Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Taste of Home: Berger Cookies

Every region has something unique, an item that only the locals know about. In central Maryland that secret, aside from Old Bay, is Berger Cookies. I remember going to The Farm Store as a little girl with my grandparents and getting a fountain soda and a pack of these delicious cookies coated in a thick layer of ganache. And although their recipe is a secret, I think I have concocted something pretty darn close to the original.

Without further ado:


Berger Cookies

Yield: 16 cookies


3/4 pound Milk Chocolate

1/4 pound Dark Chocolate

1/2 pound Butter

1 cup Heavy Cream


1/2 pound Butter, softened

4 oz Granulated Sugar

1 Egg

1 tsp Vanilla

10oz All Purpose Flour

For the Ganache:

  • In a small sauce pot combine the butter and the cream over low heat.
  • Cut up the chocolate into small pieces and place in a heat safe bowl.
  • Once the cream and butter boil, pour over the chopped chocolate. Do not stir the mixture for 7 minutes.
  • After the 7 minutes has passed, stir the chocolate and cream mixture, with a spatula, until silky and smooth.
  • Pour into a shallow baking dish and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Do not stir during this process, it will make the chocolate lose its shine a smooth texture.
For the Cookies

  • Cream the sugar and the butter together.
  • Once light and fluffy, add the egg and vanilla.
  • Slowly stir in the flour until the dough comes together in a ball.
  • On a greased cookie sheet, place rounded tablespoons of the dough.
  • Press the centers of the balls down, creating a button shape.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes or until slightly brown. These cookies are very light in color, naturally.
  • Once baked, allow to cool on the cookie sheet until room temperature.

  • Flip the cookies upside down.
  • With an offset spatula or a spoon, spread the ganache on the under side.
  • Refrigerate for another hour before serving.
  • Enjoy!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Christmas is quickly approaching and just in case you didn't know what that means, let me remind you: COOKIES!

To kick of this sugar coated holiday, I thought what better cookie to make than these peanut butter kiss cookies. Justin and I both have childhood memories of this super delicious, super simple cookie, so making it was like bringing a piece of home to Florida.

Lets get to the recipe!

Peanut Butter Kiss Cooies

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

1/2 cup Butter, softened

1/2 cup Peanut Butter, room temperature

1/2 cup Brown Sugar

1 cup Granulated Sugar, divided

1 Egg

1 3/4 cup All Purpose Flour

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 Tbsp Milk

36 Hershey Kisses, unwrapped


  • Whip the butter and the peanut butter together until smooth.
  • Add the 1/2 of the granulated sugar and all of the brown sugar. Whip until fluffy and light.
  • Add in the egg, the vanilla, and baking soda.
  • Once combined, slowly fold in the flour by hand.
  • Scoop the dough into 1 inch balls and roll in the remaining sugar.
  • Place onto an ungreased cookie sheet and make a small dent in the center of each ball.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and press kisses into the center of each cookie. Return to the oven for 2 minutes.
  • Allow to cool completely before enjoying!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Shiitake and Goat Cheese Flatbread

Big things have been happening around here: Christmas is coming, Nash is finally potty trained, Justin bought me this amazing new iPad, and I moved from The Bistro to The Atlantic Bar and Grill at work. What has any of this news to do with this amazing recipe? There are flatbreads on the menu at The Atlantic Bar and Grill! And of course it is what inspired me to make this for lunch today.

My flatbread has shiitake mushrooms, caramelized onions, goat cheese, tomatoes, and wild arugula (aka rocket). But of course you can put whatever your heart desires on your flatbread. And, in case you couldn't think of a spectacular hors d'oeuvre for your family Christmas party, go ahead and whip up a couple of these, cut them into two bite pieces and voila! You are a holiday hero.

Flatbread with Vegetables and Goat Cheese
Yield: 1 flatbread

1 Naan Flatbread, found in the deli aisle near the pita
1 oz Goat Cheese, softened
1 small Bunch of Arugula
1/2 Roma Tomato, diced
1/4 White Onion, julienned
5 Shiitake Mushrooms, caps only, julienned
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste


1. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat one half of the oil. Once very hot, almost smoking, add the julienned shiitakes. Allow to cook until browned and crispy, about 5 minutes.

2. Remove the mushrooms and wipe out the pan.

3. Heat the remaining oil in the pan. Once hot, add the onions.

4. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until golden and soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from the pan.

5. On the Naan, spread the goat cheese in a thin layer.

6. Top with the Arugula.


7. Next, layer on the onions, followed by the mushrooms and then the tomatoes.

8. Place in a 350 degree oven and bake until the cheese is melted and the naan is warm.


9. Cut into pieces and enjoy!