Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chocolate Chip Pie (Toll House Pie)

Oh man. This picture is torturing me. I long for another piece of this delectable pie.

This is a standard in our family--it wouldn't quite be Christmas without this rich and buttery treat. I thought perhaps my taste buds were outgrowing this pie that we have been making for more than fifteen years; enter the homemade 'pat-in-th-pan' pie crust. BOOM! I am back on the chocolate chip pie train!

How could I have ever thought we were through?

Toll House Pie

1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell (or the wonderful 'pat-in-the-pan' pie crust-recipe follows )
2 large eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Ready the pie shell (if using a frozen pie shell, you do not need to thaw it).

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the eggs on high until foamy--this will take several minutes. Add the flour, sugar, and brown sugar and mix well. Beat in butter and vanilla. Add the chocolate chips and walnuts, if using.

Spoon the dough into the pie shell and bake for approximately 1 hour until a toothpick inserted halfway from the edge and the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack and serve warm with whipped cream and ice cream.

You can rewarm in a 300 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Recipe from Nestle Toll House

Pat-in-the-Pan pie crust:

This makes one 9-inch pie crust or 10-inch tart shell.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Whisk together in a bowl or process in a food processor for 10 seconds:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, softened
Mash with the back of a fork or process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Drizzle over the top:
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
Stir or process until the crumbs look damp and hold together when pinched.
Pat the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a pie pan. Evenly crimp or flute the rim. Thoroughly prick the sides and bottom with a fork.
Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven until the crust is golden brown, about 18 minutes.

Recipe from Joy of Cooking.
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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Gingerbread cookies

Up until a few years ago I thought that I didn’t like gingerbread. It turns out I just don’t like overly spiced gingerbread. These cookies are so chewy and delicious! I am so glad our friend/neighbor, Rebecca, brought these over to us.
These cookies are absolutely wonderful as is; however, in my house I quickly realized if I wanted to make this big pile of cookies disappear I needed to add frosting.

1 ½ cups molasses, a 12 oz. jar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2/3 cup cold water
1/3 cup butter, softened
6 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon allspice (I only use a ½ teaspoon)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, combine molasses, brown sugar, water and butter and mix thoroughly (I used my Kitchen-Aid). Mix dry ingredients together in another large bowl and slowly add to wet mixture until dough comes together. Chill dough for at least 30 minutes before rolling out. Roll dough out to either ¼” or ½” thick depending on how puffy you want your cookies to turn out. I did ¼-inch for the cookies pictured. Cut out shapes or do rounded tablespoonfuls, slightly flattened. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Yield: This made 18 gingerbread men and two dozen round cookies. You may want to cut the recipe in half if you don’t need so many cookies…or take them to your neighbors!

For the frosting:
I just whipped up a quick thick frosting:
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
A few teaspoons of milk
Orange or lemon zest (optional)

Stir the sugar and cream together, thin with milk to desired consistency. I added the zest from half an orange.