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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sesame Chicken


I found this recipe on Cully's Kitchen and decided to give it a try.  I am so glad I did because it was really good.  It tasted like it came from a Chinese restaurant, but better because I knew exactly what was in it!  I loved it and will definitely be making this again.

I did make a few minor changes to this which I have noted below in the recipe.  I don't love the taste of ginger so I only put in half what the recipe called for and I think next time I will leave it out completely.  I also think next time I will use low sodium soy sauce to cut down on some of the saltiness.  Other than that this is a great recipe and definitely worth making!

Sesame Chicken
Source: Cully's Kitchen

Ingredients:

Sauce:

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup chicken broth
1-2 tablespoon sesame oil (to personal taste)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 dash red chili pepper flakes (I omitted this)
2 teaspoons cornstarch (or more is you want a thicker sauce) (I used 2 tsp and thought it was perfect)

Chicken:

4 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon sherry wine (I omitted this because I didn't have any)
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder (optional) (I omitted this)
2 drops sesame oil
cornstarch, to coat chicken
Vegetable oil or Peanut oil (for frying)
Sesame Seed (to garnish)
Sliced Green Onion (to garnish)
prepared Rice, to serve.

Directions

Combine chicken ingredients except cornstarch and let marinate for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.

Remove chicken from marinade and toss in cornstarch then cook chicken in hot oil on the stove or deep fryer until cooked through.  Keep warm in pan while making the sauce.

Combine all sauce ingredients EXCEPT cornstarch in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over med. heat.
Mix cornstarch with a little water (about 1/4 cup) in a cup until dissolved- then slowly add to the sauce mixture on the stove and heat until thickened to the consistency of gravy.

Add the sauce to the chicken. Heat thoroughly.  Serve over hot rice.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions.

Monday, February 13, 2012

S'mores Bars

These are definitely one of my favorite s'more treats.  I have made them twice and love them so much.  They taste just like a traditional s'more! 

S'more Cookie Bars
source: Baked to Perfection

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (approximately 7 full graham crackers)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 super-sized (5 oz.) dark chocolate bars (e.g. Hershey’s)
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (not melted marshmallows)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined.

Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Place chocolate bars over dough. Two 5 oz. Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate (if necessary) to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick. Spread marshmallow fluff evenly over the chocolate layer.

Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff. This is most easily done by putting the second half of the dough in a gallon size freezer bag. Use your palms to flatten it out, and then use scissors to cut down both long sides of the bag, so it will open up book-style. Open it up carefully, and the dough will stick on one side of the bag. Then place the bag, dough side down, on the other three layers. From there peel the bag up ad spread the dough where it is uneven.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars

Makes 16 cookie bars

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Homemade Oreos


I've pinned a few recipes for homemade oreos and it's been on my "recipes to try" list for quite some time.  I finally got around to trying them!

I ended up changing a few things to the recipe I chose to use.  I did not change the ingredients, just the way I made the dough.  The original recipe called for putting the ingredients together using a food processor.  Not only did that seem a little strange to me, but I also don't own a food processor.  So I made the dough using my Kitchen Aid. 

This recipe was A-MA-ZING!  The dough was so easy to make - I had it done before my oven was even finished pre-heating!  Start to finish I think these cookies took about an hour, which was really so much faster than I expected!

These cookies are fantastically delicious!  I used my small cookie scoop for these but I think next time I will make them smaller so that they are a little more bite size.  I got 14 sandwiches of this size. 


Homemade Oreos
Source: Handle the Heat

For the cookies: 

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/4 teaspoon baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 cup granulated sugar 
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature 
1 large egg

For the filling: 
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature 
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar 
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

To make the cookies:

Preheat oven to 375F.  Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.  In the bowl of a mixer cream the butter and sugar.  Add egg and beat until combined.  Add dry ingredients and beat until well combined.

Drop teaspoons of batter onto parchment paper lined baking sheet approximately 2 inches apart.  Flatten slightly.  Bake for 9 minutes.  Do not over bake.  Cookies should look slightly undercooked in the middle.  Let cool on the cookie sheet for about 3 minutes to set up then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:

Beat butter with electric mixer on low speed.  Add vanilla and blend well.  Gradually add sugar and beat on high for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy.

To assemble:

Using a pastry bag or spatula, drop a teaspoon-size blob of filling into the center of one cookie. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press down to work the filling evenly towards the outside of the cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling.