Tag Archives: cookies

Brownie Cookies

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of visiting with my sister-in-law Jeannine’s 5th grade class at Horatio B. Hackett Elementary School. The students are learning the concept of word choice and are practicing using descriptive words and phrases to convey specific thoughts. At the beginning of my visit, Jaime Cheafsky, one of Hackett’s student teachers from Temple University (and, coincidentally, our cousin) read aloud from Stone Soup, a fable translated across various cultures in which hungry soldiers progressively persuade villagers to access their personal depository of ingredients and add to a stock pot full of boiling water and stones in order to make them dinner. The class then read aloud from a previously published Clean Plate article as Ms. Beck engaged them with questions regarding vocabulary, context, and the use of metaphors.

Hackett's 5th graders developed descriptive words for these brownie cookies.

Hackett’s 5th graders developed descriptive words for these brownie cookies.

The students’ assignment is to provide their own recipe and incorporate a personal narrative and description, and before they delved into their work I was able to discuss the background of Clean Plate, talk about my writing experiences, and share some tips on how I create my articles each week. The class was incredibly intelligent and interactive, and before I left for the day I figured I would take advantage of the creativity flowing throughout the room and enlist their help for this week’s recipe. I passed around these Brownie Cookies and the students used their senses to help me develop some key words that could paint an accurate picture of what this recipe is like. Read More…

Thin and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am one of those people who prefer to ease gradually into the holiday season when the time is right, and I can’t bring myself to listen to a single tune of Christmas music until after Thanksgiving. On the other hand, I’ve been planning and preparing for our annual Christmas Eve party since September. There are paper lists floating around the house of ideas for our menu, ingredients and items I look for in the circulars, and I’ve even starting a rough draft of a timeline for the week leading up to the big event.

One long list is dedicated solely to the cookies I plan on making to give to family and friends as the holiday approaches. There are some standards, like buttery, spritz cookies and my favorite Snickerdoodle recipe. I do like to throw some curve balls, though, so I’m doing my best to find unique options that have have “wow factor” while still being traditional enough to spread the holiday cheer.

One can’t go wrong gifting chocolate chip cookies, and I am pretty loyal to the classic Nestle Tollhouse recipe. Still, curiosity got the best of me when I came across a recipe that focused just as much on the texture of the cookie as the flavor. Read More…

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dog Treats

I’m a pretty lucky girl when it comes to the people I’m privileged enough to call my friends. They’re a really loyal, loving bunch, and I know I can depend on them when I need them the most. Whether they’re offering an open ear, a good laugh, or a shoulder to cry on, I know they’ll always be there for me. Some of them will even give me a big kiss if they know I need extra cheering up, or even if they’re just really happy to see me. Usually, though, it’s if I have food they want; they will do just about anything for a treat.

Before you get any ideas, let me clarify that within my tight knit group are a few four-legged “friends.” Dogs seem to sense exactly what’s on your mind and know what kind of day you had as soon as you walk in the door. Though they can’t verbally respond or give you the amazing advice you may be searching for, they can lay their head in your lap to cheer you up when you’re in a funk or even wag their tail in excitement and take a celebratory long walk with you after you get the promotion you’ve been working so hard for.

Though they rely on us humans as care-takers, we sometimes need them just as much as they need us.  There is a reason, after all, why dogs are referred “man’s best friend.” It may be getting too hot to bake, and you may be too busy planning your 4th of July barbecue, but set some time aside to make these peanut butter and oatmeal treats for your furry friend. Since you will be loading up on burgers, corn-on-the-cob and apple pie, they should be eating well, too.  Read More…

Petite Palmiers

Typically, I’m a chocolate person. When I need something sweet, my preferences are likely to point me in the direction of Oreo’s, Hershey Kisses or M&M’s (plain, peanut, pretzel, you name it). There are occasions, though, where I’m in need of a buttery, flaky, pastry. Maybe something light, and delicate, and perhaps even aesthetically pleasing.

For example last summer, one of my Kitchen Kapers shopping sprees added a tart pan to my collection of kitchen toys; I decided, in the dead of summer, to make a blackberry tart. From scratch. Maybe the heat and humidity got to my head; I learned very quickly that working with pastry dough in inferno-like conditions is absolutely impossible. Not only was I practically melting in the hot kitchen, the dough itself pretty much liquefied.

Taking advantage of the chilly conditions, I was able to make a simple, buttery pastry that’s delicious for breakfast with jam or satisfying as a dessert. Though I spent the day making the dough from scratch (which will be posted to CleanPl8.com), here is a recipe using store bought, frozen pastry dough. Read More…

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