Monday, December 20, 2010

Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies

These make a festive addition to any holiday table...

Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies
Nonstick spray
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
6 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup finely chopped red and white striped hard peppermint candies or candy canes
2 oz white chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stray 13x9x2 inch pan with nonstick spray. Line bottom of pan with long strip of parchment paper, leaving overhang on both short sides of pan. Whisk flour and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter in large bowl until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in sugar. Continue beating until mixture is light and fluffy, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl. Beat in vanilla, then egg yolk. Gradually add flour mixture, beating on low speed just to blend.
Drop dough by tablespoonfuls into prepared baking pan, spacing evenly. Using moistened fingertips, press dough to form even layer over bottom of pan. Pierce dough all over with fork.
Bake cookie base until light golden brown and slightly puffed and edges begin to come away from sides of pan, about 30 minutes. Place pan on rack; immedieately sprinkle chocolate over. Let stand until chocolate softens, about 3 minutes. Using small offset spatula, spread chocolate over top of cookie in thin even layer. Immediately sprinkle chopped peppermint candies over.
Melt white chocolate. Using fork, drizzle white chocolate all over cookies. Chill until white chocolate is set, about 30 minutes.

Using paper overhang as aid, lift cookie from pan and transfer to work surface. Using large knife, cut cookie into irregular pieces. *Can be made 1 week ahead and stored in refrigerator in airtight containers between wax paper or parchment paper.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pasta e Fagioli

Cold Weather Soup that gets better when it's leftover!!!
Pasta e Fagioli
2 tbsp olive oil
1/8 pound pancetta, chopped - I have used the chopped you can find in the deli dept.
2 sprigs rosemary
2 dried bay leaves
1 medium onions, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 (15oz) cans cannellini beans - drained
1 cup tomato sauce
2 cups water
1 quart chicken stock
1 1/2 cup ditalini (or other shaped pasta)
Shredded Parm for garnish
Crusty bread, for mopping

Heat a deep pot over medium high heat and add oil and pancetta. Brown the pancetta bits lightly, and add herbs. bay leaf, chopped vegetables, and garlic. Season vegetables with salt and pepper. Add beans, tomato sauce, water, and stock to pot and raise heat to high. Bring soup to rapid boil and add pasta. Reduce heat to medium and cook soup, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes or until pasta is cooked al dente. Remove rosemary sprigs and bay leaves. Let soup rest and begin to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Source: Rachael Ray