Cooking with Cathy

As all of us have been stuck at home, we know our cooking skills have been put to the test.

We checked in with Cathy to see what she's been up to in the kitchen lately:

"I’m sick of cooking – fresh out of ideas.  If I have to tear 1 more head of  romaine  for a salad, or think of another marinade for chicken, I’m going to scream.  And..... I’m only cooking for TWO PEOPLE!!

The flip side is I LOVE to bake, and have been baking up a storm.  It’s my therapy.  I deliver cookies and cakes to my friends and to hospitals, because we don’t need it in the house.  Although I’ve had more than my share of failures these past 6 weeks, here are a few recipes I’d love to share that are definitely winners."

- Cathy

Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

This recipe was sent to me from a good friend who discovered the recipe on Leite's Culunaria.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar, preferably light
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (8 oz), at room temperature
  • 1 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy (though we all know crunchy is better)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon hot water

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the granulated and brown sugars and butter on high until light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla, reduce the speed to medium, and beat until thoroughly combined.

Mix the flour and salt together in a small bowl. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour and salt to the peanut butter mixture and blend thoroughly. In a small bowl, stir together the baking soda and hot water and add it to the cookie dough, mixing until just combined.

Drop the dough in heaping tablespoons onto the parchment. Gently press a fork into each cookie, first vertically, then horizontally, to create the classic peanut butter cookie crisscross. (If an extra sparkly, extra crunchy cookie is desired, dip your fork in a little granulated sugar prior to pressing it into the dough.)

Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, until the cookies have barely begun to turn golden at the edges. Let the cookies cool for a minute or more on the baking sheet, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool at least a little. (The cookies will get crisper the longer they cool.)

Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Brown Butter Blondies

These blondies by Duff Goldman are delicious as they are, but sometimes I will add in some white chocolate chips or chopped Skor bars for an extra treat.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter
  • 3 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9- by 13-inch baking pan.

Place the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat to cook. Check it after about 10 minutes; it should be a medium-brown color, not too light, not too burned. Once it reaches that color, take it off the heat and let it cool.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or an electric mixer), beat the cooled brown butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix, scraping the sides of the bowl, until fully incorporated. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until combined.

Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake the blondies for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few crumbs stuck to it. (I like these blondies gooey, so I go with a little less time).

Let cool, then slice and store individually wrapped in plastic so the sides won't dry out. Store in the freezer or at room temperature.

Mr. Lou's Key Lime Pie

I discovered this recipe from Emeril Lagasse and have made it time and time again.

Ingredients: 

  • 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • Two 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup fresh Key lime juice or fresh-squeezed regular lime juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a medium bowl. Press together with your hands. Press the mixture firmly onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan, and bake until golden brown around the edges and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and allow to cool completely before filling.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

Combine the condensed milk, lime juice, and eggs in a large bowl, and whisk until well blended. Pour the filling into the cooled pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes; allow to cool to room temperature, then chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Once chilled, combine the sour cream and confectioners' sugar and spread over the top of the pie with a spatula. Sprinkle the lime zest on top as a garnish and serve chilled. *Sometimes instead of sour cream and confectioner's sugar, I use 2 cups heavy whipping cream (whipped) and sugar to taste.

 

Any of these sweet treats would be great to share with Mom this Mother's Day. Have fun trying them out, and let us know what you think. If you try one one of these delightful desserts, share it with us on social media. Just tag @tivolkc.

Happy Mother's Day!

-The TIVOL Team