Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've taken my favorite chocolate chip cookie and jazzed it up with some toffee bits! I love toffee and chocolate together, especially when it's in a cookie.  I love a yummy cookie that you can just grab off the plate when you walk through the kitchen to do something, or even one that you just walk into the kitchen to get!  You know it's a good cookie when that happens.  These cookies last exactly 1.5 days at our house, if we are lucky! We just can't resist helping ourselves to one or maybe even ten when we walk by.  This is a very simple chocolate chip cookie recipe that I use ALL the time.  I used it here, when I made my M&M Christmas cookies, and you could do the same for any holiday.  Just choose whatever colors you like and make it your own.  Or add in toffee, or mint chips, or white chocolate chips, the combinations are endless!
Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (please use the real thing, it makes such a difference)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 (6 ounce package) chocolate chips (I usually throw in a few extra for good measure, and 99% of the time I use milk chocolate ones.  You can't really have too chocolatety chocolate chip cookies can you?)
1/2 cup toffee bits

Cream butter, add sugar and beat on low until fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla; beat well. In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking soda.  Add to creamed mixture and beat well.  Stir in chocolate chips and toffee bits. Drop teaspoonfuls of the dough on a well greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly on cookie sheet, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Yields: 2-3 dozen depending on the size of your "teaspoonful"  I tend to make bigger cookies, so I always end up with less that the "yield" amount!

As always, enjoy your delicious cookies with a big glass of milk!  And make sure that you leave a plate of them out in the kitchen, you will be back for more!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Southwestern Egg Rolls

I'm in love with Mexican food.  Not as much as C, no one can love Mexican food as much as him!  Luckily for the both of us, I whipped up these tasty treats recently.  The method is so easy and you end up with restaurant quality southwestern egg rolls in a jiffy!  I've seen a lot of recipes for southwestern egg rolls recently, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon and make some myself.  You should too, you will be so happy you did!
Southwestern Egg Rolls
Olive Oil
1/4 cup diced bell pepper
1/4 cup diced onion
2/3 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup corn
1 cup cooked chicken
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon ranch seasoning
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 package egg roll wrappers (I usually use 10-12 per batch)
Vegetable Oil for frying

Heat one tablespoon olive oil over medium heat.  Add diced pepper and onion and cook until soft, a few minutes.  Add beans, corn, and chicken and heat through. Remove from heat and stir in ranch seasoning, cumin and cheddar.  Heat 1" vegetable oil over medium heat for frying.  Meanwhile, place 1/4 cup chicken mixture in the center of each egg roll wrapper.  Roll into an egg roll (directions are on the inside of the egg roll wrapper if you aren't sure exactly what to do...I had to refer to them a few times).  Make sure that you seal the edges with a little brush of water! Once the oil is hot, place the egg rolls into the oil, cooking in small batches.  Fry until golden brown - a couple of minutes - and then flip and finish frying.  Remove to a paper towel lined plate to cool.
Yields: 10-12 egg rolls depending on how fat you stuff them.  Serves 3 hungry people or 4 as an appetizer with sides.  We are always the hungry people...

Alternate method:
If you are short on time and have cooked chicken on hand, you can do this instead.  Omit the peppers and onions, and just stir together the beans, corn, chicken, cheese and seasonings.  Fill the egg rolls and fry them up!  This will cut your dinner making time down to nothing, but you can still serve a delicious meal. It might not be the healthiest meal I make, but it's good every once in a while! :)

We love these!  I've made them a few times in the past month, and they are a hit either way I make them.  Honestly, I completely forgot the peppers and onions the second time I made them and that's how the Alternate Method was born.  The flavors are great, and I love the crispy outside of the egg roll! Really, you can throw together just about any combo of veggies and seasonings and stuff it in an egg roll.  You can't go wrong with fried goodness!  Serve them up with some sour cream, guacamole and a bean dip and you are good to go.  For my bean dip, I took the extra black beans, heated them up and mashed them up.  I added a spoonful of sour cream, some ranch seasoning and cumin and stirred it together.  Yum, Yum!  You'll want to make these very soon!


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