Sunday, May 20, 2012

Battle of the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies, part 1

I don't know about you all, but I have two things that I do when I am down.  One is clean, which I usually reserve for super serious cases, and two is bake.  After receiving yet more bad news in my quest for my dream job, I felt the urge to create something delicious.  Yummy food always cheers me up, especially if it combines the two best ingredients ever, peanut butter and chocolate!  These cookies are seriously one of my comfort foods.  I think of peanut butter and chocolate as God's gift to the food world...all sweet and salty and creamy and deliciousness!  Nothing makes me feel better than these two together.  Plus I had this delicious new roasted honey nut peanut butter I've been dying to try in a batch of cookies!  So why is this blog post called a "battle" you ask?  Mainly that while I find these cookies perfection in hubby thinks that there is one way they could be improved...but we will get to that in part 2!

These cookies are seriously simple, great to make on a day where you have a bunch of little things you need to get done in the kitchen.  They only take 7-8 minutes in the oven too, so there isn't much cooking time involved.  So if you don't have much time, these are great.  I started them about an hour before my hubby had to leave for work and I had them all out in time for him to take a couple dozen with him.

Our ingredient line up!

Yummiest peanut butter EVER!!!

Add peanut butter, shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla to your mixing bowl.

Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Add in the egg...and beat until just incorporated.

Whisk together your dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

Add your dry ingredients a little bit at a time to your wet ingredients.

Beat until just combined.

Add in some chocolate chunks...

And some more...just add the whole bag! 

Beat on low till the chips are mixed in.  Yum!!

Scoop onto a baking sheet.

Bake for 7-8 minutes or until just set and golden brown!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Adapted from Crisco's peanut butter cookies
Makes 3 dozen cookies

1/2 cup peanut butter, use whatever kind you prefer
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp. milk, whatever you have on hand is fine
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 bag chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 375F.

Combine peanut butter, shortening, brown sugar , milk and vanilla in a bowl and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add in the egg and beat just until mixed.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.  Slowly add to the wet ingredients, mixing well in between additions.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the chocolate chunks.  Beat on low speed just until the chucks are mixed in.

Using a small ice cream scoop(or a spoon), drop onto a cookie sheet 2 inches apart.  (If using a spoon, drop about a heaping tsp. of dough for each cookie.)  Bake for 7-8 minutes, or until just set and lightly browned.  Allow to cool for a minute or two on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Raspberry Strudel

Saw this recipe recently while reading the May 2012 copy of Food Network Magazine and just knew I had to try it.  It looked amazing...and it used a product that I had never tried before...silken tofu.  I like tofu, it's alright...mostly it ends up tasting like whatever it is cooked with.  However, I've never used it in a sweet dish before so I was a little curious about how this works.

Hmm...mine didn't look quite that perfect...where's my food stage-er?!

Honestly, as soon as you mix it with the cream cheese and powdered sugar, it tastes like yogurt!  This recipe is amazing, it was a total hit and everyone who tried it said it was amazing.  Best part, it tastes like a decadent danish or...strudel, and it's not as fattening.  The tofu allows the flavor of the cream cheese to come through without it being so sinful. Plus it makes it really light and creamy...

Yup, that's all there is!

The tofu before it is made all creamy and smooth.

Awesome, isn't it?!  It looks so different!

All the other "stuff" added in there...

Tofu tornado!!

This is what you will end up brave and taste it, I promise it's just like vanilla yogurt.

First layer of phyllo dough.

Brush on 1 Tbsp. butter and sprinkle on 1 Tbsp. graham cracker crumbs.

Pour your tofu mixture onto your dough.

Spread out your tofu mixture.

Be sure to leave room so that your filling doesn't all fall out when you roll it up.

Sprinkle on the raspberries.

Spread the last of the butter and graham cracker crumbs over the top.

Bake for 18 minutes, rotating halfway through.

Crispy and flaky!!

So yummy!

Raspberry Strudel
Recipe from May 2012 Food Network Magazine
Serves 8-10

6 ounces firm silken tofu, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
5 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
5-6 Tbsp. butter, salted or unsalted, melted
6 Tbsp. graham cracker crumbs
1 cup fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 425F.

Blend tofu in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy.  Add in the powdered sugar, cream cheese, flour and vanilla.  Puree until smooth and well incorporated, it will look a bit like yogurt.  (And taste like it too!)

Meanwhile, place thawed phyllo dough on a flat surface and cover with a slightly damp towel so that it doesn't dry out.  Begin forming the crust on a piece of parchment paper slightly larger than the phyllo dough. Place the first layer of dough down on the parchment paper, spread 1 Tbsp. of butter and 1 Tbsp. of graham cracker crumbs out evenly.  Top with another layer of phyllo dough, 1 Tbsp. butter and 1 Tbsp. graham cracker crumbs.  Continue until all 5 layers are complete.  Reserve the remaining Tbsp. butter and  Tbsp. graham cracker crumbs for later.

When the tofu mixture is completely blended and smooth and the dough is ready, pour tofu mixture over the dough, leaving one inch of room on each of the long ends and 2 inches on the short ends.  Sprinkle the raspberries on evenly.  Roll up the dough, starting on one of the long ends, careful to not let the dough break or the filling run out.  Place seem side down on the parchment paper.

Carefully place parchment paper on a baking sheet and top with remaining butter and graham cracker crumbs.  Bake for 18 minutes or until golden brown and flaky, rotating the pan halfway through to avoid hot spots.  Slide strudel off of the baking sheet and onto a cutting board or counter to cool for at least an hour before cutting.  Cut into 8-10 pieces and enjoy!