Sunday, May 03, 2015

Peanut Butter Cookies with Bacon and Dark Chocolate

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I could barely believe what I was reading as I encountered this recipe over at Joy the Baker. A peanut butter cookie with chocolate isn't all that unique, but with the addition of bacon? Clever! Unique! And fun. And also, very very tasty. My guests were baffled - they couldn't guess the ingredients, but loved the cookies. 

These are very soft and crumbly, so be careful - make sure they cool completely on the baking sheets or they will mostly likely fall apart. 

As a bonus, these are free from gluten and dairy. Not dietary concerns for me, but for many others.

Peanut Butter Cookies with Bacon and Dark Chocolate
adapted from Joy the Baker
about 40 cookies

340 g peanut butter
200 g sugar (the original uses a mix of white and brown, but I only had white at home)
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
140 g bacon, cooked to a crisp and coarsely chopped
100 g dark chocolate (I used Lindt 70%)
sugar for coating the cookies

Start by cooking the bacon - I do this in the oven, at 200°C and about ten minutes. Cool completely before chopping.

Combine peanut butter and sugar. Add the egg and baking soda. Fold in bacon and chocolate. Roll into walnut-sized balls (or slightly smaller) and roll in sugar.

Place on lined baking sheets and press down with a fork to make a criss cut pattern. Bake at 175°C for about 10-12 minutes. Cool completely on the sheets before transferring. 

Friday, May 01, 2015

Milk Chocolate Pistachio Cookies

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Honestly one of the best cookies I've ever made. The combination of chewy cookie, sweet milk chocolate and crunchy pistachios, accented by flaky sea salt, is sure to be a really big hit.

Milk Chocolate Pistachio Cookies
makes 40 or so

150 g butter, softened
140 g caster sugar
140 g brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp extract) 
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
240 g all-purpose flour
100 g milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
50 g chopped up roasted, unsalted pistachios
a few pinches of sea salt

Start by creaming the butter and both types of sugar very, very well. (My butter was, as usual, not softened, so I just creamed it for much longer.) Add the egg and vanilla and beat until mixed. Add the dry ingredients - baking soda, salt and flour - and mix until combined. Finally add the chocolate. 

Shape into four slender logs and place on lined baking sheets.  Press pistachios into the top, and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 175°C for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a minute before cutting them, diagonally, into cookies. Leave to cool completely. 

These freeze very well but lose some of their chewiness. 


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Breakfast Parfait

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"Mom, are you having DESSERT for BREAKFAST"?!

My kids couldn't believe their eyes, and insisted I'd eat something "real" first. 

Well, it does look luxurious, doesn't it? It's just vanilla yogurt, layered with fresh raspberries, a little granola and some toasted coconut. Very yummy and good for you - for dessert OR for breakfast. 


Monday, April 27, 2015

Kiddie-Pleaser Pasta Rolls

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I was at a loss what to do for weekend lunch a few days ago and I was SO bored with the same old options. My kids are fairly picky eaters, at least right now, and what they eat change from day to day. So I wanted to try something new, but I also needed them to eat so I couldn't go too far out. Pasta is almost always popular...

This turned out to be a huge hit. Dante helped me, while Titus played video games (we love the Lego games for Xbox) with his cousin, and they all loved the food.

Plan on two rolls per kid if they're somewhat hungry - and adult might need three, depending on appetite. (And this would of course be nice with a salad on the side.)

Kiddie-Pleaser Pasta Rolls

8 fresh lasagna sheets
100 g cream cheese with herbs
8 slices cooked ham
one small zucchini
handful of corn (frozen, but thawed)
grated parmesan
about 400 ml plain cheese sauce  (or a bechamel if you want to make it from scratch. I was NOT in the mood.)


Slice the zucchini with a mandoline or cheese sliced the long way, to make long slices. Make sure you have at least eight - I cut mine in half to cover most of the pasta sheet, width-wise.

Spread the cream cheese on the lasagna sheets. Top with a slice of ham, one or two zucchini slices, a little sprinkling of corn and finally some parmesan. Roll up tightly and place seam-side down in an oven-proof dish.

Cover with the cheese sauce and any remaining corn or cheese. Bake at 200°C for about 15-20 minutes until the pasta is soft and cooked through.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Cookbook Watch spring 2015 - a big round-up

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Here's a massive post with some of the best cookbooks I've encountered lately! Most of them in Swedish, but not all.

Festmat by Anette Rosvall and Emma Hamberg. These ladies have put out a lot of cookbooks in the past and they never cease to inspire and come up with new, fun recipes. Anette blogs, in Swedish, and I often run into her at press events. This latest book is all about parties - "Festmat" means party food. It has quite unusual chapters with anything from soups to barbecue, hungover brunch and "your life with food in bread". Fun and charming, and with personal photos as well as great food pics.

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The Perfect Egg is another cookbook by bloggers, in this case by Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park who run Spoon Fork Bacon. I know the blog is brilliant so this immediately made my wishlist. As the name implies, it's all about eggs. Tons of eggs. And as I love eggs.. well, I love this book. It has a wide range of recipes, beautiful food pics and a lot of inspiration. Recommended - unless you happen to be allergic to eggs, in which case I imagine the book would be very frustrating...

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Brödet, by Håkan Johansson. Simply called "The Bread", this book holds all sorts of baking recipes. How to start your own sourdough, and when to use it - and when to pass. Simple over night breakfast bread, and elaborate creations - the Cheese and Chili bread caught my eye, as well as Apple Hazelnut bread, and Chanterelle Pizza. There's also a chapter on sweet bread and buns which is no surprise since it's what Håkan Johansson is most well known for.

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Bakat från Slottsträdgården Ulriksdal - a cookbook from one of Stockholm's most popular cafés. It's situated in a nursery garden, inside a greenhouse, and it's always absolutely packed with people. They serve delicious vegetarian buffets, and a wide array of sweets, and the latter is what this book is about. Frankly, I was a little bit disappointed in this. I expected creative, new recipes, but the book feels pretty basic. With that said, everything looks great and I've tried a chocolate orange cake that turned out to be amazing - so it's a good book, no doubt about it. I look forward to trying out more of the recipes, too!

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Grilla! is the latest book by Mattias Larsson, known as Fredagskocken after a long stint on one of the daily radio shows in Sweden. He's a great guy, and very good at flavor combinations. Grilla means to barbecue, so that's what this book is all about. Sweden is a grill-loving country, and as soon as the temperature is warm enough, everyone starts to cook outdoors. Also, the barbecue cookbooks hit the shelves - we see at least five or more every year. This particular one earns its place on my shelf because it's so creative - there are really tons of good ideas here sure to inspire. What I'm dying to try is the whole-grilled cauliflower with gruyère cheese and gremolata oil.

jennie och stina buffeer

Buffé is written by bloggers Jennie Benjaminsson and Stina Patetsos who met through the TV-show Masterchef Sweden. They are both really sweet and fun girls, and their cooking is bright, bold and flavorful. Stina is of greek heritage and a lot of recipes in the book show this. In fact, I'm going to try my hand at a Greek-inspired dinner in a few weeks - will report back! If you enjoy having parties and cooking for crowds, this is most definitely a book you don't want to miss!

tillbords

Till Bords med Systrarna Eisenman is the latest book from the productive sisters, Lisa Eisenman Frisk and Monica Eisenman, who used to own the Cookbook Café in Stockholm. They have since made several books, together and separately, and the focus in this one is great food to enjoy together with your guests, rather than having to spend the whole night slaving away in the kitchen. There are recipes for both summer and winter, and most things take no more than half an hour to cook. Chicken Shawarma is first on my to-try list, followed by a Chèvre Grape Salad with Caramelized Walnuts. Yum.

sallyvoltaire
Sally Voltaire is a trendy chef right now. Her mom is Lotta Voltaire and her aunt is Renée Voltaire, both pioneers in vegetarian and raw food cuisine, and Sally now runs several restaurants and shops of her own. This is her first cookbook, aptly named Sally Voltaires Mat (Sally Voltaire´s Food). Most recipes, but not all, are vegetarian, and with unexpected flavor combinations.

i köket med markiz

I köket med Markiz - Marockansk Magi, is the first book from Markiz Talhaoui, who also was a participant on Swedish Masterchef a few years ago. She didn't win but she had amazing presence and was one of the judges favorites. Her book is all about the food she grew up with, in a Swedish-Moroccan household. There's different ambition levels - make your own merguez sausage, or just buy some and make a flavorful stew. Dig a fire pit and grill a lamb - or much more approachable, cook some in the oven, but with the same spices and sauce.