Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

In my tradition of sharing recipes I like (and not incidentally storing copies in one easy-to-access place), here is a flour-less peanut butter cookie recipe. This version of the classic recipe has chocolate as well as peanut butter and is very easy to make. I like it. I hope you do too.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

2 cups [500g] peanut butter
2 cups [400g] brown sugar
4 Tablespoons [30g] cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt
2 eggs

1. Heat oven to 350F.

2. Mix peanut butter, sugar and cocoa powder until smooth.

3. Add baking soda, salt and vanilla.

4. Add eggs one at a time. The mixture will be stiff.*

5. Roll into 1-inch balls, lay out on ungreased cookie sheet, flatten with a fork.

6. Bake for 8-10 minutes. They will be soft; let cool five minutes before transferring to racks.

* If your mixer isn’t up to this I recommend a potato masher.

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I was pleased to see Mary Robinette Kowal’s recent recipe for dairy-free faux parmesan and thought I’d chime in. As a recently-discovered lactose intolerant, I’ve spent more time than I’d like looking for lactose-free recipes. Sure, you can take pills but isn’t it nicer not to? Instead of timing your medication precisely and watching the clock to make sure you haven’t over-eaten your lactase welcome, or realizing too late that you’ve forgotten your pills, avoid the problem in the first place.

Lactose-free options also make life easier for hosts. I still wince at a dinner party we gave in my pre-intolerance days, where a guest who accepted the invitation with a breezy “Oh, no, I can eat anything,” looked at her cream soup and asked if I had anything without lactose. Whoops.

This modified version of Mark Bittman’s Mexican chocolate pudding recipe is rich and creamy, flour-less and lactose free. This isn’t one of those “good for an I-have-to-eat-this-way” recipes, it’s just good.

If you’re avoiding soy this isn’t the dessert for you, but otherwise I recommend it without reservation. It is fast, easy and delicious.

(Not All That is Creamy is Milk) Chocolate Pudding
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 pound silken tofu*
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted**
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt

1. Heat sugar with 3/4 cup water over medium heat. Cook until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool slightly while the chocolate melts.

2. Put all ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides to combine everything completely. Chill for at least 30 minutes, although longer gives a denser final pudding.

Garnish with raspberries and fresh mint or eat directly from the container with a spoon, your choice. Serves 4 to 6. Or one very hungry writer.

Recipe notes:
* My grocery stores carry tofu in Tetra Pak boxes or water packed, but the important point is to find the silken variety. If you can only find 12oz boxes, I recommend getting two and increasing the recipe 1.5 times.
** Double boil if you like but I have good luck melting chocolate in my microwave at 20-30% power. I do this much chocolate ~three minutes at a time, stirring in between zaps. The chocolate taste is dominant so better is… better. While Valrhona is sure to be delicious I’ve had very good luck with a short ingredient list generic chocolate from my local grocery, so don’t feel constrained by the tyranny of premium labels. Look for one without added milk ingredients and off you go.

A final comment on lactose: I was surprised to find that a lot of the foods I thought were off-limits actually contain very little lactose. Imagine my joy to find that brie and many other aged or fermented cheeses are essentially lactose free, not to mention butter and long-fermented yogurt. Find your own comfort level, of course, but that was a game changer for me. A quick crib for cheese is to check the nutritional information chart on the label. Grocery chain Wegman’s put out a post on this, and also lists other cheeses with low lactose levels:

An easy way to check for lactose in cheese is to look at the Nutrition Facts under “Sugar” Since the sugar in cheese is lactose, you can easily see how much lactose the cheese contains. If the sugar is listed as zero, then the cheese contains no more than half a gram of lactose per ounce. Compare to 12 grams of lactose in an 8 ounce glass of milk.


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What’s this, what’s this? The New York Times has put their entire recipe archive online for free. That’s 16,000 recipes available to anyone with a net connection and a penchant for deliciousness.

Here’s a sample recipe sure to delight all Canadians (ketchup lovers, the lot of them;): Stir-Fried Chicken With Ketchup. Sounds potentially suspect to me but wait, it’s from Mark Bittman, whose recipes for butterscotch and lamb and brownies are now household staples. The man can cook. Also? Fifteen thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine other recipes waiting to be explored. Like the fabulously named They Didn’t Burn Rome in a Day.


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I just ran across this healthy recipe finder at The New York Times. It’s a useful resource if you, like me, sometimes have a vague memory of an article with a recipe but no useful landmarks to help find it. After a quick browse here I’m ready for lunch. Even the Beet and Chia Pancakes look good.

On second thought, I’m going with the Beet Salad With Chèvre Frais and Caraway. Too healthy for you? Pair it with a (local, ethical, organic, free range) steak, nothing’s stopping you:)

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Just in time for the weekend, here is my favorite brownie recipe. It’s quick and delicious. It’s also in metric, because once you get a scale and get used to the routine, the weight method is indeed easier and more consistent. Making fewer dirty dishes is an added bonus. Also, cocoa powder means no waiting around to chop and melt chocolate bricks. I have a double boiler but yeah, no.


Time: 30-40 minutes
  • 142 grams butter
  • 42 grams cocoa powder
  • 200 grams sugar (I use brown sugar or half brown and half white for a nuttier flavor)
  • 2 eggs
  • 60 grams flour
  • Dash salt
  • ½ t. vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper (or grease with butter, but parchment paper makes for fantastically easy clean up).
2. Melt butter in the microwave on low (30% works for me). Use a whisk to stir in cocoa powder until smooth, then add sugar, eggs, flour, salt and vanilla, mixing after each addition. The batter will resemble quicksand, only tastier.
3. Pour into the pan and bake 20 minutes, or until set in the middle.* Let cool and cut.
*Note: This recipe can be doubled with no trouble, use a 9×13-inch pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.
P.S. Upon reflection, I feel bad for those of you without a digital scale. Here you go:
  • 10 T. butter
  • ⅓ C. cocoa powder
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ C. flour
  • Dash salt
  • ½ t. vanilla extract
Enjoy! I know I will:)

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