Cookies To Knock Santa’s Pants Off

One of the lines near the top of my list of “things I could eat until I’m sick ” is the general descriptor “anything from Momofuku Milk Bar.”

Cue the recipe for their seasonal creation-extraordinaire: Corn-Flake Candy Cane Cookie.

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RECIPE: Corn Flake–Candy Cane Cookies
By Christina Tosi
Momofuku Milk Bar, NYC

Ingredients:
CORN FLAKE CRUNCH
5 cups corn flakes
1/2 cup milk powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

COOKIE DOUGH
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2/3 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups mini marshmallows
18 large candy canes, broken into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch pieces
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions:
To make the corn flake crunch, preheat the oven to 275°F.

In a bowl, break down the corn flakes by hand until they are half of the original size. Toss the milk powder, sugar, and salt with the corn flakes. Pour in the melted butter and stir to coat evenly. Spread corn flake mixture evenly on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet and caramelize in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until slightly toasted and crunchy. Let cool for 20 minutes.

To make the cookie dough, cream the butter and sugars in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on high speed for 2 minutes. With a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl. Add the egg, peppermint extract, and vanilla and continue creaming on high speed for another 6 to 8 minutes. With a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix on a low speed for 30 to 60 seconds until the mixture comes together but is still shaggy and streaks of flour remain. Add the corn flake crunch, mini marshmallows, candy cane bits, and mini chocolate chips. Mix on a low speed for another minute until the mixture is evenly speckled with the corn flake crunch, marshmallows, candy canes, and mini chocolate chips, being careful not to mix more than necessary.

Scoop the dough with a 2 3/4-ounce scoop or form 2-inch balls and place on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Pat down the cookie dough rounds, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes or up to 3 days. Do not bake the cookies from room-temperature dough.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Arrange the chilled disks of cookie dough on parchment paper–lined baking sheets, 3 to 4 inches apart. Bake until cookies have puffed, spread, and browned around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely on the baking sheet before transferring to a plate or an airtight container.

Source: James Beard Foundation

Editor’s note: Eat until your pants no longer fit.

Cheers to the Holiday Season

We spent the weekend hanging out with friends, making appetizers, decorating Christmas cookies, and finishing our Christmas shopping. (Note the words “going to the gym” were not on that list. Yikes!)

In recent weeks I’ve also become addicted to DVRing and rewatching episodes of Barefoot Contessa – I’ll blame the festive holidays and a sinus infection for the serious couch time on this one. However, that woman makes everything look so easy, it gives me the urge to throw a party just to celebrate a good dentist visit.

In the celebratory spirit, here’s some fabulous entertaining ideas from everyone’s favorite work distraction greatest source of ideas, Pinterest:

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Rock Candy Champagne Cocktails
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Crostini and dip
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Campari, Gin and Orange Cocktail
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Ham & Gruyere Thumbprints
{original source}

 

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Smoked Salmon Crisps
{original source}

Happy 100th, Julia!

One-hundred years ago today a culinary pioneer was born in California. Julia Child was never one of the glamorous women who grace the sets of the Food Network today — she wasn’t beautiful like Giada, refined like Sandra or petite like Rachael. But she believed in the importance of her craft, the joy of sharing with others and never let anyone tell her what she should do with her life.

Her recipes and her personality have transcended generations and she forged a path for women in the culinary world that will never been forgotten. I will forever share her love of French cuisine, cookbooks and butter.

So cheers to Julia and all that she has given us — Bon Appetit!

Image and video via PBS (Okay, so the video is completely ridiculous but I love the part where they remix the sound of her chopping with her knife!)

Dreamy, Creamy Eggs

I love the incredible, edible egg. And my breakfasts have been nothing short of pathetic lately. (Today was a baggie of dry cereal on the train – LAME.)

This recipe and photos from The Kitchn have me massively craving delicious eggs and feeling inspired to be patient enough to try this new method for creamy scrambled eggs. I could pretend that I’ll get up early and give it a whirl tomorrow but we all know better than that.

That’s what Sunday are for, right?

Photo by Faith Durand

Super Duper Delicious

FINALLY – someone who appreciates my love for the original gansta of the cupcake ‘hood – vanilla with vanilla!

Thank you, Sweetapolita, for this post about Super-Duper Vanilla cupcakes. To all those nay-sayers who think classic vanilla is boring, I dare you to tell me your heart doesn’t melt at the sight of these scrumptious little treats below.

Don’t mess with a classic. And don’t cut corners on a classic, either – we’re not talking Betty Crocker boxed cake here, we’re talking real Madagascar Vanilla Extract.

Take that, chocolate.

One Muffin, Three Ways

Sunday was one of those days where I found myself with a handful of old bananas while cleaning out the kitchen and enough time to do something with them.

Aiming for something (a little) on the healthy side, I took this whole wheat banana recipe found at Joy of Baking, omitted the walnuts and pecans per my man’s request, and made a few finishing touches.

Since Chris loves Vermont maple syrup, I whipped 1/2 c butter with 1/4 c pure Vermont maple syrup for a sweet little smear for his share of the muffins…

…if you’re like me, you smear peanut butter on just about any sweet food, especially when running out the door in the morning with breakfast wrapped in paper towel.

And, for a third variation I rubbed the top of some of the muffins with butter while still hot and sprinkled on a little sugar and cinnamon for good measure.

The only thing better than a delicious muffin is three kinds of delicious muffins!

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/ 2 c mashed banana (about 3 large ripe bananas)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c Vermont pure maple syrup (preferably Grade A dark amber)
1/2 c light brown sugar
1/3 c milk
1/4 c canola, corn, or safflower oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line 16 muffin cups with paper liners, or you can butter or spray the muffin cups with a non-stick vegetable spray.

In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon.

In another large bowl combine the mashed bananas, lightly beaten eggs, maple syrup, brown sugar, milk, oil, and vanilla extract. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined and the batter is thick and chunky.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins and, if desired, place a slice of banana or dried banana chip on top of each muffin for garnish. Bake about 18 – 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool for five minutes and then remove muffins from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Fondue For All!

We had some of Chris’s friends over for a fondue dinner last night and we ate like kings. Cheese fondue, swiss-pickle balls, meat, veggies, batter dips, and dessert – you name it, we dipped it in those fondue pots. (I think this is what happens when three couples are excited to dust off their fondue pots for the first time in a long while and go slightly overboard with the fixin’s!)

We had a great time with lots of laughs, full bellies and leftovers for all. First dinner party in the new apartment – success!

Looking forward to many more.