The 12 Treats of Christmas: Chocolate-Caramel Thumbprints

by , on
Dec 4, 2013

Ok – now we’re really cookin’. Or baking, or whatever. Yesterday I said I’d give you a little something that would help use up any extra melty chocolate. These little fellas are the #1 cookie in my arsenal. Gooey, chocolatey. And they really look impressive. Again, not a huge batch – about 36 cookies, but so rich and decadent, that seems to be just enough. These also need a little fridge time for the dough so the delayed gratification only serves to make them sweeter.MommyDo Chocolate-Caramel Thumbprints (1)

 

Chocolate-Caramel Thumbprints

Yield: 36 Cookies

Prep 30 mins Chill 2 hrs Bake 350°F 10 mins  per batch

Ingredients

  • 1  egg
  • 1/2  cup  butter, softened
  • 2/3  cup  sugar
  • 2  tablespoons  milk
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla
  • 1  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1/3  cup  unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 16  vanilla caramels, unwrapped
  • 3  tablespoons  whipping cream
  • 1 1/4  cups  finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2  cup  (3 ounces) semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 1  teaspoon  shortening

Directions

1. Separate egg; place yolk and white in separate bowls. Cover and chill egg white until needed. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat well. Beat in egg yolk, milk, and vanilla.

2. In another bowl stir together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat until well combined. Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours or until easy to handle.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. In a small saucepan heat and stir caramels and whipping cream over low heat until mixture is smooth. Set aside.

4. Slightly beat reserved egg white. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in egg white, then in pecans to coat. Place balls 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheet. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the center of each cookie.

5. Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are firm. If cookie centers puff during baking, repress with your thumb. Spoon melted caramel mixture into indentations of cookies. Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool. (If necessary, reheat caramel mixture to keep it spoonable.)

6. In another saucepan heat and stir chocolate pieces and shortening over low heat until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Let cool slightly. Drizzle chocolate mixture over tops of cookies.* Let stand until chocolate is set.

I decided I’d take this delicious dough and invent a cookie of my own. This is one case where the idea was better than the end result. Don’t get me wrong, they are delicious. But the candycane melted and made the cookie part very squishy and sticky. Letting them cool on the parchment greatly improved the outcome.

I give you Chocolate-Peppermint Mushies

MommyDo Chocolate-Peppermint Mushies

I made the dough as above, rolled in crushed candy cane instead of nuts, put a junior mint in the thumbprint and drizzled with white chocolate. Follow my lead at your own risk on these little fellers.

Happy Baking!

The 12 Treats of Chirstmas: Peppermint Patties

by , on
Dec 2, 2013

Ok, one cookie down. Now for something that takes a little more commitment. Homemade Peppermint Patties. I know I posted about these a few months ago, but when looking to the Top 12, you can’t leave these out. They always get tons of compliments – I mean really, who knew you could make your own peppermint patties? So, so good.

MommyDo Peppermint Patties

I usually let the innards sit overnight so they have a little snap. And, I find they take more chocolate than you think. The dipping is a real pain. You’ll want to quit about 10 times. But later, once you’re polishing off the last one, you’ll wish you hadn’t given up and tossed a bunch of undipped middles out. Trust me. Keep on dipping.

Remember to use bakers chocolate or candy coating so the chocolate hardens nicely. And, (like I really need to say this) be sure to save some for guests. I know it’s hard, but you’re not supposed to eat them all yourself. You can find this recipe online here on the Eagle Brand website.

Ingredients:

1 can (300ml) Regular Eagle Brand Sweetened condensed Milk

1tbsp (15ml) peppermint extract (I add a little more to make them extra minty)

6 cups (1.5L) confectioners’ sugar (that’s icing sugar)

1 1/2lbs chocolate candy coating or dark or semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted.

1. Combine Eagle Brand and peppermint extract. Add sugar, beating on low speed until smooth and well blended. Turn mixture onto surface sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar.

2. Knead lightly to form a smooth ball. Shape into 1 inch (2.54cm)  balls. Place 2cm paart o n parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Flatten each ball into a 1 1/2 inch (4cm) patty. (I used the flat bottom of a drinking glass lightly dusted with sugar.)

3. Let dry 1 hour or longer; turn over and let dry at least 1 hour. With fork, dip each patty into warm candy coating (draw fork lightly across rim of pan to remove excess coating). Invert onto wax-paper-lined baking sheets; let stand until firm. Store covered at room temperature or in refrigerator.

4. Try very hard not to eat them all as soon as they’ve hardened.

MommyDo 3 Peppermint Patties

Enjoy!

Tomorrow, we’ll tackle cookies that you can make to use up the leftover chocolate after you dip the patties.

Crispy Waffles

by , on
Nov 13, 2013

Waffles are a Sunday morning fav around here. The boy eats them and I don’t mind whipping up a batch in the early hours. They are dead simple, fairly low on the sweet factor…until the syrup anyway.

MOMMYDO WAFFLE TIP: Cool your waffles on a wire rack instead of in a stack to have a yummy crisp crust on both sides.

waffles

Yes, these are a little ‘homey’ looking, but they taste fab. Super easy too.

My favourite recipe is here, and takes about 5 min plus cooking time. I use a big whisk instead of the hand blender as I often make them with the boy while the husband is still sleeping. And, I usually add a whole teaspoon of vanilla rather than the 1/2 noted in the recipe.

In case you’re thinking “wow, I could really use a waffle maker” I have a Cuisinart like this one and it works great.

Waffles. Wire rack. You’re welcome.

This isn’t a sponsored post. Just a note about stuff I have that I like,

What makes you feel like a winner?

by , on
Nov 5, 2013

For me, these days, it’s trying a new recipe and having it turn out to be as good as the picture looks. For one lucky blog commenter, it’s winning the stamp of their choice! For a little more on the stamp winner, scroll to the bottom of the post.

This weekend I tried 2 recipes from Pinterest and BOTH were great. There’s no point in showing my photos since the original posters’ look far more appetizing. I have to say both of these will be part of the regular rotation around here. They def get the MOMMYDO two thumbs up.

Both are slow cooker recipes. The first is from La Creme de la Crumb

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Tried it! So, so good. Like, leave-what-you’re-doing-right-now-and-go-to-the-store-and-get-what-you-need-and-go-home-and-put-it-in-the-slow-cooker-right-now kind of good. Quick and easy to prepare. Tastes super fab and is fancy enough company.

The second is from The Comfort of Cooking

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Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken.

Also super yummy and easy to make. The chicken is juicy and the sauce is sweet and tangy. We put both onto tortillas to make tacos one day and served on rice the next. 4 days worth of meals (with lunches) for less than 20 min prep each.

Awesome.

What’s also awesome is winning a stamp! There weren’t a lot of comments, and I didn’t count my sister. So, of the seven, it’s Lucky #7 that won.

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I’ll contact you to let you know you’ve won and give you the details. If you haven’t responded in 72 hours, I’ll pick a new winner.

Thanks to Lindsay at The Penny Paper Co. for donating our wonderful prize.

I’ll contact you with the details.

Thanksgiving – the one where we stabbed the turkey.

by , on
Oct 15, 2013

Well, stabbed it with a rotisserie stick. I’m gonna call it Dizzy Turkey. And I’m also going to call it delicious.

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I’m thankful that we had the brilliant idea to stick the bird on the grill. I’m also thankful that there wasn’t much fanfare this year.

There was food…lots of food…Dizzy Turkey, my Dad’s Secret Stuffing (oven style as many sources recommend not stuffing a rotisserie turkey), mashed potatoes, candied yams, squash, ginger-maple roasted parsnips and carrots, broccoli, homemade bread machine bread, gravy and even homeade cranberry sauce. Oh, and pumpkin pie, fresh baked by my  mom.

A right feast. Which may seem like overkill to some, considering Husband and I shared this bountiful meal side by side at our kitchen island while the boy flitted around and the girl slept. But it was just fine with me.

I have a great deal to be thankful for. This year especially…as things could have turned out so differently. And yet, it’s a complicated thanks. Very personal. Still a little raw. Filled with hope for the future, but mindful of the past and how easily this could have been a very different kind of post. I’m still in awe of the miracle of my little girl. That she was possible. That she survived to be born. That she continues to surprise. Thankful for my little man. Our home – despite it’s challenges. Husband – who is up feeding baby as I type this.

There’s just so much. Too much. It makes me feel a little dizzy.

Kind of like this guy…

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Dizzy Turkey

(The uncomplicated way – made up by us)

Bring the bird up to room temp.

Prep it for cooking – rinse, pat dry, remove anything that may be lurking inside.

Stuff 3-5 unpeeled cloves of garlic into the cavity.

Place it on the spit as directed by your instructions.

Generously rub it with olive oil and ground sea salt and pepper.

Place it on the BBQ and fiddle around with the weight until you get it balanced right (which for us took about 30 min).

Place a drip tray under the bird. We cut a whole onion and placed it in the tray along with 1/2 a bottle of beer.

Cook using the back burner on med-high (around 350).

Baste every 30 min. (We added beer to the pan as it evaporated then added chicken stock when the beer bottle started to run low)

Cook to an internal temperature of 165. (about 2.5  hours for an 12 lb bird)

Sometimes I dream about these at night. Homemade Peppermint Patties

by , on
Oct 11, 2013

Like last night for instance.

Why does Christmas baking only happen once a year (and not at freakin’ Thanksgiving)? And yes, I could just make them now, but then I’d eat them all and they would lose some of their magic. Holiday treat magic…

Anyway, now you can dream about them too. Or make them…so, so good.

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Here’s the recipe! Good old Eagle Brand. For reasons I can’t explain I can eat these despite my lactose intolerance. Many, many of them. All in one sitting.

Peppermint Patties

  • Servings: about 8 dozen
  • Serving Size:
  • Nutrition: See Below
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 tablespoon peppermint extract
  • Green or red food coloring (optional)
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 pounds chocolate-flavored candy coating*, melted

Instructions

  • LINE baking sheets with wax paper.
  • COMBINE sweetened condensed milk, peppermint extract and food coloring, if desired, in large bowl. Add 6 cups powdered sugar; beat on low speed until smooth and well blended. Turn mixture onto surface sprinkled with powdered sugar.
  • KNEAD lightly to form smooth ball. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Flatten each ball into a 1 1/2-inch patty.
  • LET dry 1 hour or longer; turn over and let dry at least 1 hour. With fork, dip each patty into warm candy coating (draw fork lightly across rim of pan to remove excess coating). Invert onto wax-paper-lined baking sheets; let stand until firm. Store covered at room temperature or in refrigerator.
  • *Also called confectioners’ or summer coating.

Close Print

Quick Eats

by , on
Sep 24, 2013

A big theme in our kitchen these days is fast food. Not like ‘can I have some fries with that’ fast food. More ‘I want to cook good eats without spending my day in the kitchen’ fast.

So I found a recipe on Pinterest that inspired this creation:

Lasagna Veloce

lasagna rapido_post

This one pan Lasagna is made on the stove top in a skillet in about 30 min if you have some sauce handy.

So easy. Take some thin meat sauce and spread it in the bottom of a skillet.

(I made from scratch but you can always add some browned ground beef to jar sauce to save time.)

Add a layer of lasagna noodles. Then a layer sauce and some fresh spinach. Then noodles. Then put lots of little small bits of noodles around the edges so you get lots of tasty noodles…then cover with a little more sauce.

Add about 3/4 of a cup of water, cover and simmer for about 20 min.

I opened the lid and double checked the noodles a few times. I added more water to one skillet and turned the other up a little to make sure the liquid was bubbling around the noodles.

After the noodles are cooked, dob some cottage cheese or ricotta onto the noodles and cover with mozzarella cheese.

Put the lid back on and cook for another 5 min.

I also added a little parmesan cheese at this point.

To finish, I put the skillet in the over and broiled the Lasagna Veloce for a few minutes to get that crusty “baked in the oven lasagna taste”.

For a lactose free option:

As you read I made 2 skillets. In the second I used lactose-free cottage cheese and goat cheese mozzarella. As parmesan is lactose free, I added that too.

It’s really, really as good as the real thing. It’s currently my favourite food.

I have some photos of the steps, but once again, my food photos aren’t fab. Honestly, it tastes better than it looks in my pics.

lasagnarapidocollage_post

You say Rocket, I say Arugula

by , on
Aug 26, 2013

I’ve been eating a lot of Arugula lately. For some reason the peppery goodness has moved to the top of the list of (healthy) things I like to eat. I qualify healthy because in a fight to the death in my kitchen, a cupcake will always triumph.

Anyhoo, one fabtab way I’ve been cashing in on my Arugula craving is with this pasta dish.

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It’s fast to make, super delish, and has goat cheese – bonus!

You’ll find the recipe from Chatelaine Magazine here, or follow along below.

Spicy spaghettini with goat cheese, tomato and artichoke

Ingredients

  • 1/2 375 g pkg high fibre spaghettini
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp hot-red-chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 398 mL can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 2 cup packed arugula
  • 4 1/2 inch slices goat cheese

Instructions

  • Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water, following package directions, but omitting salt, until al dente. Drain and return pasta to pot.
  • Heat a large frying pan over medium. Add oil, then garlic, chili flakes, salt, whole tomatoes and artichokes. Cook, shaking pan often, until tomatoes start to pop, about 6 min. Stir tomato mixture into cooked pasta until well coated. Stir in arugula just before serving. Top each serving with a slice of goat cheese.

Photo: MommyDo

Feeling Smoothie – My frozen discovery

by , on
Aug 14, 2013

I’ve been feeling pretty run down. Having a baby that doesn’t sleep, a 3.5 year old, a business, an on-going battle with all the crap in this house. SO I thought maybe adding a boost of nutrition would help turn this frown upside down.

Now I need to make an embarrassing admission. I do love a smoothy and I have a superfab blender. But I never make them because we never have ice in the freezer. Currently the reason is bags and bags of expressed milk. Anyhoo. I thought, no ice, no smoothy.

But, I am apparently the only one who didn’t know, the FRUIT IS THE ICE. USE FROZEN FRUIT DUMMY.

feeling smoothie ingredients mommydo

Then add delicious yogurt (lactose-free), banana, a little milk (lactose-free of course) and blend away.

Finished Banana Berry Smoothie - Feeling smoothie

Yum.

Not sure that it’s actually giving me a boost, but I sure feel like a smartie pants. Frozen Fruit! Genius.

BBQ Ribs: Cookin’ like a golden girl

by , on
Jul 11, 2013
Mommydo BBQ Ribs recipe

Bbq ribs recipe mommydo

Ok, not quite. But here in Canada, there are a couple of magazines that used to seem like ‘old lady magazines’ to me. Well either I am an old lady or they’ve done some work on catching the mom-with-kids set because they are now my fav’s! One in particular, Chatelaine, set the stage, or the table I suppose, for some delicious eats this weekend. First, we made some ribs – from scratch (well, not the actual meat part) and then we made a magazine recipe/my own imagining warm potato and asparagus salad that was delish. I have mentioned already that my food photography needs some work, but even so, you have to admit these look pretty yummy.

Then we grilled up these lovlies and tossed them in a warm salad dressing from said formerly for Old Birds site.

grilled potato salad mommydo

 

The ribs are in the lastest issue – but here’s the recipe… (confession – I used back ribs)

Memphis-style pork side ribs

Ingredients

  • 2 kg pork side ribs
  • 4 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

SAUCE

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp hot sauce

Instructions

  • PREHEAT oven to 325F. Trim silverskin membrane and excess fat off ribs. Slice each rib rack in half.
  • STIR paprika with salt and cayenne in a small bowl. Season with fresh pepper. Rub spice mixture on both sides of ribs. Arrange ribs, meaty-side up, in a shallow roasting pan. Add enough water so that it reaches 1/4 in. up side of pan. Cover tightly with foil. Bake in centre of oven until meat is tender, 70 to 90 min. Transfer ribs to platter, discard liquid.
  • STIR sauce ingredients in a saucepan and set over medium. Gently boil 8 to 10 min.
  • PREHEAT barbecue to medium-low. Brush ribs with sauce. Oil grill, then barbecue ribs, with lid open, turning and basting with sauce, until ribs are glazed and heated through, 8 to 10 min. Remove to a cutting board. Slice into 1-rib portions and serve.

No Barbecue? To finish the ribs in the oven, discard liquid in roasting pan. Arrange ribs, meaty-side up, then generously baste with sauce. Continue baking, uncovered, in the centre of a 325F oven for 30 min. Brush with sauce every 10 min until ribs are glazed.

The salad dressing I used comes from Canadian Living’s site. There’s a whole salad here. But, as I just wanted to use some simple grilled potatoes and asparagus, I just used the dressing bit.

  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper

In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Pour over potatoes. Add celery, green pepper and basil. Toss together.

All in all it was a tasty feast – pretty quick aside from the long time the ribs sat in the oven – and with a simple green salad, it was almost healthy too!

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