Giant Cookies and Poutine

Where have I been?  It's already been a week (plus a day) since my April fools shenanigans!

Well, I guess I know where I've been.  I've been in the world of mathematics education writing one long paper.  It's still only about halfway done, but it's getting there.  Break time.

Last night, NES and I went on our annual first visit to our favorite ice cream place!
It was so exciting to be back!  As we walked into the door, the owner and the manager both said, "we were just talking about you!"  We ended up hanging out talking to them for quite a while.  I suppose there are worse places to be on a first name basis with the owner and manager!

And my break from the world of paper writing today (besides right now!) was cooking.  Every once in a while, I make something crazy.  If you've been reading for a while, you know what I mean.  The cookie pie with pretzel crust, the red and green velvet cakes with cheesecake layers, or grilled cheese with maple syrup are just a few examples!

Tonight was another one of those nights.  For dinner?  Poutine.

NES and I first tried poutine as an appetizer at a restaurant.  That night, we fell in love at first bite.  And then could barely eat two bites of our meals since it was so filling.

So, when I found corned beef and Guinness poutine on Pinterest, I just had to try it.  It was meant to be a fun and exciting meal to celebrate the end of a long, long March.  It didn't quite happen like that, but it was perfect for tonight.
Now, it's obviously been several weeks since St. Patrick's day at this point, and PLS and GWS were kind enough to offer us leftovers (since I didn't make my own corned beef dinner), but it's probably good that we didn't since we haven't had a chance to try it out until now!  So I used stew beef instead.  I kinda melded two recipes.
It smelled wonderful while it was cooking, I'll tell you that much!  I did cut down on butter a little bit, but still used waaaay more than I usually would.  I went extravagant tonight.

I also got some tasty Irish cheddar cheese, since I couldn't find cheese curds.

It certainly looked like poutine!  However, the gravy was very Guinness-y.  I guess I should have expected it, since Guinness was basically the base of the whole thing.  I guess I expected it to be more of a steak-and-ale-pie-filling flavor.  Next time, I think I'll try something more like that.  It was just a little strong for me.

And then, I wanted a cookie.  I've actually wanted a cookie since yesterday during class.  The guy in front of me was eating this wonderful-looking-gigantic-bakery-style M&M cookie.  I have wanted a cookie ever since.

I found these (also on Pinterest, of course) and they sounded just about right!

It was easy and quick to make, and it was a big ball of cookie dough!

And then it was a ginormous cookie!  I couldn't believe how huge it got!

It wasn't quite cooked in the middle, but it was sure tasty!

Beef Poutine with Guinness Gravy
adapted from Closet Cooking and

1 lb. cubed stew beef
salt and pepper
1 tbsp. butter
1 shallot, sliced
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 1/2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
2 cups Guinness
2 tbsp. grainy mustard (I used country Dijon)
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 lb. french fries, cooked according to package directions
1 cup cheese curds or shredded Irish cheddar

Add salt and pepper onto the cubed stew beef.  Place the beef in a dutch oven and cover with water.  Bring to a simmer and cover.  Allow to simmer for an hour.  Drain the water, and set the beef aside.

In the now empty dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onions, and saute until they caramelize (or at least begin to brown for those of use who are not practiced at caramelizing onions!).

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.

Add the second pat of butter and melt.

Add the flour, stir well, and cook until golden brown, 2-4 minutes.

Add the Guinness, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and salt and pepper to taste.   Add the meat. Reduce the heat, and simmer until the gravy thickens.

Remove the meat after about 10 minutes, if the gravy has not thickened.

Add the meat to the top of the fries.  Layer with the cheese and gravy.  Allow the cheese to melt and serve!

Giant M&M Monster Cookie
from Sally's Baking Addiction

2 tbsp. butter, softened
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp. beaten egg (crack an egg, beat well and measure 2 tbsp.)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
6 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. old fashioned oats
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1/3 cup M&Ms
2 tbsp. chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the butter and sugars until smooth.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.

Mix in the peanut butter, then flour, oats, baking soda and salt.

Fold in the M&Ms until evenly combined.

Scoop the cookie dough into a large ball on the cookie sheet.  It will be sticky and should be tall and round.  (Alternately, make four smaller balls and shorten the baking time.)

Press the chocolate chips into the top of the dough.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.  The center may be soft, but it will set some as the cookie cools.  However, make sure the edges are actually light brown.

Cool for 10-20 minutes on the cookie sheet and share with a friend!


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