Archive for the 'cookies & squares' Category

Peanut Butter Rainbow Marshmallow Squares

peanut butter marshmallow squares 1

I have a confession to make: these.

Those peanut butter-butterscotch chip-rainbow mini marshmallow lovelies that remind me of parties at my great Aunt’s house, when she put out plates of dainties that included these and Nanaimo bars – the ones I’d swipe the quickest. I still do. I used Easter as an excuse to make them – everyone needs some pastel colours in their weekend, right? – because I still haven’t managed to reconcile the fact that I’m a grownup and I can make a batch of peanut butter marshmallow squares anytime I want and eat the whole thing myself in front of the TV.

It gets worse: I love them frozen. Like so many desserts of their ilk, I have in the past attempted to hide them from myself in the freezer, falsely thinking that their frozen state would deter me from eating them until they’re gone. (This doesn’t work with brownies, either.) Frozen, the marshmallows take on a chewy texture, the butter and peanut butter keeping their delicious carbonite enclosure from freezing solid, so that they’re extra firm, yet easy on the teeth. Part of me wants to make a batch with dark chocolate, but it seems like blasphemy.

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Some people put coconut in theirs, and you see the odd version with walnuts. I like straight-up marshmallows, but the addition of coconut is acceptable – especially when you have large curls of it in your baking cupboard. Make sure you wait for the peanut butter goo to cool down a little before you stir in the marshmallows – and whatever you do, don’t stand around taking pictures of them slightly submerged, or you’ll wind up with swirls of melted marshmallow, which isn’t entirely bad. (If you like, pop the marshmallows in the freezer for a bit to prevent them from melting.)

Peanut Butter Rainbow Marshmallow Squares

1/2 cup butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 pkg (300 g) butterscotch chips
3-4 cups rainbow mini marshmallows (or white, if you must)
1/4-1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, peanut butter and butterscotch chips over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly so that you don’t melt the marshmallows. Stir in the marshmallows and coconut and spread into an 8×8-inch pan, lined with parchment if you life. Refrigerate until firm and cut into squares.

Makes 16-32, depending on how small you cut them.

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April 01 2015 | cookies & squares and dessert | 17 Comments »

London Fog Shortbread

earl grey shortbread 1

I’m a little late to the party with this one, but it’s OK if you show up late and bring cookies.

We talked about tea last week on CBC, and its flavouring potential, especially when baking with it. One of my favourite combinations is Earl Grey, butter and sugar in a sandy-sweet shortbread, but I don’t like the little hard bits you wind up with when you stir dry tea leaves into baked goods, especially something like shortbread that doesn’t contain any liquid to plump it up. I happened to have just made a batch of crème brûlée, steeping the cream first with Earl Grey, and decided to use the exhausted tea leaves in the shortbread.

earl grey shortbread 2

Opening them up first not only helps them release more flavour, but softens them, eliminating those nasty bits. You can then blitz the soft leaves with the butter and sugar in the food processor, obliterating them further. This is not only a great way to flavour cookies and cakes and ice cream and anything else you want to infuse with your favourite tea, but a way to recycle the tea leaves you just used to steep a pot, which are still good for something. (If you don’t happen to have just made a pot of tea or a batch of crème brûlée, you could just open up the leaves with a splash of hot water in a small dish. Same diff.)

Oh hey! I know I keep telling you about this new web redesign I’m working on, and I haven’t been lying, I just hadn’t found the right person yet. But I think I have, and we’re having a planning meeting on Monday, and I wanted to ask you what you’d like to see here, since this is your space after all. My priorities are design and recipe search functionality, but I’m open to any and all ideas and suggestions, and I’d love to hear what websites you love to read/look at/use, whether they’re food blogs or not. Thanks!!

London Fog Shortbread

If your tea leaves are already exhausted, don’t worry about softening them with boiling water.

1 Tbsp. loose Earl Grey tea leaves
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 325?F.

If you’re starting with dry tea leaves, put them into a small dish and pour just enough boiling water over them to cover (about a tablespoon or two); set aside for a few minutes, then pour off the water.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the butter, sugar and softened tea leaves until well blended and creamy. Add the flour and salt and pulse until the dough comes together.

Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls and place on a parchment-lined sheet. Press down with a cookie stamp, bottom of a glass, or crisscrossed with a fork. (Alternatively, roll the dough into a log, wrap and chill, then slice and bake.) Bake for 10 minutes, or until pale golden around the edges.

Cool on the pan or on a wire rack. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

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March 08 2015 | cookies & squares | 16 Comments »

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