Lemon Chia Seed Muffins

Last summer my best friend Lauren invited me out to her family’s house in the Hamptons. I’ve lived on Long Island for 23 years and yet somehow, this was my first opportunity to visit the infamous area. I didn’t want to show up empty handed, so I made these lemon chia seed muffins. The original recipe calls for poppy seeds, but I only had chia seeds on hand, and I actually prefer them now. I also substituted plain greek yogurt for the buttermilk, since I found that it made for moister muffins. Because of these additions, I think the muffins qualify as healthy. That’s why I ate not one, but two, for breakfast at work this morning.

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One of the best traits of any muffin is its portability factor; I like a breakfast that can be zipped in a bag and taken with me, no muss, no fuss. That’s why I eat candy for breakfast so often. Very portable.

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INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs, SEPARATED. SEPARATED!

1 1/3 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp chia seeds (these can be found at Trader Joe’s in a resealable bag)

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (about 1 single serving plastic cup)

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (about half of a juicy lemon)

1 tsp vanilla extract

The zest of 2 lemons
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DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray (this recipe makes about 12 muffins).

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.

Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well with an electric mixer after each.

In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients, chia seeds, and lemon zest.

With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating two times with the greek yogurt, then lemon juice, and then vanilla.

Beat just until smooth.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.

Gently fold them into the muffin batter until blended.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, 3/4-full.

Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely.

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Spaghetti with Butter-Roasted Tomato Sauce

One of my biggest pet peeves is having leftover ingredients from a recipe and not knowing what to do with them. I made roasted leek and garlic toasts with minced anchovy filets as part of Christmas dinner; they were delicious, but left me with a jar full of anchovies in the refrigerator. I came across this recipe in Bon Appetit and noticed that it called for a couple of my fishy friends. I was concerned that their taste would be too strong since a lot of people don’t like their very distinct flavor (they’re reminiscent of low tide), but the little guys really just round out the 8 cloves of garlic and robust tomato flavors in the dish.

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The roasted garlic and leek toasts from Christmas!

Even though it’s a hearty, comforting meal, its bright scent reminds me of summer and picking tomatoes in my aunt’s garden.

INGREDIENTS:

1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes

8 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed

2 anchovy fillets packed in oil, minced

¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes plus more for serving

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

12 oz. bucatini or spaghetti (I’ve also used papardelle… anything that can hold up to the jammy sauce is fine) 

Finely grated Parmesan or Romano (for serving)

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DIRECTIONS:

Put on an apron– this recipe will splatter!

No really, put on an apron.

Preheat oven to 425°. Combine tomatoes (crushing them with your hands), garlic, anchovies, butter, and ½ tsp. red pepper flakes in a 13×9” baking dish; season with salt and black pepper. Roast, tossing halfway through, until garlic is very soft and mixture is jammy, 35–40 minutes. Using a fork, mash to break up garlic and tomatoes.

 

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking liquid.

 

Return pasta to pot and add tomato sauce and pasta cooking liquid. Cook over medium-high heat, tossing until sauce coats pasta, about 3 minutes. Serve topped with Parmesan and more red pepper flakes (and salt, if you have a salt problem like I do).
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The finished product. I wish you could smell this picture.

Nom nom nom, dig in!

Chrissy Teigen’s Cheesy Guac

I know it’s been a while since I posted– I was moving, and then Christmas happened (our dinner was French-themed so I made bacon fat mashed potatoes with cantal cheese and it was fist pumping good). I don’t know what my excuse for January is, but I’m gonna blame it on Donald Trump and the family of hamsters masquerading as his hair.

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I especially enjoy cooking when it’s holiday specific, so I figured I’d make something for Superbowl Sunday (go Beardogs!). I’ve been eyeing Chrissy Teigen’s cheesy guacamole recipe for a couple of weeks now, and this seemed like a good excuse to make it. I get that adding cheese to an otherwise healthy dip seems like overkill, but it takes it from being just an inexplicably delicious pile of green goop to being an inexplicably delicious pile of green goop with cheese mixed in. Plus, who’s really trying to be healthy on Superbowl Sunday?

 

INGREDIENTS:

3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded, and peeled

Juice of 1/2 a lime

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 medium onion, diced

1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely minced (jarred is fine)

1 tbsp chopped cilantro

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Tortilla chips (NOT “hint of lime”, unless you are a “hint of lime” eating monster)

*If you’d like to add tomatoes, Chrissy says to add 2 romas, seeded and diced. I have acid reflux so raw tomatoes are my worst nightmare. But if you can eat them, they add beautiful color and sweetness to an otherwise salty and tangy dish.

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DIRECTIONS:

Put the avocados in a medium bowl. Cover with the lime juice. Mash with a potato masher. Mash. Mash. Mash away, until there are only a few delightful little chunks left.

Mash in the spices and salt.

Gently fold in the remaining ingredients. Cover the guac in saran wrap for an hour to let those flavors dance together.

Wash your hands really well so you don’t touch your eye later and get jalapeño juice in it.

Dip your chip and enjoy.

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Buffalo Chicken Blue Cheese Pizza

Right now, my best friend Lauren is lying on my sofa and “Modern Family” is playing on TV. Actually, at this precise moment a Purina commercial is playing on TV, but you get the picture. Lauren and I are in this quasi comatose state because of what we did this afternoon. Or, I should say, what we ate this afternoon. Not only did I make buffalo chicken pizza covered in nuggets of mouth watering blue cheese, but I also made my favorite chocolate chip cookies, which we ate while watching the Hillary Duff-Heather Locklear classic, “The Perfect Man”. (If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. It’s one of those perfect late 90’s meets early 2000’s romcoms).

It’s been a couple of hours since the credits rolled on that and our cookie eating, so we just ordered Chinese. But don’t be too worried for our health; we kept it light, only ordering wanton soup and egg rolls… That’s light for us.

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Buffalo chicken with blue cheese is one of my favorite flavor combinations, and I absolutely LOVE buff chick pizza, especially from the pizza parlor Rosa’s out in Huntington. Their sauce is tangy and spicy enough to make you cough and down a glass of water. Sadly, they’re not handing out the recipe, so I used Sweet Baby Ray’s, which is still tangy but not quite as tear inducing.

Update: Lauren is now fully asleep on my sofa. She’s probably enduring some horrible heartburn. I’m sure the wanton soup will fix that…

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Makes 1, 12-14 inch pie. Serves 2 people.

INGREDIENTS:

1 bag Trader Joe’s pizza dough

1/2 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s buffalo sauce, plus 2 tbsp.

Scant 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/4 cup chopped red onions

1/4 cup sliced celery

1-2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped in 1/2 inch cubes

1/4 blue cheese dressing, if desired

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DIRECTIONS:

Let the pizza dough sit on the counter for 20 minutes in the bag.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Lightly grease a baking sheet, or cover it in parchment paper. On a separate, floured work surface, roll out the dough using a rolling pin. It wouldn’t stretch as far as I wanted it to, so I picked it up and rotated it through my hands in order to help the process along. Once it’s the size and shape you want it to be, relocate it to the baking sheet.

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Toss the chicken in the 2 tbsp of buffalo sauce. Set aside.

Pour the buffalo sauce on the center of the dough and spread around, leaving about an inch of the circumference bare for the crust. Sprinkle the mozzarella on the sauce covered portion. Pour the chicken on top and spread evenly. Cover with onion, celery, and blue cheese chunks.

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Bake for 10-14 minutes, depending on the strength of your oven. Make sure that the cheese is melted fully before taking it out. The crust should spring back when you poke it. Drizzle blue cheese dressing on top if desired.

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Enjoy!

Leslie

S’mores French Toast

I KNOW I just missed National S’mores Day by a hair, but I’m sure you can find it in your hearts to forgive me and try this recipe anyway. I’ve been wanting to play around with variations of french toast for a while, and adding s’mores to the classic breakfast was one of the first things I thought of.

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Growing up, I used to make s’mores at my aunt’s house in Connecticut. She doesn’t have a fire pit and bonfires definitely weren’t allowed in her suburb, so we always used the flames from her gas grill to toast our ‘shmallows. She bought these long roasting sticks at Christmas Tree Shop (one of her favorite stores, and one that I enjoy as well). I think we reused the same ones for a couple of summers in a row -not sure if that’s hygienic but oh well, we were kids. Being the sentimental person that I am, I wrote the dates that we used them in sharpie on mine. If I looked really hard, I’m sure I could find one tucked away under my bed, shrouded in dust bunnies and other childhood memorabilia.

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I also have a delightful memory of s’mores-making shenanigans from my semester living in LA: In the last week that we were there, one of my wonderful classmates Orrin had all of his fellow Business of Acting students over to his scenic house in Malibu. His parents made us handmade pizzas, grilled chicken and veggies for dinner. As the night wore on and the ocean breeze became chillier and more persistent, they built a fire and we made s’mores sitting around it under the twinkling white lights strung around the yard.

S’mores encompass summer, companionship, and community. French toast is a delicious treat that my mom makes for me once in a while (although this recipe is not the one that she uses). So, why not marry the two into one delicious, ooey, gooey, delightful mess that is sure to rot my teeth out of my head?

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Makes two sandwiches.

INGREDIENTS:

4 pieces hearty, day old white bread

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

Very scant 1/2 cup whole milk

1 tbsp orange zest

12 large marshmallows

8-10 rectangles of Hershey’s chocolate

A couple of pinches of brown sugar

4 tbsp butter

Maple syrup, if desired

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DIRECTIONS:

Combine the eggs, milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, and orange zest in a shallow bowl or pie pan. Whisk until combined and the spices aren’t lumpy and are evenly distributed. Heat 2 tbsp of the butter over medium heat in a medium frying pan. As the butter melts, start soaking the bread, one piece at a time, in the egg mixture. Make sure you flip each piece so that they’re evenly coated and won’t stick to the pan. Once the butter is fully melted, add a piece of bread to the pan. It should sizzle. If it doesn’t, turn up the heat a tiny bit. Once the first side is golden and no longer soaking wet, flip it. Continue with the rest of the bread, putting them on a plate as you finish each one. Set aside.

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Once the bread has cooled ever so slightly, place half of the chocolate and half of the marshmallows on one slice of bread. Top with another slice, and add a pinch of brown sugar to the top. Repeat with remaining two slices.

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Add the remaining butter to the pan. Once it’s melted, add one of the sandwiches, brown sugar side up, to the pan. If you can fit both sandwiches at once, feel free to do so. Once the bottom seems firm but not dried out, flip them very carefully, so that the brown sugar side is facing down. Again, once the bottom feels firm but isn’t dry, per say, remove the sandwiches from the pan. The marshmallows and chocolate will keep cooking for a few minutes after they’re taken off the heat, so don’t worry if they aren’t completely melted at this stage. Drizzle the sammies with maple syrup if desired, and serve immediately.

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Enjoy!

Leslie

Cannoli Cones

My cousin asked me to make a dessert for her second baby shower. Initially, I planned on making Ooey Gooey Lemon Bars, but the oven in my new apartment isn’t working (you can imagine the toll this has taken on my cookie making: I’ve been eating graham crackers with peanut butter as a midnight snack instead of moist, decadent, pillowy cookies fresh from my kitchen OMGIWANTCOOKIES), so I had to scratch that idea and think of something else that wouldn’t require baking.

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I really like the idea of marrying two desserts in one delicious package, so I started thinking of ways to do something a little different with cannoli cream; I went to brunch in Long Island a week ago and passed up a cannoli cream waffle, which I’ve been (rightfully) regretting ever since. Consequently, I’ve had cannoli on the brain.

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I realized it would be a cute and easy, no-bake idea to insert homemade cannoli cream into sugar cones from the grocery store. I could decorate the cones with some sprinkles to jazz them up and make them baby shower appropriate. The sprinkle actually wound up being mermaid themed, so the ice cream cone concept was a good fit with the beachy atmosphere that my aunt created with her decorations and menu options.

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I’ve never made cannoli before, but I know what I like, so I adapted a recipe from Alex Guarnaschelli.

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INGREDIENTS:

For the Cones:

2 packages (about 24), sugar cones

1/2 cup melted semisweet chocolate chips

Sprinkles

For the Cream:

2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese, strained (I used Bel Gioioso because it doesn’t require much straining)

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup small semisweet chocolate chips (I used regular, because I had them on hand, but small is more authentic!)

Zest of 1/2 a lemon

1 tbsp of orange zest

1 tsp vanilla extract

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DIRECTIONS:

For the Cones:

Remove the cones from their packaging, and separate them. Set any broken ones aside (we’ll eat these later with any extra cannoli cream). Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl on high in 15 second increments, stirring in between each, until they’re thoroughly melted but not burned.

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^My nephew noshing on one.^

Dip the rounded part of each cone into the chocolate, then dip them in the sprinkles while still wet. I found the sprinkles adhered better when I stuck the cone directly into the sprinkles, rather than twisting it clockwise in them.

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Set the cones, chocolate-sprinkle ends up, in a few mugs, then refrigerate for about 5 minutes, or until the chocolate is no longer wet. Set aside.

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For the Cream:

In a large bowl, whisk the ricotta until smooth. Sift in the powdered sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. I made this at home on Long Island and left my sifter in the city, so I used a splatter screen. Hehe. Blend, whisking gently until just combined and there are no powdery lumps.

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In a small, chilled metal bowl, beat the heavy cream with the vanilla until relatively stiff peaks form. Do not over whip, or it will collapse. Gingerly fold the cream into the ricotta blend using a rubber spatula. Fold in the chocolate chips and fruit zests. Refrigerate for at least an hour before using.

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Assembly:

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop about 1 1/2 scoops into each cone. The cream will lie flat on top; it won’t be arched as ice cream would be. However, the better you strain your ricotta, the fluffier it will be (truth be told, I didn’t strain my ricotta at all, because I left my sieve in my apartment too! But it still tasted great and the texture was absolutely fine). Place a chocolate chip or two on top of the cream as a garnish. If you’re trying to be authentic, skip the sprinkles and simply coat the top of the cream in mini chocolate chips so that it looks more similar to a regular cannoli.

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^You can store the cones in an airtight container until use. DO NOT fill them until you are ready to serve, or the cones will become mushy!^

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Enjoy!

Leslie

Dino Oreo Truffles

To most people, this past Saturday was the Fourth of July. But to me, it was my nephew’s third birthday party. (And also the Fourth of July; it’s one of my favorite holidays). Last year his birthday was Sesame Street themed, so I made sugar cookies with Cookie Monster and Big Bird faces on them. This time around it was dino themed, and I initially had no idea what to make. I perused Pinterest for recipes, but mostly found complicated fondant* cakes and cake pops, which I wasn’t in the mood to experiment with. Also, it seems there’s a divide in dino party concepts: some are scarier and more Jurassic Park-like, while others are more cartoonish and friendly.

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^Cookie Monster cookies from last year^

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^Big Bird cookies… a little sadder looking than their Cookie Monster counterparts^

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Finally, I came across a picture of some dino cake pops that I realized I could make using an Oreo truffle recipe that I use every Christmas. As with most Pinterest recipes, mine didn’t come out exactly how the originals looked, but they’re still very cute, if I do say so myself. Over time it’s occurred to me that unless your family is brimming with Martha Stewarts and Julia Childs, whatever you make will probably be impressive to everyone, even if it’s not one hundred percent perfect. So, relax. Make what you want to make. Try something that’s a little out of your comfort zone; make the dino truffles. And if they come out poorly, eat the evidence.

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I think this recipe, if we can even call it that since it’s really a rough outline of what I did and in what order, makes about 14-16 dinos. Mine were on the large side, so if you want to make more with the same amount of ingredients, just form the heads to be a little bit smaller.

*Fondant is basically equivalent to the f word in my family. Every time we watch “Cake Boss” and Buddy uses fondant (which he always does) my family screams, “ew! Not the fondant, it’s so dry!”

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INGREDIENTS:

1 package Oreos (I used regular Oreos since I needed to use white chocolate, but if you’re using milk or bittersweet chocolate I recommend trying mint oreos)

1, 8 oz. bar cream cheese, room temp.

1/2 regular sized bag of M&M’s

1, 12 oz. bag of white chocolate chips

1 tbsp. black frosting

Blue food dye

Brown sprinkles

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DIRECTIONS:

Put the oreos into a Ziploc bag and seal tightly. Put on a cutting board, and whack with a meat pounder until crushed into small bits. I used a hammer since I just moved into a new apartment and was not successful in stealing my mother’s meat pounder while packing. Once the Oreos are adequately crushed, carefully pour them into a medium-large mixing bowl. Add the cream cheese and mix with a spoon or your hands until combined.

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Cover a baking sheet with wax paper. Roll the Oreo mixture into balls a little bit smaller than ping pong balls. Use your best judgment. Then, roll a much smaller ball for each large one, and stick the smaller ball into the side of the larger one. This will be the dino’s nose, so make sure it’s firmly packed onto the head, or it will come off when you’re coating them in chocolate. Also, try to flatten the smaller ball a bit so that it looks more like a nose. Put each complete head on the wax paper tray.

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Once you have as many complete heads as you’d like, place the baking sheet into the freezer for at least an hour, or overnight.

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Using a toothpick, dot the flat side of 36-40 white chocolate chips with black frosting– these are the eyes. I made a few extra since I knew a couple would probably come out wonky. When my roommate saw the eyeballs on the dinosaurs she said, “some of these are gonna go extinct sooner than others”. Case and point.

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Melt about half of the white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, 30 seconds at a time on high, stirring in between. White chocolate takes a little bit longer to melt than milk, and also hardens more quickly. As soon as it’s adequately melted, add the blue food dye. You can add as little or as much as you’d like; mine was sort of baby blue, but I think a darker, more neon blue would have looked even better.

Once your chocolate is blue, pick up an Oreo head and gently paint it with the chocolate using the backside of a metal teaspoon. Don’t worry about getting the bottom, or making the chocolate perfectly smooth. Once it’s sufficiently coated, put the dino back on the tray, and stick on a row of M&M’s (these are the spikes of the dinosaur) from the top of the head to the base of the neck. Add the white chocolate chip eyes just above the nose, then add two brown sprinkles to the flat protruding part of the nose, giving the dinosaur nostrils. Repeat with remaining dino heads.

You can put each dino in a cupcake liner for an easy cleanup, or put them directly on a serving tray. I cut up some green peeps in an attempt to make grass, but it wound up looking more like tentacles, according to my friend Emily who came over to help.

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^Emily helping/dancing/hair whipping.^

The white chocolate will harden on its own, so no need to freeze the dinos again. But, remember to refrigerate them if you’re not serving them immediately, as they do contain cream cheese.

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^My scrumptious nephew. He called the M&M’s “dinosaur hair”.^

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Enjoy!

Leslie

Toasty Tuna Tartlets

It’s snowing. It’s blizzarding. I’m almost out of Oreos. Consequently, I’m hungry and bored. So I decided to make these warm and toasty tuna tartlets, which is really a boujis way of saying “tuna melts”. The biggest difference between these and traditional tuna melts is the use of puff pastry as the bread component in this recipe. I didn’t have quite enough tuna to go around, so I also made a few ham and cheese tartlets, using most of the same ingredients.

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As good as these are for munching on a cold winter day in front of your computer while Netflix reloads (or after shoveling your driveway, as the case may be) they’re also great as a casual hors d’oeuvre since they’re simple but delicious. I highly recommend pairing them with a glass of lemonade or iced tea. I know that doesn’t totally make sense since it’s snowing, but it’s a great combo.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed and cut into 12 squares

Gruyere cheese, grated

Few slices low salt ham cold cuts

Honey mustard

1 scallion, green part only thinly sliced

Fresh lemon juice, plus a few pinches of zest

1 can tuna

1-2 tbsp mayonaise

Black pepper

1 egg yolk

1 tbsp heavy cream

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DIRECTIONS:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place puff pastry squares on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.

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Tuna Tartlets:

Combine tuna and mayo; mash together with a fork. Squeeze in a bit of lemon juice, being careful not to drop in any seeds. (Hold the lemon with the cut part facing upwards). Grate in some zest, and stir into tuna mixture. Spoon tuna evenly onto puff pastry squares. Keep the edges of the pastry clear so that it can rise around the filling. Grind some black pepper over the tuna. Cover with cheese. Set aside.

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Ham and Cheese Tartlets:

Spread a dollop of honey mustard on the remaining puff pastry squares. Rip up a few cold cuts, and place them on top of the mustard, leaving the edges of the pastry clear as you did with the tuna. Grind black pepper over the ham, and cover with remaining gruyere.

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Scramble the egg yolk in a small bowl, and add the heavy cream. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the mixture onto the bare edges of the pastry squares.

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Put baking sheet in oven and let bake for 14-16 minutes, depending on the strength of your oven. The puff pastry should be golden brown and risen when you take them out.

Put 2-3 scallions on each square.

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Enjoy!

Leslie

Triple Chocolate Fudge Cookies

I’ve been posting a lot of recipes involving classically autumnal flavor profiles (i.e. cinnamon, pumpkin, and nutmeg), so I decided to go the chocolate route for a change. The name of these cookies might seem a bit overdone, but there’s so much chocolate involved that it somehow feels appropriate. This recipe, which comes from the scrumptious food blog Baker By Nature, popped up on my Instagram feed a few days ago, and I haven’t been able to shake the memory of seeing so much chocolate enveloped in one cookie.

And now, the dilemma: I’ve been mildly attempting to eat more healthily, and I knew that making these cookies wouldn’t help in my feeble endeavors for obvious reasons. I needed to make them, eat one or two (or three or four, let’s be honest), and then get them out of the house as soon as possible. And then I remembered: my church has a coffee hour in between services, so once in a while I bring baked goods to serve there. What a perfect opportunity to get rid of these cookies! Again, after I test them.

Each batch only makes a dozen cookies, but they’re so big that it’s not chintzy to cut them up before serving them if you don’t feel like doubling it. I would have tried making them smaller, but since it’s a new recipe I decided against meddling with the cooking time.

Original Recipe: http://bakerbynature.com/soft-batch-double-chocolate-fudge-cookies/#more-19665

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INGREDIENTS:

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar (6 tbsp total)

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup milk chocolate chips, to be mixed in to the batter

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DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper, and lightly grease or spray with non-stick spray (remember, these cookies are fudgey!).

Place the semi-sweet chocolate chips and butter in a small, microwave safe bowl. Heat them in the microwave for for 15 second increments of time, mixing in between each, until butter and chocolate are completely melted and can easily be whisked smooth. Be sure you don’t overcook the chocolate, as this will cause it to thicken and be harder to fold into the batter. Set aside.

In a small-medium bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate medium-sized bowl whisk together the sugars, eggs, heavy cream, and vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and stir to combine – be wary of over-mixing, as this will make the batter too stiff.

Fold in the melted chocolate/butter and the milk chocolate chips into the batter, stirring only until everything is combined evenly.

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Scoop 1/4 cupfuls of the batter on the prepared baking sheets (do not try rolling the batter into balls with your hands… you will have a handful of melted chocolate), place pans in the oven, reduce heat to 300 degrees, and bake for 18-20 minutes. You can tell that they’re done because they will have a slight pearlescent sheen to them, due to the egg yolks.

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Allow cookies to cool for at least on hour on the baking sheets… truth be told, I snuck one before they were finished cooling, and it was totally fine, but if you have to transport them or are afraid of breaking them, I suggest waiting the full hour.

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Enjoy!

Leslie

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

If there is one recipe I want you to make from my blog, this is it. It is hands down the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I have ever tried. I discovered it when I first started baking a few years ago on a site called Allrecipes.com. Since then, I’ve adjusted it slightly and have made it countless times. Without fail, it’s always a success.

When I make these gigundo cookies I love eating them at various stages of the recipe. I take my first nibble once I’ve added the chocolate chips to the cookie dough. I don’t like to eat too much of the dough because that means less cookies for me (did I mention I’m legit Cookie Monster?). Next, I steal a pinch right after they come out of the oven. I’m often impatient when it comes to cookies (haha no really, I am Cookie Monster), so I try to move them to the cooling racks too soon. When this happens and a cookie breaks or crumbles, I use its imperfect appearance as an excuse to eat it right then and there. Once the remainder of the cookies have cooled, I eat at least two more. At least.

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So maybe I’m NOT the real Cookie Monster, but I’m pretty darn close. 

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INGREDIENTS:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 cup packed light brown sugar 

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips OR 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips and 3/4 cup white chocolate chips OR 1 cup peanut butter chips and 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips OR 1 cup milk chocolate chips and 1 cup dark chocolate chips

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DIRECTIONS:

Makes 18 large and in charge cookies

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper for an easy cleanup.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. Do not skip this step; this is part of what makes these cookies so fluffy!

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In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy (I’ve done this step using an electric beater and by hand; do whichever you prefer). Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips using a wooden spoon.

Roll cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time in your hands then place on the prepared cookie sheets (each cookie should be about the size of a golf ball… every time I make them, my mom comments on how big they are). Thus, cookies should be about 3 inches apart.

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Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. They may seem undercooked to you, but they’re probably not! Take them out as soon as the edges have firmed up a little bit and the egg yolk has created a slight iridescence on the cookies. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Use the biggest spatula you have to avoid breaking them when transferring the cookies from the baking sheets to the wire racks. Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days– if they last that long.

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