My New Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

INGREDIENTS:
  • 8 tablespoons of salted butter
  • ½ cup white sugar (I like to use raw cane sugar with a coarser texture)
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour (more as needed – see video)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (but I always add a little extra)
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips (I use a combination of chocolate chips and chocolate chunks)

PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Microwave the butter for about 40 seconds to just barely melt it. It shouldn’t be hot – but it should be almost entirely in liquid form.
  • Using a stand mixer or electric beaters, beat the butter with the sugars until creamy. Add the vanilla and the egg; beat on low speed until just incorporated – 10-15 seconds or so (if you beat the egg for too long, the cookies will be stiff).
  • Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until crumbles form. Use your hands to press the crumbles together into a dough. It should form one large ball that is easy to handle (right at the stage between “wet” dough and “dry” dough). Add the chocolate chips and incorporate with your hands.
  • Roll the dough into 12 large balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes until the cookies look puffy and dry and just barely golden.Warning: DO NOT OVERBAKE. This advice is probably written on every cookie recipe everywhere, but this is essential for keeping the cookies soft. Take them out even if they look like they’re not done yet (see picture in the post). They’ll be pale and puffy.
  • Let them cool on the pan for a good 30 minutes or so. They will sink down and turn into these dense, buttery, soft cookies that are the best in all the land. These should stay soft for many days if kept in an airtight container. The cookies can also be frozen.
NOTES from Lindsay at Pinch of Yum:
The 3 most important things about this recipe are 1) melting the butter, 2) adding enough flour, and 3) not baking for too long.

If you find that the dough is wet and it REALLY sticks to your hands, you probably need a little more flour. This is important otherwise you’ll have flat cookies. I’ll usually add a few tablespoons at a time to get it to the right consistency. See video in post for reference. You should be able to roll the balls of dough between your hands without any issues.

*www.pinchofyum.com
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Italian Salad Dressing

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar (white vinegar or red wine vinegar work)
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoons coarse sea salt
1-2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 teaspoon dry basil
1 clove garlic
black pepper to taste

PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS:

Whisk or run through the blender to make a creamy, slightly thickened dressing.

http://www.pinchofyum.com

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Sloppy Moussakas

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1 pound ground lamb or beef
  • Salt and pepper
  • About 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small red chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped, or 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups chicken or beef stock

Cheese Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • A small handful grated parmigiano-reggiano
  • 4 ciabatta or other rolls, split and toasted

PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS:

  • In a large skillet, heat the EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the beef (or lamb) and cook, crumbling the meat, until well browned, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and the cinnamon.
  • Add the onion, garlic, chile and oregano (or marjoram) and cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomato paste for a minute. Stir in the stock and simmer over low heat until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes.
  • For the cheese sauce, melt the butter over medium heat in small pan. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook until thickened slightly; season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove the sauce from the heat and whisk in the cheese.
  • To serve, spoon the meat mixture onto the rolls. Top with the sauce.

*www.rachaelraymag.com

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Pitcher of Bloody Marys

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 limes, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon celery seeds
  • 3 tablespoons grated fresh or prepared horseradish
  • 2 quarts tomato juice, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups pepper vodka, chilled in the freezer
  • Celery stalk, for serving
  • Cucumber spears, for serving
  • Handful fresh cilantro, for garnish

PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Combine the lime juice, celery seed, and horseradish in a pitcher. Muddle the mixture with the end of a wooden spoon to blend and break up the celery seeds.
  • Pour in the tomato juice, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce; season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir everything together to combine.
  • Divide the vodka among 6 tall, chilled glasses filled with ice. Fill the glasses with the Bloody Mary mix, stick in the celery and cucumber and garnish with the cilantro. Give the Bloody Mary a good stir and serve.

*www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/pitcher-of-bloody-marys-recipe

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