Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

peanut butter cookies

 

I made these cookies over the weekend and they were so easy and tasted so good.  They were great warm out of the oven or a few days later.  They stayed soft and slightly chewy and that little hint of coarse sea salt was devine.

 

Ingredients:
2 cups natural peanut butter
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large egg, lightly beaten
Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place the racks in the upper and lower third of the oven.

In a medium bowl, mix the peanut butter, sugar, vanilla and egg until well combined. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the mixture about 1 inch apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Flatten the mounds with the tines of a fork, making a crosshatch pattern on the cookies. Sprinkle coarse salt on top of the cookies.

Bake until golden around the edges, about 10 minutes, switching the position of the sheets halfway through baking. Transfer to racks to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Makes about 26 cookies.

Orange Chicken

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Ready for some delicious gluten free take out?  I’ve got a great chinese recipe that I came across that is so yummy you’ll never miss the gluten.  You’ll get a little messy making this dish in the kitchen, but the flavor is well worth the mess.  Serve this with some steamed rice and you are all set.

Ingredients:

  •  2lbs boneless skinless chicken, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • white pepper
  • oil (for frying)
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 cup white rice flour ( I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-root, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed hot red chill pepper
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Orange Sauce

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce (I used San-J Gluten Free Soy Sauce)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons white vinegar
  • zest of 1 orange
  • Mix ingredients for orange sauce in a small bowl and set aside.  Place chicken pieces in large bowl and stir in egg, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon oil.  Mix well.  Stir cornstarch and flour together and add chicken pieces, stirring to coat.  Heat oil for deep-frying in wok or dutch oven to 375 degrees.  Add chicken, small batches at a time, and fry 3 to 4 minutes or until golden crisp.  Remove chicken from oil with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels; set aside. Clean wok or dutch oven and heat 15 seconds over high heat.  Add 1 tablespoon oil and then add ginger and garlic.  Stir-fry until fragrant; about 10 seconds.  Add and stir-fry crushed chiles and green onions. Add white wine vinegar and stir 3 seconds.  Add Orange Sauce and bring to boil. Add cooked chicken, stirring until well mixed. Stir water into remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth and add to chicken then heat until sauce is thickened.  Stir in sesame oil and orange zest if desired.

Johnny’s Pizza….Gluten-Free Pizza

Good news!  Apparently Johnny’s New York Style Pizza is now carrying gluten-free 10″ pizzas at a cost of $8.99.  Bad news is this is only happening at “participating” locations.  After talking to one of the restaurant managers I found out it is up to each restaurant owner as to whether they will carry the gluten-free crust or not.

I called a few of the restaurants located near my office and my home and this was the result:

NO, GLUTEN-FREE PIZZA AT

Acworth, Kennesaw/Barrett Pkwy, Sandy Springs

YES, GLUTEN-FREE PIZZA AT

Dallas/East Paulding, Hiram, Kennesaw Cherokee St, Marietta/Dallas Hwy

They do warn on their website that a small amount of cross contamination can occur in a flour rich environment so if a small amount of gluten can be harmful to you they recommend that you avoid this product. 

Has anyone tried this crust yet and if so what was your opinion of the taste/quality and cross contamination?

Easy Peppermint Bark (or so I thought)

This little treat just tastes like Christmas.  What can go wrong with peppermint and chocolate?  I’ll tell you what can go wrong……chocolate seizing.  Apparently it is critical to make sure there is absolutely no water in the bowl you are using to melt your chocolate in the microwave.  I was golden when melting the milk chocolate, but I made the mistake of washing out the same bowl to melt my white chocolate and I guess I didn’t dry it completely so my white chocolate seized on me.  I thought I had heard that you can salvage it by adding some honey so I tried that.  Maybe I didn’t add enough, but the honey didn’t do the trick so I added a little corn syrup and it helped the consistency enough to spread on top of the milk chocolate.  Don’t make my mistake when melting your chocolate…..I sure won’t do that again!

Ingredients:

12 oz milk or semi sweet chocolate chips

12 oz white chocolate chips

8 large candy canes (crushed)

non-stick cooking spray

Cover a sheet pan with wax paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Melt your milk or semi sweet chocolate in a DRY bowl in the microwave.  Start with 25 seconds and then continue adding 20 seconds until you get the desired consistency.  Spread this chocolate on your sheet pan to 1/8 inch thickness and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Next melt your white chocolate in the microwave in the same manner and spread over your other chocolate mixture.  Add your crushed candy canes and gently press them into the white chocolate.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes more or until hardened.  Break your bark into pieces and enjoy!

Johnny’s Pizza Mediterranean Salad

If you haven’t guessed already, I love italian food.  Some of our friends recently took a trip to southern Italy and I was so intrigued be the culture and the food.  I really want to go there and visit…..who am I kidding?  I want to go there and EAT!  I’m trying to talk my husband into going in about 5 years to northern Italy…..places like Venice and Tuscany.  Until then I will just enjoy this salad from Johnny’s Pizza on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs which combines lettuce, tomatoes, feta cheese, greek olives, salami, pepperoni, capicolla, provolone cheese and ham.  I opted for the oil and vinegar dressing.  This large salad was huge and full of delicious mediterranean flavors.  To try one yourself visit Johnny’s Pizza today!

Delicioso!

I will leave you with a picture of Tuscany (sigh)!

Tuscany Photos
This photo of Tuscany is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Johnny's New York Style Pizza on Urbanspoon

 

My Caramel Calamity

I don’t know about you, but I seem to always try to do too much during the holidays when it comes to food.  I want to make everything from scratch, try things I’ve never done before and drive my family crazy in the process.  I decided to tackle making homemade caramel this weekend to do create amazing caramel apples.  I had this vision in my head of these perfect apples wearing a thick coating of my delicious homemade caramel and then I would drizzle them with milk chocolate and coat the bottom in some chopped nuts.  Wrong!  Not only did I create some of the ugliest caramel apples you’ve ever seen I gave up on the chocolate and nuts after making three different batches of caramel and each one was an epic failure.

I didn’t do any research on making caramel specifically for apples so my first batch of caramel was a caramel sauce I’ve made several times before which consists of just granulated sugar, butter and heavy cream.  My sauce was beautiful and delicious and I felt I was well on my way to perfection.

I let the sauce cool a bit (maybe this was mistake number one) and then I applied it to the apples.  The sauce did not adhere and began sliding off making a large caramel puddle.  I began my second batch of caramel without the cream thinking this was causing the issue.  My result was a caramel rock candy (mistake number two).

This is when the cursing began #$%&@!

I calmed myself and went to my computer to retrieve a recipe specifically for caramel apples which called for brown sugar, condensed milk, butter, etc.  It was supposed to cook for 30 minutes, but my batch started to slightly burn (mistake number three) so I stopped this process short and tried again to coat my apples.  I then burned my right index finger in the coating process (mistake number four).  It was at this point that I vowed never to attempt this project again, but I will probably forget about that promise next year.

In the interest of full disclosure let me introduce you to my fugly apples:

Pretty darn hideous, huh?  Has anyone had success at making homemade caramel apples or should I just be satisfied with unwrapping 50 pieces of caramel like we used to do when I was a kid?