Monday, April 23, 2012

biscoff cookie dough bites

I have had an unopened container of Biscoff sitting in my pantry since Christmas. I had been searching for it the past year in Charlotte with no luck but finally found it in California when I was visiting my parents over Christmas. I think I did a little dance in the middle of the Whole Foods aisle when I found it, that stuff is not easy to get your hands on! So once I got home, I pushed it to the back of my pantry to save for a special occasion since I felt 99% sure it wouldn't show up in Charlotte anytime soon. And then, a few weeks ago... I found the creamy and crunchy versions of Biscoff at Wal-Mart! Of all places! So now that I know I have access to an unlimited supply of Biscoff I decided to break into the jar I had from Christmas. I wouldn't have used any of the Biscoff until I knew I could easily find more. Just like I don't want to wear my favorite sandals too often because I know when they get worn out I won't be able to find them again. Tell me I'm not the only one that thinks like this. 

For all of you that can't find Biscoff, Trader Joe's started selling a cookie butter that is very very similar. And for those of you that don't have a Trader Joe's near you, I'm sorry! But you can order Biscoff online. It's worth searching out, so delicious and addicting. If you can manage to not eat the entire Biscoff jar by the spoonful then you have to try these cookies. These cookie dough balls are perfectly undercooked. I love the baked cookie chewy exterior and the cookie dough middle, can't get much better! And the fact that they are bite sized, makes it that much easier to justify eating half the batch. 

Biscoff Cookie Dough Bites
makes 30 cookie dough bites, using a 1 inch cookie scoop

2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

6 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 c. biscoff spread (you could use peanut butter if you don't have biscoff)
1/2 c. light brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. granulated sugar
 2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c.semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used mini's)

Preheat oven to 350°F. 

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter, biscoff, and sugars together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat together until combined. Add the remaining half of the flour mixture and mix until the dough just comes together. Stir in chocolate chips. Scoop into balls using a 1 inch cookie scoop or use your hands to roll the dough into balls. Place cookie balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 8-11 minutes. Let cool and set on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. 

Note: the cookies will seem under baked when they come out of the oven, don't worry they will set up! 

Recipe adapted from: The Novice Chef

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

caramelized onion, bacon & gruyere cheese monkey bread

I feel like I haven't been in my kitchen in forever. Sadly, I think it's mostly due to the fact that I've been lazy but I did get a chance to think up some super delicious recipes. This savory monkey bread is my absolute favorite, I couldn't wait to share! I'd sadly never heard of monkey bread until this past year, much less tried it. I'm not sure how I went twenty-three years without ever trying it considering I'm a cinnamon sugar freak. I'm going to blame it on my parents as I've realized they never introduced me to monkey bread or sausage balls. Have you ever had a sausage ball? It's just bisquick, sausage and cheese, served warm and so addicting. I love and hate when coworkers bring them into work because I have no self restraint. I do have to give my parents some credit though, they have always encouraged me to try new foods so I'm thankful for that!

This savory monkey bread is inspired by well-known baker, Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar. In her cookbook, she has a recipe for Volcanoes which are large homemade bread bowls filled with caramelized onions, bacon, scalloped potatoes and then stuffed with Gruyere cheese. My family made these for Easter breakfast this year and they were awesome. They just took forever to make from start to finish. There are tons of steps to all of her recipes. Each step is totally worth it in the end but I wanted to find a way to create something similar but easier. This savory monkey bread does require some prep work but once you have the onions caramelized, the bacon cooked and the butter melted, it is a quick assembly. I absolutely love the caramelized onion, bacon and Gruyere cheese flavor combination and all of them stuffed inside pizza dough only makes it that much better.

Caramelized Onion, Bacon & Gruyere Cheese Monkey Bread
makes 4 small ramekins

for the monkey bread:
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 tbsp oil
5 strips of cooked bacon, diced
1 1/2 c. Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 can of pizza dough (I used Pillsbury from the refrigerated section of the grocery store)

for the garlic rosemary butter:
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp garlic
2 tsp rosemary, removed from stem

Preheat oven to 350°F. 

Melt butter in small pan over medium heat and then add garlic, saute garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add in rosemary and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Brush inside of ramekins or loaf pan with this garlic rosemary butter mixture and then set remaining butter aside.

In a separate pot, over medium-high heat add oil. Once oil is hot, add in onions and cook for 20-25 minutes or until they are golden brown, stirring every 4-5 minutes. Set onions aside.

Pull off large marble-sized pieces of pizza dough and flatten each one. Then place a small amount of onions, bacon pieces, and gruyere cheese in the middle of the flattened dough ball. Wrap the dough around the onions, bacon and cheese, pinching well to seal the ball shut.

Lightly brush each pizza ball with the melted garlic/butter/rosemary mixture.

Repeat until all the pizza dough has been used. Add pizza balls to your baking dish of choice. Sprinkle top with gruyere cheese.

For ramekin sized monkey bread, bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is very brown.

Note: If you want to make this into a bundt sized monkey bread, double the recipe and bake for 35-40 minutes.

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