Magic in the Middle Cookies

These are delish!  If you are a fan of chocolate and peanutbutter, you HAVE to give this one a whirl!!

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar-packed
1/2 cup unsalted butter-softened
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a small  bowl, blend flour, cocoa, and baking soda.

3. In a large bowl beat white sugar, brown sugar, butter and 1/4 cup peanut butter, until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and egg, beat until blended.  Stir in flour mixture until blended.  Set aside.

4. Make the filling by combining the confectioners sugar and 3/4 cup peanut butter.  Beat well with electric mixer until mixture comes together.

5. Roll filling into 30 1 inch balls. Form exterior part of cookie by sectioning dough into approximately 1 tablespoon pieces.  Form exterior part of cookie around filling and cover completely.  Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Flatten with a glass dipped in sugar.

6. Bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes. ( I baked mine for 7 minutes )  Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes then remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Spanish Rice

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups of medium or long-grain white rice
4 cups chicken stock
1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste or 1 cup of diced fresh or cooked tomatoes, strained
Pinch of oregano
1 teaspoon salt

In a large skillet brown rice in olive oil, medium/high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook onion rice mixture, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes, or until onions are softened.

In a separate sauce pan bring stock to a simmer. Add tomato sauce, oregano, and salt. Add rice to broth. Bring to a simmer. Cover. Lower heat and cook 15-25 minutes, depending on the type of rice and the instructions on the rice package. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

Flour Tortillas

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons shortening

1 – 1/2 cups water

Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a mixing bowl. Mix in the shoeningrt with your fingers until the flour resembles cornmeal. Add the water and mix until the dough comes together; place on a lightly floured surface and knead a few minutes until smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into 20 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball.

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Use a well-floured rolling pin to roll a dough ball into a thin, round tortilla OR use your tortilla press.  Place into the hot skillet, and cook until bubbly and golden; flip and continue cooking until golden on the other side.

Carne Asada Marinade

I L-O-V-E Mexican food and if I can find  way to make it easily, I will do it!  I made this, tortillas, and rice last night.  A delicious meal that we can all make….easily!

2 pounds flank or skirt steak
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Marinade:
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño chile pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin seed (best to lightly toast the seeds first, then grind them)
1 large handful fresh cilantro, leaves and stems, finely chopped (great flavor in the stems)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup olive oil

Lay the flank steak in a large non-reactive bowl or baking dish. Combine marinade ingredients and pour the marinade over the steak. Make sure each piece is well coated. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-4 hours.

You can grill inside or out, I did inside because it was rainy horrible weather.  Grill the pieces for a few minutes only, on each side, depending on how thin they are, until medium rare to well done, to your preference.  Remove the steak pieces to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice the steak across the grain on a diagonal.

Serve with with homemade tortillas, pico and rice.

Ranger Cookies

I used to get these from a store called “Fred Meyer”, it is a west coast chain store.  I have looked for a recipe that is comparable, and this one is it. 

1 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups quick cook oats

2 cups crisp rice cereal

1 cup flaked coconut

Cream shortening and both sugars. Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Combine flour, soda, salt, powder, mix well.  Stir in oats, cereal and coconut.

Drop by tablespoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet (I use parchment paper too). 

Bake @ 350 degrees for 7-9 minutes.