Tag Archives: chocolate chip cookie

Slutty Brownies

Now more than ever, it has become apparent that life is truly a fine balance.  In college, a day spent in front of the TV with a hangover could easily be made up for by the next day spent cleaning, studying and running errands.  Being able to fit in studying, hanging out friends, binge drinking, errands, cleaning and TV, and still getting up to go to class everyday, I was convinced that I was living the high life.

Now, with a job and most notably, a baby, time is quite valuable and inflexible.  I unfortunately learned the hard way that a late night spent watching TV (The Walking Dead, specifically) doesn’t mean I can sleep in the next morning.  Rather, my alarm is replaced by baby squeaking and other like baby sounds, which if left unattended could easily turn into wailing.  And, there is no snooze button.

Days go by where the balance is a distant goal that I’m stumbling towards.  And, in those days I think I can’t have it all.  For instance, I can’t spontaneously catch happy hour with friends, which turns into dinner and after-dinner drinks lasting until 2 a.m.  Long.  Gone.

But, those days when “having it all” means not deciding between a brownie, cookie and America’s favorite cookie, I promise you really can have it all.  And today as I slowly enjoyed each rich and beautiful bite, I did not focus on fat, calories, carbs, hips, and/or thighs.  I fully intend on spending the whole day on the elliptical tomorrow.

For this recipe, you can totally make it easy and just buy a family size refrigerated cookie dough, family size brownie mix and of course, Oreos.

Slutty Brownies

slightly adapted from Kevin and Amanda

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 package Oreos (I ended up using 24 Oreos)
  • 1 Family Size Brownie Mix

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.  Making a sling is the best method as it helps you get the brownies out easier.
  2. Cream the butter and both sugars with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3-5 minutes until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well to combine.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt, then slowly incorporate into the mixer until the flour is just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Spread the cookie dough in the bottom of the baking pan.
  6. Top with a layer of Oreos.
  7. Prepare the brownie batter. Pour the brownie batter over the cookie dough and Oreos.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for an additional 10 minutes.
  9. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.
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Filed under Uncategorized

Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookie recipes are abundant and with everyone saying that their recipe is the best in the whole world, sorting through and finding a favorite is quite difficult.  After eating several cookies from several sources, I realize that you don’t necessarily have to have a favorite.  For instance,  I have a recipe that I adore that’s similar to what you find in most chocolate chip cookies, similar to the Bouchon cookie.  However, a friend of mine once made me chocolate chip cookies that tasted like toffee.  After years, I can still remember the crisp cookie, which tasted like candy with a beautiful crunch and chew.  I wasn’t able to get it out of my head.

I promise you that you will eat more than one cookie.  Lucky for us, the recipe makes about 50 cookies.  Lucky for my waist line, you can scale down the recipe easily.  I didn’t.  With a weekend full of people in and out of the house, they went fast.  These are also perfect paired with ice cream.  With a great combination of crisp and chewy textures in this cookie, this cookie has been saved as a favorite in the ultra-thin variety of chocolate chip cookies.

Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies
recipe from Martha Stewart

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for baking sheets
  • 3 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups best-quality chocolate chips (I used mini chocolate chips)
Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Cream the butter until pale.  Add both sugars until smooth.
  4. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.  Mix until incorporated.
  5. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
  6. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mix.
  7. After fully incorporated, stir in the chocolate chips.
  8. Using a cookie scoop, scoop spacing 3 inches apart.  You do not want to crowd them as they spread quite a bit.
  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Check at 8 minutes and then check every minute until you figure out the right time.  These brown easily.

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Filed under baking, Cookies, Uncategorized

Bouchon v. Levain

As you may or may not know, a week before my dad’s passing, Binks and I went to NY for a cousin’s wedding.  We took 4 days for the wedding and an additional 3 days of non-wedding time (can we say too much extended family time?).

Call it a Babymoon if you will – I will not.  Rather, the appropriate term would be my search for the best food ever.

I have an affinity/bias/love-affair with NY.  When my family first moved to America, we moved to NY for about a month.  We didn’t stay long but it left a lasting impression.  From things I remember as a kid, I remember having the best Indian food in NY (heard of Jackson Heights anyone?), obviously killer pizza and the like.

This time, was really my first time in NY.  Usually we spend our time with family and were deemed too young to travel outside of Queens.  So, Binks and I made full use of the times we got alone to walk the streets of NY.

One day, as were heading out of our hotel, a girl walked passed me with the most delectable chocolate chip cookie in hand. I wanted one.  Not just one.  I wanted to try as many chocolate chip cookies as possible and find the best in NY.  Call it pregnancy cravings if you will – I will not.  It’s just me being me.

Here are my requirements for the perfect chocolate chip cookie:

1.  Texture – Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside.  This is a balancing act like none other.  And, while I enjoy a good slightly under-cooked center as the rest of us, I don’t want the whole cookie to rest on that.  (You should remember that Otis – although I will devour you any day and in anyway!)

2.  Chip/cookie Ratio – Definitely more cookie that chip for me.  If it’s too much chocolate chip, then I miss the whole point of a cookie.

3.  Taste – buttery, deep, not too sweet, hint of salty – I know you know what I mean.

My first stop – Bouchon Bakery.

Luckily we had a bakery just one block from our hotel.  Talk about tastefully convenient!

And speaking of tasty – this was just that.  Dare I say perfect?  I do.  The dough is fantastic – sweet but not overly so with a nice rounded out flavor.  What stood out the most was the chocolate.  Far superior to any other chocolate chip I have had.  Overall, I was one happy NY foodie tourist.

Then, came Levain.  Known to many as offering the best cookies ever, I had to try.  We were walking around the Upper West Side (Binks wanted to see where Seinfeld lived), we trekked south towards our hotel before catching a bus to the airport.  With our time constraint, and the distance, I was sure we wouldn’t get time for a visit.  But, this is when determination hits hardest.

I told Binks that I would gladly walk another 4 miles just to get this cookie.  And, Binks being Binks, obliged.

Meet the chocolate chip walnut from Levain.

This is a beast at the least.  Heavy and dense.  A Goliath among chocolate chip cookies.  I broke into one to discovery an ooey and gooey center.  Yes, “ooey” and “gooey” is the ONLY way to describe it – I dare you to say differently.  It quite literally melts in your mouth.

I loved it.  The taste was there.  Full of chocolate chips and who could ever complain about portions?  Perfect?  Umm…..don’t hate me but No!  While nothing less than delicious, Bouchon ruined me (maybe for life).  I prefer a thinner chocolate chip cookie.  Levain was more like a giant dough ball.  Again, while I love an under-cooked center, this was too much.  And, there might have been too many chocolate chips.  Binks, the president of the chocolate addict club, agreed.

I said don’t hate me!

Would I ever deny myself one in the future?  Nope.  But if standing in a line offering Bouchon or Levain – Bouchon for me, please!

I do have to say there were many places we didn’t get to try:

–  Max Brenner
–  Pret A Manger
–   Almondine

Tasting only two cookies in my quest for the perfect cookie.  Call it a failure if you will – I will not.  Rather, I’ll be back – with a vengeance.

Tell me about your favorite chocolate chip cookie.  What do you look for?

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Filed under Cookies, Favorites, Vacation

The Underdog

When I read about I Am Baker’s Call To Bakers, I jumped at the opportunity.

I like to bake.  And, I like to help.

I help myself to cookies and the cookies help me in return.  Don’t tell me you haven’t found solace after a bite of a warm freshly baked cookie.

No?  Just me?  Well, the cheese stands alone.

One of my favorite cookies, is the most underestimated – the sugar cookie.

At parties, people always seem to gravitate towards the cookie with more “things” in it (i.e., chocolate chips, nuts, oats, coconut).  The sugar cookie always goes unnoticed or picked as a last alternative.

But, I tell you – don’t take the sugar cookie for granted.  It’s in the sugar cookie you find the strength of the baker.  It’s in the sugar cookie you can actually taste the dough without any distractions.  Every part can be dissected and examined – the texture, flour to butter ratio, the crackle on top and how the salt complements the dough.

And my favorite sugar cookie is found here, an adaptation of this.

It’s perfect.

Perfectly sweet.  Perfectly chewy.  Perfectly simple.

Binks hates sugar cookies.  His favorite cookie would be chocolate chip wherein every ingredient would be chocolate chips – pretty much chocolate chips with a small side of cookie dough.

He loves this cookie.  The recipient of these should probably know that there would have been 5 more if Binks had not seen them.  And, there could have been 20 less if I didn’t end up hiding the cookies from him.

For what it’s worth, he has proclaimed this the BEST sugar cookie ever.

I wouldn’t believe him except for the fact that they are.

They really are.

What’s your favorite non-chocolate chip cookie cookie?  Do you like sugar cookies?

**Side note: It took every iota of my discipline and willpower not to even have one bite.  I did get in a lot of smells though.

23 Comments

Filed under baking, Cookies, Favorites, Vegetarian