Being in a dessert first mood when I received my assignment, I went directly to Tessa's blog, The Cookin' Chemist! I immediately found a cookie recipe that begged to be baked. Chewy Coconut-Lime Sugar Cookies is the perfect summer cookie. How can one pass up a cookie that has lime in its name? These are the lightest, most flavorful, chewy cookies I have ever made. They met the taste test...the Kitchen Gnome raved about them, my neighbor loved them and asked for the recipe as did my friends.
The only thing I did differently was decorate the top with raw sugar instead of regular granulated sugar.
Chewy Coconut-Lime Sugar Cookies
The Cookin' Chemist and Nov/Dec 2010 Cook's Illustrated
2-1/4 cups (11-1/4 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 tsp. table salt
1-1/2 cups (10-1/2 oz) sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling
2 oz. cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
1 tsp. finely grated lime zest
6 Tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. lime juice
Adjust the oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, coconut, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside. Place 1-1/2 cups sugar, cream cheese, and lime zest in a large bowl. Place remaining 1/3 cup sugar in shallow baking dish or pie plate and set aside.
Pour warm butter over sugar and cream cheese and whisk to combine (some small lumps of cream cheese will remain but will smooth out later). Whisk in oil until incorporated. Add egg, milk, and lime juice; continue to whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix with rubber spatula until soft homogeneous dough forms.
The final dough will be slightly softer than most cookie dough. For the best results, handle the dough as briefly as possible when shaping the cookies. Overworking the dough will result in flatter cookies.
Divide dough into 24 equal pieces, about 2 tablespoons each. Using hands, roll dough into balls. Working in batches, roll balls in reserved sugar to coat and evenly space on prepared baking sheet, 12 dough balls per sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass, flatten dough balls until 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle tops evenly with 4 teaspoons sugar, remaining in shallow dish (2 teaspoons per cookie sheet), discard any remaining sugar.
Bake, 1 tray at a time, until edges are set and just beginning to brown, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating the tray after 7 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.
I was going to have chicken after my dessert so I perused what Tessa had cookin' in that area. I found recipe after recipe that I knew we would like. It was decided that we would make the Chicken Shawarma. The problem I ran into was finding the tahini paste. After checking in three stores I decided that I would have to use the Tahini Sauce that I found. I decided it should work and after tasting it I just increased the amount to three tablespoons.
The Cookin' Chemist and Cooking Light
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips (I used three chicken breasts.)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c. plain reduced-fat Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. tahini (I used Tahini Sauce and increased the amount to 3 Tablespoons.)
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
4 pieces whole-wheat flatbread
1 c. romaine lettuce
2 tomatoes, diced
In a medium bowl, combine lemon juice, curry powder, olive oil, salt, cumin, and minced garlic. Add chicken and toss to coat. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. To prepare the sauce, in a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, and 1 clove minced garlic. Set aside.
Spray grill grates with cooking spray and pre-heat the outdoor grill. Place chicken strips on the grill (can place on skewers if desired). Grill for 4 minutes on each side or until chicken is fully cooked. Place pitas on grill rack and grill for 1 minute on each side or until lightly toasted. Place 1 pita on each plate. Top with chicken, lettuce, tomato, and sauce.
These were delicious! We had enough for lunch the next day. We were eatin' good!
Since I still had three chicken breasts left to cook, I went back to Tessa's blog and decided to make the Chicken Carne Asada Tacos with Pickled Onions.
Chicken Carne Asada Tacos
with Pickled Onions
The Cookin' Chemist and Cooking Light, April 2010
Ingredients1/2 c. fresh orange juice (about 1 orange)
1/2 c. fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 medium red onion, thinly vertically sliced
1-1/2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken thighs (breasts) trimmed and cut into thin strips
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 diced, peeled avocado
1/2 c. (2 oz) crumbled Cotija cheese
lime wedges (optional)
Combine the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring until sugar dissolves. Place onion in a small saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; drain and plunge onion into ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain onion; add to juice mixture. Chill until ready to serve.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Sprinkle chicken with oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper; toss to coat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned and done, stirring occasionally.
Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide chicken evenly among tortillas. Drain onion; divide evenly among tortillas. Top each tortilla with 2 Tbsp. avocado and 1 Tbsp. cheese; fold over. Serve with lime wedges if desired.
Did I mention that we were eating well? Both of the chicken dishes were quick, easy to make, and tasty. There was plenty left for lunch the next day too!
Tessa is a pharmacist who has a knack for creating the most exciting and delicious meals. I totally enjoyed cruising through Tessa's blog. We seem to enjoy a similar cooking style and love of food. In fact, I couldn't stop finding recipes on her blog that I wanted to prepare. So, I chose just a few...
Hop along with us as we explore our blogging friends...