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Deep Dish Pizza Tauren Style

January 10th, 2014 · No Comments

My family loves pizza! We have it at least two to three times per week. I know, that’s a lot of pizza. I have developed a standard pizza crust and sauce recipe that everyone is happy with, but I wanted to expand my repertoire to include some variety. Enter the deep dish pizza. I found a great recipe from the nice folks over at King Arthur Flour, but naturally I have modified mine to accommodate my family of picky eaters and the ingredients available in my area.

Please note that this is Tauren style deep dish pizza, not “Chicago style.” I have never been to Chicago and I have no idea what true Chicago style pizza is like. I just know that this pizza tastes great and my family loves it!

This pizza is not for the diet-conscious, the strict vegan, or those who fear cholesterol. Even if you substitute veggies for the meat, there is still a lot of oil and cheese in this pizza, and that means lots of calories. Of course you could eat just one small piece . . nah! who am I kidding? Once you try it you will not be able to eat just one small piece.

A FEW NOTES:

DOUGH — I make the dough in my bread machine, because it works great and I have more free time to do the other 100 things I need to do. You can make the dough using a stand mixer with dough hook or the old fashioned way. It all works and it all tastes great. The dough has three kinds of oil: olive oil, vegetable oil, and butter. (There is a lot of oil in this pizza!)

I bake my pizzas in cast iron skillets, which works great and gives the crust the perfect finish. The pizzas come out of the skillets with no sticking problems, even with the 4-inch deep skillet. This may be because my skillets are so well seasoned; I inherited them from my grandmother and they are seasoned from many years of use.  It is just a bit tricky with the 4-inch deep skillet to keep the pizza from folding up or splitting the crust while getting it out.

Feel free to use two round 9-inch cake pans if you don’t have cast iron skillets or a single 14-inch deep dish pizza pan. If you have only one cast iron skillet, make the pizzas one at a time. If you are lucky enough to have two, you can bake them in the oven at the same time side-by-side.

Make sure to add oil to your pan before placing the crust in it. (Did I mention that there is a lot of oil in this pizza?)

See KAF for instructions for using a single 14″ pizza pan, making dough by hand, etc.

This recipe calls for par-baking (pre-baking) the crust before filling it with cheese, meat, etc.  Some say that the par-baking is not necessary. The crust is not really any thicker than regular pizza crust; it just has high sides to hold all of the filling. That thick filling, however, may be the reason for the par-baking step.  Extra filling ingredients mean more moisture on the raw crust, and that may prevent the crust from being cooked properly. I will try skipping this step at some point and report on the result.

FILLING — My recipe lists the amounts of filling per pizza, because half of the family will not eat all of the delicious things that the other half wants in the pizza, so I have to make each filling separately.  (I have to make one pizza with plain old pizza sauce in place of the delightful tomatoes and seasonings and limit the filling to cheese and pepperoni. I like to think that I am not alone in this situation.) Use the ingredient list as a guideline and modify it to accommodate your household. If you wish to make two pizza exactly the same double the filling ingredients listed.

You will notice that in deep dish pizza the filling ingredients are layered in the crust in a different order than with standard flat pizza. First comes the cheese, next the meat and/or vegetables (all precooked and/or sauteed first,) then the tomatoes and seasonings (not pizza “sauce”,) and finally a bit more cheese and some more olive oil. (I”ll say it again:  there is a lot of oil in this pizza!)

The KAF recipe calls for sliced mozzarella cheese, but that is prohibitively expensive in my area, so I use shredded mozzarella from my neighb0rhood Costco. That is also what I put on the top of the pizza and I have not heard any complaints.

Taurens like our pizza with meat, but if you want a veggie version simply substitute about 1 cup of sautéed vegetables of your choice.

dd-pizza-01

Deep dish pizza with Polska Kielbasa, artichoke hearts, black olives, spinach, and onions

Ingredients:

Crust for two 10-inch deep dish pizzas; ingredients listed in bread machine order

  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or salad oil
  • 4 cups (17 oz.)   All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast

Filling Per 10-inch Pizza

  • 6  to 8 ounces sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 14-ounce can plum or other whole tomatoes, lightly crushed and chopped;
    OR 14-ounce can diced or chopped tomatoes
  • more minced garlic, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, optional (This adds great flavor imo ~G.)
  • 1 teaspoon mixed dried Italian herbs (1/4 tsp each of basil, oregano, marjoram, rosemary)
  • 6 to 8 ounces precooked pizza meat, sliced or crumbled (sausage, salami, linguiça, ham, bacon, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onions
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (about 1 or 2 cloves)
  • Optional add-ins, such as sliced black olives, spinach leaves, artichoke hearts, etc.
  • Optional 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese can be used in place of an additional 2 to 3 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil for drizzling, optional
dd-pizza-04a

Deep Dish Pizza with salami, bacon, linguiça, black olives, and onions

Directions:

Making the Dough and Par-baking the Crust —

Place ingredients in your bread machine in the order listed above, or follow your bread machine instructions. Select the dough setting.

Just before the bread machine cycle ends, prepare your pizza pans. You can use two 9-inch pie pans, or, my favorite, two 10-inch (#8) cast iron skillets. Grease your chosen pan(s) with olive oil, vegetable oil, or cooking spray, being sure to oil the bottom of the pan, and partway up the sides.

If you have a kitchen scale (how did I ever get along without one?) use your scale to divide your dough in equal halves. Don’t worry if you do not have a kitchen scale; just eyeball it and you will come out with something close enough.

Start preheating the oven to 425°F.

Form each half into a ball, and then flatten it out into a circle. Pat each half into one of the prepared pans and push and stretch it out to fit the pan the best you can. It may shrink up a bit at first, but don’t worry; it will fit.

Cover and allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes.

NOTE:  If you are having trouble with the dough, and it just doesn’t seem to want to stretch out, place it on a microwave safe plate and pop it into the microwave on high for 15 to 20 seconds or so. This will warm it up and relax it. Give it more microwave time if it seems to need more, but try to keep it under one minute.

After the dough has rested, stretch it some more. Gently manipulate it and shape it to fit the pan, pushing it up the sides to form a pizza crust reservoir to hold all of those delicious ingredients. (I enjoy this part; the dough is soft, slightly warm, and it feels alive from the yeast.) Allow the dough to rest for another 15 minutes or so until your oven reaches 425°F.

Now you are going to par-bake the crust so that it sets up nice and firm to hold all the cheesey goodness.

If you desire, you can line the raw dough crust with a square of aluminum foil and fill it with dry beans – pinto, white, kidney, any sort will do. This helps the crust to keep its shape while it pre-bakes. The beans can be re-used for this same purpose.

Par-bake the crust in the 425°F oven for 10 minutes, until it is set and just beginning to brown.

Crust before par-baking

Crust before par-baking

Filling —

While the crust bakes, prepare the filling:

Drain the tomatoes completely, and slightly crush or roughly chop them if they are whole. Add in the seasonings and sugar. You may want to add salt to taste, especially if you use “no salt added” tomatoes.

Sauté 1/2 cup onions and 1 tsp garlic in olive oil. Add in the cooked meat and continue to sauté until the onions are golden and soft.

After the crust is pre-baked, cover the bottom evenly with 4 to 5 ounces of sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese. Layer on the sautéed meat and onion mixture, and follow with the tomato-herb mixture.

Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella (or optional grated Parmesan or Asiago,) and, if you like, drizzle with an optional 1 Tablespoon olive oil.

Bake the Pizza —

Bake the pizzas at 425°F for about 25 minutes on the same rack, side-by-side. When done the filling should be bubbling hot and the top cheese should be a nice golden brown.

Remove the pans from the oven. Depending on the pans you use, it may be challenging to lift the whole pizza out of the pan in one piece.  A really deep skillet (one of mine is about 4-inches deep) presents some difficulty.

If you can remove it in one piece, allow it to cool for about 15 minutes before cutting. Don’t be surprised if your crew turns mutinous at this point. The reason for the delay as KAF says is ” for less oozing” when you cut it.  My family doesn’t mind a bit of ooze, but, oh, they do mind the wait!

deep dish pepperoni pizza

Your basic deep dish pepperoni pizza, fresh and hot out of the oven . .

Give this recipe a try when you want to change up your standard pizza night. I think that you will like it. Let me know what you think.

Next time I will post my tried and true, standard pizza crust dough and pizza sauce recipes.

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Warm up with Cardiac Arrest Coffee

December 15th, 2013 · No Comments

Well, the microwave died last night, and I had no idea how much I had come to depend on it until I tried to follow my usual daily routine. Sigh. Just at this moment I cannot replace it, so I will going microwave-less for a while.

It has been so cold recently, though today the high temp was a balmy 45 degrees F (that’s 7.2 C for my metrically inclined friends.) It was so nice to take my dog Spartacus to the park and not freeze for a change. It is still fairly brisk, though, and I wanted a warming drink when I returned to the domicile. Feeling very sorry for myself with the loss of the microwave I decided to treat myself to a favorite coffee that my DH and I discovered at a local coffee house. Unfortunately, that same coffee house has changed hands several times since we enjoyed this particular drink there. I do so hope the new owners are successful.

Without further ado, here it is, a sure fire way to warm up on these cold days and get a jolt of java at the same time – the cardiac arrest coffee.

cardiac arrest EspressoCardiac Arrest Ingredients:

  • two shots of espresso,
  • 1 Tablespoon of honey,
  • 1 Tablespoon of chocolate syrup (something like Hershey’s is fine,)
  • 3 to 4 ounces of steamed milk or half & half (half cream and half milk,)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon,
  • 1/8 teaspoon of powdered or ground ginger, and
  • a dash each of nutmeg and cayenne pepper.

That dash of cayenne pepper is essential; it gives the coffee a wonderful warmth.

I usually heat the milk in the microwave while I make the espresso. Oops, not today! Dead microwave!  So, I decided to heat the milk and the quite solid honey (cold house) in a saucepan on the stove. (I have tried this with the frothing wand also, and it works that way, too.)

I got things started: ground some nice dark beans, filled up the espresso maker, turned it on, began heating the milk and honey (doesn’t that sound nice,) and then discovered that someone had finished off our chocolate syrup. Undeterred, I rummaged around and found some milk chocolate chips in the cupboard. I had to try a few to make certain they were the right thing, then I tossed a few into the milk and honey, tried a few more to confirm they were indeed milk chocolate, and melted them into the nice hot mixture.

When the espresso was done I mixed it all together and seasoned it with my warming spices. Yumm and yumm! This hits the spot!

Try it yourself and let me know what you think.

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Easy OREO Cookie Truffles

December 2nd, 2013 · 1 Comment

Here’s a great way to create Cookie Truffles to satisfy your chocolate cravings without a lot of work. Approved by Humans, Elves, and nearly everyone else. Well, Ok, Goblins don’t like them because they don’t explode… 😉

Oreo Cookie Truffles with White Drizzle and White DipThis is a recipe that my wife (the real Tauren Chef) found on the Kraft site (here’s the original.)

Would you believe this recipe has over 1100 5 star ratings? It’s so easy that even Orcs can make them.

No baking is required.

We found that these taste great! They have a slightly firm, crisp outer shell with a smooth, creamy center that does not taste like cream cheese, but rather tastes just like chocolatey goodness. Yumm!!

We can’t wait to try other flavor combinations and other decorating ideas. Oreos come in an enormous selection of flavors, including limited edition flavors (I kid you not!) and I see no reason why this recipe shouldn’t work with your local store brand version of Oreos, too.

Some ideas: for the winter holidays decorate with red and green melties or sprinkles, or roll in crushed peppermint candies; use golden Oreos with white baking chocolate dip and red & pink sprinkles for Valentine’s Day, use mint Oreos and green candy coating for St. Patrick’s Day,  etc. Get flavor creative with mint Oreos, lemon cookies, raspberry filled cookies, etc. Many people seem to fancy Nutter Butter cookies. These are reported to work well with low-fat cream cheese, but I haven’t tried that yet, so I can’t promise anything,

If you want to make these look really special, maybe for a gift, place each truffle in a paper foil or mini muffin liner and put them in a little decorative box. A sweet treat!

A really long list of ingredients:

  1. 36 OREO Cookies, finely crushed
  2. 1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened (at room temperature, not melted)
  3. 4 pkg. (4 oz. each, 16 oz total) Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate Squares, broken into pieces, melted
  4. Optional: Melty Candy Coating, white, chocolate, whatever color you like. You can find the stuff at Winco, maybe your local store, or on Amazon

You will also need:

  1. Sheet of waxed paper
  2. Baking sheet
  3. Tall container for dipping, such as a 2 cup measuring glass,
  4. and a couple of forks

Very Complicated Instructions

  1. Crush the Oreos. It is really easy to crush the cookies, a few at a time,  in a blender on the Grind setting or in a food processor. Set aside about 1/8 to 1/4 cup of the crushed cookies, to use for dusting the cookie balls, as you can see in the picture.
  2. Lay the sheet of waxed paper onto the baking sheet.
  3. Mix the remaining cookie crumbs and cream cheese together until well blended. Be sure that your cream cheese is just softened, not melted. Leave it out on the counter for 30 minutes or so. Basically it should be at room temperature. This is where some cooks go wrong. If the cream cheese has been over-softened (maybe getting carried away with the microwave?)  the truffles will not set up properly and you will end up with a sloppy (yet tasty) mess.
  4. Shape into 48 or so 1″ balls, and set them on the waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Rolling between your palms works well to shape them.
  5. Chill the cookie balls on the cookie sheet into the refrigerator for about an hour, or into the  freezer for about 15 minutes. This firms up the cookie balls so that they do not fall apart when dipped into the melted chocolate.
  6. Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe 2 cup measure. Melt on full power in 30 second intervals, stirring between each one, for about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, or until melted. We only used 8 ounces of the chocolate. You may want to start with that amount and melt more as needed.
  7. Dip the chilled cookie balls into the melted chocolate and place them on the waxed paper. You can pierce a cookie ball with a fork and dip it; let the excess drip back into the melted chocolate, and then use a second fork to ease it off onto the waxed paper.
  8. Optional: melt the optional white melty candy coating and drizzle it over the chocolate-covered balls. We did it in stripes, using a fork and dropping the white melty from the fork tines.
  9. Sprinkle with the reserved cookie crumbs while the chocolate is soft.
  10. Refrigerate for an hour or so, until your cookie truffles are firm.

Note: if any of your Oreo Cookie Truffles remain after serving, refrigerate them in a tightly covered container.

A couple more pics of these yummy Oreo Truffle things:

Oreo Cookie Truffles, pic 1

Oreo Cookie Truffles, pic 2

For more killer recipes, check out The Greatest Cookie Recipes of All time.

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The Way of the Brew

September 5th, 2013 · No Comments

If you’re into the brew for your cooking, and/or you’re a Pandaren, you’ll find this article on WoW Insider interesting:

Who knew that there was such a widespread culture and fandom for homebrewing? It took me until last year to discover that brewing your own beer, ale or mead isn’t difficult at all, and you can get started without a burdensome investment of time or equipment. Equally delightful has been the discovery that I already know quite a few homebrewers; the hobby seems to be a natural fit among those of us who enjoy fantasy, gaming, roleplaying, and related revelry.

I knew all things ale would be a natural fit for Well Fed Buff, but I also knew I wouldn’t have room here for a homebrewing play-by-play. Instead, we can cover how to get started with homebrewing, review some seasonal craft brews, and talk about cooking with beer — amusingly enough, an accurate reflection of the reasons you might want to pursue the Way of the Brew in Azeroth. “Note that unlike the other ways, this one doesn’t provide a specific stat and the only thing that gives stats are the banquets,” writes Wowhead commenter Bardiches. “It’s honestly for anyone who loves being drunk or wants to make some cheap banquets.” … Umm, we’re all a bunch of WoW: Mists of Pandaria fans who love to cook, eat, enjoy a brew, and game around here. Perfect!

What I’ve got for you this week, then, is a basic roadmap for anyone interested in learning more about homebrewing. Once we get that ball rolling, I’ll share a few seasonal brews worth investigating this fall and divulge my not-so-secret secret of savory slow cooking. Join us in the comments afterwards to discuss your own favorite homebrew advice and share your favorite ale-augmented recipes.

Here’s the rest: Well Fed Buff: Way of the Brew

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A Most Excellent Carrot Cake Recipe

August 9th, 2013 · 3 Comments

There are a lot of cakes in the World of Warcraft, but no carrot cake recipes. Given the heavy use of carrots in Mists of Pandaria cooking, and everyone’s love of cake, this seems to be a major oversight.

So let’s get on with a REAL Carrot Cake Recipe

You can eat this cake plain, dusted with powdered cheese, or with store bought or homemade cream cheese frosting. The homemade cream cheese frosting recipe that follows is our preference.

Excellent Carrot Cake Ingredients:

The Tauren Chef is Going to Make Some Cake!

  • 2 c. all purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3 c. finely shredded carrots (see shredder, below)
  • 1 c. applesauce (I use plain, unsweetened)
  • 4 eggs

The Directions:

  1. Grease and lightly flour two 9″ round cake pans, or bottom only of a 9″ X 13″ X 2″ baking pan.
  2. Combine dry ingredients (the first six) in bowl of electric mixer.  Add the wet ingredients (next three) and stir until combined. (This prevents the dry ingredients from making a cloud of dust.)
  3. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes until thoroughly combined.
  4. Turn into pans, dividing evenly if you are making a two-layer cake..
  5. Bake at 350º 40 minutes or till done for two-layer cake, 45 to 50 minutes or till done for 9″ X 13″ pan. Cake is done when a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool two-layer cakes on a wire rack for ten minutes in the pan, and then remove and continue to cool before frosting. Frost 9″ X 13″ in pan and serve directly from pan.

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Homemade Awesome Cream cheese frosting

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 3-ounce package (or 3 ounces) of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/4 c. butter (4 Tbsp.)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbs. milk (low fat or regular is fine)

Frosting Directions:

  1. In bowl of electric mixer beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla till light and fluffy.
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating till smooth.
  3. Add milk as needed until frosting reaches desired consistency.
  4. Spread over cooled cake.
  5. Cover leftover cake and store in the refrigerator.

Here’s the link to the Presto Salad Shooter.
.

Mine is about 30 years old and still going strong. At under $30 this is a very reasonable alternative to the expensive slicer shredders on the market, and it sure beats grating 3 cups of carrots by hand with one of those little metal graters.

Use it to make chocolate zucchini cake, too. Healthier version of this recipe coming soon!

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Pandaren Cooking Recipes – Cashew Stir Fry

July 22nd, 2013 · 1 Comment

The Pandaren ChefI’ve been experimenting with Stir-fries and this one seems to fit in with the Pandaren Style. They like their veggies (and meat) and they like pepper.

Now I don’t measure much, I like to go by taste. Does it need more pepper? Add more. How much more? Depends on what you like. Taste it to test.

How much onion? Hmmm, about this much. Don’t like onion? Toss it and add something else.

There are a number of Pandaren cooking recipes and if you’re a WoW player you can see a list of them here. While this is not on that list, it does, as mentioned above, feel about right. Serves 2-4 people or one hungry Pandaren.

Ingredients

  • 2 – 4 oz Salt and Pepper Cashews
  • Half of a medium sweet yellow onion
  • One bundle Scallions (green onions)
  • Zuccini
  • 1/2 pound Green beens or brocolli
  • Two large stems of Bok Choi
  • two boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or one breast)
  • Wok Oil or Pam grilling spray
  • Rice
  • Seasoned salt (regular salt is fine.)
  • Smokehouse pepper (regular pepper is fine.)

You’ll need a Wok or large skillet and a heat proof spatula for stirring everything around. Use heat proof plastic or bamboo tools as metal will scratch any non-stick coatings that your skillet or Wok may have.

Preparation

Feel free to swap ingredients, depending on what you like.

  1. Cook up an appropriate amount of rice in your rice cooker or appropriate device. We often use brown rice, which will take much longer than white rice. For white rice we use that sticky Asian rice.
  2. Chop up the green beans (or broccoli)  into bite sized pieces, place into a microwaveable dish, and nuke for about 5 minutes.
  3. Crunch up the cashews until they are in largish pieces.
  4. Chop the  scallions into one inch long pieces. Bundles vary widely in size, so grab what you feel is a reasonable amount.
  5. Slice the zuccini in half lengthwise, then chop into 1/4″ sections.
  6. Slice the Bok Choi stems lengthwise, then chop into 1″ sections.
  7. Chop the onion into 1″ pieces. If you wash the pieces (and tools) right after the onion chopping there will be a lot less of the tear gas floating around your kitchen.
  8. Cut the chicken into 1/2″ pieces.

Normally the green beans (or broccoli) take much longer to cook than the rest of the ingredients, hence the nuking.

You will want the rice to be done by the time the stir-fry is done, so check your timing. It will take 5-10 minutes to cook everything up, depending on the heat of your wok/skillet and whether or not the phone rings. 😉

Our Pandaren Chef above is nicely rounded, and her male counterpart much more so. If you’d rather not be quite so well rounded then check out the Fat Loss Factor.

Cooking it up

  1. Add 2 tablespoons oil to your skillet/wok and heat it. I uses a high heat with a seasoned Wok, if your pan is teflon coated keep it down to medium or you’ll kill your coating. 
  2. Test the oil by carefully throwing in a drop of water. If it sizzles and spatter then it’s hot enough. Use your spatula to make sure it covers the surface of the pan.
  3. Once the oil is hot toss the chicken in (it will sizzle/splatter, so be careful.)
  4. Keep stirring it until nearly done. (It will still be a bit translucent.)
  5. Add all the other ingredients, except the rice.
  6. The greens and onions will shrink as they cook, the nuts and broccoli (or green beans) are already there. Use your spatula or other tool to keep turning and stirring the mix.
  7. About halfway through the cooking add some salt and pepper, to your taste.
  8. Keep stirring. You will see that the veggies are cooking down.
  9. If it needs some more Salt and Pepper, sprinkle some more on now. Taste test it.
  10. It’s done when the chicken is firm and no longer translucent. If the veggies and chicken are a tiny bit brown around the edges that’s just right.
  11. Note: if you like it a bit more done, then cook a bit longer.
  12. Turn of the heat and let it sit there while you get the plates.

Scoop out some rice and put it on each of the plates. Then you scoop the stir-fry right on top of the rice.

Serve it up and eat.

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Chocolate Cookies, in WoW and for Real

July 1st, 2013 · No Comments

Yes, there are Chocolate Cookies in WoW. You can even get an “achievement”  by eating a lot of them in-game. Nothing for eating them while playing the game, unfortunately.
(Here’s the WoW recipe. )

Yummy chocolate cookiesNow, in the real world there are 43 bazillion different chocolate cookies recipes.  42.9 bazillion of those are probably pretty good, and the rest are “good enough.”

Anyway, here’s one you’ll probably like, swiped from MyBakingAddiction

I think these look rather dangerous. They’re probably illegal in New York (where large drinks were outlawed.) Might be a good black-market for them in that city…

Levain Bakery Copycat Chocolate Cookies

(Many more copycat recipes are here.)

To quote the author: “This is one serious cookie. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart, weighing in at a whopping 4 ounces and loaded with chocolate.

I certainly did not come up with these giant cookies on my own; they are a  copycat recipe for one of Levain Bakery’s legendary 6 ounce cookies.   Levain Bakery has a fabulous reputation and is hot spot in Manhattan serving  up a variety of baked goods from rustic breads to their signature 6 ounce  Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies. These cookies get a lot of buzz,  if you don’t  believe me, simply do a quick google search, you’ll be inundated with cookie  chatter and many copycat attempts of their secret recipes.”

Chocolate Cookie Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks cold and cubed unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup good quality dark cocoa powder
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour- Spoon and Sweep method
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Scharffen Berger Chunks)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  1. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle, cream together butter and sugar  until well blended and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until well-incorporated,  then beat in cocoa powder.
  2. Mix in flour, salt and baking powder until just combined.  Gently fold in remaining ingredients.
  3. Transfer dough to clean work surface and gently mix dough by hand to  ensure even distribution of ingredients.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven 16-20 minutes depending on how gooey and  raw’ish you like the middles. I wanted the middles of my cookies to as ooey  and gooey as the one I saw on The Best Thing I Ever Ate, so I baked these  for 16 minutes. You can certainly increase the time to 18 minutes if you want  a less raw cookie
  5. Let cool on a rack and store what you don’t immediately eat, in an airtight container.

And then there was much devouring…

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Shrimp and Vegetable Pad Thai Recipe

July 1st, 2013 · No Comments

There isn’t any Pad Thai in the Mists of Pandaria, so let’s make some. Here’s a recipe I grabbed form this place. Feel free to share it elsewhere if you like it.

Total Time: 50 min
Prep: 35 min
Inactive: 5 min
Cook: 10 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Chicken and Shrimp Pad Thai RecipeIngredients For Shrimp and Vegetable Pad Thai

  • 7 ozs rice stick noodles
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsps dark brown sugar (palm)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp tamarind concentrate (optional)
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tbsps peanut oil
  • 12 ozs shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 1 cup firm tofu (diced)
  • 1 cup shiitake mushroom caps (sliced)
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 2 carrots (cut into matchstick sized strips)
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper (strips)
  • 2 tbsps minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup peanuts (roasted unsalted, roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 cup green onions (diagonally sliced)
  • 2 tbsps fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (leaves)
  • sriracha (thai hot sauce for serving)

Directions

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Place noodles in a large bowl and cover with the boiling water. Allow noodles to soak for 5 minutes, drain, and rinse with cold, running water for 30 seconds. Drain well and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, red pepper, coconut milk, and if desired, the tamarind concentrate, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

Heat the sesame and peanut oils in a wok or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Just before the oil is smoking, add the shrimp and cook until pink, stirring constantly. Add the tofu, mushrooms, bean sprouts, carrots, red bell pepper, garlic, and reserved noodles, and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Pour the sauce mixture into the wok and toss until combined. Cook until the mixture is steaming and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the peanuts and green onions and cook an additional 30 seconds.

Remove the wok from the heat and season with the lime juice and cilantro. Serve hot with Sriracha, if desired.

Here’s the original

→ No CommentsTags: Main

Level up Your Cooking Skill from 1 to 425+ During Pilgrim’s Bounty

November 21st, 2011 · No Comments

Pilgrim’s Bounty is the time to level up your cooking skill in WoW. You can go from 1 to over 300 this week using just six recipes that you learn for this special World Event. The required ingredients for each recipe are few and readily available, too. Nothing could be easier.

Travel to the first of the Main cities for your faction listed below. There is no need to visit any other than these three cities.

For Alliance: 1) Stormwind, 2) Ironforge, 3) Darnassus.
For the Horde: 1) Undercity, 2) Orgrimmar, 3) Thunder Bluff.

You will find the special Pilgrim’s Bounty area  just outside or inside the front entrance of each city.

Stormwind or Undercity:

Start by training your Apprentice Cooking skill and learning the basic Spice Bread recipe with the Cooking Trainer at the Pilgrim’s Bounty area.

Next, purchase a Bountiful Cookbook from one of the Bountiful Barrels in the Pilgrim’s Bounty area. The cookbook contains the Pilgrim’s Bounty recipes you will need. The barrels also contain most of the special ingredients you will need for the special recipes. You will have to travel to all three main cities for your faction to obtain all of the ingredients to make all of the recipes.

In Stormwind or Undercity you can obtain the ingredients to make the Spice Bread Stuffing, Pumpkin Pie, and Slow-Roasted Turkey.

While in Stormwind or Undercity you will need to hunt down and kill the wild turkeys that you will find nearby in Elwyn Forest or Tirisfal Glades. Get at least 50 – 100 turkeys for the recipes and daily quests.

Make the Spice Bread recipe for 85 Spice Breads and then turn 80 0f the Spice Bread into Spice Bread Stuffing. You will reach 75 cooking skill during this, so return to the trainer and train your skill up to Journeyman Cooking, and then continue with the Spice Bread Stuffing until you reach 100.

Next learn the Pumpkin Pie recipe and purchase enough pumpkins and honey from the barrel to make 100 pumpkin pies. Make this recipe until you reach 160. (Remember to train at skill 150 to train Expert Cooking, so that you can continue to level up.) Save the ingredients for at least five of the pies until you reach Orgrimmar or Ironforge; you need to pick up the quest before you make the recipe for it to count.

When you reach 160 you can learn the Cranberry Chutney recipe. You will need to move on to Orgrimmar or Ironforge in order to obtain the cranberries necessary to make this recipe.

Orgrimmar or Ironforge:

Purchase cranberries and make Cranberry Chutney until you reach skill 220. Keep enough cranberries to make 20 more chutneys, but don’t make them yet. Remember to train to Artisan Cooking at skill 200. At skill 220 you can learn the Candied Sweet Potato recipe from your Bountiful Cookbook. You will need to visit Darnassus or Thunder Bluff to obtain sweet potatoes to make this recipe.

Thunder Bluff or Darnassus:

Purchase sweet potatoes and make Candied Sweet Potatoes until you reach skill 280. At skill 275 you can train for Master Cooking.

At skill 280 you can learn the final Bountiful Cookbook recipe Slow-Roasted Turkey. Return to Undercity or Stormwind and pick up the Slow-Roasted Turkey quest before you make the Slow-Roasted Turkey. Make this recipe until it no longer levels you up, but note a couple of things:

  1. You get 2 skill points per turkey cooked
  2. The recipe goes grey at 370 or so and it still gives you 2 points of skill per turkey.
  3. At 405 it drops to 1 pt of skill per turkey and start to slow down after 410 or so. It’s really slow after 425. With enough turkey you should be able to hit 430.

Here’s a pic of my level 3 Warlock with 429 cooking skill:

429 Cooking on a Level 3

Congratulations! You’ve gone from 1 to over 425, from Apprentice to Illustrious GrandMaster, in one day!

Click here for a guide to all of the Pilgrim’s Bounty quests: Pilgrim’s Bounty Quests Guide .

→ No CommentsTags: Tauren Chef Ramblings · World of Warcraft Cooking · World of Warcraft Guides

Chilled Raspberry Yogurt Soup

June 2nd, 2011 · No Comments

Are you looking for a way to get more  fresh fruit and calcium into your diet?  This simple recipe from thedairydifference.com can certainly help.

Refreshingly cool raspberry yogurt soup is part chilled soup, part dessert, and all delicious. It also provides more of those fresh fruits we are all trying to get into our diets. Women, especially, will appreciate the extra calcium.

Whip up quick and easy Chilled Raspberry Yogurt Soup in your blender for immediate gratification.

Makes 4 (6-ounce) servings INGREDIENTS:

2 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened raspberries
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 cup milk
Juice and zest of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons juice and 1 1/2 teaspoons zest)
1 to 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Garnish with additional yogurt and raspberries, if desired.

→ No CommentsTags: Desserts · Snacks · Soup