cookie marathon

October 25, 2009

I love baking cookies. Chocolate chip cookies at that.  It’s my instant gratification.  I find it so comforting, using the same, simple ingredients and easy method. I can say with confidence that I have made hundreds and hundreds of cookies, if not thousands.

And let me tell you that I do make a mean cookie.  I can tailor them to your liking.  I am good at suiting particular tastes.  For my dad, I need to make them chocolaty and crispy/ crunchy.  While my mom needs nutty, chewy, gooey cookies.  Therefore, I always have to make several recipes and have the cookies going at different times in the oven.  You will never catch me making cookies in which I do not make at least two different types.  I call these my cookie marathons.

You get so used to the process.  You also have to make sure your doing all the steps right to get a perfect cookie:

1) cream the butter and sugar.  Until light and fluffy!!  This will take at least 2 minutes with your stand mixer, even longer.  Don’t be afraid to over beat, you want it to be bright white.  Although I promise that a perfect CCC recipe will use mostly, if not all, brown sugar (you get that yummy depth of carmely flavor!).

2)mix in your extract and egg(s).  Only notes are pretty much make sure you don’t have a bad egg….yuck!  and use REAL vanilla extract.  None of the fake sh*t.

3) mix in your dry ingredients.  These have all been prepared and sifted in a separate bowl prior to everything else.  Add gradually and mix until just combined.  Then I always crank it up to max speed for less then two seconds just to get everything off the bottom and sides.

4) Stir in your mix ins.  Chocolate- I used semi/bittersweet chocolate.  Usually 60% coco, and I like to buy the disks or a large bar so I can chop it up! You can really taste the difference when you invest in a good quality chocolate! (I was able to bring these disks back from Jacques Torres boutique in New York City!) I like this better than chips because then you get nice fat swirls/ globs/ and irregular chunks of chocolate throughout the cookie. YUM.  Oh and walnuts are almost just as important.  It is incredible what added nuts can do to any cookie!!

5) now treat yourself to some delicious cookies dough 🙂  wrap it tightly in wrap and put in the fridge to chill overnight!  I usually will bake up one half-sheet pan worth of cookies right away and store the rest in the fridge… just because I am impatient.  Plus, you also get to witness the incredible difference chilling your dough makes!

I do have a favorite(s) CCC cookie.  These are not them. (I promise a post will go up of my favorites). Every time I bake cookies I try out a different recipe. I bookmark so many that I want to try, I can’t afford to make my favorites all the time. These were four new recipes.

Vegan CCC

I’ve never consciously baked vegan before.  These cookies looked amazing, so I tried them out.  I didn’t have and molasses so I added a splash of dark rum….. kind of weird, hahha ….my odd little interpretation.  They turned out tasting like chewy graham crackers!!  Perhaps I baked them a little too long?  I don’t know but they were good, just not what I was expecting to make.

Granola CCC

I love granola.  We had a bag of homemade granola my aunt sent to my family from the east coast. No one had really touched it, so I figured I would bake with it because I had  seen this recipe.  They turned out to be my dad’s favorite of the bunch.  Good, chewy texture, but almost a little dry.  The granola I used was basically toasted cinnamony oats, not the tradition store bought kind.

Regular CCC

These were just plain old CCC.  Yum, although not my favorite.  They turned out a little to cakey for me.  I like em chewy and gooey like my mom.  I’ll try these again and perhaps underbake them a bit.

Mint CCC (scroll down the link for recipe)

I have made mint CCC using mint chips, but never with peppermint extract.  I had a bit left from making mint chip ice cream last holiday season, so I used the last few drops, filled the bottle up with water and used another teaspoon of the minty water.  The recipe calls for two teaspoons, but that was plenty mint!  These were the best of them all! Chocolaty delicious and minty!! yummm. Make these!! Damn good.

Rain and Fall Baking

October 14, 2009

wow, the rain has come.  And with a fiery passion at that!  Yesterday, I parked two blocks away from school and by the time I had walked from the car to my first period class, it literally looked as though I had been standing waist high in water.  Even with an umbrella and rain coat, my pants were soaked through.  On the way home, golden gate park was closed and half the roads were flooded, not to mention the crazy wind that ripped apart several trees!  On a miserable day like this, all you can really do is bake!

So I finished up my first quarter at school and have the rest of the week off (a much needed break!).  I attended a grueling 3 hour SAT prep session last night and was anxious to find something good to make as I did my daily foodgawker blog roll.  Sometimes, (last night was no exception)  I literally click like 40 blogs, everything on that site looks amazing!! Anyways…. as I was making my rounds I noticed that fall recipes are definitely making their appearance.  In particular, I see the one reoccurring ingredient.  The ingredient, I might add, of fall.  I see it featured in bread puddings, pies, graham crackers, cookies, cupcakes, muffins, loafs, even butter.

“Too bad I don’t have any on me”, I think to myself….. until I stumble upon two 29oz cans of Libby’s canned PUMPKIN in my pantry.  I am so excited. no joke.  So now to the decision: what do I make!? Everything looks amazing….. I decide on pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  The cakey ones that seem to be making an appearance on most all major blogs.  I also found a wonderful looking pumpkin bread, someone’s mom’s recipe- has to be good right?? (hey I do have 29oz of pumpkin to use!) Oh and I also had 13 egg yolks in my fridge that I had to use up.  Yes, 13.  I made a coconut cake for my mom’s birthday last week so I decided on these egg yolk cookies from allrecipes.com.

The only changes I made to any of the recipes was using four egg yolks and two whole eggs instead of four whole eggs for the pumpkin bread.  I also added almonds, chocolate chips, pistachios, and dried cranberries to half of the egg yolk cookies.

As for the pumpkin cookies- very cake-like.  I didn’t use as many chocolate chips as the recipe called for.  It literally tasted like you are eating cake instead of a cookie.  They were pretty good, recipe can be found here: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

The Pumpkin Bread- yummy and moist.  I made one loaf topped with pralined pecans and chopped almonds, and six tea cake molds that turned to muffins.  I wish I had added more nuts to the actual bread! Recipe can be found on this cute blog: Pumpkin Bread.

Egg Yolk Cookies-  I didn’t have lemon or orange extract, so I used the zest of one orange.  It gave a great fresh flavor.  The cookies themselves remind me of packaged cookie dough that you can buy at the store.  After baking a few plain ones, I added nuts, chocolate, and cranberries to spice them up.  I baked them longer because I thought they were better crispier.  Recipe is here: Egg Yolk Cookies.

the two-faced bunt

October 9, 2009

I made a bunt.

and it was pretty boring….

perhaps I should decorate it…..

with chocolate?

or fresh blackberry buttercream??

I say both.

mmmmhhhmmm…..