Cookie Mom-ster

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For this Mother’s Day I wanted to dedicate this post to my mom. She is an amazing, smart, strong, beautiful, hard-working, loving, and resilient woman. I like to think (and hope) that I inherited all of those beautiful qualities from her.  Happy Mother’s Day, mama!

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Unlike me, my mom is very particular when it comes to sweets. She loves desserts with fruit, whereas I love rich desserts with chocolate. Remember this post? But one of the desserts my mom and me can agree on are Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. They’re her favorite cookie because they have a form of fruit in them, I imagine.

So when my parents came up to visit me a couple months ago, I asked my mom what kind of snack she wanted me to make for their trip back home. She mentioned oatmeal raisin cookies, so I put this recipe together that I thought she would love. I had a bottle of rum on hand from a rum cake recipe I always make for her, and decided to use it to rehydrate the raisins. I love the rich, caramel-like flavor the rum gives after they’ve been soaking with the raisins, so I added them to the dough. The recipe isn’t too sweet, so I also rolled the dough in sugar to create a pretty sugary crust. The end result is a not-too-sweet, spicy, (a bit boozy) oatmeal raisin cookie with a great depth of flavor.

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Snacks intended for their voyage back home, my parents confessed to me that the cookies were all gone way before they even got home. Apparently, my dad was a fan of them, too!

What are your favorite cookie flavors? What recipe reminds you most of your mom? Share your stories in the comments below; I’d love to read them!

==

momheart

Mom’s Favorite Oatmeal Rum Raisin Sugar Cookies
Yields 1 dozen medium-sized cookies

INGREDIENTS 
1/3 cup dark rum, more if needed
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup sugar, for dusting

METHOD
To rehydrate the raisins, place them  into a small bowl and pour the rum into the bowl. The raisins should be completely immersed in the liquid. Add more if needed. Set aside.

Using a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars on medium-speed till incorporated. Add the egg and vanilla and mix till combined.

Drain the excess rum from the rehydrated raisins, reserving the rum. Set raisins aside. Fold in the rum into the mixture. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are mixed well.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, spices, salt, and rolled oats. Slowly add the flour mixture into the sugar/butter mixture on low till just combined. (Don’t over-mix.) Fold in the rehydrated raisins to the dough. The dough will be slightly sticky—that’s OK.

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Place the dough in the freezer for about 30 minutes, or until the dough is solidified. (Cook’s Note: If you’re making these a day ahead, wrap and place into the refrigerator overnight.)

While your dough chills, preheat your oven to 350F degrees. Place about a half-cup of sugar into a small bowl. Set aside.

Roll a small ice cream scoopful (or 2 Tablespoonfuls) of dough and place into the bowl of sugar and fully coat the cookie ball. Place the dough ball onto the sheet tray, leaving about 2 1/2 inches of space between each cookie.

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Bake for about 14-17 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges. When done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

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Smooth Operator

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This vegan caramel sauce–I dare say–tastes even better than its dairy counterpart. Perfect for topping an ice cream sundae or to add some flavor to your cuppa Joe, this caramel sauce goes with just about any sweet recipe, just like these Indonesian Sweet Rice Fritters pictured above. Did I mention that it’s vegan?

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Vegan Caramel Sauce
Recipe adapted from Eff Yeah It’s Vegan!
Yields about 1 pint

INGREDIENTS
1 can coconut cream, separated from water
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons kosher salt

METHOD
Place the thickened part of the coconut cream into a sauce pan on medium-low heat, whisking in the dark brown sugar. Continue to cook the mixture for 20-25 minutes, stirring constantly, and lifting the pan off the heat if it begins to bubble to the point that it might overflow. Reduce the heat if it starts to bubble rapidly. The appropriate cooking temperature should be at a full, rolling boil but not boiling over.

Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla and salt. Pour it into a glass bowl or pan to cool. This creates a very thick but pourable caramel sauce.

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Return to the accompanying recipe HERE

Return to the full story HERE

The Dough Jones

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Portland’s Doughnut stock is up up up! PDX should really stand for “Portland Doughnut eXchange” ‘cause when it comes to doughnuts, they’ve got plenty to choose from. For this week’s post, I went on an unofficial Doughnut Diet, and devoured way too many to count. Here’s how each donuttery’s stock stacks against the rest. (And just in case you’re wondering, that was 4-6 doughnuts a day within a 5-day period.) Oh my.

unnamed-4Blue Star
Stock up on:
+Meyer Lemon + Key Lime Curd
A whole brioche-style doughnut, filled with a smooth tangy key lime curd and dusted with powdered sugar. (It gets messy, so make sure you’ve got napkins handy.)
+Blueberry Bourbon Basil
A soft, fluffy, brioche-style doughnut with a purple-hued glaze and a hint of basil extract in the dough.
Why? Two words: Brioche, baby. Soft, buttery and sweet. Blue Star truly has some tasty combinations– Crème brûlée? Dulce de leche? Vahlrona Chocolate Crunch?

unnamed-6Voodoo
Stock up on:
+See my Portland Guide post HERE where I first publicly account my love for these devilish beings.
+Lemon Chiffon Crueler
The softest bites you’ll ever have. Like chewing into a pillow of lemon-y air. And those marshmallows, tho!
+Old Dirty Bastard
Chocolate frosting, Oreo cookie bites, and peanut butter. ‘Nuff said.
Why? Voodoo has done for doughnuts what Candace Nelson (of Sprinkles fame) did for cupcakes and what Roy Choi did with Korean barbecue-style tacos—niche branding. Brilliant.

unnamed-1Pip’s Original Doughnuts
Stock up on:
+Nutella + Sea Salt
+Candied Maple + Bacon
Why? Super fresh and crispy (they’re fried to order) cake bite-sized doughnuts. Like elevated Donettes, but better. Like WAYYYY better. Plus, they’ve got the BEST house-made chai lattes.

unnamed-2Tonalli’s Donuts & Cream
Stock up on:
+Blueberry Old-Fashioned
I’m going to be bold and say that this was hands down the best old-fashioned I’ve ever had. With those little blueberry bits mixed into the dough–I wish I ordered more.
+Bavarian Cream
Yeast-raised whole doughnut with chocolate glaze and a smooth creamy filling.
Why? HUGE selection of varieties and flavors to choose from. Still fully stocked well after 3 p.m.

unnamed-3Coco Donuts
Stock up on:
+Lavender
Cake-style doughnut with a refreshing lavender- flavored glaze
+Glazed yeast-raised
A perfectly executed take on a classic.
Why? They’ve got the classics down pat, and then some.

Tastes Like Marmalade

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The dessert course was the easiest to tweak. If you don’t have marmalade on-hand, give yourself 1 prep day to make before you start the cakes.

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“Tastes Like Marmalade” Pudding Cakes

FOR THE ORANGE MARMALADE
Recipe via Martha Stewart
Yields about 1 pint

INGREDIENTS
2 oranges, (1 1/2 oranges peeled, peels cut into 1/3-inch pieces, flesh seeded and coarsely chopped; 1/2 orange quartered, thinly sliced, and seeded)
1/2 lemon, quartered, thinly sliced, and seeded
1 1/8 cup cold water
Sugar

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METHOD
Bring fruit, peels, and water to a boil in a large saucepan. Cook for 5 minutes. Turn off heat, cover, and let cool. Refrigerate for 8 hours (or up to 1 day).

Freeze a plate. Uncover citrus mixture, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until thickest peel is tender, about 20 minutes. Measure mixture, and return to pan. For each cup of mixture, add 1/4 cup sugar.

Bring mixture to a boil, stirring often. Cook until mixture registers 220 degrees to 222 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 20 minutes. To test for doneness of marmalade: Drop a spoonful on frozen plate. If marmalade has a slight film when pushed with a finger, it’s done. If it spreads out and thins immediately, continue cooking, and test again after a few minutes. Transfer marmalade to airtight containers, cover, and let cool at room temperature. Refrigerate overnight before serving. (Marmalade will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 month.)

FOR THE PUDDING CAKES
Recipe slightly adapted via Taste of Home
Serves 5

INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar, divided
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup pineapple juice
*1/2 cup orange marmalade, warmed (see recipe below)

METHOD
In a small bowl, beat butter and 1/4 cup sugar until crumbly. Beat in flour and egg yolks until smooth. Gradually beat in the milk, pineapple juice, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and orange peel.

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In another small bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Add the remaining sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into orange mixture.

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Evenly distribute into 5, 6-oz. custard cups thoroughly coated with cooking spray. Place the cups in 13-in. x 9-in. baking pans; add 1 in. of boiling water to pans.

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Bake at 325° for 30-45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean and tops are golden brown. (Mine took 45 minutes to bake.) Run a knife around the edges; carefully invert cakes onto dessert plates.

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Combine marmalade and remaining lemon juice; drizzle over warm cakes.

Return to main story HERE

The Deep Fryer Diaries: Doughnuts

The Deep Fryer Diaries are a collection of my favorite tested and approved recipes, utilizing my most favorite-ist kitchen appliance, my deep fryer.

Doughnuts!

Doughnuts!

Dear Diary,

Let’s talk doughnuts.

My first doughnut food memory was when I was about 5 or 6 years old. When I was off from school and on summer or winter vacation, Mom would take my younger brother, Kevin and me to my grandmother’s house to babysit us while she and Dad went to work. On the drive to Grandma’s (whom I call, Nanang), Mom would often stop by the “Angel Food Donuts” shop on Long Beach Boulevard and we’d order doughnuts in the drive-thru. I always got the old-fashioned glaze while my brother got the ones with the sprinkles, and Mom always got the maple bar. Mom clearly wasn’t concerned with the impact of her children’s unavoidable sugar high while at Nanang’s, as I’m pretty sure she bought them for a reason: to get us kids out of bed. Even at a very young age, I was not a morning person. I was the kid who refused to wake up after naptime in Kindergarten; I always got in trouble with my teachers because of it. Yeah, I was that kid. Which is no surprise as to why I’m still not a morning person.

But the one thing that gets me up and out of bed, is breakfast. Namely coffee (lots and lots of it) and, on occasion, doughnuts.

In culinary school I learned that doughnut-making, like bread-making, is a labor of love. One must allow for the dough to rest, rise, deflate before rolling out, shape, and then rise once more. If you’re as serious about doughnuts as I am, then realize that this will take a lot of preparation and patience. (But I think you’ll agree that it’s well worth the wait.)

This basic yeast-raised doughnut recipe works well accompanying any type of glaze or filling. Because my childhood favorite was the old-fashioned glaze and because I now (at times) like a little booze in my coffee, why not add some whiskey to the glaze? This glaze can be modified to a bourbon, rum glaze as well. And because not all of us can stomach that boozy combination so early in the morning, I’ve also included a chocolate glaze recipe, too.

D’oh!

Yeast-Raised Doughnuts

FOR THE DOUGH
Recipe adapted from The Breakfast Bachelor
Yields: About 2 dozen doughnuts, depending on how thick you roll them out

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
2 packages active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (and more for kneading)
1 1/2 quarts-2 quarts oil for frying

METHOD
Heat the milk in a sauce pot over medium heat. Once it starts bubbling add the shortening and stir till dissolved. Once dissolved, remove from pan and transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool to lukewarm.

Add the yeast into the *warm* (not hot, not cold) water, stir briefly and allow to sit and wait for bubbles to form. Once your milk is cooled to lukewarm, add the bubbly yeast into the bowl, adding the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg and about 2 cups of the flour. Stir the mixture a few times just to mix, then add in the rest of the flour. Continue to stir with a spatula till it forms a ball and the dough starts to pull from the sides of the bowl.

Place the dough ball onto a well-floured surface. Knead for about 5 minutes, adding bits of flour to keep it from getting sticky. You want the dough to feel somewhat smooth. Form the dough into a ball, add more flour to the surface and cover it with your bowl. Don’t lift the bowl at all. It’s nap time, let it rest for 1 hour.

*While your dough is resting, you can start to make the glazes. (Recipe below.)*

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Don’t throw away those doughnut holes! (They’re the best part.)

After the dough has been resting for an hour, take off the bowl and left the dough. It should be twice its size by now. Take the dough and drop it on the surface to “deflate” it. Next, you can start rolling it out to about 1/2-inch thick. If you have a doughnut cutter, great, if you’re like me and don’t have one, you can use any large round cup. (I used a 1-inch measuring cup for cutting.) Re-roll the scrap pieces to utilize all of the dough if necessary. You should have about 24 doughnuts. (If you want to make some unfilled doughnuts, set aside 12 to cut into rings for the whiskey glazed ones.)

Arrange the doughnuts onto a floured baking sheet and cover with a dishtowel. Allow them to rest for another 30 minutes.

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Fry ’em till they’re a light golden brown color

Heat your oil in your deep-fryer or a deep dutch oven. The oil needs to be 2-3 inches deep. Heat the oil depending on your fryer directions (I used 375 degrees) or to 365 on your dutch oven. Temperature is very important, as you want to make sure the dough cooks to a nice light golden brown. Use a candy thermometer if you have one. You can test the fryer oil, by dropping a bit of dough into the oil. If the dough bubbles and floats to the top right away, it’s ready. If the dough sinks, you need to wait a bit more. You have to kind of babysit the dough when you’re frying because the oil temperature changes, from getting too hot or too cold if you place too many doughnuts in the oil at the same time. Don’t overcrowd the pan! Remember, doughnut-making is a labor of love. It takes patience. So relax. Chill. Drink a cup of coffee.

When the oil is good and ready, carefully place the doughnuts into the pan, one at a time, making sure not to overcrowd them, Fry for about 45 seconds, then flip them over for another 30 seconds or so. Once both sides are nicely golden, remove them carefully into a cooling rack lined with paper towels. Repeat until you’ve fried them all. Once all of your doughnuts are fried, allow them to cool completely. Now you can start making the glazes.

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Glazed and delicious

FOR THE WHISKEY GLAZE
Recipe slightly adapted from The Breakfast Bachelor

INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup whiskey
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

METHOD
Combine the whiskey, milk and extract. Whisk in the sifted powdered sugar till it’s smooth. Adjust quantity of sugar if too thin, or milk to thicken. You want a smooth, good-for-dipping consistency.

FOR THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE
Recipe adapted from the cookbook, Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

INGREDIENTS
6 ounces dark chocolate (60% cacao), coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes

METHOD
In a large non-reactive metal bowl, combine the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is completely smooth and dip-able. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir for 30 seconds to cool slightly.