Saturday, December 12, 2009

More Treats and Things

I love me some Cap'n Crunch. I am not a cereal eater though. I'm more of a white toast for breakfast kind of person, so Christmas is the one time of the year when I get my fix of the Cap'n. I make rice krispy treats, but substitute Cap'n Crunch Crunch Berries for the Rice Krispies. The recipe is on the back of the mini marshmallow package. I cut them small so that they are just a bite or two. I like to leave 'em wanting more.

Now on to some real cookies. I was babysitting my nephew one day and my mom suggested that I bake cookies with him. I must have expressed that I didn't think he would be interested in the process because my mom said something like "you don't have to make them from scratch, she's got cookie dough in the freezer." So I checked out the freezer and there it was. A box of pre-formed cookies. You just take the amount that you want, pop them in the oven, and bake for 10 minutes. Yummy homemade cookies.

I thought about this frozen cookie dough idea and how genius it was. Me and The Captain (not Crunch) cannot eat a full batch of cookies. Try as we might, we either get bored with them, or they get too dry after they have been sitting around for a couple of weeks. I thought I could freeze cookies like I freeze berries during the summer. So I tried it. I made a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough and portioned it out on waxed paper. Then I put the cookie sheets in the freezer overnight.

The next day I had frozen cookie balls. I portioned them out into little bags. 12 cookie balls per bag. Then I tossed them into the freezer.

I then baked some to see if I needed to make any adjustment because they were frozen. I wanted mini-cookies, so I cut the frozen balls in half, put them on a sheet pan, and put them in the oven as soon as it was preheated. I cooked them for about 8 minutes at 375 degrees. They took less time than regular cookies because they were smaller.

Here's the finished product. I didn't notice any difference in taste due to the freezing.

Yay to having fresh cookies whenever I want in just 8 short minutes.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Whole Is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts (Chocolate Coated Heath Encrusted Pretzels)

I was watching last night's Top Chef and one of the judges said "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts" about one of Kevin's dishes. I was thinking, "I know a recipe like that" which is actually timely because this is one of The Captains holiday cookies. If you invite him over to your house during the holidays, chances are good that he will bring you a cellophane bag of full these bad boys. I remember the first year we were together baking cookies for the holidays, thinking that these were a little to plebeian for my taste, as I tend to like my recipes complicated. But these guys, for all of their store-bought-assembled-cheap-ingredientness, are really good. Like can't stop eating them good. And simple to make.
Melt a half of a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Nuke em for about a minute, give em a stir, and give them another 30 seconds or so.

Then take mini pretzels, hold them by one of the top loops...

...dip them in the melted chocolate...

...then put the chocolate side into a bowl of Heath bits (available in the baking section by the chocolate chips)...

...and lay them on some foil or parchment paper until the chocolate hardens back up.
The funny thing is, is that I am not really a Heath person either. But when you mix all of these guys together, you get some kind of salty, sweet, buttery, yeasty creation that is seriously hard to resist.