Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Chocolate Thumbprint

It’s cookie season– a.k.a. weigh- gain season – at least for me, as I simply cannot control myself when it comes to home baked cookies.  These are my favourite -a  not too sweet shortbread base with an excellent dense texture – then a pop of dark chocolate. Oh my. Love it. Easy too.

Chocolate Thumbprints

adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookies

makes 3 1/2  dozen

1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temp.

1 cup icing sugar

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup  (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate, chopped (or chocolate chips)

2 tsp corn syrup

2 (additional) Tbsp butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment or silpats.

In bowl of electric mixer, beat 1 cup of butter, icing sugar, salt and vanilla on medium speed until smooth, scraping down sides.  Beat in flour. Start at a low speed, gradually increasing to medium as the flour becomes incorporated. Mix only until all flour is mixed in.

Form balls of dough with cookie scoop or your hands (about 2 tsp each). Dough will be a little crumbly so press it together.  Place balls one inch apart on baking sheets.  Bake 10 minutes, remove from oven, and using the end of a wooden spoon, make an indent in each cookie.  Continue baking until light brown on the edges. (about 7 minutes more). Remove from oven, and use the end of the spoon to press your indents once more.

Combine chocolate, 2 tablespoons of butter and corn syrup in a small metal bowl over a saucepan with an inch of simmering water. Mix and remove from heat after chocolate is melted and smooth.Cool slightly, then fill indents with chocolate. (I use a baby spoon).  Set aside to for chocolate to firm up.  Store in airtight container for 3 days at room temperature, or freeze in layers in containers. They freeze really well.

dough will have a crumbly texture, but will come together when pressed with hands

after 10 minutes of baking, make indent, then return to oven

re-indent the cookies after they come back out of oven

melt butter, corn syrup and chocolate in top of double boiler

YUM YUM YUM

Slow-Cooker Beef Pot Roast

Slow-cooked pot roast, pureed cauliflower, gravy, green salad, beet horseradish

This is a great time of year to pull out the slow-cooker and figure out how to cook with it.  I use it as often as possible because it means I’ve dealt with my dinner-making obligation early in the day and I can move on to other fun stuff – like baking and eating baking.  Besides that, everyone should know how to make a pot roast, it’s a Canadian staple dinner.

Anyhow, I bought a grass-fed beef sirloin tip roast – it works well for pot roast — or use a blade or other tough chunk of beef. We’ll be cooking it low and slow so all those fibrous strands of meat will break down in the process, all the while providing some great flavour.  I chose ‘grass-fed’ because that is what cows are supposed to eat naturally and I believe that it is way, way more healthy to eat this kind of beef.

You will need to make a flavour base to cook this in. Follow along with what I’ve used, but please feel free to stray from this guideline and use what you like and/or have on hand.

Slow-Cooker Pot Roast

serves 6

2-3 lb beef roast (blade, sirloin tip)

2 medium onions, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 cup beef broth

1/2 cup red wine (I used shiraz – use a good wine)

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (use any kind)

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp tamari or soya sauce

2 tsp ground ginger

1 bay leaf

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 tbsp chili garlic sauce

1/2 cup salsa

1/2 cup bbq sauce

ground black pepper

to thicken gravy:

1/2 cup water mixed with 2 tbsp cornstarch

Directions:

Turn slow-cooker on to high.  Spread diced onions along bottom of cooker.   Unwrap and wipe off roast. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In skillet, heat 1 tbsp butter until melted over med-high heat. Brown roast on all sides.  Place browned roast on top of onions.

In separate medium-sized saucepan, put in the rest of the ingredients (except water and cornstarch).  Bring to a boil and stir. Pour mixture over beef roast in slow-cooker. Cover and cook for 6-7 hours on low, or 4 hours on high.  When roast is tender (can pull apart with a fork), remove from liquid to a plate and tent with foil. Mix up water/cornstarch mixture and stir into liquid in slow cooker (on high). (If there is alot of fat on top of liquid, remove as much as possible before doing this). When thickened, pour into a gravy boat. Slice meat. Serve with horseradish (or beet horseradish – even better)…boiled or mashed  potatoes and carrots – or for a healthier, lower carb option – pureed cooked cauliflower and a green salad. Cheers.

Brown roast over medium-high heat

Brown roast on all sides

Mix all ingredients (except water/cornstarch) in medium saucepan.

pour mixture over roast in slow-cooker

Add cornstarch/water mixture to liquid in slow-cooker to thicken

Slice roast, serve with gravy