Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Posted by: Maggie

I decided to make Alton Brown's "The Chewy" chocolate chip cookie to take to coworkers tomorrow. I've always used my heavily doctored version of the Tollhouse recipe when making chocolate chip cookies in the past, which like Alton's recipe involves melting the butter instead of softening it. I definitely think it's the key to a chewy cookie. I've had this particular recipe bookmarked for quite some time now, and kept seeing it on various blogs. I figured it was time to give it a test run and I was not disappointed!

Thourougly chilling the dough (at least two hours) and letting the baking sheet cool between batches is key to these cookies coming out correctly.


What you'll need:


2 sticks unsalted butter
2 1/4 c bread flour

1 t kosher salt (I used regular)
1 t baking powder
1/4 c sugar
1 1/4 c brown sugar (I used light brown, I think it makes a prettier cookie)
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 T milk
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
2 c chocolate chips (I used chunks, and probably put in about 3 cups)


Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt the butter until completely liquefied (about a minute in the microwave). Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda in medium bowl and set aside.

Pour the melted butter in large bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Chill the dough at least two hours, then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 9 minutes or until golden brown. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.


Warm Blue Cheese and Bacon Dip



Posted by: Maggie

Please excuse the horrendous accompanying photo, and just trust me that this recipe is delicious. I made this a few weeks ago when Annie came to DC to visit, and devoured about 3/4 of it myself over the course of the evening (it was awesome as leftover drunk food after a few too many Guinnesses at Pat Troy's) We ate it with Triscuits, but it would also be delicious with tortilla chips or a sliced baguette. The fresh herb selection at my grocery store was seriously lacking, so I was forced to leave the chives out, but will definitely be including them next time.

What you'll need: (Note: My work computer is being a dumbbutt and seems to want me to actually do work. It's not letting me upload the ingredient pic for some reason. Will try again later.)

7 slices bacon
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c half and half
4 oz blue cheese, crumbled
2 T chopped fresh chives

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook bacon in a skillet until crisp. Let cool slightly, then crumble. Place garlic in hot bacon grease and cook until soft, about one minute.

Place cream cheese and half in half in a medium bowl. Beat with electric mixer until well blended. Stir in bacon, garlic, blue cheese, and chives. Transfer to a medium baking dish.

Bake covered in preheated oven about 30 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Source: AllRecipes




Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tzatziki Sauce



Posted by: Maggie

Let me preface this recipe with a disclaimer: I am no expert on Greek food. My experience with tzatziki sauce is limited to the occasional gyro or falafel I get from the food court or deli near my office - experiences which I doubt have left me with an authentic experience.

I will say however, this sauce is delicious and super healthy whether it's authentic or not. There is no source listed because I threw this together myself - if I had the ingredients technically dill and lemon juice should be included as well.

My lunch tomorrow will consist of a pita or two slathered with this stuff and hummus (store bought - I'll post a homemade recipe someday). Make sure you get Greek yogurt, and squeeze the heck out of your cucumbers with a paper towel, otherwise the sauce will be too runny.

What you'll need:



1/2 large cucumber, seeded, diced, and squeezed
1 t extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed and finely minced
8 oz non-fat Greek yogurt
salt, to taste

Mix all ingredients together, and let chill overnight for flavors to meld. Eat with a spoon, or serve with pita, crackers, or vegetables.



Oatmeal Raisin Cookies



Posted by: Maggie


I have baked these cookies several times for coworkers before, but decided to whip up a batch tonight for my boyfriend who has yet to taste them. There's not much to say about these that the 2,487 glowing reviews on AllRecipes.com don't already say, but I will add that even the most die hard chocolate lovers tend to enjoy these. The only changes I made were to add an extra 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (included in recipe below), and to chill the dough for about 20 minutes before attempting to roll into balls.

Make these as soon as possible if you know what's good for you (and bad for your jiggly thighs). All of the ingredients are pantry staples, so no excuses!

Side note: You'll notice that this recipe calls for shortening AND butter. Don't be one of those Crisco-haters and sub all butter. The shortening keeps the cookies soft for days, and probably won't clog your arteries til you're about 90 anyway!

What you'll need:



1/2 c salted butter, softened
1/2 c butter flavored shortening (aka Crisco)
1 c packed light brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground cloves
1/2 t salt
3 c rolled oats
1 c raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream together butter, shortening, brown and white sugar, eggs, and vanilla.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and spices. Beat dry mixture into butter mixture until well blended.

Stir in oats and raisins, and chill for 20 minutes.

Roll dough into golf ball sized mounds, and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are just turning brown. Let cool on cookie sheet for several minutes or they will fall apart.

Enjoy!
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