September 30, 2010

Comfortably Numb Cookies

Sunshine Contest – Round 2, 8 Aug 10

(These are adapted from a Diane Mott Davidson recipe. I actually sent Diane a note with the altered recipe, and she wrote me back, teasing me about it, but was glad that I enjoyed the recipe enough to fiddle with it. So, I apparently have a HISTORY of writing to favored authors! These cookies are a bit of work, so I generally only make them at the holidays, and hand them out as presents – no one ever complains, except that I only do them once a year.)

1 cup slivered/chopped & toasted almonds (or other nut – opt)
2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (the darker the better – I usually use Ghiradelli double chocolate)
1 cup sun-dried cherries
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 egg

2 ounces best quality unsweetened chocolate, melted gently then combined with…
2 tablespoons milk, allow that mix to cool a bit

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (none of that imitation stuff!)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour (I am goofy with flour – I’ll use whatever is handy around the house in combination – whole wheat, spelt, 10 grain, whatever. Feel free to be flexible)
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa
1 jar marshmallow crème

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Spread slivered/chopped nuts on an ungreased cookie sheet and toast for 7-12 minutes, until they are lightly browned. Set aside.
Butter 2 cookie sheets. In a large bowl, combine the chocolate chips, cherries and cooled nuts; set aside.
In another large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, cream cheese and egg until very creamy and smooth. Beat in milk, melted chocolate and vanilla extract.
In a blender, ½ a cup at a time, blend the oatmeal until it resembles a powder. Sift together the blended oatmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa, then add to the butter mixture. Blend in the marshmallow creme, stirring until thoroughly combined. Add the chips, cranberries and nuts. Stir until well mixed. Batter will be thick.
Using a 1 tablespoon scoop measure, measure out batter and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake 13 to 17 minutes, until puffed and baked through. Cool on sheet 1 minute; transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Yields about 3 dozen.

Flax-Date Cookies

JeanneMarie: Recipe Thread: December 1, 2008

Hello all!

It was cold and snowy/rainy yesterday, and I was seized mid-afternoon by a bit of post-Thanksgiving-driving-9-hours-baking-bug. So, I experimented with re-creating (or at least sidelining) a cookie of which I am inordinately fond that’s made by a local bakery. I made two batches, and don’t see a huge difference between them, but batch 2 was completely gluten-free, for those to whom such things matter. Feel free to experiment and report back!
Smiles,
Jeanne Marie

Flax-Date Cookies

Get two large eggs and two sticks (1 cup) of butter out of the fridge, and set on counter to get up to room temp.

Preheat oven to 350 F (375 if you aren’t using those nifty air-bottomed pans like I have).
Put water on to boil.

Place ~6 oz whole pitted dates (minus the two “test dates” I munched) in a pyrex mixing cup. Completely cover the dates with boiling water and set aside.

In a smallish bowl, mix together:
1 cup whole wheat/whole spelt flour combo*
1 cup white sorghum flour+
1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
Set these dry ingredients aside.

Cream the room temp butter with 1 cup of sugar. Scrape down the bowl at least once while creaming. Add 1 tsp vanilla extract (yes the good stuff!) and the two room temp eggs. Again, scrape down the bowl while beating til fluffy. Set briefly aside.

Now, drain the dates, but reserving the water. Put dates in a food processor and process til smooth-ish and paste-like, adding a few tsp of reserved water if they seem recalcitrant. Blend the date paste into the butter-egg mix. (Feel free to drink the remaining date water!)

Add the dry ingredients to the butter-date mix in two or three batches, scraping down the bowl before each addition. Finally, fold in 1 cup of whole flax seeds. Taste batter, just in case! 

Drop batter by rounded spoonfuls onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. Bake roughly 10-15 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown and tops are puffed by no longer shiny-wet. Cool in pan a few minutes, then remove to rack or kitchen table. Makes probably 2 dozen, depending on your spoon size! Best texture is the next morning, but they taste yummy hot, too!

*Flour in my house tends to be a bit of an adventure. I generally look around the bulk section of Nature’s Pantry and get a bit of this, a bit of that…whatever looks good, and then dump it all into a yellow tupperware container, giving a vigorous stir before burping the lid [I love lid-burping, don’t you?]. Please feel free to substitute your favorite wheat-ish based flour, if you go the Batch 1 route.

+For Batch 2, I used all sorghum flour, for a gluten-free treat! That was the only difference int eh batches. The only noticeable difference was that Batch 2 was a tiny bit crumblier. You might add 1 tsp of xanthan gum if using all sorghum flour, that might cure the crumblier-ness.

Bengali Lentil Soup

Jeanne Marie, May 20, 2008 comment in “Playing With Your Food”

In homage to Robin, the Five Heronies and to the noble Tartars, whose horsemanship and steak preferences have me in a vegetarian mood today, I offer the following recipe. It originally appears in Hope’s Edge by Frances Moore and Anna Lappe, and was inspired by recipes from Professor Muhammad Yunus and the women of Naripokkho, a women’s group the Lappés met in Bangladesh. I’ve made personal taste adjustments in blue.*

The soup will take you less than a half hour to make, and it’s extraordinarily yummy and healthy. Enjoy!
Jeanne Marie

*well, I tried to…the color didn’t translate when I cut and pasted…hopefully, you’ll be able to figure it out!)

Bengali Lentil Soup

1 cup red lentils (or whatever color…mix it up!)
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup canned tomatoes (or fresh, should you be the tomato growing type, like me!)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (I reduce the salt to 1 tsp)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use olive oil, specifically, but then I always do…)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon yellow or black mustard seeds
2 teaspoons jalapeño pepper (1/2 small), seeded (I’ve been known to leave the jalapeno out, depending on my mood and whether or not I remembered to grab one when I was at the grocery store)
4 cups onions (2 large), finely sliced (I generally go with only medium onions, not large, and I don’t bother actually measuring the chopped onions – and, it still tastes lovely! I also sometimes mix these up – using one yellow and one red, for example)
5 teaspoons garlic (3 to 4 cloves), sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (or more…I’m a fan of cilantro, and will usually just chop the whole bunch I get from the grocery store)

Add lentils to water in a large saucepan. Add turmeric and stir. Bring to a boil and then
simmer for 20 minutes until the lentils are soft. Add tomatoes and salt, and cook for a few
minutes longer. Reduce heat.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet. Add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds and sauté until
fragrant, for just a few minutes. Cook at a low heat and be careful not to burn the seeds.
Add jalapeño, onions, and garlic, and cook until golden brown (about 10 minutes).
Add onion mixture to lentils and cook for a few minutes longer, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat. Add fresh cilantro leaves to the lentil soup and cover to steep for a
minute. (this is important – don’t overcook your cilantro! If you plan on having leftovers, as I do, I recommend not adding the cilantro to your individual containers, but adding it after you re-heat the soup. Better flavor that way, though if you forget and add it before freezing and reheating, I won’t tell)) Serve while hot.

For a final touch, scoop a dollop of fresh yogurt on top. (I don’t usually do this, but then, I’m a little strange that way…I think it’s fine without. For those who like, you could also use sour cream for dolloping)

Serves 6

Comfortably Numb Cookies

jeannemarie72: comment to 01/19/2008

I do have a recipe that I only recommend if you have lots of time and energy.

(adapted from a Diane Mott Davidson recipe)

1 cup slivered/chopped & toasted almonds (or other nut – optional)
2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (the darker the better)
1 cup sun-dried cherries
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
2 ounces best quality unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa
1 jar marshmallow crème

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Spread slivered/chopped nuts on an ungreased cookie sheet and toast for 7-12 minutes, until they are lightly browned. Set aside.


Paper 2 cookie sheets. In a large bowl, combine the chocolate chips, cherries and cooled nuts; set aside.
In another large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, cream cheese and egg until very creamy and smooth. Beat in milk, melted chocolate and vanilla extract.


In a blender, ½ a cup at a time, blend the oatmeal until it resembles a powder. Sift together the blended oatmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa, then add to the butter mixture. Blend in the marshmallow creme, stirring until thoroughly combined. Add the chips, cranberries and nuts. Stir until well mixed. Batter will be thick.

Using a 1 tablespoon scoop measure, measure out batter and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake 13 to 17 minutes, until puffed and baked through. Cool on sheet 1 minute; transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Yields about 3 dozen.