Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies with Chambord-Mascarpone Filling – also known as my favorite cookies of all time

Chocolate thumbprint cookies with mascarpone chambord filling

chambord mascarpone cookies

From the archives: This was originally published on 2/14/10, however I’ve noticed renewed interest with the holidays coming up. People have been using this recipe for Christmas cookie swaps or holiday baking exchanges. And why not? It’s elegant and tasty! So read on for the recipe!

My mom found the recipe for these cookies in our local newspaper’s holiday cookie contest. When she makes them, they look like they came out of a professional bakery. When I make them, they look like they were a 5-year-old’s first baking project. But it doesn’t really matter because, lucky for us, they’re delicious either way.

I’m not going to lie to you; they’re a lot of work. You have to make the dough, chill the dough, roll the dough and coat in sugar, make the filling, fill the cookies, and then melt and pipe chocolate over the top. But, again, these are my favorite cookies ever and I will gladly put in the work because the end product is just so fantastic.

The cookies are flavorful and crunchy on the outside. The filling is creamy, sweet, and full of berry flavor. The chocolate topping is deep and rich and perfectly complements the cookies. They are ideal to serve to company because they have the right combination of fancy-schmancy and homemade rustic-ness about them.

The combination of Chambord and mascarpone is a winner. The Chambord gives the filling a rich berry flavor. You can substitute any berry liqueur or brandy. I bet cherry brandy or creme de cassis would be great here. Or you can leave out the alcohol altogether and add a teaspoon of raspberry extract. Mascarpone is awesome – creamy and fresh and yummy. If you can’t find any at your local grocery store, you can actually make your own. You could probably also substitute cream cheese, but I haven’t tried that so I don’t know how it would taste.

But you have to make them! I’ve never had anything like these cookies before. The flavor combination is unbelievable.

Read the recipe and the rest of the post here…

The Best Soy Sauce Ever

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I just had to share this bottle of soy sauce that I bought at the Korean store. How funny! I wonder if it’s a literal translation…

Mediterranean Plate

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I know this isn’t the best photography in the world, but its the only decent shot I was able to get of this appetizer plate that I threw together in about five minutes using things we already had in our fridge. And I think that’s the appeal of the whole thing. If you are having company over and you have a well-stocked refrigerator, this appetizer is quick and easy! I am also including a recipe for marinated artichoke hearts, which are tangy and delicious.

Here’s what I have on my plate:

  • Salami
  • Hummus
  • Crostini
  • Olives
  • Marinated artichokes (recipe follows)
  • Stuffed grape leaves [not pictured]
  • Prosciutto drizzled with balsamic glaze [not pictured]
  • Pan-fried haloumi (this is a really cool Greek cheese that you can brown on a nonstick pan without the cheese melting!) [not pictured]

There is no method to the arrangement – I just threw a bunch of things together on a plate. Next time, I think I will put the hummus in a separate bowl to make dipping easier. Don’t forget to include a small bowl for olive pits!

Click here to read the recipe for marinated artichoke hearts and for more suggestions to add to your own Mediterranean Appetizer Plate…

This is how I’ve been feeling lately

Please refer to this excellent (and illustrated!) post at Hyperbole and a Half. It describes me so well that it’s eery.

The Reason I Haven’t Been Posting

Her name is Corey and we rescued her from a local shelter. She was a stray. They said she’s a spaniel mix, but I think she’s a border collie/pomeranian. Any guesses on breed?

Here she is with her snazzy doggie backpack. See the way her tail curves around? It looks like a pom tail. She’s a very shy and scared dog but we are going to conquer all her issues with love and many episodes of the Dog Whisperer :)

I’m in New Jersey for a couple of weeks and hoping I will find some time to cook and post it on here!

Roasted Tilapia in Sweet Asian Chile Sauce

Hello everyone, I have to apologize for the sporadic posting. I haven’t been doing much cooking lately, sadly.

To make it up to you, I am going to share a delicious and super healthy dish: Roasted Tilapia in Sweet Asian Chile Sauce. I think it would also work great with another mild white fish, like cod or swordfish. The cool thing about this recipe is that the fish are baked in packets. The original recipe suggests using banana leaves, but I am a busy woman! I refuse to drive around specialty stores looking for banana leaves when I know for a fact that foil packets work just as well.

This technique steams the fish in its own juices and the juices of the sauce you add, meaning it doesn’t come out dry or tasteless. Just the opposite: it is flaky and moist and tender and filled with amazing flavors. And there’s another perk: easy cleanup!

I served it with a side of jasmine rice and some steamed green beans drizzled with a sesame sauce. For that sauce, I simply whisked together: toasted sesame oil, vegetable oil, soy sauce, and rice vinegar, then topped with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Read the recipe and the rest of the post here…

Sweet & Spicy Tangerine Glazed Grilled Chicken

Bobby Flay had me for a twofer — those amazing grilled potatoes are merely a side to complement this fabulous chicken. The chicken is seasoned in two ways: first a spice rub that forms a delicious crust while the chicken is grilling, and secondly the glaze which is sticky and sweet.

This balance of spicy crust + sweet glaze is absolutely the right way to do BBQ. I will be honest: my normal routine for grilled chicken breasts is this: salt, pepper, Italian seasoning out of a jar, olive oil, put on grill. That’s it. Simple and tasty.

But when you are looking for more. For that extra special something. For a break from the ordinary. This is it!

By the way, if you have trouble with grilled chicken breasts becoming too dry, check out my article on keeping chicken moist and tender, even when grilling.

With summer (i.e. barbecue season) coming to an end, I suggest you make this now. Otherwise you’ll regret it for the entire year.

Read the recipe and the rest of the post here…

Genius Grilled Potatoes with Roasted Garlic-Herb Dressing

I might be in love with Bobby Flay. I have never tried a recipe of his that I didn’t fall in love with. (Except the ones that include cilantro, but that’s only because I hate the taste of it. Usually I just replace with another herb and still get stellar results.)

Why the word “genius” in the title of this post? Because of the two-step cooking process. See, Bobby realizes that if you just throw raw potatoes on the grill, the outside will burn before the inside is done cooking. So you will have a charred potato that is still raw in the middle. Bobby’s solution? Par-boil those babies before throwing them on the grill. That way, most of the cooking is done in a pot on the stove and the potatoes are grilled for only a few minutes to get some gorgeous grill marks and crust on the outside.

Finally, I just want to say, that my stick blender is amazing- with it, the dressing comes together in less than 10 seconds.

Attention: there are a lot of steps in this recipe and you will have too many dishes to do. My suggestion: pour yourself a glass of white wine, put on some music, and take the extra time. All those steps are vital to the final dish and you will be very happy that you didn’t take shortcuts.

By the way, the dressing recipes makes twice the amount you need for the potatoes. Go ahead and make all of it. Use it on your sandwich, as a dip for your fries, as a marinade for chicken. It’s versatile and it’s delicious.

Read the recipe and the rest of the post here…

Homemade Vegetable Stock

Like many cooks, I use stock and broth all the time to boost the flavors of the food I make. It’s not too expensive — I like to buy the cardboard containers from Whole Foods for about two bucks. But what I never knew was how easy it is to make your own stock. And you don’t even have to buy new ingredients for it! Just use scraps from the veggies you use in your everyday cooking. So as somebody who hates wasting ingredients and loves experimenting in the kitchen, I had to try it.

All I do is add my food scraps into a gallon-sized bag in my freezer. Once the bag fills up, it’s time to make stock! It’s so easy — there’s almost no work involved. Just get in the habit of throwing your vegetable scraps in the freezer instead of the garbage and then boil some water. Let it sit over a flame, strain it, and you’ve got delicious homemade broth from nothing but odds and ends. Essentially, this is a free way to flavor your food.

Click here to read which vegetable scraps are ideal for making stock…

Apologies + a Cocktail

So first, I must say I am quite sorry that I haven’t been around for a few weeks. I started a new job and decided to move from Southern California to NYC for the month of July. And of course, I arrive during the most DISGUSTING and muggy heat wave ever and all I want to do is lay in my bed and let the A/C hum me to sleep.

But to make up for it, I have a super refreshing summer cocktail for you! It’s alcoholic version of an Arnold Palmer (which Snapple calls “Twisted Tea” and others call “Half Lemonade/Half Iced Tea”). I thought a “Tipsy Arnold Palmer” would be a good name for it, but I’m open to suggestions.

Here’s what you need to cool off on a hot summer day:

  • Sweet Tea Vodka
  • Lemonade (fresh is best, but concentrate diluted with water will do in a pinch)
  • Lemon wedges (unless your lemonade is already very tart to begin with)
  • Ice

Ratios are up to you. I like to fill my pint glass with ice, add 2 shots of sweet tea vodka, and fill with lemonade to the top! Garnish with lemon wedge and sip, preferably from a straw.

If you want more formal ratios, try 2 parts vodka to 5 parts lemonade. Taste and add more vodka or lemonade to your liking.

Recipes coming in the next few days, but who can cook in weather like this?

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