Chocolate Chip Favs

A good chocolate chip cookie is as American as apple pie.  Heck, I’d say chocolate chip cookies and brownies are more American than apple pie.  Seriously, which do you eat more often?  I for one am more likely to eat a chocolate chip cookie than a slice of pie or a brownie.  Nothing to brag about I know, but facts are facts.

Those three basic American baked items are all ones that I am more likely to enjoy if made by somebody else.  I never feel I have quite the right recipe.  However, I have churned out a lot of chocolate chip cookies this past month and have tinkered with the recipe from the Ghirardelli Original Third Edition Chocolate Cookbook 1986 to the point where I can say I really like the result.

I have doubled the recipe and with the fat and flour have decided to go “half ‘n half” — unsalted butter/Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks, and white A.P. Flour/King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour.

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Cream softened butter & Earth Blance with both sugars.  (I do this in my Kitchenaid stand mixer.) When light and fluffy add eggs and whip.  The mixture does not need to be perfectly smooth.

In a medium size bowl, whisk together 1 cup of each of the flours, salt, cinnamon, vanilla powder, and baking powder (or baking soda). *   The baking powder gives you a fatter, less spread & crispy cookie.  The photo in the tiles about shows the flatter, crispy cookie.

In a small bowl, combine chocolate chips, chopped walnuts – if using, and remaining 4 TBs of flour.

Pour contents of medium size bowl into the creamed ingredients and hand stir until just combined.  Add chip mixture and finish hand stirring.  Refrigerate dough for at least 20 minutes before scooping onto baking sheets.

Bake scooped cookies for 5 – 6 minutes in a 350F oven before rotating baking sheets and baking for an additional 4 – 5 minutes.  The exact baking time depends on your own oven, size of cookies, and your personal preference.  I find this recipe yields just over 3 dozen cookies and I can bake 3 sheets of cookies at a time in my convection oven.

glass plt choc chip

 

These cookies, on the glass plate, were made with baking powder.  They are fatter, chewier, and less flat & not as crispy as cookies with baking soda.

Family Dinner Rolls

IMG_8989

I did some baking today for a charity sale that is taking place on Saturday.    Cloverleaf rolls were a tradition at every family holiday meal.  The recipe is one I cherish.  My mom hand wrote it out for me a few years before she died when I had misplaced the copy that was late my Aunt Erma’s.  So I decided to make a double batch of dinner rolls for the baked goods table.

It is a really rich recipe, with eggs, milk, and butter.  I have made it with some whole grain flours, but it really is better taste & texture wise when you stick with all white AP flour.   My aunt and my paternal grandmother always baked with Gold Medal flour.  I mainly use King Arthur flour these days as it is a Vermont company, but I decided to pick up a bag of the lower cost store brand.  The result was as good as any batch I have ever cranked out of my kitchen.  I know because my husband and I split the little extra roll that I baked in a measuring cup.  As you may have noticed in the photo I skipped the time-consuming cloverleaf shaping and made simpler pan rolls.

IMG_8991I am not going to write out all the directions, because it is not that big a deal and now that I have a nice stand mixer I do not do the steps exactly as written.  If you are not confident with the procedure for making yeast rolls you can google any recipe for that.

RICH DINNER ROLLS   double batch

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or honey)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter (or margarine)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 4 packages regular Active Dry yeast
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • 11+ cups of flour

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Six Word Fridays ~ Sweet

candy box

Sweet memories, sweet treats, handmade chocolates.

candies

When I was a little girl my uncle would often come home with a pound box of chocolates from Richardson’s Candy Kitchen in Deerfield, MA.   As I got older he did not travel through Deerfield as often and I did not see the chocolates as much.  I do not remember them by the time I was in High School or after that.  Then sometime, probably a year or two ago, I saw the candy store mentioned on a Food Network program.   I marveled that they were still in business, but I never mentioned it to my husband.  Then when we were in Boston recently I decided to Goggle them.  They had a website. candy sign I sent the link from my iPhone to my husband’s iPhone.  A little bit later he said we could stop at Richardson’s on the way home.  We each selected our own half pound box assortment.  I still have some left.  I also have some dark chocolate foil wrapped Easter eggs and little bunny rabbits from Richardson’s Candies set aside.  Wherever you are, you can visit their website and make an order.  For me stopping at their shop was a very sweet treat.

 

Chicken Soup

… be it for the soul or for the body, or maybe just for the warmth and aroma.soup

It may look a bit more like beef broth than chicken as I decided to use some “forbidden rice” which added an extra depth of color.  I guess I could have/should have rinsed the black rice but to me that means washing about nutrients.

However, whatever, I have a good number of hearty bowls of low sodium/low cal goodness ahead of me this week.

Besides the forbidden rice I used arborio rice, & whole wheat orzo, carrots & celery – plenty of onion powder, ground rosemary, a couple pinches of ground pepper and paprika, and oodles of torn chicken meat.

Daily Prompt: 32 Flavors

Vanilla, chocolate, or something else entirely?

When you say 32 flavors I think ice cream, I think Baskin-Robbins ice cream.  However when I checked their website there are more than 32 flavors.  Additionally their “fun facts” page states that the

Baskin-Robbins “31®” was created to represent a different ice cream flavor for each day of the month. The “31 Flavors” concept was introduced into marketing efforts in 1953.

I did find a web page for the Dairy Palace in Canton, Texas with a menu of 32 Flavors of Hand-Dipped Blue Bell Ice Cream.  Here, in alphabetical order,  are those 32 flavors:    Banana Nut, Banana Pudding, Black Walnut, Bubble Gum, Buttered Pecan, Cake Batter, Caramel Fudge Pecan, Cherry Vanilla, Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Coffee, Cookies and Cream, Cotton Candy, Country Vanilla Yogurt, Dutch Chocolate,  Fudge Nut Brownie,  Happy Tracks, Homemade Vanilla, Lemon, Mint Chocolate Chip, Moo-lennium Crunch, No Sugar Added Vanilla, Peaches and Homemade Vanilla, Peppermint, Pistachio Almond, Pralines and Cream, Rainbow Sherbet, Rocky Road, Strawberries and Cream, Strawberry,  Strawberry Cheesecake, Tin Roof, Triple Chocolate,  and White Chocolate Almond.

Normally Dutch Chocolate would probably be my first pick followed ice-cream-clipclosely by Caramel Fudge Pecan, Mint Chocolate Chip or Fudge Nut Brownie.  But today, given that it is not that long after Christmas and I did not have a single candy cane during the holidays I would select Peppermint.  Ideally I would like some hot chocolate sauce drizzled generously over it.   Other flavors that sound appealing include Buttered Pecan, Caramel Fudge Pecan, Triple Chocolate,  and White Chocolate Almond.   I am not quite sure what Moo-lennium Crunch, Happy Tracks, Tin Roof flavors are.

Given the choice which flavor of ice cream would you order?