Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Chocolate Chip Orange Oatmeal Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

These chocolate chip orange oatmeal cookies are my favorite chocolate chip cookies, bumped up a few notches with the simple but effect addition of fresh orange zest.



When the Creative Cookie Exchange group first started baking together several years ago, the first theme was “back to school” cookies. I didn’t even hesitate because there was only one cookie recipe that I made over and over and over again when my girls were still living at home.

Originally shared with me by a good friend almost 30 years ago, those Joy of Cooking chocolate chip oatmeal cookies were my go-to for after school snack time, weekends, sleepovers and anytime chewy cookies were needed. (Pretty much always.)

Just a few weeks ago, a reader named Cindy C. left a comment on that post telling me that the Joy of Cooking recipe was her family’s favorite as well. She said it was because they always added the suggested optional orange zest; that’s what made the cookies special. Well. That gave me pause. I had never added the orange zest. I responded that I certainly would next time.

So here we are. Creative Cookie Exchange doyenne Laura from The Spiced Life is hosting today’s event with a theme of “favorite cookies” or for those of us who have already shared our favorite, add a twist. I've added the orange zest.

Chocolate Chip Orange Oatmeal Cookies

A classic from Joy of Cooking, this oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe makes the best chewy cookies around, with an added flavor hit of orange. I'm not sure if they are better than the original but they are certainly delicious. The orange zest and semi-sweet chocolate make a great combination.

Ingredients
1/2 cup (firmly packed) or 100g brown sugar
1/2 cup or 115g caster sugar
1/2 cup or 115g butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon milk
1 cup or 125g all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
1/2 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup or 95g uncooked quick rolled oats
3/4 cup or 125g semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

Method
Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C and grease a cookie sheet or line it with a silicone mat. Cream your butter with the two sugars. Add in the egg, vanilla and milk. Beat till smooth.





Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and beat again until smooth.



Add in the oats, chocolate chips and orange zest. Beat until well mixed.



Drop spoonfuls 2 inches apart on well-greased cookie sheet. I like to use my 2-tablespoon cookie scoop so every cookie is even.

The little flecks of orange aren't as obvious in the baked cookies. 

Bake 8-10 minutes, or until light brown. For chewy cookies, do not over bake!


Leave to cool for a few minutes on the baking pan then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely before storing in an airtight container. 

This batch will make about 2 1/2 - 3 dozen two-inch cookies though I highly recommend making a double batch of dough and freezing the balance. Find complete instructions for freezing then baking here.




Enjoy!


Check out all the favorite cookies we are sharing today! Many thanks to our host Laura from The Spice Life.



You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.


Pin these Chocolate Chip Orange Oatmeal Cookies! 

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Friday, January 18, 2019

Parmesan Grouper Potato Casserole #FishFridayFoodies

A sort of upside down fish pie, this Parmesan Grouper Potato Casserole starts with sliced potatoes on the bottom.  It is topped with tasty grouper then with a cheesy, creamy sauce that sort of melts down to the potatoes while simultaneously clinging in golden crunchiness to the top of the fish. Divine!

Food Lust People Love: A sort of upside down fish pie, this Parmesan Grouper Potato Casserole starts with sliced potatoes on the bottom.  It is topped with tasty grouper then with a cheesy, creamy sauce that sort of melts down to the potatoes while simultaneously clinging in golden crunchiness to the top of the fish. Divine!
One of our favorite dishes, real comfort food for a cold night, is fish pie. That is, fish and often other seafood cooked in a béchamel or white sauce, sometimes with a little cheese, then baked with mashed potatoes on top. I don’t make it very often though because it is time consuming.

This casserole, on the other hand, gives us all the same sort of tastes and textures without 1. making white sauce, 2. cooking mashed potatoes and 3. having three pots/pans to wash up afterwards. Honestly, I think I like it even more than fish pie.

Parmesan Grouper Potato Casserole

This recipe was adapted from one on Sea Eagle Market.com. I made it several times before it occurred to me to add potatoes below the fish instead of as a side dish. The fish and sauce add so much flavor to the potatoes. Now I can't imagine why I was so slow. We live, we learn.

Ingredients  - serves 4
3 medium potatoes (approximately 550g before peeling)
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra to grease casserole dish
1 1/2 lbs or 575g fresh boneless, skinless grouper
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup or 37g butter, softened
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4-1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
2/3 cup or 66g grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup, packed, or 30g fresh bread crumbs

Optional for garnish:
chopped parsley and/or green onion tops

Method
Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and brush a medium-sized casserole dish with olive oil.

Peel the potatoes and sliced them. Fan them out to cover the bottom of your greased casserole dish and drizzle with the tablespoon olive oil. Season lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper.



Cover the casserole with foil and make the potatoes in the preheated oven until fork tender, about 20-25 minutes. (You can also do this step in the microwave, if you prefer, assuming your casserole dish is both microwave and oven ready. Mine is not.)

In a small bowl, stir together the softened butter, mayonnaise and hot pepper sauce. Add the Parmesan in by good handfuls.



Mix well. Keep going until all the cheese is mixed in. Set aside.




Meanwhile, brush the grouper with the lemon juice.


When the potatoes are done, remove the pan and turn the oven off. Turn your broiler or grill on high.



Place the grouper pieces on top of the potatoes. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Broil them for about 8 to 14 minutes or until they can be flaked with a fork. Thick pieces will naturally take longer.  I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve made this and the time does vary wildly from 8 minutes for thin fillets to 14 when the fish is really thick.

Remove the casserole dish from the oven and spread the cheese mixture on top of the fish.

Sprinkle on the fresh breadcrumbs, patting them down gently so they stick.



Return the dish to under the broiler for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the topping is browned and bubbly. Keep a close eye on it! When it starts to brown, it darkens quickly.

Food Lust People Love: A sort of upside down fish pie, this Parmesan Grouper Potato Casserole starts with sliced potatoes on the bottom.  It is topped with tasty grouper then with a cheesy, creamy sauce that sort of melts down to the potatoes while simultaneously clinging in golden crunchiness to the top of the fish. Divine!


Sprinkle on some chopped parsley or green onion tops, if desired. Enjoy!

Food Lust People Love: A sort of upside down fish pie, this Parmesan Grouper Potato Casserole starts with sliced potatoes on the bottom.  It is topped with tasty grouper then with a cheesy, creamy sauce that sort of melts down to the potatoes while simultaneously clinging in golden crunchiness to the top of the fish. Divine!


This month my Fish Friday Foodie friends are all sharing dishes that can be made in the oven. Many thanks to our host Caroline from Caroline’s Cooking! Check out the list of tasty recipes below.


Pin this  Parmesan Grouper Potato Casserole!

Food Lust People Love: A sort of upside down fish pie, this Parmesan Grouper Potato Casserole starts with sliced potatoes on the bottom.  It is topped with tasty grouper then with a cheesy, creamy sauce that sort of melts down to the potatoes while simultaneously clinging in golden crunchiness to the top of the fish. Divine!
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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Gateau de Noix – French Nut Cake #BundtBakers

Based on traditional recipes from Périgord, this gateau de noix or French nut cake is made lighter than the original with flour and baking powder in addition to beaten egg whites. It is still dense and rich with a wonderful buttery nutty flavor.

Food Lust People Love: Based on traditional recipes from Périgord, this gateau de noix or French nut cake is made lighter than the original with flour and baking powder in addition to beaten egg whites. It is still dense and rich with a wonderful buttery nutty flavor.


This month my Bundt Bakers and I are celebrating a milestone: five years of baking Bundts together! Our members live all over the world but we get together virtually on the third Thursday of each month, sharing treats both sweet and savory which have been baked in Bundt pans. We take turns hosting as well as choosing the theme of each month’s online event.

It was my pleasure to host the inaugural Bundt Bakers event in January 2014, choosing “nuts” as our must-use ingredient so it only seemed fitting to reprise that theme for the fifth anniversary. After all, we are not only nuts about this small band of Bundt loving friends, we are also nuts about Bundt baking itself.

Gateau de Noix – French Nut Cake


This simple French-inspired gateau de noix or nut cake could not be easier. The batter is made almost completely in a food processor, aside from the egg whites, which are beaten then folded in. It is mix, fold and bake; easy but oh, so rich! Since this is a French inspired recipe, it seemed only fitting to bake it in my Nordic Ware, Fleur de Lis 10-cup Bundt pan.

Ingredients
7 oz or 200g shelled hazelnuts
3 1/2 oz or 100g shelled walnuts
1 cup or 200g sugar
1 cup or 125g flour
3/4 cup or 170g unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for pan
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs at room temperature
Pinch cream of tartar
Optional: 1/3 cup or 80ml Frangelico (or other hazelnut liqueur) for brushing on the cake after baking
Extra chopped nuts for garnish

Method
Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 10-cup Bundt pan by buttering and flouring it.

Pulse the nuts in the bowl of your food processor to make a fine powder. There may be some small pieces left and that is okay. Be careful just to pulse in short bursts and give the processor a shake in between. We don’t want to end up with nut butter!

Separate your egg whites from the yolks, adding the whites to a clean, grease-free mixing bowl and the yolks to the food processor.



Add in the sugar, butter, flour, baking powder and salt.



Pulse to combine. Scrape down the sides of the processor with a rubber spatula. This makes a thick dough.

Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar until they form stiff peaks.

Spoon the thick dough into a large mixing bowl. Gently fold about 1/4 of the egg whites into the batter.

The dough is soft but a bit dry so this first batch is a challenge. Just keep folding slowly, coming up from the sides and bottom of the bowl with your spatula to gently turn it over the egg whites.

Add another 1/4 of the egg whites into the bowl and fold again. It should start getting easier. Gently does it.



Now spoon your batter into the bowl with the balance of the egg whites and fold them together.

Again, gently does it. Try to keep as much of the air in the whites as possible.

Spoon the batter into your prepared Bundt pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and a wooden skewer comes out clean.

Food Lust People Love: Based on traditional recipes from Périgord, this gateau de noix or French nut cake is made lighter than the original with flour and baking powder in addition to beaten egg whites. It is still dense and rich with a wonderful buttery nutty flavor.


Leave to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then carefully turn the nut cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely. If desired, brush the Bundt with hazelnut liqueur and fill the hole with some chopped hazelnuts and walnuts.

Food Lust People Love: Based on traditional recipes from Périgord, this gateau de noix or French nut cake is made lighter than the original with flour and baking powder in addition to beaten egg whites. It is still dense and rich with a wonderful buttery nutty flavor.

You could even serve it along with little glasses of liqueur, if you’d like. This is a celebration after all!

Food Lust People Love: Based on traditional recipes from Périgord, this gateau de noix or French nut cake is made lighter than the original with flour and baking powder in addition to beaten egg whites. It is still dense and rich with a wonderful buttery nutty flavor.

Enjoy!

Food Lust People Love: Based on traditional recipes from Périgord, this gateau de noix or French nut cake is made lighter than the original with flour and baking powder in addition to beaten egg whites. It is still dense and rich with a wonderful buttery nutty flavor.


I’d like to thank all of my fellow Bundt Bakers for their support these last five years. It’s been a labor of love for sure and I cherish the friendship we share. Check out all of our nutty 5-year-anniversary Bundts!


BundtBakers

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers, can be found on our home page.

Pin this Gateau de Noix - French Nut Cake!

Food Lust People Love: Based on traditional recipes from Périgord, this gateau de noix or French nut cake is made lighter than the original with flour and baking powder in addition to beaten egg whites. It is still dense and rich with a wonderful buttery nutty flavor.
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