Archive for May, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles (!)

I forgot to mention the chocolate chip cookie dough truffles. (Yes, I did contribute to the potluck!)

On Friday night my 13 year old niece, Emily, came over to hang. To sit on the kitchen counter and talk about soccer tryouts (the provincial team! so proud) and boys, mostly. She wanted to bake. Often we make buns, but it was getting late, so chocolate chip cookies were decided on. For the dough, mostly. As we mixed and gabbed she decided to melt some chocolate chips and dip small pretzels into it, like those chocolate dipped pretzels you buy at the store. We sprinkled coarse salt on some, which wasn’t really necessary since the pretzels were covered with crunchy salt to begin with.

We were eating the dough, commenting on its vast superiority to baked cookies themselves, and then decided to chill rolled balls and DIP THEM IN CHOCOLATE. The result, of course, is a crisp chocolate shell with soft cookie dough inside. Hello, my love.

Also? You don’t have to heat up the kitchen. Which I’m happy to report is starting to be an issue.

We managed to save some for the potluck. They went quickly.

You could of course use any cookie dough for these. We used chocolate chip cookie dough – more or less the one on the back of the Chipits bag.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

You don’t need to add baking soda, since these won’t be going into the oven – if you’re going to bake them, add 1 tsp. baking soda to the flour.

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
pinch salt
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars for a minute or two, until fluffy; add the eggs and vanilla and beat again. Add the flour and salt and beat until almost combined; add half the chocolate chips and beat on low speed or stir just until blended.

Shape the dough into large marble-sized balls and place them on an ungreased baking sheet, then refrigerate or freeze until firm.

Melt the rest of the chocolate chips in a bowl in the microwave, or a small pot over low heat on the stovetop (careful it doesn’t burn!) – dip the balls of dough, using a fork if you want to coat them completely. Set them on a sheet of parchment or foil and let sit (or refrigerate) until firm.

Makes lots.

May 31 2011 | cookies & squares and dessert | 27 Comments »

A Potluck!

We did it! We had ourselves a potluck! People came! Even the sun showed up. It was a potluck miracle. I’m still a little breathless about it. I don’t know where to start.

How about at the beginning, when I hopped in the shower just as the doorbell rang? Turns out I told some people 2, and others 3. My mind, of course, was set for 3. I was so unusually completely on the ball. But then again not. So I got to meet everyone with sopping wet – and then varying degrees of dry-ish hair. Somehow it seemed appropriate.

It was so great to meet so many of you in person, and to have you all meet each other! I’m so glad you all were up to coming to a house full of people you had never met – at the house of someone you had never met. We were all kind of in the same boat. The Prosecco helped. My only regret is that I didn’t talk to everyone nearly as much as I wanted to.

The food was amazing. Unreal. It just kept coming in the door, each dish completely different from the last. The Other Al was first, with blueberry loaf. (I made more eccles cakes!)

AJ brought butter tarts. (Which were, it must be said – SUBLIME. I am particular when it comes to butter tarts. My grandma made them about as perfectly as they come. AJ – you nailed it! I tried to hoard them for myself without success.)

This strawberry-rhubarb punch, served with ginger ale, was a total hit. Look at that colour!

Colleen brought beet hummus with cumin, which she spooned onto rounds of cucumber, and then had a Barney purple index finger all afternoon. I loved that so many of you came in with baking sheets and tools and were cooking in my kitchen. LOVED IT.

Cathy brought a big rice salad, with dried cherries, oranges, grapes and pecans, in a royal blue bowl for me to keep. (Eee!)

And there was another big salad.. with avocado! I started to fall behind on my photos quickly.

These beans! Were fantastic.

I’m not sure at what point Mike figured out I had invited the internet over to our house. He got right into it, acting as Name Tag Police, insisting everyone identify themselves. I kept track of who brought what for awhile, but then fell behind on my photo taking and list making, and then I think the list got recycled. And I know I missed a few shots – Ulla, your veggie quiche! I may have to go back through my photo files. One night soon when I don’t have to get up at 4 to cover traffic in the morning.

And the asparagus, decorated with edible flowers! These came from Corrine and Darrel Winter – I thought it was funny that they didn’t bring turkey. This asparagus came straight from their garden.

So did the daffodils.

There were babies in my garden.

And pizzas.

There was fresh bread, baked then wrapped in tea towels and whisked over so that it may as well have just come out of the oven. When Lisa walked in I wondered if I had put bread in to bake at some point and forgotten? It smelled as if it was still baking, right there in her bag.

(And more babies.)

The mini watermelon you see above went uncut. W named it Chickadee and kept it on the couch, under a blanket, and wouldn’t allow a knife near it.

There was only one quinoa salad, after all! Avery made it, a copycat Earl’s west coast prawn salad with citrus honey vinaigrette made by this recipe. Totally divine. (Note: I didn’t get to it fast enough, and wound up snapping the very dregs of the bowl. It did look far better than this before everyone swan-dived into it.)

Jane and Erica brought – oh yes they did – an enormous Mac & Cheese TOPPED WITH BACON. How have I not thought of this??

Fareen brought shrimp puffs!

And dhokra, made with wheatlets.

At one point Ulla asked me what I had made, and I remembered that there was a roast beef slow-roasting in the oven. I forgot. There was so much food we just left it there.

There was cranberry date squares.

There was cake! Colleen’s rum cake.

And Donna’s son made apple cake.

And amazing cookies – with oatmeal and chocolate and other good things.

And I know I missed some – I missed the tzatziki, and the hummus. And the grilled veg, and macaroni salad, and two kinds of marinated asparagus. Sorry. It was all so great, but I was so focused on meeting everyone – I didn’t want to spend all afternoon looking through my camera when I had so many of you there in person! – I’m thinking we should have more of these.

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May 29 2011 | leftovers | 72 Comments »

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