loukoumades, oatmeal cookies and why I should join the gym

So I have this bet going…and it involves weight loss and my head so not in the bet. Cause I am competitive over everything, except my weight, that just makes me cry. But I’m trying to get my head in the game. However, to prove what I failure I am at this, let me share my weekend in food review. (This is what happens when you swear off of boys, inappropriate and appropriate alike.

Loukoumades Oatmeal

Loukoumades and White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies…both were fabulous, I know cause I ate them both.

Now for those who don’t know (cause how could you), I have some deep Greek roots. And it comes out not in the form of being able to speak Greek (much to general family sadness), nope it comes out in the fact that I am fairly loud and that I love to eat. And while I can go on and on about gyros and lamb, loukoumades hold a major spot in my heart. Come on, it’s fried dough covered in honey and cinnamon, what is there not to like. And A and I were at the greek festival and after the gyro, spanakopita, tiropita and dolmades…what else could I want (and for the record, I only ate one of those things…the rest I dreamed about). The loukoumades were fresh, straight out of the fryer, and coated with a thin honey glaze. Divine…a faux recipe to follow

As for the Oatmeal Cookies, those were me looking for something to bake that involved only one egg (cause I was too lazy to go to the grocery store. And what a shock, Deb at smittenkitchen.com came through with crispy salted white chocolate oatmeal cookies. I added a handful of cranberries so I could tell myself the cranberries and oats made it a granola bar, never has a lie to myself been so tasty :)

And so I give you both recipes…the cookies were phenom, and the loukoumades (well I used this recipe over a year ago and it was pretty great too, even when I accidentally stuck my finger in the pot of oil, oops).

First care of Deb, the cookies:

Cripsy Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

The original recipe didn’t have white chocolate in it, but it really works wonderfully in here. Even if you’re a dark chocolate fan. Watch out, use the good stuff and this may even convert you.

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

6 ounces good-quality white chocolate bar, chopped (not “white chocolate” chips; they’re almost always artificial. I am adamant about this.)

1/2 teapoon flaky sea salt (like Maldon or fleur de sel) (for sprinkling on top)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and table salt in a medium bowl.

2. Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula, then add egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Scrape down bowl again. Add flour mixture gradually and mix until just incorporated and smooth. Gradually add oats and white chocolate and mix until well incorporated.

3. Divide dough into 24 equal portions, each about 2 tablespoons. Roll between palms into balls, then place on lined baking sheets about 2 1/2 inches apart. Using fingertips, gently press down each ball to about ¾-inch thickness.

4. Sprinkle a flake or two of sea salt on each cookie

5. Bake until cookies are deep golden brown, about 13 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack to cool.

And second, the Loukoumades:

Loukoumades

1 tablespoon yeast
1 cup lukewarm water (for yeast)
5 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
warm water
2 cups sugar
1 cup honey
1 cup water
cinnamon
vegetable oil for frying

1. Dissolve yeast in water and let set for 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Sift 3 cups of flour and salt together. Make a hole in flour and pour in yeast mixture. Mix gently while continuously adding flour until a soft, sticky dough is formed. Cover dough with clean, damp dishtowel. Let dough double in size.

3. Bring sugar, honey and water to a boil. Boil for 6 minutes. Remove from high heat, but keep warm.

4. Heat oil in deep fryer [or in my case a large pot]. Use a tablespoon to drop batter into hot oil. When batter floats and is golden and puffy, remove to drain on paper towel.

5. Pour syrup over hot doughnuts and sprinkle with cinnamon.

** I may be on the hunt for a new Loukoumades recipe, cause while I love these…they are more dense then the ones at the Greek festival. Add that to my to-do list, right after..hire office interns.

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