Crispy Salted White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

6 ounces good-quality white chocolate bar, chopped (not “white chocolate” chips; they’re almost always artificial. I am adamant about this.)

1/2 teapoon flaky sea salt (like Maldon or fleur de sel) (for sprinkling on top)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and table salt in a medium bowl.

Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula, then add egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Scrape down bowl again. Add flour mixture gradually and mix until just incorporated and smooth. Gradually add oats and white chocolate and mix until well incorporated.

Divide dough into 24 equal portions, each about 2 tablespoons. Roll between palms into balls, then place on lined baking sheets about 2 1/2 inches apart. Using fingertips, gently press down each ball to about 3/4-inch thickness.

Sprinkle a flake or two of sea salt on each cookie

Bake until cookies are deep golden brown, about 13 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack to cool.

Source: Smitten Kitchen

Glazed Lemon Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
4-5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 35o degrees F. Line two baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk and set aside.

In a small bowl, add granulated sugar and lemon zest. Rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingers, until fragrant.

Beat butter and sugar/lemon mixture together until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth.

Slowly beat in flour mixture on low speed until blended. Drop dough by tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Gently flatten dough with the palm of your hand.

Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cookies are just set and slightly golden brown. Cool cookies on baking sheet for 2 minutes and transfer to cooking racks. Cool completely.

In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice. Dip each cookie top into the lemon glaze. Let cookies sit until icing has set.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

Cashew Caramel Cookies

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups roasted salted cashews
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
24 cubes soft caramel candy (7 ounces)
1/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour and salt together. Coarsely chop 1 cup cashews; set aside. Process remaining 1 1/2 cups cashews in a food processor until finely chopped. Pour in oil. Process until mixture is creamy, about 2 minutes.

Put cashew mixture, butter, and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low; gradually add flour mixture. Mix in reserved chopped cashews.

Shape dough into 1 1/2-inch balls; space 2 inches apart on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 6 minutes; gently flatten with a spatula. Bake until bottoms are just golden, 6 to 7 minutes more. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.

Melt caramels with cream in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring. Let cool. Using a spoon, drizzle caramel over cookies; let set. Store airtight in single layers.

Meyer Lemon Pudding

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 1/2 cups whole milk
3 extra large egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (or 1 tablespoon lemon zest + 1 tablespoon orange zest)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (or 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice + 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Add the milk, egg yolks, zest, and salt and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently at first and constantly toward the end, until thickened.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the citrus juice and butter. Place a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl and pour the mixture through the strainer. Divide the mixture into 6 serving dishes and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate, loosely covered (tightly covered will trap too much moisture, making a watery pudding) for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Serve chilled by itself or with lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Pistachio Pudding

Pistachio Paste:
1/2 cup salted pistachio nuts
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water

Pudding:
2 cups whole milk
2 large egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup pistachio nuts, chopped

To make the Pistachio Paste: place pistachios in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are in small bits. Add the sugar and water, and blend until relatively smooth. Easy!

To make the Pudding: Spoon Pistachio Paste into a medium saucepan. Add the milk and whisk over medium heat. Heat milk and pistachio until steamy and hot.

While milk is heating, whisk together granulated sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch and pinch of salt. Mixture will be thick. Keep whisking until it’s smooth. Pour about 1/2 cup of the steaming pistachio milk into the sugar and egg mixture. Whisk together. Add another half cup of hot milk and whisk to incorporate. Return the milky egg mixture into the saucepan over medium heat.

Heat pudding mixture over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Whisk almost constantly. You might also want to use a heat-proof spatula to stir the mixture, ensuring that the sides and corners of the pan aren’t burning. Boil for about 1 minute, or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla extract, until butter is melted. Pass cooked pudding through a fine mesh strainer set over a medium bowl. This will ensure that any cooked egg bits don’t make it into the finished pudding. Press the pudding through the strainer. Add a few of the pistachio nut bits that the strainer catches, back to the pudding if you’d like

Spoon into small ramekins, place plastic wrap over the individual puddings (so the plastic touches the top of the pudding), and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Top with lightly sweetened whipped cream and chipped pistachios.

Pudding will last, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.

Mango and Sticky Rice (Steamed Version)

1 cup Thai sweet or sticky rice, available in Asian groceries
1 can coconut milk, unshaken
3 tablespoons raw or white sugar, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch (or tapioca flour, available in Asian groceries or in gluten-free section)
2 ripe mangos
Toasted sesame seeds and mint, to garnish

Equipment
Covered saucepan
Steamer basket
Small saucepan

Soak 1 cup of dry sticky rice in water for about 1 hour. (Some recipes instruct you to soak it overnight, but 1 hour seems sufficient.)

Drain the rice and rinse it thoroughly. Then pour about 1 cup of water into a saucepan, and place the rice in a steamer insert inside the saucepan. Cover tightly and steam over low to medium heat for 20 minutes.

While the rice is steaming, make the first sauce. You will make two coconut sauces to go on the rice: One thin one to mix into the rice itself, and then a thicker sauce to spoon over top. Start by opening the can of coconut milk and spooning out the thick cream on top.

Place the thicker coconut cream in a small bowl. You should have approximately 1/2 cup, give or take a bit. (All measurements here are approximate, which is completely fine for this recipe.)

Pour the thinner, lighter coconut milk left in the can into a small saucepan. (It will be a little over 1 cup.) Stir in 2 tablespoons sugar and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Warm over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Do not let the sauce boil.

By now the rice is probably done. The grains should be tender and shiny. Spoon the rice out into a bowl (it will be clumpy).

Slowly pour the warm coconut milk over the rice in the bowl, stirring frequently. You want the milk to coat the rice but not leave puddles. Keep stirring, and stop pouring in coconut milk when it looks like the rice is saturated. You may not use all of the milk.

Set the rice aside to finish absorbing the coconut milk; after 15 minutes or so it should have soaked up any milk that is still liquid.

While the rice is standing, make the coconut topping sauce. Rinse out the coconut milk saucepan, and pour in the coconut cream that you took off the top of the can. Stir in 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together a few teaspoons of water and the cornstarch.

Whisk this cornstarch slurry into the coconut cream and cook over low heat for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture thickens considerably. Set aside.

To cut up the mango, first cut off the bottom so it can stand upright.

Slice away the skin in thin strips, until the mango is completely peeled.

Cut off the flesh in slices, starting with the broad cheeks on each side, then the thinner strips that will come off either side.

To serve, place about 1/3 cup cooked sticky rice on each plate, and arrange mango slices around it. Drizzle with the coconut topping sauce, and sprinkle with a few toasted sesame seeds. Garnish with a mint sprig, and eat while still warm.

Source: Kitchn

Clotted Cream

4 ounces mascarpone cream
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt

In a medium bowl, beat all ingredients with a mixer until evenly incorporated and small peaks form.

Keep extra for amazing hot chocolate topping or to serve with fruit or even oatmeal.

Mango and Clotted Cream

2 ripe mangoes, peeled and diced into medium-sized chunks
1 dollop clotted cream
2 tablespoons pistachios, crushed

Divide the mango chunks into four glasses, top with one dollop of quick clotted cream; scatter a few crushed pistachios on top, for garnish. Place glasses into the fridge for one hour, to let the flavors meld.

Roasted Cherries

24 large, plump and very ripe cherries
2 tablespoons demerara sugar
Pinch sea salt
A few grinds of fresh pepper
1/4 cup cherry brandy (or Banyuls Rimage wine, if you have such things lying about)

Preheat oven to 450°. Place the whole cherries in a small roasting pan (I used a pie plate) and sprinkle on the sugar, salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast until the cherries start to release their juices and the sugar melts and begins to caramelize. This will take about 10 minutes but watch the cherries very carefully, as the sugar may start to burn.

Remove from the oven, pour the brandy over and return for another 5 minutes and roast until the juices start to bubble up. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving. Can be cooled completely and reheated gently on the stove top. (If you’re removing the pits, do this before reheating.)

Source: Kitchn

Cherry Custard Tart

1 stick of unsalted butter
1 cup of sugar
1 1/4 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
2 cups pitted fresh cherries
2 eggs
2 cups half and half

Preheat oven to 375.

Cream the butter and sugar. Sift together the flour, salt, cinnamon and baking powder. Add to butter/sugar and mix briefly. The mixture should be crumbly but moist enough to hold together when pressed. Set aside 1/4 cup and press remaining dough into tart pan, making sure the sides are strong and even.

Add cherries, spreading evenly over the bottom. Sprinkle on the reserved 1/4 cup of mixture and place tart pan on a baking sheet and slide into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a bowl, then add the half and half and whisk until combined. After 15 minutes, open oven door and pull the baking sheet half way out of the oven. Carefully and quickly pour the custard mixture over the tart and carefully push the baking sheet back in and close the oven door. Bake another 25 minutes, until crust is deep gold and the custard is set and beginning to brown.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly before removing tart ring. Let cool completely before sliding off bottom. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

Sweet Grilled Pineapple

1 whole pineapple
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Grand Marnier
1 plastic squirt gun

To begin, cut pineapple into 1″ spears (like a pickle). If you need a refresher on how to make this happen, check out our tutorial! Toss pineapple spears in melted butter and then brown sugar, coating each one as evenly as possible. Fill squirt gun with Grand Marnier.

Over a medium high heat grill, place pieces directly onto the grill grates. Once all spears are placed on the grill, squirt them with your Grand Marnier. Turn each piece and spray again. Repeat process until all sides have caramelized slightly and have grill marks. Remove from grill and plate.

Source: Kitchn

Melon with Lime-Chile Syrup

juice and zest from two limes
1 jalapeño pepper (and/or red hot pepper, for color)
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons water
1 ripe melon, about three pounds

For the syrup
Zest the limes then cut them in half and squeeze all the juice out. You should have roughly 4 tablespoons. Cut the pepper in half lengthwise and roughly chop one half, leaving in the seeds and rib. With the other half, scrape out the seeds and rib and add them to the rough chopped pepper and chop the remaining flesh in to an even, fine dice. Try to be as neat as possible, as this dice will be used for garnish later.

Combine the juice, sugar, water and the rough chopped jalapeno plus extra seeds and ribs in a small sauce pan and heat gently over low heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, about one or two minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. Strain the syrup and discard solids. If there’s time, refrigerate the syrup to cool it even further.

Just before serving, slice melon into thick wedges. Gently scrape out the seeds and place wedges on individual plates. Drizzle with the cool syrup and garnish with the finely chopped jalapeno and lime zest. Serve on a plate with a spoon. Optional garnish: finely chopped mint or basil.

Caramel Rice Flan

Butter or cooking spray for the soufflé dish
2/3 cup Arborio rice
4 3/4 cups milk
2 3-inch cinnamon sticks
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons cardamom pods, cracked with the side of a knife
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups sugar

Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Lightly butter, or use cooking spray, on a 1 1/2-quart soufflé dish (preferably nonstick). In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Stir in rice and cook for 15 minutes. Drain, then add rice to a medium saucepan with 4 cups of the milk, the cinnamon sticks and the ground cardamom. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the rice is very tender. Drain away any milk that has not been absorbed, then put rice into a medium bowl and stir in the lemon zest.

To make the custard, in a medium saucepan, over medium-low heat, combine the remaining 3/4 cup milk, the cardamom pods and the cream. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, yolks, salt and 1/3 cup of the sugar. When the milk mixture comes to a simmer, slowly ladle it into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture through a strainer back into the pan (discarding cardamom), then stir in the rice.

To make the caramel, in a heavy small saucepan stir together the remaining cup of sugar and 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil. Cook over high heat for 5 to 8 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally, until the mixture turns a honey-amber shade. Immediately pour into the soufflé dish, swirling to make sure the caramel coats about 3/4 of the height of the dish.

Without waiting for the caramel to harden, immediately pour the rice mixture into the caramel-coated soufflé dish. Fill a large roasting pan halfway with very hot tap water, and place the soufflé dish in the roasting pan. Cover roasting pan tightly with foil and punch several holes in the foil in the corners of the roasting pan. Place the pan in the center of the oven and bake for about 2 hours (start checking after 1 hour and 45 minutes) or until the custard is set around the edges but the center still jiggles slightly. Remove dish from the water bath, cool on a rack, then refrigerate until set and cold, at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.

To serve, place the soufflé dish in a large bowl filled with enough boiling water to come halfway up the side of the soufflé dish. Let stand for 20 minutes, dry the bottom of the soufflé dish, then run a knife around the edge of the custard and turn it out onto a platter. (It will stick and not look picture perfect.) Serve with a spoon.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

Source: New York Times

Red Rice Pudding with Mango

3/4 cup red Bhutanese rice
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk (can use 2 percent) or rice beverage
1 cup unsweetened low-fat coconut milk
Seeds from 1 split vanilla bean, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup raw brown sugar, preferably fair-trade organic
1/2 teaspoon rose water (optional)
1 ripe mango, peeled, seeded and cut in thin slices
Fresh lime juice

Combine the rice, water and salt in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed.

Add the milk, coconut milk, vanilla and sugar to the rice, and stir together. Bring to a boil while stirring. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered, stirring often, for 10 to 20 minutes until creamy. Stir in the rose water.

Scrape into a bowl or into individual serving dishes, and allow to cool. Serve warm, if you prefer. If serving chilled, cover and cool for at least two hours before serving. Spoon into wide serving bowls or plates, and arrange slices of mango atop or alongside each serving. Squeeze a little lime juice over the mango slices, and serve.

Yield: Serves four.

Advance preparation: This will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator, but it will stiffen up as the rice absorbs more liquid. Add more coconut milk or regular milk, if desired.

Source: New York Times