comfort food

Rum Sugar Cookies

I don’t always bake cookies but when I do booze is involved.

A little for me, a little for the cookies.

These cookies didn’t last long in the house. They do crisp up as they set. If you want a chewier cookie, lower the white sugar measurement by 1/2 cup and raise the brown sugar measurement by 1/2 a cup. White sugar creates a crisper cookie which is what my family prefers.

Ingredients

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup Soy-Free Earth Balance, softened (you can use regular butter but this is a soy and dairy-free recipe)

1 egg

3 teaspoons of rum - Kraken is the best!

2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract - Spice Islands is all natural. No corn syrup and gluten-free

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (this is optional, you can use regular flour)

1/4 teaspoon salt

For rolling the dough in:

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Directions

Preheat oven to 325. In the mixer beat and smooth together the butter and sugars until fluffy. I use the KitchenAid Flex Edge Beater attachment. Then add the egg, rum, and vanilla and mix until nice and smooth.

Change the attachment to the wire whip. Add the dry ingredients. Mix on low until all is thoroughly combined.

On parchment paper roll 1-inch dough balls through the sugar/spice mixture. Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are a bit crisp and the center is soft but cooked through.

Products used in this recipe:

Hello? Is It Cheese You're Looking For?

March 7, 2017, USA Today published an article titled Cheese is so addictive, one doctor calls it 'dairy crack'. I 100% believe it. There is something about cheese when it's listed on a menu. A gleam in one's eye. The giddiness inside.

My relationship with cheese is complicated. When I was young whether my grandma was visiting our home or my family was visiting hers, she'd cook delicious food for us. Every single meal. Most contained cheese. One of the favorites was her fried macaroni and cheese. Nothing fancy but she made it with love. The crispy noodles mixed with creamy cheese was on another level for a nine-year-olds palette. I've mimicked the recipe, but it's not the same. It's not my grandma's.

I decided to create my own.

Soy-free. Lactose-free. Vegetarian-friendly. No noodles.  

What the heck is it?

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Bake.

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Activate watering of the mouth. 

Spaghetti Squash. Cheese. Basil.

The trifecta of awesomeness. 

As I've stated in a previous recipe I cook the squash the night before, The Foolproof, Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Spaghetti Squash, I add a few cloves of garlic and fresh basil for aromatics.

The end result is cheesy goodness.

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Ingredients

1 large spaghetti squash

3 tbsp of Earth Balance Soy-free butter

3 tbsp of ap flour or your flour of choice

2 cups of coconut milk (I use VitaCoco Original)

1 tablespoon of Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Cream

A handful of fresh basil leaves

3/4 tbsp CampMIX or create your mixture of garlic salt, salt, garlic powder, celery salt, black pepper. I recommend tasting as you go. 

1 block of Cabot Farmhouse Reserve Cheddar (Shred the entire block) 

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Instructions

Preheat oven to 390.

Mince basil leaves. 

In a medium saucepan or cast iron pot on low-medium heat melt the butter. Whisk in flour until small lumps form. Add coconut milk and continue to whisk until smooth. Add seasonings salt, basil, whisk and simmer for about 2 minutes or until sauce has slightly thickened. Add the cheese and whisk until smooth. 

Add spaghetti squash. Stir and blend carefully.

In an 8x8 Pyrex dish pour in the cheesy awesomeness. A 10" cast iron pan is also an option.

I have an electric oven--miss our gas oven--I cook the squash for 5-7 minutes. Then I switch to broil on high. Check every couple of minutes until golden brown.

This entire dish is 5-6 servings depending on the portion size your spouse or children dish out. My husband dishes heavy.

The leftovers are perfect to fry up the next day. Too bad I never have any leftovers which I guess is a compliment.

Now go make this dish and make it your own.