So my daughter moved all the way to Hawaii and had to learn to cook for herself and her boyfriend. She is not into baking, but she suggested I come up with a cookie recipe that did not require her to purchase baking products (such as baking powder or soda.) Because she would probably never use those again. Challenge accepted! With a little help from a prepackaged muffin mix and some leftover blueberries from my lemon blueberry mini loaves recipe, this is what I came up with.
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 (7 ounce) boxes of Jiffy blueberry muffin mix
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries (optional)
- In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter, vegetable oil and brown sugar.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating after each is added.
- Add muffin mix and flour until just combined.
- Stir in white chocolate chips. If you have chosen to add fresh blueberries, stir in as well.
- Chill dough in refrigerator at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, line your baking sheets with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- Scoop cookie dough into 1 tablespoon balls and place on your baking sheets. Be sure to keep them at least 2 inches apart.
- Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown on edges.
- In between baking batches of cookies, make sure to return unused dough to the refrigerator.
- This recipe yields 36 cookies.
These cookies came out crispy on the bottoms and soft in the centers. I recommend you store in an air tight container in your refrigerator to keep fresh.
So what do you think? Did I live up to the challenge, Ashley?
Joann and Ashley
Here’s a traditional Chinese dish that may look complicated, but is really easy to make. The main ingredient that does all the flavoring for you is a concentrated black bean and garlic sauce. You should be able to find this in most grocery stores that have an Asian or International aisle. I like to use the Lee Kum Kee brand, but any brand should work.
- 2 lbs. pork rib tips (if you cannot find, substitute with country style pork ribs)
- 1/2 medium white or yellow onion cut into 1/4 inch half-moons and separated
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 4 tablespoons black bean and garlic sauce
- 32 oz. beef broth
- 1/4 cup sweet rice wine or mirin – not rice wine vinegar (optional)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/3 cup cold water
- 1 cup Chinese long beans cut into 1-2 inch pieces (you can substitute with fresh green beans)
- 3 russet potatoes peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes (optional)
- Cut the pork rib tips into sections, leaving only one bone per section. (If you are using country style pork ribs, cut into 2 inch cubes.)
- In a large pot (or wok that has a lid) add vegetable oil and turn heat to medium high.
- When oil begins to ripple, add onions and pork. Continually stir to saute onions and pork for 3-5 minutes.
- Add black bean and garlic sauce, enough beef broth to cover pork, rice wine (optional), sugar and stir to mix.
- Once broth comes to a boil, lower heat to medium low, cover pot and let cook for 1 hour.
- After an hour has passed, turn heat back up to high.
- Make a slurry in a small bowl with cornstarch and cold water. Mix well.
- Add remaining beef broth if any. If not add 1/2 cup water.
- When broth is back to a boil, add slurry mixture and stir until thickened to thin gravy consistency.
- Add Chinese long beans (or green beans) and potatoes (which is optional, but I like them to cut down the saltiness of the black bean and garlic concentrate.) Stir.
- Lower heat down to medium and cook for 20 more minutes. (10 minutes if not adding potatoes.)
- Serve over rice.
Makes 4-6 servings