Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m on a mission to perfect the chocolate chip cookie. It needs to be chocolate filled, chewy but not undercooked in the centre, browned on the edges and not too salty. These cookies are good, very good even, but not great. Yet.

I made one batch of dough then divided it into three parts. One part I baked immediately. The second I refrigerated for about 8-10 hours. The third I froze overnight then baked straight from the freezer. The batch I baked straight from the mixing bowl were the least chewy of the three. The cookies baked with frozen dough were thicker and more dense than the other two batches, but were still chewy in the centre and crisp on the edges. I think I’d choose the frozen dough cookies as my favourite this time.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
Makes 24 cookies (I used a 2-tablespoon scoop and got closer to 30 cookies)

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt (this was too much for me, next time I’ll halve it)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, chopped into small pieces
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 packets Cadbury Milk Chocolate Chips

Directions

 In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda together; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars together until smooth and creamy. Don’t over beat. Scrape down the bowl and add the egg, then the egg yolk, beating until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat until just combined.

Add half of the flour mixture and mix for 15 seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.

Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the chocolate chips.

Option 1- Bake now as below, skipping the chilling stage.
Option 2 – Cover the bowl tightly and put in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
Option 3 – Scoop 2-tablespoon-size balls of mixture and place on a baking tray lined with baking/parchment paper, cover tightly with cling wrap then freeze for at least 4 hours. Bake as below straight from the freezer.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Use an ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to scoop out dough in 2-tablespoon-size balls. Use your hands to shape the dough into perfect balls and place them on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. They will spread considerably. 

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, rotating the pans once during the cooking time, until the edges of the cookies are golden brown and the tops just start to darken.

Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 5 – 10 minutes, transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.

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Published in: on January 14, 2012 at 11:33 am  Comments (3)  
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Christmas Cookies

Christmas treats for my co-workers have been baked, packaged and gifted. The out-of-office alert is active on my e-mail account and work is done for 2011. Now it’s time to wrap presents, bake food to share with family and friends and to look towards 2012. I’m looking forward to the new year and the possibilities it brings. I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season.

 

Christmas Kitchen Sink Cookies

Homemade Oreos (without filling)

Snickerdoodles

Reindeer tages by Eat Drink Chic

Knit tags also by Eat Drink Chic

Wood type tags by Ellinee

 

 

Published in: on December 22, 2011 at 5:59 pm  Comments (5)  
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Christmas Kitchen Sink Cookies

 

Kitchen Sink Cookies
Adapted from recipe by Martha Stewart
Makes about 40

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped milk chocolate
2 cups Christmas M&Ms

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Line baking sheets with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl with a wooden spoon or hand mixer, beat butter, sugar and brown sugar together until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Stir in vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually stir into butter mixture until well blended. Stir in oats, M&M’s, butterscotch chips and chocolate.
  4. Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto trays, about 2 inches apart. Press tops down with the bottom of a glass to flatten cookies evenly. Bake until golden, about 16 to 18 minutes (10 minutes in my oven). Cool on pan for 2 minutes. Remove from pan, and finish cooling completely on wire rack.
Published in: on December 19, 2011 at 9:07 pm  Comments (2)  
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Macarons

Basic Macarons
Adapted from recipe in Donna Hay Magazine Issue 59 Oct/Nov 2011

1 1/4 (200g) cups icing (confectioner’s) sugar
1 cup (120g) almond meal
3 eggwhites, at room temp
1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar
Food colouring

Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius (300 degrees Fahrenheit).
Sift the icing sugar and almond meal into a bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
Place the eggwhites and food colouring in an electric mixer and whisk on high for 30 seconds.
Add the caster sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form.

Fold through the almond meal mixture in two batches until smooth.

Place the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a 1 1/2cm plan nozzle and pipe 4cm rounds onto baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper.
Lightly tap trays.

Allow to stand for 20 minutes or until a “skin” forms on top of the macarons.
Reduce temperature to 130 degrees Celsius (260 degrees Fahrenheit) and bake macarons for 17-18 minutes or until crisp on the outside and moist in the centre.
Allow to cool completely on trays.
Spread half the macarons with your chosen filling and sandwich the remaining macarons.

Makes 24.

Published in: on November 23, 2011 at 11:12 pm  Comments (2)  
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Pink Ribbon Sugar Cookies and Kitchen Sink Cookies

I have to be honest, I think these pink ribbon cookies look odd. They tasted fine though, as did the kitchen sink cookies, and have helped raise $129 so far for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The pink M&Ms are sold in selected IGA supermarkets this month.

sugar cookie recipe
kitchen sink cookie recipe

Published in: on October 24, 2011 at 10:04 pm  Comments (1)  
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Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

Sugar cookie recipe by Martha Stewart. Queen Royal Icing mixture. Happy birthday Jennifer!

I’m pretty happy with the way these turned out, it was my first time using royal icing to decorate cookies. I need a little more practice with piping but I can see decorated sugar cookies popping up on various occasions in the future.  The cookies’  flavour is quite plain so I might try a chocolate version next time.

Tips on using royal icing from those in the know:

Sweetopia
From Marriage to Motherhood
Bakerella

Published in: on August 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm  Comments (2)  
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Kitchen Sink Cookies

I’ve never felt the need to apologise for not blogging or to make excuses for long breaks between updates. I find posts like that rather dull. I will say, however, in the time since my last post I’ve been sunning it up in Hawaii. Sun, sand, shopping and sleeping – no baking. A little crafting. Lots of eating. While in Hawaii, we ate the American foods we love, like dinners at The Cheesecake Factory and enjoyed (and over-indulged in) free soft drink refills. We also sampled local seafood which was delicious. As much as I love my home and family and friends it’s a bummer to be back in the real world. Take me back to the shore of Waikiki any time!

 

The first thing I baked after arriving home was kitchen sink cookies – half a gift for a friend’s fiance who recently broke his leg, and half for a friend’s birthday. What I didn’t know was while I was away said friend started a wheat-free diet. She tells me she made an exception for a kitchen sink cookie or two. Her four-year-old daughter declared me “the best cooker after you mummy”. High praise indeed!

Published in: on June 23, 2011 at 10:29 pm  Comments (2)  
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Homemade Graham Crackers

Graham crackers aren’t found on supermarket shelves here like they are in North America. I remember the crackers always seemed to turn in novels I read as a youngin’ – especially The Baby-sitters Club Series. The BSC girls always had the coolest stuff, like Graham crackers and scrunchies.
Most Australians have never had a s’more, and in fact this was my first. I think we should change that, one Graham cracker at a time. I had to improvise, I used a microwave as I didn’t have a camp fire handy.

 

Homemade Graham Crackers
By Martha Stewart 
Yield Makes 20

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for working
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup untoasted wheat germ
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened (2 sticks)
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons high-quality honey

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk flours, wheat germ, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Put butter, brown sugar, and honey into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add the flour mixture, and mix until combined.
  3. Turn out dough onto a floured surface, and divide into quarters. Roll out each piece between 2 sheets of floured parchment paper into rectangles a bit larger than 9 by 6 inches, about 1/8 inch thick.
  4. Using a fluted pastry wheel, trip the outermost edges or each rectangle, and divide into three 6 by 3-inch rectangles. Pressing lightly, so as not to cut all the way through, score each piece in half lengthwise and crosswise, to form four 3 by 1 1/2-inch crackers. Stack parchment and dough on a baking sheet and chill in freezer until firm, about 20 minutes.
  5. Remove two sheets of dough from freezer. Pierce crackers using the tines of a fork. Transfer to large baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake, rotating halfway through, until dark golden brown, 8 to 9 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough. Let cool on sheet 5 minutes; transfer crackers to wire racks to cool completely.

Cook’s Note: Crackers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days. 

Published in: on June 3, 2011 at 11:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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My 30th Birthday

The Kitchenaid is out on her maiden voyage today. Snickerdoodles are in the oven.

Published in: on May 28, 2011 at 1:40 pm  Comments (2)  
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Homemade Oreos

This weekend saw sewing, crocheting and baking. I worked on my first quilt, added to the rainbow blanket and made a batch of homemade Oreos.

A few notes on the Oreos:

* I use Van Houten brand cocoa.
* I roll the dough into balls weighing about 2o grams each. That’s about the size of a large marble – what we called a boulder marble as kids.
* I bake the cookies for about 8 minutes so they are still fairly cakey.
* The cookies will puff up a little as they bake and flatten as the cool.
* The filling calls for shortening – I use melted Copha.
* The recipe makes about 14 filled cookies per batch.

Speaking of Oreos, check out these Oreo stuffed cookies and these brownie-covered Oreos!

What did you do this weekend?

Published in: on February 27, 2011 at 8:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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