Foodie Friday- Home for the Holidays Edition: Chocolate Hazelnut Drop Cookies

Christmas Cookie

One of my favorite things to do this time of year is to bake Christmas Cookies! Every year, Mr. H. and I host a cookie exchange, and boy have we acquired some great recipes! So for today’s Foodie Friday post, I thought it’d be fun to share the 2012 winning cookie with you: Chocolate Hazelnut Drop Cookies. These were prepared by our friends Dana and James and everyone absolutely LOVED them:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¬†1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup of nuts
  • 1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread, at room temperature (recommended: Nutella)

Directions:

1.Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. Set aside.

2.In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. With the machine running, gradually add the flour until incorporated. Beat in the chocolate-hazelnut spread

3.Using a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon, drop 12 balls of dough onto each baking sheet. Bake until the bottoms of the cookies flatten out slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

4.Place 1 cup of powdered sugar in a medium bowl. In batches, roll the cookies in the sugar until coated. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Give these a try! Your guests will love and them Santa may even enjoy finding these treats by the fireplace with a cup of milk on Christmas Eve!

Happy Cooking!

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Foodie Friday: Rosemary Crusted Lamb Chops

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday and that both the food and the company were amazing! Mr. H and I spent the day eating up lots of turkey and fixings ūüôā

Well just in case you didn’t get enough food, here’s another Foodie Friday post to get your stomachs growling!

I love lamb chops but have been so intimated by the idea of preparing them. But for our first anniversary, I wanted to try to make something special for our romantic dinner at home.

This was our favorite appetizer at our wedding so I decided to relive our special day through this delicious and easy to prepare recipe. It comes from Emeril Lagrassie.

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Ingredients:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Salt
6 (4-ounce) double lamb rib chops (2 ribs) with bones attached, ribs frenched
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 large or 2 small rosemary sprigs
2 tablespoons butter

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a small bowl, combine olive oil, parsley, rosemary, and garlic. Season with salt, to taste. Set aside.

Set a 12-inch oven-safe saute pan over medium-high heat. Season the lamb with 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the black pepper. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of the oil to the saute pan and place the lamb, fat side down, in the pan. Sear the lamb until the fat has rendered and the skin is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook the lamb, turning to cook evenly on each side, about 2 minutes each side. Baste them with the herb and oil mixture. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook until the lamb is rare, about 5 minutes. Alternatively, you can grill the lamb chops.

Make the balsamic drizzle while the lamb is cooking: Set a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat and add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the shallots to the pan and sweat until translucent, about 1 minute. Add the garlic to the pan and sweat for 30 seconds. Pour the balsamic vinegar into the pan and bring to a boil. Add the rosemary and allow the balsamic to gently boil and reduce until only about 1/4 cup of balsamic remains, about 10 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Remove from the heat and swirl the butter into the pan. Remove the rosemary sprigs before using.

When the lamb is rare, remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. To serve, slice each double chop in half, and drizzle with the balsamic reduction.

Happy Cooking!

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Foodie Friday- Bread Pudding with Spiced Rum Sauce

My Mom’s birthday was this past weekend so I wanted to make special dessert for her other than cake and ice cream. That’s when I remembered that she had been asking for the past year for me to make her my bread pudding that I made a few years back. This is hands down the BEST¬†bread pudding I have ever had. After¬†making it, I’ve actually been disappointment¬†when ordering it out at restaurants because it never lives up to my homemade favorite. This recipe comes from a 2001 issue of Bon Appetit.

New Bread Pudding

 

Ingredients

For Bread Pudding:

  • 8 large eggs (I would use 6 or 7 because it can get a bit too custardy at 8)
  • 3 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1-pound loaf challah cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 Tbsp of Cinnamon
  • 1 cup golden raisins (I am not a raisin fan so a substitute¬†of bananas or ¬†pecans work well here!)

For Spiced Rum Sauce:

  • 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons spiced rum or dark rum
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preparation

Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Whisk eggs in large bowl to blend. Add milk, sugar, cream, cinnamon and vanilla; whisk to blend well. Stir in bread and raisins. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350¬įF. Bake pudding uncovered until puffed and golden, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool slightly (pudding will fall).

While cooling, prepare the spiced rum sauce.

Stir brown sugar and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add cream, rum, and cinnamon and bring to simmer. Simmer until sauce thickens and is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 5 minutes.
Serve warm and enjoy!
Happy Cooking!
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