Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Weekly Recipe Roundup

As promised from my earlier post, here's what I was busy cooking up this weekend:

Black and White Cookies - If you haven't tried these little (well not so little) gems, you're missing out. These originated in NYC but have made their way around the US. Just like chocolate chip cookies, each recipe will yield a slightly different taste but they are all basically the same. I love that the cookie is more cake-y than a typical cookie and they're iced. I only have 2 issues with this recipe. One, it yields less than a dozen cookies. I like to have more fruits for my labor. And second, the icing recipe doesn't make quite enough to cover all of the cookies. I had to whip up a little more to be able to cover all the cookies. Wes loved them just the same!

Copycat Levain Throw Down Cookies - A while ago Bobby Flay challenged Levain Bakery (also NYC) to a throw down with their chocolate chip cookies. Their cookies are huge - more in thickness than diameter. I've never sampled the real thing but I have sampled these cookies and they're darn good! It's denser than most but I prefer that. I don't like my fingers to be dripping with butter after eating a chocolate chip cookie. I also don't like crispiness. These have neither. With the extra flour, you do miss any chance for the undercooked middle but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. I won't quit searching for the perfect cookie but these go down in my book as being a favorite.

Ultimate Spaghetti Sauce - I love finding recipes that are complete meals and allow you to sneak in extra veggies. Thankfully Colin is a good eater and that's not usually an issue, but you never know when that might change. I love the addition of carrots and roasted red peppers to this. I used fresh turkey sausages from Whole Foods in place of the pork sausage but next time I'd consider leaving them out entirely and add in some spices to compensate. This is a really versatile sauce and makes your house smelly yummy as it cooks!

A recipe worth mentioning for it's taste, not it's beauty is Alton Brown's Granola Bars. I had such good intentions - to provide Wes a healthier alternative to the sugar-laden bars in the store - but alas, I was not too successful. I should have trusted the all knowing Mr. Brown but I had to try it my own way and got a big dish of crumbly granola instead. The flavor was still good enough to make me consider trying it again, this time actually following Alton. Apparently brown rice syrup is not as sticky as honey and therefore won't hold the granola together adequately enough. No need for a picture of my mistake. Maybe next time.

Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad - I'm failing on the pictures this week. None of this one either but it's a great dish. I did make several modifications so I'll post the recipe with my changes below.

Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad
(adapted from Gourmet magazine)

4 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dry wheat berries
1 Gala apple
1 Fuji apple
1/2 cup dried Bing cherries, chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 scallions (green part only)
3 T. fresh orange juice
3 T. rice vinegar

In a saucepan bring water and salt to boil and add wheat berries. Simmer wheat berries, covered, 1 1/2 hours, or until tender. Drain wheat and let cool to room temperature.

Cut apples into 1/2-inch chunks and in a large bowl toss with wheat berries and add all remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Chill until ready to serve and toss before serving.


  1. I watched that throwdown espisode and my mouth was watering the whole time looking at those monsterous sized cookies! BTW, I tried that pulled pork recipe you had put up and the pork was delicious! I wasn't a huge fan of the sauce, I thought it was a little sweet. But we liked it so much we're going to make that for Bailey's birthday party...just going to twiek the sauce a little first. Any suggestions?

  2. Thanks so much for including my Ultimate Spaghetti Sauce in your recipe roundup! I love how it sneaks in extra veggies too!

  3. black & white cookies are so yummy! warmly, -melanie-

  4. hi danielle! i too made the copycat levain cookies--chocolate chip walnut and also the chocolate peanut butter chip. they were a bit too floury for my taste and weren't that close to the real thing, but i think i overbaked mine...the levain cookies were delicious, but i think i'm still tollhouse's #1 fan ;)

    i'm putting the black & white cookies in my recipe pile and can't wait to make them. i'll be sure to double it and make plenty of icing!