Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Chocolaty Chocolate Chip Cookie

Natalie wanted to create this blog so she and we could try new recipes and learn new ways. Natalie wanted me to continue with this blog because it will help fill my time and help me to think of her. So I begin again and hope you will all enjoy and cook along with me.

These chocolate chip cookies are really good. My niece, Diana, turned me onto a new food blog called Our Best Bites. These are from Cook's Country from Cook's Illustrated. They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and filled to overflowing with chocolate chips. YUMMO!

The Cast of Characters

Measure out the dry ingredients into a bowl.

Uses Real Butter-makes it always taste so good!

The butter is melted first and then you add the sugars and vanilla. Mix all together.

This uses 1 large egg and 1 egg yolk.

The dough (if it makes it to the pan).

Make the dough balls any size you want. These are about like a ping pong ball.

All baked. Let them cool on the pan.

The stack of cookies and a bite taken out of one. WOW! These really are yummy and chocolaty.


2 C plus 2 T flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
12 T butter (1 1/2 sticks) melted and cooled until warm
1 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
2 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 C semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower- middle positions. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

Either by hand or with electric mixer, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Mix in egg, yolk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients; mix until just combined. Stir in chips.

Now, I'll share a method from Cook's Illustrated, and then the method I used. CI says the following

Bake until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy, 10-13 minutes. Cool cookies on cookie sheets. Serve or store in airtight container.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Creme Brulee

The first time I ever had Creme Brulee was a few years ago at the Roof at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. I fell in love with it then. On our cruise to Italy last year, I ordered Creme Brulee every chance I got. I have wanted to try making Creme Brulee for a very long time. My kids gave me a set of ramekins and a torch for my birthday in March and I just now made this little bit of heaven. The recipe, if I had been paying attention, made way too much for the ramekins that I had so needless to say I dumped some in a couple of other oven friendly bowls and baked up the rest of it. If you try this recipe, cut it in half. Hope you will try it out.

Start with 10 egg yolks.

Put cream into a sauce pan and simmer until hot but do not boil.

Beat the eggs until golden and add the sugar. Mix well.

Add 1 cup of hot cream into the eggs a little at a time to temper the eggs. This heats up the eggs and gets them used to the heat without cooking the eggs. Then add the rest of the cream while mixing. It will be light and frothy.

Pour the mixture into the ramekins that are on a baking sheet. Put the baking sheet into the oven and add water to the pan so that it comes up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake for 30 minutes. The center will still be a little wiggly. Do not overbake. You might need to watch them right at the end so they don't brown. Cool on the counter and then put into the fridge for 2-3 hours to chill.

When you are ready to eat, take out the ramekins, sprinkly with fine baking sugar (or regular if that is what you have) and then use a Creme Brulee torch to caramelize the top. (I think you could use your pre-heated broiler if you don't have a torch) EAT immediately.

The little ramekin! YUMMY!

Even better the next day. Of course, this ramekin is bigger than the others. Love this recipe. I will be making this again but I will make sure to half the recipe. I hope you enjoy.

Stay tuned to the other recipe I made the same night but was a real FLOP!

Crème Brûlée

Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 30 Minutes | Difficulty: Intermediate | Servings: 6

■4 cups Heavy Cream
■1 whole Vanilla Bean OR 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract OR 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Paste
■10 whole Egg Yolks
■¾ cups Sugar
■6 Tablespoons Superfine (Baker's) Sugar
Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Pour the cream into the saucepan. Add vanilla (whichever product you’re using) and simmer over medium-low heat.

Whip egg yolks with the sugar until pale yellow and thick.

Strain cream using a fine mesh strainer.

Whip yolks while you very slowly drizzle in 1 cup of warm cream. Go slowly so as not to cook the eggs! Once the first cup is added, you can add the rest of the cream slowly.

Place ramekins onto a rimmed baking sheet. Pour custard mixture into ramekins. Pour water in bottom of baking sheet until it comes halfway up the ramekins. Bake for 30 minutes, or until just set. Do not allow to get brown.

Cool ramekins on countertop, then chill for at least 2-3 hours, covered in plastic wrap.

To serve, sprinkle 1 tablespoon over each ramekin of custard. Use a kitchen torch to quickly (but carefully) brown the sugar. There should be a thin, crisp surface of burned sugar on the top.

Serve immediately