Chocolate Chip Cookie Fluffernutter Bars

Posted on: Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Last Saturday, Union Square celebrated the 99-year old invention of Marshmallow Fluff with its annual What the Fluff? Festival, a day filled with creative culinary twists on the sugary spread along with music and quirky games. On a sugar high from the fun, I decided to incorporate the local favorite into my own confection.
Fluffernutter sandwiches were a go-to snack growing up. Our mom would slather creamy peanut butter and Fluff onto soft slices of bread for Kara, James and me on our way to whatever practice for whatever sport we were playing at the time. It was nearly impossible to enjoy the snack without getting the sticky marshmallow spread all over our mouths and fingers.
For a sweet treat, I decided to spread these nostalgic layers in between chocolate chip cookie dough with a dusting of graham cracker crumbs on top. When baked, the layers transformed into a gooey, salty, sweet, medley. You got everything covered in this bars.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Fluffernutter Bars

Cookie Dough (Twin Tastes recipe HERE - or your favorite store bought brand)
17.5 oz Dark Chocolate Bars (I used 5, 3.5 oz. Ritters bars)
1 1/2 c Marshmallow Fluff
3/4 c Graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 c Creamy, sweetened peanut butter (I used Skippy Natural with Honey Creamy)
Flaked sea salt, for sprinkling
9 x 9 baking pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Press half of the cookie dough batter into the bottom of the 9x9 baking pan. Place the remaining cookie dough in the fridge to firm. Next, press the dark chocolate bars into the dough, covering the entire surface. 

Next is the stickiest part: Do the best you can to cover the chocolate with an even layer of Fluff. I found the Fluff started to stick to everything (including my fingers!) so I sprayed a spatula with cooking spray to spread out dollops of Fluff. Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs generously over the peanut butter. With a spreading knife, spread the peanut butter evenly over the chocolate.

Take the chilled cookie dough out of the refrigerator and roll it out on a floured surface, as close to a 9x9 square shape as you can (doesn’t have to be perfect!). Place the large section of the dough to place over the Fluff as gently as you can. If it breaks, no worries at all. These step can be in multiple cookie dough pieces. Pat the dough into place, sprinkle the surface with flaked sea salt, and you’re ready to go!

Bake for 25-27 minutes until the top is golden brown. There will be bubbles of Fluff popping through the dough while cooking which is totally fine. Allow the bars to cool for at least two hours on a wire rack. If you are tight on time, I recommend placing the pan in the refrigerator for at least an hour. If the bars aren’t completely cooled, you will be left with a mess! Cut into squares and enjoy! Makes 16-20 bars (depending how big you want them).

Ready for Fall

Posted on: Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The first day of Fall means we're gearing up for shorter days, cooler nights, crazy colorful foliage, cozy sweaters, and a whole new palette of comforting dishes. We collected a few of our past recipes and highlighted our favorites based on the “country mouse” Kara and the “city mouse” Marni. We hope these recipes will get you into the spirit!
Marni: My palette tends to go towards iconic fall flavors of cinnamon, sweet apples, and touches of savory. Surrounded by unassuming craft cocktail bars in Central Square, I enjoy dabbling in the seasonal concoctions and recreating my own. While most might pair a cocktail with cheese or crackers, I sometimes find myself with a plate of Red Apple Farm’s apple cider donuts instead. 

If apple cider donuts don’t suffice, I often add funky flares to classic savory dishes. Strolling through the city, I am often greeted by wafting aromas from neighboring pizza spots and markets which inspired my next favorite. 

Kara: I’m attracted to dishes inspired by the warm, rich colors of the season. While I do love the subdued hues of fallen leaves, I like the pops of vibrant greens, funny gourds, and punchy peppers. I enjoy sweets but love the added tang- whether from a pop of citrus, or jolt of ginger, all melding in a warm cauldron. 

The soup and salad combination is a match made, especially in autumn. To my seasonal salad, toss together a bunch of textures and flavors with pops of fresh-picked treasures from my local farmer’s market.

While Marni loves apple cider donuts, I’m a Candy Corn pumpkin fanatic. However, we both agree that our absolute favorite Twin Tastes sweet incorporates another fall (or anytime) favorite, Ryan & Wood’s Folly Cove Rum.

Fried Green Cherry Tomatoes

Posted on: Tuesday, September 6, 2016

This past weekend as we celebrated the end of summer, I decided it was also time to celebrate my finicky tomato plant’s lack of red tomatoes. With patience running low, I decided to convert the unripe, green orbs into an impromptu appetizer.
While I love to use sweet, ripe, red tomatoes in simple salads and pasta sauces, the tart, firmer green ones offer a pleasant experience when grilled or fried. I gathered a dozen of the green rolly pollies onto my cutting board and sliced them in half. For the batter, I was inspired by our Cornmeal Crusted Fried Pickles, and added a slight kick with the addition of hot sauce.
Fried Green Cherry Tomatoes

Vegetable oil for frying
1 dozen green cherry tomatoes
1 c all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1 t hot sauce (Tabasco)
1 T milk
1/2 c cornmeal
1/4 c breadcrumbs
1/2 t chili powder
Generous salt and pepper throughout

In a medium saucepan, heat 2-inches of vegetable oil on medium-high to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Slice the cherry tomatoes crosswise, and arrange them on a paper towel to dry out slightly. Next, prepare three dredging bowls: the first with flour, the second with beaten eggs, milk and hot sauce, and the third with cornmeal, breadcrumbs, chili powder and salt and pepper.
Dredge each tomato in the flour, then the beaten egg, and then the cornmeal coating, making sure the tomatoes are fully covered. Set aside each tomato slice on a plate. 

In batches, carefully place the coated tomatoes into the hot oil and fry for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. With a slotted spoon, remove the fried tomatoes to a paper-towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Serve immediately, Makes 24 fried green cherry tomatoes.

Can’t stop won’t stop celebrating tomatoes!

BAT Biscuit Sliders

Posted on: Thursday, August 18, 2016

It’s tomato time, everyone! I just returned from a windy drive down country back roads to Lapsley Orchard where I was instantly greeted by bucketfuls of the colorful gems. Green, heirloom, small, large, I picked up the biggest one I could find and was overcome by the subtly sweet aroma. I excitedly took home a couple dozen.
While I could easily enjoy the fruits with a light sprinkling of sea salt, I also enjoy creating new recipes each summer to showcase the beauties. Last year, it was an Heirloom Tomato Open Faced Sandwich with Feta Herb Butter, the year before, a Savory Tomato Crisp and the year before that, a Tomato Pie. This year, I assembled a BAT ('A' for arugula instead of lettuce) with a Southern twist. I baked homemade buttery biscuit sliders and layered tomatoes, spicy arugula, crispy bacon and a simple basil mayonnaise. I wrapped each slider in parchment to enjoy lakeside with some sweet tea.
BAT Biscuit Sliders

Buttermilk Biscuits (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 T granulated sugar
1 T baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
1 t salt, plus more for sprinkling
9 T chilled unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
2 T unsalted butter, melted
3/4 c buttermilk

2/3 c c mayonnaise
1/4 c chopped fresh basil
2 c baby arugula (or any fresh green you prefer)
12 slabs of crispy cooked bacon, cut in half
3-4 vine ripened tomatoes, sliced in thick rounds
Salt and pepper throughout

Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the chilled butter and with a wooden spoon, gently mix until a large, messy lump is formed. Drizzle in the buttermilk and gently incorporate with the spoon. 

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and gently form into a more uniform shape. Gently pat down until the mixture is 3/4-inch thick. Using a small circle cutter (I used the rim of a small mason jar), press down into the dough all the way through to create a round and gently transfer the piece to a lined baking sheet. While this recipe usually forms larger biscuits, by using a small cutter, this recipe will form 12 biscuits.

Before baking, brush each mound with a little melted butter and a sprinkling of salt. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown and fluffed up, about 14 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, fresh basil, salt and pepper and set aside.
Once the biscuits cool slightly, begin assembling the BLTs. First, carefully slice each biscuit in half, then slather a layer of the basil mayo on each bottom half, top with two pieces of crispy bacon, a small handful of arugula, 2-3 tomato slices, and cover with the top halves.

Hmmm what to do with the remaining tomatoes...

Frozen Watermelon Rosé

Posted on: Tuesday, August 9, 2016

My method for dealing with the heat wave is slightly different than Kara’s, in the form of an icy cocktail with just three ingredients. Influenced by the current “frosé” trend, I blended crisp rosé, tropical watermelon and zingy lime. I popped the fuchsia mix into the freezer to firm up. Next, I spooned heaping mounds of the refresher into fun cocktail glasses. Whether beachside, poolside, or AC-side, the icy blend of rosé and watermelon will certainly brighten your table and cool you off.
Frozen Watermelon Rosé
1 bottle rosé
4 cup diced watermelon
Juice of 2 limes

Add the watermelon cubes, rosé, and lime juice into a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour mixture into a shallow, 13 x 9 baking dish and place in the freezer for at least 3 hours until set slightly. There will be some liquid remaining, that’s okay. Use a spoon to scrape up the frozen mixture and pour it into glasses. Serves 4.

If you’d prefer a bit more sweetness, add a few spoonfuls of our Minty Simple Syrup. Recipe here:

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