Welcome to Foodie Friday's one year anniversary. One year ago, the night this virtual potluck made its debut, I managed to erase all of the recipes from Mr. Linky. Susan stayed up late with me, showing me the Linky Lingo, and Mr. Linky himself offered advice. There was only one solution: re-enter the erased information. With shaking fingers, I typed in each permalink.
All these months later, I still get a queasy feeling when I add the linky link, but it vanishes in a heartbeat when I hit the enter button and see that All is Well in linky land. (Just last night, I had a Linky Lapse and entered the wrong permalink for Tablescape Thursday, but Susan at Between Naps on the Porch graciously repaired the damage.
This past year has been a joy. I've met so many people, found the best recipes in the world, and forged friendships. Because the recipes get buried in my blog posts, I set up a Flickr gallery. If you'd like to add your photos and blog link each week, or if you see a recipe that interests you, just click on the permalink and you can read more about the recipe.
For those who get the newsletter, you'll be hearing the story behind the teacup in the first photo. The pattern is Spode's "Queen's Bird." If this is your first visit to Foodie Friday, check out tonight's door prizes--a set of white dishes, polka dot dessert plates, Irish coffee mugs, and Skin MD Natural hand lotion for cooks. The winners will be announced Tuesday, February 23rd. You can find more information about the door prizes and upcoming give-aways (a 12" copper pan) right HERE. There are other fabulous give-aways in the works, too.
Since this Friday is a milestone, I thought I'd actually cook something (as opposed to gild something storebought), so I made Almond Basil Shortbread and Reeses Peanut Butter Bars. Bandwidth and I were madly cooking all day, and he got tickled because my poor shortbread took all day to make and looked very weird, but he took back his jokes after he tasted it. If you're thinking basil is an odd additive for a cookie, you are right, but they are absolutely delicious--a savory/sweet cookie that's perfect with afternoon tea (Kathy, you will love this). The peanut butter bars were easy and so rich and decadent, you can only eat just one. Truly. Which makes them a sort of diet food, right?
3 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon water
1 cup Reeses Peanut Butter chips
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Mix egg, water, and oil in a large mixing bowl. Add cookie mix. (I used my KitchenAid and added a bit more oil, just a drop or two. This batter is dry and stiff. Grease your hands and pat batter into a 9 x 9 x 2" pan. Pat and pat. Add chips and apply gentle pressure to anchor them. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 28 minutes. Add Reeses sauce, if desired.
Almond Basil Shortbread
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose white flour
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (heaping)almonds (grind in a food processor or blender)
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil leaves
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Place room temperature butter into a mixing bowl. I usually take my butter out of the refrigerator when I make my morning coffee, then I unwrap and place the butter into the mixing bowl. By the time I'm ready to cook, the butter will be soft.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. The almond extract and confectioners' sugar will be added next; beat till fluffy. Find another bowl and mix flour and salt. I NEVER sift. I stir the flour with a fork (in the bag) and pour into a measuring cup. Add salt to the bowl and do the fork trick again.
In small increments (1/4 c), add flour/salt to the whipped butter. Mix. Now, stir in the ground almonds and mix the dough on slow speed. Add basil and zest and stir to incorporate.
Place two sheets of Saran Wrap on the counter and spray sheets with PAM. Place dough on the wrap. Chill at least 45 minutes.
Spread flour onto a cutting board (or two sheets of waxed paper). Roll dough on paper. Using a cookie cutter, cut dough. Gather scrapes and knead a little, then roll onto board and continue cutting cookies.
Place parchment paper in the bottom of cookie pans. Put uncooked cookies on the pan and chill for 15 minutes (at least). The dough is fragile and will stick to everything, even if you spray the rolling pin with PAM. I gave up and made a giant cookie, which I cut into bars.
Preheat oven: 350 degrees.
Bake till brown, 10-25 minutes.
Here's Mr. Linky. I think: