Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pillsbury Million Dollar Recipe Contest

 Pillsbury Million Dollar Recipe contest!

Click on the link I've provided and enter some recipes of your own. There are so many products to choose from and work with!
Hey, you never know, and like they say "you've got to be in it to win it". It could be something that you've been making and enjoying that could win you a nice chunk of change!  LOL! So go ahead, and enter! Good luck!

I had a package of Pillsbury Chocolate fudge ready to bake cookies and played with these for the contest, and then I discovered that these cookies were NOT on the list of ingredients! Oh well, I quickly adjusted my recipe and went on to make some other delicious sweets and have submitted the recipe for them.


1 package of Pillsbury cookie dough, ready to bake, or roll
1/2 cup sweet unsalted butter
3 - 4 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup heavy cream
9 ozs semi sweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

For bar cookies

Line a 9 x 9 or a 9 x 13 inch pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil so you have a 2 inch overhang on each side.
Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

Press cookie dough into the bottom of the prepared pan so that you have an even layer. Bake for 10 - 14 minutes depending on the size of the pan you are using.

Take out of oven and let cool.

Make a peanut butter filling using one cup of peanut butter, 3 cups - 4 cups confections sugar and 1 stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted sweet butter (room temperature).  With an electric mixer on high speed whip peanut butter and butter until smooth, add confectioners sugar one cup at a time. Add 1 tsp of vanilla extract when mixing.

Using a spatula spread peanut butter mixture over cooled cookie mixture. Place in the refrigerator while making the ganache.

Place the chocolate pieces into a bowl that is heat proof.
In a small sauce pan heat heavy cream to a simmer.
Pour heavy cream over the chocolate pieces and let stand for about 2 minutes.
By hand, mix until the cream and the chocolate are smooth.

Pour this chocolate ganache over the peanut butter layer, sprinkle with sea salt and let chill for one hour or more.

Cut into 2 inch squares and Enjoy!

If you want to make cookie sandwiches, bake the cookies as instructed on the package.
Let cool on a wire rack.
Take one cookie so the bottom of the cookie is facing up. Fill with the peanut butter mixture. Top with another cookie so the top is facing up and dip into the ganache. Place on  cookie sheet lined with parchment paper  and let the ganache set. For a quicker set place the cookie sheet with dipped cookies into the refrigerator for 10 - 15 minutes.

I hope you enjoy! They were delicious!

Here are the pictures of the cookies and bar cookies that I made.



Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Hello friends,

It's been awhile since I last posted anything. I've been waiting for something new and exciting to show you.

Back in December I came across this recipe for Culurgiones shared by The Tasting Table.  Check out the link I provided and watch these two chefs in action making these delicious stuffed pastas.   I looked at the recipe and kind of became obsessed by it, but you all know how December can get, crazy with shopping and cooking for the holidays. So the recipe was placed on the back burner for a later date.

That later date was this past Sunday. While waiting for yet another snow storm I decided that it would be a great day to get my kitchen aid machine out and attempt to make these stuffed pastas. I am so happy that I did.

I decided to do some homework to find out a little more about these pasta's/stuffed ravioli from Sardinia. Here's what I found out. The CooksInfo.com had some great information on Culurgiones.

The Culurgiones are usually made for The Feast of the Assumption (August 15th) and on All Saint's Day (November 1).
They are a stuffed Ravioli and are usually 2 - 4 inches long and 1 -2 inches wide.
They are formed to resemble a grain of wheat.
The traditional filling is potato, pecorino, and mint or basil, depending on the town you are from.
In some regions sauteed onions are added to the filling.
A tomato sauce is usually served with this dish with freshly grated Pecorino.
Towns especially known for their Culurgiones are Lotzorai, Villagrande Strisaili, Osini, Ulassai and Jerzu.

I made the Culurgiones adapted from the recipe offered by Chef Adam Leonti. Just as he changed the recipe to his tastes I changed the recipe a little to adapt to my taste. Rather than make them with a tomato sauce I made them with the brown butter sauce. It's something my mother would have done.

It took these 2 Chefs three months to get the folds right. I'll keep practicing my folds and eventually mine might look like theirs, but the taste was delicious and surprisingly very light! 

Here's the recipe from The Tasting Table.

Yield :
6 servings
Prep Time:
1 hour, 55 minutes ( took me longer...)

Cook time:
5 minutes

Total time:
2 hours (took me more like 4!) It's the folding!!!

3/4 Pound ( 2 cups plus 2 1/2 tablespoons) semolina flour
5 ounces  (2/3 cup) water  ( it needed a little more)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano (I used 1/2 cup Pecorino and 1/2 cup Parmesan)
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
15 mint leaves, minced
1 egg, lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste

Brown Butter Sauce
1/2 stick unsalted butter
salt and pepper
2 ounces Pecorino al Tartufo or Pecorino Romano (I used half Romano and half Parmesan)
1 heaping tablesppon finely minced mint leaves
( I added one smashed clove of garlic)

Make the pasta. Combine the semolina flour water and salt in a mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium until smooth. Add a little more water if necessary.

Take out of mixer, cover with a damp cloth and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough into 3 sections. One section at a time put through your pasta roller. If you don't have a pasta machine you can use a rolling pin. Put through the machine until you have a thin smooth layer of pasta. I worked it until I got to number 5.

Make the filling by steaming the potatoes until fork tender. While still warm smash them, or use a ricer to make them smooth. Add the cheese, olive oil, mint and egg. Season with lots of freshly ground pepper. The recipe suggested 25 turns of the pepper mill. Add 2 pinches of salt, taste and adjust seasoning.

Sprinkle your work surface with a little semolina flour and lay your pasta sheet down and cut 4 " circles out.  Stuff the circles with a scant tablespoon of the filling. Fold the pasta sphere so it looks like a taco and pinch it closed then take that fold and push it towards the other side of the stuffing. Keep doing this until you reach the other end. This confused me. I did not get my folds right. You can also just make ravioli and crimp the edges together with the tines of a fork.
After I made them I searched UTube. You can find dozens or videos to learn how to make them. It's more like a braid than a fold.

Make the sauce by melting the butter over medium to high heat until brown solids form, about 5 minutes. Don't let it burn. Lower the heat and keep warm.

Boil the pasta for 2 1/2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water and arrange on a dish. Drizzle the brown butter sauce (or tomato sauce if you prefer) over the Culurgiones, sprinkle with some freshly grated cheese and top with minced mint leaves. Serve and enjoy!

Here are some pictures of the process of making the Culurgiones. I'm going to be making them again, just so I can get the fold right!  Here comes the braid.

Buone Appetito!

potato mixture

pasta dough

rolled into log

cut into 3 sections

after rolling out cut into 4 inch circles

stuffed and folded over like Taco

simmering in boiling water

before cooking

cooked and ready to eat!