Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Praline Fruit Cookies, a recipe

These started out as something entirely different. Ever had one of those days when you are craving something and have pretty much none of the necessary ingredients? I had one of those days last weekend. And came up with this soft cookie recipe as a work around. I'm not the greatest at shaping drop cookies but no matter the shape, they taste wonderful.

Praline Fruit Cookies
Makes 2 dozen

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup (half a stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup pecan halves, chopped
1/2 cup various dried fruit (I used dried cherries, raisins, and chopped apricots), soaked for a while in brandy or liquid of your choice, then drained (you can add a few drops of the soaking liquid to the cookie dough if you like, but don't add too much or the dough will be too wet.)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
2 tablespoons oat or wheat bran

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cream sugar into butter until completely incorporated. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well. Mix in nuts and drained fruits, then add flour and bran in half cup intervals, mixing well after each addition. Combine thoroughly but do not over-mix.

Spoon out dough in approximately one tablespoon sized mounds onto the baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes until golden and still slightly soft. Allow to cool on baking sheet for a minute or two before transferring the cookies to a cooling rack.

Enjoy, and if you try this let me know how you like it!

The following was calculated at http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp.

Nutrition Facts

User Entered Recipe
  24 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  Total Fat4.4 g
     Saturated Fat1.5 g
     Polyunsaturated Fat0.6 g
     Monounsaturated Fat1.6 g
  Cholesterol25.6 mg
  Sodium9.6 mg
  Potassium70.5 mg
  Total Carbohydrate19.0 g
     Dietary Fiber1.5 g
     Sugars10.8 g
  Protein2.3 g
  Vitamin A4.1 %
  Vitamin B-120.1 %
  Vitamin B-60.5 %
  Vitamin C0.1 %
  Vitamin D0.0 %
  Vitamin E0.9 %
  Calcium1.3 %
  Copper3.1 %
  Folate0.4 %
  Iron2.0 %
  Magnesium1.8 %
  Manganese8.8 %
  Niacin0.7 %
  Pantothenic Acid    0.5 %
  Phosphorus    1.7 %
  Riboflavin0.5 %
  Selenium1.9 %
  Thiamin1.5 %
  Zinc1.0 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Beets beets beets beets beets

I love beets. Let's just get this out there from the beginning. They're sweet and earthy and no matter what I have with them they make me ever so happy.

Organics To You is in full winter mode now. My box yesterday had turnips, tangerines, broccoli, collards, beets, carrots, apples, pears, red onions, a squash that looks like a turban squash (but probably isn't one) and potatoes. Yesterday I made a fantastic Moroccan spiced vegetable medley with a turnip, some broccoli, carrots, onion, garlic, and a leek (leftover from my previous box.) I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. It makes me happy.

The pears are remarkably underripe, though, and I needed to figure something creative to do with them. I'm not as anti-pear as I used to be, but underripe pears remain awful in my mind. I'm sure they'll ripen soon enough but I wanted to do something with the beets and it occurred to me I could use an underripe pear in the process. I poked around for a recipe I could adapt and found one that used jicama. I substituted the pear, and tweaked it a bit more (as I had no orange marmalade nor an actual orange and I don't like to use things like salt) and came up with this.

Beet and Pear Salad with Balsamic Tangerine Vinaigrette
Serves 2, or 4 if they're not sure about the beet

1 medium beet, roasted, cooled, and peeled
1 medium UNDERRIPE d'Anjou pear
half a small red onion
half a tangerine, zest and sections
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Juice from the other half of the tangerine

Slice beet into matchstick pieces. Put in bowl, then cut pear into thin wedges, having them if they are too thick. Slice the onion into thin strips. Combine in a bowl. Zest half the tangerine into the bowl. Add the oil and vinegars, and mix well. Add the tangerine juice, mix again, and then add the tangerine sections. Mix gently, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to combine. Bring to room temperature before serving.

If you like salt, this does taste a bit like it could use some. It might not suffer from some ground black pepper. But at heart, it's a YUM!