Recipe: Oatmeal Whoopie Pies

Oatmeal cookies can be problematic. People (I say this generally, for any oatmeal-lovers) tend to dislike oatmeal cookies. Is it because they seem “healthy”? Is it because they’re not chocolate-y? Either way, they fall to the bottom of the cookie jar.

 

Fortunately, we have a way to elevate oatmeal cookies to legendary status. In this recipe, the cookies get a sprinkling of sea salt but otherwise, it’s a pretty basic cookie recipe. It’s what’s on the inside that counts. I’m talking smooth caramel and soft and sweet honey cream cheese frosting. Thanks to our client, Barkman Honey, we know exactly when to use honey in sweets. This honey cream cheese frosting is just the place. With just a half cup of honey this frosting is so light and so sweet.

 

The caramel sauce comes together easily; this was my second time making caramel and I have to say it went much better than the first. Drizzle it on these whoopie pies. Also good on ice cream, cake, maybe just in your mouth. And soon, everyone you know will be wanting oatmeal cookies for dessert.
OatmealWhoopiePie

 

For the cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

¾ cup brown sugar

½ cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ½ cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

3 cups oatmeal

 

For the caramel sauce

2 sticks butter

2 cups brown sugar

⅔ cup heavy cream

 

For the honey cream cheese frosting

16 ounces cream cheese, softened

16 ounces unsalted butter, softened

½ cup honey (We recommend Organic Naked Wild Honey)

7 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

 

To make the cookies

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.

 

Cream butter and sugar together for about 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, mix until combined.

 

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and combine. Add oats.

 

Drop cookie dough onto baking sheets and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown on top. Let cool for a few minutes before moving to cooling rack.

 

To make the caramel sauce

In a small pot, melt butter on medium heat. Add sugar and cream, whisking until sugar is dissolved.

 

Bring mixture to a boil for three minutes while stirring, then remove from heat and let cool.

 

To make the frosting

In a mixing bowl (or with a hand mixer), combine all ingredients until soft and fluffy.

 

Assembling the whoopie pies

Pair up cookies that are similar in size. With either a spatula or a piping bag, frost a layer (about one-inch thick) onto a cookie. Drizzle cooled caramel sauce onto the frosting and cover with another cookie. Optional addition, sprinkle sea salt onto the frosting before you sandwich the cookies together.

Recipe: Brown Butter Sage Gnocchi

Gnocchi is not for the faint of heart. I don’t mean that in an action movie way; you won’t find any explosions or near-death experiences. However, you will find that your patience, appetite and back are all tested when making gnocchi from scratch.

 

Making gnocchi is fun, if you love to work with your hands and spend an afternoon in the kitchen. It’s also very rewarding, like honoring the Italian grandmother I never had (oh, my sweet non-existent Nona!). There’s something very cool in preparing an authentic dish from scratch, and if you’ve ever had homemade pasta, you know how much better it tastes.

Gnocchi1

 

Even though this gnocchi recipe takes some time and effort, it’s also very simple, so make sure you use high-quality, fresh ingredients. And bonus points if the sage comes from your garden. Double bonus points if the eggs come from your chickens.

 

Once you have freshly cooked gnocchi, you can dress it in just about any sauce, but one of our favorites is this simple sage brown butter sauce. It’s easy as hell and, and the simple, bold flavors (rich butter, fresh sage, oh my!) are the perfect combination to let the gnocchi shine.

Gnocchi2

Enjoy your new “holy shit, I can’t believe I made this” recipe. Feel free to brag.

 

4-6 medium potatoes

2 ½ cups flour (adjust based on how wet the dough feels)

½ teaspoon salt

1 egg

 

1 stick butter

½ cup fresh sage leaves

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

To make gnocchi

Cover potatoes with water in a large pot. Boil for 20 minutes. Drain and allow to cool in a colander.

 

Once cool enough to hold, peel potatoes. Grate onto a clean surface. Pat mixture into a circle.

 

Cover with flour and salt. Make a well in center and break egg into it. Beat egg with a fork until mixed into surrounding flour.

 

Knead dough to incorporate everything together. Shape dough into log. With a pastry cutter, slice dough into 8-10 pieces.

 

Roll out each piece to a rope about one-inch thick. Cut ropes into one-inch pieces. Dust with flour. Roll each piece on the tines of a fork.

 

Cook the gnocchi in salty boiling water for 2-4 minutes or until the gnocchi floats to the top of the water.

 

To make sauce

Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Allow butter to simmer a few minutes, swirling occasionally, until it’s light brown in color. Drop in sage leaves and fry for one minute. Add cooked gnocchi and saute until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with freshly grated parmesan.

Recipe: Tomato Basil Soup

As I write this, I am wearing my winter coat in the office and it is freezing outside. It’s exactly the kind of weather we expect and (somewhat) enjoy in January, but damn, it’s cold

 

I am wishing that we still had some of this soup that I’m about to tell you about. It went fast, which is saying a lot for our little office, but it was so perfect for cold weather that we ate it like it was the only thing to eat. That’s partly true because we don’t keep a lot of food in the studio, but we’ll just pretend like it bested all the other tupperware containers for best lunch of the day.

 

Homemade tomato soup is a fairly foreign concept to me. I grew up in a household of chicken noodle soup-lovers. My mom would make it from scratch with fresh, crisp veggies and tender, roasted chicken. Tomato soup for me, at the time, was a strong smelling mixture that came from a soup can, and I didn’t want anything to do with it. I (literally) eat my words now because homemade tomato soup is nothing like what you find on the shelves.

TomatoBasilSoup1

This all started when Jeff and I were chatting about tomato soup, and he swore that his recipe was the best (THE BEST) and that he would make it for the office sometime. Of course, this means that I’m going to make it. So I jotted down Jeff’s recipe, making extra notes for the grilled cheese sandwiches that would go with the soup. Because you can’t have one without the other. I mean, you can, but you’re not going to have a good time while doing it.

TomatoBasilSoup2

The creaminess of the tomato basil soup comes from the olive oil that is drizzled in during the blending stage. Use the good stuff. If you want a grilled cheese sandwich that will rock your mouth, coat it in butter and salt for a crisp, golden outside. The combination of creamy tomato basil soup and the crispy, generously gooey grilled cheese sandwiches is so awesome that we made a video about it.

 

So I’ll stop babbling and let you watch the video, because it deserves your full attention.

 

Tomato Basil Soup

 

1 cup shredded carrots

1 sweet yellow onion, diced

5 cloves of garlic, minced

2 bay leaves

1 package of fresh basil

1 cup olive oil

Salt & pepper, to taste

 

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, makes 3

 

6 slices of sourdough bread

8 tablespoons butter, slightly softened

5 ounces fontina cheese, sliced

Salt

 

Saute onion and carrots in olive oil with salt & pepper until translucent.

Adjust heat to medium and add garlic, cooking for a few minutes. Add tomatoes and bay leaves.

Simmer on medium low heat for 45 minutes. Once done, let cool for a few minutes.

In two batches, blend ½ of the soup on high with ½ a package of basil and ½ cup of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Put soup back in pot and let simmer while you make the grilled cheese sandwiches.

Thoroughly butter both sides of two slices of sourdough bread.

Layer a few slices of fontina cheese between the bread, I used 5 slices per sandwich.

Place in a heated skillet and sprinkle with salt. Let cook until golden brown, flip and sprinkle other side with salt. Remove from skillet when both sides are browned.

Repeat with other sandwiches. Serve with warm tomato soup and enjoy.

Recipe: Kale, Butternut Squash and Sausage Frittata

As temperatures start dropping, we start craving warm and cozy breakfast options that will entice us out of bed in the morning. That’s where the frittata comes in. A thick and hearty egg bake that you can fill with your favorite ingredients. A frittata is essentially an omelette in a cake pan.

Kale, Butternut Squash and Sausage Frittata

For this version, we use sautéed kale, roasted butternut squash and Italian sausage but you can throw in anything you want. Start digging through your fridge and you’ll be able to find frittata mix-in’s in no time. Throw in that baked potato you made for lunch earlier in the week, toss in some crumbled bacon leftover from breakfast, there’s even a place in the frittata for those green onions you nearly forgot about. Kale, Butternut Squash and Sausage Frittata

This frittata features 9 eggs with a bit of heavy cream to get it to that perfect fluffy texture. We recommend baking it in a springform pan to achieve frittata perfection. The frittata will come out perfectly cooked and golden brown. Don’t want to spend time in the morning throwing this together? Not a problem! Make it the night before and wake up knowing you’ve got a delicious frittata waiting for you. While you’re at it, have a slice for lunch or serve it for dinner. Frittata knows no boundaries.

Kale, Butternut Squash and Sausage Frittata

Kale, Butternut Squash and Sausage Frittata

Kale, Butternut Squash and Sausage Frittata

 

 

Kale, Butternut Squash and Sausage Frittata

Serves 6

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch kale, cleaned, stemmed, loosely chopped
  • 8 ounces cooked mild Italian sausage
  • 1 cup cooked butternut squash, chopped
  • 9 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 4 ounces smoked gouda cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces creme fraiche
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced

To make the frittata: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat the butter in a large nonstick skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallot, garlic and chopped kale. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture is soft and the kale has cooked down, about 5 minutes. Add the butternut squash and crumbled sausage, and cook for two more minutes. Remove the pan from heat and let it cool for at least 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and cream, then season with salt and pepper. Add the sautéed mixture and cheese to the bowl, mix well and pour into a 7-inch springform pan that’s been lined with parchment paper and greased with butter, olive oil, or cooking spray.

Cook the frittata, uncovered, in the oven until golden brown and cooked through, about 55 minutes. A knife inserted in the center should come out clean.

To serve: Allow the frittata to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing. We suggest serving with a chive creme fraiche.

Recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

When you’re in the middle of the season of butter, gravy, and pie, there’s something refreshing about a fall salad. When you need something green that isn’t covered in cream sauce, this fall salad is there for you. And this salad comes together so easily, you’ll be wondering why you even considered making that chicken pot pie for dinner. (I mean, we know why you wanted to make it: pie crust.) The hardest part of this recipe is preparing the butternut squash, forever the bane of my existence.

Butternut squash is delicious and oh-so seasonal but dear god, is it hard to prepare. I have to grease up my butternut squash skills every fall because I know I’ll be tasked with dealing with it at least once. It’s been three times so far this season and I can feel myself getting slightly better. This is probably the point in the blog post where I’m supposed to offer you some nifty trick for easier prep but no, you don’t want any tips from me. Just do your best not to chop off your fingers. And peel as quickly as you can, because the faster you peel, the less time you have to spend cursing this seasonal gourd.

Once you have the squash chopped and roasted, it’s just a matter of assembly. Add those squash pieces and shallots to the arugula, along with the toasted walnuts. Crumble up some feta and sprinkle over the salad. Pour a small amount (I say ¼ cup) of dressing onto the salad mixture and toss to combine. The balsamic dressing is slightly thicker than a vinaigrette so a little goes a long way. And boom! You’ve got a salad. Pat yourself on the back for cooking and dig in.

Feed Me Creative | Butternut Squash Salad

 

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes

4 large shallots, peeled and quartered

2 cups chopped walnuts, toasted

5 ounces of baby arugula

4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

1 garlic clove, minced

¾ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

Start by preparing a baking sheet with parchment paper and spreading out the walnut pieces in a single layer. Toast at 375°F for 5-10 minutes. Let cool and raise oven temperature to 400°F.

Toss butternut squash and shallots with olive oil and roast in 400°F oven for 25-30 minutes, or until tender and golden brown. Let cool.

Add balsamic vinegar, minced garlic clove, olive oil, and dijon mustard to a bowl or cup of your choice and whisk until combined. I think a liquid measuring cup is super helpful. Transfer to a storage container to keep in the fridge.

Prepare salad by mixing together squash, shallots, walnuts, and feta on a bed of arugula. Top with ¼ cup of dressing and toss to mix.

 

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