Cowboy Cookies

Oh my goodness! It has been a while again. I am so sorry!

Those of you who know me will know that I love politics. I do Model UN and international relations are a huge part of my life, and I love following politics.

So, it is certainly fitting that this recipe actually came from an incredibly political family. A Texan political family with two presidents and another presidential hopeful of “please clap” notoriety. Can you guess who I am talking about? Yup, the Bush family. This recipe came up while I was whiling away my hours on the NY Times food website in the cookie section. Apparently, these cookies were featured in an article that came out during the 2000 election cycle, before I was born, about the baking of the first lady. Um, why is it just the wives cooking? Let’s get the candidates in the kitchen. Anyhow, they are the cookies of Laura Bush. I wonder if these cookies were eaten in the White House. In case you were wondering, these cookies were eaten on the campus of Castilleja School, where the future white-house dwellers are educated.

I did make substantial edits to this recipe. First off, they had enough butter to be a Paula Deen recipe, so that had to change. Secondly, they also had all sorts of crunchy things, but not pretzels. That also had to change immediately. I also did not have pecans, so I used walnuts.

So here’s the recipe. I hope you enjoy these, perhaps while pondering Trump’s racism, xenophobia and rampant sexism.

– Eliza in the Palo Alto kitchen

note: this makes around 3 to 3.5 dozen cookies.

Eliza’s Cowboy Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (2.5 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups usweetened flake coconut
  • cup chopped pecans or walnuts (4 ounces)
  • 1 cup chopped pretzels

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ Fahrenheit.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together to combine.
  3. Cream butter and sugars together until fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs to the butter-sugar mixture one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add vanilla.
  5. Mix dry ingredients, just until combined.
  6. Mix chocolate chips, rolled oats, coconut, nuts and pretzels into the bowl. It will be hard to mix, but just keep going, it all will come together eventually.
  7. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop out cookies and place on a baking tray laid with parchment paper.
  8. Bake for around 15 minutes, then let cool on a cooling rack.

IMG_3837IMG_3836 (1)

Double Chocolate Cookies

Hi blog readers!

We’re back with a delicious and simple recipe I know many of you will love. I actually know just one person who doesn’t like chocolate, so the affliction is pretty rare. For those of you fellow chocolate lovers out there, you are going to very much enjoy this recipe. It features about as much chocolate as you can actually get in a cookie. Which for me is the definition of a great cookie.

I actually love chocolate so much that for my tenth birthday I went on a chocolate tasting tour of San Francisco. It was basically one of my favorite days. Since then, my sister and her best friend also did the tour for her tenth birthday, and my aunt and cousin did it too. So my mom has been lucky enough to do it three times. I highly recommend doing the tour if you have people visiting, especially family. It is a guaranteed 3 hours of happiness for all parties involved!

There is actually a scientific reason why chocolate makes me happy. It has lots of serotonin which promotes feelings of happiness and content in the brain. It also just tastes great. So. If you want to make your whole family happy, make these cookies. Or just eat them all yourself. No judgement here.

Double chocolate chip cookies

adapted from the Sugar Hit!

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar (don’t have caster sugar? check my notes!)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder (I used Trader Joe’s Cocoa Powder, but you can also try using raw cacao powder for a more healthful cookie. I haven’t taste-tested this though, so you will have to test it and let me know in the comments how it goes)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1¾ cups plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons smoked Maldon sea salt for sprinkling
  • milk or dark chocolate chips (see my notes)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ Fahrenheit and prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave (about 25 seconds on high should do the trick) and stir into sugars, cocoa, salt and vanilla and stir to combine.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and just keep stirring until the mixture comes back together.
  4. Now add the flour, chocolate and baking powder and mix just until no dry streaks remain.
  5. Optional: Chill for about thirty minutes, with plastic wrap over the bowl.
  6. Roll cookies into 2-3 tablespoon balls and flatten slightly. Place onto baking tray.
  7. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until cookies are matte on top but still soft.
  8. Enjoy!

Notes: 

  • To make caster sugar, stick regular sugar in a high speed blender until it has a consistency between regular sugar and powdered sugar.
  • I never really measure chocolate chips so add as much as you like. I am pro-choice in terms of both abortion and chocolate chip measurements.
  • You can also add white chocolate chips. I only really like one kind of white chocolate, which Michal got me hooked on in DC, so I didn’t add any.
  • I bought my Maldon sea salt at Piazza’s, our local grocery store, but you can find it on Amazon or at Whole Foods (or another gourmet-y grocery store)

 

  • IMG_3754IMG_3741

 

 

Chef Forrest’s Blondies

Our many Castilleja School readers will recognize this recipe, although it appears just once a year. The last minutes we spend at school before the summer vacation are spent eating these blondies, as they are the fonder for many hungry middle schoolers after 8th grade promotion, baked by the inimitable Casti kitchen staff. I can definitely tell you that these blondies are one of the main reasons why Promotion is 10x better than Class Day, a day so boring that they give the sixth graders bingo cards to keep them entertained. After watching two different classes be promoted to the Upper School, it is finally our turn to dress in our finest dress whites and receive fancy diplomas (possibly even make some speeches). I am excited to move on to our next chapter, but I am very sad to be saying goodbyes way too early to several members of the class of 2020. You will be missed! If I could keep everyone at Casti, I would. I know that I will be making a batch of these simply delicious blondies to eat after finals (and some of you may be lucky enough to snag a few). I can easily replicate the simple, sweet and toffee-y (yes that is totally a word) flavor of these yummy treats, but not the feeling that yet another year has ended and another era is about to begin.

So, whether or not you go to Casti, please enjoy making this recipe as you think about new beginnings and remember that as one door closes, another opens.

** also please note, this recipe is the simplest I have ever made. You cannot screw these up, so if you are looking a recipe to dive into baking, this is it. It will definitely impress your family, and you can feel very smug about the effort to praise ratio of this recipe.

Chef Forrest’s Blondies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter (room temp)
  • 2 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • optional! 1/2 cup chocolate chips (if you must; for the authentic version please skip these)

Directions:

  1. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and remaining ingredients, until just incorporated.
  2. Spread on buttered/floured square brownie pan (mine is 9×5).
  3. Bake at 350˚ Fahrenheit for 25 min.
  4. Cut after cooling. Enjoy!

3rd Generation Brownies

This recipe is an heirloom. My grandmother makes these brownies, my mom makes these brownies and now I make these brownies. They are amazing.

Any time we have any sort of event which we are obliged to bring food to, we made these brownies. They are so so easy and quick, and can be spiced up with some sprinkles and look quite festive. They are suitable for any occasion (provided that you have many colors of sprinkles). They are faster and cheaper than store-bought or box mix brownies, and taking the 5 minutes to throw these together is well worth it.

These brownies are also legendary. At the aforementioned events, these brownies are heavily anticipated and appreciated. Please please make these. They are dangerously delicious.

I like this photo, because it displays the remains of a platter of brownies after 10 minutes of our annual neighborhood holiday party.

My favorite brownies

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz chocolate
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350˚ Fahrenheit, and butter and flour your brownie pan (I use a 9×9 square).
  2.  Melt the butter and chocolate together on low.
  3. Take off the heat and let cool a bit.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, then add the sugar.
  5. Stir in the vanilla and salt.
  6. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time and mix thoroughly after each addition.
  7. Pour into your pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. The brownies will be done when there are small crackles on the top and a toothpick inserted into the brownies comes out with some crumbs (not liquid).
  8. Let cool for 10-15 minutes, cut and enjoy!

Note: As a special touch, you can also pour salted caramel on top (it proves quite delicious).

 

Quick + Easy Scones

Hi blog readers! It’s been a while AGAIN. Our sincerest apologies.

So. Scones. I don’t know about you but I am an afternoon tea aficionado. I have been at Claridges, the Empress Hotel in Victoria, the Drake in Chicago and the Garden Court here in San Francisco. I absolutely adore afternoon tea. It makes me feel like I am Lady Mary, about to go meet my dashing race car-driving husband or follow the hunt in some utterly fabulous clothes. Simply put, I feel like a queen.

The most important part of afternoon (other than the tea) is the scones. Taken with lemon curd and clotted cream, they are divine. I recently hosted (along with Michal) a petite afternoon tea with some friends. Because clotted cream is incredibly annoying to make, I made whipped cream instead. Michal made some incredible lemon curd, and I made these. The group made quite a refined trio.

I will be posting more from the tea party soon, but let’s start with these scones.

Zuni Cafe Scones 

IMG_2370.jpeg

ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 stick of butter (VERY VERY COLD)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon freshly grated orange zest (optional)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cup whole milk

directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚ Fahrenheit and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Mix well.
  3. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Continue cutting until you achieve tiny pea size butter chunks.
  4. Whisk together egg yolk and milk, and add to the bowl.
  5. Stir to combine, then knead with your hands until the dough comes together.
  6. Roll dough out with a rolling pin, and cut into triangles.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes, then let cool for 5 minutes on the pan.
  8. Enjoy! These are best warm and make a great breakfast if you have leftovers 🙂

 

Creamy Lemon Pasta with Chicken and Tomatoes

Hi blog readers!

We apologize for our absence of posts these past few weeks.We were taking a holiday hiatus because things caught up with both of us. Sorry! However, buckle your seat belts because 2016 is going to GREAT for the Flour Power Girls. We have a whole lineup of incredible posts ready for you over the next few weeks.

This year, I really want to get more involved with savory things. My parents would DEFINITELY appreciate not having to cook dinner every night, and I get excited just thinking about the whole new world of recipes that dinner, lunch and meals that don’t involve baked goods bring to the table. I received a few top notch cookbooks this year, including The Sugar Hit! by one of my all-time favorite bloggers, Sarah, Veganomicon by Isa Moskowitz and Terry Romero, and Voracious by Cara Nicoletti. I am so psyched to cook from them! Yay!

And on to the recipe. We’re kicking off our new savory section with this cream-sauce pasta recipe.

Get ready, because what I am about to tell you might shock you. DISCLAIMER: Flour Power Girls cannot be held legally responsible for your actions after reading the following sentence.

This super-thick, creamy pasta has NO CREAM. Yes. You can laugh in disbelief, but it is 110% true.

It is so so fast, with minimal prep, and the results are incredible. Trust me. This pasta tastes indulgent and rich, but definitely doesn’t come close to the foooooood cooooooma stage. In fact, it’s relatively light. It has some heat, refreshing lemon, lean protein, and healthy greens. It may just be the perfect meal.

Creamy Lemon Pasta with Chicken and Tomatoes.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the chicken:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons pepper, divided
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, divided

For the pasta:

  • 3/4 lb pasta, preferably spaghetti or another thin, long pasta (ie tagliatelle)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 lemons, juiced and zested
  • 3/4 cup greek yogurt (yes, nonfat totally works!) or creme fraiche
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 1 cup arugula or spinach (stems removed)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

Instructions:

For the chicken.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 fahrenheit.
  2. Combine spices and 1/4 teaspoon pepper flakes and gently dredge chicken in spice mixture.
  3. Cook in 1 tablespoon of oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Flip after 3 minutes or so, developing a nice char.
  4. Transfer to a baking sheet, and bake for about 25 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked (test it please!).
  5. Let cool and cut into bite-size pieces.

For the pasta.

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, and drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of pasta water.
  2. In pasta pot, cook garlic in remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and remaining pepper flakes.
  3. Add lemon juice, greek yogurt and pasta water.
  4. Once the sauce has thickened slightly, and greek yogurt has melted, add chicken, pasta and Parmesan. Mix well.
  5. Once the cheese has melted, add arugula/spinach and tomatoes. Combine and let wilt.

Enjoy!

All Year – French Bread

Hello baking friends! Coming fresh from the Hingham kitchen, you have… French bread! This bread is perfectly paired with butter, cheese, and everything in between! You can grill the bread and put butter on it for dinner, or just PB & J for a yummy sandwich! I made this bread today because recently my dad has been asking me to try making bread more. We have a bread machine, but sometimes it’s just easier to go basic. So, I give you easy French bread!

This bread is just so yummy! You really can do anything with it! Although this bread does take quite a while, it is fairly simple. It’s perfect on a warm summer’s night or a chilly winter morning. Yum!

Overall, this bread was a success! My dad loved it, and he even put some garlic and butter on it to make garlic bread! So Good!

~Eleanor

This is a variation of Chew Out Loud’s Crusty French Bread Recipe made by Eleanor in the Hingham Kitchen!

Ingredients:

  • 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 packets dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ½ cups of warm water*
  • 1 egg white beaten with 1 TB water

Directions:

  1. Combine flour, yeast, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Hand whisk until well combined. Stir in the warm water gradually, until dough forms. The dough should resemble a smooth texture, but not be too sticky. Add flour or water until it resembles this teaspoon, roughly 1 TB at a time.
  2. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes. Roll dough into a  ball, and place in a lightly oiled bowl.* Cover bowl with saran wrap and place in a warm, draft-free place* for about 30-60. The dough should be doubled in size by now.
  3. Take the dough out of the bowl and place back onto the lightly floured surface. Pound the dough down and divide in half. Let them sit for 10 minutes, covered.
  4. Roll out dough into the shape of your desire (I made one long loaf, and one round-ish rectangle). Roll your shape lengthwise, and moisten the edges with water. Make sure the edges are sealed.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or a silicone baking mat. Place loaves seam side down on the sheet. If they look sticky, little sprinkle them with flour. Cut diagonal slits so you can allow for the steam to rise in the oven. Brush loaves with the egg/water mixture.
  6. Lightly lay saran wrap over the loaves and place back in a warm, draft-free place for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and place a large pan of water below the bread.*
  7. Bake for 15 minutes. Brush the loaves with the egg/water mixture again, and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the bread looks done.

Ta-Da! You have completed delicious French bread!

*1. Oil the bowl with vegetable oil, olive oil, or melted coconut oil.

*2. Places include: oven turned off, microwave, and above the refrigerator.

*3. A pan of water below the bread will give the bread a golden crispy crust with a soft inside.