Keely’s Kitchen: Cookies, Croissants, and Bruschetta!

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Midnight Rye Cookies – The Cookie Book Cookbook

These midnight rye cookies offer a delicious blend of dark chocolate, tart cherry, bitter bourbon, and rye and are a decadent and satisfying dessert. Before preparing the dough, read the recipe ahead of time to complete the given preparation steps. Once the dough is made, form the cookie dough into small-sized balls on a tray. They are quite rich, so small, bite (or two) sized cookies are perfect. When baking the cookies, I kept one batch in the oven longer than the other and found that the cookies that were baked less turned out better. The middle was chewier, but the chocolate chunks still melted, and the outside was flaky. If you like crispier cookies, then you can make a crunchy type of cookie by baking them for 2 minutes longer than the recipe states and flattening the cookie dough balls before putting them into the oven. The dough makes a lot of cookies, and considering how rich they are, I suggest saving half of the made dough by freezing it for another time. Overall, I would definitely make these cookies again, as all consumers were huge fans. They are my mom‘s new favorite cookie and are a great fancy but easy dessert to serve for any occasion.

Croissants and chocolate croissants – Recipe here

Croissants may be one of the most liked pastries, but baking them from home is no small task. While you will definitely get a tasty reward at the end, be prepared to spend three days making these croissants. Read over the recipe at least once carefully to ensure a solid understanding of each step and to make sure that you have all ingredients and equipment required (watch linked videos beforehand as well). When rolling out the dough, make sure you are careful to not make holes for the butter to seep out of. Temperature and consistency are both very important when making croissants. The butter should be cold enough so it doesn’t melt, and adding water or flour to the dough is essential for preventing a dry or sticky consistency. Treat the dough how the recipe states throughout each step of the process, paying attention to the amount of pressure it says to handle it with. I definitely got a great arm workout after rolling the many layers of dough. The layers should be quite thin after the rolling process. It is a very rich and buttery pastry, so the thinner the layers, the more flaky the finished croissant will be (so it doesn’t taste like you are biting into butter). Make sure you lightly coat—not douse—the croissants in egg wash when you get to the proofing process as this can create a pool of egg at the bottom of the croissants. If you decide to make chocolate croissants, make sure the chocolate is far in the middle so it doesn’t spill out while it is baking. You can be creative with how you use your toppings and fillings, but don’t overfill the croissants, and remember how rich the flavor of the croissant is on its own.

Bruschetta with strawberries, balsamic, and bacon – Recipe here

These balsamic, berry, and bacon-topped bruschetta are an easy, quick and flavorful appetizer to make for any season. The beautiful thing about bruschetta is that you can make them and adjust any recipe to fit your desired flavor profile using the unique ingredients and bread you choose. For this recipe, I used fresh strawberries, balsamic vinaigrette, and applewood smoked bacon. When preparing the bacon, cook it until it is crispy to offer a crumble on top of the bruschetta. The flavors came together really nicely; the applewood smoked bacon and balsamic were prominent, leading flavors that went well with the light, fresh taste of the cream base, sweet strawberries, and fresh basil. Depending on how rich you prefer this appetizer to be, adjust the ratio of cream base to toppings; add more bacon and balsamic if you want it rich, or use more strawberries and basil for a fresher taste. You will be happy to indulge in such a delicious blend of savory, smokey, and sweet after making this recipe of bruschetta!

Skillet cookie – Recipe here

Skillet cookies are the ultimate guilty pleasure that I guarantee will satisfy your sweet tooth. The baking process for skillet cookies is simple and doesn’t require any additional skill from making regular chocolate chip cookies. The impressive size and taste, however, make this treat perfect for a special occasion. The recipe makes a huge amount of dough, so it takes some extra effort to mix all ingredients, but it is very simple to follow and takes only a few minutes to complete. A great way to cut down on the timing and consecutive steps of the process is to make the dough in advance and freeze it before baking and serving the skillet cookie. Give a generous layer of butter on the bottom of the pan before packing the dough into it. I suggest using a small rolling pin to evenly spread the dough along the bottom. The beautiful thing about skillet cookies is that you can be creative with the toppings you put on them; from a s’mores cookie to an ice cream sundae topped cookie, a skillet cookie can be the base for any extravagant treat.