Forgotten Kisses Cookies

Ever on the lookout for a great tasting cookie I came across these sweet meringue treats called forgotten kisses. I found an easy recipe on foodnetwork.com.  Made them once we got past the rainy days a week or so ago.  If you can whip egg whites, you can make these beauties.  They have chocolate chips and walnuts in them but if you look at the comments you will see that folks add many different spins and flavors.  They keep really well too.  I put some in my cookie jar four days ago and they still taste as though they were just baked.

I froze some for later.  My Christmas cookie list just got longer with this beauty added on!  Thank goodness hey are simple and they keep well. I used slightly less than the sugar amount here and my version has less chocolate chips in it.  They seem pretty chocolaty to me just as I made them.  My whole house smelled like a chocolate factory while they were baking.

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forgotten-kissesForgotten kisses

Ingredients

2 egg whites, room temp

½ tsp. cream of tarter

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

¾ cup semi sweet chocolate chips

¾ to 1 cup finely chopped walnuts

Directions: Heat oven to 350.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Beat egg whites until frothy with electric mixer (I used a stand mixer), add cream of tarter, keep beating until fluffy.  Then add the sugar a tbsp or two at a time. Add the vanilla when half to all of the sugar is incorporated.  Beat until shiny and stiffly peaked when you put a spoon in.  If it gets a chunky look you have overbeaten it, not a good thing.  Stand mixers are so powerful they can do just that so watch it closely; has to have stiff peaks and look shiny but don’t keep going or you will have the overbeaten which is a no no.  The opposite is bad too; if the egg whites are not beaten to a stiff peak the cookies will flatten out and not look right.  When it looks ready, fold in the nuts and chips with a spatula.  Use two spoons to put tablespoons of batter on a baking sheet 1 inch apart. Mine made about 30 (15 on a sheet) cookies.  I did use a mixture of semi sweet and dark chocolate; was incredible tasting!

Bake at 350 degrees for five minutes, turn off oven, and leave for 2 hours up to 8 total hours.  If your oven is gas you should probably reheat it after an hour back up to the 300 degrees and let them cool in the closed oven for that second hour.  Do not open the oven door for any reason before 2 hours is up.

Here is the original recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/meringue-cookies-forgotten-kisses-recipe.html

Be sure to read the comments for other flavor ideas.  I know I will be trying a few of them.

Info on My Blog Posts

Sometimes I get questioned on the recipes I put up on my blog. I never post anything I have not made myself.  Know too, that if it doesn’t taste great it doesn’t get on this page!  I make many things that never reach print for one reason or another.   I go back and bake/cook a lot of these things again a year or two later; most of the recipes I post become true favorites of mine.  For example, I am making a fig and yogurt cake this afternoon with some of my last few figs. I made the first one for me two weeks ago and knew it was a keeper on my first bite, see the blog post from two week ago.  Today I am making it with some orange extract I bought for the purpose to see if that was even better than the lemon extract I used last time.  I often switch things up a bit to try different flavors for new results.  Next fall, you better believe that I will be making this cake again once the figs ripen.  Ditto for that fig and raspberry galette of last week; it was an amazing dessert for sure.

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Feel free to change things if you make my recipes; if you hate a seasoning use something you prefer.  I do suggest that it may not go so well if you change the proportions in pie crusts, breads or quick breads as baking is really a science; there you need to stick closer to the proportions and ingredients.  You still can switch the seasonings if that floats your boat!

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If you are new to my blog know that I tend to cook seasonally with fruits and vegetables are they are harvested and ripe. I like using organic and local grown produce as often as possible.  I tend to add extra veggies to soups, stews and stir fries as I am a lover of them to a bit of an extreme.  My herbs are often grown in my own yard for best flavor and freshness but I do buy them when I don’t have and need them for a dish.

chicken-gumbo-005My food is totally gluten free as I must remain gf due to celiac disease.  But that doesn’t mean my meals are less than fantastic or that the plate of cookies I bring to your house won’t be delicious. They will, I promise!  Gluten free from scratch baked goods CAN taste great.  Do not think otherwise and bake gf with confidence for your loved ones.

I cook with love for my friends and family. I cook with joy for the process and I cook with great anticipation for the flavors and textures of my home cooked from scratch gluten free meals.  Enjoy!

Apple Fritter Quick Bread

Saw this recipe for apple fritter bread a week or two ago. Incredible looking so I wanted to make it but it was not a gluten free recipe.  A few days later I discovered that Better Batter has an identical recipe up on their website but made with their wonderful gf flour blend.  Didn’t take me long to decide I just had to bake a loaf. Never made anything like it in the past other than an apple coffeecake but that was a bit more cakey and was baked in a tube pan.  So armed with just two good sized apples and a lot of cinnamon and nutmeg I threw this recipe together. It is made with oil; I used canola and my dairy choice was whole milk but I am guessing you could use any sort of milk you like. The batter was kinda thin and that worried me but it thickened up as I compiled it in the 9×5 baking pan.

I used my stand mixer and several smaller bowls; one for the apples which are tossed with cinnamon sugar, a small bowl with brown sugar and cinnamon and a medium bowl with the flour and leavening agents in it.  Nothing tricky or complicated; dump and mix it together both in the stand bowl and then in the loaf pan: you layer it up with batter, then apples, then brown sugar/cinnamon mixture, do that another layer and then run a butter knife through it to swirl the cinnamon a bit.  My loaf baked the full 50 minutes and then I let it sit in the pan a while to cool and solidify.  I did make the glaze; not that much more sugar and it looks so pretty.

Yes there is just about ¾ cup of granulated sugar plus 1/3 cup brown sugar but it is a lovely fall treat and there isn’t much else to complain about; no butter or crisco and the chopped apples add a healthy touch. No one is going to whine when you serve up slices of homemade apple quick bread.  Great with a cup of coffee or tea.  Just do it!  Here is the link to the recipe.  Let me know how you like it.  http://betterbatter.org/fall-time-apple-bread

Spicy Baby Eggplants and Pasta

This post is a slightly altered version of one I shared  two years ago for my friend Diane, queen of eggplants!  We share garden space at our church garden.  She really knows how to grow eggplants, dozens on a single plant every year.

Let me share my favorite method for dealing with those small eggplants you find yourself with when the first big frost hits your garden.  I pick them the night before no matter how small and this is how we use them in the best way possible.  Grocery stores usually have them in the fall if you are not a gardener.

I originally created this for the slow cooker using a base recipe from a friend’s Italian mom but this latest version was made on the stove top.  I really love being able to turn on my crock pot and walk away for four hours.  Still, sometimes you need dinner in an hour so here is the latest and quickest version.  It is perfect with gluten free ziti or spaghetti.

If you don’t have baby eggplants I think you could use smaller eggplants cut into halves.  This picture isn’t that pretty; a collapsed and well cooked eggplant is kinda ugly but you gotta love that cheese on top; good quality freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  I served it with penne as usual for the first time I enjoyed a plate of this spicy treat and with spaghetti squash tonight which was surprisingly good.  Hadn’t had that in many years.  Two of them were gifted to me last month; finally made half of one.  Nuked it in microwave for 15 minutes; cut, remove seeds; cut down on big plate, add a bit of water for steam effect.

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Spicy Baby Eggplants

Ingredients

7-10 small eggplants from tiny up to about six inches long

1-2 ounces hard Parmesan cheese

2 tbsp EVOL

1 32 oz can crushed tomato

1 large carrot in rounds

½ tsp smoked paprika

¼  tsp. red pepper flakes

½ tsp. dried oregano

½ tsp. sea salt

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup oil cured black olives

1-2 tbsp. capers

Directions:

Cut the Parmesan cheese into tiny wedges.  Trim off the top cap of the eggplants.  Cut 3-4 slashes in the side of each eggplant going in the direction from the cap to the bottom. Put a wedge of cheese into each deep slash.  I only put 1-slashes in tiny eggplants, 3 in bigger ones and 4 in the largest eggplants.  Heat 1-2 tbsp. EVOL in a large heavy sauce pot.  Add the onions and saute a couple minutes.  Add the minced garlic, stir for a minute.  Then add in the tomato sauce and carrot rounds.  Heat up and add the eggplants and the herbs/spices. Heat to a bubble and add the olives, and capers.  Cover and cook on low for 40 minutes stirring every few minutes to keep the sauce from sticking to the pot’s bottom.  Cook until the eggplants can be easily pierced with a long fork.

Cook gluten free ziti, enough for how many people you are serving, and drain it one minute before the package directions say it will be done. Put it back in the now empty pot and add the eggplant mixture.  Cook a minute stirring it all around the pot.  This allows the ziti to soak up some of the sauce and get a great authentic flavor.

Serve in a low wide soup bowl as is or add a good grating of Parmesan cheese on top.  If you have some gluten free rolls or freshly baked gf bread – heaven!

Notes: I used olives with pits but if you can find them pitted; great! If you are an olive hater, leave them out but they really add to the flavor.  Or cook the dish with them and remove before eating; get that earthy salty flavor but it is more subtle without the actual olives on your plate.  Add more salt if you leave them out. If you like things really spicy double the red pepper flakes.  I found it just about right for me with a quarter teaspoon. Spaghetti squash works well in place of pasta.