For all those peanut butter lovers: this is a GREAT recipe! And for those who are not so excited about it... you should really give it a try. Seriously, you won't regret it!

This is a really easy recipe... and the results? Nothing special, just a creamy, soft and decadent cookie. I'm already getting hungry just thinking of it.


To start, mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Nothing too complicated, you don't even need the mixer for this step.

Continue by adding the wet ingredients and with the electric mixer, mix for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until you reach a moist but not sticky consistency. You can also finish it with your hands, like I did (you can even notice my fingerprints haha).


What else can I say? Oh... so creamy! I suggest to go always with the creamy peanut butter version, rather than the crunchy. The creamy one guarantees you a smooth texture.


Usually peanut butter cookies have a typical criss-cross decoration, but sometimes when it's not strongly marked, after the cookies bake, the marks erase. This is why I prefer to make some cuts with a knife, so I make sure the marks will remain after cooked.


Just look at these cookies... aren't you already hungry?


Oh... and here's my final 'kick'. Just drizzle some luscious melted chocolate on top... you know, just for that 'little extra' flavor. You can't imagine how good these ones are... 



CREAMY PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-12 minutes
Servings: 18 good size cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup  butter softened
1 cup  creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups  flour
1/2 cup  refined sugar
1/2 cup  brown sugar
1  egg
1 tbs  vanilla extract
1 tsp  baking soda
1 tsp  baking powder
1 tsp  salt
*Semi-sweet chocolate for topping (optional)


Preparation

1. In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and stir.
2. With the electric mixer, soften butter until smooth. Add the peanut butter, egg and vanilla extract. Start slowly incorporating the dry ingredients mix. Mix for 3 to 5 minutes, until dough it's moist but not too sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
3. With your hands, form 2 tbs size dough balls and place on baking sheet. With a knife, make criss-crossed marks on top of the dough balls. 
4. Bake at 180 Cº for about 10 to 12 minutes. If you want a crunchier consistency, bake for 2 to 3 minutes more.
5. In a saucepan on medium-low heat, melt 1 tsp of butter and start incorporating the chocolate chunks. Melt and stir until smooth. With a small spoon, drizzle melted chocolate on top of chilled cookies.
6. Enjoy!









Pastry dough is great. You can create a lot of recipes with it and the best of all: the amazing flavor is guaranteed. Cooking with pastry is always easy and very fast.

When it comes to practicality, there's always the option of buying a pre-made pastry dough... Or you can also make your own, it's not that hard and it's easier to handle.


You can play and be creative on choosing a filling for your pastries. Usually I like to stuff them with different cheeses and meats. For this recipe I used a good salami, fresh mozzarella cheese and sweet sicilian tomatoes (Same ingredients I'd put on my pizza haha).


Don't forget to use extra flour while handling the pastry dough (It tends to get really sticky). You can create the pastry shapes you want, but I usually start with even squares and then play with different forms.


Use egg wash as a 'glue' to keep the pastries closed. For this recipe I just did a simple wrap with 2 edges. It's easy and it looks super classy. 


I finished the closed pastries with more egg wash and added some dried oregano, salt and ground black pepper on top for extra flavor... and decoration.


The pastries baked for 10 to 15 minutes at 180 Cº. Make sure to not over bake them, just until golden brown.


I made a creamy pesto sauce for dipping them and I can't tell you how great they tasted! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!



STUFFED PASTRIES

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Servings: About 15 pastries

For the dough

2 1/2 cups  flour
1 cup  cold butter
1 tsp  salt
3 tbs  ice cold water

For the filling 

6  big slices of good quality salami  
1 (125g.)  mozzarella cheese ball (you can use the cheese you prefer)
8  small sicilian tomatoes (you can also use cherry tomatoes)
Dried Oregano
Salt
Ground black pepper

For the egg wash

1  egg
2 tbs  water

Preparation

1. In a bowl (or food processor), mix the flour and salt. Start slowly adding the cold butter until pea-size crumbles. Add the water and mix until the dough is still crumbly but holds together. Form dough into a disk and wrap with plastic paper. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until completely firm.
2. For the egg wash, whisk egg and water in a bowl. Reserve.
3. Unwrap the pastry dough and roll it out until thin and smooth. Cut the dough into 7x7 cm squares. 
4. Cut the fresh mozzarella, salami and tomatoes into thin slices. Take a dough square and put the desired ingredients on top, then take 2 corners and bring them together with a little help from the egg wash. Brush the dough with more egg wash and top with dried spices.
5. Bake the pastries for about 10 to 15 minutes at 180 Cº or until golden brown.
6. Enjoy!




Salads are great for those days when you just want to eat something fast, healthy and easy to make. I really like salads, but I'm not the biggest fan of lettuce. Whenever I can, I try to replace it with spinach or arugula.

The strong flavor of the arugula combined with the sweet sicilian tomatoes gives this salad the right balance of flavor.


The mushrooms are sliced and cooked in olive oil with a little bit of salt and ground black pepper. You have to make sure they remain as juicy as possible because they'll bring moisture to the salad.


The feta cheese is the main ingredient of this recipe. It will bring a really creamy consistency to the salad. Make sure to use a good one.


I made a really simple vinaigrette using balsamic cream, olive oil, fleur de sel and ground black pepper. The balsamic cream is a creamier and more concentrated version of the traditional balsamic vinegar. The sweetness of the balsamic makes the perfect contrast with the feta cheese.


This recipe is great for people following a vegetarian diet plan or just as a nice dinner starter. You can also add your favorite meat and make it a complete meal.


I hope you enjoy it and give it a try! :)


ARUGULA FETA SALAD


Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 

For the salad

6 cups  fresh arugula 
6 to 8  mini sicilian tomatoes (you can also use cherry tomatoes)
250 to 300 g.  white mushrooms
1/4  small onion sliced
1/2  red bell pepper
80 g.  good feta cheese
Salt
Fresh ground black pepper

For the vinaigrette

1/2 cup  olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (if you use balsamic cream, make it half)
Fleur de sel (you can also use kosher salt)
Fresh ground black pepper

Preparation

1. In a bowl mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fleur de sel and black pepper. Whisk the ingredients until they bound together. You can also pour the ingredients in a top-jar and shake until perfectly combined. 
2. Finely slice onions and red bell pepper. In a bowl combine arugula with onion and bell pepper slices. Drizzle the vinaigrette on top and mix until all the vegetables are covered.
3. Slice the mushrooms and on a skillet cook them with olive oil until tender, making sure they remain as juicy and moisture as possible. Sprinkle some salt and ground black pepper. Pour the cooked mushrooms on top of the arugula mix.
4. Slice the sicilian tomatoes in halves and put them on top of the salad. 
5. Finish the salad by spreading some feta cheese crumbles. You can sprinkle some salt and ground black pepper to taste.
6. Enjoy!


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