Molasses and dark chocolate mixed together make quite the cookie! A completely black cookie. Yes, you needed this information. Chocolate molasses cookies turn out to be rather yummy.
I started with a standard chocolate chip recipe. Alas, I had no chocolate chips. Such minor inconveniences never keep me from my cookies, however. Some days require cookies (this is a fact).
Instead of chocolate chips, I added dark cocoa, and supplemented the sugar with molasses. The result was a very lovely cookie. Not too sweet, but not un-sweet. I suspect it would be more chocolatey with chocolate chips, or more flavorful if I used more spices. But overall, it is an excellent cookie!
Cookies of Blackest Molasses
Dark chocolate molasses cookies - chocolate chip cookies with dark cocoa and molasses.
Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy (or at least smooth). Add molasses, stir. Add egg and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
Add your dry ingredients - flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt - to the wet mixture. With stirring, you should get a nice cookie dough.
Throw in your chocolate chips last, if desired. You want to get them evenly distributed throughout the dough. Mmmm. . . chocolate. . .
Scoop out 2ish tablespoons of dough for each cookie. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about ten minutes.
Enjoy with milk.
Between the dark cocoa and the dark molasses, it will be very difficult to tell when your cookies are done. Make sure to take them out of the oven while they are still soft. Because molasses isn't quite as sweet as pure sugar (especially with dark chocolate thrown in), your chocolate molasses cookies will not stay sweet if they're overcooked. . .
Homemade potato chips are so easy, they’re barely worth a recipe, right? You slice potatoes thin, and fry; ideally after you’ve fried something else, so that olive oil goes farther.
Alright, so you don’t have to use olive oil. But I really do love how it tastes, and the chips fry just fine.
So your oil is heating up on the stove in a shallow pan, and now you slice the potatoes. Only, slicing potatoes thin enough to get nice and crispy is hard. I can never manage it with a sharp knife. The solution? The potato peeler. It works perfectly every time. Your chips will be decidedly oval over circular, but they will be just the right thickness and very crispy.
Fry your (soon-to-be) chips until they’re brown and crispy. Retrieve them from the oil, and lay them on some paper oils to wick away the oil. Salt to taste.
Now for the dip. If you’re fond of a creamy dip like French Onion (I love that stuff so much!) then your homemade base is really simple. Mix equal parts sour cream and mayonnaise, and thin to the desired consistency with milk or whey. Then add your favorite spices.
I often just put garlic powder in my homemade dip. Chives and dill are wonder too! The ratio is one part spice to four parts sour cream and mayonnaise.
A stable of gyros, cucumber sauce is something I find myself almost always keeping in my fridge. It goes wonderfully with pita bread, chicken, beef, and lamb.
More often than not, I make this recipe by taste. I strongly suggest that you do too! Just remember that the flavors get stronger when they’re allowed to sit in the fridge, so make the sauce ahead of time for optimal taste.
You can use greek yogurt, yogurt, or sour cream as the base for your sauce. If you use ordinary yogurt, then you will want to drain it for optimal consistency. If you're using greek yogurt or sour cream, skip ahead to prepping your cucumber.
To drain your yogurt, let it sit in a colander over the sink or a bowl to collect the liquid. If the collander's holes are too big, cover them with a paper towel.
Peal and de-seed your cucumber. If you like chunks of cucumber in your sauce, you can then just chop it finely by hand. If you are like me and don't actually much like cucumber, then you might want to chop it up in a food processor.
Add the cucumber to the yogurt, and then season it with dill, garlic, salt, and pepper to taste.
Make it ahead of time to let the flavors mix in the fridge before serving!
Hearts of Palm are an interesting vegetable. They are, as the name suggests, the center of certain types of palm trees, and considered a delicacy. Heart of Palm doesn’t have much flavor by itself, but it goes wonderfully with onions. Some people also put them with salads or fruit.
This dip pairs heart of palms with green onions for a really delicious treat. I highly recommend serving with pita chips or bread!
I try to keep my fridge stocked with the basics – eggs, milk, and butter. The jar of white flour should be full, and there should be extra whole wheat flour stashed away somewhere. I keep sour cream or yogurt around because I tend to cook with it, but I try not to keep multiple packages of cream cheese around. Its dangerous!
So what to do when I just have to have cheesecake? (these are the important questions)
Yes, cheesecake. Very dangerous. Very rich.
It turns out, you don’t need to use cream cheese. There are recipes for cheesecake which use a variety of other cheeses – like ricotta, or farmer’s cheese. The beauty of using Farmer’s Cheese, of course, is that you can make it yourself, and flavor it however you like while making it.
I tried this recipe using cheese made from apple cider vinegar and sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with applesauce. Awesome.
Cheesecake made from Farmer's Cheese - delicious, rich, and made from ingredients already in your fridge!
Pour your milk into a large pot, and gently warm until it is frothy. Use the apple cider vinegar to separate the curds from the whey and drain. Add cinnamon if desired.
(this is just the standard Farmer's Cheese recipe adapted; you can find more details here.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Cut in butter, as if you were making pie crust dough.
Beat 3 egg yolks and 3 tablespoons of sour cream together, and then add to the flour mixture. Mix until it forms dough (again, resembling pie crust dough). Roll out and place in pie plate.
Beat the 4 eggs and one egg white at high speed until frothy. You will probably want to use an electric beater!
Put farmer's cheese, granulated sugar, 1/2 cup sour cream, and vanilla extract in a blender. Blend well. The Farmer's Cheese will be naturally rather granular when first made; it should be chopped up until very fine and liquid. Add some of the egg mixture if necessary.
Fold together the farmer's cheese mixture and egg mixtures. Pour into the pie plate.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes. The cake will rise in the oven, turn golden, and set.
Cool for a few hours in the refrigerator before serving. Enjoy!
One thing I like about this recipe is that it does have instructions on making its own crust. You could definitely still do a typical graham cracker crust with this, but if you don't keep graham crackers around either, this makes it simpler.
I was wandering through the aisles of one of the gardening stores in town (which shockingly, still has plants!) and discovered a pineapple plant! Needless to say, it needed to come home with me.
Now last year, I tried the whole “grow a pineapple plant from the top of a store pineapple” thing. It didn’t go anywhere. See, by the time pineapples get to Illinois, they generally don’t have very healthy tops. My pineapple top just sort of withered and died.
But here it was, the chance to grow my very own pineapple.
The only reason I recognized the plant as anything other than one of those general tropical houseplants they were selling next to it was that it was actually growing a pineapple. Unfortunately, it didn’t product a strong enough stalk for the little guy, so he had to be pruned away. But there was a mini-pineapple, and it looks like there might be two more shoots trying to grow from the mother plant.
. . we’ll see whether the new fruit shoots go anywhere. In the meantime, its been stationed next to the lemon tree sprouts.
Prepare the ingredients - crush the vanilla wafers, and chop up your walnuts.
Combine all your ingredients - vanilla wafers, cocoa, walnuts, corn syrup, brandy, and confectioners sugar - and mix well. I suggest using a blender. It makes it so much faster! The mixture should form a sticky dough.
Divide the dough into small balls (1-2 inches in diameter), and roll them in powdered / confectioners' sugar. Chill, and store with more confectioners' sugar - it keeps them from sticking together.
There’s something that sounds soooo good to me about nutty pie crusts. Almonds, walnuts, pecans – they all go wonderfully with thicker or custardy pies. Pumpkin pie with a pecan crust? Molasses pie with walnut crust? Yes, please!