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…

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…

Baked Salmon with Lemon Caper Butter

I freely admit that this recipe is completely ripped off from Matt at Wrightfood. This man is amazing at cooking seafood and even more amazing (if that’s possible) at photographing it! He wrote about an ingenious slow roasting technique for oily fish — let it come to room temp in olive oil and then bake at a low temperature for less than half an hour. Easy peasy.

And the sauce! Wow! The sauce is so. good. It’s the simplest thing in the world. He recommends adding herbs, but I don’t even think you need them. Which brings it to a grand total of three ingredients: lemon, capers, and butter. That’s it. That’s all you need. It’s a great sauce for any seafood. The lemon really stands out, but not enough to make you pucker. The capers bring their distinctive salty/briny flavor. And who doesn’t love butter? Did I mention it takes less than a minute to make from start to finish? Combined, they make a perfect sauce that can be served over any fish.

Serve this with a simple side, like roasted potatoes or some steamed brown rice. Everybody will think you spent hours slaving over the stove.

Read the recipe and the rest of the post here…

Lemon Oregano Chicken

Lemon Oregano Chicken with pasta and broccoli

I was looking for a simple and quick dinner for a week night. I had some chicken thighs in the fridge and I was craving lemon. Luckily, I found a recipe that called for ingredients I had in my pantry. The chicken came out moist, flavorful, lemony, and delicious. Searing it in a pan before baking it in the oven really locked in the juices and made the skin nice and crisp.  I used bone-in, skin-on thighs, but you can certainly use boneless, skinless. (I just don’t think the chicken will be as moist). For a side dish, I just boiled some egg noodles and broccoli and then drizzled the remaining lemon sauce over the top.

I found that the original recipe called for too much fat, so I reduced it in the one given below. I also increased the amounts of garlic, lemon juice, and chicken broth so I had enough sauce for the noodles. Next time, I’ll use about a teaspoon of lemon zest in the marinade to increase the lemony flavor.

Check out my tips for getting moist and tender chicken every time. (opens in a new window)
Read the recipe and the rest of the post here…

Roasted Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes

I served these vegetables alongside the tandoori-style chicken. Roasted cauliflower is completely different from the raw stuff. The flavor is sweet and a little nutty and very pleasant. I roasted these for twice the time called for in the recipe, just to make sure that the cauliflower flavors developed nicely. Yukon Gold potatoes are great because they hold their shape while roasting – Russet or Idaho potatoes would fall apart if you kept them in the oven this long.

Read the recipe and the rest of the post here…