Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies

A lot has been going on in the past few weeks.  My husband and I both had family visiting and staying with our sisters.  I had intended making some tasty treats for the barbeques that were planned during their visit but I didn’t have the time to make the more time consuming treats that would have wowed them.  Instead, for the first barbeque, I made Slutty Brownies and these Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies that looked so good on Tracey’s Culinary Adventures blog.  I’d recently seen a couple of other bloggers that loved this recipe too, so kudos to Tracey.

As it happened, my husband called me out to look as something he was working on outside (I don’t remember what it was) while I was making these, so one batch cooked too long and became crispy.  That didn’t cause a problem because my husband and his brothers loved the crispy ones too.

Enjoy.

Hot out of the oven.

Ready to eat…bet you want a bite.

Yield:  24 cookies                 Cook Time:  11 – 13 minutes

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling
2 oz room temperature cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces (I used Neufchatel cream cheese)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1/3 cup vegetable (or canola) oil (I used olive oil – I know you shouldn’t use olive oil for baking but that’s all I have in the house)
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 – 1 1/4 cups M&M’s (I used 1 cup for the dough and 1/4 cup to add on top)

Directions:

Step 1: Mix the first four ingredients in one bowl.

Step 2:  Place 1 1/2 cups of sugar and cream cheese in a large bowl.  Mix the warm butter with the cream cheese mixture.  The mixture may still have some lumps now.  Mix in the oil.  Mix in the egg, milk and vanilla extract until smooth.  Using a spatula, begin folding the flour mixture into the cream cheese mixture.  Mix in 1 cup of the M&M’s before the flour mixture is fully incorporated.  Once the flour mixture is fully incorporated, you should have a soft dough.  Be sure not to over-mix.

Step 3:  Add 1/3 cup sugar in a small soup bowl for rolling.  Using a heaping tablespoon for each cookie, roll the dough into a ball and then roll in the sugar reserved earlier until all the dough is used.  Since my cookies were a little flat the first time I made them, I chilled the dough balls in a medium bowl for a couple of hours after shaping and rolling in sugar.

Step 4:  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place 12 cookies evenly apart on the sheet.  Flatten the dough balls slightly until they are about two inches wide.  Add a few M&M’s into the top of each cookie.  Repeat until all the dough balls are used.

Step 5:  Bake each tray individually in a preheated oven at 350 F for 11-13 minutes.  The cookie edges should be set and the tops should be puffy and crackly.  Cool for 5 minutes and then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely..

Cookie recipe from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures.

Homemade Devil Dogs

For Memorial Day my husband and I were invited to my friend and neighbor’s house for a barbecue.  His brother and sister were visiting and we hadn’t seen them for a few years, so it was a nice get together for us all.  I usually like to bring a few things but they didn’t want me to do any work until I suggested making some dessert.  Who can say no to Devil Dogs and Fauxtess Cupcakes.  Yes, I made them again.

There are plenty of copy-cat recipes for Devil Dogs on the internet but I haven’t tried them because I get so many protests from my husband, family and friends that have tasted this recipe.  Although I’m not partial to the filling, this recipe is a hit with everyone that’s tried it.

Enjoy.

Homemade Devil Dogs

Yield:  15 – 18 cake sandwiches                Cook Time:  12 – 14 minutes

Ingredients

Cakes:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Step 1:  For the cakes:  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Step 2:  Whisk together the first five ingredients for the cake to combine.  Stir in the remaining three ingredients until moistened.

Step 3:  Transfer the mixture into a large Ziploc plastic bag.  Cut a 1/2 inch from the corner of the bag.  Pipe 3 1/2  by 1 inch logs, about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets.  There should be approximately 12 per cookie sheet.  Bake 12 – 14 minutes.  The cakes should be firm to the touch.  Cool on wire racks.

Step 4:  For the filling:  In a medium saucepan, begin heating milk over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour.  Continue cooking over medium heat until thickened for about 5 minutes.  Be sure to whisk often while cooking.  Cool mixture in a bowl.

Step 5:  Using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until fluffy.  Add the vanilla and milk mixture and beat until smooth.

Step 6:  Pair together like sized cakes.  Using a spatula, spread about 2 – 3 tablespoons of the filling on the flat side of one of the paired cakes and top with the second cake, flat side down.  Repeat with remaining cakes.

Enjoy!!!

Cakes adapted from Family Circle.
Filling adapted from Country Living.

Prosciutto Bread (aka Lard Bread)

There’s a bread that can be found at most Italian deli’s in New York City – it  used to be called Lard Bread but it’s been referred to more recently as Prosciutto Bread.  It’s an unbelievably delicious bread and I’ve always wanted to make a homemade version of it.  Some of my research stated that the bread is usually prepared for Easter but I don’t recall that being the case.  What I do recall is thinking that there should be more prosciutto and less black pepper.  By baking the bread myself, I can change it to my taste.

When I’m having antipasto, I normally like to buy Parma Prosciutto (which tastes out of this world) but when you’re cooking with it, there’s no need to use the most expensive one.

For Mother’s Day, I tried two different Prosciutto Bread recipes and my family absolutely loved this one.  I had to hide some of the remaining loaf, so I would have some for the pictures in this post.

Enjoy.

After kneading the dough needs to rest.

Ready for the oven.

Hot out of the oven.

Take a bite after tearing the bread into a nice big hunk.

Prosciutto Bread

Yield:  1 loaf                Cook Time:  30 – 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 plus 3 tbsp cups bread flour, divided
  • 1 tbsp. malt powder (or 1 tbsp sugar)
  • 3/4 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper (I used regular grind pepper and a scant 1/2 tsp)
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup water (70F -90F)
  • 8 oz. Prosciutto, 1/8″ thick, cut into 1/4-inch dice (no need to use Parma Prosciutto for this bread and you can substitute salami, sweet capicolo or pancetta or, if you don’t like the meats, you can try cheese but you should probably use half the amount)
  • 4 tsp. bacon fat, lard, or butter, melted

Directions:

Step 1:  Mix 2 cups flour, malt powder and yeast in a stand mixer.  Combine salt with flour mixture – this is done separately from the first mixing so the salt doesn’t retard the action of the yeast.

Step 2:  Add water to mixing bowl and mix with flour with dough hook on low to moisten.  Knead for seven minutes on medium speed.  Mix in prosciutto on low speed.  Dough should be slightly tacky but not sticky.  If dough is too sticky knead in more flour a little at a time.  If the dough is too dry, spray with a bit of water and knead.

Step 3:  Shape dough into a ball and place on a lightly floured surface.  Sprinkle dough with flour, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.

Step 4:  Roll dough into an 18” cylinder and form into a ring.  Ensure the ends stick together and place on parchment paper on a large cookie sheet.  Spray dough with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm draft-free place until doubled for about 1 hour.  I usually heat my oven to the lowest setting and then shut it off before placing dough into it to allow it to rise.  Also, I like to let the last rise happen overnight but I didn’t have time for that this time.

Step 5:  Use a pizza stone or baking sheet on a low shelf of the oven and place a baking sheet on the lowest shelf of the oven (or on the bottom of the oven if your heating element isn’t on the bottom of the oven).  Preheat oven to 450 degrees for at least 10 minutes.

Step 6:  Transfer bread to pizza stone or baking sheet in the preheated oven and brush with about 1/3 of melted butter.  Add about half to a dozen ice cubes into the baking sheet on lowest shelf of the oven.

Step 7:  Bake 15 minutes.  Remove parchment paper and turn bread front to back to allow for even baking.  Brush bread with about another 1/3 of melted butter.  Add another dozen ice cubes.  Bake another 5 minutes.  Reduce temperature to 400 degrees.  Bake another 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 8:  Turn off oven and leave bread in the oven with door propped open for another 5 minutes.

Step 9:  Remove bread from oven and brush with the remaining butter.  Allow to cool but if you aren’t having company or bringing this bread to a function, this bread tastes delicious slightly warm and crispy.

Enjoy!!!

Recipe adapted from Seriously Good (originally from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Bread Bible).