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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip

Chocolate Chip

I wanted to make some cookies to give to some workmen who will be doing some work in my apt tomorrow, they are so nice and don’t price gouge, besides paying them I wanted them to have a treat. I thought I would give the cookie recipe in my old Betty Crocker cook book a go. It’s so simple and I must say the cookies are really good. I used dark and milk chocolate chunks and dark brown sugar, the recipe didn’t specify. They came together quickly and baked up soft on the inside a little crisp on the outside and really good!

I’ve owned this cookbook for years and rarely use it, but I think I am going to start experimenting with some of the recipes. I really liked this one.

Betty Crockers Chocolate Chip Cookies

Made 27 cookies for me (recipe said it makes 4 dozen)

1 cup (2 sticks) room temperature unsalted butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 egg room temperature

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate chips (I use dark and milk chocolate and never measure)

Nuts are optional but I like hazelnuts or pecans in mine

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment or silpat. Cream butter and sugar using paddle attachment until creamy and smooth, add the egg and vanilla and continue beating until incorporated. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt and add to the creamed mixture and mx just until its combined. Don’t over mix. You can make your cookies right away if you like but I like to refrigerate over night and bring to room temperature before baking. I like to use a 1 1/2 tbs scoop and place a heaping mound on the baking sheet, baking a dozen cookies at a time. You can sprinkle a few flakes of sea salt on top of the cookies before they bake if you like, it’s delicious!

Bake for 10-12 minutes rotating pan halfway through baking. Remove to cooling rack and enjoy!

Yum!

Yum!

 

Spring Is Here….. In Theory And A Spring Recipe

Spring Turnips

Spring Turnips

At 12:57 PM today it’s officially spring. It is a glorious day in NYC with temps in the 50’s and after a tenacious winter those warmish temps feel really nice. It will be short lived but thats ok I see the light at the end of the tunnel. The first little nubs of green are peeking through the earth and I know that very soon there will be buds everywhere.

I can’t wait for the spring vegetables to hit the market, right now it’s still winter produce. I wanted to make something that just screamed spring but, to be perfectly honest, was completely uninspired by anything I saw at the market.

I decided to reprise a recipe that I made a couple of years ago, it’s a great spring soup, it’s simple and delicious and it will be the first thing I make when the spring produce hits the farmers market. I posted this on Food 52 about 2 years ago and was a communiuty pick, the editors also made the soup and  it was photographed by Mr Ransom the very talented food52 photographer. I also posted this here in May of 2012

Creamy turnip soup

Creamy turnip soup

Creamy Spring Turnip Soup With Wilted Radish Greens And Bacon

Serves 4-6 depending on serving size

3 cups spring turnips cut in quarters

3 young leeks cleaned very well and sliced

4 cups broth (I used chicken but vegetable broth would also be good or even water)

1/4 cup heavy cream

salt and pepper to taste

Clean and slice your leeks, I like to clean, trim and chop into rounds and add to a large amount of clean water. The grit goes to the bottom, then I scoop them out and rinse again. Let them air dry while you prep the turnips. Peel, rinse and chop the turnips into quarters.

Heat only enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a heavy large saucepan, add the dried leeks and cook only until softened. Add the turnips and cook for a short time you don’t want them to brown only to start to soften, I cooked on medium/high heat, Add the stock, bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium and cook for approximately 30 minutes or until the turnips are very soft.

You may not need all of the liquid depending on how thick you like your soup, so drain the turnips and leeks and process in blender until very smooth, Pour into a bowl and add back the stock until it reaches the consistency you like. Now add the heavy cream. Adjust seasoning. Stir and set aside while you make the topping. If you are serving the soup warm pour back in the saucepan and keep on very low flame.

Greens and Bacon

4-6 slices bacon (I like maple cured)

the leaves from a head of radishes

Remove the greens from the radishes and clean very well to remove any grit, Lay on paper towel to dry.

Fry the bacon until crisp, remove from pan and lay on paper towel, add the dried radish greens and saute only until wilted, Remove to paper towel. Ladle soup into bowls lay some of the wilted greens and crumble some of the bacon on top.

Photograph by James Ransom for Food52

Photograph by James Ransom for Food52

Happy St. Patricks Day

Irish Countryside

Irish Countryside

Ireland

Ireland

Irish Coffee,Brown Bread with Butter and Caramelized Pear Jam

Irish Coffee,Brown Bread with Butter and Caramelized Pear Jam

Corned beef, Colcannon, irish soda bread

Corned beef, Colcannon, irish soda bread

I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy St. Patricks Day. I did not and am not making anything special  but I did not want to let this day pass without well wishes. Here are some images from last year. Hope you all have a wonderful day, with great food and drink! La Fhelle Padraig Sona Daoibh!

Genoise With Strawberries And Whipped Cream Frosting

The cake

The cake

The Genoise I made the other day was for a special event, it was made for a very special girl who turned 9 years old today. She wanted colored icing and strawberries. I wanted to try and make the frosting pink without the use of food color. I thought the genoise lent itself to a whipped cream frosting rather than a buttercream because of the addition of fresh strawberries. I have posted here on the blog the recipe I use for a stable whipped cream frosting, it’s a recipe by James McNair from his book Cakes.

It’s an excellent recipe, and makes a very stable frosting that will not turn watery or dissolve. Here is the basic recipe:

Whipped Cream Frosting:

From James Mcnair’s Cakes

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups Heavy whipping cream Divided
  • 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
  1. Place metal bowl and wire whisk beater or beaters in freezer to chill.
  2. In a small saucepan combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch whisk until mixed. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup heavy cream whisk until smooth. Place on medium heat and stir constantly to prevent scorching at the bottom stir constantly until mixture thickens and almost comes to a boil. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and set aside stirring occasionally until it reaches room temperature.
  3. In the chilled bowl combine the remaining 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream and the vanilla beat with the chilled whisk of your stand mixer or your hand held mixer until the cream begins to hold shape. While still beating add the powdered sugar mixture a little at a time. Beat just until the mixture forms stiff peaks when the beater is raised and is spreadable, be careful not to over beat. Use immediately.

I took the basic recipe ad changed it a bit since I wanted my frosting to be pink. First I made a strawberry syrup by simply boiling strawberries with a little sugar, strain, smash and bottle. Super easy. I did this the day before and refrigerated the syrup. It’s a beautiful red.

strawberry syrup

strawberry syrup

Here is the recipe for the pink whipped cream frosting using James McNair’s whipped cream frosting as a base:

1/2 cup strawberry syrup

2 1/2 tsp corn starch

1/4 cup confectioners sugar

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla

In small saucepan add the strawberry syrup, cornstarch and confectioners sugar. Cook on medium heat until it thickens, immediately remove from the burner and spoon into a bowl . Let come to room temperature stirring occasionally.

To chilled mixing bowl add the heavy cream and vanilla,  with a chilled beater or whisk attachment start whipping the cream, when it begins to hold it’s shape add the cooled strawberry pudding, whip until it becomes a spreading consistency. Spread on your cake and refrigerate. This was enough to generously frost a 3 layer 8 inch cake.

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

Really, there are countless recipes out there in cyberspace, print and in our recipe files. I feel like there is always room for one more in my repertoire when it stands out. I like my muffins cakey rather than well, like a quick bread I have run across several in my culinary travels that have fit the bill. I saw these on pinterest (I think) and they sounded really good. Cake flour so they are light, vegetable oil so they are super moist and yogurt, not just for flavor but additional moistness and of course lots of blueberries. The muffins are from Alton Brown of Food Network. I have mad respect for Mr. Brown, his scientific and entertaining approach to cooking is wonderful.

I like these muffins a lot, it was my first time using this recipe and I will definitely use it again. I followed the directions for the most part exactly as written except for 2 things. I didn’t have fresh blueberries, I used frozen and they worked out just fine and I sprinkled a little organic sugar on the top of the muffins before baking. The muffin tops are crisp and a little crunchy and every bite gives you blueberry. One other last tip, if using frozen blueberries, toss them in 1 tbs flour, don’t reserve one tbs of the dry ingredients as indicated in the recipe.

Blueberry Muffins – Alton Brown

Makes 12 muffins

12 1/2 ounces cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
Heavy pinch salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup yogurt
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
Vegetable spray, for the muffin tins
Directions

Preheat oven to 380 degrees F.

In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

In another large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, egg and yogurt. Add the dry ingredients reserving 1 tablespoon of the dry ingredients and toss with the blueberries. Stir mixture for a count of 10. Add 1 cup blueberries to mixture and stir 3 more times. Reserve the 1/2 cup of blueberries.

Using a #20 ice cream scoop, add the mixture to greased muffin pans. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of berries on top of muffins and press down lightly. Place into the oven and increase the temperature to 400 degrees. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Remove from oven and turn out, upside down on tea towel to cool completely. Serve immediately or store in airtight container for 2 to 3 days.

Moist and loaded with blueberries

Moist and loaded with blueberries

Genoise Or Sponge Cake- Another recipe

8 inch genoise

8 inch genoise

I liked the recipe I recently posted for Genoise from Julia Child but became a little obsessed and wanted to find out more about this cake, there are so many variations, Julia’s recipe is great but I found another recipe I like a bit better. It is all a learning experience and I googled genoise and found a write up on wiki how with a video from Gourmet Magazine, the chef made it very simple and the cake turned out beautifully. In all fairness, when I made the other recipe I used a hand held mixer instead of my stand mixer to whip the eggs, although it is fine you get much better results when you use the stand mixer. The recipe makes either a 10 inch cake or two 8 inch round cakes. It’s as light as a feather and will be used for a birthday cake, that will be posted soon. I wanted to share the recipe and the video it’s simple and really good. Just one more option for you. The cake can be made in advance, wrapped well and frozen and allowed to thaw in the refrigerator over night.

Genoise – Gourmet Magazine

Makes One 10 inch round or Two 8 inch round cakes

6 eggs room temperature and soaked in warm water for 5 minutes, it will help aerate and you get a really wonderful rise.

2/3 cup sugar

1 cup cake flour, sifted first then measured

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

5 tbs unsalted butter melted and cooled

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees, grease or butter your baking pan or pans and line with parchment round, grease again and dust with flour. I used cooking spray for my pans.

Whip the eggs and sugar and vanilla on med/high or high for up to 10 minutes or until they form a ribbon (see video linked above). While eggs are whipping melt your butter and sift and measure your flour, add the tsp of salt to the measured flour. When eggs and sugar are light and fluffy, tripled in volume and have formed a ribbon transfer to a large wide bowl, your flour will be added in 3 installments, sift  approximately 1/4 of the flour on the eggs and fold in gently, now sift on half of the flour folding in, and then the rest of the flour is folded in. Take a big plop of the batter and mix into the melted butter, add to the rest of the batter folding in gently. Transfer to prepared pans and bake for 25-35 minutes depending on the size of the pans. The cake should be golden brown and will start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Allow to sit in pan for 10 minutes, run spatula or knife around pan edges and turn out onto cooling racks.