Monday, March 5, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Mmmm, mmm, I love me some nice hot oatmeal on a cold morning. One of my favorites is pumpkin pie oatmeal.

I'll be honest and say I didn't write down exact proportions, but here's the list of ingredients. In the parenthesis next to the ingredients are my guesses to measurements for a family of four. Portion sizes, family sizes, and personal preferences are different. That's why I am just doing a list.

Oatmeal (1 1/2 c.)
Pumpkin puree (either from a can or homemade) (1/2 - 3/4 c.)
Cinnamon (1 1/2 tsp.)
Nutmeg (1/2 tsp)
Water or Milk (3 c.)
Nuts (4 Tbs.)
Maple syrup, to taste
Whipped cream, a dollop  (optional)

The technique: cook desired amount of oats in milk or water. Add pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Serve with nuts, maple syrup, and whipped cream.

Go ahead, experiment and figured out what you like!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

I know this post is late...really late. I had planned on posting it around Christmas as a way to use up extra candy canes. Ahem...but maybe you still have candy canes lying around. If not you can use regular mint candies. Regardless, these cookies are good any time of year! The original recipe was from Woman's Day. But I changed it up a bit and used the Reese's cookie chocolate base, and the Womans Day ganache and technique. The Reese's cookies are so much more soft, and I'm a sucker for soft, moist cookies! So, I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe!

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
For the cookie:

2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 c. butter or margarine
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350° F. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Stir in peanut butter chips.
Drop by rounded teaspoon-fulls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-9 mins. (Do not overbake, cookies will be soft. They will puff while baking and flatten while cooling.) Cool slightly, remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

For the Ganache:

3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 Tbs. heavy cream

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, microwave the heavy cream on high until simmering, about 30 seconds. Add the remaining 3/4 cup chips to the cream and let stand for 1 minute. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. 

Put it all together:

8 candy canes (or other mint candies), about 3/4 cups, smashed
Spread the chocolate mixture on top of each cookie (about 1/2 tsp each); top with the candy canes. Refrigerate until set, about 20 minutes.