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Wordless Wednesday: Treats! 

  

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Giant Cast Iron Cookie

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I like big food. I can’t help it. Ridiculously large amounts of food bring me comfort. A beef roast the size of a small child? I’ll take two, thank you. The ham that is *almost* too big for my oven? I should probably buy a couple extra for the deep freeze (think of the leftovers!). I’m fairly certain I starved to death in a previous life.

In addition to big food, I also love my cast iron pans! When my Grandfather died and the family went crazy trying to grab all of his personal possessions, I quietly slipped away with the pictures and the cast iron cookware. Consequently I now have a collection of antique cast iron pans that would make most grandmothers jealous. They are my pride and joy and I use them for pretty much everything.

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This recipe combines my love of several things, large food, cast iron and cookies! I found the original recipe from Martha Stewart, but it needed some help. So I helped it, and now Giant Cookie is my new favorite thing!

You Will Need:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda (use fresh, your cookies will be puffier)

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup butter, at or close to room temp

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons (running over) pure vanilla extract

About a cup and 1/4-chocolate chips

3 tablespoons nutella

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Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In your Kitchen Aid, cream butter and sugars until mixture is light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; mix until they are fully incorporated. Add flour, soda, salt and beat until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

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Put your dough into an 10-inch cast iron skillet, and press to flatten, covering bottom of the pan. Make sure your cast iron is seasoned or put a layer of Crisco down before you press the dough. Now take some of the nutella and dollop some on the top of the Giant Cookie. Bake until edges are brown and top is golden, 35 minutes (more if you like a crispy cookie, I do not).

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Remove your Giant Cookie from your cast iron or it will continue to cook (this is important, I learned this the hard way. Incidentally vanilla ice cream does a wonderful job of fixing over baked Giant Cookie).

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Biscotti

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 running over teaspoon almond extract (or vanilla, or coconut, ect. ect.  – almond is traditional)
1 cup toasted almonds, finely chopped* (or dried fruit, pecans, coconut, chocolate chips. Also good is lemon or orange zest.)

*if you divide the dough use 1/2 cup in each dough ball.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. If you don’t use parchment or a sil pad, lightly grease your cookie sheet.

Combine flour and baking powder; set aside.

In a mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the lemon zest (if using) and almond extract. Add the flour mixture, mixing until smooth.

Divide dough into two separate balls, adding two different mixtures of fruit, nuts or what have you, if you feel like it. (You don’t have to make two different flavors, I just like to, cause it’s fun)

Shape each portion into a loaf about 12 inches long and 4 inches wide. Place loaves onto the cookie sheet about 4 inches apart, and flatten slightly.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until light brown. Cool on baking sheet for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Cut baked loaves into 1/2 inch thick slices. Lay slices cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes, or until crisp. Cool on wire rack. Make several
days before serving.

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Palmiers

This is the easiest cookie recipe ever – plus they look pretty fancy and they are fun to say.
2 cups granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 sheets puff pastry

*sometimes I add a dash of cinnamon or use flavored sugar.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Combine the sugar and kosher salt. Pour 1 cup of the sugar/salt mixture on a flat surface such as wooden board or marble. Unfold each sheet of puff pastry onto the sugar and pour 1/2 cup of the sugar mixture on top, spreading it evenly on the puff pastry. Make sure you have an even covering of sugar. With a rolling pin, roll the dough until it’s 13 by 13-inches square and the sugar is pressed into the puff pastry on top and bottom. Fold the sides of the square towards the center so they go halfway to the middle. Fold them again so the two folds meet exactly at the middle of the dough. Then fold 1 half over the other half as though closing a book. You will have 6 layers. Slice the dough into 1/2-inch slices and place the slices, cut side up, on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Place the second sheet of pastry on the sugared board, sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar mixture, and continue as above. (There will be quite a bit of sugar left over on the board.) Slice and arrange on baking sheets lined with parchment.
Bake the cookies for 6 minutes until caramelized and brown on the bottom, then turn with a spatula and bake another 3 to 5 minutes, until caramelized on the other side. Transfer to a baking rack to cool.

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