brazil nut cookie dough cups (vegan) + a #mollyontherange preorder sprinkle giveaway!

a real live copy of molly on the range arrived late last week and i shrieked so loudly, almost as loud as when a fox tried to take a macaroni in his mouth. it was so wild and unexpected, i thought i was unboxing my new business cards and sprinkle envelopes from chelsey, but nope, it was a book! my book! the thing that's going to classify me as an author and qualify me to wear elbow patches! i carried it around with me, to seattle and eastern washington and back, and then last night we used it to make fried rice even though i didn't really follow the recipe. i was mostly just curious to see if i'd used butter or oil (it was butter, thank goodness) and then let the page sit open next to me while i chopped all of my onions. i tried to get onion juice on it as an inaugural stain. 

i'm getting off track: there are three are exactly three weeks left to preorder and that means three preorder giveaways!

first up, magic sprinkle mix! throughout the life of this book, i've dreamt of a sprinkle mix. something with rainbows, various sprinkley shapes, spices, sesame seeds, and salt. a seasoning mix on its own that's as tasty as it is colorful, and something naturally colored, like the sprinkles i keep in a jar on my open shelf. so working with india tree, who makes my favorite naturally dyed sprinkles, i developed a mix that is exactly that! it's got cardamom, black sesames and white sesames, smoked salt, and a secret mixture of their sprinkles that extends beyond their carnival mix. i am so excited about it and if you see me between now and the end of my tour, there's a chance i might have one of these bad boys for you:

why hand out business cards when you could hand out sprinkle packets?? (all of the credit for this idea goes to one of the cool dudes behind the hare's corner, who i met in ireland and instead of giving me a business card, he gave me a little packet of seeds! it was so cute.) aside from the little packets though, there are also six jars of this magic sesame cardamom limited-edition sprinkle mix up for grabs to those who've preordered molly on the range! details on how to enter are at the bottom of this post. 

first i want to show you how i've used them, on these here cookie dough cups that are vegan and inspired by the brazil nut cookie dough bars in anna jones' new book, a modern way to cook. i had never bought a brazil nut before, but when i did, eggboy flipped out! he loves them! anna's recipe calls for blending the nuts with some sugar and coconut oil and adding chocolate chips, and it tastes just like raw cookie dough, it's dangerous and addictive. in order to let these sprinkles shine through, here i've instead coated this dough in chocolate for a fancier peanut butter cup! 


brazil nut cookie dough cups

makes 12

ingredients

6 oz (or 1 heaping cup) brazil nuts

2 tb sugar

2 tb coconut oil (solid)

2 tb maple syrup

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

12 oz dark chocolate

sprinkles, for topping

 

 

clues

place the nuts, sugar, coconut oil, syrup, salt, and vanilla in a food processor and pulse until the mixture comes together into a dough-like texture. it may still look crumbly but if you squeeze a bit in your hand, it should hold together. dump it out onto a work surface, divide it into 12 equal parts, and then roll them into balls and flatten them. set aside.

line 12 muffin tins with paper liners and set aside. 

melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave until smooth and then spoon about 1 teaspoon chocolate into the bottom of the liners. stick in the freezer for a couple minutes to firm up slightly. place a disk of filling in each muffin liner and then top with the remaining melted chocolate so that it covers the filling completely. top with sprinkles and let harden in the freezer. enjoy!


if you've preordered molly on the range and would like to win one of six jars of limited-edition #mollyontherange sesame cardamom sprinkles, leave a comment here with what you'd use them on first! open to u.s. residents. enter now through pub date (10/4) and have your preorder receipt ready for if you win!

dessert pickles, two ways

just over a year ago, i made my first visit to the town i now call home. there were obviously many many food-centric emotions, most of which were excited in the i-can't-wait-to-try-hot-dish-and-also-only-have-one-asian-restaurant-to-choose-from way but, some were nervous in the what-will-i-do-when-i'm-bored-and-can't-go-on-a-donut-tour? way. 

i will admit that at times i was a little dark because as i rode in on my high pony from brooklyn i had this dumb uninformed idea that i could try all of the foods in grand forks in one week or less. but i soon started discovering all these tasty little secrets! like the most wonderful ribs in the middle of complete nowhere, earth-shattering wings at a dive bar behind this place called the valley dairy (which i think is an equivalent to a corner bodega, but i haven't even been yet!), a kimchi taco, this fantastic gem, and at the most adorable chocolate shop ever in all the land, a chocolate covered pickle.

it was the exact last thing i expected to see at our little town chocolate shop, but look, here's even a vintage instagram of them! for excitement's sake, i had one and got all smiley about it. it was like having the kid-friendly answer to a pickleback, all sweet and soury and pickly. when my mom came to visit, she became obsessed. 

so here i am today with a recipe for chocolate covered pickles, in case you live in like brooklyn, or somewhere else where a place to get a chocolate covered pickle isn't that obvious (hah! see what i did there?), and it's paired up with a candied pickle because how fun would that be? a pickle-centric dessert table? i am a little bit tempted to insert a raunchy joke about dipping a pickle in chocolate but today i am g-rated.


chocolate covered pickles

ingredients

1 jar of farmer's garden by vlasic bread and butter chips

8 oz dark chocolate chips

2 tb coconut oil

sprinkles (optional, but strongly preferred) 

clues

drain your pickles and place them on a plate or baking sheet lined with parchment. (remove the carrots and red peppers... unless you want to dip those in chocolate too!) freeze your pickles until very cold, for a few hours or overnight. 

melt your chocolate with the coconut oil in a double boiler or in a microwave for 30-second increments. remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is no longer hot.

dip the pickles either half way or all the way into the chocolate and place them back on the parchment. sprinkle with sprinkles. serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. 

candied pickles

ingredients

a heaping cup of farmer's garden by vlasic bread and butter chips

3/4 c sugar

2 tb water

optional for serving: ice cream and other sundae toppings!

clues

in a large saucepan, combine the pickles, sugar, and water. heat over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture begins to turn caramel brown, 20-30 minutes. remove the pickles from the sugar mixture and let them cool on parchment paper. 

(any leftover sugar syrup can be poured out onto parchment and left to cool to make pickle infused hard candy!)

serve immediately! over ice cream, perhaps!

-yeh!

this post was sponsored by vlasic's tasty new line of pickles, farmer's garden! all opinions are mine mine mine. these pickles come in super cute farmy jars and there are no artificial flavors in them (yay). they're inspired by pickling pioneer joseph vlasic, who started making pickles 70 years ago! aside from bread and butter chips, they make zesty garlic chips, kosher dill spears, kosher dill halves, and dill chips. to see what other fun things are going on it pickle word, you can follow #farmtojar.

also be sure to enter their sweepstakes: farmer’s garden is celebrating the authentic taste of #farmtojar with the savor simplicity sweepstakes running from 5/7/14 – 7/31/14. enter at www.farmersgardenvlasic.com for a chance to win a weekend cooking adventure or summer entertaining package, each worth $1,500. one winner will be chosen each month. a $1 off coupon will also be given to all entrants immediately following entry!

 

PISTACHIO HAZELNUT NOUGAT

some things you should know about nougat:

1. it is the best treat for a train ride because it will make you feel as if you're on the polar express. never mind that you've just coated your teeth in sugar and won't be able to brush your teeth until the end of your 12 hour ride. cavities don't form on trains.

2. unless you have had it in europe or made it yourself, it's unlikely that you've had nougat at its optimum chewiness. (i know this because every time i see it in a store in the states, i give it the squishy test. not one has passed.) three musketeers bars don't count.

3. eggboy does not eat sugarbut he has snuck little bites of this at least once every hour since i made it.

4. it has been the fuel of our of farmhouse kitchen remodeling efforts. (more on this later...)

5. it is stressful to make because it involves getting two separate mixtures to two separate temperatures within a quick few minutes, while you whip up some egg whites, and it makes you kinda feel like an air traffic controller. i failed the first time and created a big blob of burnt disgusting shit and it happened to be the christening of my kitchen aid, so now i am terrified that my kitchen aid thinks i'm an idiot.

6. it keeps well, so i have sent some around as little thank-yous to kristin for these amazing lip balms, sara for cranberry mead (!!) mustard, and eitan for hot chocolate and for being my surprise cousin. 

pistachio hazelnut nougat

based on this recipe from food & wine

ingredients

1/4 c cornstarch

1/4 c powdered sugar

1 2/3 c + 1 tb white sugar

1 3/4 c water

3/4 c honey

2 large egg whites

a pinch of kosher salt

3 c toasted hazelnuts, unsalted

3/4 c toasted pistachios, unsalted

clues

in a small bowl, combine cornstarch and powdered sugar. line an 8-inch baking pan with parchment, spray it with cooking spray, and dust it with half of the cornstarch mixture. set the pan and the rest of the mixture aside. 

get all of your other mixtures into place: in a large saucepan, combine 1 2/3 c sugar, the water, and 1/4 c honey. in a small saucepan, measure out the remaining 1/2 c honey. in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (have this set up near the stove), place your egg whites and pinch of salt.

heat the sugar mixture on medium-high. once it reaches 245ºf, turn the heat down to medium-low, transfer your candy thermometer to the small saucepan with the honey, and bring your honey to a boil over medium-high heat. immediately begin beating the egg whites until stiff peaks form. beat in the 1 tablespoon of white sugar. (do this while keeping an eye on the honey so you don't burn it...)

when the honey reaches 265ºf, add it to the egg whites in a steady drizzle with the mixer running at medium-high. reduce the speed of your mixer, and keep it going for the next step.

place your candy thermometer back into the sugar mixture, raise the heat to medium-high, and then when it reaches 305ºf, add it to the egg white mixture in a steady stream. beat on high for 3-5 minutes, until the mixture is pale. 

with an oiled wooden spoon, mix in the nuts, and then scrape the mixture into the prepared pan. press it into an even layer, sprinkle on the remaining cornstarch mixture and let cool. (this should take just a few hours, if that.) cut and serve, or store in an air tight container for up to two weeks.

enjoy! and then brush your teeth. 

-yeh!

PISTACHIO CALISSONS

do you ever have one of those weeks where you eat exclusively licorice, waffles, and tarts, and at the end of it all you break your streak only to eat a taco salad? and then the next day, because you broke your streak and because your pistachio kitchen aid arrived, you convert your kitchen into a pistachio-themed wannabe french candy shop, or, how do you call it, bonbonnière, by way of nougat and calissons?

hi.

i am pretty sure that last week's cavity-free dentist checkup instilled too much confidence in me, but that is ok because today i am reliving the old euroextraviganza 2011, when maria and i ate our way through nice and other fun places. back when i had bangs and wore grey nail polish and a fugly red leather jacket. 

one burning memory i have from that trip is having to resist too many calissons because, sweet cheeses, were they expensive. and for a college girl who perpetually saved up for marc jacobs bags and momofuku things? no. just no. 

now i am swimming in them and i wish i could tell a 2011 molly that it's ok: in three years time you'll live in north dakota with hundreds of calissons and you'll eat so many that you'll feel too much like a blob to do anything other than wear your boyfriend's sweatshirt and watch girls for an entire afternoon.

(2011 molly would be like who's your boyfriend? ronan farrow? and i would be like no, nick the trombonist that you haven't seen in two years. and 2011 molly would run out of the room in disbelief and utter delight.)

umm.. where was i...

oh!

so i read about a thousand calisson recipes yesterday, whose ingredients ranged from shit i don't even want to try to find in north dakota to things i think i could safely substitute. most recipes called for candied fruits, mainly citrus, and/or apricot things, and a bit of orange blossom water or grand marnier, ground with almonds and sugar. i ended up using dried apricots and a splash of lemon juice with my pistachios. the result was not so much of a omg i am in nice, but more of a ooh! these are a new kind of tasty and the perfect way to celebrate eggboy's first welding lesson.

 

pistachio calissons

(gluten free + dairy free)

ingredients

1/4 c dried apricots

1/2 c ground toasted almonds

1/2 c ground toasted pistachios

6 tb powdered sugar, plus more for dusting

a pinch of salt

1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp water

glaze: 1 egg white beaten with 1 c powdered sugar

clues

in a food processor, grind the apricots to form a paste. add the ground nuts, sugar, and salt, and process until you have an even crumbly mixture. with the processor running, drizzle in the lemon juice and water. once the mixture comes together to form a dough, roll it out on a surface dusted with powdered sugar.

cut out little shapes, spread the tops with glaze, and let dry.

enjoy with a french accent, real or fake.

-yeh!