Friday, July 10, 2020

Browned Butter Honey Pistachio Bars

I’ve done a lot of baking lately, and I have been trying to use up different ingredients that I have on hand. I was looking through things that we have on hand, and I had a partial bag of pistachios. So often, pistachio recipes call for a larger quantity, so I needed to find a recipe that didn’t use a lot. I measured what I had, and I only had about ½ cup, so I was quite limited.

In my searches, I found two possible recipes. One had you roll the dough in pistachios and this one, which sprinkled the pistachios on top of bar cookies. I had made a recipe similar to the first one, so I decided to make these pistachio bars. They are even more special as they have browned butter and honey. I just used regular honey, rather than the specialty honey that the original recipe used.

This makes a small batch, which is what I look for these days! The bars are a cross between bar cookies and cake, but that’s ok. They are very soft when they come out of the oven but then firm up as they cool. They’re never going to be the sturdiest bars, but that’s ok. If you wanted, you could drizzle the bars with additional honey before serving, but that would make them quite messy. I baked the bars for 25 minutes and they are done, but they are still quite gooey in the center. Gooey or not, they taste fantastic, with the pistachio and salt coming to the forefront.

Browned Butter Honey Pistachio Bars
10 tablespoons butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
Flaked Sea Salt

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8” square pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

First, brown the butter. Cut the butter into pieces and place in a small saucepan. Heat on medium-low until melted and continue cooking until the butter slightly browns and is fragrant. Do not brown too much.

In a large mixer bowl, beat the browned butter, brown sugar, and honey on medium until combined. Add the egg and egg yolk and beat again to combine. Stop the mixer and add the flour and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix on low until the mixture comes together. Do not overmix.

Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and about ¼ teaspoon sea salt.

Bake for 23-25 minutes, until golden and the edges are set. Allow to cool in the pan and then lift the bars from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into bars.

Recipe from Baker by Nature

Friday, July 3, 2020

Cinnamon Oatmeal Honey Biscotti

If you are looking for a recipe that makes a small quantity, I encourage you to look at biscotti recipes. I went through Pinterest and identified a couple of different recipes that I thought would be good. With biscotti, you can usually cut the recipe in half and make a smaller batch. In this case, the recipe made just one biscotti “loaf,” which in the end makes just 12 biscotti. That was perfect for what I was looking for.

I don’t make biscotti all that frequently, and that’s for a couple of reasons. I know that some folks don’t like biscotti all that much, or simply want a softer, chewy cookie. I tend to fall in this camp, as I prefer biscotti after it has only baked once, and it is much softer. The other reason is quite silly, but I think that biscotti are the hardest thing to photograph. It doesn’t seem like photos do a good job of capturing the biscotti. This time I photographed the cookies on the cooling rack, which seemed to be the best option.

Biscotti isn’t hard to make, but it does take a little longer since you bake them twice. This uses a small quantity of standard ingredients, so you may be able to make the with what you have on hand. Honey is the most unusual ingredient, but I had just enough for this recipe. Perhaps a trip to the local honey farm is in the plans this weekend! The only change that I made for this recipe is the time spent baking the biscotti the second time. The original recipe had you bake it 25 minutes, but 15 minutes would be better. These cookies aren’t very sweet, and the small amount of glaze helps add a touch of sweetness.

Cinnamon Oatmeal Honey Biscotti
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup powdered sugar
About 1 tablespoon milk

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oars, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and almonds; set aside. In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium until smooth. Add the egg and beat again on medium. Add the honey and vanilla and stir to combine.

With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour mixture. With wet hands, shape the dough into a loaf, approximately 10 inches long and 4 inches wide.

Bake for 25 minutes and then remove from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Allow the biscotti to cool for 5 minutes, and then cut the cookies into ¾” slices with a serrated knife. Stand up the cut biscotti on the baking sheet and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Cool completely.

To glaze: whisk together the powdered sugar and 2 teaspoons milk. Add more milk if the glaze is too thick. Drizzle over the cooled biscotti.

Recipe from My Recipe Reviews

Friday, June 26, 2020

Buckeye Thumbprint Cookies

It wasn’t until a few years ago when I was blogging a lot that I discovered what Buckeyes are. I figured that they were from Ohio, since that is the mascot of Ohio State. Over time I learned that they are peanut butter covered with chocolate. They are supposed to look like the Buckeye tree, but I have no idea if that is accurate or not! The candies are very popular, and honestly, any time that you combine chocolate and peanut butter, it’s a good thing.

Growing up I disliked thumbprint cookies, but I have discovered that there are so many variations that are more unusual than the traditional ones. This thumbprint cookies takes the flavors of Buckeye candy and turns it into a cookie. I thought that sounded great, so I put these on the list to make. The original recipe noted that it would make 28 cookies, which didn’t seem to bad.

You start these cookies by making the peanut butter filling. I note that you should use creamy peanut butter, but I suppose crunchy would work, it’s just very difficult to mix all of the ingredients together, so why make it harder? The cookies don’t pose any problems, and they aren’t too sticky to shape, which is nice. This recipe makes about double the amount of filling that I needed, but that will vary depending on the size of your cookies and thumbprints. I really like these cookies; the chocolate part isn’t super sweet, as you can taste the bitterness of the cocoa powder. The peanut butter filling is very sweet, and the combination of the two is just right.

Buckeye Thumbprint Cookies
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon shortening

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

Make the filling: in a small bowl, beat together the peanut butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, and salt. In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium until smooth. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and mix again on medium to incorporate. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour mixture until the dough comes together.

Shape the dough into 1-1/2tablespoon balls and place on the prepared baking sheets. Flatten each cookie with the palm of your hand and then make an indentation in each cookie with the end of a wooden spoon or similar item.

Shape the peanut butter filling into ½” balls and place one in each cookie. Again, flatten the cookies slightly.

Bake for about 14 minutes, until the cookies are set along the edges. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Once the cookies are cool, melt the chocolate and shortening in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, until the mixture is smooth. Drizzle the chocolate over the cooled cookies. Allow the chocolate to set before serving.

Recipe from Snappy Gourmet