July 29, 2014

Softest Zucchini Cookies with Browned Butter Frosting

I had two recipe fails last weekend.  The first had an alright texture, but the flavor was off and the 2nd had an alright flavor, but had a weird texture.  

That's okay now, because these Zucchini Cookies make up for the last 100 recipe disasters.  They are the best zucchini cookies . . . both the FLAVOR AND TEXTURE are perfect.  They are so good, that I couldn't resist eating one every.single.time I went into the kitchen and I'm not even going to tell you how many that added up to.    

Even the cookie on its own is flavorful and delicious.
Can you see the brown specks in the frosting.  Those brown specks are what you call FLAVOR!!! Amazing, nutty, toffee-like flavor.  

Go pick a zucchini out of the garden and make these right now!!!

You might also like:
Browned Butter Crinkles with Browned Butter Frosting
Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Cookies with Browned Butter Glaze
Zucchini Cake Sandwich Cookies
Softest Zucchini Cookies with Browned Butter Frosting
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. light brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. shredded zucchini
  (If your zucchini is really wet, squeeze out some of the excess water)
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream together shortening, brown sugar and sugar.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix until creamy.  Mix in the shredded zucchini.  Add the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon and mix until just combined and creamy.  Drop dough by spoonfuls (about 1 Tablespoon each) onto a lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake for 10-11 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.  Makes around 30 cookies.      

Browned Butter Frosting
5 Tbl. unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. powdered sugar
1-2 Tbl. milk

Place butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and heat until golden brown specks appear, swirling pan occasionally.  Butter will get foamy and if you swirl the pan around, you will see brown bits at the bottom and it will have a nutty smell.  Remove from heat and pour into a medium bowl.  Make sure and get all the brown bits at the bottom of the pan, that is where all the flavor is.  Allow to cool to room temperature or until it begins to solidify (I usually refrigerate mine to speed up the process).  

Add the vanilla and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and beat until combined.  Add remaining powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, adding milk as needed to reach desired consistency.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Spread over cooled cookies.      

July 27, 2014

20-Minute Cheesy Roast Beef and Pepper Sandwiches

This is another one of my lazy night dinners.  It comes together so darn fast and tastes so darn good.  I normally make this with a green bell pepper, but the store was completely out.  I guess someone messed up on their inventory and said they had 1200, but really had zero?  Oops.   Rather than drive to another grocery store, I decided to spend double and get a red and yellow bell pepper, since I had something else planned later in the week that also used peppers.   

I like to chop up the pepper and onion ahead of time and keep in an air-tight container and then I can just grab them out of the fridge and throw right into the hot skillet.  

Since this is such a fast meal, I need something fast to serve on the side and I love to stop at the corn stand on my way home from work and pick up some fresh corn on the cob.  Raise your hand if you like fresh corn on the cob as much as me :)  Or, if I make these on Sunday when I do have some extra time, I like to serve Roasted Ranch Veggies on the side.   
20-Minute Cheesy Roast Beef and Pepper Sandwiches
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

1/2 Lb. deli roast beef, sliced as thin as possible
1 tsp. olive oil
1 bell pepper, any color, ribbed, seeded and diced
1/3 c. finely chopped onion
sliced Cheddar and/or Monterey cheese
2 oz. cream cheese, softened 
4 hamburger buns, toasted

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the diced pepper and chopped onion and saute for about 5 minutes or until tender.  Add the sliced roast beef and toss together with the peppers.  Allow to cook for about 2 minutes until heated through.  Top with sliced cheese (as much as you like); turn off heat and cover skillet with a lid or a large plate and allow the cheese to melt.  Spread cream cheese over half of each toasted bun.  Top with beef, pepper and cheese mixture and serve.  Makes 4 sandwiches.  

Jenn's Notes: Make sure to get the deli roast beef sliced as thin as possible.  When I use thicker roast beef, it tends to get a little tuff after cooking for a few minutes.  

July 25, 2014

July 20, 2014

Glazed Chocolate Zucchini Cake Donuts

Be sure to follow me on Pinterest and never miss a mouthwatering recipe.
I picked my third zucchini from the garden this weekend and I made donuts!

First of all, the glaze on these donuts is a MUST.  The donut on it's own isn't anything special, but the glaze, whether chocolate or almond make these very very tasty.

These are baked, not fried, so they are a little different than the cake donut you might be used to.

They are dense and cakey and there is a good chance you will want a glass of milk while you are eating one.

I can't decide which glaze I like better?  I take a bite of one and think I like it better until I take a bite of the other one.  Both are delicious.  
I only have one complaint.  Since these bake for such a short period of time, the zucchini doesn't have time to dissolve into the donut like it would if you were baking a loaf of zucchini bread for 45 minutes.  

So, occasionally, as you bite into the donut, you might get a "string" of zucchini.  

I would recommend shredding your zucchini as finely as possible.  I shredded mine thicker than I should have.  By shredding the zucchini finer, you will hopefully avoid the zucchini bits throughout.  

You might also like:
Chocolate Donuts with Vanilla Peanut Butter Glaze
Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
Lion House Zucchini Bread
Glazed Chocolate Zucchini Cake Donuts
adapted from:  Sweet Peas and Saffron
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

2 c. cake flour
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 c. zucchini, shredded 
3/4 c. buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbl. unsalted butter, melted

Chocolate Glaze (Enough for 12 donuts)
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
4 Tbl. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. meringue powder, opt. (helps the icing harden more)
2 tsp. vanilla
2-3 Tbl. milk

Almond Glaze (Enough for 12 donuts)
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. meringue powder, opt. (helps the icing harden more)
1/2 - 3/4 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 Tbl. milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.  Squeeze excess water from shredded zucchini and add to flour mixture.  Toss to evenly coat zucchini with dry mixture.  Add the buttermilk, eggs and melted butter.  Stir until just combined.  Batter will be very thick and you might think it won't come together, but it will.

Grease donut pan with cooking spray.  Spoon batter into donut pan, filling almost full.  Bake for 8 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched or a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes.  Transfer donuts to a wire rack and cool completely.  Dip the bottom half of the donut (which will now be the top) into the glaze and top with sprinkles, if desired.  Place on a wire rack and allow icing to harden.  Makes 12-13 donuts.      

For the Chocolate Glaze: This makes enough for all of the donuts, so if you want to also make the Almond Glaze, cut this in half.  Combine powdered sugar, cocoa and meringue powder.  Add the vanilla and 1 Tablespoon of milk.  Stir together until combined.  Add a little more milk, as needed, to reach desired glaze consistency.  Dip donuts immediately. 

For the Almond Glaze: This makes enough for all of the donuts, so if you want to also make the Chocolate Glaze, then cut this in half.  Combine the powdered sugar and meringue powder.  Add 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, vanilla extract and 1 Tablespoon of milk.  Stir together until combined.  Add a little more milk, as needed, to reach desired glaze consistency.  Taste and add up to another 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract, if desired.  Dip donuts immediately.      
Linked up at Time to Sparkle! and Weekend Potluck!

July 16, 2014

Tex-Mex Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Who knew it was so hard to stream videos unless you have the latest and greatest gadgets?  Up until a few months ago, I still went to the video store and rented videos, but since they all closed down I was forced to find another way.  Yes, I realize I was probably one of the last people to convert.

I still have an old-school big screen T.V.  The kind that are giant and stand on the floor.  Who cares, it still works great.  So, since we have an X-Box 360, we figured the easiest thing to do would be to buy a wireless connector and X-Box Live and stream videos that way.  The next thing we know, our X-Box has the "Red Ring of Death".  A few internet searches later, we find a fix involving Q-Tips.  Very high-tech, I know :)  That worked for a little while, but the X-Box is officially dead.   

So, we head to Costco and pick up a Blu-Ray player with built in Wi-Fi, except the only problem is our old-school T.V., that still works just fine, doesn't have and HDMI plug.  Sheesh. . . so, now we've gotta get an HMDI plug converter.  Maybe I should just give in and buy a new T.V. with built in Wi-Fi?

How do you guys stream your videos?

Anyway, while I was at Costco, I picked up one of their amazing rotisserie chickens and decided to make some chicken salad sandwiches, but I wanted to add a little Tex-Mex flair.

They turned out delicious and are a perfect and easy meal to enjoy while watching old episodes of One Tree Hill on Netflix :)  
Tex-Mex Chicken Salad Sandwiches
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

2 c. cooked and shredded chicken (rotisserie works great)
1/4 c. mayonnaise (I use light)
salt and pepper, to taste
taco seasoning, to taste
1 roma tomato, diced
2 green onions, minced
1 roasted poblano pepper, peeled, seeded and chopped
    or you can use 1 can of diced green chiles
3 Tbl. chopped cilantro, opt.
1/2 c. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
3 ciabatta buns, toasted

Combine shredded chicken, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, a little taco seasoning (I would start with 1 teaspoon and add more if needed), diced tomato, green onions, roasted poblano, cilantro and cheese.  Stir together until well combined.  Taste and adjust any ingredients, if needed.  Serve on toasted ciabatta buns.  Makes 3 sandwiches.  

Linked up at Time to Sparkle! and Weekend Potluck!