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31 Days of Cookies: Gluten-Free Spiked Chocolate Decadence Cookies

On the 27th day of cookies, our guest blogger proves that gluten-free cookies can hold their own in the dessert spread.

The inspiration for my Spiked Chocolate Decadence Cookies was the holiday spirit — or spirits — so present throughout the season. And while cocktails abound, booze goes a long way toward successful holiday baking too. Vodka renders pie crusts impossibly flaky; brandy or rum gives cakes a crumb so moist and heady that dessert lovers may need a designated driver; and a tablespoon of any liquor will forever transform the way you look at cookies. (Because we’re talking about gluten-free baking here, just make sure to grab a gluten-free vodka or brandy in lieu of the traditional 40 proof.)

I was inspired by my grandmother’s hazelnut bacci when I started developing these gluten-free Spiked Chocolate Decadence Cookies. I used whole eggs and eliminated any trace of nuts by using my gluten-free cookie flour blend. I added a tablespoon of vodka to the dough and refrigerated it overnight so the sugars could absorb all the liquid. The end result? A chocolate cookie with a crunchy outer rim and a soft, supple center. Sandwich two with the chocolate ganache filling for a very seasonally appropriate splurge.

Click here for the Spiked Chocolate Decadence Cookies recipe.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

Karen Morgan is the founder of the beloved gluten-free Blackbird Bakery in Austin, Texas, and is the author of two cookbooks on matter:  Blackbird Bakery Gluten-Free and The Everyday Art of Gluten-Free, which feature her new line of gluten-free flour blends.

25 Ways to Use Soy Sauce

A standard addition to stir fry and Chinese take-out, soy sauce is a great way to bring umami to the table. A little bit of soy sauce goes a long way in flavoring marinades, brines and all sorts of dipping sauces.

Soy sauce is a condiment that has been used since about 300 A.D. The standard bottle of soy sauce you’ll usually find in the international section of the grocery store is a Japanese “dark” soy sauce. Mirin, a sweet rice wine, is added to soy sauce to create a “light” variety which is slightly sweeter. There are also “light” and “dark” Chinese varieties of soy sauce that can be found in some specialty Asian markets.

Most soy sauce is made with wheat in addition to soybeans, but tamari is made with little to no wheat, and many brands offer completely gluten-free tamari. A gluten- and soy-free soy sauce substitute is coconut aminos, which tastes similarly to soy sauce but is made from coconut tree sap.

Store unopened soy sauce in a cool, dark place. Once opened, store soy sauce in the refrigerator. Because soy sauce (even the reduced sodium kind) contains so much salt, go easy on seasoning when you use it and make sure to taste it as you cook to avoid a salt overload.

Instead of ordering in this week get soy-sauce savvy with these 25 recipes.

  1. Try making your Chinese food craving at home. It’s healthier than ordering in and fun to experiment with new ingredients in the kitchen. General Tso’s Chicken, crispy and coated in a sweet sauce, is a great place to start.
  2. Soy sauce balances out a sweet BBQ sauce in Kelsey Nixon’s Roasted Pork Loin with Peach BBQ Sauce. Use fresh or frozen peaches depending on the season.
  3. Add tons of flavor to weeknight classic Tuna Noodle Casserole (pictured) by cooking mushrooms and onions with sherry and soy sauce, which brighten up a sometimes-flavorless dish.
  4. Eat delicious, fall-off-the-bone BBQ ribs any time of year with the help of your slow cooker. After the Slow Cooker Asian BBQ Ribs come out of the slow cooker, crisp them up underneath the broiler or on the grill.
  5. Crunchy and slightly sweet, Coconut Shrimp with Peanut Sauce is irresistible. Use canola or peanut oil for deep frying, as they have higher smoke points than other oil like olive oil.

    Continue Reading 25 Ways to Use Soy Sauce

31 Days of Cookies: Meyer Lemon Cardamom Crinkle Cookies

Much a we complain that nothing is in season during brutal winter months, that isn’t the case at all. Citrus, including perky meyer lemon, is best in chilly months. So for the 26th day of cookies, we’re celebrating vitamin C with 5-star meyer lemon cookies, spiced with cardamom and ideal for a calm post-party tea session.

Click here for the Meyer Lemon Cardamom Crinkle Cookies recipe.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

31 Days of Cookies: Spritz Cookies

Merry Christmas from Cooking Channel! There’s no better way to celebrate the 25th day of cookies than with these classic, simple Christmas treats of German origin. Almond paste imbues the cookies with a subtle nutty flavor and makes the dough smoother — ideal for creating festive shapes in a spritz press. Sprinkle them with colored sugars to dress the plain cookies up for the holiday.

Click here for the Spritz Cookies recipe.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

31 Days of Cookies: The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

When Santa sneaks down the chimney tonight on the 24th day of cookies, he’ll be looking for a plate of something classic and perfected. Surprise him with this five-star recipe for soft-and-chewy chocolate chip cookies to ensure your stockings remain coal-free.

Click here for Kelsey Nixon’s Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

Last-Minute Christmas Brunch Ideas

Oatmeal Pancakes

There’s nothing like easing into Christmas morning with a cup of hot coffee and the aromas of a special brunch wafting from the kitchen. But if you haven’t already planned that meal, don’t worry. There are plenty of recipes that you can still pull together for tomorrow’s mid-morning feast.

Oatmeal Pancakes with Blackberry Crush: Oats add great flavor, texture and a little nutritional boost to almost any baked good, including these plump, tender pancakes.

Overnight French Toast Casserole: Assemble this decadent casserole before you go to bed tonight, and it’ll be an easy centerpiece to your Christmas brunch.

Cranberry-Orange Compote: This easy compote is a perfect holiday topping for french toast or pancakes.

Southwestern Hash: Ellie’s healthy hash is a flavorful and hearty accompaniment to eggs.

Perfect Scrambled Eggs: Creamy scrambled eggs are always a treat. Find out the secrets to getting them just right every time from Michael Symon.

Hot Chocolate with Peppermint Schnapps: For a non-alcoholic peppermint hot chocolate, just add a few drops of peppermint oil, or simply garnish a cup of hot cocoa with a peppermint stick.

Cranberry-Raspberry Upside Down Cake: This beautiful cake is a festive addition to the Christmas table. With a heaping amount of fruit, it counts as a brunch item!

31 Days of Cookies: Oat Bars with Cranberries and Macadamia Nuts

On this 23rd day of cookies, our guest blogger shares her holiday take on a classic South African treat.

This cookie is based on my grandmother Betty’s recipe for oat crunchies — a classic South African dessert. The original recipe has been passed down the generations and is a favorite of all of my family members. I added dried cranberries and macadamia nuts to make them a little festive for the holidays. Want to make them truly over the top? I’ve included an option to drizzle melted white chocolate over the bars at the end.

If you like your cookies crispy, use a wider tray and spread the mixture a bit thinner. If you prefer them chewier, use a smaller tray, so they are thicker.

Click here for the Oat Bars with Cranberries and Macadamia Nuts recipe.
See more original cookies from some of our favorite food bloggers.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

Sam Linsell is based in Cape Town, South Africa, where she works as a professional food stylist and photographer. Passionate about all things food, she is constantly creating recipes and images, which she shares on her award-winning food blog, Drizzle & Dip. She is a one-stop shop for recipe and visual food content, and she has been commissioned by various magazines and digital publications. Sam has written, styled and photographed two cookbooks.

31 Days of Cookies: Hazelnut Ganache Thumbprint Cookies

On the 22nd day of cookies, our guest blogger turns a favorite flavor combo into this dark, rich twist on a classic.

Thumbprint cookies are classic holiday treats that seem to make an appearance in every dessert spread. In this recipe, rather than fill the cookies with jam, I updated the flavors by utilizing one of my favorite pairings: chocolate and hazelnut. I added hazelnut meal to a traditional buttery shortbread cookie to give the cookies nutty flavor and a lovely crumbly texture. The thick ganache is dropped into the center of each cookie with a sprinkling of flaked sea salt, so while these cookies might be less flashy than their jewel-toned counterparts, they will become your party’s sleeper hit.

Click here for the Hazelnut Ganache Thumbprint Cookies recipe.
See more original cookies from some of our favorite food bloggers.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

Adrianna Adarme is a food blogger and author living in Los Angeles. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, everyday recipes from her kitchen. She recently authored her first cookbook, Pancakes: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack. She’s a lover of breakfast, pie (and sometimes even pie for breakfast), corgis and cute things.

31 Days of Cookies: Peanut-Chocolate Chunk Cookies

On the 21st day of cookies we celebrate a favorite flavor combo. Roger Mooking’s peanut butter cookies are filled with giant chocolate chip chunks and salty roasted peanuts, so they’ve got that perfect salty-sweet, chewy-soft balance. Dust them with either cocoa powder or confectioners’ sugar (or half and half) to give them a festive snowy finish.

Click here for the Peanut-Chocolate Chunk Cookies recipe.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

31 Days of Cookies: Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Celebrate the 20th day of cookies with Kelsey Nixon’s soft-and-chewy take on a classic oatmeal raisin. She pulses the raisins in a food processor along with all the other ingredients, creating uniform texture and the sort of swirl you might find in a cinnamon-raisin bagel.

Click here for the Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies recipe.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

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