FLOURLESS PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES

“I’ve always liked the flavor of peanut butter cookies, but was turned off by the dryness and gritty texture that comes from using flour. This recipe is great because it uses organic peanut butter as binder rather than flour. While you’re making them, the dough might seem a little different than what you’re used to. It’ll be more wet seem to fall apart a little bit. Don’t worry. Once they’re baked, everything falls into place and you’ll really appreciate the flavor and consistency organic peanut butter gives these cookies.” – Michael Recchiuti

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Yield: 24 cookies

1 cup organic unsalted peanut butter
¾ cup granulated cane sugar
1 large egg, slightly beaten
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup roasted unsalted peanuts,chopped
Fine grain fleur de sel to finish cookies

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line the bottoms of two 12-by-18-inch sheet pans with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, stir the peanut butter, sugar, egg, baking soda and kosher salt until combined. Stir in the chocolate and peanuts.

3. Using a small, greased ice cream scoop, measure out the dough in teaspoon sized balls. Place the dough on the prepared pans, spacing them 2 inches apart.

4. Bake on the middle shelves of the oven, rotating the pans 180 degrees halfway through the baking time, until lightly golden and spread to a puffy mound, about 12 to 14 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel. Let cool completely on the pans on wire racks. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to week.

Excerpt from Chocolate Obsession Confections and Treats to Create and SavorChocolate Obsession by Michael Recchiuti by Michael Recchiuti (Author), Fran Gage (Author), Maren Caruso (Photographer), Stewart, Tabori and Chang (September 1, 2005)

MARTHA’S RED VELVET CAKE

This rendition of a Southern specialty gets its deep-red hue from food coloring and comes from Martha Stewart — the other Martha but her namesake, a home cook from Montclair, New Jersey. Watch and learn how to make Red Velvet Cake with Martha.

Martha’s Red Velvet Cake 
Yield: one 8-inch cake

You’ll need: Two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
2-1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted, plus more for pans
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ounces liquid red food coloring
3 Tablespoons lukewarm water
1 cup buttermilk*
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon white vinegar

* No buttermilk? Use buttermilk powder follow the directions on the package.
*** For directions please watch the video.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 (8-ounce) bar cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

Place butter in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, and beat until well combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes more. Add sugar and vanilla, and beat until combined, about 2 minutes. Fold in walnuts.

Want more red velvet recipes? Try these…

Red Velvet Macarons
Red Velvet Ice Cream Sandwiches
Red Velvet Ice Cream Cake
Red Velvet Cake Roll
Baked Red Velvet Donuts

HOW TO MAKE EDIBLE ORNAMENTS CUPCAKES

Looking for the perfect gift to give? Make a box of edible ornaments cupcakes. Watch this animated video and learn how to make these simple and impressive edible ornaments cupcakes from Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make. These ornaments are super easy to make just frost the cupcakes roll them in sugar, choose the candies and press the candies into the frosting. Put them in gift boxes for the perfect gift. Happy Holidays!

Edible Ornaments Cupcakes
Makes 24 ornament cupcakes

8 vanilla cupcakes baked in red paper liners
8 vanilla cupcakes baked in green paper liners
8 vanilla cupcakes baked in white paper liners
2 cans (12 ounces each) whipped vanilla frosting
1/2 cup each green, light green, red, yellow, and white decorating sugars
24 yellow spice drops
Black licorice laces, cut into twenty-four 1-1/4 inch pieces
24 thin pretzels sticks
Assortment of colored fruit chews and fruit leather (Laffy Taffys, Airheads, Starbursts, Fruit by the Foot)
Red licorice laces (Twizzlers Pull-n-Peel)
1 cup mini candy-coated chocolates (M&M’s Minis)
Cinnamon Red Hots or candy decors

Spoon 1/2 cup vanilla frosting into a self-closing plastic bag, pressing out excess air; seal and set aside.

Place decorating sugars in separate small shallow bowls.

Spread tops of all cupcakes in remaining vanilla frosting, mounting it slightly. Roll top of each cupcake in one of the sugars to coat completely.

Make top of ornament by poking a hole in each end of each spice drop with a round toothpick. Bend one black licorice piece in half and insert both ends into one of the spice drop holes to make a loop. Insert one end of a pretzel stick in the hole in the other end of the spice drop. Press the other end of the pretzel stick all the way into a cupcake. Repeat with remaining cupcakes.

Roll out fruit chews on a piece of wax paper to 1/8 -inch thickness. Use clean scissors to cut the fruit chews and leathers into decorative pieces. Arrange these with red licorice laces to make strips, bands and other designs on the cupcakes.

Snip a tiny corner off the bag with vanilla frosting and pipe dots in different patterns over the cupcakes, atop the fruit chew designs. Press M&M Minis and Red Hots into frosting. Place cupcakes into small boxes or arrange on a platter.

Adapted from the book Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. Copyright © 2008 by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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