21 March 2024

Coffee Grounds Chocolate Cookies

Coffee Grounds Chocolate Cookies / www.delightfulrepast.com

My coffee grounds chocolate cookies came about because I rarely make anything chocolate without enhancing it with a bit of coffee and because I liked the idea of using the grounds instead of throwing them away after making pour-over coffee. Yes, I know you can use them in the garden, but right now my garden, well, anyway ...

I remembered seeing a few years ago a weird recipe for a chocolate cookie with coffee grounds. It called for heating dark chocolate, a vanilla pod, and a tiny bit of butter over a double boiler; and I don't think it had any flour at all, very odd. So here's what I came up with. If you use a coarse grind coffee, I'm not sure how that would work in a cookie. I use a kind of fine grind, not superfine, maybe medium fine (?) for pour-over coffee, and I imagine fine espresso grounds would work as well.

Since I had walnuts on hand, I toasted some and added them to the cookies; but I think I prefer these cookies without nuts. The used grounds were well drained but still damp when I weighed and measured them; completely dry grounds would weigh less, so you would need to measure rather than weigh that ingredient.

What do you think? Is this a bit weird for you, or does it sound good? The cookies really do have a wonderful flavor and texture. I hope you'll try them and let me know how you liked them. Or leave me a comment telling me why you won't be making them! Happy Spring!


Coffee Grounds Chocolate Cookies / www.delightfulrepast.com

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Coffee Grounds Chocolate Cookies


(Makes 34 2-inch cookies)

1 1/4 dip-and-sweep cups (6.25 ounces/177 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (0.75 ounce/21 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces/99 grams) sugar
1/3 packed cup (2.33 ounces/66 grams) dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup (2.25 ounces/64 grams) well-drained, slightly damp, used fine coffee grounds

1 In 1- to 1.5-quart bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, soda, and salt.

2 In 2- to 2.5-quart bowl, cream together well the softened butter and sugars. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and then the coffee grounds. Stir in the flour mixture. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 2 hours or so. It will make the sticky dough more scoopable.

3 Preheat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a #60 (1/2 ounce/1 tablespoon) scoop, drop 17 scoops of dough about 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and, with a smooth metal spatula or the smooth bottom of a metal measuring cup, press the cookies gently to flatten the tops. Cool on wire rack. Repeat. 

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees at no cost to you by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support.

Jean

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15 February 2024

Swedish Meatballs - For Now or Later - Homemade Freezer Meals

Swedish Meatballs for Now or Later - Freezer Meals / www.delightfulrepast.com

Swedish Meatballs is one of our favorite meals, but a bit of a faff for just one or two meals for two; so I added it to my list of favorite recipes to add to my "streamlined cooking" repertoire.

It doesn't take much longer to make a double batch and divide it amongst five 3-cup lidded glass storage dishes, making five—yes, five!—meals for two to pop into the freezer for future busy-day dinners.

I served the first of my freezer stash over rice with a salad on the side. Also great with noodles or mashed potatoes. It's wonderful having homemade food with the convenience of frozen foods!


Swedish Meatballs for Now or Later - Freezer Meals / www.delightfulrepast.com

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Some of my other freezer meals are: Shepherd's Pie, Salisbury Steak, and Stuffed Shells. I'm always trying to think of meals that might freeze well.

Do try it and let me know how you like it. AND please tell me about any meals you make ahead and freeze. I like to have variety in my "frozen food section" at all times. (Ohhh, and I just realized, this is Delightful Repast's 14th blogiversary!)
 

Swedish Meatballs for Now or Later - Freezer Meals / www.delightfulrepast.com


Swedish Meatballs  

(Makes about 70, 10 main-dish servings) 

The Meatballs 

About 4 slices good white or sourdough bread (4 ounces/113 grams) for 1 1/2 packed cups breadcrumbs 
1/2 cup (2 3/4 ounces/80 grams) finely minced onion
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2/3 cup (5 1/3 fluid ounces/151 ml) milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound (16 ounces/454 grams) lean ground beef
1 pound (16 ounces/454 grams) ground pork

The Sauce 

6 tablespoons (3 ounces/85 grams) unsalted butter
6 tablespoons (1 7/8 ounces/53 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
4 cups (32 fluid ounces/946 ml) lower sodium beef broth
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces/114 ml) heavy cream
Garnish: sour cream and chopped dill 


Use food processor to make perfect fresh breadcrumbs. Cut slices of good white or sourdough bread into four to six pieces. You only need to remove the crust if it's coated with seeds. Process until it becomes breadcrumbs. Don't worry about overdoing it; it's pretty foolproof. You should have 1 1/2 cups, fairly firmly packed. Add crumbs to a 3- to 4-quart mixing bowl. 

Cut a small piece of onion into a couple of chunks and use the food processor (no need to clean the bowl) to finely mince the onion. Sauté in oil until soft. Add to bowl. 

3 Add salt, pepper, allspice, milk, eggs and Worcestershire sauce to bowl. Mix well. Add ground beef and ground pork, and mix well. Just use one impeccably clean hand to mix, if you like. Put mixture in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before shaping meatballs.

Preheat oven to 400F/200C/Gas6. Using a #60/0.5-ounce/1 tablespoon scoop, scoop out all the meatballs (makes 70) and place them on an 18x13x1-inch half sheet pan (10 rows of 7). Then go back and roll each one into a smooth round ball and place back on the sheet. Bake for 30 about minutes. Meanwhile, make the sauce.

In 12-inch skillet, melt butter. Stir in flour, cooking and stirring to make a smooth, browned roux. Don't rush it; get the roux browned. Add beef broth and cook, stirring, until smooth and thickened. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and cream. If serving immediately, transfer meatballs to sauce and heat on low for 10 minutes.

For freezer meals: Choose your lidded glass storage containers suitable for the number of servings you need. I use five of these 3-cup lidded Pyrex dishes and put 14 meatballs in each. Divide the sauce among the dishes. Put on the lids, cool, chill, then freeze. To serve, get one out of the freezer the night before and put it in the refrigerator to thaw; heat in the microwave (lid removed) or in a small pan on the stove. Plate and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of dill. 

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees at no cost to you by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support.

Jean

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18 January 2024

New Orleans-Style Beignets

New Orleans-Style Beignets / www.delightfulrepast.com


I remember well the first time I had beignets many years ago, breakfasting alone in a charming cafe. One simply does not go to New Orleans for the first time and not have beignets and cafe au lait in the morning. I worked out my own recipe on my return but have never blogged it.

If you've never made beignets (pronounced BEN-yay), you might think it would be difficult or complicated. It is not. It's really quite easy, though I'm not fond of deep-frying. I had intended to fry just half today and half tomorrow, since they are at their best served right away. But I got carried away and cooked them all! Fortunately, Mr Delightful quite likes them reheated briefly in the microwave, so they won't go to waste.

Traditionally, they are quite plain, no spices. But I like a bit of cardamom in them myself, so I listed it as "optional" in the recipe. And they are traditionally paired with cafe au lait or coffee, which I had in New Orleans, but here at home I find they pair beautifully with my black teas.

Nice thing is, the dough rests in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours, then all you have to do in the morning is quickly roll out the dough and cut them, heat up your oil, and get ready to wow your breakfast guests! 

I hope you'll make a batch soon and let me know how you like them.

 
New Orleans-Style Beignets / www.delightfulrepast.com

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New Orleans-Style Beignets

(Makes 36)

3 1/3 dip-and-sweep cups (16.66 ounces/472 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cardamom, optional
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces/118 ml) milk
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces/118 ml) water
2 tablespoons (1 ounce/28 grams) unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Oil for frying
Powdered sugar for finishing

1 Make the dough the day before. In a 2- to 2.5-quart bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, instant yeast, and salt. In a 2-cup glass measure in the microwave or in a small pan on the stove, heat the milk and water until hot but not boiling. Stir in the butter until it is melted.  With dough whisk or large wooden spoon, stir the liquid and the egg into the flour mixture until thoroughly mixed. Stir for 1 or 2 minutes, then stir in the remaining 1 1/3 cups flour a half at a time to form a soft dough.

2 Cover with lid or plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour at room temperature until puffy but not necessarily doubled; then gently deflate it right in the bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.  

3 Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Roll it into a bit larger than 12-inch square, making it as even as possible, trimming the edges to make a 12-inch square. I use a plastic pizza wheel. Cut the dough into 36 2-inch squares. Let them rest at room temperature while you heat the oil.

In a Dutch oven, pour the oil to a depth of 3/4 inch in the pan. Heat the oil on medium-high to 360 to 370F/182 to 187C (takes about 12 minutes on my stove). Line a baking sheet with 2 layers of paper towels. Drop 6 squares into the hot oil. They will sink to the bottom for a few seconds and then rise to the top. Fry for 1 minute, spooning hot oil over them. Use tongs to turn them over. Fry for another minute until puffed and evenly golden. Remove them to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Check the oil temperature from time to time to be sure it is hot enough.

Note: I use my Thermapen ONE to check the oil temperature.

5 Repeat until all the dough squares are cooked. OR you can freeze dough squares, with parchment paper between layers, to bake at a later date.

6 Just before serving, dust them heavily with powdered sugar if you like to be authentic, or lightly if you're like me and not that fond of lots of sugar. I use just 1/8 cup (0.5 ounce/14 grams) to dust the lot.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees at no cost to you by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support.  

Jean

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