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Late night snacking

Maureen Malloy | Monday, September 12, 2005

Sometimes the best part about a fun night out is the cheesy breadsticks and pepperoni pizza that you and your friends will inevitably order at 2 a.m. But if you can rattle off Papa John’s number by heart or are listed as a preferred customer at Domino’s, it might be time to mix up your late night feasting.Instead of reaching for the phone book, serve up one or more of these treats to your friends, and you’ll be almost as popular as Ben & Jerry. These recipes are easy to prepare and can be made ahead of time or whipped up quickly when you get home.

Cold Sesame Noodles

3 tablespoons soy sauce2 tablespoons rice vinegar or white-wine vinegar1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar or granulated sugar, or to taste1/2 cup creamy peanut butter1 tablespoon Oriental sesame oil1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger1/2 cup chicken broth1 pound linguine or lo mein noodleschopped scallion and cucumber strips for garnish

In a saucepan combine the soy sauce, the vinegar, the red pepper flakes, the brown sugar, the peanut butter, the oil, the ginger and the broth, simmer the mixture, stirring, until it is thickened and smooth, and let it cool slightly.In a kettle of boiling salted water, cook the noodles until they are al dente, drain them in a colander and rinse them under cold water. Drain the noodles well, transfer them to a bowl and toss them with the sauce. Serve the noodles at room temperature and garnish them with the scallion and the cucumber.Serves 4 to 6.Recipe courtesy of Gourmet Magazine, September 1991.

The Sep Pep Sandwich

Garlic Sauce:10 tablespoons unsalted butter3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic

Pizza Sauce:2 cups pizza sauce with basil1 cup tomato juice3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic1/2 tablespoon salt2 loaves hearty French bread3 cups sliced mushrooms3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese2 cups sliced pepperoni (about 80 slices)1 tablespoon dried oregano

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Make the Garlic Sauce: In a medium bowl, microwave the butter on high until melted, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the garlic. In another medium bowl, whisk together the pizza sauce, tomato juice, garlic and salt. Set aside. Slice off part of the rounded side of each bread half to create a flat surface. (This will allow the bread to lay flat in the oven.) Cut the loaves open, lengthwise, keeping them intact like a book. Cut each loaf in half, crosswise, to make 4 sections. Arrange the bread on a baking sheet. Using a brush, slather the bread with the garlic sauce. Using a ladle or spoon, cover the bread with tomato sauce (be sure to cover to the edges to prevent burning). Spread about 1/4 of the mushrooms and mozzarella, and 1/2 cup (about 20 slices) of pepperoni across each loaf section and sprinkle with oregano. Bake until all the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown, about 8 to10 minutes. Serve immediately. Yields four to six servings.Recipe courtesy The Hot Truck, Ithaca, New York.

Sweet Nutty Popcorn Treats

12 cups popped popcorn1 1/2 cups sugar1/2 cup corn syrup1/2 cup water3 tablespoons unsalted butter6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped1 teaspoon vanilla extract1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts1 cup white chocolate chips

Lightly grease a large bowl and place the popcorn in it.In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water and cook over medium heat to the soft ball stage, 235 to 238 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer. Add the butter and when melted, stir in the chocolate and vanilla.Very carefully, slowly pour the hot chocolate mixture over the corn, stirring to prevent from lumping. Continue stirring until the mixture is cooled and the popcorn is evenly coated. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine and coat. Turn out onto a greased foil-lined sheet pan. Let cool, then store in airtight containers. Makes 14 cups.Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2004.

Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour1 teaspoon baking soda1 teaspoon salt1/2 tsp cinnamon1 1/4 cups Honey Bunches of Oats (or old fashioned oats)1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (preferably Plugra), softened3/4 cup granulated sugar3/4 cup packed brown sugar1 teaspoon vanilla extract2 eggs1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9-inch pie tin with vegetable-oil cooking spray; set aside. combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, oats, and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large mixer bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate and butterscotch chips. Press 3 cups of dough into prepared pan. Bake until edges are golden and center is almost firm to touch, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool at least 20 minutes and remove from pan. You’ll have enough cookie dough to make about ten more cookies, or to freeze for when your next cookie dough craving strikes.Adapted from Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe.