Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Crash Hot Potatoes

Red Potatoes
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
Herb of choice

Begin by bringing a pot of salted water to a boil.

Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make, and cook them until they’re fork-tender

Next, generously drizzle olive oil on a sheet pan.

This will mean the difference between the potatoes sticking and not sticking, so don’t be shy here.

When the potatoes are tender, place them on the cookie sheet…

…Giving them plenty of room to spread out.

Next, grab your potato masher and gently press down on the potato until it slightly mashes…

Then rotate the masher 90 degrees and finish flattening it. Of course, you don’t want to absolutely smash it into the pan-you want it almost to resemble a cookie.

Repeat until all are flattened. And really, I don’t know why you couldn’t use the bottom of a glass for this step if you don’t have a potato masher. The surface might not be as textured and interesting, but I think it still might work.

Next, brush the tops rather generously with olive oil.

Next, grab some Kosher salt. You can use regular salt, but I’d really recommend using kosher. It adheres to the potatoes more easily and really flavors them nicely without getting too salty.

Remember: potatoes need salt. Don’t skimp!

Be ye ever as generous with fresh ground black pepper.

Now, you can grab some chives…or thyme…or whatever herbs you have available.

Whatever herb you use, just chop it pretty finely and sprinkle over the top.

Now throw them onto the top rack of a very hot (450-degree) oven, and cook them for 20-25 minutes…

…Or until they’re golden and crispy and sizzling.

--From The Pioneer Woman

Caramel Cookies

POINTS® Value: 1
Servings: 60
Preparation Time: 5 min
Cooking Time: 10 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

1/2 cup(s) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup(s) packed brown sugar, dark
1 large egg(s)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup(s) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup(s) whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

* Preheat oven to 400°F.

* In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar, egg and vanilla extract. Add remaining ingredients and beat thoroughly.

* Scrape dough out of bowl and onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Roll dough into a log, about 2 1/2-inches wide; completely wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 20 minutes or up to overnight.

* Cut dough into 1/8-inch-thick slices and arrange on several large ungreased cookies sheets about 1- to 1 1/2-inches apart. Bake until lightly browned around edges, about 8 to 10 minutes.

* Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet for about 1 minute and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Yields 1 cookie per serving.

Penne with Vodka Sauce

POINTS® Value: 7
Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 18 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 medium shallot(s), minced (about 1/2 cup)
2 medium garlic clove(s), minced
2 tbsp parsley, fresh, minced
1/2 small sea salt, or other coarse salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
3 tbsp canned tomato paste
2 oz vodka
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste (for cooking pasta)
12 oz uncooked penne
1/2 cup(s) heavy whipping cream
20 leaves basil, fresh, cut into ribbons (chiffonade)

* Heat a large skillet over a medium-low heat. Add butter, shallots and garlic; sauté until shallots start to caramelize, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add parsley, sea salt and pepper, stirring once or twice. Add tomato paste and mix to form a paste. Cook for about 5 minutes, moving paste around pan occasionally; add vodka. Scrap bottom of pan with a wooden spoon and cook for about 5 minutes more.

* Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.

* Add cream to tomato sauce; reduce heat to low and simmer for about 3 minutes. Add pasta to sauce and mix to coat; top with basil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

Creamy Lemon Pie

POINTS® Value: 3
Servings: 10
Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 15 min
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

6 whole reduced-fat cinnamon graham crackers
2 tbsp butter
11 oz fat-free sweetened condensed milk
2 large egg(s)
1/2 cup(s) fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest

# Preheat oven to 350ºF.

# Grind graham crackers in a food processor until fine, or place crackers in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Place crumbs in a small bowl.

# Melt butter on stove top or in microwave and pour over graham cracker crumbs, mixing with a fork until completely moistened. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom of a 9-inch pie pan; place crust in refrigerator while preparing lemon filling.

# Place condensed milk and eggs into a bowl and mix until smooth. Add lemon juice and zest and stir until incorporated. Pour milk mixture into prepared crust.

# Bake pie for 15 minutes. Cool completely, and freeze for up to two weeks before serving. For best flavor, serve chilled.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monster Cookies

12 eggs
2 lbs. brown sugar
4 c. white sugar
1 lb. butter or margarine, softened
1 T. syrup
1 T. vanilla
3 lbs. peanut butter
8 tsp. baking soda
18 c. oatmeal
1 lb. milk choc. chips
1 lb. M&Ms

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients, in order given, in the largest bowl you have. Drop by large Tbsp. or ice cream scoop and flatten. Place 6-8 cookies on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake 12 min. Do not overbake. Let sit on pan before removing from hot cookie sheet.

Makes approx. 100 cookies. (4-5" diameter/ice cream scoop sized)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Caramel Surprise Cookies

1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
48 chocolate covered caramel candies
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 cup white chocolate chips


In a large bowl, cream together the white sugar, brown sugar, and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, and baking soda, gradually stir into the creamed mixture. Cover dough and chill for at least one hour. Meanwhile unwrap the candies.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

With floured hands, wrap about 1 tablespoon of dough around each piece of candy, completely covering the candy. Roll each ball in the remaining tablespoon of white sugar. Place 2 inches apart on an unprepared cookie sheet. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Cookies should be set and slightly cracked.

Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave oven, or in a bowl over simmering water. Drizzle over the cookies when they are cool. If the melted chips are too thick, add vegetable oil to achieve the desired consistency.

**Andes mints can be used as well.