Sunday, January 24, 2016

Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches

More sweets. I know. What is it about New Year's Resolutions... they never really last, do they?

So I made an agreement with myself: if I make the sweet myself, it's way better than buying pre-packaged, processed nonsense, right? Right.

I remember my Dad used to love Little Debbie oatmeal cookie sandwiches. And since I thought my dad was just the coolest, I loved them too.

The little sandwiches were a road trip staple. We'd always hit a corner store for a "munchie stop" and load up on things to snack on during the trip. I tried to recreate them the best I could here, with a little bit of a crunch on top.

Honestly, crunchy cookies are a bit more my style. However, I got a good balance of crunchy crust, and gooey middle in the oatmeal cookie itself. The filling is marshmallow creme frosting, because it best resembles that sugary sweetness in the middle.

I honestly don't do much baking, guys. This is kind of a fluke. I made them because I had a memory in my mind and needed to recreate the flavor. I promise I'll be making more savory than sweet as the blog goes on...

Whether you're embarking on a road trip or just need a sweet little Resolution breaker... these cookies will serve you well.

Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice blend
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats

For the filling
1 stick butter, softened
1 jar marshmallow creme
2 cups confectioner's sugar

-In a stand or hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, molasses, syrup, and vanilla.

-In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Slowly add the dry to the wet, keeping the mixer on low.

-Chill the dough for two hours, or overnight.

-Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. On a parchment lined (or silpat-lined) cookie sheet, drop the dough by the rounded tablespoonful and flatten into a thick disk.

-Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are just beginning to brown. Let rest on pan for five minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Moscow Mule Cupcakes - Happy Hump Day


In my first post of Forking Up, I made a savory dish

Now, it's mid-week, and I need a drink.

Confession: I like booze. Other confession: I like sweets. Final confession: my New Year's Resolution was to cut down on both of these things.


But what better way to fracture* a New Year's Resolution than with a kick-ass cupcake? Moscow Mules are one of my favorites--even if ordering one at the bar requires me to hand over my ID so they can get those pretty copper cups back.

Does anyone else have drunken kleptomania, or is it just me? Thankfully mine is restricted to bar glass, but still...

A Moscow mule is a simple drink: ginger beer, vodka, lime, and sometimes a tiny dash of mint. In cupcake form, it takes the flavors of a punch of ginger, with a fluffy lime frosting. The results are unique and delicious and perfect for a cupcake.

Trust me, it's worth breaking resolutions for.

*I say fracture, not break, because I just said "less" not "any" and this is one tiny tiny batch of boozy cupcakes... right?

Moscow Mule Cupcake
(I referenced this recipe from Wonky Wonderful for alcohol ratio)

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp powdered ginger
  • 1 tsp apple pie spice blend (cinnamon + cardamom + ginger)
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla (bourbon vanilla is preferred)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp vodka (I used Absolut Orient Apple)
  • 1/2 cup crystalized ginger, chopped

Lime Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 4+ cups powdered/confectioner's sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and prepare the cupcake tin (this recipe required me to have one full 12-cupcake tin and one 6-cupcake tin) by lining or greasing the wells.
  2. Whisk together the flour, salt, powdered ginger, apple pie spice, and baking powder.
  3. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or using your own sheer strength) cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the molasses.
  4. Add the eggs one by one, then the yogurt, vanilla, and vodka, mixing until each is incorporated.
  5. In thirds, add the flour mixture and mix until smooth.
  6. Fill cupcake wells 2/3rds full. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
  7. While cupcakes are baking, prepare the frosting: In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment (or, again, elbow grease!) whip the butter. Add the zest.
  8. Begin adding the confectioners sugar. When the frosting is nearly too thick to mix, slowly add the lime juice. Continue adding lime juice and sugar until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  9. Fill a frosting bag with the frosting, fitted with the tip of your choice. Add frosting in a swirl motion to cooled cupcakes. Serve with a mint leaf.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Welcome to Forking Up - Have Some Forking Poutine


Welcome, to the end of my quarter life crisis. If you're here, for the first post, it's probably because you know of my other blog, Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine. As I became more and move involved in blogging, I realized that this name had a shelf life, and as I am now much closer to 30 than 20, I knew a change needed to happen soon. Not only that, but it was pretty fucking* hard to remember.

I even got new hair!

Plus, it very much was a food blog, and I found myself wanting to do a little more than that. And thus, Forking Up was born. A place where I can do what I want, for as long as I want, with food writing and beyond.

So here we are, my new blog. I won't be abandoning QLCC (I have a solid following there, and I know everyone won't transfer over here overnight), but I will be focusing my efforts here a bit more. This blog starts with my real name (Ashley) and photography that's a bit better than when I first started food blogging.

Early recipe, what even is this poop soup?

The concept is the same: If I can do it, you can do it. I'm a Millennial with big dreams** and a tiny budget. I taught myself how to cook. If you want easy, budget-friendly recipes, you've come to the right place.

And now, here's some fucking poutine. The dish that sounds vulgar but tastes amazing. I thought it was a fitting start to a new blog. Sure, a cake or cookies would be more Pinterest-able and start me off on a more popular foot, but I'm not huge on baking. I'm more of a cooking kinda gal.

Poutine with Mushroom Gravy

For the Fries:
  • 3 large Russet potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp herbs de Provance

For the Gravy:
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • salt and pepper, to taste

The Rest
  • 1 cup cheese curds (if you can't find them, use mozzarella or a mild cheddar cut into bits)
  • 1 green onion, sliced

-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

-Let the potato wedges soak in a water bath for 30 minutes to one hour. This will help ensure they are crispy by drawing out some of the starches. Pat dry, and toss with the olive oil, salt, and herbs.

-Place the wedges in a single layer on a cookie sheet that's been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Cook for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through. For the last five minutes, turn the oven up to 400 for extra crispiness.

-While the fries are cooking, make the gravy. Begin by warming the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, and cook until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.

-Add the wine and cook until reduced by half. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Add the herbs.

-Create a paste with the butter and flour, and stir into the gravy. Let simmer until thick.

-To assemble the poutine: pour the gravy over the wedges, and top with the cheese curds and green onion slices. Serve hot, once the cheese curds have melted slightly.

Naked poutine. Scandalous.

*PS. I'm going to let myself swear here. I know that opens myself up to criticism from people who don't like swears, but I'm deciding not to care. I swear on occasion.

**As of next year, I''ll be a published author. I CAN'T EVEN BELIEVE IT!!!