It makes me so very happy that I will never be forced to buy pre-packaged hummus or pita chips again! Freedom from store bought foods! Ok, so there may be a time when buying a bag of pita chips will be necessary. BUT, if I have the time to make my own, then I will make my own because the hummus is delicious and easy, as are the pita chips.
Both recipes come from Finecooking.com. There are quite a few hummus recipes on the site, but this one seemed just different enough to be fun without being weird or overly complicated with ingredients. I like the versatility of hummus. A dip for pita chips or fresh veggies, and equally good spread on a flat bread with veggies or some turkey and wrapped up for a quick lunch.
The garlic in this hummus is cooked in olive oil along with some ground cumin to mellow the flavor of the garlic, and the results are really nice. The soy sauce in the hummus isn’t obvious, but does add something to the flavor.
For the pita chips, make sure to halve them to create 2 circles, then cut the pita halves into triangles or strips. If you cut the entire pita into pieces, your chips will not crisp quite as well. The recipe calls for 10 pitas, but I only used 4. Just cut what you need, brush them on both sides with a little olive oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt. Easy peasy.
I must admit this, I was not thrilled about this months challenge at first. Don’t get me wrong. I love cookies. Almost all kinds of cookies. I even like when they take all day to make. My issue with this challenge was that I made one of the cookie recipes a few years ago with less than stellar results, so I was kinda bummed. The other cookie also seemed a little boring. I went into this challenge with a rotten attitude…but I came out a very happy girl.
The July Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.
I made the Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies first.
Day 1: I made the cookies a day before I planned to make the marshmallow and cover them. The cookie dough was easy to deal with and the cookies made my house smell so wonderful while they baked. I tried the cookies alone, and I found them to be a bit dry, but they had good flavor.
Day 2: I’ve made these cookies before, so I have made marshmallow before. I really enjoy making food that starts out with a very ordinary and unassuming list of ingredients and miraculously becomes something completely different! That’s why marshmallow is so fun to make. It creates quite a sticky mess, but is worth it.
Be sure to use good vanilla as this is the only flavoring in the marshmallow besides sugar. I recommend Nielson-Massey Vanilla Bean paste or Madagascar Vanilla.
The marshmallow was beautiful and piped out quite nicely onto the cookies. I let them set at this point for a few hours at room temperature.
The process of covering things in chocolate and I do not get along very well. Unless I am using that chocolate bark, my chocolate doesn’t ever harden completely without putting it in the fridge or freezer. And yet again, I had that problem with these cookies. They looked beautiful coming out of their chocolate bath, but even after 3 hours the chocolate was still wet. So, in the fridge they went! The chocolate hardened and then we were able to taste them! The chocolate formed a nice hard shell around the soft gooey marshmallow and crumbly cookie. I liked these cookies, but think they might require more work than they’re worth in the taste department. They are beautiful and impressive, though.