Category Archives: Snacks

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

New York City is not the place to move if you’re a salsa snob.

I should know. I’ve lived here almost nine years and have yet to find a Mexican restaurant whose salsa is not obviously from a jar. The worst experiences have been one that was mostly ketchup and Tabasco, and another that contained basil.*

*Note to Mexican restaurants everywhere: salsa and marinara are not interchangeable.

Luckily for me, I love to cook, so I have not been doomed to only eat subpar salsa for my tenure in NYC. I’ve learned to make several different varieties–my red Restaurant-Style Salsa is the favorite among my friends. I could definitely make that and some tostadas for Cinco de Mayo and have a perfectly good dinner. But lately, I’ve been seeing gorgeous green tomatillos at my favorite vegetable market, and they are just begging to be made into salsa. Being a total salsa fiend, I am happy to oblige.

This Roasted Tomatillo Salsa is my favorite salsa ever. It’s a little sour from the tomatillos (but not overly so) with pops of freshness from the cilantro and lime, and has a rich, smooth texture. Thick and chunky salsa is not my style.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa takes slightly more work than the Restaurant-Style Salsa, but it’s still a breeze. Most of the 35 minute prep time is just waiting for everything to roast and cool, so it really is a snap.

  Slice some fresh tomatillos in half and place them on a baking sheet with half an onion, two fresh jalapeños, and a couple of cloves of unpeeled fresh garlic. Drizzle everything with olive oil and roast it in a 425F oven for about twenty minutes. Let the vegetables cool for ten minutes, squeeze the soft garlic from its peels, and blitz everything in a food processor (or high-powered blender) with some fresh cilantro, lime juice, and salt. That’s it! This salsa is hardly any work at all, and is infinitely better than any prepared salsa you can imagine.

  Serve Roasted Tomatillo Salsa with nachos, quesadillas, tacos, tostadas, or tortilla chips. Use it as the base for an amazing chicken soup! Pour it over chicken enchiladas before they go in the oven. Spoon it over eggs scrambled with tortillas and cheese and have migas for breakfast <– did that yesterday. Highly recommend.

Any way you serve it, this Roasted Tomatillo Salsa will be a new favorite.

 Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
makes about 2 cups

1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatillos,* husked and rinsed
1-2 fresh jalapeño peppers, stems removed
1/2 medium white onion, peeled
2 cloves garlic, not peeled
olive oil, for drizzling
1/3-1/2 cup fresh cilantro, washed
juice of 1 lime
1/2-3/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt

Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Slice tomatillos in half. Slice jalapeños in half, and seed if desired. Place on baking sheet along with onion and garlic. Drizzle all vegetables with olive oil. Roast for 15-20 minutes, until starting to brown. Let cool ten minutes.

Squeeze garlic out of its skins. Place roasted vegetables in the bowl of a food processor or high-powered blender. Add cilantro, lime, and salt. Purée until smooth.

Serve immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to five days.

Note:

Tomatillos and green tomatoes are not interchangeable.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Friday Favorites

I love anniversaries. Yes, I’m one of those people. If something happened once and warrants commemorating for any reason, I’m the one planning the party.

April 22nd is a big day for me. Today is my parents’ 33rd wedding anniversary, and I have another anniversary going on, too. It’s Earth Day. Heck, it’s my dog’s half-birthday 😜

All of that is great, but I’m writing today because this little blog began exactly six months ago!

Yes, I know six months does not technically constitute an anniversary, but for me, it means a lot. I talked about starting a food blog for six years before actually clicking “Publish.” Since October 22, 2015, I’ve posted 75 recipes. SEVENTY FIVE. Just…how?

I so appreciate all of you who have taken the time to read my posts, leave comments, follow me on social media, and make the recipes! Every time someone tells me they made something from my blog and enjoyed it, it brings me immeasurable joy. The idea that anyone would ever make and like a recipe that I created blows my mind. So, thank you.

And now that I’m done being sappy, let’s celebrate! Here are six of my favorite recipes from the archives to bring you into Spring! 

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies are crunchy, buttery little cookies with all the flavors of a great chocolate chip cookie. They are super simple to make, and absolutely perfect with coffee or tea. I highly recommend using them for ice cream sandwiches 😊 

Spring is here, and that means we have four months of fantastic seasonal fruit ahead of us. More importantly, it means there will be pie! Make sure to use my Cream Cheese Pie Dough–it couldn’t be easier, and it makes the flakiest crust I’ve ever had. 

My grandmother’s Buttermilk Biscuits are one of my best memories of my childhood. Her recipe went with her when she passed many years ago, but I know she’d love mine. These biscuits are the perfect easy breakfast, and they are wonderful with a bowl of soup at dinner. 

It’s the beginning of picnic season, so you’ll need food that’s easy to make, transport, and share with your friends and family. My favorite thing to bring to an outdoor get-together? My Restaurant-Style Salsa! It takes just five minutes to whip up, and it puts prepared salsas to shame. 

And what’s warm weather without ice cream? No-Churn Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream doesn’t require an ice cream maker, and is the creamiest, dreamiest ice cream I’ve made so far! And those little bits of edible cookie dough are everything. 

Springtime just demands carrot cake. But taking the time to make a whole layer cake when the weather is just begging for you to go outside is torture! Save yourself some time and make these Carrot Cake Blondies! They’re every bit as good as traditional carrot cake, and half the work!

Have you made any of these recipes? Let me know in the comments section below, or on Instagram @e2bakesbrooklyn!

Enjoy your weekend 😊

Ultimate Chocolate-Peanut Butter Snack Mix

 I love to bake. I mean, I *really* love it. It’s my favorite thing in the world to do, no questions asked. Yes, really. What can I say? I’m no daredevil.

But some days, the idea of turning on the oven or washing four sheet pans is just too much to bear. I work a lot both in and out of my kitchen, and as much as I love to bake, sometimes I just need a break. But that doesn’t mean I don’t need dessert. Oh, no. I always need dessert. And this week, I needed chocolate and peanut butter. They say necessity is the mother of invention, and today, my necessity is bringing you the Ultimate Chocolate-Peanut Butter Snack Mix! 

You guys, this recipe is going to be your new favorite thing. Crispy chocolate-peanut butter cereal and miniature peanut butter cups are coated in melted chocolate and peanut butter, tossed with confectioner’s sugar, and dotted with Reese’s Pieces. If you’re keeping count, that’s three hits of chocolate and four of peanut butter! I wasn’t kidding around when I said this stuff was “ultimate.”

Plus, it’s no-bake. In fact, the only kitchen appliance you’ll need is a microwave (or one burner on your stove) for melting together chocolate chips, creamy peanut butter, and butter. Aside from that, this recipe is just stirring and shaking. 

Pour the melted chocolate-peanut butter mixture over Reese’s Puffs cereal, and fold it all together. 

Stir in some miniature peanut butter cups. 

Divide that magical mixture into two gallon size ziptop bags, add in some confectioner’s sugar, and shake the heck out of it. The coated cereal and miniature peanut butter cups will go from being gooey to being finger food. There will be plenty of both individually coated pieces and clumps (particularly around the peanut butter cups)–a texture lover’s dream. And, as if it could get any better, Reese’s Pieces are stirred into everything. 

Ultimate Chocolate-Peanut Butter Snack Mix is everything you could want in a sweet snack. It’s crunchy, creamy, sweet, a little salty, and so ridiculously easy. If you’re in need of a fun snack this weekend, this is the one. And if you have kids at home, this is a great way to get them involved in the kitchen–there’s no worrying about them being around a hot oven, and they’ll love shaking the cereal and confectioner’s sugar together! And since the recipe takes less than half an hour start to finish, there’s immediate satisfaction.

So, take thirty minutes to make this snack mix this weekend, and then take the rest of the day off. You’ve earned it. 

 Ultimate Chocolate-Peanut Butter Snack Mix
makes about 12 cups

1 13-ounce box Reese’s Puffs cereal (about 9 cups)
1 1/2 cups semisweet or milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (not natural-style)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
8-ounces miniature peanut butter cups
3 cups confectioner’s sugar, divided
1 cup Reese’s Pieces candy

Place Reese’s Puffs in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips, creamy peanut butter, and butter. Microwave on high* in 30 second increments, until melted and smooth. Pour mixture over cereal and use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold to combine. Add miniature peanut butter cups to cereal mixture and fold in.

Divide cereal-peanut butter cup mixture into two gallon size ziptop bags. Add 1 1/2 cups of confectioner’s sugar to each. Seal bags and shake until all cereal is coated. Some pieces may clump.

Pour coated mixture into a clean large mixing bowl. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold in Reese’s Pieces. Enjoy!

Snack mix will keep covered at room temperature for up to a week.

Note:

If you do not have or do not want to use a microwave, you may melt chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in a double boiler, stirring until smooth. Proceed with recipe as written.

Peanut Butter Granola

 It must just be leftovers week here on E2 Bakes Brooklyn.

Yesterday, I posted a baked french toast recipe that came to be because a friend gave me two loaves of day-old artisan bread. Today, I’m bringing you my new favorite granola recipe, all because an out-of-town friend gave me most of a jar of peanut butter that she had as a snack in her hotel room, and another gave me a one-pound bag of honey-roasted peanuts after a party I catered with him. My friends just like to give me food, apparently. And I am happy to take anything they give me and try to make it into something delicious. Today, I succeeded. 

This Peanut Butter Granola is ridiculously good. It’s almost like having peanut butter cookies for breakfast! Except that it’s high in protein and totally whole grain, so it’s actually good for you! And it gets better: this recipe takes 90 minutes from the time you turn on the oven to when you put the cooled granola in an airtight container. On top of all that, it’s simple as can be 😊

Just whisk together equal parts peanut butter, maple syrup, and olive oil, along with some vanilla. This base will keep everything crispy, sweet, and peanut buttery (of course). Next comes a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar. While I would have loved to keep this recipe refined sugar-free, this small amount helps the finished product get extra crunchy. If you don’t want to use brown sugar, you may substitute coconut or Demerara sugars. Add in just a touch of cinnamon and some salt. Neither will have a prominent flavor here–they just allow the peanut butter to shine. Without them, our granola could be overly sweet and a little bland.

How sad is the idea of bland peanut butter anything?! 😭

Once the liquid ingredients are ready to go, it’s time to fold in the oats and honey-roasted peanuts. They are used here in an almost 50/50 ratio. There are slightly more oats, but rest assured that there are plenty of peanuts in every crunchy bite! If that amount of chopped nuts sounds like too much for your taste, feel free to replace some of them with an equal volume of oats. 

 
   
After everything is mixed together, spread the granola on a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet. Bake the granola for 40-45 minutes at 300F, stirring every fifteen minutes. By the time it’s done cooking, your house will smell unbelievable! Let the granola cool in the pan on a cooling rack before transferring it to an airtight container for up to three weeks.

I like to eat this granola with Greek yogurt and fruit, but it’s also great with milk, or just by itself as an afternoon snack. How good would a handful be with some chocolate chips?! Oooh, or peanut butter chips! However you choose to enjoy it, you’ll love this Peanut Butter Granola!

  
Looking for more granola? Check out my easy Maple Pecan Granola!

Peanut Butter Granola
makes about 4.5 cups

1/4 cup natural or creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar*, packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats*
2 cups honey roasted peanuts*, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 300F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together peanut butter, maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold the oats and chopped peanuts into the mixture.

Once everything is coated in the peanut butter mixture, spread it in an even layer on the prepared pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, stirring every fifteen minutes. Cool granola in the pan on a rack. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three weeks.

Notes:

1. Coconut or Demerara sugars may be substituted.
2. Use certified gluten-free oats for gluten-free granola.
3. If this is too many peanuts for you, replace 1/2 cup of them with an equal volume of old-fashioned oats.

Salted Grapefruit Scones

Winter food can get dull. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good pot pie or stew, and lord knows I could eat my weight in mashed potatoes, but after a while, I just want to eat fresh produce that isn’t a) a root vegetable, or b) kale. I love them both, but being at least three months away from really great berries and five away from a tomato that is good enough to be eaten like an apple has got me in a winter produce funk.

This happens every year though, until that wonderful, shining moment when I remember winter citrus. It’s a welcome taste of sunshine in the midst of all the wind and snow. Meyer lemons and key limes and clementines are all in season, waiting to be made into cakes and pies, or even thrown into salads! But the thing that always gets me is the grapefruit. Being from Texas, I prefer Ruby Red, but those are hard to come by in New York City. White and pink are delicious and all, but Ruby Red is just a cut above. It’s a little sweeter than other varieties, but still bitter enough to taste like grapefruit. Imagine my surprise when, after years of not seeing one Ruby Red in New York, I saw a whole box at my local green grocer. And they were on sale! Without a second thought, I grabbed two, handed over some change and ran home to make these scones.

I love a good scone. Soft in the middle with crunchy edges, not too sweet, great with a huge cup of coffee or tea. But good scones are hard to come by at coffee shops–they can be dry and cakey throughout, with very little depth of flavor. They’re simply not worth the cash or the calories, as far as I’m concerned. But these scones? They’re soft and buttery, sweetened with just a bit of honey and sugar, dotted with juicy pieces of fresh grapefruit, and topped with sea salt both for crunch and because sea salt and grapefruit are divine together. It may sound a little odd, but the salt makes the sweetness of the grapefruit shine. It’s so, so good.

These scones are quick and easy to whip up, and take less than an hour start-to-finish. Mix together some half-and-half and honey, and put it in the fridge to chill while you prepare the other ingredients. Use your fingers to rub the zest of one grapefruit into two tablespoons of granulated sugar until it’s well-combined and a little pasty (it’s better than it sounds). Peel that zested grapefruit and segment it, trying to avoid as much of the pith, membrane, and seeds as possible. This will keep the grapefruit from making the scones too bitter. Don’t worry too much about having perfect segments–they’ll break apart anyway when they’re mixed into the dough.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and the zest-sugar mixture. This may look a little clumpy because of the oils in the zest, but it’ll all even out with the other ingredients. Use a pastry blender or two forks to cut in one stick of cold butter until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Then use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold in the half-and-half mixture and the segmented grapefruit. The dough will be pretty wet, but should still have some body to it.

  Turn the dough out onto a very well-floured surface. Don’t skimp on the flour. If you do, you’ll have dough stuck to everything and probably start cursing my name, and that’s no good when there are awesome scones to be had! Flour your hands and pat the dough into a 1-inch thick disc. Use a sharp knife or bench scraper (my tool of choice) to cut the disc into eight wedges. Transfer the wedges to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 425F for 18-20 minutes, until cooked-through and light golden. Then stir up a glaze with some confectioner’s sugar and the juice of a second grapefruit, drizzle it over the scones, and sprinkle with crunchy coarse sea salt! All you need is a hot cup of coffee or tea and some good company 😊

Break out of the heavy winter food rut with these Salted Grapefruit Scones! Sweet and salty, soft and buttery, they’re a wonderful way to start these cold, snowy days.

 Salted Grapefruit Scones
makes 8 scones

3/4 cup half-and-half + more for brushing, very cold
2 tablespoons honey
2 medium Ruby Red grapefruits**, divided
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into pieces
3/4-1 cup confectioner’s sugar
coarse sea salt*, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set a cooling rack over a piece of wax paper. Set aside.

Whisk together half-and-half and honey, and place it in the refrigerator to stay cold.

Zest one grapefruit. In a small bowl, rub together the zest and the granulated sugar. Set aside.

Peel the zested grapefruit, and segment it, removing as much of the pith and membranes as possible, as well as all of the seeds. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and zest-sugar mixture. Use a pastry blender or two forks to cut the butter into the flour mixture until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Add in the half-and-half mixture and grapefruit segments and use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to incorporate them into a wet dough, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too sticky to handle, add up to 2 tablespoons more flour.

Turn the dough out onto a very well floured surface and use floured hands to pat it into a 1-inch thick disc. Flour a sharp knife (not serrated) or bench scraper and use it to cut the dough into eight wedges. Remove wedges to prepared pan, and brush the tops with additional half-and-half. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until light golden. Let scones cool on the pan for five minutes before removing to the prepared rack.

Make the glaze. Slice the second grapefruit in half. Seed one half of the grapefruit and squeeze the juice into a small bowl. Pour confectioner’s sugar into a second small bowl and add two tablespoons of the fresh grapefruit juice. Whisk with a fork until no lumps remain, adding juice or confectioner’s sugar until the glaze is to the desired consistency. Use a fork or small squeeze bottle to drizzle the glaze over the scones. Sprinkle wet glaze with coarse sea salt. Enjoy!

Glaze will fully set after a couple of hours. Scones are best the day they are made, but may be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 48 hours.

Notes:

1. My grapefruits were about the size of a large orange.
2. If you can’t find Ruby Red, white or pink grapefruits may be substituted.
3. I use Trader Joe’s Pyramid Salt.

Salted Grapefruit Scones