Fun Food

Cookie Inception: Girl Scout Cookie Cookies

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Prepare yourself. The time is near. Time for the streets to fill with adorable children tempting you with cookies. Will you give in? (Umm, yes. Cause they’re delicious and also because last time I said no to children selling me something outside of a store, I got a flat tire on my way home. Don’t mess with kids and karma.)

So you bought your boxes. And they’re all delicious on their own, but you’ve run into a dilemma. You want a Thin Mint and a Samoa and a Tagalong at the same time. What to do? Bake them into a single cookie, of course. Because excess is fine if it’s for the kids.  (Right?)

This recipe is for a nice, chewy, chocolate chip-style cookie, but instead of chocolate chips, you’re putting in your favorite Girl Scout cookies. Win-win. The cookie ends up having a great mix of textures between the crunch of the Thin Mints, the chewiness of the Samoas, and the melty chocolate and crispy bit of the Tagalongs. And surprisingly, the cookie isn’t overpoweringly minty–the flavors actually play really nicely with each other.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 Samoas
  • 6 Tagalongs
  • 8 Thin Mints

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Test the Girl Scout Cookies individually. Are they good? Good. Using a knife, chop up the cookies listed in the ingredients into small chunks.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside.
  4. In an electric mixer, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  5. Reduce speed to low; add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute.
  6. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined.
  7. Fold in the chopped cookie pieces.
  8. Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. (I used a standard cookie scoop.)
  9. Bake until cookies are light brown around the edges, but still soft in the center, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on the baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Eat with reckless abandon.
  10. Buy more Girl Scout Cookies. Repeat.

This recipe was created for the Girl Scout Cookie Recipe Contest, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite events of the year. Last year I made Shortbread Oven-Fried Chicken.

Girl Scout cookies will be here March 1-17, and you can use a cookie locator (or a mobile app when you really need a fix) to find the closest seller to you.

What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie? And how many boxes will you be picking up this year?

Geeky Cookie Cutters

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Guys, I’m gonna go broke and it’s going to be all WarpZone’s fault. The Etsy site has detailed Doctor Who cookie cutters made from a 3D printer. Doctor Who not your thing? The site also has great cookie cutters from fandoms such as Harry Potter, Mario, MLP, Meme faces, and more. Think I can get a bulk discount for buying them all? I mean, once I’ve perfected my sugar cookie recipe.

Geeky Cookie Cutters, $3.50-6.50 each at Etsy.

(Source: That’s Nerdalicious)

Cheese Wizards: Grilled Cheese Food Truck

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I thought I’d continue on the cheese train this week. (Oh my, how delicious and smelly would a cheese train be? Million dollar idea, right there.)

Over the weekend, I came across a food truck that I’ve heard of, but only through epic legend.  I finally got to set my eyes on the Cheese Wizards truck. If you like grilled cheese sandwiches, delicious tomato soup, and geeky references, you need to find this truck ASAP. We tried the Greenseer and the tomato soup. The cheese on the sandwiches are first melted with a torch and then grilled so the cheese and bread both end up the perfect consistency. The tomato soup is handmade and topped with creme fresh and their own version of the cheese crackers I mentioned yesterday. No matter what you get, you’ll be happy.

Cheese Wizards conveniently parks itself at breweries and wine stores around Seattle. The next time you find yourself grabbing a beer or a bottle of wine, you just may find yourself in the company of wizards.

Find out more at WizardsofCheese.com.

Have you tried Cheese Wizards? What menu item would you recommend?

Cheese Crisps. Literally.

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Some days are magical. Because some days, you receive emails out of the blue saying “We make crackers entirely out of cheese. Would you like to review them?” And you just jump up and down in your seat a little bit thinking “I’ve never heard of such a thing, but I know they will be amazing.”

This magical day happened to me a couple weeks ago. I received the Cheese Crisps in the mail, compliments of Kitchen Table Bakers, and holy cow. The crisps are just made with parmesan cheese. At first I thought “Hmm! A grown-up Goldfish cracker!” But they’re different than that. They’re rich, tangy, and (obviously) cheesy. If you’re on a diet, you’re going to love these. They’re rich enough where you don’t want to eat too many, and they’re wheat, gluten, and sugar free. More of an entertainer? These would be awesome with wine or as a garnish to a Caesar salad or tomato soup.

Kitchen Table Bakers offers 8 different varieties of the crisps, and you can buy them on their site, in gourmet grocery stores, and Whole Foods nationwide. Do it. Your guests will think you’re awesome.

Make a Big Mac at Home

I’m in the middle of Barre3′s “28 to Great” challenge and even though I feel amazing and enjoy the food I’m making, I’ve found myself giving longing looks to McDonald’s and other fast food restaurants as I drive by.

If like me, you’re trying to eat whole foods and make most of your meals at home, here’s a nice video from McDonald’s on how to make a Big Mac. Now if I just replace the buns, sauce, cheese and one of the patties with veggies, I may actually get to eat this!

Breakfast more your thing? Here’s a video on how to make their Egg McMuffin.

Doctor Who Cookbook

 Doctor Who Print Cookbook Cover

You thought you were a Doctor Who fan? Check out Chris-Rachael Oseland. Her unauthorized Doctor Who cookbook, “Dining With The Doctor,” has a different recipe based on each episode of the first six seasons of the reboot (starting in 2005). The recipes vary from a cocktail served in an episode, to a cutesy snack in the form of a Dalek, all the way to full entrees. Your entire day’s meals could be Doctor Who-themed! It even has an entire 16-page chapter on various Fish Fingers and Custards. Another bonus: The cookbook includes US and UK-based measurements, so all Whovians can use it without trouble.

DW Dalek Ironside Toast Sandwich

This cookbook can help you put together the perfect Doctor Who feast before the next episode comes out, and with 2-day shipping or the Kindle version, you can still get it in time for the Christmas special!

I foresee a Doctor Who brunch in my future. It’ll include Slitheen eggs, the Family of Blood(y Mary), and a Cinnamon Pull-Apart Crack in the Wall. Delicious!

Dining with the Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook, $19.99 for Paperback, $7.99 for Kindle edition at Amazon.com.

 

A pdf copy of Dining with the Doctor was provided to me to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Savory Cupcakes

We’ve all had cupcakes for dinner before. It’s late, you’re lazy, the cupcake is just right there, with its sweet buttercream frosting calling out to you…

But did you know you could make cupcakes for dinner that are actually (relatively) healthy? Oh, my dear readers, it’s so true and so delicious.

Allow me to introduce you to Meatloaf Cupcakes and Mac and Cheese Cupcakes. (Photos by the lovely and talented David Zimmerman.)

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These meatloaf cupcakes were based on a recipe by Betty Crocker. I changed it up a bit by using instant mashed potatoes for the “frosting” (they’re quicker and easier to frost than traditional mashed potatoes) and topping them with a “cherry” tomato. The tomatoes ended up being a bit big for the cupcakes, but they were still delicious!

Meatloaf Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 lbs raw lean ground beef
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 TBS coarsely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tsps Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Box of instant mashed potatoes (You’ll use about 6 servings’ worth)
  • Ingredients to make the instant mashed potatoes (I used water, margarine, milk, and salt)
  • 18 cherry tomatoes

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare 18 unlined cupcake cups with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix all of the meat loaf ingredients (Anything listed above “Box of instant mashed potatoes”) together until well-combined. Press mixture evenly in 18 cupcake cups, pressing firmly down on each to make sure they’re packed in tight!

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cupcakes are cooked fully through. Let cool slightly until you can safely remove the cupcakes from the tin.

While the cupcakes are baking, make the mashed potatoes! Follow instructions on the box to make 6 servings. Let cool slightly, then place the mashed potatoes in a frosting bag (or a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off).

Pipe some mashed potato “frosting” onto each meatloaf “cupcake” and top with a cherry tomato. Serve!

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 These mac and cheese cupcakes are a carb-lover’s dream, and make a great contrast to the meatloaf cupcakes, above. This recipe was inspired by one created by an old co-worker’s friend. He topped them with mashed potatoes and a cherry tomato, but I chose to use that for the meatloaf cupcakes. If you’re just making one of these dishes, either will work with that topping!

Mac and Cheese Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 12 cupcake cups with paper wrappers.

Boil water for the mac and cheese. (Don’t forget to boil enough for two packages!)

Cook the mac and cheese according to directions on the box. Make sure the shells are “al dente” (firm), by not letting them cook for too long. Let the mac and cheese sit for a moment.

Pop open your tube of biscuits. Take a biscuit, remove a quarter of it, and reshape the rest into a cone/bowl shape that will fit into the cupcake wrappers. Push the biscuits along the wrappers and up above the sides.

Fill the middle of the biscuit “bowl” with mac and cheese, don’t be afraid to fill it up high!. Top with panko bread crumbs and Parmesan.

Bake for 12 minutes, or until the biscuits look flaky and golden. Serve!

 

I think the next savory cupcakes on my list to make are lasagna and pizza. Have you made savory cupcakes before? What kind’s your favorite?

Chocolate Crisis Center: You Need It.

Christmas is 12 days away. Everyone I know is shopping, putting in longer hours at work to prep for some vacation time, getting started on their resolutions for the new year, and trying to wrap up projects before the new year. Clearly, everyone needs a chocolate break. The Chocolate Crisis Center can get you your fix, and can suggest gifts for others who are going through the same crises. Their packaging is super cute, and their treats sound amazing. (Who wouldn’t want Tiramisu Cocoa Caramels?)

I recommend finishing up your holiday shopping here and getting a treat (or two, or three) for yourself while you’re there. You deserve it.

3D Dinosaur Cookies

If baking isn’t enough science for you, then you should grab these cookie cutters. Make yourself some cookies AND put together a 3D dinosaur? Win-win. The dinosaurs all come in their own kits, and they’re around $12 a piece. Reenact Jurassic Park and then feast on the bodies. You know you want to.

3D Dinosaur Cookie Cutters, around $12 each from SuckUK.

Instagram Your Chocolate

I just downloaded Instagram for the first time today. I know, I know. I have an older Android phone, and I had to manually update the OS to even get access to Instagram. I haven’t even taken a picture yet. BUT, Cocoagraph is giving me a reason to get snapping. I can turn my best Instagrams into works of edible art by putting it on a chocolate bar! This would be a fantastic holiday gift, party favor, or “thanks for putting up with me and my wedding” gift to your bridesmaids after your wedding is over.

What would you put on a cocoagraph? And what are some good Instagram tips/tricks for a noob like myself?

Instagrammed chocolate bars, $18-30 based on size and amount, are available at Cocoagraph.com.