Cook’s Corner

Cake-mix-based cookie recipe endlessly adaptable

 

Sleuth’s Corner

Q. I’m trying to find a recipe for General Tso’s Chicken that appeared in The Miami Herald some time ago. I’ve tried others but nothing matches that recipe. I made a big mistake by letting my granddaughter take my recipe home, and she let her 3-year-old get hold of it. If the recipe is still available, please let me know how I can get it.

Juanita C.

A. A lot of Asian recipes have appeared in the column, but that one is not in our library’s database. We have to hope someone has saved and is willing to share.


Dessert

Design-to-Suit Cake Mix Cookies

1 box of cake mix (any flavor)

1 egg

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Up to 1 cup of chopped nuts, candy, chips, raisins, oatmeal, coconut and/or sprinkles

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or grease thoroughly.

Combine the dry cake mix, egg, oil and 1/4 cup water until well blended. Some mixes may need just a teaspoon or so more of water to make a dough that sticks together.

At this point you can either make plain cookies (drop by rounded teaspoonful onto prepared cookie sheets), fold in the cup of other ingredients and then drop onto the cookie sheets, or roll dough into 1-inch balls and insert a candy (Rolo, Junior Mint, etc) or a whole nut or maraschino cherry or the like. In each case, leave about 2 inches between cookies.

Bake about 10 to 12 minutes, or until cookies are no longer shiny. (I would start checking at 8 minutes, since some candies may add so much sugar the dough will more easily burn.) Makes about four dozen cookies.

Per cookie: 70 calories (47 percent from fat), 3.8 g fat (0.5 g saturated, 1g monounsaturated), 3.9 mg cholesterol, 1 g protein, 8.8 g carbohydrates, 0.5 g fiber, 98 mg sodium.


Main Dish

Spicy Orange Chicken Burgers

You could speed preparation by buying already-ground chicken breast meat and simply mixing in the flavoring ingredients.

1 1/2 cups orange juice (to be used in both patties and slaw)

For the patties:

4 boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1 scallion, roughly chopped

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon, or to taste, soy sauce

1 teaspoon seasoned rice vinegar

4 drops toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons canola oil

6 hamburger buns, preferably potato or brioche

Slaw Topping:

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce, or to taste

Juice of half a lime

2 tablespoons finely minced purple onion

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

Salt to taste

2 cups coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage

Pour the juice in a small pot, simmer until reduced by two-thirds and cool to room temperature.

To make the chicken patties: Place the chicken, scallion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar and sesame oil in the food processor and pulse until minced. Mix in 2 tablespoons of reduced orange juice. Using a 1/2 cup measurement, form mixture into 6 patties using moist hands.

Heat the 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet until hot but not smoking. Cook chicken patties until golden brown, about 6-8 minutes. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of reduced orange juice over patties to deglaze pan before flipping. Turn over and continue to cook another 6-8 minutes, deglazing with another 2 tablespoons of orange juice a few minutes before the patties finish cooking to glaze patties and deglaze pan.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk yogurt, Sriracha, lime juice and the remaining 2 tablespoons of reduced orange juice. Mix in onion, basil and salt to taste. Toss coleslaw in the creamy dressing and set aside for burger assembly.

Serve on toasted soft golden burger buns. Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 308 calories (25 percent from fat), 8.5 g fat (1.3 g saturated, 4.1 g monounsaturated), 48 mg cholesterol, 25 g protein, 32 g carbohydrates, 1.8 g fiber, 363 mg sodium.


Appetizer

Kickin’ Edamame Dip

16 ounces frozen and shelled edamame, cooked according to package instructions

4 large garlic cloves, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

4 to 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

Place all the ingredients except the olive oil and lime juice into a food processor, and process until smooth. Add the olive oil and lime juice and process to combine, scraping the sides of the bowl several times. For a thinner consistency, add water 1 tablespoon at a time while the processor is running. Makes about 2 cups, 8 servings.

Per serving: 150 calories (66 percent from fat), 11.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated, 6.9 g monounsaturated), 0 cholesterol, 6.3 g protein, 6.9 g carbohydrates, 3.1 g fiber, 297 mg sodium.


LindaCiceroCooks@aol.com

Q. I lost a recipe for a chocolate cookie made with a devil’s food cake mix. Into the center of each ball of dough you seal a Junior Mint candy. They were absolutely delicious.

Ann Justice, Elyria, Ohio

I don’t have that specific recipe, but I have a one-size-fits-all type of cookie recipe I’m sure can be made to work. It basically calls for a cake mix of any kind that you embellish to suit. You can add nuts, candy, chocolate or other flavor chips, dried fruit — the list is endless. You can also make a quick cookie with just a confectioners’ sugar sprinkle.

Some combinations I’ve seen include devil’s food or white cake mix with chocolate chips and chopped nuts, white cake mix and granola or trail mix, red velvet and M&Ms, German chocolate cake mix with pecans and caramel, spice cake with nuts and raisins, cherry cake mix with chocolate chips and/or dried cherries, strawberry cake mix with mini chocolate chips and a chocolate frosting, and devil’s food and peanut butter chips.

Juicy recipes

With citrus trees drooping with fruit, it seems a perfect time to look at new ways to enjoy the harvest. Food Network personality Claire Robinson has created some intriguing recipes for the Florida Department of Citrus, including the one here for chicken burgers. The juice not only adds flavor and moisture to the chicken, but replaces fat and adds vitamin C and other nutrients. You can find lots more recipes at floridajuice.com/recipes.

Super memories

Sandra P. writes: “My husband and I were so happy to see someone asking about George’s Super Sub, located at 4580 SW Eighth St. We were the era of Frankie’s Pizza (thank goodness Frankie’s is still open) and George’s Subs — the best places high school and U of M students could frequent for food that was affordable and good.

“We heard that when the sub shop property sold the owner sold the recipes for the wonderful one-of-a-kind subs. No place today can come close to the subs George’s made from about 1958 until about 1991. My fingers are crossed that this helps get a reply.”

Cookbook corner

After 15 years as a vegetarian, my daughter recently made the move to vegan. When she visits it has always been a challenge coming up with dishes that will suit all. One cookbook we’ve found particularly helpful is The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook by Melissa Costello (HCI, $18.95).

Many of the recipes are just as appealing to those of us who are less enlightened because they are full of fresh ingredients and flavor. The edamame dip here is brightly delicious, low in calories and saturated fat-free and full of fiber and protein. Since so many of us are trying to do at least one meatless meal a week, I’m happy to pass along a true winner.

Send questions and responses to LindaCiceroCooks@aol.com or Food, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, FL 33132. Personal replies are not possible.

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