Lucky Charm Brownies

When I saw the name of this recipe, I was picturing having to go through a box of cereal to get a cup of the Lucky Charm marshmallows to mix into the batter haha.

I was wrong. These are an almond flavored brownie that brings about such joy, that Dorie thought of them as a lucky charm…hence the name.

This brownie is different…both with the ingredients and texture. We used almonds, eggs, sugar, butter, melted chocolate, and amaretti cookies which are an imported Italian almond cookie. The batter is whirled together in a food processor to get everything finely ground and then baked. After cooling, the brownies are glazed with a chocolate ganache and then topped with crushed amaretti cookie crumbles and set to chill for about 30 min. I thought I would have trouble cutting these and getting nice squares, but no problem. I found these to cut more like fudge than a regular brownie.

These were a hit with just about everyone I had taste them…16 people this time! They were different than what you would expect and had a strong almond flavor due to the amaretti cookies both in the brownie and on top. I think everyone thought they were a good change.

Me…I am just not that sophisticated I guess because I think you shouldn’t mess with a regular brownie haha everyone else said this one was definitely a keeper.

Meatballs and Spaghetti

Meatballs and Spaghetti…simple and straightforward, but nothing about this dish tastes simple…as my husband put it, “this isn’t my mom’s spaghetti with a jar of Ragu!” 😂

This is the most authentic Italian meal I have ever made. It was absolutely delicious!

The sauce begins its simmer while you make the meatballs. I chose to swap out the beef and regular hot sausage after seeing a fellow baker of mine, Steph, said she used ground turkey and hot turkey sausage. (Great call…thanks Steph!) I also used whole wheat pasta.

The meatballs, like I said, were a combo of ground turkey and hot turkey sausage mixed with onion, rolled oats, chopped walnuts, salt, pepper, basil, and a beaten egg. You combine the mixture and make 24-28 meatballs which you brown in a skillet without cooking them through, as they will cook for a long time in the sauce. After browning them, you add them to the sauce, pushing them down so they are submerged. I made a double recipe of the sauce since I figured more sauce is always better…and I was right! The meatballs and sauce simmered for and hour and a half in my new dutch oven which I was super excited to use! Dorie tells us this long, gentle simmer will flavor the sauce without overcooking the meat.

I am not one to touch raw meat…always preferring to use a fork…so you can imagine, I don’t really enjoy “making meatballs”. That being said, this recipe would be an instance where I will suffer through haha. We loved this dinner and I will absolutely make it again. 😃

This one’s a keeper!

Chocolate-Cranberry and Almond Cookies

This cookie recipe tells us we are in for a surprise…extra flavor and texture. The dried cranberries and sweet almond meringue crunch offer a sophistication to a plain chocolate cookie base.

We start with a “Do-Almost-Anything Chocolate Cookie Dough” consisting of the usual flour, sugar, eggs, cocoa ingredients. Once you have the base made, we add in dried cranberries that have been chopped and steeped in hot water for 10 minutes. The dough is rolled out between parchment paper and put in the freezer for a minimum of 1 hour. After chilling time, the dough is cut into 2in circles and topped with an almond crunch made from sliced/slivered almonds coated in confectioners sugar and egg white. The cookies are then baked for 20min…which i thought was a long time for cookies.

The outcome is a cookie with interesting texture just like Dorie told us they would be…imagine that haha There is a chewiness to these, that is addicting actually. We decided these cookies would be the perfect addition to coffee and tea as they aren’t really an overly sweet cookie.

I don’t know why, but I usually find myself comparing cookies to just the old fashion chocolate chip cookie and I still think those are hard to beat haha

Happy New Year everyone!

Butter-Glazed Turnips

I love a good, roasted vegetable and have used turnips in the past to add to a mixture. I can’t recall ever making turnips to stand alone. This recipe gives us a new technique to prepare turnips, or carrots we are told, that is quick and easy.

After chopping the turnip, you simple cook them in a pan of bubbling butter, sugar, salt and water. As the water evaporates, the turnips are cooked and glazed. Give them a drizzle of honey and pepper and you are done. Really couldn’t be simpler.

We enjoyed these. I think the turnip is an under represented vegetable in most people’s kitchen. It wasn’t until the last year or so, I added them to my rotation every once in a while. We also had roasted potatoes for dinner and I liked these mixed in…gave a hint of sweetness to the combination.

I would make these again, and would give this technique a try on the carrots as Dorie suggested in the recipe.

Happy New Year!