martha’s pecan tassies

ok so i’m back from being all m.i.a. like i said before i was a tad bit overwhelmed with things so i decided to take a break. and it was much needed. i have some things going on around me that have made me overwhelmed lately and taking the minute to back away from the blog and trying to make stuff to post helped.

see here’s part of the deal…

from reading the food blogs that i do, i realize that a lot of bloggers make stuff in advance and have a store of recipes that they can pull out months later. i don’t tend to do that. yes, i do have some unpublished items but for the most part, i post what i make that week/weekend. so i took a break. while i did cook, it was mostly dinner and while i did try some new recipes that were fantastic, when i was cooking they weren’t meant to be photographed and shared. but they were yummy enough that they will be made again and shared.

now that my apology for going all m.i.a on you is over, let’s move on to the newest martha’s cookie madness….

first let me tell you i had an epic fail with one of martha’s cookies. which kinda works out since i took a week off. buuuut then i had to find a replacement. back to the fail… because i feel it needs to be shared with you.

so i was going to make martha’s oatmeal raisin cookies because some people at the office like them. not me. i don’t like raisins. yuck. but anyways. so i mixed up this batch thinking it would work. ummmm they were flat. and when i say flat, i mean i think that aside from the color difference there probably was no way to tell there was anything on the cookie sheet. showing you the pictures won’t do the fail justice. trust me. i know you’re sitting there thinking… “how did martha create such a terrible recipe?” well i mean aside from the fact that it’s raisins, she didn’t. see the recipe calls for wheat germ. which i couldn’t find any where and i even looked at whole foods. that stuff is not around in this town. so i just left it out. moral of the story is if martha tells you to use wheat germ, you better listen… or just find something else.

like pecan tassies.

so these babies aren’t really what i would consider a “cookie” but i’m not really sure what to call them. they’re like mini pecan pies. but not. they’re not in a traditional pie crust so let’s just leave it at tassies. that’ll work. they were yummy too. and all gone. quickly.

pecan tassies

  • 1/2 c pecans + 3/4 c toasted and chopped pecans
  • 1/2 c (4 oz) mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 c (1/2 stick) + 1 tbs butter, room temp
  • 3/4 c flour
  • pinch + 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tbs maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. preheat oven to 350F. spray a mini-muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. process the 1/2 c pecans in a food processor until finely ground, set aside. beat together mascarpone and 1/4 c butter until well blended. add flour, ground pecans and a pinch of salt; mix until just combined.
  3. roll dough into 1 in balls and press into the mini-muffin tin cups. make sure to press some dough up the sides so you have a well for your pecan filling.
  4. whisk together egg, brown sugar, maple syrup, 1 tbs butter, vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp salt. stir in the pecans. spoon about 1 1/2 tsp filling into each muffin cup.
  5. bake the pecan tassies until the crust begins to turn golden and the filling sets, about 15 min. let cool completely in the muffin tin before unmolding.

if you can’t find / don’t want to use mascarpone, you can use cream cheese instead. i’m a cream cheese hater but if i hadn’t had mascarpone, this is the type of recipe i could have used cream cheese for since it’s in the crust and you can’t taste it. but you should use mascarpone because it’s better. for real.

kisses.

recipe from: martha stewart’s cookie cookbook

take time for a pause

this post is going to be short and sweet…

seriously.

when i took on this blogging and subsequently martha’s cookie madness, i did it for fun. i’m still having fun but it has overwhelmed me slightly over the last week so i took it off. i’ll be back with more stuff real soon. promise.

i also wanted to take a moment to send thoughts and prayers to colorado today. i cannot imagine the horror that that community is going through and i geniunely hope that they can find the strength to move forward during this time.

kisses.

pulled pork nachos

so i may have mentioned it once or twice that i’m trying to become a gym rat. and i have to say i’ve been doing pretty good at the goal.

why do i mention this yet again?

well becoming a gym rat makes me feel less guilty about eating stuff like this.

see i totally alluded to these the other day and now i’m finally sharing them with you. these are definitely a work in progress but it’s little tweaks (like perfecting the homemade tortilla chips) so i feel that i shouldn’t hold out.

i don’t know about where you live, but food trucks seem to popping up and are big time. i LOVE it. it should be pretty obvious that i’m a “foodie” (i still hate that term so let’s come up with something better) so having these food trucks around town is an awesome thing. this town still has a long way to go (i’m looking at you butchers and tapas bars…. please come here) but it’s slowly getting along. back to the food trucks… these nachos were inspired by the local taco truck. they featured them as a special and i knew i had to try them. i mean pulled pork and cheese and all kinds of goodness. how did i not think of this brillance before? so i tried them. and now i’m totally ripping them off recreating their dish.

pulled pork nachos

  • pulled pork – i would say about 1 – 2 c worth, drain it well so your chips don’t get super soggy
  • tortilla chips – about 2 handfuls per person
  • cheese sauce – recipe below
  • fresh cilantro – about a good handful or two
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • pickled jalapenos – 2-3 tbs worth
  • radishes, sliced thin – i used about 5-6
  1. layer your ingredients to make the most amazing nachos: tortilla chips then cheese sauce then pulled pork then cilantro then red onion then radishes finally some pickled jalapenos

cheese sauce

  • 8-12 oz cheese – i used closer to 12 oz and a mix of pepperjacks (habenero, roasted and green hatch)
  • 1 c evaporated milk – buy a 12 oz can just to be on the safe side
  • 1 tbs corn starch
  • 1-2 tbs hot sauce, or less/more depending on taste
  1. combine the cheese and corn starch in a bowl and toss to combine. transfer to a medium saucepan and add the 1 c of evaporated milk and hot sauce. cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until it is all melted together and thickened. if it looks super thick to you, add a splash or so of the extra evaporated milk until you’re happy with it.

a couple of things…

in the sake of honesty, taco de paco adds beans to their nachos. i don’t eat beans so i don’t mention adding them in your layers. but hey. if you want to add some beans to these go for it.

this made 3 very healthy servings of nachos that served as our main (and pretty much only) meal of the day (like i totally took a 2 hour nap after eating). you could make smaller portions or double up your ingredients if you’re making them for more than 3 people.

can i have used totally any more times in this post? obnoxious i know but i really do say it too much. i should work on that.

oh and just in case you were wondering.. these are my first creation that i’ve come up with for this little blog which means you should totally make them asap to celebrate.

kisses

cheese sauce recipe very slightly adapted from: serious eats

cookie dough frosted soft sugar cookies

so i’m totally in love.

and i have been for a while.

like nearly my entire life a while.

it’s been this love affair that i haven’t been particularly open about… see it’s not exactly good for me.

i love cookie dough.

there. i said it.

it’s been well documented on here that i love cookies in general. i mean… i’m doing martha’s cookie madness for the rest of the year. but when it comes to cookie dough. that’s a-whole-nother infatuation. like i may or may not have been known to buy the break and place cookie dough and not baked anything from the pack. and i may or may not have eaten cookie dough for dinner a couple of times in sheer laziness. there’s a rare chance that those two statements are fact.

another infatuation i have… those soft iced sugar cookies that you can get at the grocery store. you know the ones. they have that icing that changes colors depending on the season / holiday. the super soft ones. yeah. you know what i’m talking about. well this happens to combine both these love affairs.

i know right!

see i was browsing pinterest the other day and came across this recipe. i knew i needed these in my life asap. i mean soft sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookie dough buttercream?! duh.

cookie dough frosted soft sugar cookies

  • 1/2 c vegetable shortening, room temperature
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 c + 1/3 c heavy cream, room temperature
  • 3 tsp vanilla, divided
  • 1/2 tsp + 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 c + 1/3 c flour
  • 3/4 c (1 1/2 sticks) softened, unsalted butter
  • 1/3 c light brown sugar, packed
  • 4 c powdered sugar
  • 1/2 c mini chocolate chips
  1. beat together shortening and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. add eggs, one at a time making sure each addition is throughly incoporated. add the 1/4 cheavy cream and half the vanilla, beat until smooth. add 1/2 tsp salt, baking soda and baking powder until combined. follow with the 4 c flour, 1 c at a time. if the dough looks a little sticky, add 1 tbs of flour at a time until the dough is no longer sticky. cover and refrigerate for at least 30 min, or overnight.
  2. preheat oven to 350F. line your baking sheets with parchment / silpat.
  3. roll your dough out to 3/8 in thick. using a 3 in cookie cutter, cut out the dough and place the circles on the lined cookie sheets. bake 8-10 min, or until tops are puffed and no longer shiny. be careful not to over bake. transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. while cookies are cooling completely, put together your buttercream. beat together the brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. add in the remaining flour, salt and vanilla. beat in 4 c of powdered sugar, 1 c at a time, mixing each addition well. add heavy cream and beat until fluffy. you want the frosting to be thick but spreadable so if you need some additional powdered sugar, add it 1/4 c at a time.
  5. frost your cookies using about 1 heaping tbs of buttercream per cookie. sprinkle with mini chips, pressing so they stick.

so that’s the best combination ever! soft sugar cookies + cookie dough buttercream = greatness. these really were the perfect combination and balance. the cookies weren’t overly sweet so they balanced perfectly with the sweet frosting.

oh and remember how i said i was told that one of martha’s cookies tied for a coworker’s favorite? well these were the other cookies that were in that tie. so that naturally means you should try them. like today.

kisses.

recipe from: iowa girl eats via the cookie dough lover’s cookbook

martha’s citrus cornmeal shortbread cookies

happy day after july 4th!!

i hope everyone had a fun time even though someone in the universe decided that the holiday should fall in the middle of the freaking week. i mean really… can we just outlaw that from happening? a wednesday? boo. it’s not like you can really do anything super exciting because hey you have to work the next day. for real.

although you can make cookies.

which i totally didn’t do but i did make nachos (coming soon!).

but i did make these cookies at the beginning of the week for more of martha’s cookie madness. and can i just tell you that these were a hit… like seriously. not quite as much as the banana walnut cookies or the rice krispie chocolate chip cookes but a hit nonetheless. i have been told that they tie for first place among the cookies that i’ve brought to the office.

and it’s not a lie that these are good. they had the potential to be a little weird. i mean cornmeal in a cookie that’s rolled with cornmeal on the edges? that’s not exactly something you can go buy at the store. but you should be able to. just saying.

citrus cornmeal shortbread cookie

  • 1 c (2 sticks) softened, unsalted butter
  • 3/4 c powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp orange zest – i just zested one large orange
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 tbs + 1/4 c yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. beat together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. add vanilla and orange zest; mix until combined. add flour, 2 tbs cornmeal and salt; mix until just combined. halve dough and shape into logs about 1 1/2 in in diameter. wrap each log in plastic and refrigerate until cold; at least an hour.
  2. preheat oven to 300F and line your pans with parchment / silpat.
  3. place remaining 1/4 c of cornmeal on a sheet of parchment or wax paper. roll one log in the cornmeal to coat. cut into 1/4 in thick rounds and place 1 in apart on the lined cookie sheet. bake until pale golden, 25-30 min. cool completely on a wire rack.

here’s my take… the shortbread was awesome. it reminded everyone of the butter cookies you can get in a tin except only elevated because of the orange zest. the only thing i’ll do different next time is to roll the cookies in coarse sugar or maybe even some orange sugar instead of the cornmeal. the cornmeal crust wasn’t necessary to me and in fact i found it to be just a little too much. i think the sugar crust would be better. but hey. they were good either way.

kisses.

recipe from: martha stewart’s cookie cookbook