Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Santa's Naughty Coal - COOKIE CONTEST!

A few weeks back I discovered a cookie contest on one of my favorite blogs Tongue-N-Cheeky - "Mrs. Kringle's Holiday Cookie Bakeoff" and I just couldn't resist. The theme of the contest was "Santa's Cookies." I thought long and hard for weeks about holiday cookies: sugar, chocolate, peppermint, you name it! But finally, I had an A-HA! moment. Santa loves to eat cookies, that's a given, but we can't forget that he always needs something to wash them down with, hence the egg nog frosting. We also know that if you've been naughty and not nice...well, you know the deal, you get COAL. So alas, I landed on my idea:


  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter. softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (12 oz pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate mini chips


  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup egg nog
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat together butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in flour until fully incorporated and the batter comes together. Stir in mini chocolate chips with a spoon.

Shape 1 1/4 inch balls. Don't roll the balls in your hands to make smooth but form a chunky shape with your fingers to insure it will look like a piece of coal. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are set and lightly browned.

While cookies are baking, melt the chocolate chips over a double boiler or in the microwave but BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVERCOOK because chocolate burns very easily. If you're using the microwave, set it for 30 second intervals and stir only until it's just starting to melt (or else you'll have to go to the store again and start all ME!) Melt the butter and warm the cream and stir into the melted chocolate.
After cookies have cooled on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes, dip the tops of the cookies into the chocolate and let the excess drizzle on the cooling rack (make sure to put foil or parchment paper underneath the rack so there's not a huge mess).
For the frosting, whisk together the egg nog and powdered sugar and drizzle lacy strands of
frosting over the chocolate-dipped cookies. Let the cookies sit until the chocolate hardens (takes a couple of hours, sorry).

So even if you've been naughty (but hopefully you've been nice), be sure to set these cookies out Christmas Eve and maybe, just maybe, Santa won't leave coal in your stocking!

All you have to do is click on the button below:
Just follow the directions on the site and vote for:
Write a comment at the bottom of the post with your vote. I get extra points too and SO DO YOU! Commentators qualify for prizes too!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Green Eggs and Fish

Tis' the season and even though sugar plum fairies and egg nog is on the mind, I can't get fish out of my head. My sister recently returned from her annual Puerto Vallarta rendezvous (cue jealousy) and brought home the second best thing to personalized key chains...MAHI MAHI.

Nicole and her husband, Brandon, pose below with their trophy fish, soon to be consumed by mwah. (They even caught a shark one year...yeah they're intense)

What to do with a fresh piece of Mahi Mahi...? I pondered this question over and over in my head until I landed upon a recipe that really caught my eye from the quirky Alton Brown himself. I needed a break from butter-laden meals finished with, well, more butter (oh yes, there is such a thing, hence the extra poundage sitting on my waistline these days). My sister opted to cook her fish with a green egg...grooooosssss, right? WRONG! Nicole got Brandon the Big Green Egg for his birthday and they say it has changed their life...literally. Never heard of it you say? It's basically a ceramic kamodo-style cooker that does everything but wash your dishes (I'm still waiting for that one...). It is a unique barbecue that transforms into a grill, smoker, and even an oven. Everything they've cooked with the Green Egg has turned out so good that they don't know what they ever did without it. Too bad I couldn't cook up Mason and Cooper in it because I'm ready to eat-them-up!

Since we aren't all so lucky to possess the egg, try out this recipe next time you're debating how to cook your flaky white fish, any kind will do. It's easy, healthy, and comes together in only 15 minutes. The coconut milk really sets it apart and makes the fish moist and delicious. Check it out!

Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi

Adapted from Alton Brown
  • 1 1/4 cup roasted macadamia nuts, coarsely ground
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (Japanese style bread crumbs, found in the ethnic aisle)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing foil
  • 4 mahi mahi fillets (or any white fish)
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • Fresh squeezed lemon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine nuts, panko, flour, and butter. Set aside.

Cover a baking sheet with foil and brush liberally with vegetable oil. Season the fillets with salt and pepper on both sides and place on the foil. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with coconut milk. Divide the nut mixture among the tops of the fillets, patting the mixture to adhere to the fillets. Return to the oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, just until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

I drizzled lemon juice over the top to give a little more brightness to the dish. In the words of Racheal was yum-O!