Tag Archives: Nuts

Chunky Chocolate and Walnut Cookies

Chunky Chocolate Walnut Cookies

I try not to post sweets two days in a row.  I know it’s not like there’s a rule somewhere that I should be following, so it must have happened without my realizing it.  In much the same way that sweets are savored when they’re available around here, I plan when they’ll be posted as well, hoping to break the stream of savory recipes I always have ready and waiting. Well, it sounds good, anyway.  In my next life, I’ll be Martha.  Okay, so maybe not.

It’s not like you can gain weight looking at photos, right? They show up on the computer screen and look great, but looking isn’t synonymous with ingesting or digesting. Jumping up to grab a snack bar, more of this or a little of that after drooling over aforementioned food on your computer screen does not count in this particular situation.

If you’re my youngest son, evidently, you don’t gain weight actually eating cookies, either, and I must confess; I’ve been trying to fatten him up. With half a year until his 17th birthday, he’s just over six feet and weighs in at a willowy 146. I know it’s all about HGH, and I had my opportunity to bask in the glow of eating and not gaining decades ago, but clearly that time has passed.


Evidently, he’s inherited both my husband’s and my skinny genes.  Goodness knows we’re no longer using them.  And that would be genes — not jeans — because he’s not one for skinny jeans.  Instead, when shopping for pants, we have to decide just how small the hip size can be to maintain some modicum of bagginess he prefers, and a belt takes care of the rest.

What does this have to do with food, you ask?  Cookies.  It’s about cookies.  And this week, Chunky Chocolate Walnut Cookies, to be specific.  Yes, it’s Week Three, and I’m still making cookies for my boy.  I think it’s because it’s a helluva lot easier than committing to exercise regularly even though I’ve been sort of trying to maybe think about possibly getting off my rump to do that, too.  I logged about 10 miles walking last week.  Not bad, right?

Does it count that when I got home from my 4-mile walk yesterday, the first thing I did was reach into the bag of cookies I’d made for my son last week?  I only had one.  Truly.  I did.

They’re rich, they’re chocolatey, and if you’re me, then your tastebuds sing when you bite into a piece of walnut, too. No pecans in these babies.  They’re light and soft and have given me pause about milk chocolate since I’m a devout fan of dark chocolate.  Did I mention the chunks are dark?

Mmmm….

Continue reading

Italian Almond Orange Cake: Mediterranean Meal’s Dessert

Moroccan spice blend for lamb...
A week ago, I decided to ask friends over for dinner — friends I've known for a very long time.  It's the group I've mentioned before; the females know each other by profession, and the husbands by default.  It works and we all enjoy getting together to eat. 

It's a good thing we enjoy each others company, because this time, the food was less than stellar.  Sure, I'm being my usual critical self, but still.  Maybe it was because the week of warm temperatures had lulled me into thinking summer was around the corner and I was daydreaming.  Or that I'd quietly enjoyed taking my time in the kitchen that day thinking about the sequence of what I'd make first, then next, swearing I'd have good photos to use this time.  It was truly my favorite kind of day. But I know cooking for a group of people needs to be more than just pleasant time spent in the kitchen for it to be delicious as well.

I'd been in the mood for Mediterranean flavors and had a boneless leg of lamb in the freezer. Something Moroccan seemed perfect for the evening and although I scanned many recipes that sounded truly delicious, I settled on one from a cookbook one of my older sons had given to me:  The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook by Tess Mallos.  The only problem is that the lamb meat would need to be cut into chunks for the Seksu Bil Lahm or Couscous with Lamb and Vegetables.  It seemed a waste to cut the leg of lamb up for the dish even though the flavors were exactly what I'd wanted.

The night before the party, I changed my mind and chose a different recipe instead.  You know what they say about changing your mind at the last minute, right?  So…

The spices' aroma was heavenly...

…this post won't be about the Moroccan Spice-Rubbed Leg of Lamb.  Lovingly rubbed, basted in an interesting honey-lemon syrup, and roasted to an internal temp of 145 degrees, the meat was too done for me…

Shrimp, calamari, clams...
IMG_9066

…and it won't be about the Seafood appetizer with Romesco Sauce I made because I sort of threw it together and will have to try it again, writing down the ingredients.  It's a bit challenging to do all of that when people are waiting to eat…

IMG_9075 IMG_9077

…nor will this be about my second attempt to make a Briami me Feta or Greek Vegetable Casserole with Feta.  Even though the layers were oh, so patiently put together, and carefully seasoned before baking for 90 minutes, the very thinnly sliced potatoes were not done. Par-boiling is definitely in order next time.  And there will be a next time because the flavor of this casserole was truly delicious — especially with a bite of the lamb.  Maybe next time, the lamb needs to be layered in the casserole.

Italian Orange Almond Cake

No, this will be about the dessert, which is where my day began last Saturday morning in my kitchen.  It will be about the Sformato di Aanci or Orange and Almond Cake that was so very moist and delicious.  Jenny of All Things Edible, an old Daring Baker friend has a new house and is celebrating with a Housewarming.  Join in on the celebration and send her a recipe to share before January 30th.  The more the merrier, right?  We think so!

Dinner with Friends is always good...

Continue reading

Banana Chocolate Chip Bars

IMG_8662

Somehow, it seems I’ve gotten myself into what appears to be a New Year’s resolution.  Since I’m not one to make resolutions, I guess it chose me by default.  In my attempt to use what we had on hand to cook and bake as much as possible this month, I decided to bake my son some treats to pack in his lunch for school.  My pantry is stuffed, so the possibilities are endless.

If you saw his lunch, you’d argue with me about whether it actually resembled what you or I might call a standard lunch, but it helps put calories in his tall lanky frame until he can come home in the early afternoon to eat another meal before dinner.

He’s fairly accommodating and knew I was going to be cutting back on my habitual trips to the grocery store, so readily agreed to go along with what looks like may become a Monday ritual.  Since I have absolutely no rituals, this should be interesting.

But I’m thinking about it, and like the idea:  1)  I can try many new recipes; 2) I know what ingredients are going into his treats since they’re coming out of my pantry; 3)  it will keep my pantry under control; and 4) I’d like to think it will save some money, but I truly wonder about it.  I’ll have to get out my calculator once in a while to figure it out.

With two weeks down and about 37 to go, I’m two for two, so can’t call my new practice a success yet, but I’ll keep you posted as the year unfolds.

Last week, the Resident Teen enjoyed a batch of Banana Chocolate Chip Bars.  I had some rather sad looking bananas sitting around and instead of putting them in the freezer for another day (and most likely trash day because months would go by before I used them…) I decided they’d go to good use as a lunch treat. 

Continue reading

Flourless Chocolate Almond Spice Cookies

This is my last official 12 Days of Cookies entry, finished a week behind my other cookie-baking buddies:  Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes, Claire of The Barefoot Kitchen, Sandy of At the Baker’s Bench, Courtney of Coco Cooks, Judy of No Fear Entertaining, and Jerry of Cooking by the Seat of My Pants.  And you’d think I’d be completely done with all cookies after this marathon, but I agreed to baking a few more for a good friend’s party yesterday.

I think it’s fitting that these flourless bites of chocolate and almonds found their way onto her big cookie platter, don’t you?

One of Gourmet’s Favorite Cookies from December 1994, Heart-Shaped Chocolate Almond Spice Cookies, or “Basler Brunsli” are a pleasant shift from the norm both in taste, ingredients, and preparation for me.  The “dough” is predominantly nuts and chocolate with egg whites and sugar.  A food processor makes the prep simple.

Continue reading

Caramelly Honey Nut Squares

Today is all about nuts.  Lots and lots of nuts — which is perfect for me about now as I listen to the painters downstairs finally, finally ripping the paper off the floor which has been taped on for more than a week.  I thought yesterday they’d be done, but they’re putting finishing touches here and there.  Clearly, they’re very thorough, which I’m grateful for.  I’m so ready to roll up my sleeves and rearrange my things again.

Dust.  Vacuum.  Hang pictures.  Tackle the pile in the garage to unbury my books.  Gather things for one last big donation of the year…

…then decorate for Christmas.

Like I said — NUTS!  Or in this case, Biscotti Quadrati al Miele e alle NociHoney Nut Squares, Gourmet’s Favorite Cookie from 2003.  These are a delightful bite of flaky cookie crust, creamy honey caramel and three kinds of nuts.  You can’t get much easier for something pleasant, crunchy, and surprisingly, not too sweet.

That makes eleven cookies with one left to go.  Here’s nuts to you! 

Continue reading