Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Chocolate Cinnamon Brownie Cookies

Let's be honest folks: I watch what I eat carefully. I log everything, even if I'm going crazy overboard (Yes, I ate 4 donuts yesterday. They tasted good). But I have the world's biggest sweet tooth. Combine that with the fact that I live with two people who could care less what they eat, it makes staying on track tough.

An online friend mentioned a blog called Chocolate Covered Katie a while back. It's a healthy desert blog. I don't necessarily even have easy access to some of her ingredients unless I order online or go to a certain grocery store that I always end up buying way more than I came in for (and unlike the blogger, I am not vegan), but they are still lower in sugar and she provides all kinds of substitution options. My first recipe was her Sweet Potato Chili, which I would have blogged about – except my mother and I finished it before I could think to snap pictures (I've already been told that I have to make it every time my father is out of town now). Having the house to myself today, I decided to try one of her wonderful sounding desert recipes – with my own spin.

While I know the dangers of experimenting with recipes I've never made before, I have been craving spiced chocolate lately. So I ended up playing with these Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies a little more. My version of the recipe:

Chocolate Cinnamon Brownie Cookies
Makes 1-1/2-2 dozen

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
Scant 1/4 tsp salt
Rounded1/4 baking soda
1/4 cup plus 1 tblsp sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup oil
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp cinnamon

1. In a mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients and stir very well. In a separate bowl, mix all liquid ingredients. Now pour wet into dry and mix, kneading by hand until fully combined.
2. Roll into roughly 3/4” balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Refrigerate for at least half an hour.
3. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes. Let cool on pan for at least 10 minutes before moving. Store in an airtight container.

Now, perhaps it was the extra oil and the sugar, but the nutrition info she gives is a little off from my recipe calculator. For the 21 cookies it made, they are 87 calories a piece – on par with most other cookies. Still, I definitely like the fact it only makes 21 cookies. It makes it much easier to finish them off and move on to the next recipe.

Being eggless, they are a tad bit crumbly, and they are a little small (I think I made them slightly smaller than the original recipe intended). But for two bites, you get a rich chocolate taste with a hint of cinnamon. It's kind of hard to not plow through several...or the whole recipe worth.

So...healthy or not, I call these little cookies a two-thumbs up success.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sourdough Surprises: Rustic Fettucini

When I accidentally came across Sourdough Surprises looking for recipes, I was intrigued by the sourdough pasta that started it all. Intrigued enough, in fact, I found myself actually looking at a pasta maker that happened to be on the clearance table, and wondering if I'd make sourdough pasta often enough to justify spending $50 on it.

Of course, for its first anniversary, the girls of Sourdough Surprises have chosen to make sourdough pasta again. Of course, I also didn't buy that pasta maker. So my choices were either sit out this month, or hand roll it. Because I love a challenge, I decided to hand roll it.

There's not a lot in the way of pasta recipes – fortunately, the basic recipe doesn't vary much, so I went ahead and used the suggested recipe – although now that we are finally getting hot and humid weather, I did have to add another quarter cup of flour. I also used the dough hooks on my hand mixer, lacking a stand mixer. I rolled them out and used a pizza roller to cut into fettucini:

Trying to highlight the pasta, and having just made spaghetti with marinara last week, I chose another tried and true (though admittedly, highly processed) sauce: Philadelphia Creamy Pesto Cooking Cream. Some cubed chicken, a tomato, and a green pepper...

Yum. And I mean that, and not just my beloved cooking cream. I was having a hard time not eating multiple noodles to “test” them – no butter, no sauce, just plain noodles. They remind me of the noodles in a good bowl of chicken noodle soup crossed with the dough part of a perogi.

Was it worth the effort? While I enjoyed it, I'm not sure I can make a regular habit of it. But for a special occasion (we do have lasagna as our “traditional” Christmas dinner), I probably will make it again.

Or maybe I'll just end up buying that pasta maker.

Check out our other delicious pastas!