Posts Tagged 'easy'

Pipe Dream #225: To Sell SUPER PREMIUM – Oreo Cookies?

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Oreo Cookies? My first recipe with a punctuation mark. These are not one of those recipes for copycat Oreo cookies that you can find all over the Internet. Ho no. Instead, these are all the consistency of a real good chocolate chip cookie + the flavor of an Oreo – the cream filling of an Oreo. Win? Maybe. In my opinion, they were just a good foil for some SUPER PREMIUM pistachio gelato.

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Sidenote: If you would ever like my dad to buy something from you/support your missions trip, just tattoo the words SUPER PREMIUM or GOURMET across your forehead. You’ll have an easy time of it.

Am I allowed to volunteer information like that?

I don’t know. Welp.

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I found these to be best the day they were baked. (Trick of the trade: scoop out balls of dough and freeze them so that you can bake a few cookies whenever you need them. Just add a minute or two to the bake time to account for their frozen state.) Even though I sealed them in a bag after I baked them, they were a bit harder on Day 2 (ahem, breakfast). Not crunchy, exactly, but not soft-baked breaking either.

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I tried a bunch of tricks with these, with more patience than I normally have for cookies. First, I baked them from their frozen freezing fryzing state, which made them stay a little thicker, and then I even let them cool completely on the baking sheet instead of a wire rack. I can’t remember where I heard about the baking sheet trick, but it feels kind of counter-intuitive to me. Like, wouldn’t the cookies bake more on the sheet? Good thing I have a few more with which to test this theory.

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3…1…2…1…2…testing…1…2…YEP…YEP…1…2…1…1,


Oreo Cookies

Barely adapted from Kirbie’s Cravings

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (16 tablespoons, 2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
13 Oreo cookies

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Blend in the dry ingredients until dough is formed. Add the Oreos directly into batter and beat on medium high speed until Oreos are crushed and blended into dough. Roll dough into balls about 1 1/2 inch in diameter (I used a 2-tablespoon  cookie scoop), and put the dough in the freezer to chill for at least 30 minutes.

When ready to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Place onto lined cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.

Bake about 11-12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden around the edges. You may have to bake them a little longer if the dough is frozen. Cool on the baking sheet and store in an airtight container.

Pipe Dream #224: To Be the Awkardest – S’mores Butter Cake Cookies

butter cookie

Just let me tell you about this butter cookie first. Except I won’t tell you anything, because what if she grows up and doesn’t want her whole life on social media and then hates me forever? I would hate that forever. So you can just bug out on cuteness for a second. Here are the cookies I made for her and the fam one day:

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These cookies are a riff on a classic gooey butter cake. Less authentic butter cakes are made with cake mix these days, which is what I used for these cookies, but there are from-scratch butter cakes that would knock off yer socks with a yeast dough bottom and gooey filling. I tried one a while back. Not my best attempt, but I’m too scared to make another one because of the name. So.

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Plus, I spazzed when I saw these on another blog because they are s’mores-themed. S’mores-flavored, whateva. Like you haven’t had enough of this nonsense already.

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The key is to “cut in” the marshmallow cream. Don’t mix it too much. You want it to be like the swirls of marshmallow in that Kemps chocolate ice cream. You know the one.

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Final verdict? They were ok. The cookies were gooey, especially straight warm from the oven (no complaints thur), but they tasted less like cake batter and more like saccharine fake-cake. Like Twinkies, or something. I haven’t had a Twinkie maybe in my whole life, but I imagine they taste like these.

P.S. Every time I say something is “ok,” you know it is probably, like, actually really fine, and anyone would eat it at a potluck. I’m just trying to differentiate the truly exceptional from the garden-variety. Are you reaping what I’m sowing? Harvesting what I’m planting? Picking what I’m growing? Awkwardest, sorry.

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Sew awkward, can’t help it,


S’mores Butter Cake Cookies

Adapted from Something Swanky

9 ounces (1/2 package) yellow cake mix
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, softened
1/2 egg (about 1 ounce of a beaten egg)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars, chopped

2 1/2 graham cracker sheets (about 3/4 cup), chopped

heaping 1/2 cup marshmallow cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth, then beat in the egg and vanilla. Stir in the cake mix until well combined. Fold in the  in the chopped Hershey Bars and graham crackers with a large rubber spatula. Scoop the marshmallow cream onto the dough. Cut in the cream with the spatula, taking care not to mix it in too thoroughly, and leaving big patches of cream throughout. Scoop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough on to a baking sheet. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until the top is set, but the center is still gooey. Let rest on pan for five minutes before removing to wire rack to cool. Makes about 16 cookies.

Pipe Dream #213: To Cheat Magicians – Quicker Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

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Because sometimes we need cinnamon rolls now.

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There are so many tips, tricks and shortcuts in this recipe, that I kind of feel like I finnagled the magician into giving away all his secrets for a wink and a smile. I feel kind of guilty. Like I shouldn’t have led you on, only to share your deepest heart with the World Wide Web.

You shouldn’t feel guilty, though. These rolls are whole wheat “healthy,” and they come together in a snap. That is, compared to regular cinnamon rolls. I mean, can I get an ‘Amen!’ for no rise time? Amen!

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I made these with Lisa of Wild Chow fame. She basically did it all, and I just bummed around for 30 minutes because that is how long these took to come together and then ate cinnamon rolls. It was great.

One of Lisa’s secret baking tricks is to use powdered buttermilk rather than liquid buttermilk in any baking recipe calling for buttermilk. Don’t ask me why it works; Lisa is a lot smarter at cooking science than I, and she swears by it. Simply mix the buttermilk powder in with the dry ingredients, and add the equivalent amount of water instead of the liquid buttermilk.

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Another secret trick, divulged by America’s test kitchen is to seal the pan with foil. Again, don’t ask me why this works, but it is supposed to give the rolls a more yeasty flavor comparable to traditional cinnamon rolls.

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You’re a square, but I like you.

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With a wink and a smile,


Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

Adapted slightly from America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all purpose flour
3/4 cup (4 1/8 ounces) whole wheat flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (or 1 1/4 cups water + buttermilk powder, mixed in with the dry ingredients)
5 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled, divided

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 oz light cream cheese
1 tbsp buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with aluminum foil and lightly grease.

Whisk together all filling ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer, combine all purpose flour, whole what flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine. Add in buttermilk and 4 tablespoons of the melted butter and mix until dough starts to come together into a shaggy ball. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 1-2 minutes, until dough begins to look smooth and can be handled easily.

Place dough on a lightly floured surface and press or roll out into a 9×12-inch rectangle with the long side facing you. Take remaining tablespoon of melted butter and brush over dough rectangle. Sprinkle evenly with filling mixture, leaving a 1/2-inch border around each edge.

Using a bench scraper  or a flat spatula, roll the dough up into a tight spiral. Pinch seam to seal.

Use a serrated knife to cut dough into 9 even pieces. Gently flatten each of the rolls before placing them in the prepared pan, to even them out if they were misshaped when sliced.

Cover pan with aluminum foil. Bake for 12 minutes covered, then uncover the rolls and bake for 14-18 minutes, until golden brown.

Use the foil to life the rolls out of the baking pan and place them on a wire rack. Let cool for 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk all glaze ingredients together with a hand mixer until very smooth. Drizzle over slightly cooled rolls and serve warm.

Makes 9 cinnamon rolls.

Pipe Dream #211: To Make A Mercy Killing – Orange Almond Trifles

orange trifles 3

Trifles are the cooking equivalent of those sand art projects you did in elementary school, easy to assemble and satisfyingly ornamental without much effort. Granted, you probably won’t be able to create a camel under a palm tree using orange zest and whipped cream, but go for it if you want, man. Also, like sand art, trifles have a short shelf life, though this is because they go down easy, not because your little sister shook up your sand bottle and made all the colors mix and then your sand bottle was ugly beige-colored instead of zesty rainbow-colored.

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Guys, I was really excited about using this flavoring oil. It’s like orange juice concentrate. Except not for drinking. It’s just really strong, ok? You can get these in like, any flavor you want, too.

orange trifles 2

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Unlike this trifle, which was gluten-free and intentional, these are the result of an overly dramatic cake layer. I tried to get it out of a pan I didn’t bother lining before it was totally cool and was met with fierce resistance, so I mercilessly shook it into pieces. It was heartbroken, but hey, I can’t care about every cake’s feelings. After such a bad knock, I decided to give it a mercy killing and split it into four crumbled servings which I buried in creamy layers of pastry cream and whipped cream. Not such a bad way to go out, I guess.

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Because of the chill time required, trifles are a make-ahead dessert. Also, aren’t you just jazzed about getting a peek inside this fridge? To me, knowing what’s in someone’s fridge says a lot about them. It’s like reading their diary. Ok, I realize I am a little obsessed with food sometimes. You probably do not even care about this. Olives, broccoli slaw, maple syrup, greek yogurt and queso. Judge me how you will.

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I served the trifles in individual glasses garnished with an orange wedge to make them an acceptable dessert-for-breakfast. Because a pretty glass means you can eat whatever you want whenever you want.

Killin’ it,


Orange Almond Trifles

For the cake:

Half of any cake recipe will do. I used this one from i am baker.

For the orange pastry cream:

Any pastry cream recipe will do. I halved this one from Food Network.

For the sweetened whipped cream:

Beat 1 cup heavy whipping cream with a tablespoon or two of powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Stir in a 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

Layer the trifle components, starting with the cake, then the pastry cream, then the whipped cream. Garnish with orange zest and toasted almonds. I used wine glasses as a vessel, but you could use anything. If you don’t want individual servings, you could try something like this.

Pipe Dream #210: To Be TartNotATart – Strawberry Rhubarb Cornmeal Cobbler

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I realize that rhubarb is no longer in season. But I’m posting this anyway, because I think you should make this cobbler, except with a different fruit. Unlike a more traditional cobbler recipe, this one includes cornmeal in the biscuit dough, making for a light, cornbread-y type topping. I think this would pair particularly well with a lemon-blueberry filling, or the late-summer plums with which this topping was originally paired. I’m looking forward to making another strawberry rhubarb cobbler with a more traditional biscuit topping.

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I loved loved lived the sweet-tart flavors meld. The rest of my family felt that neither the biscuit topping nor the filling was sweet enough. I think they were just wishing that it was a crisp or crumble like they are used to snarfing. I beg to differ regarding the sweetness, but you could try increasing the sugar in the filling by 1/4 cup if you’re nervous about it.

rhubarb cobbler 5

rhubarb cobbler 4

Stop. Look at that.

Ok, the original recipe called for 1 hour and 15 minutes of bake time, but I found my biscuits brown and fruit gurgling at 50 minutes. If your biscuits are getting brown before your fruit is warm, just cover them with a little aluminum. Also, it is key to let the cobbler cool for at least 30 minutes before serving; it gives the fruit juices time to thicken up a little bit after simmering with the cornstarch.

rhubarb cobbler 2

Springing, already,


Strawberry Rhubarb Cornmeal Cobbler

Adapted from Food & Wine

1 1/2 pounds rhubarb + 2 1/2 pounds strawberries, in chunks
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white cornmeal
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks cold butter, cubed
3/4 cup milk

In a bowl, toss the rhubarb and strawberries with 3/4 cups sugar and the cornstarch and let stand for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375°. In a food processor, pulse the flour with the cornmeal, sugar, ginger, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and pulse until crumbly. Add the milk and pulse until moistened.

Spread the filling in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Scoop 15 mounds of dough over the filling. Bake in the center of the oven for about 50 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden and crisp. Let cool for 1 hour before serving.

Pipe Dream #206: To Be a Mere Vessel – Puppy Chow Bars

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I’ve never posted about classic puppy chow before. I mean, sure, ages ago I tried out a lemon version, but I’ve since given up trying to make a dent in the 10,000 possible flavors you can lacquer onto rice. Rice is like dry tofu, flavorless and kinda gross on its own, which makes it indubitably versatile. In the case of puppy chow, rice cereal functions as a vehicle to transport peanut butter and chocolate from a bowl to my mouth without too much shame. (I feel like there is a “treasures in jars of clay” reference here in which I am the rice cereal and the Gospel is chocolate and peanut butter, but I can’t quite flesh it out, ah well).

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And now, with the introduction of puppy chow in bar form, I have provided you with an even simpler way to do so. Aren’t you glad?

Amp up the powdered sugar for a more traditional level of p chow sweetness. I wish I had marshmallows on hand to make this a sort of Rice Krispy treat/puppy chow hybrid, but I didn’t. I think it might make the bars hold together a little better. I stuck these in the fridge for a bit before slicing to make things as clean as possible, but they still looked average. Story of my life.

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Puppy Chow Bars

Adapted from Dinners, Dishes & Dessert

1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
6 cups Corn Chex, Rice Chex or Rice Krispies cereal
powdered sugar

Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with aluminum foil. Place the cereal in a large bowl. Microwave the chocolate chips and peanut butter in a medium bowl, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Pour the mixture over the cereal and stir to combine. Dump the mix into the prepared pan and press down with a spatula to form into bars. Let cool completely. Before serving, dust with powdered sugar. Slice into bars. You may want to stick the whole pan in the fridge before slicing to get the cleanest cuts.

Pipe Dream #178: To Be Sophisticated Fresh, Revisited: Double Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

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If you need for a quick afternoon snack, or a brunch menu bulk-up, look no further than your basic slice-and-bake cookie. This store-bought convenience cookie is a long-time American favorite. It even comes prepped for your holiday gatherings. Slice up a log of dough to reveal Jack-O-Lanterns, Christmas trees, clover leaves and all other manner of stylized holiday symbols.

If you’re looking for something just as easy, but slightly more sophisticated, however, let me introduce to you these swirly slice-and-bakes I came up with the other day.

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I took what would be an average shortbread recipe, and added white chocolate and cocoa powder to the dough.

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Then I twisted the two dough logs together to create a swirl pattern. After a quick chill, you just slice it up, sprinkle with a little sugar (sanding sugar would be even better) and voila! A teeny, cultured little cookie that functions perfectly well as an afternoon tea snack or a cookie plate filler.

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Afternoon tea cookies, elsewhere:

Peppermint Meringues

Wickle Bunny Buns

Butter Pecan Shortbread

Orange, Pine Nut & Dark Chocolate Biscotti

Brown Sugar Hazelnut Rounds

Orange Almond Macaroons

Lemon Ricotta Cookies



Double Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

An LH Original

2 cups flour, divided

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter, cold and cubed, divided

1/2 cup sugar, divided

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

4 ounces high-quality white chocolate

To make the dark chocolate shortbread, stir together 1/4 cup sugar, cocoa powder and 1 cup MINUS  2 tablespoons flour. Cut in one stick of butter until the dough resembles fine crumbs, then knead until smooth. Form into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, wrap in plastic and refrigerate.

To make the white chocolate shortbread, stir together 1/4 cup sugar and 1 cup of flour. Melt the white chocolate in a bain marie or in the microwave, being careful not to scorch it. Set aside to cool a bit. Cut in one stick of butter to the flour mixture until the dough resembles fine crumbs, then knead until smooth. Add the white chocolate and stir/knead to incorporate. Form into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, wrap in plastic and refrigerate.

After about 30 minutes in the fridge, remove the logs and press them together, forming one large log. Twist and press the two doughs as desired to create a marbled effect. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes or longer.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Slice the log into rounds, sprinkle with a bit of sugar and bake for 8-12 minutes, or until just set and starting to get golden. Let cool on that baking sheet for a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

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