Category Archives: Food

Baconfest!

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This weekend was the Super Bowl and also a good friend’s birthday. In honor of both, we had Baconfest. All things pig and pig-derived. A few of the fun things I brought to the party:

Bacon Ranch Deviled Eggs

Hard boil a dozen eggs. Allow to cool, peel, and slice.
Combine egg yolks, 1/4 cup of ranch dressing, and 6 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled into little bits. Smaller is better!
Spoon yolk-ranch-bacon combination into a pastry bag or gallon storage bag with a corner snipped
Touch the tip into the bottom of the indent of an egg and gently squeeze the bag, lifting up as the cup fills. My friend Heather gave me this tip and it made it SO much easier!

I made some extra bacon-ranch by stirring cooked bacon into simple ranch dressing and left it out on the table for dipping veggies. Yum!

Bacon Crescents

Combine 8oz (1 package) of softened cream cheese with 4 slices of bacon, cooked well and crumbled into little bits.
Roll out a package of crescent rolls and cut each triangle in half.
Place a spoonful of the cream cheese mixture on the wide end of each triangle and roll up.
Bake for 8 minutes (or until golden brown) at 375

These were DELICIOUS, and I’m thinking they’ll be awesome at brunch with other flavors mixed into the cream cheese. I think next time I make these I’ll mix the cream cheese with fruit jam or maybe even peanut butter.

Bacon Cookies

I adapted this recipe from BaconToday.com.

Jeff had made a couple batches of Cayenne-Candied Bacon and had a ton of brown sugar left over. He didn’t want to throw out perfectly good sugar, but he didn’t want to save it since he’d been dredging raw bacon through it. So we found the bacontoday.com recipe and figured we’d give it a shot with a few adjustments.

Follow directions for candying about a pound of bacon, saving the drippings. About 1/4 of a cup of bacon grease is plenty. We ended up with less, which was fine, but you won’t want more.
Melt a cup of butter and add it to the bacon drippings. Let them cool.
Mix in 2 cups brown sugar and 2 eggs, beaten. Add 1/4 cup honey, 1tsp salt, and 1 tsp vanilla.
Set aside 4-5 slices of candied bacon and break or chop the rest into little pieces and mix into the dough.
Mix in 3 cups of flour a little at a time. As with any recipe, add flour gradually to ensure that you don’t get lumps.
Cut the pieces of bacon you set aside into 1″ squares.

Roll dough into balls and press a bacon square into the top of each. Arrange on a cookie sheet and bake 12-15 minutes at 350. Makes 2 dozen.

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Thin Mint Recipes

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In the wake of a sad, ignorant girl’s attempts to get people to stop buying Girl Scout cookies, I’m finding ways to get people to buy more. I’m scouring the internet and sharing, one cookie at a time, the wonderful things you can do with Girl Scout cookies other than just shoving them in your face.

But don’t let me discourage that either.

These recipes will give you an excuse to significantly increase your cookie-buying this year, and dress up your favorite cookies enough to serve them at dinner parties. Often I post my own recipes, but these I found online. Click the title to be directed to the original site.

Today I’m focusing on Thin Mints, a classic combo of chocolate and mint. One of the most popular Girl Scout cookies of all time, Thin Mints are awesome out of the box, frozen, or in these tasty dishes:

Thin Mints Pizza Surpreme

One 18-ounce package refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
Half of a box Girl Scout Thin Mints cookies (about 20 cookies)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips (6 ounces)
2 tablespoons heavy cream or half-and-half

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 12-inch pizza pan or a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Using your fingers, press the cookie dough to fit the pan. Break the Thin Mints into quarters and gently press them into the dough. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, in a double boiler, whisk together the white chocolate chips and cream until the chocolate melts. Remove from the heat. Using a fork, drizzle the topping over the cooled pizza. Cut into slices.

Thin Mint Brownies

1 sleeve Thin Mint cookies, crushed
1 box brownie mix

Prepare brownie mix per package instructions, folding in crushed Thin Mints toward the end of the batter-mixing process.

Spread batter evenly in greased 13-by-9 baking sheet and bake per package instructions.

Thin Mint Cake

The link above leads to a recipe that actually uses Thin Mints. The first Thin Mint cake I found was via this blog, which used that cake recipe to make Thin Mint cake balls. Which sound amazing. Unfortunately there were no Thin Mints in her recipe, so I had to find another one.

1 box Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Cake Mix (do not use the butter fudge cake mix – it is very different in texture!)
1 cup of finely chopped (about one full sleeve of cookies) Thin Mint Cookies- will separate
1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon of Creme De Menthe Liquour
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 cup water
Ice with your favorite icing and mix the remaining 1/3 cup crushed cookies in with the icing along with the tablespoon of Creme De Menthe Liquour in that icing.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Line bottom of cake pan with parchment paper & spray the sides of pan with a flour/oil mixture.
Place all wet ingredients in bowl first including eggs, then add cake mix & mix until thoroughly blended.
Add 2/3 cup of the crushed cookies into the batter.
Pour into the pan(s) & bake 40 to 45 minutes.
Remove from oven & dump cake onto waiting Glad PressN Seal Wrap (sticky side up).
Wrap the warm cakes tightly and put in the freezer. You can freeze for as little as 3 1/2 hours but for best results freeze overnight. This adds moisture to the cake, and traps in the flavors!
After removing from freezer allow to sit for about 10 minute if you froze overnight, no need to let sit if you froze for the minimum amount of time.
Mix the remaining cookie crumbs into your favorite icing recipe along with the tablespoon of Creme De Menthe Liquour (this is optional)
Fill & Ice cake as usual and garnish as you like with the whole or crumbled cookies.
I also like to cover my already smooth iced cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache.
You can do a quick ganache with Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Icing & some Semisweet chocolate Chips.
In a glass bowl add 2 cans of DH Chocolate Fudge Icing and 8 oz of Semisweet Chocolate Chips.
Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir well. If not all chips melted heat in 30 second increments stirring well after each time in the microwave until the mixture is of a smooth pourable consistancy.
Place refrigerated cake on a cooling rack that is sitting in a large baking pan. Pour the “ganache” over the cake & allow it to sit until set. Remove cake from cooling rack and plate on your favorite cake stand or cake board. Garnish as you like.

Thin Mint Mini-Cheesecakes

1 box Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mini chocolate chips
Whipped Cream for garnishing

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
Pulse cookies in food processor until coarsely ground.  In the alternative you can place cookies in a zip lock bag and crush them by hand using a meat mallet, rolling pin or the bottom of a small pot.
Mix half of the crushed cookies with the melted butter.  Press approximately one teaspoon of the crumb mixture into the bottom of each cup with the back of the spoon.
Chill for about 30 minutes.
Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar together in large bowl until smooth.   With the mixer on medium, add eggs, one at a time until all is combined.  Mix in the mint and vanilla extracts and beat for another minute.  Stir in the rest of the cookie crumbs, reserving a few tablespoons for garnishing, and the chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups.   Bake for 25-28 minutes or until set.   Remove and cool completely on a wire cooling rack.  Refrigerate for several hours until thoroughly chilled.
Serve topped with a dollop of whipped cream and reserved cookie crumbs.

Stick with me for more amazing recipes with other Girl Scout cookies. Got a great Thin Mint recipe I missed? Post a link in comments!

Gingerbread Crepes!

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A couple people have already asked me for my recipe for gingerbread crepes I made a couple times over the holidays, so here it is! These are easy to make, and both people I cooked for had ALL the ingredients in their cupboards already. The first time, I did stuffed crepes with apples-and-cream filling. The second time I folded the crepes and served them with rum sauce:

Gingerbread Crepes (makes 8 crepes)

I recommend 2 crepes per serving for filled and 3 each with toppings.

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 eggs
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tsp molasses
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg

Whisk all ingredients until smooth, and allow to sit in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. I used this time to make my fillings or toppings.

When you’re ready to go, heat up a buttered (or cooking-sprayed) crepe pan or flat cook surface. I used a griddle pan with great success. I used a medium heat. Spoon three tablespoons of batter onto the pan and smear batter in a circular pattern so there’s a thin, even layer of batter in about a 7″ circle. Cook for about 1 minute. Crepes should no longer be liquid, but the top side won’t be completely dry. Flip, and cook another minute on the other side.

Set aside and allow to cool a few minutes before handling.

 

Cream Filling

1 pkg cream cheese
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups water
2 apples, sliced and skinned
1 tsp cinnamon

Boil water in a small saucepan and add apples and cinnamon. Apples can also be baked with cinnamon, but I boiled them. I used honeycrisp apples, and they were wonderful. Simmer in saucepan until apples are soft, then drain.

Whip heavy cream: stir with whisk or mixer until thick and fluffy. Mix in sugar and cream cheese.

Spoon about a tablespoon of cream mixture into a crepe, creating a straight line across the crepe. Add several apple slices, sprinkle with cinnamon, and roll.

I served rolled crepes in pairs, with a spoonful of extra filling and more cinnamon sprinkled on top. I considered serving these as part of a complete breakfast, but they were PLENTY of food by themselves.

 

Rum Sauce

I used this rum sauce recipe from Allrecipes.com, pretty much as-is. I used Bacardi Reserve dark rum, and I used a little more than the recipe called for. I folded crepes in quarters, and served a plate of three with a pineapple ring, covered in rum sauce. It was much lighter than the filled crepes, but just as tasty.