Monday, November 8, 2010

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are a real treat. They are perfect for things like Father's Day or a Sunday dessert because they are BIG (you can make them smaller if you prefer). These really are pretty darn near a "perfect" cookie. I can't say these are my favorite because I already have a favorite and I am loyal ;) .

2 cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Adjust oven racks to upper and lower-middle positions. Preheat oven 325°. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. With electric mixer (I use my Kitchen-Aid), or by hand, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly combined. Beat in egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients and beat at low-speed just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Roll a scant half-cup of dough into a ball. Holding dough ball in fingertips of both hands, pull apart into two equal halves. Rotate halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, place formed dough onto cookie sheet, leaving ample room between each ball. Bake, reversing position of cookie sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy (approximately 11-14 minutes). Do not overbake.

Cool cookies on sheets until able to lift without breaking. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Recipe from, originally from Baking Illustrated

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Chewy Granola Bars

I love having little satisfying snacks on hand for when I am too busy with life to make food and I just want to grab something. This was my go-to snack after Annie was born. Something to hold me over and give me a bit of energy and I just had to thaw it out. These are versatile too if you want to play with flavor combos. Obviously you could do raisins instead of chocolate chips--just increase the cinnamon to 1 teaspoon. I also think the kids would enjoy these with "no chunky stuff" and some quick icing on top.

• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 1 cup packed brown sugar
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 egg
• 1 cup flour (I use white whole wheat)
• ¼ cup ground flaxseed (optional)
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
• 1-1/4 cups rice crispies cereal
• ½ cup coconut (optional)
• 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I use walnuts or pecans)
• 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

• In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the honey, vanilla and egg; mix well. Combine the flour, flaxseed, cinnamon, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in oats, cereal, coconut, nuts and chocolate chips.
• Press into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.
Yield 2 dozen.

I freeze the cut squares for a fast snack anytime, just pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds or so.

Adapted from Taste of Home