One of my most indulgent and impossible to ignore food cravings is chocolate chip cookie dough. Whether it’s Ben & Jerry’s ice cream or anything else, there is something about that rich, decadent flavor with just a tiny hint of salt that drives my tastebuds and my MOAR MOAR MOAR brain circuits absolutely nuts. Obviously, even the types of cookie dough that are safe to consume (like the ones sold in ice cream) are not an “every day” food, so I wanted to create a recipe for a sweet treat that tastes decadent, but made of nutritionally dense ingredients that carry no risk of salmonella or e coli poisoning. (TIP: Most people, me included, have been told all our lives that only the raw eggs in cookie dough are a concern. Raw flour is actually just as likely or more likely to be contaminated with poisonous pathogens.)
When Nielsen Massey was nice enough to provide me with a bottle of their premium vanilla extract to sample, I decided to make my move. When you smell or taste this extract side by side with a “regular” pure vanilla extract, you’ll notice that the flavors in this one are richer and deeper and more complex. (I compared this side by side with a store brand from my local grocery store chain.) The flavor in this premium vanilla makes a noticeable difference in the flavor of the smoothie, and it is a star player in fooling my taste buds into thinking I have just had a cookie dough shake. (Spoiler: this smoothie contains no actual cookie dough. No cookies were harmed in the making of this shake.) The fat in cookies acts as a flavor carrier, which is probably why I love cookie dough SO MUCH. That flavor and the velvety mouth feel is what I was trying to reproduce in this smoothie.
So when your brain, which frankly doesn’t have to wear jeans and therefore doesn’t care whether they fit or not, will not shut up about wanting cookie dough, try feeding it this instead, and see if you can distract it long enough to make a salad sound like a good idea. (Ha ha. Just kidding, salad is good too…)
Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in blender and blend until smooth.
Add chocolate chips and pulse until evenly distributed.
Garnish with additional chopped chocolate chips, if desired.
DO NOT be tempted to add the chocolate chips to the blender without chopping first. You will be disappointed unless you have one of those highly intelligent, robot blenders that do everything but wash and wax your car, because the chips get clumped up under the cutting blade instead of mixed into your smoothie. You also very much want a RIPE banana. The banana is supposed to fade into the background and provide texture, but if it's green the green banana flavor jumps out and ruins the illusion.
When I host a brunch time gathering, I like to make something that is definitely a treat, but that has enough substance to keep you going through the next part of the day. This hearty bread pudding was perfect on both counts. I tried it with fruit, nuts, whipped cream, and powdered sugar and cinnamon. My little guy declared it “honey cake” (Why? I have no idea, as it’s nothing like cake, but if it makes him happy, it makes me happy.) and kept trying to steal mine. (You’re lucky I got a photo for you, as he’s perfectly capable of inserting his spoon right into my photo shoot!)
My guests also seemed to approve, as I got many compliments. My only word of advice is to make sure you use a large enough casserole. I did not, and the praline topping boiled over into an unholy mess in my oven. Enjoy!
Everybody loves fresh bread, so sometimes all you need to make dinner super special is some hot, fresh dinner rolls and a little butter. I bet you think they are hard to make, but you couldn’t be more wrong! Thanks to this super easy recipe from JMM Danette, you will be putting out hot, fresh dinner rolls any time you want.
If you love dinner rolls, you’ll be delighted to keep this basic recipe handy. All the ingredients are things you most likely keep on hand all the time, so you can throw them together without too much advance planning. They’ll be ready in just a bit over an hour, so if you start them when you start thinking about what’s for dinner, they’ll be ready when you are. Make ahead tip: Make the dough, do the first rise, and roll the balls for the rolls. Line your “roll pan” with foil and load up the rolls as though you were planning to bake them. Freeze them, pop them out of the pan, and store them in a freezer bag to bake later. Just pull them out of the freezer, put them in the pan and let them thaw and do their second rise in the pan. Bonus: The foil will save on cleanup. Continue reading Dinner Rolls From Scratch that turn out every time!→