Thursday, February 10, 2011

chocolate malt sandwich cookies

Chocolate & malt. Wonderful combination! I used to always order a chocolate malt when i bought a milkshake....nowadays watching the calories that never happens! I estimated using an online calculator that each sandwiched cookie was around 165 calories...woah. Enough said! I ate two.

But when you live with two boys (yes, i count my husband as a boy =P) who love treats, i had to try this combination on them. They went down a treat, although maybe a little too sweet for hubby, i sent the remainder into our boy's school for the teacher's lounge as morning tea, they didn't last long apparently!

This recipe said it would make 20 sandwich cookies (40 cookies), but i managed to get 84 cookies, 42 sandwich cookies! So you can see why i needed to share the love around!

Chocolate Malt Sandwich Cookies

Thankyou Martha Stewart

•2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
•1/2 cup cocoa powder
•1/4 cup plain malted milk powder
•1 teaspoon baking soda
•1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
•1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
•1 3/4 cups sugar
•1 large egg
•2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
•1/4 cup sour cream
•3 tablespoons hot water

•10 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
•4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
•1 cup plain malted milk powder
•3 oz cream cheese, room temperature
•1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons 10% cream
•1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1.Preheat oven to 350F. Make cookies: Sift together flour, cocoa powder, malted milk powder, baking soda, and salt. With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg, sour cream, and hot water. Reduce speed to low; mix in flour mixture.

2.Space heaped teaspoonful balls of dough 3 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake until flat and just firm, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on parchment on wire racks.

3.Making filling: Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simming water, stirring. Let cool. With an electric mixer, beat malted milk powder and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Gradually mix in half-and-half, chocolate mixture, and vanilla. Refrigerate, covered, until thick, about 30 minutes. Take out of the fridge and mix on high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

4.Assemble cookies: Spread a heaping teaspoon of filling on the bottom of one cookie. Sandwich with another cookie. Repeat. Cookies can be refrigerated between layers of parchment in airtight containers up to 3 days.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

spinach & ricotta stuffed pasta shells

Who doesn't like pasta? We love it! I shouldn't eat it.....but the boys can! They love their spaghetti bolognaise with parmesan, they love lasagne, canneloni and macaroni cheese. But i thought for a change, when i saw these shells at the supermarket i had a great idea!

So i made a nice spinach and ricotta filling, that has garlic and onion, i've used this before with chicken in my canneloni and as a layer of filling in my lasagne.......and stuffed the shells.

I made a nice beef bolognaise and spread some of it on the bottom of a baking dish, laid out my stuffed shells, covered them in more sauce and topped them with grated cheese.

Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells

For the filling:-

3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, medium size, finely chopped
100g mozarella, grated
100g cheddar,grated
500g ricotta
1 x 300g packet frozen spinach, drained & finely chopped

Saute the garlic and onion in a little oil, add the spinach and cook down slightly. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper, put the mixture aside to cool.

Once cooled, mix in the cheeses and your filling is ready!

For the sauce:-

3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, medium size, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
500g beef mince
2 cups beef stock
1 tin diced tomatoes, any kind that you prefer
1 tin tomato puree
salt & pepper
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