Nutbutter Cookies

This is what happens when I get snowed in by a blizzard on my day off. I sit around feeling sorry for myself because all the things I had planned on doing got cancelled then I pull out my copy of Mark Bittman’s How To Bake Everything and start finding some recipes to adapt. Then I get in the kitchen and bake. I am still not happy about the snow but now I have cookies so it doesn’t seem nearly as bad. Lol.

These aren’t soft, fluffy cookies. They are actually on the flat and crisp side of cookies. They go nicely with a glass of milk for dunking. Use any nutbutter you have on hand. I used almond butter.

Nutbutter Cookies

Adapted From Mark Bittman’s How To Bake Everything

1/2 cup flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

4 TBS butter, softened

1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup nutbutter

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Mix well. In another medium bowl, cream togethet the butter, brown sugar and white sugar, until light and fluffy. Add the nutbutter, egg and vanilla and beat until well combined. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture in three batches throughly mix them together before adding more flour mixture. Drop by tablespoonsful, 2 inches a part onto a baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on the pan 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Popcorn Cake

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Gooey,  sweet and salty perfection — Cookies And Cups

Gooey gorgeousness —  Homemade Hannah

Yum — A Solitary Feast

Just so we are clear, this is not a traditional cake decorated to look like a box of movie theater popcorn.  This cake is actual popcorn held together with a stick of butter and a bag of melted marshmallows with some kind of candy thrown in just in case it isn’t sweet enough.

Do I really need to say anything more about this cake?  This cake has been in my family since I was a little kid.  You really can use any candy here but gummy candies or chocolate work the best. Yes, you can use microwave popcorn but why would you want to?  Stove top popcorn is so easy to make and tastes so much better.   By the way,  this recipe is not small batch.

Popcorn Cake

From A Recipe My Mom Gave Me

20 cups of popped popcorn,  remove unpopped corn kernels

1 stick of butter

1 16 oz bag of mini marshmallows or 1 12 oz bag regular marshmallows

1 10 – 12 oz bag M n M’s

Pop your popcorn and sift through it for any unpopped kernels.  Place in very large bowl.  In a medium sauce pan, over medium heat, melt the stick of butter.  Add the marshmallows.  Stir the marshmallows until they are melted, smooth and mixed with the butter.  Let the marshmallows sit a minute or two, off heat, to cool.  Pour the marshmallows into the popcorn, add the M n M’s and mix, with hands coated in butter until well combined.  Pack into a well buttered Angel food cake pan or Bundt pan.   Let sit for 1 hour before serving. 

Cranberry Bars

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This recipe isn’t Whole 30.  This recipe isn’t Paleo.   This recipe is good, old-fashioned baking and it has cranberries.  Win and win again. This week’s recipes are all courtesy of  Christina Lane at Dessert For Two.  You already know how much I love  Dessert For Two.  I have posted many of her recipes over the years.  Christina Lane is my favorite blogger ever.

What you don’t know is if  I had never come  across Dessert For Two there would be no A Solitary Feast.  It was never my intent to start a food/recipe blog when I started adapting recipes for one or two.  My intent was to adapt some recipes for my friend, Steph, who was moving out on her own for the first time and I wanted to encourage Steph to  cook.

When I gave her the recipes, Steph started telling  me I should start a recipe blog.  I kind of blew her off because 1.  I didn’t really know what a blog was.  2,  I didn’t really think anyone outside my circle of friends and, maybe, my mother would be interested in the recipes.  The idea of recipe blogs intrigued me enough I wanted to  check it out, though.

The very first blog I found was Christina Lane’s Dessert For  Two.  I love to bake as much as I love to cook so I tried her recipes right away.  I fell in love.  I have made dozens of her recipes over the years.  As I watched Dessert For Two bloom and grow, I started thinking there might be some place on the internet for my dinner recipes.  Three months later I posted my first recipe on A Solitary Feast.

Christina is not only my cooking and baking inspiration she also inspires me as a person.   In a world that seems to take pleasure in tearing you down, Christina has taken time to build me up and encourage me to step outside of my comfort zone.  In a world full of negative, she is a bright and shining positive.

Cranberry Bars

From Dessert For Two

6 TBS butter, cold and diced

3/4 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 1//2 cups leftover cranberry sauce

1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.  Leave enough parchment paper hanging over the sides to help remove the bars after baking.  In a medium bowl, add the  flour, sugar and salt.   Add the diced butter to the flour.  Using your fingers,  rub the butter into the flour.  You will know when the butter and flour are mixed well when it sticks together when you lightly squeeze it in your fist.  Spread the flour/butter into the bottom of  the prepared pan. Using  your  hands,  press the  crust mixture evenly into the bottom of the  pan.  You want to press relatively  hard  so the flour/ butter  mixture sticks together to form the crust.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Meanwhile, stir the vanilla into  the  leftover cranberry sauce.  When the crust is done baking, spread the cranberry sauce over the crust.  Bake another 20 minutes or until  the crust is golden brown.  Let cool in the  pan before slicing.

Elsie’s Cranberry Pie

The good news is we are finely to the best part of Thanksgiving dinner, dessert. The bad news is the dessert is not Whole30 compliant. I was going to try some desserts that were technically compliant, remember desserts wouldn’t actually be allowed on a Whole 30, but my friend, Heather, and I paid our first visit to the new Aldi grocery store in Moorhead Monday night. They had fresh cranberries for .98 cents a bag. I bought one and Heather gave me hers because she didn’t know you had to cook cranberries to make them edible. I have to find something to do with the 24 ounces of fresh cranberries I have.

I dug this recipe out of the recesses of my draft pile where it had been hiding for at least 2 years. It is super easy because there is no pie dough to make and roll out. Instead you make a batter and just spread it over the top of the cranberries. Serve this pie warm.

Elsie's Cranberry Pie

The cookbook I adapted this recipe from came from the library and I can’t remember the name of it.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup honey, divided

1 egg

6 TBS all purpose flour

4 TBS butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Spray a 5 inch deep dish pie pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Add the cranberries and pecans. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of honey over the cranberries and pecans; set aside. In a small bowl, beat the egg until the white and yolk are well combined.  While still beating, add the remaining 2 tablespoons honey, flour and melted butter; mix well.  Spread the mixture over the cranberry pecan mixture. Bake for 45 minutes or until the crust is lightly toasted brown.  Let cool 5 minutes and serve warm.

A Small Batch Thanksgiving — Cranberry Pie

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Can you believe there are only 3 more weeks until Thanksgiving?!   I work in retail and am so not ready for the craziness that comes with that.  I am ready, however, to make a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner for me and a couple  of my co-workers.

Pie probably isn’t the first thing you think of when you think of cranberries but it should be. Cranberries make a wonderful filling for a non traditional Thanksgiving pie.

Usually, cranberries are paired with another fruit like apples or pears to help tame the cranberries tartness. Not this pie.  This pie has straight up pucker power but not in a bad way.  I think cranberry pie is a nice contrast to the other sweet, sweet desserts, like pecan pie and pumpkin pie, on our tables at Thanksgiving.

Cranberry Pie

1 cup whole cranberries
1 cup chopped cranberries
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
a pinch of nutmeg
a pinch of salt
1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 tsp butter
1 egg white
1 1/2 tsp water
1 recipe for a double pie crust
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put cranberries, sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg, salt and walnuts in a medium bowl. Mix well with a spoon and set aside.  Divide the dough for the crust into 2 pieces, on slightly bigger than the other.  Roll out the smaller piece of dough and place the dough in the pan.  Dot the top of the cranberries with butter cut into small pieces.  Roll out the remaining dough so it is slightly bigger than the pan.  Carefully lay the dough over the filling and crimp the edges closed. Cut a few vents into the crust.  Seperate the egg white from the yolk.  Gently beat the white with a fork.  Brush the white onto the crust and sprinkle a 1-2 teaspoons of sugar over the top.  Bake on the middle rack of the oven until the crust is golden, about 40 minutes.

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