Thursday, October 17, 2013

Creamy Asiago Fontina Macaroni & Cheese

(About 5-6 servings)
I used Cavatappi (Corkscrew) shape pasta in this recipe because the sauce sticks well. This went over quite well at my friends' mac & cheese cook-off.

3 cups pasta (whatever shape you prefer)
2 tbsp butter
2-3 white flour
1/2 pint of heavy cream
1 cup milk (2% or 1%)
1 cup shredded asiago cheese (or your favorite hard cheese, such as parmesan)
1 cup shredded fontina cheese (you may sub in cheddar if you prefer)
1/4 tsp ground pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, & fresh nutmeg
A pinch of paprika
1/2 tsp of italian seasoning (I used Mrs. Dash's Table Blend)
2 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled (I bake at 375 until crisp, so it crumbles easily) or bacon bits
Freshly chopped chives

First, boil your pasta until it is just tender. Drain and set aside. In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter and add in flour. Whisk until it forms a paste (a.k.a. roux). Stir for a couple of minutes until the flour mixture is cooked. You can tell when it starts to turn golden and smooths out. Next, whisk in the cream and milk, making sure to combine the flour mixture. Stir in the spices, then slowly sprinkle in the shredded asiago cheese until it melts. 

Then stir in the shredded fontina cheese until completely melted into the white sauce. Taste the sauce and adjust the amount of seasoning to your liking (add salt, pepper, etc). Gently fold in the cooked pasta with a spatula. Serve steaming hot and top with crumbled bacon and chives. Enjoy with friends and family!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fluffy Cream Cheese Pecan & Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 16 cookies.

This recipe was adapted from here.

1 stick softened butter
1/4 cup softened cream cheese
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp agave syrup
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
salt to taste
1/4 cup pecan pieces
1/4 cups dark chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl combine the butter, cream cheese, sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat until creamed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and mix until just combined.

Fold in chocolate chips and nuts and mix with a 
spatula to incorporate.
Using spoons or a cookie scoop, make 1 to 2 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on a silicone baking mat on a cookie sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour before baking. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to, even if slightly undercooked. Do not bake longer than 10 minutes as cookies will firm up as they cool. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cakey & Gooey Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

For me this made about 20 medium size cookies
I made these around the holiday season and the entire batch was gone in days. They are so very addicting! They are fluffy and cakey texture, especially when baked in a convection oven.
1 cup canned or fresh roasted pumpkin puree
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice if preferred)
1/2 tsp nutmeg and allspice
1/2 tsp
1/2 tsp salt
tsp baking soda
1 splash of milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

*Skip this step if you are using canned pumpkin*
Cut in half and roasted a small sugar pumpkin (stab the skin a few times to allow steam out). Place pumpkin cut side down in a pie pan with a 1/2 inch of water and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until fork tender. Remove pulp with a spoon and let cool.

In your electric mixer bowl, beat together pumpkin, sugar, oil, milk and egg. In another bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Next, add vanilla, chocolate chips and chopped nuts.

Spoon dough on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly brown. You can poke into the center of a cookie with a toothpick to see if the center is wet or is cooked and comes out clean.

Let cool a few minutes, then dig in while still warm!