Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sort of but not really PB&J cookies

These cookies have less than 55 calories each!  Amazing, right?  No flour, only beans....

I got the recipe from Rocco Dispirito's new book, The Now Eat This Diet.  If you don't have the book yet you need to order it.  Now.  Here, I'll make it easy: http://www.amazon.com/Now-Eat-This-Diet-Pounds/dp/0446584495/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1303267130&sr=1-1
So far I've made at least five recipes from this book and each one has been great - you really don't miss out on taste at all.  I'm not on the diet but I do need to balance my sugar addiction with some healthy low calorie meals.  Kinda like getting a Big Mac and Diet Coke.  I digress.  Tonight I decided to try Rocco's peanut butter and jelly cookies made out of Cannellini Beans!

I used Peanut Wonder - it's really really light peanut butter.  How do they get the calories and fat out of there - the ingredients are still peanuts?  Odd.  But okay in cookie form and balanced with those Reese's chips.

 And here are the finished cookies.  I think they'll taste better tomorrow, after the flavors meld together.  I don't taste BEAN but I taste bean texture.  I think the weirdest bites are the ones with the cranberries in them (aka the Jelly).  I'm going to bring some to work tomorrow and see what the co-workers think.  A good sweet ending to a meal but not quite as satisfying as those other peanut butter cookies in my blog.  Would I make them again - yes I would.  Are they the best cookies ever?  No but they are less than 55 calories each!

Oh - I'm not posting the recipe - go buy the book sillies.  It's worth it.  I promise.

NO Jack, bad kitty - you can't have this cookie!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookies

Going through my junk mail is a Tuesday night project... tonight I found a Betty Crocker mail bundle in my pile - I threw it away but not before ripping out this recipe and adapting it and baking the cookies immediately.

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)
Mini Reece's peanut butter cups (see photo)
Granulated Sugar

1.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.  In large bowl, beat brown sugar, butter, peanut butter, and egg with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy.  On low speed beat in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Add vanilla extract and then stir in chocolate chips.

2.  Shape dough into 1 1/2 inch balls around one Reece's Mini Peanut Butter Cup.  Dip tops of cookies into granulated sugar.  Place balls, sugar side up, on ungreased cookie sheets approximately 2 inches apart.  Do not flatten cookies.

3.  Bake 9-12 minutes or until light brown.  Cool 5 minutes then remove from cookie sheet and cool completely on cooling racks.

Monday, April 4, 2011

This is Jack

Jack is the inspiration for the title of my blog.  He really really likes food.  And naps too.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Almond Cupcake with Matcha Green Tea Frosting

Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

Today is my step father's birthday and he hates sweets. This cupcake though, is one that he loves. I think it's because the frosting is not overly sweet. The balance of flavors in this cupcake work so well together.

Matcha tea is hard to find - I got mine from www.teavana.com

For the Almond Cupcake
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. pure almond extract
1 large egg
1 cup ice cold water
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

For the Green Tea Frosting
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. unsweetened matcha powder
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Make the almond cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with paper liners.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the almonds until they are a find powder. Put the powdered almonds in a small bowl and set aside.

Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in to a large bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together on medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sugar, vanilla, and almond extract and beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl, add the egg, and beat until just combined. Turn the mixer to low. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the ice water, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl, then mix on low speed for a few more seconds.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Fold in the powdered almonds.

Fill the cupcake liners about three quarters full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and place them on the rack to cool completely.

Make the green tea Frosting: In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar, flour, and matcha powder together. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 20 minutes.

Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Add the vanilla and continue beating until combined. If the frosting is too soft, put it in the refrigerator to chill slightly, then mix it again until it is the proper consistency. If the frosting is too firm, set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and mix again.

Assemble the cupcakes: There are many ways to frost a cupcake. If you have a pastry bag, simply fit the bag with the largest tip, fill the bag with frosting, and pipe enough frosting to cover the cupcake. If you do not have a pastry bag, use an ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to scoop the frosting and dispense it onto the top of the cupcake. You can also use an offset spatula to frost the cupcakes. Top with a fortune cookies.