May 18th, 2008
The other night my wife declared “I need some chocolate decadence!” That was when I knew I had to get to work. We had both been craving chocolate chip cookies lately so I got out the recipe. These chocolate chip cookies come from an article we cut out of the Oregonian a year or so ago because my wife was trying to figure out how to make chewy, melt-in-your-mouth, decadent chocolate chip cookies. At long last, this recipe is the end-all of this famous morsel. I baked them for about nine minutes which was probably about one minute too short. Due to this, the centers were soft, but I thought I had reached heaven every time I bit into one.
I think the brown sugar (more moist than white sugar) and cold butter and eggs make the difference when compared to other recipes. When you beat the butter and it is cold, try chopping it into smaller pieces in order to blend it easier. Needless to say, my wife loved them! I even snuck in some whole-wheat flour so it didn’t feel all bad eating these!
I REALLY hope you enjoy them as much as I did. I’d quickly like to announce that I am joining the FoodBuzz Featured Publisher Program. I’m excited to have some new readers enjoying what I cook, so, welcome! Here’s what I did:
- 1 and 1/2 cups of brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup of cold unsalted butter
- 3 cold eggs
- 2 cups of regular flour
- 1/2 cup of whole-wheat flour
- 3 cups of quality chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch (up to 1 teaspoon) of fine sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit
- Beat the butter and brown sugar together until it is fluffy
- Beat in the cold eggs until well combined
- Mix in the vanilla
- Then mix in each of the flours, baking soda and the salt but only just until combined.
- Gently stir in (with a wooden spoon) the chocolate chips
- Spoon out by the tablespoon full (larger or smaller according to your taste) onto a greased cookie sheet with at least two inches between each cookie
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes
- Remove from tray immediately and cool on a cooling rack then serve with a big glass of milk and go to heaven!
I hope you enjoy them!
October 23rd, 2007
I guess there is a lot of pumpkin to go around this time of year. This is my third pumpkin recipe in the last few weeks. Even after this recipe, I still have fresh pumpkin left. My wife works for Stahlbush Island Farms and has brought home a lot of organic pumpkin (it’s one of their bigger products) for us to enjoy.
She tried the pumpkin rolls and thought that they were really good. I especially like them hot out of the oven (even if I have to reheat them there). Here’s what I did to make them (based off of “Mom’s Pumpkin Dinner Rolls Recipe“).
Ingredients (for 12 rolls):
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of good Active Dry Yeast.
- 1 Tablespoon of sugar
- 1/2 cup of 110 degree (Fahrenheit) milk
- About 4 cups of flour (add more as you need when kneading)
- 1 cup Organic Canned Pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 3/4 stick of butter (< 1/2 cup)
- 1 egg, beaten a bit
- Mix yeast and sugar into the milk and let the yeast grow for about 10 to 15 minutes. If it doesn’t grow (bubble and foam) then neither will your rolls so go get some new yeast! I get mine from our local co-op (First Alternative Co-Op) in bulk and it hasn’t failed me yet!
- Combine all the dry ingredients into a bowl
- Chop the butter into bits and mix it into the dry ingredients
- Add the egg, pumpkin and foamy yeast mixture
- Mix everything together until its all combined
- Next, take the dough and knead it on a floured surface (and keep it floured on top and bottom to keep from sticking on you and the surface) for about 10 minutes.
- If you are in a hurry you can skip this step but your rolls might not be as good. Set the dough in a bowl and cover with a tea towel for about 1 hour (or until it doubles in size). Indeed, I was in a hurry and skipped this step so please comment if you include it and let me know how it turns out.
- Punch the dough down and separate into 12 balls.
- Place the balls on an oiled baking tray (or use a springform pan or glass baking dish) and let them rise for another 45 minutes.
- Bake the rolls for 30-40 minutes or until they just turn golden at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
I think the two keys to baking bread, rolls, and similar recipes are:
- Let the yeast active for about 10-15 minutes with a little sugar or honey using 110 to 120 degree water (or milk in this case). I have been baking bread for some time now and ever since I started doing this my dough has turned out wonderfully.
- Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes. I used to be afraid of kneading because I thought it would make the bread tough, but I think the exact opposite is true. This allows the yeast to work through the flour and helps it to rise. Now my only problem with baking bread is that it rises TOO MUCH, but that’s a story for another day of blogging.
I hope you enjoy them!
October 17th, 2007
I love applesauce. I can only remember my Mom making it once, but my Grandma’s applesauce was the MOST delicious applesauce you have ever had! I loved the sweet and juicy apple chunks that she had, it didn’t remind me of the store bought kind — and that was a great thing! A year ago, during apple season, I decided I was going to try my own. I could not believe how simple it was to make, not to mention how delicious it was. My mother-in-law let me borrow an apple/potato peeler (a handy little machine) and I was off to work. It turned out great and I made quite a few batches over the months.
Once apple season ended (no more cheap apples) I sort of forgot about it, UNTIL NOW! Cheap apples are back. I got some fresh apples for 65 cents a pound at a fruit stand nearby this weekend so I could make applesauce. Sometimes I find “baking apples” (the bruised and beaten ones) over at Hazelnut Hill for 25 cents a pound during the season (I also can’t resist their chocolate covered hazelnuts!). For my next batch I hope to get over there and buy some cheaper apples.
Now, I don’t remember exactly what kind of apples I bought (shame on me) but you can just ask the clerk which apples might be best for applesauce (gala, granny smith all work though) . Here’s my recipe:
- 6-8 apples
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon (more or less to your taste)
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- You can do one of two things to get started: Peel the apples, or leave the peels on. (If you leave the peals on, later you will HAVE to put them through a food processor. I don’t recommend it, unless you like the peels and don’t want larger apple chunks. I forgot that detail today and left the peels on for fun.)
- Next, cut the apples into quarters, then trim out the core and seeds.
- Then place the apples in a pot and turn the stove on to medium-low.
- Place the lemon zest and juice in the pot and mix it in.
- Cover the pot and let it sit, come back and stir every 10 minutes or so. You’ll start to notice it turning more and more into applesauce after 20-30 minutes. You can be the judge based on thickness and number of apple-pieces to tell when its done.
- Now, add the cinnamon or, if you’re not a fan, leave it out or use less.
- If you don’t like my sugar free version, feel free to add sugar here too. I don’t think I need it after all the pumpkin cupcakes!
- This step is optional, but if you want to (or if you left the skins on) here you can process the pan. Since I left the skins on mine this time I pulsed mine a few times just to get the skins to bite-sized pieces.
That’s it! I just finished eating (and loving) a warm bowl of applesauce and am looking forward to my next batch already!
In the mean time, I have a lot of books to read. I went to the library today and checked out a bunch of books on food and cooking.
* These probably have a ton of natural sugar from the apples.