Month: December 2018

Cranberry Steak and Seafood Sauce

Cranberry Steak and Seafood Sauce

First off, Happy New Year! I know… it feels like an eternity since I last posted a delicious recipe. I am not tired by any means, but we have been enjoying family time, prepared for the holidays, and my wife’s birthday. It has been busy […]

Chocolate No Bake Cookies with Cranberries and Pepitas

Chocolate No Bake Cookies with Cranberries and Pepitas

I grew up eating this style of cookie. Granted my grandma made some darn good, and probably the best oatmeal cookies that I have ever eaten, but my dad of all people turned me on to these chocolate no bake cookies. I remember watching him […]

White Chocolate and Cranberry Haystacks

White Chocolate and Cranberry Haystacks

Please don’t get bored with me. I know I am posting more and more cookie recipes that I recently made, but it is the season, and I promise I will have much more comforting food recipes to please your eyes and palettes in 2019. Do you know how many recipes I posted in 2018? Me neither, but I know it is quite a bit and that is a bit surprising with all of the stuff we have been dealing with this year, and I am thankful to be able to keep posting. Hopefully one day my kids will look into my website and make a recipe or two. That’s a goal.

So with the cookies that I have made, these white chocolate and cranberry haystacks were a real treat and something my wife and kids could not stop eating. Who knew chow mein noodles could be so delicious, right?!

White Chocolate and Cranberry Holiday Haystacks
White Chocolate and Cranberry Holiday Haystacks

This is another one of those cookies that are basically melt, form, and eat. A no baker type of cookie.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 11 oz bag of white chocolate chips
  • 12 oz bag of chow mein noodles
  • 1 cup of dried Craisins, blended into fine pieces (cherries would be good as well)
  •  red sprinkles, optional
  • parchment paper

Place your chow mein noodles in a mixing bowl.  Toss in the ground up cranberries.

Melt your white chocolate. I do these over a double boiler but you can keep an eye on it in the microwave, stirring frequently up to 3 minutes. The goal is to get nice and creamy white chocolate.

Have I told you I was never a fan of white chocolate, up until recently? Crazy how that works.

White Chocolate and Cranberry Holiday Haystacks
White Chocolate and Cranberry Holiday Haystacks

Once the chocolate is melted, pour into the bowl of noodles. Stir, and stir quickly coating all of the cranberries and noodles.

Notice on the image above with the Chow Mein. The callout says ‘Improved Taste!’. Yikes. Hey, at least there is 0g of trans fat per serving.

Next, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Take two spoons and form into bite sized shapes. These will be all over the place in terms of size and shape, so don’t worry! Sprinkle with sprinkles if you want. Let these sit in a cool place, uncovered for about 1 hour, or less until the chocolate hardens and you are left with the haystacks.

Take one. Just try and take ONE. Now watch others eat them as you eat them. These things are great, and fun. They somewhat shatter and the crunch of the chow mein, along with the sweetness from the white chocolate pairs so well with the subtle tartness from the cranberries.

Now, only about 15 more cookie recipes to post… Kidding. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Marshmallow Bars

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Marshmallow Bars

I counted 21 total different kinds of holiday cookies that I baked or ‘formed’ these past couple of weeks. Can you believe that? I didn’t think it was a lot of cookies but after looking at all of them, I was pretty impressed. I actually […]

Mixed Bean Soup with Fresh Herbs

Mixed Bean Soup with Fresh Herbs

Are you like me who makes a quick list before heading into a store? I’ve been that way for some time and my lists that I keep during the week add up. These lists though allow me to make my driving routes and get into […]

Glazed Italian Cookies

Glazed Italian Cookies

Butter. Sugar. Flour. Baking Soda. Baking Powder. Eggs. Extracts. Those are the basic ingredients that I have been dealing with for nearly three weeks, among a few others such as Cocoa powder, salt, and more butter. My cookie game is on point, at least I thought it was until I decided to come up with this glazed Italian cookie that I thought was going to fail, but I was completely wrong.

Most every time we frequent our favorite Italian grocery and deli, Glorioso’s we tend to visit their baked goods area and pick up a good dozen of their cookies. Everyone in the family loves them. They are great alone, and a perfect snack with an afternoon coffee, so I decided to come up with a batch that I was hoping would come close, and I did a pretty darn good job.

Glazed Italian Cookies Recipe
Glazed Italian Cookies Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 whole eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6 tsp baking powder
  • 5 cups all purpose flour, possibly more
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp lemon extract
  • parchment paper, optional but recommended
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2-4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 5-7 tbsp milk
  • colored sprinkles, optional

This is a great cookie dough recipe and you can adjust your extract accordingly whether you want vanilla, almond, lemon (preferred), or other to your taste.

Keep in mind that you need to be care when adding the lemon extract as it can be a bit ‘chemical’ tasting if you go too far. You can always zest a lemon and add that in for an extra kick as well.

Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet, or two with parchment paper.

Get a mixing bowl ready as your main mixer, then another bowl for sifting some dry ingredients. There is something about sifting that I really love. I’m not sure what it is. Maybe it is the fine powder coming out of it, or maybe it was a memory of being a kid and seeing my elders use them in baking, not sure.

Glazed Italian Cookies
Glazed Italian Cookies

To the mixing bowl, add in the butter and sugar. Put the mixer on medium-low and begin creaming the butter. During this time sift your flour, baking powder, and salt. Crack your eggs into a separate bowl to prevent any shells from getting in the batter.

Add the lemon extract to to the butter and sugar, then start slowly adding in the eggs, one at a time. Once all of your eggs are nicely mixed into the butter, slowly begin adding the flour. Mix on medium until you have a nice batter. Stop and scrape down the sides, and mix some more. Add more flour if needed to form a nice, thick and somewhat sticky dough.

I placed all of my dough into a piping bag, but you can use your hands and form these into 2 inch log shapes if you want. I placed mine in a gallon sized ziplock, clipped off the corner to the size I was going form, and piped strips onto the parchment paper.

Once all of your dough is used, place into the oven for about 9-11 minutes until golden brown.

While the cookies are baking, make the glaze. Take the melted butter, powdered sugar, and milk and whisk in a mixing bowl. Mix, feeling free to add a bit more sugar or milk until you have your desired consistency.

Once the cookies are baked, remove them from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack. Let these cool for about 30 minutes before adding the glaze. I simply add the same parchment paper under the cooling rack to catch excess glaze.

Take a cookie strip and cut them into bite sized pieces. Dip each piece into the glaze, the put on the rack. Repeat. Sprinkle your decorations if you desire, and let the glaze set. I let these sit out overnight, then bagged them for later use.

When my wife and daughter came home, they said something along the lines of ‘Oh boy, what are these!?’, then upon biting into them they knew right away where I was headed, and that was the Italian cookie. Addicting, but well worth it, these Italian glazed cookies will be a real hit, especially this time of year. Enjoy!