turn out to look pretty much like that one up there.  Only maybe slightly uglier but semantics, okay?

Here’s how it’s built:

  • 1 recipe birthday cake
  • 1 recipe birthday cake soak
  • 1 recipe birthday cake frosting
  • 1 recipe birthday cake crumb

Basically you make a homemade funfetti sheet cake, cut it into three rounds, make frosting and this delicious crunchy crumble and put it all together.

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Orecchiette with Sausage, Corn, Jalapeño and Asparagus

I get this wonderful magazine called Martha Stewart Living every month (a. thanks, Jamie and b. sorry, Mom) and besides oogling at the ridiculous and supposedly “do-it-yourself” crafts that only housewives have the time for, I like to look at the food.  This is loosely based off of a recipe from Martha from the June 2013 issue.  I added mushrooms and asparagus because why not?

Orecchiette with Sausage, Corn, Jalapeño and Asparagus

  • salt and pepper
  • orecchiette
  • hot Italian sausage
  • butter
  • jalapeño
  • mushrooms (I used oyster mushrooms)
  • asparagus
  • FRESH corn kernals (aka cut them off the cob)
  • sour cream
  • cilantro

Start by browning your sausage in a dutch oven.  You want the uncooked stuff and remove it from the casing.  Unfortunately the market I went to didn’t have any uncooked Italian sausages so I got stuck with the already cooked and let’s be real:  I’m too lazy to go to a SECOND grocery store so it is what it is.  I’m just heating it up here.

Sausage!

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Shrimp and Grits

Sometimes I don’t understand why there are foods that I never ate before coming to Texas.  Like breakfast tacos (why are these not a thing EVERYWHERE?! I do not understand), or in this case:  GRITS.  Grits are like a big cheesy pile of delicious mush.  And when you put shrimp and gravy over them, it’s like an explosion of awesomeness in your mouth.  And turns out they’re pretty easy to make.  It was harder to FIND them in the huge ass Whole Foods than it was to cook them.

Shrimp and Grits

(based on this recipe:  http://www.annies-eats.com/2013/01/16/shrimp-and-grits/)

  • 2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • juice of a lemon
  • hot sauce (I used Sriracha because obviously – this is optional if you’re a wuss)
  • 5 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups grits (not the instant kind)
  • 6 slices bacon (I got the thick sliced stuff at Whole Foods)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 of a green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • a bunch of mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar

First, defrost your shrimp if necessary and peel them.  Squeeze the lemon juice over the shrimp and drizzle with hot sauce (in this case, Sriracha).

Sriracha just goes on everything in my house.

Sriracha just goes on everything in my house.

Toss all that together and set aside.

Grab your grits.  This was the only kind that Whole Foods has that weren’t instant, but I think there’s also yellow grits.

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Also known as polenta?! Who knew?!?!

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