Chinese 5 Spice Shortbread Cookie with Candied Orange

Another attempt to use up that dang jar of Chinese 5 Spice

chinese 5 spice shortbread cookies  ~

You’ll Need:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, separated
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
zest of two mandarin oranges (about 2 teaspoons)
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Powdered sugar for rolling out the dough
Muscavado sugar for sprinkling on the cookies
roughly 24 slices of candied mandarin oranges (see recipe below)

chinese 5 spice shortbread cookies  ~

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, cream the butter for about 2-3 minutes. Add the sugar and continue creaming another 3-4 minutes. Mix in the egg yolk (reserve the white), five-spice, vanilla, and zest until thoroughly combined. Scrape down the sides as needed while mixing.

Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. With the mixer on low speed, mix the flour into the butter mixture. Scrape down the sides occasionally and mix just until the dough comes together and the flour is incorporated.

Press the dough into a disk and wrap with plastic. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Heat the oven to 325°F and line two baking sheets with parchment.

Dust the work surface with powdered sugar and lay the disk of dough on top. Sprinkle more powdered sugar on top and rub some into the rolling pin. Roll the dough out to about 1/4″ thick. Cut the dough into circles.

Transfer all the cookies to the baking sheets and place them about an inch apart. Brush the surface of the cookies with a thin layer of egg white and place one candied orange in the middle of each cookie.

Bake one sheet of cookies at a time for 18-20 minutes, until the edges start turning golden. Remove from oven and allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining sheets of cookies.

Eat immediately or store between wax paper in an airtight container.

For the candied oranges:
Slice 3 to 4 mandarian oranges about 1/8 in thick. Bring 3/4 cup water and 1 cup white sugar to a boil. Add oranges and reduce to medium. Let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring to ensure all the oranges are submerged. Take off heat and let stand 10 minutes in the hot liquid before removing to a wire rack over a rimmed cookie sheet to cool completely.

Kale Caesar Salad~Quick Lunch Idea

I did the thing I am not supposed to do. I went to the grocery store without a list. I know, but this came out of it! It is also a good way to use up some hard boiled eggs after Easter 😉 This is a really quick lunch and the dressing is just creamy enough to be incredibly satisfying but this salad still feels healthy!

kale casear salad

You’ll Need:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 freshly grated parmesan
juice of one lemon
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
pinch of salt
generous twists of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 bunch kale, thinly sliced
2 chopped hard boiled eggs
1/3 small red or white onion, thinly sliced
croutons, optional

Whisk together first 7 ingredients (thru black pepper) in the bottom of a large bowl. Toss kale, eggs and red onion in bowl to completely coat in dressing. Serve with croutons, if desired.

Swiss and Quick Onion Jam on Rye

Needing a way to make use of a loaf of rye bread, I came across this from Smitten Kitchen. This   is an amazing, gooey grilled cheese sandwich. If you like rye, you need to get on this.

swiss and rye1

You’ll Need:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced, yields about 2 cups
2 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp table salt
1 tbsp balsamic
plenty of freshly ground black pepper

4 sliced rye bread
butter, softened
2/3 cups grated Swiss cheese

Heat the oil and butter over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add in the brown sugar and lower the heat to medium low. Continue to cook until the onions become incredibly soft and cooked down, between 10 and 15 minutes. Add in the vinegar and scrape the bottom to remove those tasty bits. Continue to cook for another 2 minutes and season with black pepper. Let cool to lukewarm.

Butter the outside of each slice of butter. Place a few tablespoons of swiss cheese, top with two tablespoons of the onion jam and top with a few more tablespoons of swiss cheese. Top with another slice of bread.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat and place the sandwiches in the pan. Cook about 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown and the cheese melts.