Archive for February, 2010

Olympic Gold Medal Cookies–Yum!

Every four years bobsledding becomes cool—along with speed skating and a whole list of sports I would otherwise flip past versus sitting down to watch. Anyone else have Olympic fever? If not, what are you waiting for?

My children are now regularly talking about the South Korean team’s speed skating strategy against Apolo Ohno’s reserved, but winning approach (remember Ohno’s the one who always wears the bandana on his head and appeared on Dancing with the Stars?). Along with discussing whether Lindsey Vonn can still ski well after a crash on a downhill run. We’re watching (or rather DVR-ing) every minute. I’ve even noticed random Olympic mentions in conversations with my kids over the past week. “Mom, do you think the Flying Tomato (Shaun White’s least favorite nickname) will ever cut his hair?” or “If I practiced really hard could I go to the Olympics?”

Sure, the chances of one of my children becoming a world-class bobsledder are pretty slim, but I’m still doing everything I can to fill our house with a little Olympic spirit. To celebrate the games, we made gold medal cookies this week using a thick, puffy sugar cookie recipe. This recipe makes nearly six-dozen cookies, depending on how thick you make them. It’s a great recipe to feed a crowd and the cookies turn out soft and cakey. They’re akin to the Lofthouse cookies you find in the store.

Sugar cookies can have a fairly bland flavor unless you give them a boost. I add almond extract to both the batter and the frosting to give the cookies a kick. You can also add a little orange or lemon zest to give the cookies even more zing. We decorated our cookies with a creamy, butter-based frosting that we tried to make gold. I emptied the whole canister of non-toxic frosting gold dust trying to get a glistening look. Too bad the frosting only looked a bit more yellow, despite my efforts. My solution? My kids and I added some gold, decorative balls to the frosting at the end. These cookies are fun and easy to make with your crew—the perfect treat to have on hand while watching the final Olympic events this weekend. You can easily cut this cookie recipe in half—or even a third. But why not make plenty to share?

Here’s the medal-worthy cookie recipe:

Gold Medal Sugar Cookies

My youngest enjoying her cookie

Simple, Puffy Sugar Cookies

Cream together:

3 cups sugar

1 Cup shortening

½ Cup Butter or margarine

3 eggs

2 cups milk

Add to creamed mixture:

3 T Baking powder

1 t salt

1 T vanilla

½-3/4 teaspoon almond extract

9 cups all-purpose flour

Mix well in a LARGE mixing dish. Once combined, divide dough in half and gently knead one half on a floured cutting board. Add more flour until the dough becomes slightly stiff. Wrap dough in plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Refrigerate for at least one hour. Roll the dough out a little at a time to a ¼” thickness. Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for about 9 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven when just slightly browned. Frost when cool. Makes 5 ½ dozen 2 ½-inch cookies. I freeze the leftovers.

Easy, Creamy Cookie or Cupcake Frosting

Ingredients:

3 Sticks margarine or butter, softened

9 cups powdered sugar

½-3/4 teaspoon almond extract

½ Tablespoon whipping cream or milk

Whip softened butter with a hand mixer until it becomes light and fluffy. Add the extract and milk. Gradually add in the powdered sugar until the frosting becomes a stiff, spreadable consistency. You can also add food coloring at any point to make a more eye-catching spread.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Mudgie’s Deli’s Famed Brownie Waffles

Mudgie's Deli decadent brownie

Brownies in any form make me happy. Well, maybe not blondies–those are just wannabe brownies using a glorified cookie dough recipe. Last week, for Valentine’s Day I was able to interview Greg Mudge for my Crumbs blog at MetroParent, the owner and creative force behind Mudgie’s Deli an eatery located in an area of Detroit that’s experiencing its own little renaissance (Mudge is a big part of that effort).

While Mudge did a great job answering a few foodie questions I posed to him, what I was really anxious about was if he’d be willing to share his deli’s recipe for brownie waffles. He did! I made these dark, rich waffles for my family for Valentine’s Day. They were amazing. Of course, I had to put my own spin on Mudge’s waffles–instead of topping them with the expected vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce, I opted for coconut ice cream (courtesy of the Mexican grocers), crushed pineapple and a little Hershey’s chocolate sauce (just to make it look fancy. Let me just say, I’ve had some pretty amazing desserts in my day and this one topped them all–not too sweet, interesting flavors, entirely satisfying (and sooo easy).

Here's my version of Mudgie's Brownie Waffle

So if you’re looking for a quick, easy, decadent dessert, whip out these brownie waffles. One more note–I discovered Mudgie’s on Twitter after our interview. Mudge posts the daily specials for the deli. While I won’t make it to the eatery any time soon–the specials are great ideas and new flavor combos I’m planning on using at home. I’m following!

Mudgie’s Deli Brownie Waffles

1/2 lb butter

3/4 cup of your favorite unsweetened cocoa

3 eggs

1 to 1 and a 1/2 cups sugar ( depending on how sweet you prefer)

1 tablespoon vanilla

dash of salt to taste

1 teaspoon baking powder

1.5 to 2 cups all purpose flour

Whisk eggs, softened butter, sugar and vanilla , in a separate bowl mix flour, salt, cocoa, and baking powder. while stirring slowly add dry ingredients to wet mixture until smooth. Batter should be fairly thick , If batter is a little thin add a touch more flour. You want the batter to scoop not pour.

Pre-heat waffle iron.No need to grease iron the butter in the batter will do the trick. Add a proper portion to the waffle iron, cook thoroughly. Top brownie with a scoop or two of your favorite ice cream and hot fudge. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Why I don’t believe in no-knead bread

So I’m trying to master whole wheat bread–the good, soft kind with a hint of honey, not the grainy variety that can be mistaken for a paperweight. I found a recipe that looked promising, plenty of honey, quick rising time a little gluten thrown in for a better rise, and–here’s the good part–it was no knead. Yup, skip the sticky fingers and just sorta pour the dough right from the food processor into the loaf pan. It seemed too good to be true. And it was.

I had my doubts when the dough went into the pan with a consistency like muffin batter. I poured just half of the batter in and decided to knead the rest (after adding more flour). I’m glad I did! The first loaf barely rose, fell flat when baked and I had to remove it from the well-greased pan with a butter knife. Not pretty. Loaf #2 rose perfectly, fluffed over the sides of the pan just so. I’m still tweaking the recipe and trying to put my own spin on it. But for now, I’ve learned at least one lesson–I don’t believe in no-knead bread. My kids agree–just check out these pics!No-knead disaster

Kneaded perfection

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Why aren’t you eating…Lime Potato Chips

An empty bag of my kids' fav chipsLay’s Lime Potato chips are a fav for my crew. Do they really taste all that different from the standard chips? Oh yeah. But that’s the fun part about eating them–when you take a bite expecting to taste potato you’re treated to a Froot Loops version instead. In fact when my nine-year-old takes a stash to school in her lunch bag she likes to play a game with friends where she has them close their eyes. She hollers “Froot Loops,” as they chomp on their chips. When they open their eyes what they’re seeing and what they’re tasting don’t match. I know, I know, you have to be a 3rd grader to have that be really funny. But she assures me that she entertains crowds with this little experiment at lunchtime.

My husband, who lived in Mexico for two years, and is a sucker for south of the border flavors introduced our crew to lime chips. In Mexico, lime is the flavor–from lime mayo to limeade (limonada) and yes, potato chips. Lime is everywhere. So if you’re ready to have your crew try something new, pick up a bag.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)