Almond Roca Shortbread Cookies…..

If you are looking for a really good cookie to take to that Christmas cookie party, here is a fabulous one!

It’s super easy too. Everyone buys those pink cans of almond roca around the holidays. I think everyone pretty much gets one as a gift too, right? Well, put them to good use and make these cookies. Yum.

Now, I will admit that I put a little too much almond roca in my dough. It made for a beautiful dough, but the cookies came out of the oven a bit messy. But once they cooled……..OHHHHHHHH so good. It is a great holiday cookie and would make great gifts.

Almond Roca Cookies

8 tablespoons of unsalted butter softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
7 or 8 almond roca candies, crushed

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until smooth. Add in flour and salt just until a dough forms. If it’s too crumbly, add 2 teaspoons of water so it comes together. Gently stir in the almond roca bits.
Press and flatten the dough into a disc. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it for 1 hour.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough to a 1/4 inch thickness and cut out your shapes with cookie cutters. I used a round cutter. You could also just cut the dough into strips.
Place the cookies 1  1/2″ apart on a parchment lined baking pan. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned.
Remove from oven. If the roca has made the cookies spread a bit, just gently re-form the cookie with a knife or spatula. Let the cookies sit for 5 minutes. Carefully transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. When storing, be sure to use a layer of wax paper between layers.

 

Blackberry Blueberry Lime Scones….

By now ya’ll know how much I love a good scone. They are just so perfect with a cup of hot coffee or tea. I like a tender crumb scone. I never order them at coffee shops, because they are usually dry or hard and you dont know how long they’ve been sitting in their display case. Who wants that???!! 

I’ve made so many kinds of scones. I’ve made buttermilk scones, sour cream scones, cream scones. I’ve made fruit scones and even green chile and cheese scones. I love scones. Even a plain, tender scone slathered with some butter and good jam or lemon curd makes me so happy.

Just a little tip about making scones. Don’t overwork the dough. It’s really important. I also use really cold butter…..almost frozen and I chill my flour for about 20 minutes.

I have to say, these 2 berry lime scones are some of my favorites. Even without the glaze, they are YUM.


Blackberry Blueberry Lime Scones

2 cups all purpose flour
1  Tblsp baking powder
4 Tblsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tblsp very cold butter, cut in tiny cubes
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup blackberries, fresh or frozen
zest of 1 lime

Heat oven to 390.
In a food processor (if you have one), place the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, lime zest and butter. Pulse in short spurts until you have a course texture. You can also do this in a bowl with your fingers.

Dump into a bowl. Stir in heavy cream, egg and vanilla, just until it starts to come together. Add berries. Dump it all out onto a LIGHTLY floured surface. You may still see quite a bit of dry crumbs. That’s ok! Just bring it all together forming a ball. Don’t overwork the dough. Gently flatten the ball to a 1 inch thickness.

Cut into wedges. I made 10. Gently lift each wedge onto an ungreased baking sheet, lined with parchment.
If you aren’t going to glaze these, sprinkle each scone with a bit of sugar. Bake for 12-13 minutes.

Allow to cool at least 15 minutes. If you want to drizzle with glaze, do so now.

Glaze:

approx. 1 cup powdered sugar
fresh lime juice

Just add enough lime juice to the powdered sugar to get the consistency you want.

Oreo Cookie Brownies…………

I made a batch of birthday brownies today. The house smells so good. I have a friend who is an Oreo Cookie fanatic. He loves anything Oreo. He loves a good brownie too, so I think he will be pretty happy with these.

You can use your favorite brownie recipe as a base or you can use a boxed brownie. I would much prefer to make my own brownies but I have to admit that a good boxed brownie is pretty good. In this case, I used the Duncan Hines Fudge brownie mix as my base. These brownies are very rich by themselves, but when you add the Oreos……….WOW. Personally, I prefer my brownies simple and basic with nuts. But if you like Oreos and you like brownies, you will love this. Oh! and be adventurous. You don’t have to limit yourself to just the chocolate oreos. They have so many flavors now. I think the peanut butter oreos would be fabulous.

Oreo Cookie Brownies

1 boxed brownie mix (I used Duncan Hines in this recipe)
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup water or coffee
approx. 10 Oreo cookies, cut up (If you want to cut down on some of the sweetness, scrape off the white filling)

Heat oven to 350. Lightly spray the bottom of an 8×8 square baking dish.

In a bowl, mix the dry brownie mix, eggs, oil and water. Don’t get crazy with over mixing.
Spread the batter into the baking pan. Sprinkle the cookie pieces all over the top and gently poke some of them into the batter.

Bake for approx. 28 minutes, depending on your oven. I would check the brownies after 25 minutes. Stick a toothpick in the batter. They should not be real gooey, but you dont want to overbake them.

Allow to cool for about an hour. Yep, you gotta wait. Cut into squares.

Spicy Asian Dumplings….

I love dumplings. Love. This is one of  my favorite ways to eat them. They are juicy, moist and delicious. They take no time at all to boil. They are a bit of a pain in the ass to roll, but it’s worth it, trust me.

You can fill them with so many different things……shrimp, pork, ground beef, veggies. They are all good. My all time favorite is ground pork with green onion and kimchee. OH!!! They are just so good.

I ordered some spicy boiled dumplings  years ago at my favorite Chinese eatery. They were swimming in the spiciest sauce I have ever had. My tongue was on fire and I was sweating, but I just couldn’t stop eating them. This is my version of those dumplings. These aren’t quite as spicy, but still good. The are delicious served with a side of rice.



Spicy Asian Dumplings

1 package won ton wrappers
1/2 lb ground pork (or finely minced raw shrimp, chicken or cabbage)
2 green onions, minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 clove fresh garlic, minced finely
1 tsp soy sauce

Mix together the raw ground pork, ginger, green onion and soy sauce.
Lay out the won ton wrappers and place about a teaspoon of mixture onto each wrapper. Slightly wet the edges and fold over, pressing to seal the edges. Cover with a dish towel and set aside.

Boil a large pot of water while preparing the sauce.

Sauce: Mix together the following…..
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp grated ginger (I like more ginger)
2 tsp white vinegar
1/2 cup chili paste  (I use Sambal, as pictured above)
1/4 cup water
2 tsp vegetable oil

Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. Carefully place the dumplings one by one, into the boiling water. Don’t put too many in the pot at one tine. Dumplings will float to the top. Allow to cook about 2 minutes and then flip them all over and cook another 2 minutes. Remove one of them from the water and cut it in half to check if the pork is cooked. Carefully remove the dumplings one by one and place them in  a platter or shallow bowl.

Pour the sauce all over the top of the dumplings. Serve immediately. Serve with hot steamed rice.

Salmon “salad” Sandwich with Asian Dressing…….

Salads, sandwiches…….everyone loves them. I know I do! There is a local restaurant who used to serve my favorite salad. All of a sudden they took it off the menu. I was so upset! I mean, how rude!! Ha.

It was simple…..spinach, greens, chunks of tuna and sprinkled with a few pumpkin seeds. It was all tossed in a spicy Asian dressing. It was so light and absolutely delicious.

Now I just make my own. But this time I used salmon and put it all in a sandwich, with homemade rolls. It’s one of my favorite sandwiches. Whether you use salmon or tuna, you can’t go wrong with this one.


Salmon “Salad” Sandwich with Asian Dressing
(for 2 sandwiches)

approx. 8 oz salmon filet or canned tuna
fresh spinach or leafy greens
slices of purple onion

Dressing:

3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 white or red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, grated
1/4 tsp wasabi
2 Tblsp soy sauce
2 Tblsp water
salt and pepper to taste
pumpkin seeds (optional)  yum!

Mix all dressing ingredients and give it a good shake or pulse it in the blender.

Pan fry, poach or bake the salmon. Allow to cool and break it up into chunks.
Place the onion, spinach and/or leafy greens in a bowl. Pour on some dressing and give it a good toss. Gently mix in the salmon or tuna. Pile the mixture on good sandwich bread.