Monday, March 7, 2016

One-Bowl Chocolate Chunk Cookies - Revised

This recipe was originally published on this blog in 2008. This time we made it without pecans, with regular chips and with bread flour instead of all purpose. We made huge cookies and the results were crispy on the edge chewy on the inside cookies. This replacement of flour is highly recommended!

A family friend gave me this book Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey for my wedding shower and I have been wanting to make some recipe from it but haven't had the chance until this weekend.

I chose to make one-bowl chocolate chunk pecan cookies the key being that they use only ONE BOWL and no mixer PLUS they use melted butter, so you don't have to worry about leaving it out for hours.

Get this book! If this recipe was this delicious I bet the rest of it is outstanding!

A few notes about these cookies:
1. Refrigerate the dough for an hour like it calls for, do not be tempted to bake them before refrigerating.
2. Try to let the pecans cool before adding them to the dough--but add them before refrigeration, if you add them when they are hot the dough gets extra runny
3. Make small cookies, about the size of one scoop from a regular spoon. Small cookies mean big huge chunks of deliciousness
4. One of my friends gave me some extra concentrated vanilla from Penzey's, they say to use half of what the recipe calls for but I always forget so these cookies could be awesomer because I used twice the vanilla the recipe called for. You may want to do that.

My mom has baked the same chocolate chip walnut cookie for years and she volunteered that this cookie is superior and her new go-to favorite.

2 C pecan halves (omitted)
1 C unsalted butter
3/4 C packed brown sugar
3/4 C granulated sugar
2 Large eggs
1 t salt
2 t vanilla extract (technically I used 4t see above)
2 1/4 C bread flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 baking powder
2 C semisweet chocolate chunks

1. Preheat oven to 350. Toast pecan halves 6-8 minutes until fragrant.
2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large microwave safe bowl for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir with a wooden spoon until fully melted.
3. Stir in sugars until smooth. Add salt, vanilla and eggs, stir until smooth.
4. Add flour, baking soda and baking powder and stir until a soft dough forms.
5. Fold in toasted pecans and chocolate chunks. Cover and refrigerate the bowl for at least an hour (especially if you didn't find time to cool pecans). Preheat the oven again to 350 if you turned it off.
6. Scoop small regular spoon sized scoops onto cookie trays. Bake 10-12 minutes until they look slightly golden brown.
7. Cool slightly before moving to a rack. Enjoy warm, or cold, or anytime at all, but be sure to make and try these cookies!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Smoked Trout Salad with Citrus Dressing

A few weeks ago, I sent my mom a recipe from Food & Wine magazine about a salad with smoked trout, citrus and a horseradish dressing. She made it and they loved it. Then she brought me an extra piece of smoked trout.  Of course, I had none of the ingredients to make the famed salad, so I made a variation, and it was delicious.

If you've never had smoked trout before, think of smoked salmon - the flaked kind not the lox kind but smokier.  It's delicious, buy some. I made enough salad for one person.

3 oz smoked trout filet, flaked
2 blood oranges
1 avocado, diced
3 Cups spicy spinach/arugula salad mix (or arugula)
1 T brown sugar
olive oil
1/2  lemon

1. Over a small bowl to catch the juices, segment the blood oranges
2. Sprinkle salt over the avocado
3. Toss the avocado, trout, lettuce and blood orange segments in a serving bowl
4. Add the brown sugar, juice of half a lemon to the blood orange juice.  Whisk in oil until the right oil-->acid ratio begins to emulsify
5. Toss dressing with the salad and serve immediately.

This salad was beautiful but because I consumed it during a meeting at the office, I failed to take any pictures.  Nobody complained of a fish smell while eating and I was satisfied for the remainder of the day without a snack before dinner.