Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cookies & good news

After a week-long baking hiatus, I am back in the swing of things with 2 types of cookies, a remake of my very favorite brownies (so far), and and some muffins for an order.

It seems that part of being a baker or a food blogger includes going on a "quest" for your favorite versions of the classics (brownies, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake etc...). Bloggers will often post a series of reviews of what are considered to be the "best" of each baked good, rating various qualities until they decide which is their favorite, and then that becomes their go-to recipe. To me, baking these goodies is honestly very intimidating b/c since they're classics, everyone has their favorite versions (fudgey vs. cakey brownies, chewy vs. crisp cookies) and nothing seems to compare to the favorites. Also, so many people now grow up on boxed brownies and cakes and slice or break & bake cookies. Though I believe scratch-baked goods are much better, there are definitely going to be different flavors due to all the preservatives and stuff that goes into convenience foods, so if it's not what you grew up on, you just may not be happy with a scratch-baked treat.

Hubs generally falls into this category at least where brownies are concerned, but recently fell in love with Dorie's Brownies for Julia, so I re-made them for his postponed Valentines treats. I also got to break in my new Perfect Brownie Pan that he got me for Valentines day and it is AWESOME! The first time I made these brownies, the middle was a bit overly gooey, but this pan really does help with that. The pan size, and metal insert help them to bake very evenly--they were actually done on time too! And it is awesome to have them come out pre-cut so perfectly. LOVE IT!

Since hubs and I celebrated our Valentines day this weekend instead of last, I also postponed the Dorie recipe for this week to this weekend since it is another one of hubs' favorite treats (and a classic). Dorie's best Chocolate Chip Cookies. The rest of the group had mixed opinions of these cookies, many feeling that they were way too thin and crisp. I agree that the cookie is very thin and I might like to have a bit more heft, but overall I felt that they were really good. I did add a smidge more flour based on some of the reviews I had read (only about a tablespoon worth) and used whole chocolate chips instead of chopping the chocolate, just b/c hubs is very much a traditionalist, and these were for him. If you want the recipe for this week's challenge, head over to Kait's Plate!

Another cookie which I baked this week is one of my go-to, and most requested recipes: Double Chocolate Cookies!

I actually baked these up for an order, but had a few extra (one I ate, two I photographed...then ate). The ones in the picture actually spread significantly more than my normal ones b/c I had taken them out and then decided to put them back in the oven for a few more minutes b/c they looked too shiny. They generally are fairly small, kinda crackly and a bit chewy. Kinda like a brownie in cookie form.

Double Chocolate Cookies
from Taste of Home

1 1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups AP flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a seperate bowl. Gradually add to creamed mixture until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

2. Drp by rounded spoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 8-10 min. or until set. Cool for 2 minute on pans before removing to wire racks.

And for the good news....Kitty is home!! Thursday evening Butchy & I went to the vet to bring him home. They were still kinda reluctant as he was not eating much and was still sneezing a little, but they gave me more medicine (thankfully in liquid form--the vet tech said he is extremely "hard to pill" and requires too people--glad to know it's not just me!). I could not believe how skinny the little guy was--his ribs were sticking out and spine was very prominant, but once we got him home and gave him some cuddles he started eating...and has kept it up since! Also, my awesome vet only charged us $86 for keeping & treating him for 3 night with medication! And they sent us home with extra food, and that price includes a worm pill for Butch! AMAZING!!!

Also, it feels like spring :) It was nearly 60 outside today and after our lunch date hubs and I picked Butch up and took her to the park to see the ducks. Turns out, she is terrified of the ducks and the water. It was funny though. All in all, it's been a great day!

Oh, except for one tiny thing....

I spilled half a carton of cream in my refrigerator. It leaked into the crisper.

Anyone want blueberries and cream??

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sarahe,

    I found your blogs via your post on Canelle et Vanille. Similarly (at age 28) I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Raynauds and have been dealing with a broken body and just feeling crummy for the past 5 years. I have gone g-free in the last 6 months to battle the symptoms and it has helped a bit. I know that is helps to know other people are trudging through the trials and errors of diagnoses with similar symptoms. I can also relate to the monthly massages, which sometimes make me feel guilty :) but sometimes there are what get me through the month!
    Wishing you the best,