Tag Archives: spring

Culinary Adventures: Chocolate Peanut Butter Birds Nest Cookies

Chocolate peanut butter birds nest cookies for Easter. Easy and delicious spring cookie recipe–just like Mom used to make

 

My Mom always made these cookies around Easter, and they were so good. Aside from the sugar and butter, they are otherwise somewhat healthy and contain fiber and protein. They are more commonly called “no-bake” cookies, but I’d rather call them chocolate peanut butter birds nest cookies. It’s more descriptive.

I’ll admit this isn’t the most unique recipe to share, but I’ve been working on our Iceland trip post and wanted to share something we’ve been up to in the meantime, even if it isn’t super exciting. If you’ve never made chocolate peanut butter birds nest cookies, they are ridiculously easy and so good. They’re also cute, and easy to take to a spring gathering or dinner party if you like.

There are a ton of recipes for chocolate peanut butter birds nest cookies out there, I googled and decided on this one from Gatormommyreviews.com, it’s the closest to the one my Mom used.

**Note: It says it yields 20 cookies, but I doubled the recipe and got 20 cookies. You might consider doubling it as well.

chocolate peanut butter birds nest cookies chocolate-peanut-butter-cookies-instructions

 

When you combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and milk in the saucepan, keep stirring as the butter melts and everything mixes together so that it doesn’t burn. Once mixed, stir occasionally and let it come to a boil for 1-2 minutes. Don’t over-boil.

Stir in the oats and peanut butter once pot is removed from heat, and mix well. Cookies are ready to drop onto waxed paper to form.

chocolate peanut butter birds nest cookies

I used a spoon to make the indents for the chocolate eggs. In retrospect, I should have just put the eggs in while the cookies were still wet. I waited until they were cool like the recipe said, and the eggs didn’t fit well and kept falling out. Lesson learned.

chocolate peanut butter birds nest cookies

chocolate peanut butter birds nest cookies

My Mom always used jellybeans, but I like Cadbury Mini-Eggs because they look a little more realistic. Plus they’re really good and taste better with chocolate peanut butter birds nest cookies.

chocolate peanut butter birds nest cookies
Chocolate peanut butter birds nest cookies

 

Happy spring!

Culinary Adventures: Japanese Style Deviled Eggs

Make Easter brunch more interesting, or add Japanese style deviled eggs to your next party spread. They take a bit of planning ahead, but are so easy and so delicious.

 

This recipe for Japanese style deviled eggs is essentially just a Japanese marinated egg topped with a squirt of mayo, a squirt of Sriracha, and some toasted panko. The only hard part is planning ahead to marinate them. Other than that, they are actually less work than regular deviled eggs.

Japanese marinated soft boiled eggs (Ajitsuke Tomago) are what they use in Japanese ramen noodle bowls. For this recipe, I just made standard hard boiled eggs and marinated them with a marinade recipe that I found on SeriousEats.com.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sake
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 eggs

Also needed: Mayonnaise, Sriracha sauce, and Panko (Japanese style bread crumbs)

If you’re not familiar with mirin, it is a sweet rice wine product used for cooking, and is pretty essential in Japanese cuisine. You can find it in the Asian foods section at the grocery store, usually near the rice vinegar.

Mix the liquid ingredients and the sugar and whisk the sugar until it is dissolved. Hard boil, cool, and peel the eggs and add them to the marinade. Cover eggs with a folded paper towel saturated in the marinade to help hold the eggs in the marinade, as they tend to bob to the surface and leave a side exposed. Marinate in the fridge overnight.

If you want to make more Japanese  style deviled eggs, adjust the recipe above accordingly.

Once your eggs are marinated, pull them out, pat dry with a paper towel, and cut them in half. Squirt a little mayo and a little Sriracha sauce on the cut halves. I like to use Asian Kewpie mayo which you can find at most Asian grocery stores, it has a fine tip. Regular mayo works just as well.

Japanese style deviled eggs

Next, take the panko and spread it on a baking sheet and toast it for a few minutes. I do this in the toaster oven. If you don’t have a toaster oven, you can toast them in the regular oven on a high temperature as well. Keep an eye on them, they toast quickly.

Toasted Panko Japanese style deviled eggs
Toasted Panko

Sprinkle the toasted Panko on top of the eggs, adding another delicious layer of crunchy toasty goodness. Your Japanese style deviled eggs are now ready to serve.  If you make these for a party, use at least a dozen eggs. They will go quickly.

Japanese Style Deviled Eggs
Japanese Style Deviled Eggs

Culinary Adventures: Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes: Guinness chocolate cake with a chocolate whiskey ganache filling and Bailey’s frosting. Get ready for St. Paddy’s Day!

 

I found this Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes recipe on The Brown Eyed Baker and made these for a St. Paddy’s Day party a couple years ago. They were a huge hit, and rich enough to help absorb all that beer and whiskey everyone is drinking. They were also my inspiration for the Chocolate Cherry Bomb Cupcakes I made last summer.

Ingredients:

For the Cupcakes:
1 cup Guinness stout
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoons salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

For the Whiskey Ganache Filling:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Irish whiskey

For the Baileys Frosting:
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream

**For the frosting and cupcakes, I used salted butter, the salt adds a richer flavor to the frosting in my opinion.

Directions:

1. To Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring the Guinness and butter to a simmer in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

2. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl to combine. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream on medium speed until combined. Add the Guinness-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat just to combine. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat briefly. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners. Bake until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on a rack.

3. To Make the Whiskey Ganache Filling: Finely chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then, using a rubber spatula, stir it from the center outward until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.

4. To Fill the Cupcakes: Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter (or the bottom of a large decorating tip), cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes, going about two-thirds of the way down. Transfer the ganache to a piping back with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

**I just used a knife to cut out the holes, they don’t have to look perfect, they’re covered with frosting anyway. This is the “bomb” part of the Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

5. To Make the Baileys Frosting: Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar until all of it is incorporated. Add the Baileys, increase the speed to medium-high and whip for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy.

6. Using your favorite decorating tip, or an offset spatula, frost the cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container.

Irish car bomb cupcakes

I decorated the Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes with just a light sprinkle of green sugar. There were no leftover cupcakes at the party we went to. I haven’t found a better St. Paddy’s Day cupcake recipe yet.