Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cocoa Pecan Cookies

This recipe is a spin-off of my Reduced Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies. It is very similar in the area of ingredients and preparation. I was out of vanilla extract, so I used some sugar-free caramel syrup to kick up the flavor a bit. I do recommend to mix the wet ingredients with the mixer but to fold in the flour and other dry ingredients by hand to get the best results.

Thes are good when cold, but for the best taste, warm them up briefly in a toaster oven to make 'em crunchy and warm!

I apologize for the lack of photos, but the cookies disappeared too fast. I should have done it while I was baking - oops!

2 bowls, 4 - 6 cup capacity
1 spatula
1 large spoon for mixing
Measuring Cups
Measuring Spoons
aluminum foil, silicone sheet or parchment paper
1 or 2 cookie sheets
small spoon

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt (iodized sea salt is awesome!)
2 squares semisweet baking chocolate squares, finely grated
1 tablespoon Cocoa Powder
2 tablespoons sugar-free caramel syrup
3 tablespoons molasses
3 cups Splenda sweetener (or another sucralose product)
2 cups I can't believe it's not butter sticks (slightly softened)
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cup pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
2. In one bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt, grated chocolate and cocoa powder.
3. Put I can't believe it's not butter and Splenda in the other bowl and cream them together.
4. Add the Molasses and mix well to incorporate into mixture.
5. Add the caramel syrup and mix well.
6. Add the eggs and mix well.
7. Set the mixer aside and add the flour mixture in a little at a time, then mix with a large spoon. Only mix enough to incorporate - DO NOT OVERMIX.
8. Fold in the pecans with the spatula.
9. Place dough on cookie sheet. Each cookie should be about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons in size. I use a tablespoon rounded over to keep size even. Do not press them or flatten out - this makes them a lot "heavier." A regular cookie sheet should hold 12 cookies easily.
10. Bake for 17 minutes until golden brown.
11. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What can you do with leftover turkey?

Leftover turkey is a common item around the holidays, so I decided to give a few suggestions on what to do with all that leftover bird.

The best thing to do with leftover turkey is to mix it into something. This meat is versatile and can be used in many dishes instead of beef, chicken or pork. I put together the following list to give you some ideas on what to make. Most of these items in the list are links to recipes that I thought would be good ones to try out. You may find that some of these recipes come back to your table after you have made them once - if it tastes good, it will be eaten!

Other items in the list have my suggestions or a brief recipe summary, just to keep this post reasonably short.

  • Turkey Salad

  • Chop up turkey into 1/4" to 3/8" pieces, mix with Miracle Whip or Salad Dressing, some chopped pickles, onions and celery. Add salt and pepper to taste. You may want to add other spices such as tarragon, lemon pepper, curry, sage, rosemary, thyme, or garlic to the mix. Experiment by taking some of the "base" and mixing a test batch up to see what really tastes best, THEN adjust the spices on the entire batch of salad. Serve on lettuce leaves or in a sandwich of your favorite bread.

  • Turkey Noodle Soup

  • This is fairly easy and it can use up other leftovers you have from your holiday meal. Cut turkey into 3/8" pieces. Put 2 tablespoons of oil into a pan, then add 1-2 cloves of chopped garlic, 1/4 of a medium onion, diced, 2 diced carrots, 1 rib of diced celery. Saute until the vegetables are translucent, then put in your turkey, some chicken or turkey stock. If you like, You can use up leftover giblet gravy here instead of stock or broth. Add water to bring the soup to the desired volume. Bring to a boil and add your noodles. Homemade egg noodles are the best, but just about any noodle will work for this one.

  • Turkey Enchiladas

  • Use my Enchilada Casserole recipe, substituting turkey for the chicken or beef. If you want to you can fry your corn tortillas in the microwave.

  • Turkey Rice Casserole

  • Turkey Pot Pie

  • Turkey Crockpot Surprise

  • Put bite-sized pieces of turkey into a crockpot or large pan. Put in other leftover vegetable items such as carrots, green beans or broccoli. Add some celery, onion, and garlic and anything else you think might be good. Put in some canned tomatoes, stock, broth or water to bring to the desired volume, then cook on low heat until any raw vegetables you have added are tender.

  • Turkey Chili

  • Turkey Loaf