Tuesday, January 24, 2012

French Onion Soup

NOTE: Do NOT click on the words that show up as links. I did not link them and do not know if they are safe or how to prevent this from happening. Sorry!

Its taken me awhile to find a from-scratch recipe for this that I thought was really worth it. You can always find good versions of it in restaurants, but I really prefer to make soup at home. I finally combined enough recipes and tweaked enough to find a version I wanted to share!  So simple and such a great cold weather meal!

What You Need:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 onions, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup red wine or cooking sherry
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 quarts beef stock
  • 1 baguette, sliced
  • 1/2 pound grated Gruyere {swiss would also work}
Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized. Use a good amount of salt to season and sweat the onions.  I let mine cook very low and slow, probably for a good hour.  Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry.  Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Now add the beef stock and bring the soup back to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle the slices with the Gruyere and broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Or, ladle soup into oven safe bowls or ramekins and float the baguette slices right in the soup, top with cheese, and place under the broiler.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Rolo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today I am sharing my declared favorite cookie recipe ever. Even without the Rolo, this chocolate chip cookie recipe is the best on its own. The recipe comes from one of my favorite websites, My Baking Addiction. Keep in mind you will have to plan ahead as the Rolos need to be frozen at least 2 hours ahead. This recipe has a couple of fun jobs for kids. My little boy likes to do all the unwrapping and steal a few Rolos. He also likes to "stuff" the cookies.

 This dough also freezes really well. I keep a batch in my freezer (because this recipe makes a ton of dough) and you can pull out as many as you need at a time. I know everyone has made resolutions to eat healthier and lose weight but we all need a treat once in awhile and this will make every calorie worth it, I promise!

Photo Used from MBA

What You Need:
1.5 cups butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 eggs
3 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped pecans {Optional}
30 Rolos, frozen at least 2 hours

Heat oven to 350. Beat butter and sugars, vanilla and eggs until light and fluffy. Mix in flour, baking soda and salt. Mix in chocolate chips and pecans, if using.

Measure dough using a medium cookie scoop. {About 1.5 tablespoons}. Roll into a ball and flatten with the palm of your hand. Place a frozen Rolo in the center of the flattened dough balls and wrap the dough back around the Rolo, re-rolling into a ball.

Place dough balls back into the freezer for 15-20 minutes before baking or to store until ready. Bake 11-13 minutes or until light brown. Centers will be soft. Cool and remove from cookie sheet to a cooling rack.

Note: I bake these straight from the freezer and they take an exact 13 minutes in my oven. NO need to thaw.