Thermapen Mk4 Review

Thermapen Mk4 Review

I am a huge fan of the Thermapen.  It is fast, accurate, durable and an extension of my arm in the kitchen.  It is the one kitchen/bbq tool that I could not live without.  I honestly don’t know how people can cook without checking temperatures.  I have had my Thermapen for almost 5 years and it works as good today as it did the day I purchased it.  The other day the great people over at Thermoworks sent me the newest Thermapen to try out.  I was a bit skeptical that I would need a new Thermapen.  However, The Thermapen Mk4 is not just an incremental update, it is a brand new kick butt thermometer.  The new features make this not only a kick butt thermometer, but the best Thermapen ever! Check out my review below.

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Standing Rib Roast

Standing Rib Roast

In the last few weeks since Black Friday, there have been crazy deals on everything from toasters to turkeys.  One ad that we saw had Standing Rib Roasts for $4.99 a pound.  Not too shabby.  So, this year Dana and I thought that we would change things up a bit and cook a Standing Rib Roast for our holiday meal.  It was the best decision that we made.  It was freaking awesome!  Who doesn’t love a huge hunk of meat covered in a fresh herb rub and roasted to perfection!

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Cutout Sugar Cookies

Cutout Sugar Cookies

My wife Dana is a great baker.  She also has a great eye for design.  So I have to put it out there, these cookies are all her.  My hands are not steady enough and my decorating ideas are not good enough to make these cookies. However, she was happy to share them with all of you.  So a big thank you to Dana! How awesome do these cookies look? By the way, these sugar cookies are perfection.  They are not too sweet, thus allowing you to coat them in super sweet royal icing.  Plus, they hold up great without overly rising.  Therefore, your cutouts look exactly as they should.

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My Favorite Appetizers!

My Favorite Appetizers!

Merry Christmas to all of my readers.  Since it is the holiday season, I wanted to share some of my favorite appetizers from the blog.  I have compiled my list and put them below.  Enjoy!

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pull Bread

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pull Bread

 

 

Bill’s Bruschetta

Bill's Bruschetta

 

Green Bean Fries

Green Bean Fries

 

Boneless Buffalo Wings

Boneless Buffalo Wings

 

Grilled Hot Wings

Grilled Hot Wings

 

Bacon Wrapped Pineapple

Bacon Wrapped Pineapple
Bacon Wrapped Pineapple

 

While these are my favorites from the blog you can see more here and here.  Have a safe and fun Christmas and Happy New Year!

Soft Molasses Cookies

Soft Molasses Cookies

Soft Molasses Cookies

The third cookie that Dana made for our Christmas cookie tins was soft molasses cookies.  These are soft and chewy with just a hint of spice.  The perfect treat on a cold night.  We ate a ton of these.  Not sure how any were left to give away.

Soft Molasses Cookies

Cream together the shortening and brown sugar with an electric mixer or stand mixer.  You could do this by hand, but I would warn against it.

Cream together the shortening and brown sugar

Add in the egg and molasses and thoroughly mix.

Add the egg and molasses

In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.  Turn the mixer to low speed and then slowly add the dry ingredients and stir until combined.

Stir till combined

Put the dough into a ball and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill till firm (at least 2 hours).

Once the dough has been chilled for a couple of hours, it is time to make the cookies.

Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.

Roll into balls

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and Roll it into tablespoon sized balls.

Roll in sugar

Roll the balls in granulated white sugar.

Space out on a cookie sheet

Place on lightly greased or parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake

Bake at 350° for 9-10 minutes.

Perfect Molasses Cookies

Leave on sheet one minute until set.  Then remove to a cooling rack to allow them to cool completely.

Soft Molasses Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 42
 
Soft and chewy molasses cookies.
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup shortening
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Cream together the shortening and brown sugar with an electric mixer or stand mixer. You could do this by hand, but I would warn against it.
  2. Add in the egg and molasses and thoroughly mix.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Turn the mixer to low speed and then slowly add the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  4. Put the dough into a ball and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill till firm (at least 2 hours).
  5. Once the dough has been chilled for a couple of hours, it is time to make the cookies.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.
  7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and Roll it into tablespoon sized balls.
  8. Roll the balls in granulated white sugar.
  9. Place on lightly greased or parchment lined cookie sheet.
  10. Bake at 350° for 9-10 minutes.
  11. Leave on sheet one minute until set. Then remove to a cooling rack to allow them to cool completely.
Notes
Adapted from http://www.food.com/recipe/soft-molasses-cookies-63981

These are some of the best molasses cookies that I have ever eaten.  Definitely a must for your cookie tins.

Adapted from http://www.food.com/recipe/soft-molasses-cookies-63981

Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies

Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies

Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

This was the second cookie that Dana made for our Christmas cookie tins.  I love snickerdoodles and could not even think of a way to improve on them.  However, Dana found a way.  She used browned butter instead of regular butter.  The brown butter gave the already amazing cookies, a great rich flavor.  These are my new favorite cookies.

Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

Melt the butter

Melt the butter and then after a minute or two the butter will begin to foam.  After a couple more minutes, the butter will begin to brown on the bottom and edges of the saucepan.  Keep on whisking until the butter starts to emit a nutty aroma. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the butter to a separate bowl to prevent burning. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes.

Browned Butter

With an electric or stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until fluffy. Then turn the mixer to low-speed and gently beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla  until thoroughly combined.

Cream the mixture

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and cinnamon.  Then Slowly add the dry ingredients into the mixer.  The easiest way is to turn the mixer on to low-speed and then add 1/2 cup of the dry mixture at a time.

Add the dry ingredients

Chill your dough for at least 2 hours to allow the fat to congeal before cooking.  If you cook it right away the melted butter will cause you to have extremely flat cookies.

Chill the dough

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.

Roll the dough into balls

In a small bowl mix 1/4 cup sugar and the 2 teaspoons cinnamon.

Roll them in sugar

Portion the dough into 2 tsp balls and then roll in the sugar mixture. Place dough balls on cookie sheet, roughly 2 inches apart.  They will spread out as they cook.

Evenly space the dough on the cookie sheet

Bake the cookies 8-11 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. Remove the pans from the oven and cool the cookies on the sheets at least 2 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Browned Butter Snickerdoodles

Repeat with remaining dough.

Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookie
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
A twist on the traditional Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookie
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter
  • 1¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter and then after a minute or two the butter will begin to foam. After a couple more minutes, the butter will begin to brown on the bottom and edges of the saucepan. Keep on whisking until the butter starts to emit a nutty aroma. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the butter to a separate bowl to prevent burning. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes.
  2. With an electric or stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until fluffy. Then turn the mixer to low-speed and gently beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until thoroughly combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and cinnamon. Then Slowly add the dry ingredients into the mixer. The easiest way is to turn the mixer on to low-speed and then add ½ cup of the dry mixture at a time.
  4. Chill your dough for at least 2 hours to allow the fat to congeal before cooking. If you cook it right away the melted butter will cause you to have extremely flat cookies.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
  6. In a small bowl mix ¼ cup sugar and the 2 teaspoons cinnamon.
  7. Portion the dough into 2 tsp balls and then roll in the sugar mixture. Place dough balls on cookie sheet, roughly 2 inches apart. They will spread out as they cook.
  8. Bake the cookies 8-11 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. Remove the pans from the oven and cool the cookies on the sheets at least 2 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Repeat with remaining dough.
Notes
Recipe adapted from http://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/2012/10/brown-butter-snickerdoodle-cookies/

 

Recipe adapted from http://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/2012/10/brown-butter-snickerdoodle-cookies/

Fudge Crinkles

Fudge Crinkles

Fudge Crinkle Cookie

For the next couple of posts I am handing the reigns over to my wife Dana!  She was in a Christmas cookie kind of mood and we decided to have a Christmas Cookie Marathon.  Dana is a great baker and here is her first recipe.  Fudge Crinkles.  I have never had these before, but they are like little chocolate pillows of awesomeness!  Dana blew me out of the water with these.

Fudge Crinkles

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, stir the cake mix, oil and eggs by hand until a dough forms.  This is a temperamental dough so you do not want to use a mixer.

Mix till just combined

Coat your hands in confectioners sugar and then shape the dough into 1 inch balls.  You may have to dust your hands a few times.  The dough is really wet, so keep lots of confectioners sugar on stand-by.

Roll into balls

After the dough balls are formed, roll them in even more confectioners’ sugar.  This gives them that sweet snowflake look that you see in the main picture.

Roll in confectioners' sugar

Then place the sugar coated cookie balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Roughly 2-3 inches apart.

Ready to bake

Bake at 350 degrees for 8 – 10 minutes or until the center of the cookie just starts to set.

Perfectly Cooked

Let the cookies cool on the pan for 1-2 minutes and then move the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Fudge Crinkles
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookie
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 30
 
The perfect Christmas cookie
Ingredients
  • 1 box devil's food cake mix (15.25oz)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • confectioners' sugar for dusting
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, stir the cake mix, oil and eggs by hand until a dough forms. This is a temperamental dough so you do not want to use a mixer.
  3. Coat your hands in confectioners sugar and then shape the dough into 1 inch balls. You may have to dust your hands a few times. The dough is really wet, so keep lots of confectioners sugar on stand-by.
  4. After the dough balls are formed, roll them in even more confectioners' sugar. This gives them that sweet snowflake look that you see in the main picture.
  5. Then place the sugar coated cookie balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Roughly 2-3 inches apart.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 - 10 minutes or until the center of the cookie just starts to set.
  7. Perfectly Cooked
  8. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 1-2 minutes and then move the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Notes
Adapted from http://www.food.com/recipe/fudge-crinkles-a-great-4-ingredient-cake-mix-cookie-32614

Quite possibly the easiest and tastiest cookies around.