Monday, March 21, 2011

The Cooky Book: Peanut Butter Honey Cookies

The Recipe: Peanut Butter Honey Cookies from Betty Crocker's The Cooky Book

The Substitutions: Butter for shortening. I also ran out of honey, so there was about 1/3 cup of honey topped up with maple syrup.

The Verdict: So painfully boring. I thought these guys would be tasty, what with the peanut butter and the honey. But no, they're just really really boring. Absolutely no one in my family has been eating these and I can't even send them to school because of the high peanut butter content. They're so simple and should be so great, but they're just a snooze. Boo, Betty Crocker. Boo.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Cooky Book: Shamrock Cookies

The Recipe: Shamrock Cookies from Betty Crocker's The Cooky Book

The Substitutions: butter for shortening

The Verdict: I was truly expecting these little nuggets of Irish-ness to be the Shamrock Shake of cookies. Then I remembered that Shamrock Shakes are too sweet and never quite minty enough. With that said, these little green mounds are indeed the Shamrock Shake of cookies.

I made these a week early for St. Patrick's Day so that the Irish-y anticipation could build. They were so boring in taste thought that I ended up sticking all five dozen of them in the freezer so that they could just be taken to work on the day itself (all cookies are appreciated in offices, even boring, barely minty ones). I put in the maximum required amount of peppermint extract and the mint factor barely registers. Also, it should be noted that they're made with icing sugar rather than regular granulated sugar, which makes the texture really soft and flaky. My final complaint is that they're just a pain to make, with each cooking having to be individually molded. Pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Not even close.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Cooky Book: Oatmeal Coconut Crispies

The Recipe: Oatmeal Coconut Crispies from Betty Crocker's The Cooky Book

The Substitutions: Butter for shortening

The Verdict: Surprisingly awesome. I was afraid that these were going to be another exercise in dullness, but they're really really good. The texture and consistency (and for the most part, the taste) is reminiscent of Dad's brand oatmeal cookies, or at least that's what my tastebud memory is telling me (obviously, I don't buy a lot of store-bought cookies). Which means that they're crunchy and hard, rather than soft and tender. And this is just fine with me, because that extra crunch translates into coconutty deliciousness.

Corn and Butternut Squash Chowder

The Recipe: Corn and Butternut Squash chowder from Martha

The Substitutions: I used a splash of milk rather than heavy cream.

The Verdict: Undeniable success! With it being so cold we've instituted a weekly soup night in our house and this was a great addition. It's your regular butternut squash soup (with the butternut being chopped and cooked in the pot rather than roasted) with some corn thrown in. The corn makes the soup really sweet and delicious. There's no curry or strong flavoring in this soup, so if you have kids who are willing to eat soup this one is a foolproof winner. I just put in a splash of milk to give a taste of creaminess, avoiding the extra calories of full cream. Either way, it's substantial enough to work on it's own (with the addition of buttery bread) as a dinner meal.