Cookies, Cookies, Cookies!

Hello Friends!  How is your holiday baking going? Are you up to your elbows in flour and sugar? Or have you just started thinking about what you’d like to make?  Either way, we’ve got some StateEats sweets for you.

If peanut butter is your thing (and if not, why isn’t it??) check out  these Peanut Butter Buckeyes. These scrumptious morsels of

Peanut Butter Buckeyes - Ohio

peanut butter and chocolate are always a sure-fire winner. We   guarantee they will be snapped up quickly.

If you love cinnamon, you might want to make New Mexico’s state cookie, the Biscochito. In the Spanish culture, these cookies are

Biscochitos - New Mexico

often served after Las Posadas, where actors reenact Mary and Joseph looking for shelter for the birth of the Christ child.

If you enjoy yeasted cookies, check out Czech Kolaches. These take a little longer to make as you need to wait for the dough to rise but

Czeck Kolaches - South Dakota

they are so worth the time. Great with a cuppa tea while you write out your holiday cards.

If you favor cutesy cookies that resemble objects found in nature, then Nutmeg Log Cookies with Eggnog Icing are for you.  You can’t

Nutmeg Log Cookies with Eggnog Icing

beat the holiday flavors here of nutmeg and eggnog and your house will smell amazing as these bake.

Finally, if you have a gluten intolerance, and you still want something sweet for the holidays, try our Maple Cinnamon Walnut Meringues.

Maple Cinnamon Walnut Meringues - Vermont

Made with egg whites, maple syrup and some nuts and spices, these cookies are left in the oven overnight (with the oven off!) until crisp.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

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Wenzel Sandwich – Connecticut

Alpha Delta Pizza in New Haven, Connecticut, has been feeding hungry Yale students for years. The Wenzel is one of their best-selling sandwiches, with between 150 and 200 subs sold on an

Wenzel Sandwich - CT

average weeknight. Urban legend has it that the sandwich was named for Eric Wenzel, class of 2004, who was a football and lacrosse athlete at Yale. Wenzel apparently repeatedly ordered this special request sandwich, asking for the chicken to be covered in hot sauce. He kept ordering it, and then his friends began ordering it, and it caught on, until it finally became an official menu item.

Yeah, we know this is basically a buffalo chicken sammie, but boy is it ever good. Use sharp provolone here as the flavor really elevates the sandwich.

Wenzel Sandwich

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 hoagie or submarine rolls
  • 2 fried chicken breasts
  • Hot sauce such as Franks or Crystal’s
  • Mayonnaise
  • 2 slices sharp provolone
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Tomato, sliced

Instructions

Slice hoagie rolls, then toast. Slice the fried chicken in flat slices, then douse with hot sauce. Spread mayo on both sides of toasted hoagie roll. Layer chicken, then cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes. Top with the hoagie roll topper.

Coconut Almond Brownie Bites – California

We love almonds and so does California. The Golden State produces about 80 percent of the world’s almonds and the entire U.S. supply.

A combo of brownies and Almond JoysAlmonds are one of the highest sources of Vitamin D and magnesium and are a tasty way to pack in some protein post-workout.

This recipe definitely falls into the indulgent category but we love the combo of almonds with coconut and chocolate. For a bit of a flavor boost, toast the almonds on a dry skillet on medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes, watching closely so that they do not burn.

Coconut Almond Brownie Bites

Coconut Almond Brownie Bites

  • Servings: 30
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients
• Brownie mix
• 1 ¼ cups sweetened coconut
• 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
• 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
• 30 almonds, toasted

Instructions
In a medium sized bowl, prepare brownie mix according to directions on box. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine coconut, condensed milk and powdered sugar and mix until well combined. Add muffin liners to mini muffin trays. Add one teaspoon brownie batter, then two teaspoons coconut mixture. Add one almond and then top with one teaspoon brownie batter. Repeat to fill approximately 30 mini muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. Let set for 2 to 3 minutes before removing from pan. Cool on wire rack.

Pizza Strips – Rhode Island

What kinda looks like pizza but has very little cheese, is found in bakeries from Warwick to Providence and is eaten at room temperature? If you said pizza strips, give yourself a gold star. This

Pizza Strips - Rhode Islandregional snack ― sometimes called party pizza ― can be found at bakeries such as D. Palmieri’s Bakery in Johnston and DePetrillo’s (multiple locations). It is surprising easy to make at home and will make you a star if you have kids who can’t get enough ‘za. It’ll keep a few days in the fridge but we bet it won’t hang around too long as leftovers. This recipe will easily double for a bigger crowd.

The Green Animals Topiary Garden in Newport is part of the Newport Mansions and contains 80 stunning and whimsical topiary pieces including animals, birds and geometric figures.

Pizza Strips

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1 lb. pizza dough
  • 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoons oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 teaspoons grated Parmesan

Instructions

Generously oil a 9 x 13 pan, including sides. Spread pizza dough out to cover entire bottom of pan, leaving a half inch lip along the sides. In a large bowl combine tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic and parmesan. Spread sauce mixture evenly over dough. Bake in 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until dough is slightly browned. Once cooled, cut into strips. Serve room temperature.

Chilaquiles with Sunny Side Up Eggs – Arizona

If you love breakfast for dinner (aka brinner), chilaquiles (“chee-lah-KEE-lays”) is the dish for you. Found throughout the southwest but especially in Arizona, this amalgamation is a cross between nachos

Chilaquiles with Sunny Side Up Eggs – Arizona and enchiladas, only without the bothersome rolling. You can add whatever vegetables you like (we’ve seen versions with fresh radishes, or sautéed peppers and onions). Traditionally, eggs are the protein but some people add meat like shredded beef or chorizo. Sometimes served as a hangover cure, you don’t need to overindulge to enjoy this dish. Don’t skimp on the garnishes of scallion, cilantro and a squeeze of lime – they really seal the deal!

The Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix has a collection of 13,000 instruments from across the world including one of the oldest goblet drums, made in China between 5000 and 4000 BCE.

 

Chilaquiles with Sunny Side Up Eggs

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 18 tortilla chips
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • Baby tomatoes, diced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-2 scallions, chopped
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Lime wedges

Instructions

Place chips in a large bowl. Pour salsa over the chips and toss well. Divide chips onto two plates. Top each with cheese and tomatoes. In a skillet on medium to high heat, fry eggs until edges are brown and bubbly. Place two eggs on top of each chip mixture. Top with scallions and cilantro. Squeeze lime over dishes before serving.

Black-Eyed Susan Cocktail – Maryland

Move over, Kentucky Derby. The Preakness has its own cocktail. However, there’s just one teensy, little detail. No one can really agree on the ingredients of the Black-Eyed Susan. Created by a

Black-Eyed Susan is the official cocktail of the Preaknesscatering company that served Pimlico for years and named for Maryland’s state flower (and what the winning horse is draped with), this drink has been made with various liquors including whiskey, rye or bourbon. To lend some tartness, sometimes sour mix was used, sometimes lemon juice made an appearance, sometimes grapefruit juice. We researched far and wide and found that this recipe might be closest to the original. Tasty and refreshing, this cocktail will brighten any Preakness viewing party.

The Preakness takes place May 19, 2018, at Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, Maryland.

Black-Eyed Susan Cocktail

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • Ice
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 oz. rum
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. triple sec
  • 2 lime wedges

Instructions

Place ice in two highball glasses. In a cocktail shaker, combine juices, rum, vodka and triple sec. Shake well. Divide mixture between the two glasses. Squeeze lime wedge into drink before serving.

Slightly Spicy Cheese Straws – Mississippi

Winter in Chicagoland lasted approximately 21 eons this year and then summer weather began after about 12 minutes of spring. We have officially launched into patio cocktail season. And you need

Slighty Spicy Cheese Straws - Mississippisome nibbles to go with drinks, right? How about acting like a genteel Southerner and making these cheese straws? Add some olives and a few nuts and no one will cry if dinner is a little late.

We had never made these before and had the impression they were difficult. Au contraire, nothing could be easier. The dough comes together beautifully in the food processor and then you shape ‘em and bake ‘em. Don’t worry if you don’t have a cookie press, we broke ours in the course of making these and resorted to rolling them by hand which was fun and harkened back to our days playing with Play-Doh (this dough tasted a lot better though).

Can’t pass up an author’s house? Neither can we. Rowan Oak, in Oxford was home to William Faulkner. Purchased by the writer in 1930, he lived in this Greek revival with his family until his death in 1962.

 

Slightly Spicy Cheese Straws

  • Servings: 6-10
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 8 oz. grated yellow sharp Cheddar, room temperature
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature

Instructions

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, pepper and paprika together. Add cheese and butter and process until a dough comes together. Taste and season with salt if necessary (you may not need any if your cheese and butter are quite salty). Place dough in a cookie press with the star attachment. Place long rows of dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Alternatively, dough may be rolled by hand into ropes, or shaped into a cylinder and sliced into buttons. Bake at 375 for about 13 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown. Dough or baked straws may be frozen.

Chocolate Bourbon Bundt Cake with Bourbon Pecan Glaze – Kentucky

Hey racing fans, do you have your fancy hat and cute dress ready? It’s Derby Week in Louisville. Quintessential foods include mint juleps (see our tip for pumping up the mint flavor), and Hot Browns

Chocolate Bourbon Bundt Cake with Bourbon Pecan Glaze - Kentuckyhot turkey club sandwiches with bacon and Mornay sauce). For dessert, how about a slice of Chocolate Bourbon Bundt cake? Moist, delicious and fragrant with bourbon, this cake will be the hit of your Derby watch party.

If you have time for other activities in Louisville, check out the Ali Center, dedicated to the life, principles, and legacy of the champion boxer, Muhammed Ali.

Chocolate Bourbon Bundt Cake with Bourbon Pecan Glaze - Kentucky

 

Chocolate Bourbon Bundt Cake with Bourbon Pecan Glaze

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 2 sticks butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1-3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans

 Instructions

In microwave or double boiler, heat unsweetened chocolate until melted and smooth. Set aside until cool. In a large heat proof cup, add boiling water. Add cocoa powder and salt, whisk until dissolved. Add bourbon. Set aside until cool.

In the bowl of stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed, about 2 minutes, or until it is light and fluffy. Add sugar and beat one minute. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and then the cooled, melted chocolate. Beat until incorporated.

In a clean bowl, add flour and baking soda. With the mixer on low, add a third of the flour mixture, then a third of the bourbon/cocoa mixture, stopping to scrape down sides of the bowl as needed. Repeat 2 more times with a third of the flour mixture, then a third of the bourbon/cocoa mixture.

Grease a bundt pan, then flour the inside with cocoa powder. Pour batter into the pan, then smooth the surface. Bake in 325 degree oven for about 1 hour, checking at the 45 minute mark for doneness.

When cake is cool, invert onto a plate. To make glaze, combine confectioners’ sugar with bourbon (can thin with a bit of milk if the mixture is too stiff). Drizzle on cake, then top with toasted pecans.

New Jersey Sloppy Joes

When you think of a Sloppy Joe, you probably imagine ground beef in a sweet tomato sauce. This is not that. New Jersey Sloppy Joes are a completely different animal. Town Hall Deli in South Orange

New Jersey Sloppy Joes

created this sandwich in 1935 and it came via Havana, Cuba. Seems the mayor of Maplewood, N.J. visited Sloppy Joe’s bar (a frequent hangout of Ernest Hemingway) and liked a kind of club sandwich they made there. The mayor came back home and persuaded the owners of Town Hall to recreate the sammie for their deli. It’s been on the menu ever since.

The key to this creation is thin sliced rye bread. You don’t want the bread to overwhelm the fillings. Originally this sandwich was made with beef tongue, but now is more often made with ham, roast beef, or corned beef, along with turkey. The crunch from the slaw and the savory/sweet flavors of the Russian dressing make this sandwich a mouthwatering delight.

Check out the Exit Zero Jazz Festival April 20-22 in Cape May where you can hear teenage prodigy Joey Alexander, a jazz pianist.

New Jersey Sloppy Joes

  • Servings: 2 sandwiches
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 6 slices rye bread, ends cut off and trimmed into rectangles
  • 2-3 ounces deli ham, corned beef, or roast beef
  • 2-3 ounces deli turkey
  • 2 ounces swiss cheese
  • Cole slaw
  • Russian dressing

Instructions

Lay 2 slices of bread on work surface. On each slice, layer a quarter of the meat and cheese, then a generous dollop of coleslaw and Russian dressing. Add another slice of bread and then repeat with another layer of meat, cheese, cole slaw, and Russian dressing. Top with bread and secure with a toothpick.

Homemade Oatmeal Sandwiches – Tennessee

One of the country’s most iconic brands is Little Debbie snacks and one of its best- selling varieties is the Oatmeal Cream Pie. Founder O.D. McKee started his operation selling snack cakes out of the back

Oatmeal Sandwich cookie

 

of his car during the Depression. They later moved the operation into a bakery, but the business didn’t really take off until 1960 when they began selling family packs with the image of granddaughter Debbie on the box. Based in Collegedale, Tennessee, this family-run company has sold 157 billion snack cakes since that time.

This recipe is a super close recreation of their most famous variety of snack cake. There are quite a few ingredients but the cookies come together fairly quickly. Watch your baking time as you want the cookie to remain soft rather than crunchy.

Believe it or not, Nashville is home to a full-sized replica of Athens’ Parthenon. Originally built for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exhibition, the building now serves as Nashville’s art museum. Don’t miss 42-foot sculpture of Greek goddess Athena inside.

 

Homemade Oatmeal Sandwiches

  • Servings: 15 sandwiches
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats, whizzed in food processor
  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Marshmallow cream (for filling)

Instructions

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients (oats through cinnamon). Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, shortening, sugar and molasses until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and then vanilla. Gradually add in dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat. Place about 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie (for 30 cookies), leaving 2-3 inches of space between cookies to allow for spreading. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes (do not over bake). Let sit for 2-3 minutes before removing to a wire rack to completely cool.

To assemble into sandwiches, spread approximately 2 tablespoons marshmallow cream on one cookie. Place another cookie on top.

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