Daily Archives: April 5, 2015

Peanut-Butter Chocolate-Chip Shortbread-Esque Cookies (Recipe)

So, possibly to convince my squirrel-brain that we do, in fact, have enough food in the house to eat All The Things and not run out of food before the end of April – and possibly also because it’s been a long weekend and a relatively (HA!) guest-heavy five days – I’ve been baking cookies of late.
Today, I made a small batch of fairly crispy/snappy vegan peanut-butter cookies that started out as a shortbread cookie recipe and wound up including a small number of chocolat chips, too.
Here’s the recipe:
Peanut-Butter Chocolate-Chip Shortbread-Esque Cookies
1½C white (all-purpose, wheat) flour
½ C brown sugar (well-packed)
½ C smooth peanut butter (ideally the “just peanuts” kind, but whatever)
¼ C sunflower oil
2tbsp maple syrup[1]
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¼C large-size chocolate chips (or more, but start low and build, as this is fairly crumbly stuff)
Preheat the oven to 350F
Grease a baking sheet really well
Mix everything BUT the chocolate chips together in a big bowl. Kneed it with your (warm) hands to help it stick.
Kneed in the chocolate chips
Pack into flat, mishapen rounds about 1½” in diameter (oiling your hands a little bit will help)
Bake for about 10 minutes, or until things are getting golden-brown around the edges
Allow to sit for a couple of minutes before trying to move the cookies[2].
Serve and enjoy, ideally with a refreshing drink.
Make about 18 cookies.
So there you have it. The second batch of thrown-together cookies I’ve made in five days. Given that I’m about half-done my small jar of peanut butter, I’m going to have to either start cooking with butter again (I have three pounds of the stuff in the freezer, so), or otherwise go easy on the kind of cookies I make over the course of the rest of April.
Meliad the Birch Maiden
[1] It’s a nice touch, but I found the cookies just a little bit sweet… not sure what to do about that, since the liquid sugar is also acting in the role of a binder. Maybe don’t keep the brown sugar fairly loose in the measure?
[2] I let them sit for 3-5 minutes after coming out of the oven, and then I shift them just a little bit on the tray so that they don’t stick once they’re all-the-way cool. Then I leave them there and wait for the chocolate chips to mostly solidify-up again.

Eat From the Larder Challenge 2015 – Week One Wrap-Up

So, as-you-know-bob, I’m doing Erica’s Eat From the Larder Challenge this year. I shall endevor to do it with at least a little less whining than last year (fingers crossed), but we’ll see how it goes.
It’s rapidly dawning on me that I am going to do this challenge by starting with the Easy Stuff. (This will come as no surprised, and I’m kind of hoping that I’m not alone in this boat, but hey). As such dinners (and the resulting Leftovers-as-Lunches) are tending towards either (a) eating out, for various definitions of “out” due to Holiday Stuff going on, and (b) stuff in tins and jars and bags (which was the point, I realize). I’m not quite at the juncture where I have to put red lentils in everything due to being completely out of all other possible protein. I’m not quite at the stage where I have to plan ahead in order to have “snack foods” – like last year’s millet-based breakfast muffins – and get creative about making things like cornmeal crepes and “edamole” (instead of tortilla wraps + tub-o-guacamole from the store) if I want to make tacos for dinner some night.
We’ll see how this holds up (if I’m wise, I’ll have the sense to make coconut-dal with swiss chard or something long before I’m out of other options – variety is key, as I discovered last year).
Anyway. The first (short) week of April has gone like this:
Wednesday the 1st – A friend stopped by, brought us crackers and goat cheese, and I proved hummus – courtesy of the Queering Power Party – plus a dinner of rotini with sauteed (in lashings of butter) mushrooms (dried, reconstituted), snap peas (QP Party again), fresh grape tomatoes (see also: QP Party), a shake or three of parmasan cheese, and some of the chevre my friend brought over. There was also wine – I like wine, and I know I’ll be buying more of it as the month goes on, in spite of staying out of the grocery stores – and I made a batch of double-chocolate peanutbutter cookies as well (the last of-which we ate on Saturday morning). My wife had taken the last of the West Texas Dal for her lunch that day.
Thursday the 2nd – Was a friend’s birthday dinner, so we were actually eating elsewhere. My wife had left-over pasta for lunch.
Friday the 3rd – Breakfast (which happened around noon) was bacon + apricot french toast (using 2 eggs, a bit of oil, a bit of milk, and a couple of tablespoons of apricot butter) made with mainly-whole-wheat home-made bread. Dinner was… out. This time, at a pub. (I remember that it felt like we ate out a lot last April, and I couldn’t tell if that was because we actually were eating out more than usual, of if it just felt like that because (a) not spending money on food at the grocery store, and (b) variety, ye gods, variety). I’m putting this one down to it being the first real warm day of Spring. We’ll see what happens as the month goes on though (full disclosure: We will be visiting Lovely Wife’s Mom for her birthday on the 15th, and then in Toronto – eating at restaurants for, I suspect, 100% of our stay, for the rest of that week).
Saturday the 4th – Fried eggs and toast for breakfast, Easter Lunch with My Mom (at a local cafe), snacking on home-jarred cucumber pickles (there’s going to be a lot of this – I have, like, 9 pints of cucumber pickles left, you guys…), and the following dinner:
2 potatoes, thinly sliced and boiled, added to a frying pan containing:
Bacon grease
1 onion, diced
1 one-cup jar of tomato-peach salsa
1C (approx) frozen edamame
2 pucks (about 1/2 C) frozen diced-roasted eggplant
1 tin of red kidney beans
1-2 tbsp goat cheese
1/2 tsp dried cilantro
Sunday the 5th (today) – has included (a) chocolate bunnies (from my Mom) for breakfast – because we’re ever-so-healthy around here, (b) cheese sandwiches using the last of the home-made bread (new bread is on its first rise at the moment, and I’m hoping to get it baked in the next 2 hours) plus some of our copeous cheddar, and a variet of spreads incuding grainy mustard and apricot butter (not *as* good as apple in this context, but pretty tastey). Dinner is tube-pasta with the last of the QP tomatoes, and the last of a mixed bag of frozen veggies[1] that includes julienned carrots, snap peas, broccoli florets, green beans, and edamame, plus dried basil, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, and a tablespoon or two of chevre.
It’s worth noting that, most working-week days, “breakfast” actually boils down to “coffee”, with the possibility of toast in there if we really plan things well. I’ll have to make a point of remembering that we have the better part of a kilogram of plain yoghurt in the fridge, along with heaps of frozen red currants, smaller heaps of frozen serviceberries, and various other berries still in the deep freeze. Yoghurt and berries (and walnuts and a drizzle of our very abundant maple syrup) are a fast, easy, really TASTEY, and reasonably healthy way to start the day, so I should probably have that more often. 😉
If you are doing the Eat From the Larder Challenge this month, how is it going so far?
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
[1] I love those mixed bags that you get from the freezer case at the grocery store. They’re a wonderful EASY way to throw a good mix of veggies into a chili or a stew (or a stir-fry, or a curry, or a pasta-dish… you name it) when you need something that’s relatively no-brains or no-prep. Looking towards the impending garden, and its imagined (fingers crossed) harvest, I’m hoping to put up enough IQF stuff – like pucks of kale, ruby chard, and eggplant plus snap beans, rounds of blanched golden zucchini and just-as-blanched diced winter squash – to be able to do this without relying (as much – I’m not planning on growing broccoli or cauliflower any time soon) on the grocery store stuff. Wish me luck! 🙂