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Pie Crust Cookie Search

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Chocolate Revel Bars

Chocolate, oatmeal, and almonds make a yummy bar cookie. 





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Chocolate Revel Bars


Makes a 9X13 pan

3 c old-fashioned rolled oats 
2 c AP flour
1 1/2 c packed brown sugar, light or dark
1 c raw unsalted almonds, chopped
1 teas baking soda
salt
16 T unsalted butter, melted, plus 2 T unsalted butter
2 large eggs
2 teas vanilla
2 c (12 oz.) bittersweet chocolate chips
1 c sweetened condensed milk

Place the oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9X13 pan with aluminum foil using enough foil that you can use it as handles when you remove the bars from the pan. Grease the foil once it is in place.

In a large bowl, place the oats, flour, sugar, almonds, baking soda, and 1 teas of salt. Stir to combine. In a second bowl, or a large glass measuring cup, mix the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla together. Pour the butter mixture into the flour/oatmeal mixture and stir until a dough forms. I found it easiest to use my hands to complete this step. Remove 1 1/2 cups of this dough for the topping and set aside in the bowl or measuring cup you used to melt the butter. Drop the remaining dough into the prepared pan and press to cover the bottom evenly. 

Place the chocolate chips, condensed milk, 1/2 teas salt, and remaining 2 T butter into a glass bowl and microwave at 50 % power until the chocolate chips are melted. Stir occasionally to ensure the mixture is fully combined. It took about 2 and a half minutes in my microwave. The chocolate will continue melting as you stir, so take it out of the microwave before all the chips melt away. This will look like fudge or thick chocolate frosting.

Spread the chocolate mixture evenly over the oatmeal crust. Using your hand, crumble the reserved oatmeal dough over the chocolate layer. Place in the oven and bake until the topping is golden brown, approximately 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool until the bars are set, about 6 hours. Use the foil overhangs to carefully lift the bars out of the pan. Cut into bars  the size you prefer and serve.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Grandma Betty's Popcorn Crisp

 This was one of my mom's favorite treat and she made it frequently. After her death my dad continued making it and often gave it as his Christmas gift to neighbors. 




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Grandma Betty's Popcorn Crisp


Source: Betty Peterson who got it from her friend Glenneth Wilson

These temperatures are for sea level but I imagine my mother adjusted for altitudes in her various homes. For every 1,000 feet feet above sea level, reduce your target temperature by 2 degrees Fahrenheit.


1/2 pd. popcorn
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c plus 1 T white Karo syrup
3/4 c water
1 c raw Spanish peanuts
1 t salt
1 t  baking soda
1 t vanilla
1 cube (1/2 c) melted butter, kept warm


Pop the corn and place it in a large kettle or roasting pan in a warm oven (275F) so both the popcorn and the pot will be warm when the syrup is ready. 

Mix the sugar, corn syrup and water and cook to 231F and add peanuts. Cook to 281 degrees and add salt. Cook to 291 degrees and the syrup is golden brown. Remove from the heat and add the butter, soda and vanilla stirring well. 

Moving quickly, but carefully, pull the kettle of popcorn out of the oven and scrape all of the hot syrup into the corn and stir well until all the popcorn is lightly coated. Pour out onto 2 baking sheets and spread out to cool. 

Alternatively, this may be made into popcorn balls but you'll need to butter your hands, and work fast. You may consider wearing gloves. 

Friday, March 4, 2022

Kale Salad with Smoked Almonds




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Kale Salad with Smoked Almonds


Adapted from Milk Street Magazine
Serves 6

2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
5 T sherry vinegar
kosher salt
2 T honey
8 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
ground black pepper
1 c smoked almonds
4 oz. chewy white or wheat bread, cut into 1-in cubes
2 teas fresh thyme leaves
1 T sweet paprika
2 bunches lacinato kale, stemmed, washed, spun dry and thinly sliced crosswise (10 c)
1 c fresh mint leaves, chopped

In a pint mason jar or a small bowl place the sliced shallots, vinegar and 1/2 teas salt. Let rest for 10 minutes. Add the honey, 5 T of the olive oil. Shake it in the jar or whisk all ingredients in a bowl.

Chop the almonds in a food processor until coarse, about 8 pulses and move to a large bowl.

Place the bread cubes in the processor bowl and run about 20 seconds until they are in coarse crumbs. Add the thyme, the remaining 3 T oil, paprika, half teaspoon salt and half teaspoon pepper. Process about 10 seconds until all is incorporated. Pour the crumb mixture into a large skillet over medium heat and cook until browned and crisped, stirring often. Place on a plate or quarter sheet pan to cool.

Put the kale and mint into the bowl with the almonds and massage the greens. It will take about 10-20 seconds to get it to a softer, darker texture. Pour the dressing and crumbs over and toss to combine. Taste and season if necessary.

Note:   Smoked almonds are usually quite salty. Next time I'm going to use plain roasted almonds and substitute Spanish smoked paprika, to achieve a smoky flavor with less salt. I'll report how that works.



Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Slow-Cooker Roasted Beets




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Slow-Cooker Roasted Beets


Adapted from The French Slow Cooker by Michele Scicolone 
 

I have loved cooking beets in a slow-cooker since I first stumbled on the idea. Beets seem to take so long in a hot oven and although a slow-cooker takes longer, I appreciate how it doesn't heat up my kitchen. I've roasted as few as 3 (thanks to a grocery delivery) and as many as 8 at a time. I think more can be cooked, especially if you have a big appliance.

When trimming them, leave about an inch of  roots and the tops attached so that they retain their juices. 


Olive oil for the insert
6-8 medium to large beets (about 2 pounds), scrubbed and trimmed

Use your hands or a pastry brush to coat the insert of your slow-cooker with olive oil. 

Place the beets into the insert and replace the lid. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or until the beets are tender. Text with a sharp knife tip.

Turn off the slow cooker and remove the beets. Let rest until you can handle them, about 5 minutes. I use a paper towel to rub the skins off. The beets are ready to be sliced or cubed and served with a vinaigrette or in salads or in any way you prefer.

Variation: Put an equal amount of medium or small onions in with the beets. If quite small they can remain whole but half or quarter larger onions.