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Updated: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

7 Oct

zoes2

These are my #1 favorite, go-to cookie. They may look familiar, as I first posted this recipe in 2010. But, I have since updated it. A great recipe, even greater. Albeit, slightly more complicated.

How does this new one differ? In short, it’s a little less sweet than the original. But the addition of whole wheat flour, sugar-in-the-raw, and dark brown sugar also gives it more… depth? Makes it more delicious. If you don’t have any of these extra ingredients on hand, the original recipe will not disappoint!

The changes were, in part, inspired by a Smitten kitchen recipe for whole wheat oatmeal choc chip cookies. (A wonderful recipe, though I prefer the addition of coconut and higher quantity of oats in this version. Plus it makes way more cookies). But hat’s off to SK – the addition of raw sugar is especially inspired and adds a delightfully textured touch.

Changes in ital.

1 cup granulated sugar ½ cup white sugar + ¼ cup sugar-in-the-raw (aka turbinado sugar)
1 cup light brown sugar – Dark brown sugar preferable, but light is fine too
1 cup butter (2 sticks), melted
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup shredded coconut – Unsweetened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt – I use 1 tsp Diamond Kosher salt – it’s less salty than other salts. Plus additional for sprinkling. 
1 cup flour 2/3 cup all purpose flour. 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
4 cups rolled oats

Semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (about 3/4 of a 10oz bag)

Preheat oven to 375.  Prep baking sheets (line w. parchment paper or butter).  In a large bowl, blend both sugars and melted butter. Mix in eggs. Stir in coconut and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, mix the soda, salt and flour.  Combine both mixtures.  Add rolled oats, 1 cup at a time, and mix until batter is very stiff.  Drop cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.  Give each cookie just a small sprinkle of kosher or sea salt. Bake until lightly browned.  12-14 mins.  I err on the side of under baking so chewy.

Makes a lot of cookies. We often scoop out dough balls and freeze on a flat tray. Once frozen, can throw together in Tupperware. Toss a few in the oven whenever the mood suits!


ORIGINAL POST – 2010

These might just be my favorite cookies.  Another fantastic recipe from Mrs. Weiner– not exactly sure what cookbook these come from- but in it, they are called Zoe’s macaroons. These have a bit of coconut in them– but trust me- i don’t like coconut- and these don’t taste like it- it just helps w. the chewy texture.  [*update, I do like coconut now.]

New England Maple Sugar Candy

28 Aug

When I heard about Shannon’s Maple Sugar candies- i had to ask her to guest post. This is one of my favorite kinds of candy- can’t wait to make them- thanks Shannon!

mape sugar candy

Guest post!

New England Maple Sugar Candy- by Shannon

With fall just around the corner, this candy recipe is perfect for the changing seasons! In particular, this recipe is another great use for all that maple syrup you’re sure to pick up while leaf peeping throughout New England and parts beyond.  As quick as it is simple, this is one of the few recipes you’ll encounter that is not only easy, but where the ingredients are fewer than the supplies needed.

Supplies:

Thick bottomed sauce pan (cast iron or otherwise)

Candy Thermometer

Wooden spoon

Candy molds or small pan with a raised lip, covered in lightly oiled foil

Ingredients (below makes about 30 small round candies):

1 cup maple syrup

1 cap full vanilla extract

1 tablespoon butter

Steps:

  1. Add the Maple syrup, vanilla and butter to sauce pan over medium heat. Stir with metal spoon until butter is dissolved.
  2. Place candy thermometer so the tip settles firmly in the syrup.
  3. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat, until the temperature just reaches 235C, or soft ball stage (about 10 minutes)
  4. Once 225C is reached, remove pan from heat and let the syrup sit, without stirring, until the temperature reached 174C (about 10 minutes)
  5. Begin stirring with the wooden spoon, slowly moving the syrup around.
  6. Do this until the resistance and color of the syrup JUST begins to change. Begin quickly spooning into molds or pouring onto the foil covered baking pan.
  7. Let the candy sit and cool for at least 15 minutes before either popping out of molds or cutting up into squares (or other desired shape)
  8. Cadies can be consumed immediately, or put into plastic or glass container to be stored in the fridge for up to one month.

Ultimate Peanut Butter Brownies

10 Feb

PB brownies

Ever since I made David Lebovitz’s Mint Brownies at Mrs. Weiner’s house- I have been dreaming of creating a peanut butter version. One time, in the Adirondaks, we attempted a peanut butter swirl—but this current version is really PB done right. The idea- like the peppermint patty- was to make a homemade peanut butter cup layer. Success! Of course- you can cheat and just put Reeces cups in the middle- but where is the fun in that?

Also made in blizzard– Vegetarian Chili– yum.

Because it makes such an absurd amount- I decided to halve the mint brownie recipe for an 8×8 pan.

Homemade Peanut butter Cup (double below if making 9×13)

8 oz bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate

¾ cup smooth creamy peanut butter (I read once that you aren’t supposed to use natural kind for this- so I used Trader Joes brand)

¼ cup sifted confectioner sugar

2 tablespoons butter

Measure out 8×8 on a sheet of parchment paper (I did this just by folding the edges over an 8×8 pan- then placed demarcated sheet on bigger flat cookie sheet). In a pyrex bowl set over low simmering water, melt 4 oz of chocolate. When melted, spread on your 8×8 square. Freeze. Mix peanut butter, sugar and butter for your filling. Once chocolate is hardened, spread on PB layer. Freeze again. I left this for like 20 mins so PB could harden a bit. Melt the other 4 oz of chocolate. Gently spread on your PB layer- freeze again. [Can be made ahead- I left mine in the freezer overnight. Can also just enjoy as is!]

David’s Brownies- originally a Maida Heatter recipe. So I halved the recipe below for 8×8. [see brackets]
8 ounces (225g) unsweetened chocolate [4 oz]
8 ounces (225g) unsalted butter [4 oz- 1 stick]
5 large eggs, at room temperature [2.5 eggs. I cracked two in. Then cracked one in a mason jar- scrambled up. And approximated half an egg]
2 teaspoons vanilla extract [1 tsp]
1/4 teaspoon salt [generous 1/8]
1 tablespoon instant coffee or espresso [approximated this to 1 ½ tsp]
3 1/2 cups (350g) sugar [1 ¾ cups]
1 2/3 cup (170g) sifted flour [5/6 cup flour, approx. 3 oz or 85g if you have a scale]

1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF (218ºC).
2. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with foil, shiny side down. Smooth the foil then butter it lightly or coat it with nonstick spray- see Just the Tips #2.
3. Chop the chocolate and cut the butter into cubes, then warm them together in a medium bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat as soon as both are melted and smooth.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or by hand, whip the eggs, vanilla, salt, instant coffee, and sugar on high speed for about ten minutes until foamy and stiff.
5. By hand, stir in the chocolate mixture, then the flour.
6. Smooth half of the batter into the pan. Place a layer of PB cup- can break up but I just measured an inserted giant slab.
7. Pour the rest of the batter over the mints and smooth the top.
8. Bake the brownies for 35 minutes [my 8×8 I left in for 25 mins. They were probably a touch underdone], rotating the brownies midway during baking.
When the brownies are done, they will have a firm crust on top but a toothpick inserted into the center should come out wet. Do not overbake the brownies.
9. Let the brownies cool completely [this took several hours], then lift them out of the pan and slice into rectangles. [I was impatient about this- bad idea- but melted PB- so effing good. I left in the fridge overnight to firm up]
Storage: The brownies will keep at room temperature for up to three days. They can be frozen, well-wrapped, for up to two months.

QuickPost: Banana Choc Chip Muffins

8 Dec

banana muffin

Banana Choc Chip Muffins- I just followed the  banana bread recipe– w. very minor adjustments- that i made based of Doris greenspan’s various muffin recipes.

Change temp to 400 and baking time to 18-20 minutes.

Change baking soda/powder to 2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda

Makes 12 muffins. To get evenly size, use an ice cream scoop. To make the scooping even easier, douse the scooper in a bit of grapeseed, canola or other neutral oil before using.

 

Whole Lemon Bars

27 Nov

If you are not already familiar with David Lebovitz’s blog- well, you should be. Growing up, I never really had a thing for lemon bars. But consider me a convert. I argue that this is the best recipe out there for them. The genius of it- is it uses a whole lemon- all food processed up- giving it super lemon flavor. I will not reprint the recipe here- but rather refer you to the original post on David’s blog. I had forgotten the deep shade of brown that the bottom crust turns- but was relieved to see David’s look the same—and they taste delicious and rich and not at all burnt.

The other part of the post is a DIY project and challenge. Can’t remember the blog that I found this on last spring. But you know you are traveling with a treat- that will need a last minute dusting of confectioner sugar- and you don’t have or want to bring a sugar shaker. Don’t you just hate that? (ha!). Well, instead you can take a mini-mason jar, a hammer and a nail. And just hammer out some holes in the lid. I could probably stand to make a few more than I did- just to get more sugar pour out. Admittedly, I could also just invest in a mini-mesh strainer, which would probably work better and those cheap drain ones are like $1. But this is cute- and so very portable. When transporting, I keep place a non-punched lid over the other, so won’t spill.

And here is the challenge. Because I am an over-user of mason jars- I think they are a great way to gift cookies. Anyone have ideas about good thing to gift bars such as these in? Looking for something as durable, portable and cheap as jars. Tins are great- but my stock ups from the Container store never last. And I’d love to repurpose something that is just laying around the house. Jess P. and I already starting discussing ideas of shirt boxes or cereal boxes— and my experimentation w. an egg carton was not so pretty. So I am asking you, dear reader.

One more quick note about David Lebovitz. I might have mentioned from a previous post- but seriously, every ice cream I make is from him. Buy his book Perfect Scoop. Most notably- some flavors I have made- but never published here- are a cookie dough ice cream- w. special dough just for it (sans eggs). A great chocolate base that I used for these s’mores sundaes (which i made in efforts to recreate this s’mores ben & jerrys ice cream sam and i ate too much of in high school. I can’t remember how i made the fluff- thats what i get for not posting sooner- but i think it was just a meringue base. yet another use of jars, shut up already tessa.)  And watermelon sorbet.

And while I am obsessing about him, love David’s egg salad too.

S’mores Sunday

Cookie dough ice cream

watermelon sorbet. photo courtesy of Jordan K. I got all martha stewart when jordan and her BF alex came over for dinner- i froze the watermelon rinds to use as dishes.

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