“The Big Short” bread cookies
3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 to 7 ounces very good semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes. Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 3 by 1-inch finger-shaped cutter. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature. When the cookies are cool, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put 3 ounces of the chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. (Don’t trust your microwave timer; time it with your watch.) Stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to heat and stir in 30-second increments until the chocolate is just melted. Add the remaining chocolate and allow it to sit at room temperature, stirring often, until it’s completely smooth. Stir vigorously until the chocolate is smooth and slightly cooled; stirring makes it glossier. Drizzle 1/2 of each cookie with just enough chocolate to coat it.

This recipe is Ina Garten!

“Bridge of Spies” Pie (Frozen Pink Lemonade Pie!)
1 (10-inch) prepared Graham cracker pie crust
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 ( 8 ounce) container Cool Whip
1 (6 ounce) can frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
red food coloring (optional)

In a large bowl, add the sweetened condensed milk and cool whip. Fold together gently until combined. Stir in the pink lemonade concentrate until combined. (If you want the pie a vibrant pink color add a few drops of red food coloring). Pour mixture into the prepared pie crust. Spread out evenly. Place pie in freezer for 6 hours or overnight. Cut into slices and serve!

“The Martian” Crispy Potatoes
4 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, rinsed, peeled if desired, and cut into 2-inch chunks
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Kosher salt
1/4 cup duck fat or bacon fat
Freshly ground black pepper
Sprigs of thyme (or your fave spices)

Adjust oven racks to lower and upper position and preheat oven to 500°F. Place potatoes in a large saucepot and cover with cold water by 1-inch. Add 2 tablespoons salt and vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook until exteriors are tender, about 5 minutes. Potatoes should show a slight resistance when poked with a paring knife or a cake tester. Drain potatoes and transfer to a large bowl.  Add fat to bowl with potatoes. Season with pepper and more salt to taste then toss with a large metal spoon until exteriors are slightly bashed up and coated in a thin layer of potato/fat paste. Divide potatoes evenly between two heavy rimmed baking sheets. Spread thyme sprigs over potatoes. Transfer baking sheets to the oven and roast until the bottoms of the potatoes are crisp and golden brown, about 20 minutes total, swapping top the trays top for bottom and rotating them once half way through roasting. Using a thin metal spatula, flip the potatoes and roast until the second side is golden brown, another 15 to 20 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs, and serve.

“Mad Max” Mac and Cheese Bites
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus melted butter for greasing the tins
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole milk
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 packed cup)
4 ounces deli-sliced American cheese, chopped
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 slices thick-cut bacon (about 3 ounces), cooked and chopped

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Brush the wells of four 12-cup, nonstick mini muffin tins with melted butter. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, pressing it up the sides of the wells. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain, shaking off the excess water. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt the 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook, whisking constantly, until boiling and thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the cheddar and American cheeses and whisk until melted. Off the heat, whisk in the egg yolk and paprika. Fold in the bacon and macaroni. Fill the wells of the muffin tins to the top with macaroni, using damp fingertips to pack the macaroni into the tins. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan on top. Bake the mini macs in the upper and middle thirds of the oven for about 10 minutes, until golden and sizzling, rotating the pans halfway through cooking. Let cool for 5 min­utes. Using a spoon, carefully loosen the mini macs, transfer to a platter and serve.

“Brooklyn” Black and Tan brownies
TAN BROWNIES:
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Cooking spray

BLACK BROWNIES:
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Guinness Stout
4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preparation

Place one rack in lower third of oven; place another rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare Tan Brownies, place 6 tablespoons butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Weigh or lightly spoon 4.5 ounces (about 1 cup) flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 4.5 ounces flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring well. Add flour mixture and pecans to sugar mixture, beating just until combined. Spoon into a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray, spreading evenly with a knife or rubber spatula. Bake at 350° in lower third of oven for 15 minutes.

To prepare Black Brownies, melt chocolate and 4 tablespoons butter in a large microwave-safe bowl on HIGH for 1 minute or until melted, stirring after every 20 seconds until smooth. Add granulated sugar, stirring until well combined. Add 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and Guinness, stirring with a whisk until well combined. Weigh or lightly spoon 4.5 ounces (about 1 cup) flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 4.5 ounces flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring well. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture, stirring to combine. Pour mixture evenly over Tan Brownies.

Bake on the center rack at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out almost clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack; cut into squares.

“The Revenant” bark
4 ounces saltine crackers
1 cup butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Line cookie sheet with saltine crackers in single layer. In a saucepan combine the sugar and the butter. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Immediately pour over saltines and spread to cover crackers completely. Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the top. Let sit for 5 minutes. Spread melted chocolate and top with chopped nuts. Cool completely and break into pieces.



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