A few weeks ago I was talking to my friend Pam about Martha Stewart’s cookie book. Pam has it and loves it but I’m not a huge Martha fan so I was skeptical. I decided to try out a recipe from Martha’s website before buying the book.

(Please excuse the picture. I took it in my bed because that’s where I ate every single one of these cookies. I have no shame.)

I went with Martha’s black and white cookies because when I was pregnant and working at Starbucks I ate one of these everyday. My co-workers joked that they always knew when I was there because they would find the remains (the dark chocolate part. bleh) on the desk in the back. I just loved how soft they were with the hard white chocolate on top. Mmm.

These cookies were exactly like my beloved Starbucks cookies. Well I used milk chocolate instead of dark, but that only made them better. They were soft and lemony and perfect.

I still haven’t bought Martha’s book. It’s on my list right after about 30 other things. I definitely want to pick it up eventually. I’m officially sold on Martha.

Black and White Cookies.
from Martha Stewart
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cake flour not self-rising
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar sifted
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup plus more if needed
  • 1 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until smooth. Add milk, and whisk to combine. Whisk in melted butter and extracts. Add flour mixture, and stir to form a smooth dough. Cover, and chill for 1 hour.
  2. Line baking pans with Silpat nonstick baking mats. Using a 2-ounce scoop, drop five cookies per pan, 3 inches apart. Bake until edges are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack set over parchment paper to cool.
  3. In a small bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, 3 tablespoons hot water, and corn syrup. Whisk until smooth. Using a small offset spatula, ice half of each cookie. Return cookies to rack to drip, if necessary.
  4. Add chocolate to remaining icing. Stir until smooth. Add additional corn syrup to thin to desired consistency, if necessary. Spread chocolate icing over second half of each cookie. Allow cookies to set, about 10 minutes.
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Well haven’t I been a bad Daring Baker? I’ve sat out the last two challenges but I’m back. June’s challenge was chosen by Kelly of Sass & Veracity and Ben of What’s Cookin’?. The recipe they chose was a danish braid which sounded pretty intimidating at first. After reading through the recipe I realized that it’s a pretty basic pastry dough but then you fold in a butter block, which is just butter and flour. It ended up being really easy and really fun, although all the turning and folding left me a little confused.

Braid
We were given the option of using an apple filling recipe that was provided to us but I decided to go with something a little more exciting. So I bought rhubarb for the first time and decided to get over my fear of the funny looking stuff. I ended up making an amazing strawberry and rhubarb filling but I can’t for the life of me remember exactly how I did it.

Braid
I also softened a block of cream cheese, mixed in some powdered sugar, and spread that out over the dough before I added the filling. It turned out great!

To see the full recipe, head over to Kelly’s blog. And check out the blogroll to see all the different variations the DBs came up with.

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It’s gotten far too easy for me to fall into a lunch rut. The kid eats pretty much the same thing everyday: a slice of ham or turkey, green beans, peas, carrots, or a combination of the 3, and a piece of fruit. Me? I usually skip lunch because I never know what to eat. So my new goal is to make a couple lunches each week. Actual meals, not PB&J.

Thai salad

My first attempt was this oh-so-pretty Crunchy Thai Noodle Salad. It was colorful and fun and I’m sure most people would really like it. One of the main ingredients of the dressing is sesame oil and I always seem to forget that I hate sesame oil. I love the smell of it, but I hate the taste. Weird, right? I think I’m going to play around with it and see if I can find a good substitution that’s not so over-powering.

That being said, the husband shocked me by eating 2 huge bowls of it. Normally he turns his nose up at anything that doesn’t have a large piece of meat sticking out of it. Even the kid ate a bowl of it.

Crunchy Thai Noodle Salad
Ingredients
For the dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup tamari soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the salad:
  • 1 pound spaghetti or linguine
  • 2 cups mung bean sprouts
  • 1 cucumber peeled, seeded, and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 carrot peeled and grated
  • 3 scallions very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts
Instructions
  1. Cook noodles until al dente. Drain thoroughly and rinse the noodles under cold running water. Place noodles in a very large serving bowl.
  2. In a medium sized bowl whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. Pour the dressing on the noodles and toss well. Mix in all remaining ingredients except peanuts. Let the noodles sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with the chopped peanuts sprinkled on top.
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I think this was my favorite TWD week yet! Madam Chow was up to bat and chose Dorie’s Pecan Honey Sticky Buns. The day before the recipe was announced, my husband and I sat on the couch together practically drooling over the picture of these sticky buns in Dorie’s book so I squealed with delight when I saw the announcement.

The sticky buns start with a brioche dough which I’ve never made before. It wasn’t really hard to do, but I thought my poor stand mixer was going to explode. After 10 minutes of mixing, my dough still looked more like batter so I ended up adding quite a bit more flour to it. So that caused me to worry that I’d really messed up the dough but it rose like a champ. I punched it down every 30 minutes for 2 hours just like Dorie said and was able to roll it out with no problems the next morning. After I filled and rolled the dough up, I had to stick it in the freezer for a few minutes because the rolls weren’t keeping their shape as I tried to cut them. Worked perfectly.

These sticky buns did not disappoint. They were gooey and sticky and delicious right out of the oven. I don’t usually like honey and found it to be a bit overpowering at first, but after my 4th sticky bun (yeah…) I really started to like it. My only complaint is that after I put them in the fridge they were really hard to separate and I broke them all in half trying to get one. By that point, though, I wasn’t so much worried about appearance as I was wanting to shove them in my mouth.

I see these become a regular in our weekend breakfast routine and I plan on telling everyone I know about them. Mmm. To see the rest of the sticky buns check out the Tuesdays with Dorie blogroll.

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I’ll admit that the reason I was drawn to this recipe when I saw it on Elle’s New England Kitchen is because the recipe specifically calls for Frank’s Hot Sauce and I have a slight obsession with it. And then I read more and saw that the recipe won the Royal Foodie Joust. And the sauce has mango! I had to try them.

The wings were really good. I think I would’ve preferred baking them without sauce and then coating them but the husband loved them. The recipe included a mango lime cream dipping sauce. Neither one of us liked it. It was good on its own but not with chicken.

Mango Buffalo Wings
Ingredients
For the wings:
  • 20 chicken wings
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce or another hot sauce, if you prefer
  • 1/2 cup pureed mango
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or canola oil
For the Mango Lime Cream Dipping Sauce:
  • 1 1/2 cups pureed mango
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 3/8 tsp cardamom
Instructions
To make the wings:
  1. Heat oven to 400F. In a large ziptop bag, combine flour and dry spices.
  2. Add the wings to the bag, seal, and toss to coat.
  3. Place the wings on a plate and chill in the fridge for about 30-35 minutes.
  4. In a bowl, mix the pureed mango and hot sauce. Stir in melted butter or oil.
To make the sauce:
  1. Add all ingredients to food processor or blender and process until well blended. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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