Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Durango Cookie

I have a recipe for chocolate granola that I love. It comes from my cookbook Food & Wine Best of the Best. A gift from my amazing sister, Dawn. I loved the recipe so much that I wanted to buy the original book that the recipe came from, Sweet. It is a beautiful book. I love it! These cookies are the second recipe I gave a go. They are outstanding. Well, adult outstanding. The kids did not like them..could be the cocoa nibs or hickory smoked salt. I found them to be so fun.

Durango Cookies
Excerpted from Sweet by Valerie Gordon (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2013
2 cups plus 3 tablespoons (11 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (9 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups (10.5 ounces) light brown sugar
3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups (1 pound) large milk chocolate chips
1 cup (4.4 ounces) roasted almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 cup (2 ounces) cocoa nibs
Durango smoked salt for sprinkling ( I used smoked salt)

1. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda into a medium bowl. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl, using a handheld mixer), cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
3. Using a fork or small whisk, beat the eggs and vanilla together in a small bowl. With the mixer on medium speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and eggs and continue beating until the batter is smooth. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and beat for an additional minute. Add the chocolate chips 1 cup at a time, mixing for 30 seconds after each addition. Add the almonds and cocoa nibs and beat until combined, 30 to 45 seconds. Transfer the batter to a large bowl (if it’s not already in a mixing bowl), cover with plastic wrap or parchment paper, and chill for 1 hour.
4. Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line two large heavy baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
5. Using a 21/2-inch ice cream scoop (or a 1/3-cup measure), scoop the dough onto the lined baking sheets, spacing the cookies 3 inches apart (the cookies will spread considerably while baking). Sprinkle each ball with Durango salt. Bake for 15 minutes, or until slightly golden on the edges. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets on cooling racks for 10 minutes.
6. Using an offset spatula, transfer the cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Makes 30 large cookies
Storing: The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days or transferred to Ziploc freezer bags and frozen for up to 2 months.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Wonder Cookie

This cookie is called Chocolate Chip Treasure Cookie at Mel's Kitchen Cafe blog. Joel is calling it the "ONE". He asked me why I would ever make another cookie recipe because of this "Wonder" cookie. It is really good. So when it cools down and is not 100 degrees outside we will make these again. Maybe it should be the Winter Wonder Cookie.

Wonder Cookie
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 25-30 squares)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups coconut
  • 2 cups (1 package) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped (Sadly, nut allergies!)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, flour and baking powder. In a large bowl, beat sweetened condensed milk and butter until smooth. Add graham cracker crumb mixture; mix well. Stir in coconut, chocolate chips and walnuts.
  3. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 9-10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Recipe Source:
from Debbie R. via Aunt Marilyn

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Supposedly the "Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie"

I found a "best" recipe for chocolate chip cookies and wanted to see if it really was the best. Joel's opinion is that it most definitely is. The flavor is excellent. Great texture..but my gripe is that it is only good fresh. Next day not so is okay but not amazing like the chocolate rye cookie. But for a cookie that you are needing right now this is really yummy.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour (about 10 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar (7 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet or milk chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make sure an oven rack is in the center of the oven.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. Either by hand or with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until well mixed. Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla. Mix well until the batter has lightened slightly in color, about 2 minutes. Add the dry ingredients and chocolate chips at the same time. Mix until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Form dough into tablespoonful-sized balls and place on parchment or silpat-lined cookie sheets. Frozen cookie dough can be stored for up to 2 months in the freezer.
  5. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until the edges are set and just lightly browned (keeping in mind that ovens can vary in temperature so use your best judgment). Don't overbake or else the cookies will be tough and hard. If baking frozen cookie dough, add 1 to 2 minutes onto the baking time. Store the baked cookies in an airtight container (or baked cookies can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months).

Recipe Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Quinoa Salad

Another great recipe from The Family Cooks. I have made it numerous times. I add things as I have them and change things because it is so flexible. I just love it!

Quinoa Salad

1 1/2 cup quinoa (rinsed if needed)
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds ( I have added raw pumpkin seeds also)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsely (I didn't use)
1/2 cup dried berries (cranberries, blueberries, or raisens)
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
Huge hand full of spinach, sliced thin (recipe calls for Kale)
I added cooked broccoli
1/4 scant cup olive oil
1/4 scant cup lemon juice
1 tea salt

1. Cook quinoa in salted water (I used chicken broth). Cook until tender 10 min. Drain well and cool on baking sheet about 15 minutes.
2. Combine all ingredients into bowl while quinoa is cooling.
3. Add salt and pepper to taste..or lemon juice as needed.