Ye gods, I actually made a new recipe and posted it within twenty four hours. This is kinda new. 😛

I basically spent last evening listening to the Los Campesinos! Christmas EP that they released last year, watching the snow outside, and making these (and one other thing I’ll be posting today). I haven’t felt all seasonal like this in years, and ngl, it’s a real welcome feeling right now.

And these may be my new default sugar cookie recipe. The Chinese five-spice powder adds a lovely twist to the standard sugar cookie recipe. (And using my few cookie cutters reminds me I need to get more from that place.)

Chinese Five-Spice Sugar Cookies
Makes appx 20ish cookies

Ingredients

  • 1.25 c flour
  • 2.5 t Chinese five-spice powder
  • pinch salt
  • .5 c sugar
  • 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter at room temp
  • 1 large egg at room temp
  • 1 t vanilla extract

Whisk together the flour, Chinese five-spice powder, and salt in a bowl, until combined completely (pic 1). Using your mixer (sweet sweet stand mixer here), beat the butter and sugar together until creamed, and then add your egg and vanilla extract and mix until it’s good and fluffy (pic 2). Then, slowly add your flour in (pic 3), and mix until everything is just barely incorporated (pic 4).

Then, shape the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic (pic 5, I didn’t have my normal plastic wrap on me), and refrigerate for about an hour.

When you’re ready to make your cookies, heat the oven to 375. Take your dough out of the fridge, unwrap it, and roll it out to .25 inch thickness (pic 6). (The recipe recommends sticking it in the freezer at this point for five minutes to firm it slightly; I did not do this, but did put the dough in the freezer between batches to refirm it, as the dough does go soft quickly at room temp.)

Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out cookies, and place them on the baking sheet (pic 7). Reroll the leftover dough and repeat until you have enough cookies to fill a baking sheet. (You will be doing this in two batches or so, minimum.)  Bake for 13 minutes, until golden brown on the edges (pic 8). Immediately transfer to a wire rack to cool, and then enjoy with a nice glass of milk.

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This was one of the few attempts I made at cookies this year. (I really need to try to do holiday baking this year. We’ll see if I have the time/energy, but I’m at least thinking about it, which is a good sign.

This was the recipe I used to break in my stand mixer (STAND MIXER Y’ALL), and with a combination of lemon curd and white chocolate chip, it’s hard to get better than that. And what better way to start than by making your own lemon curd to make these? I’ll link my recipe in the ingredients list.

Lemon Curd White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes at least two batches of cookies

Ingredients

  • 6 T butter at room temperature
  • .5 c white sugar
  • .5 c dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • .25 c lemon curd
  • 1 t lemon zest
  • 1.75 c flour
  • .75 t baking soda
  • dash baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 c white chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350. While it warms up, cream your butter and sugars together, and then mix in the egg, lemon curd (making of pics 1-2), and lemon zest (pics 3), followed by the flour, baking powder and soda, and salt. Then, slowly fold in your white chocolate chips (pic 4).

Roll the dough into small balls, and place on your baking sheet (see pic 5 for size). (If you’ve got parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, put that on, but otherwise, straight on the sheet is totally fine.) Bake for about 8 to 12 minutes, until they’re lightly golden brown on the edges (pic 6).

And then enjoy your amazing spring-esque cookies!

This is one of those absurdly simple, “how in the hell did I not think of this thing sooner??” breakfasts. And yet, it took me stumbling across a photo of this somewhere for doing this to cross my mind.

I’m not kidding how simple this is. Take bagel. Put larger hole in bagel if necessary. Crack egg in bagel. Fry. Enjoy egg and bagel.

Egg in a Bagel Hole
Makes two bagel halves, enough for a good breakfast

Ingredients

  • one bagel, sliced in half
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 eggs
  • salt, pepper to taste

Take a pan and melt half the butter in it. Take a bagel half, and, if you don’t think the hole’s big enough, make it a little bigger, enough so that an egg yolk can fit in the center. Place the bagel inside down in the skillet, crack the egg into the yolk, season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan, and cook until the egg yolk is done to your liking.

Do the same thing with the other bagel half.

Voila: breakfast.

Even though I haven’t used it as much as I would like to this year, this waffle iron is one of the best things that has happened to me, in terms of weekend breakfasts. Especially with these waffles. These babies are thick, so the batter will require some thinning, and a heavy dose of butter applied to the iron to make sure it doesn’t stick, but trust me, they’re wonderful.

Cherry Almond Muffin Waffles
Makes: waffles. Again, don’t remember how many.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 c flour
  • .75 c sugar
  • .5 t salt
  • 2 t baking powder
  • .33 c vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • .66 c buttermilk
  • 1 t almond extract
  • 1 c frozen pitted cherries (Trader Joe’s does these super cheap)
  • melted butter for the waffle iron (DO NOT SKIP)

Whisk the dry ingredients (flour through baking powder) together in a large bowl, make a well in the center, and add the wet ingredients (veggie oil through almond extract), stirring together until just combined. Fold the frozen cherries into the batter.

Using the melted butter on the iron to make sure the waffle doesn’t stick, make your waffles according to waffle iron instructions, and enjoy! If the batter seems a bit thick, don’t be afraid to thin it out slightly with more buttermilk.

This recipe comes from Nancy Singleton Hachisu’s Preserving the Japanese Way, and is a variant on a recipe from an earlier cookbook of hers. I added my own twists to the recipe, and the end result is pretty damn good. I need to follow my own advice from earlier in this blog for poaching eggs, though – I tried rushing it here, and ended up with an egg blob. ^^;

Country Miso and Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

  • 2.5 c dashi
  • 1 medium daikon (about .25 lbs), scrubbed
  • 1 medium carrot, scrubbed
  • 2-3 spring onions (negi if you have them)
  • 1.5 T awase miso paste (blend of red and white miso)
  • lemon (or yuzu if you can find it you lucky bastard) zest
  • poached egg to top (if you’re so inclined)
  • (I also added some fried tofu chunks)

Take your daikon and carrot, and make sure they’ve been scrubbed (they won’t need to be peeled unless there are blemishes, or they’re too tough). Half the carrot lengthwise, and then slice into thin half-moons, and set aside. Take your daikon, halve it lengthwise, and then halve those halfs (so that you wind up with quarters), and slice into thin wedges. Take the spring onions, cut the white and pale green parts into thin slices (save the tops for garnish), and then toss with the daikon pieces.

Warm your dashi (if you didn’t make it right before starting the soup, that’s what I usually do), until it comes to a gentle simmer. Then, add your carrot slices, and cook for three minutes over medium heat. Add the daikon and spring onions right after, cooking for another three minutes.

Nancy recommends thinning the miso paste with a small bit of the broth at this point separately, but I just whisked the miso right into the broth. Remove from heat, and add the spring onion tops and lemon zest to the broth. I also added in fried tofu at this point. If you’re so inclined, add a poached egg to top it all off, and enjoy the amazing flavor combinations!

I haven’t tried making a pie in a while, and frankly, I felt it was time to try again, especially with the strawberries and peaches at the height of their season. It didn’t exactly turn out amazing (fumbling around with thawing pie crusts and super juicy fillings translates into a sudden cobbler transformation), but it’s good for a first try. Plus, it’s generally an amazing flavor combination – warmed, honeyed peaches and strawberries, with just a dash of bourbon and vanilla. 

Honey Strawberry Pie

Ingredients

  • 2 frozen pie crusts (one for the bottom, and one for the lattice top or whatever you can manage) (if you want the recipe for the crust as in the original recipe, click the link above)
  • 5 fresh sliced and pitted peaches (roughly 5 c)
  • 2 c strawberries, halved and hulled
  • 1/3 c dark brown sugar
  • .5 c flour
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 T bourbon
  • 2 T butter, sliced thin
  • 1 beaten egg
  • sugar, to sprinkle

Line the bottom of your pie plate with the crust. Toss together your peaches, strawberries, dark brown sugar, flour, honey, vanilla extract, and bourbon, and then spoon the filling into the pie plate, being sure to get all the juices. Add the thin butter slices over the top. 

Place the top crust over the top of the pie – if you can make a lattice, go for it! Otherwise, just crimp the edges on, and be sure to cut vents in the crust. (I tried to lattice it. It didn’t go very well.)  Brush the crust with the beaten egg, and then sprinkle the sugar on top. 

Chill the pie in the fridge until it’s firm, usually about 1 hour, but up to several days in advance. 

When you’re ready to bake the pie, preheat the oven to 350. Once heated, place the chilled pie on a baking sheet, in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, until the juices are bubbling and the crust is a good golden brown. Let the pie cool, and then om the nom out of it!

This is a lovely little breakfast sandwich – there’s a bit of assembly involved, and I’m not sure if I could manage it in the mornings before work (though I’ll try it one of these days), but it’s definitely worth it. If you can get some good strawberries, prosciutto, and brie, you’re all set. Just a lovely little sweet taste of summer, this.

Strawberry, Basil, and Crispy Prosciutto Breakfast Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 1 croissant, halved
  • sliced brie to taste (I used a bunch of apricot jam layered brie that a farmer at one of the farmer’s markets makes)
  • 2 slices prosciutto
  • 2-3 medium strawberries, hulled and sliced into circles
  • 1 egg
  • basil leaves to taste, torn
  • honey, to drizzle

Preheat your oven to 450. As it preheats, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and layer your bottom croissant (make sure it’s thick) with the brie and strawberries, and place the prosicutto slices just to the side of the croissant. Once the oven’s heated, bake for 8 to 10 minutes (I believe picture 2 was after 8 minutes), until your brie is good and melty, and the prosciutto is crispy. 

While the bottom half of the sandwich cooks, cook your egg to your preference (I typically go for sunny side up eggs). 

Once the bottom half is done, drizzle the strawberries lightly with honey, layer the crispy prosciutto and egg, and then sprinkle with more salt, pepper, and honey. Lay the torn basil on top, put the croissant top on, and then tuck in!