Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thanksgiving Round-Up: The Desserts

Thanksgiving, my most favorite holiday, is just a week away. Usually at this time of the year I am asking my sister what she would like to bring for dinner. Even though I am the older sister, I don't get to host both the Thanksgiving and Christmas family celebrations. Maybe if she didn't like to cook as much as I do, I could have finagled having both of them. But she does. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving we share these holidays. For the past who knows how many years, I have been assigned a supporting role (not always an easy thing to do when you are a borderline Type A/Type A+ personality). But this year both of us will be traveling, so there won't be that usual back and forth conversation about what I should bring. Nor will I be making the gravy for the turkey (the one thing I actually do better than my sister). As much as I am going to miss being together as a family this year, I am very much looking forward to this year's Thanksgiving. Other than saying we will be spending it with the Pilgrims, I will wait until after the holiday to share our adventures. 

Last year I posted two Thanksgiving Round-Up links: Desserts and Sides. The desserts shared were some of my favorite holiday desserts, ones invariably showing up at our holiday dinner over the years. They included: Brûléed Pumpkin Pie with Caramel Swirl , a Lemon Meringue TartBrown Butter Pumpkin Spice Cake,  Pumpkin SquaresChocolate Mousse Cake with Raspberry Sauce,  Applesauce Spice Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting,  Mocha Chocolate Chip Icebox Cake, and the French Laundry's Cranberry and Apple Kuchen with Hot Cream Sauce. But rather than just repost last year's dessert lisk, I thought I would share some of the dessert recipes I made during the past year. Desserts I would say definitely fall into the Thanksgiving Dessert worthy category. So now instead of eight desserts to choose from, you now have seventeen! Not including the ones traditionally made for your Thanksgiving dinners or ones you have discovered for yourself this past year. Only one of desserts listed this year requires you to serve warm from the oven. All of the others can be made at least a day in advance. Wherever and whoever you spend your Thanksgiving holiday with this year, may it be one where giving and gratefulness are even more important than the desserts.

Cranberry Streusel Bundt Cake

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Chocolate Dipped Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Cookies

After indulging in an 'unusual for me' amount of alcohol this past weekend, I should probably not be baking cookies. Especially these cookies. Peanut butter dipped in chocolate ones. Although truth be told, I had intended on making these cookies for our girls getaway trip, but time got away from me. There are many things my running friends and I have in common. Our love of a peanut butter and chocolate combination is just one of them. Only I knew I had planned on surprising everyone with some home baked cookies, so there was a bit of lingering 'should have' guilt hanging over me. I tried to assuage this guilt by saying to myself 'we had more food than we needed, at least I made the Spinach Dip and English Oat Crackers, and maybe these cookies would not have paired well with or even be remembered after a night of drinking wine, beer and shots' (definitely a combination I wasn't certain I could handle). None of these rationalizations (or rather excuses) made me feel any better, so I made them as a post-getaway trip treat instead. Convincing myself they would make for a great cross-training workout recovery snack. Rationalizing of course that peanut butter and chocolate are a healthier option than let's say three kinds of alcohol consumed in a single night (can you tell I must be getting old if that is how I think?).

Next to chocolate chip cookies, there may be no more iconic cookie than the Peanut Butter Cookie. Most us remember or have made the peanut butter cookies cross-hatched with a fork or the ones topped with Hershey's kiss. One of both of these from our childhood kinds of cookies would have left a permanent imprint on our peanut butter cookie loving hearts. And more than likely most of us have remained true to whatever recipe was handed down from the family member who made them for us. So it might almost be considered a crime if we were to deviate from a deeply loved, cherished family recipe or even abandon it. But sometimes an even better version of this classic cookie comes along. Even still, we have no reason to give up what we believe are the best peanut butter cookies we had ever tasted. But Stella Parks, author of the new cookbook "Bravetart: Iconic American Desserts" has given us one. A recipe that without a doubt refines 'best ever'. And a version that had our mothers or grandmothers known about, they would have been making. 

Peanut butter cookies made with honey-roasted peanuts may not seem like anything new, but pulsing the peanuts with the flour to make a 'peanut flour' is (at least in my world). When I saw the recipe for these Honey-Roasted Peanut Butter Cookies, I knew I did not want to tinker with it. And I didn't. However, dipping the cookies in melted milk chocolate would be my variation to her recipe. Not because the cookies by themselves weren't going to be good enough (they were better than good enough, they were wicked good). But because my palate would be wondering 'where's the jelly or where's the chocolate' if I gave it a peanut butter cookie. But that's just me. And hopefully it's some of you too!

This is one of those cookie recipes where you more than likely have everything in your cupboard or refrigerator. Maybe not the Honey Roasted Peanuts, but the flour, sugar, butter, peanut butter, egg, milk, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder and salt are just waiting to be combined into a confection. 

After sifting the flour into a food processor, the honey roasted peanuts are added. After pulsing for approximately one minute, you are left with a fine mixture. What I am now calling 'peanut flour'. In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, the peanut butter, butter, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and vanilla are beaten until light and creamy. Although there is only one egg used in this recipe, it is added in two additions (which means you have to lightly beat the egg first). Next your 'peanut flour' is added and mixed until it is incorporated into the creamed mixture. Lastly the milk is added (I used whole milk, but any percentage would work). The result is beautiful, supple, very soft dough. One that holds it shape when scooped into balls. And one hard not to stop yourself from eating.

Using a 1 1/2 inch ice cream scoop, I made 25 evenly sized balls of dough. Mine weighed about 1 1/2 ounces each. They were more than the recommended 1 1/8 ounce size, but I wanted them a bit larger. In a preheated 350 degree (F) oven, the cookies bake for approximately 16 minutes (mine were taken out of the oven at the 16 minute mark) or until they are still puffed in the middle and the edges are just barely beginning to brown. At this point you might think they aren't done and you should bake them longer. But letting the cookies rest on the hot/warm cookie sheet for 10 minutes (before you transfer them to a cooling rack) makes for a perfectly textured, crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, peanut butter cookie. So be careful not to over bake them or they will lose their chewiness texture.

Honestly after taking one bite of these Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Cookies before they were dipped in the melted chocolate I momentarily wondering if I really needed to. They were like an expensive bakery version cookie in appearance, taste, and texture. The kind you would have begged or paid the bakery to give you the recipe. But that little voice in my head kept saying 'you need to dip them in melted chocolate' wouldn't go away. So I dipped them. And now they were like an expensive gourmet bakery version in appearance, taste and texture. The kind of cookie you would pay more for just to be able enjoy chocolate and peanut butter in a single bite.

I know we usually associate pies as the traditional dessert for Thanksgiving, but nothing says we can't also serve a platter of cookies too. Like these Chocolate Dipped Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Cookies for example. No one should have to wait for the Christmas holiday cookie season to taste them. That would be even more cruel than me not bringing them to the girls' getaway weekend. You need to make them, even if the person in the family known for their 'peanut butter cookie' is at your dinner table. I would bet even they would concede the honor should be passed on to you (which you would graciously pass on to Stella Parks). Maybe they wouldn't say such a thing publicly, but privately they would. Because I am willing to bet (and I don't usually bet) these Chocolate Dipped Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Cookies will forever redefine what a 'great' peanut butter cookie should be. So what should you do with your current favorite peanut butter cookie recipe? Maybe it's time to just 'let it go'. 

Chocolate Dipped Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Cookies (slight adaptation to the Honey-Roasted Peanut Butter Cookies from Stella Parks recently published cookbook 'Bravetart: Iconic American Desserts')
Makes 24-26 cookies

1 cup (4.5 ounces/130 g) all-purpose flour (recommend Gold Medal Flour)
1 1/4 cups (6 ounces/170 g) salted, honey roasted peanuts
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces/285 g), creamy peanut butter 
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups (10 ounces/285 g) granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 large egg, lightly blended
3 Tablespoons whole milk 
12-14 ounces good quality (melting) milk chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F) or 180 degrees (C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Sift flour into the bowl of a large food processor. Add honey roasted peanuts and pulse until fine (approximately 1 minute).
3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the peanut butter, butter, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder and vanilla. Mixing first on low speed and gradually increasing to medium speed, beat until light and soft (approximately 3 minutes).
4. With mixer running, add the egg in two additions until each one is well incorporated.
5. Reduce speed to low and add the flour/peanut mixture. Mix until blended.
6. Finish with adding milk, and mix until you have a very soft cookie dough.
7. Using a 1 1/2" in diameter cookie cutter (about 1 1/2 ounces or 2 tablespoons), form 24-26 portions. Arrange on baking sheets, leaving at least 2" between each cookie ball.
8. Bake one tray at a time for approximately 16 minutes, rotating tray midway through the baking process. Cookies will be done when the edges are firm and just barely beginning to brown, but cookies will still be puffed and steamy in the center. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Allow cookies to cool completely.
9. In a bowl set over simmering water, melt the chocolate.
10. Dip one half of the cookies and place on a large piece of parchment paper to dry. Allow to dry completely before serving or putting in an airtight container. Cookies will be good for up to a week.

Notes: (1) These cookies made without chocolate are equally delicious. (2) Use a commercial grade versus natural peanut butter. I used JIF. (3) I used milk chocolate melting discs from a local chocolatier. But use any high quality melting milk chocolate available to you.

Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin weekend trip images  (November 2013)

Monday, November 6, 2017

Cranberry Streusel Bundt Cake

At the end of the week, the posse (a group of my running friends so aptly named by the person who shall remain nameless) are going on getaway up to the north woods of Wisconsin. Months ago when the trip was first planned, a relaxing getaway emerged as its' theme. The most type A and type A+ members of the posse may have gotten a little carried away with making lists of what everyone should bring or what the ambitious list of itinerary options could be. Somehow the two Type A and Type A+ members of the posse either weren't paying attention or selectively not listening. But in the spirit of 'luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, who knows what semi-absolute necessities we might not be able to find once we get to up the 'wildnerness' (aka away from all of the conveniences of suburbia)! A weekend away would not be complete without some adult beverages, so it was probably one of those things that didn't need to make the list (because it was just a given). Although someone in the group is known to be a big fan of redundancy as well as having a tendency to skew a little to the high maintenance side.

So whether or not we make the yoga class, keep our spa appointments, get a hike and/or run in, go to a Friday night fish fry, or do a dive bar crawl in a town nearby, won't really matter in the end. Because being able to spend 'memorable moment' time together is what really matters most. Okay, maybe the dive bar crawl needs to really happen. Because, hey isn't sitting in a bar drinking beer from any one of Wisconsin's finest breweries one of the most relaxing things one could possibly do? Think I will surprise them all and make a couple of their favorite 'sweet' snacks for this trip. Had I known how incredibly delicious this Cranberry Streusel Bundt Cake was going to be, I maybe should have waited to make it. Or just maybe we should take a side trip to one of the cranberry bogs in Wisconsin and pick up some fresh cranberries and make another one when we get back. Just teasing. Really, seriously, just teasing. About the trip to cranberry bog, not about making another bundt cake.

The photo of a Cranberry Streusel Bundt Cake gracing the cover the holiday issue of Bake from Scratch was enough to convince me to (impulsively) buy the magazine. Browsing through the ingredient list for the cake, I was intrigued by the use of Chinese Five-Spice Powder.  Generally made up of at least five spices, this spice mixture is generally used more often in savory dishes than sweet confections. While there are many variations of Chinese Five-Spice Powder, the most common are star anise, cloves, Chinese cinnamon, Szechuan peppercorns, ginger, and fennel seeds. So I couldn't help but wonder how this spice, when combined with cinnamon and ground nutmeg, would taste in cake studded with tart cranberries. Would my palate be pleasantly surprised or deeply disappointed? Time would soon tell.

The Cranberry Streusel Bundt Cake is made up of four easy to assemble components: the bundt cake batter, the streusel, the confectionary sugar icing, and the sugared cranberries. Note: The inspiration recipe used a homemade cranberry powder instead of sugared cranberries. 

When adding cranberries to a cake, my first instinct is always to cut some of them in half. For this cake, I cut about a of 1/3 cup of the cranberries in half (lengthwise) and kept the remaining 1 2/3 cups whole. Cutting the cranberries is just a personal preference and not a deal breaker. So feel free to skip a cutting step and add all of them in whole. Because it's cranberry season along with being guided by the adage 'fresh is best', the choice to use either fresh or frozen cranberries was easy. However, if I made this cake in the off season, then my only option would be to use frozen cranberries. 

In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, batter for this bundt cake comes together beautifully and the assembly sequence is pretty straightforward. Other than reducing the amount of cranberries from 2 1/4 cups to 2 cups, I followed the recipe for the batter. In a ten cup capacity bundt pan, the batter and streusel are layered. One third of the batter is followed by half of the streusel, followed by another third of the batter, topped with the other half of the streusel and topped with the remaining third of the batter. The batter will almost completely fill a 10 cup capacity bundt pan. 

When it came to the making the streusel, I wasn't sure if I (and everyone else in my small circle not too familiar with taste of Chinese Five-Spice Powder) could handle this spice in both the batter and the streusel. After some 'what to do, what to do' deliberation, I oped to omit the Chinese Five-Spice Powder from the streusel and increase the brown sugar from 1 1/2 Tablespoons to 2 Tablespoons. I can't say for sure whether leaving out this spice from the streusel was a great idea or a bad decision as I have no basis of comparison for how the streusel (or cake) tastes without it being in both the cake and streusel. I can only tell you everyone loved the cake as I had made it. 

As a precaution, I place the bundt pan on a baking sheet before putting into a preheated 350 degree (F) or 180 degree (C) oven. The baking time on the cake will range from 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes. My baking time was closer to the 1 hour and 20 minute mark. To test for doneness, insert a long skewer in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. If you have ever made a bundt cake before, you know there is nothing worse than an underdone or overdone cake.

There are several things you should do to help ensure your bundt cake comes out cleanly. The first is making sure the pan is heavily buttered/sprayed and floured. Yes, even if you have a non-stick bundt pan. The second is allowing the cake to rest for 30 minutes before unmolding. Lastly, carefully inserting a sharp knife along the top edges of the cake pan to loosen the cake from the side of the pan. Next to under or overcooked bundt cake, one that comes out in pieces usually leads to my undoing.

While the Cranberry Streusel Bundt Cake is cooling you can make the sugared cranberries. After bringing a simple syrup made up of 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar to boil, the cranberries are added for only a minute. This gives them enough time to take on the syrupy coating without popping. After removing the cranberries from the syrup with a slotted spoon, place on a wire rack. While they are still 'wet' roll them in granulated sugar until they are transformed into beautiful glistening balls. Once rolled in sugar, you can set them on a piece of parchment paper or on a clean cooling rack to dry. Note: They dry relatively quickly.

The original recipe called for the use of a Citrus Glaze (one made with fresh orange juice instead of vanilla). Although I had a fully zest orange ready to squeeze, I opted for a glaze made with vanilla (a clear vanilla to keep the icing as white as possible). Sifting the confectionary sugar before adding in the pinch of salt, milk, and vanilla will create a smooth, lump free, icing.

The Cranberry Streusel Bundt Cake should come to room temperature (several hours wait time) before it's glazed with icing. If the icing is added while the cake is still to warm, it will melt into the cake.

If adding the sugared cranberries to the cake, they need to placed on the cake while the icing is still wet. If the icing hardens, these little beautiful balls of deliciousness will roll off the cake.

So how good was a Cranberry Streusel Bundt Cake having Chinese Five-Spice Powder in the cake batter? Simply divine. Not only did it exceed all of my rather tentative expectations, my taste buds felt as if they had been given the keys to bundt cake nirvana. The tartness of the cranberries and orange zest, the sweetness of streusel and icing, and the spicy warmth of the cake itself were an incredible trifecta of flavors. 

To further sing the praises of this cake, it's texture was perfectly dense and moist. Making it the kind of cake you could serve for breakfast, brunch, tea, or dessert. And yes, even as a late night or post evening workout snack. As the holiday season approaches, this would be a great cake to wake up to the day after Thanksgiving or on Christmas morning. And if you are like me and want to get your fill of fresh cranberries before they go out of season, the Cranberry Streusel Bundt Cake would make for a great New Year's Eve or Day dinner dessert. The versatility of this cake may be another one of its' best features.
Cranberry Streusel Bundt Cake (slight adaptation to TheBakeFeed's Cranberry Streusel Bundt as shared in the Holiday edition of Bake From Scratch, December 2017)

4 large eggs (200 g), room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups (360 g) sour cream
3/4 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons orange zest
1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla
2 2/3 cups (333 g) all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon Chinese Five-Spice Powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
1/2 cup whole milk
2 cups (340 g) fresh cranberries

1/3 cup (42 g) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (67 g) granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 Tablespoons (21 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Tablespoon Chinese Five-Spice Powder (optional) See note below.

1 1/2 cups (170 g) confectionary sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of kosher salt
3-4 Tablespoons whole milk

Sugared Cranberries
1/2 cup water
1/2 granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries (or frozen, but if using frozen do not thaw before adding to the batter)
Another 1/2 cup of granulated sugar for coating the cranberries

1. Preheat aoven to 350 degrees (F) or 180 degrees (C). Heavily butter and flour a 10 cup Bundt pan.
2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, five-spice powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs, egg yolk, and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy (approximately 4 minutes).
4. With mixer on low speed, add sour cream, oil, zest, and vanilla. Increase mixer to medium speed and beat until well combined.
5. Alternating flour and milk to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat until combined after each addition (the flour had three additions, the milk had two additions).
6. Fold cranberries into the batter. Optional: Cut 1/3 cup of the cranberries in half lengthwise. Fold in the cut and whole cranberries into the batter.
7. Spoon 1/3 of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle half of the streusel mixture. Add another third of the batter. Sprinkle other half of the streusel mixture. Finish with final third of the batter. Tap batter on counter several times to release any air bubbles. Note: Pan will be very full.
8. Place bundt pan on baking sheet and place in oven. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted the near the center comes out clean. Baking time will range from 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes.
9. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 30 minutes.
10. Invert pan onto a platter or cake stand. Let cool completely before drizzling glaze on the cake. Place sugared cranberries on cake before the glaze has firmed up.
11. Cut into slices and serve. Store cake covered at room temperature.

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and five-spice powder (if using).
2. Add butter. Using your fingers work butter into the flour mixture until it has the texture of dry sand.

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the sifted confectionary sugar, vanilla, salt and milk until smooth. Note: Add milk 1 Tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.

Notes: (1) I used this 10 cup capacity Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt pan. (2) If adding the Chinese Spice-Powder to the streusel mixture use up to 1 Tablespoon of the spice. (3) The cake continues to be delicious or 2-3 days after its' baked, if wrapped well in cellophone. Store at room temperature. (4) I used a pre-packaged Chinese Five-Spice Powder, however, there are several recipes available online for homemade versions. (5) Another one of my favorite cranberry desserts, Nantucket Cranberry Pie, was posted to the blog several years ago. If you haven't yet made it, you really should. (5) You can use the cranberry flavor infused leftover simple syrup for cocktails. Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Sugared Cranberries

Friday, October 27, 2017

Roasted Rosemary and Garlic Potato Wedges

For as long as I can remember I have had a fascination with farms, old barns, and rural landscapes. So when I had the opportunity to go out to the farm of a friend of a friend, I jumped at the chance. Taking along my camera I had hoped to capture some up close photos of their chickens, roosters, and horses. For some reason, I had forgotten just how quickly chickens and roosters move. Maybe if, along with a hawk flying over the coop, there had not been four children, four adults, and a new puppy surrounding them, taking their photos would have been a tad easier. While I was fairly comfortable (for a city girl who had only once lived next to a farm) around these creatures, I was awestruck by the gentleness and ease two young sisters had in handling them. Certainly having taken care of these chickens and roosters since they were barely days old may have had something to do with it, but not enough to account for their much admired fearlessness. 

While I could have probably taken dozens more photos of the chickens and roosters, I couldn't wait to get into the pasture with the horses. You only have to be in the presence of horses or to look into their beautiful eyes to understand why so many are so fond of these majestic creatures. Or why just being around them is akin to having a Zen-like moment.  An overwhelming feeling of calmness came over me as I brushed the mane of one of the horses. I could have stayed in the pasture for hours. But I didn't want to wear out my welcome on my first visit.

If there is one food I have learned to love over time, it would definitely be potatoes. Had it not been for the occasional potato pancakes or french fries we had growing up, mashed potatoes would have permanently ruined them for me. Ironically today, I find it hard to pass up mashed potatoes. However, it's even harder to walk away from perfectly roasted rosemary and garlic potato wedges. Served with or without the obligatory side of ketchup. 

Hot out of the oven or room temperature, Roasted Rosemary and Garlic Potato Wedges are nothing short of being one of my favorite comfort foods. Many use baking or russet potatoes when making oven roasted potatoes, but Yukon Golds are my roasted wedge potato of choice as I think they are most flavorful and have the best texture. 

The size of your potato matters less than the size of your wedges. So whether you buy large or baby Yukon Gold potatoes, you only need to cut your wedges to as close as possible uniform size (i.e., thickness). 

The potato wedges are tossed in a mixture of olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper, freshly chopped rosemary and garlic (either finely minced fresh or garlic powder). The listed amounts of rosemary and garlic are more guidelines than rules. If you like heavily seasoned, herbed potatoes, increase the amounts to your liking.

With one side of the cut potato wedge facing down, the potatoes roast/bake in a 400 degree (F) oven for 35-40 minutes. Or until they are lightly golden, crispy on the outside, and creamy on the side. Note: Turn potatoes over after 20 minutes of baking so both sides have the chance to bake flat against the pan.

Be careful not to squeeze too many potato wedges onto the pan (my baking pan was probably a little too full, but I got lucky and they baked up beautifully).

These Roasted Rosemary and Garlic Potato Wedges are incredibly delicious all on other own. In addition to the obligatory side of ketchup, they would pair well with either a bowl garlic aoili or sour cream. Don't forget to sprinkle the potatoes with a little more kosher salt when they come out of the oven! 

For a more rustic presentation, serve these Roasted Rosemary and Garlic Potato Wedges on the sheet pan they baked on. Or if you want to be a little less informal, serve them on one of your favorite platters. 

These crispy, creamy, well-seasoned Roasted Rosemary and Garlic Potato Wedges would be an impressive and substantial appetizer or the perfect side dish for a roasted chicken or grilled red meat (e.g., steaks, burgers). Your potato loving family and friends will be over-the-moon happy when they see these wedges brought to the table.

Roasted Rosemary and Garlic Potato Wedges

2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (could also use Russet potatoes)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for finishing
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 generous teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 generous teaspoon garlic powder or 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh garlic
Ketchup, garlic aoili, and/or sour cream for serving

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F).
2. Cut each potato in half lengthwise. Cut each half in half lengthwise again. Then cut each quarter lengthwise again, for a total of 8 wedges per potato. Each cut wedge should be of similar thickness. Place potatoes in a bowl.
3. Mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, chopped fresh parsley and garlic powder. Pour mixture over potatoes, tossing to ensure they are evenly coated.
4. Arrange potato wedges on a single layer, cut side down, on a large rimmed baking sheet. Note: Be careful to not overcrowd the potatoes.
5. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the potatoes over so the other cut side faces down on the baking sheet. Continue baking for an additional 15-20 minutes or until they are lightly browned, crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.
6. Sprinkle with some additional kosher salt.
7. Serve immediately with Ketchup, garlic aoili, and/or sour cream.

Chickens, sisters and freshly laid eggs on the family farm in Wilmington, IL (October 2017)