Cookies for Santa?
There are food bloggers, and then there are food bloggers.
There are those of us who are on top of things… who make a whole Thanksgiving dinner a month before Thanksgiving. That way we can write about all our dishes before the holiday, so our readers can make those dishes for Thanksgiving.
Those of us who already know what we’re going to bake long before December, and have already tested the recipes and taken the photos before there’s even a hint of December in the air.
Those people are probably already starting to think about what they’ll be serving for Easter next year.
I… am most certainly not one of those people.
Heh. Yeah. Definitely not.
Holiday baking? Um… haven’t even started.
Right. Gotta get on that.
I’m more the kind of food blogger who cooks for a holiday, like a normal person, and then posts about it after the fact, right about when nobody cares about that holiday any longer. Yeah, I’m timely like that.
I made these cookies, from Joy the Baker way back in June, but at the time I definitely didn’t have Christmas on the mind. (No, these were for my little sister, who was graduating at the time.)
However, these are definitely going to make an appearance for Christmas as well. After all, these flourless cookies made my newly gluten-free grandmother tear up when she realized she could actually eat some! Yes, that totally means I need to make them again…
(Also, as a side note, if you accidentally only put in half the amount of peanut butter, your cookies will turn out very flat. Still delicious, but definitely flatter than they should be… o_0)
Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies
Cook Time: 10 minutes
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 6 slices bacon
- In a frying pan, fry up the bacon until crispy. Let cool on paper towels, and then dice into small (1/4-inch) pieces.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cream the peanut butter and sugars, about 2 minutes. Add in the egg and baking soda and mix for another 2 minutes. Fold in the bacon.
- Roll the dough into 1-1/2 inch balls, and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Flatten in a criss-cross pattern using a fork dipped in sugar.
- Bake 10 minutes, then cool on a cooling rack.
Creamy Cauliflower Soup
In today’s edition of ‘Foods Allison hated when she was a kid’ (trust me, this could go on for a while)… CAULIFLOWER.
Growing up, my sister loved cauliflower. Me, I was more of a broccoli kind of girl. (Cauliflower for dinner?! Eeewwww… gross.)
(As an amusing aside, the other day I mentioned to my mom that I’m not a huge fan of bell peppers. She responded, “Really? I thought you like everything?!” I looked at her askance and burst out laughing. “You do realize I’m the kid who wouldn’t eat anything when I was younger…” “Yeah,” she mused, “you were so picky when you were little!”)
Look, mom, I’m eating cauliflower!
I actually had no plans to try making anything with cauliflower in it anytime soon… the subconscious memories of my childhood aversion to it meant that it simply never occurred to me to even consider buying any. But a conversation with a friend about roasting vegetables (hi, Joann!) convinced me that maybe it was time to give that squeaky white vegetable a try once more.
So I bought a head of cauliflower.
And proceeded to look at it for two days, never quite going through with my intention to roast it.
But then I saw this recipe for Creamy Cauliflower Soup and thought… “okay, I can do that.”
Despite a few mishaps along the way (I didn’t check my pantry before going grocery shopping, and found out once I started cooking that – oops – I only had chicken stock, no vegetable stock), the soup turned out wonderfully. The potato adds enough creaminess and the caramelized onions enough sweetness to make the soup taste really decedent, even though it’s really just a bowl full of vegetables.
So do I love cauliflower now?
Well… not quite. The “squeakiness” of it still gets to me. However, I did eat up the entire batch of this cauliflower soup… so I will admit it’s starting to grow on me.
Those croutons are to die for.
Creamy Cauliflower Soup
Total Time: 40 minutes
- 6 oz whole grain bread, cut into cubes
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- kosher salt
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 medium potato, peeled and diced into 1/4-inch cubes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 head cauliflower, chopped into small florets
- 2/3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- To make the croutons: Preheat the oven to 350? F. Place the bread cubes in a medium bowl and toss with the melted butter, olive oil, and 1 tbsp dijon mustard until evenly coated. Spread the bread cubes out in an even layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until crunchy.
- Meanwhile, melt the remaining 2 tbsp of butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 4-5 minutes. Season with salt, then mix in the potato, garlic and vegetable broth. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, keep covered, and let cook for about 8 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add the cauliflower and cook about 5-6 minutes more, until the cauliflower is tender. Stir in the cheese and mustard.
- Puree with an immersion blender (or a food processor, vented to allow the steam to escape). Mix in additional water or broth if the soup is too thick. Season with additional salt to taste. Serve warm topped with additional shredded cheese and the croutons.