Tag Archives: tubby tuesday

Bacon Sugar Cookies

I’m back! I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to post on my blog. Actually, that’s a total and complete lie. I’ve been busy moving back to Philly and finishing up a summer class. But now I’m back and I’m never leaving (that’s another lie, I will most likely forget to blog again).

But ANYWAY. I made bacon sugar cookies. I saw them on @tworedbowls’ instagram and decided I had to make them.  She makes hers with sweet corn ice cream, which sounds wickedly delicious. But alas, I have no ice cream maker, so I couldn’t completely replicate her genius ideas.

… I really need to get an ice cream maker.

Bacon Sugar Cookies
Bacon Sugar Cookies

If I’m being honest, the bacon-brittle mixture was a pain in my tubby butt. It was delicious and wonderful, but I’m not sure that I’ll make these again. I don’t think I got the sugar to melt at the perfect temperature, so I had problems when it cooled and had to re-melt the entire bacon-y concoction. PLUS do you guys know how hard it is to have bacon (that you can’t eat because it’s covered in a hot caramel that will burn your tastebuds off) in front of you? Meh. No fun.

I used my favorite sugar cookie recipe – one I found at AllRecipes years ago – and subbed out some butter for cooked bacon grease (Yum! And totally great for your arteries!).

Bacon Sugar Cookies
Bacon Sugar Cookies

Look, I don’t like to toot my own horn, but these cookies are pretty delicious. They’re salty and sweet. The cookies are soft, but the sugary bacon bits provide a nice texture contrast. I’m a fan. Enjoy!

Bacon Sugar Cookies
ingredients
bacon coating (from mynameisyeh)
1/2 lb bacon, I used a thick-cut applewood
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c water
1/2 tsp baking soda

sugar cookies (adapted from allrecipes)
2 3/4 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 c butter, softened
1/4 c bacon fat, reserved from above
1 1/2 c white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

directions
bacon coating
1. Cook bacon until crispy. Reserve fat and coarsely chop bacon. Set aside.
2. Combine chopped bacon, sugar, and water in a small nonstick pan. Cook until caramel brown. Stir often so the sugar does not burn.
3. Once desired color is reached, remove from heat and add baking soda. Pour onto lined (with parchment paper) cookie pan and left to cool.
4. Once cooled, break into pieces and pulse in a blender or food processor until it reaches a grainy, sugary consistency. Set aside.

sugar cookies
1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
2. Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl.
3. In a second bowl, cream butter, reserved bacon fat, and sugar until smooth.
4. Add egg and vanilla to butter mixture.
5. Slowly add dry ingredients.
6. Roll rounded teaspoons of dough into balls, cover in bacon coating, and then place onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are golden. Move to a wire rack to cool (or the sugar might solidify and you’ll have cookies stuck on your cookie sheet! I’m not speaking from experience or anything, though…..).

Vanilla Bean Nutella Filled Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Cheese Coconut Frosting Topped with Toasted Coconuts and Almonds

Vanilla Bean Nutella Filled Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Cheese Coconut Frosting Topped with Toasted Coconuts and Almonds! Phew! What a mouthful. I’ve gotta start making less complicated cupcakes… just kidding.

Vanilla Bean Nutella Filled Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Cheese Coconut Frosting

I don’t think I use coconut enough in baking and I really should! Toasted coconut is one of the simplest cupcake toppings (way easier than candied bacon) but it looks beautiful and tastes delicious! But more importantly, coconut tricks you into thinking you’re kind of sort of eating something healthy. Because it’s technically fruit… No? Just me?

Vanilla Bean Nutella Filled Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Cheese Coconut Frosting

For the crazed chocolate lovers out there, you can also make this cupcake with a chocolate cake… but one of the greatest chocophiles I know told me that these vanilla bean ones are “gems of confectionarianism” so you can’t lose either way!

The recipe calls for cake flour. If you’re anything like me, you probably won’t want to run out to the store just to buy cake flour when you have good old all-purpose flour at home. In that case, substitute your flours. All-purpose flour is denser than cake flour.  For every cup of cake flour you need, measure out the same amount of all-purpose flour BUT remove 2 tablespoons of flour before adding it to your mixing bowl. By removing the 2 tablespoons, you’ve decreased the density of the cake flour. Or if you hate doing math/measuring/being lazy, you could just go to the store and spend extra money on the cake flour…

Vanilla Bean Nutella Filled Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Cheese Coconut Frosting

Recipes for the individual components are below. Be sure to let the cupcakes completely cool before stuffing/frosting.  To assemble, start by either piping Nutella into each cupcake–I use a #230 piping tip. Be sure to warm up the Nutella a little bit before piping! Alternatively, you can cut out the center of each cupcake and spoon the Nutella into each center.  Bonus: extra vanilla cake crumbs! Top with frosting: I literally took a spoon and just plopped the icing on top of each cupcake. It was way easier than piping the icing on! Don’t worry if it looks ugly–the toasted coconut and almonds cover everything up!

Vanilla Bean Nutella Filled Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Cheese Coconut Frosting

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes (recipe adapted from Cookies and Cups)
ingredients
1 3/4 cup cake flour
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup butter, room temperature, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 eggs
1 cup milk
seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
1 tsp vanilla extract

directions
1. Preheat oven to 350° and line cupcake pan with liners.
2. Sift together the dry ingredients (flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt).
3. With mixer on low, slowly add butter a few cubes at a time continuing until all butter is incorporated and the mixture resembles coarse sand.
4. Add eggs one at a time on low speed.
5. Measure out milk and add the vanilla beans and extract.  Add this mixture until fully combined.
6. Fill liners (about 2/3 full) and bake for 15-20 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Whipped Cream Cheese Coconut Frosting
ingredients
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp gelatin
1 tbsp water
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
~1/2 to 1 cups powdered sugar
1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut

directions
1. Skip this step if you plan on using your frosting the same day. Gelatin stabilizes the whipped cream so you won’t have to deal with a wilted, watery frosting. Add gelatin and water to a small container. After it sets, melt the mixture using the microwave in 5 second intervals until it is a liquid. Set aside to cool.
2. Using a mixer, whip heavy cream until soft peaks form.  While mixing, slowly add gelatin mixture.
3. Add powdered sugar until desired sweetness is reached. I usually add around 1/4 cup.  Keep in mind that you’ll end up folding this into a sweetened cream-cheese frosting mixture.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together the cream cheese and butter until uniform. Again, add powdered sugar until desired sweetness is reached.
5. Using a spatula, gently fold the whipped cream and coconut into the cream cheese mixture.

Toasted Coconut and Almond Topping
directions
1. Preheat oven to 300°.
2. Spread 1/2 cup sweetened, shredded coconut and 1/3 cup sliced almonds out on a cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes until lightly toasted. Be careful, it can go from toasted to burnt very quickly!

lamb and butternut squash

I’m fairly certain that lamb and rosemary are food BFFs. Well, okay, that’s a lie–rosemary and garlic are the real best friends and sometimes they like to hang out with lamb and when that happens, IT IS MAGICAL. Guys, I’m being serious.

For whatever tubby-induced reason (ok it was mostly because lamb is always delicious), I decided to make lamb chops for dinner.  Shout out to Zach for fueling my lamb cravings and sending me the original recipe!

I’m just going to shut up now and let you begin drooling on your keyboards. Start with rosemary, thyme, garlic, cayenne, and salt in a food processor.

Herbs in food processor

Mix until coarsely chopped and add olive oil. Rub marinade on both sides of lamb chops. Giada’s original recipe says you should let this marinate for about an hour.  I didn’t have an hour (read: I was impatient AKA really hungry) and only waited 30 minutes. It was still aaaaamazing.

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While the lamb chops marinated, I cubed up a butternut squash and sprinkled some light brown sugar, salt, and pepper over it with a little bit of olive oil.  This went into a 425º oven for 25 minutes.

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After 30-60 minutes (or until you’re so hungry you can’t wait any longer, like me), heat a grill pan. Get. It. Really. Hot. Like Ryan Gosling smokin’ hot.  Add the lamb chops and sear for ~3 minutes until they look like these babies below.  Flip and sear the other side for another 3 minutes. At this point, your kitchen smells like what I imagine heaven smells like… try not to drool all over your beautiful lamb chops.  If you MUST eat something due to your uncontrollable starvation, eat the slightly burnt, super crispy garlicy marinade bits that end up at the bottom of the pan… and you must.

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All done!

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Lamb chops and butternut squash… uggggghhhhhh so tubby, so good. My siblings won’t eat butternut squash and I had a little bit of garlic-rosemary-thyme marinade leftover, so I used it to coat some fingerling potatoes and threw those in the oven at 425º for 50 minutes. You can see a baby potato peeking out in the picture below.

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Aaaaand. If you have potatoes/butternut squash leftovers (I intentionally made extra!), make soup! Recipes are below.

Here’s the part where I leave a caveat regarding the accuracy of these recipes. When I’m cooking, I’m not really measuring.  I like to guestimate if I’m using a recipe and if I’m making up the recipe on the spot, I’m usually just tasting while I cook… so whoops, it’s not suuuuper precise. You’ve been warned!

lamb lollipops (original recipe)
ingredients
1/2 rack of lamb, cut into 8 lamb chops
6  garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Pinch cayenne pepper
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
directions
1. Add garlic, rosemary, thyme, cayenne, and salt to a food processor. Blend until coarsely chopped.  Add olive oil and pulse until fully mixed.
2. Salt/pepper lamb chops before rubbing marinade onto both sides of lamb chops.  Allow to marinate for ~30 minutes.
3. Heat a grill pan over high heat.  Sear each side of lamb chop for 3 minutes.
4. Devour.

roasted butternut squash
ingredients
1 medium sized butternut squash, chopped into 1-2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons brown sugar
salt, pepper
olive oil
directions
1. Preheat oven to 425º.
2. Drizzle olive oil over chopped butternut squash. Sprinkle brown sugar, salt, and pepper.
3. Mix and bake for 25 minutes.

roasted butternut squash soup
ingredients
roasted butternut squash (I used leftovers from the above recipe)
4 cups chicken broth
1 pear (I used a Bosc pear)
1 medium potato
1/4 cup of coconut cream
directions
1. Add the butternut squash, pear, and potato to a large pot. Cover with chicken broth.
2. Simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Carefully pour into a blender and blend until smooth.
4. Return blended soup back to pot and add coconut cream. Simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Enjoy! AKA my lunch leftovers for days!