Tag Archives: Chocolate Chips

MORE *vegan* BUTTAH!

21 Feb

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When it comes to baking, and even cooking for that matter, I tend to live by the motto “MORE BUTTAH!” From putting it in the recipe, to brushing it over the top for that beautiful finish when something delicious comes out of the oven. So, when my sister found out she has an allergy to dairy and nuts, but was craving some chocolate chip cookies, I started my research.

Luckily I didn’t have to go the full vegan or gluten-free route, but I am now curious on how that would turn out! I took my standard chocolate chip cookie recipe, swapped the butter for Vegan butter (I used Earth Balance Vegan Butter Sticks) and the chocolate chips for Vegan Chocolate Chips (you can find these at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s).  I have to be honest, full disclosure… I didn’t think these would come out too good so I made a 2nd batch of cookies (selfishly) using “real” butter! To my surprise, they came out Delicious!!

Dairy-Free, Nut-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time           Cook Time           Total Time
15 Minutes         11 Minutes         30 Minutes

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Yields: 2 Dozen Cookies (1 Tbs size)

Ingredients

  • 2-1/4 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tsp of Baking Soda
  • 1 Tsp of Salt
  • 1 Tsp of Cinnamon
  • 1 Cup of Vegan Butter (2 sticks), softened
  • ¾ Cup of Granulated Sugar
  • ¾ Cup of Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2 Cups of Vegan Chocolate Chips + More for Topping
  • Sea Salt (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt & cinnamon in a small bowl and stir to combine
  3. Beat the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar & vanilla extract in a large bowl with either the paddle attachment on your standing mixer or with a rubber spatula until creamy
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating one before adding the next
  5. Gradually stir in the flour mixture, in roughly 3 batches, until fully incorporated
  6. Stir in the 2 Cups of chocolate chips (or more depending on your love of chocolate, which in my case requires more!)
  7. Scoop 1 tablespoon at a time of the mixture into a ball and place on the ungreased baking sheet
  8. Press 2 or 3 chocolate chips into the top of your cookie and top with a pinch of sea salt if you like your cookie a little salty – and let’s be honest, chocolate & sea salt together, who can say no!?
  9. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden brown on the top
  10. Cool on the baking sheet for around 2 minutes; remove and transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely – If you can wait that long!

Happy Baking!

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Most Important Meal of the Day

21 Feb

Buttermilk Pancakes

Growing up, Sunday mornings were my dad’s time to shine in the kitchen! His specialties at the stove consist of: lasagna and pancakes. Lasagna was always saved for the times my mom was away or my dad was put in charge of dinner. Pancakes however, were made on the regular; our Sunday morning treat! He would always make a huge batch of pancakes Sunday morning that we would devour with butter and syrup. Whatever we couldn’t finish would be frozen and eaten for breakfast before school each morning. It was the perfect way to start the day!

As an adult, I can’t say I make them every Sunday (I’d have to live at the gym!), but pancakes are definitely a welcomed surprise for my husband every once in a while. Over the past year when I’ve made pancakes, I’ve always changed and tweaked my recipes to find the best golden, fluffy pancakes and I’ve finally done it! These pancakes are fluffy, but not too dense, golden brown and melt in your mouth. It’s the perfect base to eat plain (as my husband likes them), chocolate chip (the way I like them), blueberry and whatever flavor suits you! Pair these pillows of heaven with a side of eggs and fruit and you have yourself a pretty fantastic Sunday if you ask me! img_2589

Prep Time     Cook Time     Total Time
10 Min            3.5 Min            13.5 Min

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Yields ~11 6-inch Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/4 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp of Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Tsp of Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp of Cinnamon
  • 1.5 Tbs of Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1.5 Cups of Buttermilk
  • 1 Tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tbs of Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1/2 Tbs of Unsalted butter, for the griddle
  • 1/2 Cup of Chocolate Chops (optional)img_2569

Instructions:

  1. Whisk together baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk in the egg, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla
  3. Add in the flour and whisk until just combined. The batter should have small to medium lumps.img_2574
  4. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Heat the griddle/pan on medium heat and add the extra 1/2 tbs of butter. Wipe off excess.img_2576-1
  5. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup (or a ladle) scoop out the batter and pour onto the griddle making sure each pancake is roughly 2 inches away from the other. Scatter with chocolate chips, if you’re using them.

     

  6. Once the pancakes start to bubble and pop on top and the edges are slightly dry, it’s time to flip! This will take roughly 2 minutes, but it’s all a matter of your pan temperature, so use your eye. If you think they’re ready but not sure, sneak the spatula under the side and peak under to see if it’s browned, if so, flip!
  7. Continue cooking until golden brown on the bottom and slightly firm when you lightly press the top of them with the spatula. It’s like testing a piece of steak: Rare, Medium Rare, Medium, Well Done. You want your pancakes “medium”, still squishy, but cooked through. This should take roughly 1 minute, but as mentioned before, it all depends on the heat of your pan. Low and slow is really the key here. If the heat is too high, the bottom will golden, but the pancake will not be cooked through.
  8. Once this set is cooked, transfer to an oven safe plate and place in the oven to keep warm. Continue with the next batch until the batter is gone.img_2587
  9. Serve with butter and your favorite syrup!img_2589

If you’re anything like me, you always make too much, but these are great to freeze and save for another morning. Just wrap well in tinfoil (you can even put 2 or 3 together) and place in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat, unwrap and place on a microwave safe place. Microwave for 3o seconds and then 15 second intervals until steamy and ready to eat!

Enjoy!
Kristin

An Old Favorite

3 Feb

West 10th Street Brownies

In 2011, I took a baking class at The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) at 50 West 23rd Street in New York City (Amazing class! I would recommend any of the classes offered at ICE. Check them out at ICE). The class was called “The Best Brownie Workshop” and was a collection of Nick Malgieri’s brownie recipes. Nick is the former Executive Pastry Chef at Windows on the World, is a 1996 inductee into Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. His twelfth and latest book is NICK MALGIERI’S PASTRY: FOOLPROOF RECIPES FOR THE HOME COOK. He was voted one of the ten best pastry chefs in America by Chocolatier and Pastry Art and Design magazines in 1998 and 1999, and he is the director the baking program at ICE. Check him out at Nick Malgieri.

Of course, I keep all the folders and pamphlets from past classes I take and these brownies have been a ‘go to’ for me for years now. I haven’t made them in quite some time, but it was a colleague’s birthday and these brownies were the perfect solution.

Story behind the West 10th Street Brownies:

“The name of this recipe is because I found it in Greenwich Villiage a few blocks from where I live. As I walked east on Tenth Street, I saw a yellowed index card lying on the sidewalk. When I picked it up and saw written in spidery hand in blue fountain pen ink a recipe for ‘The Best Brownies in the World.’ Well, I put it aside in a miscellaneous recipe file, and a few months later tried it. They turned out to be sensational and certainly a contender for the title.” – Nick Malgieri

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

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Prep Time          Cook Time          Total Time
15 Minutes          30 Minutes          45 Minutes
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Yields: ~24 2-inch Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 16 tbs (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tsp of Cinnamon (*my personal addition the the recipe*)
  • 1 cup (6 ounce bag) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 19 x 13 x 2-inch pan

Instructions:

  1. Set a rack in the middle level of the oven, preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and butter the pan well
  2. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, remove from heat and add the 3 ounces of unsweetened chocolate. Let it sit for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. *If not all the chocolate has melted, add back to very low heat and stir constantly. Chocolate can burn rather quickly, so make sure to remove from heat  just before it is fully melted*
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, salt & vanilla until just mixed.
  4. Whisk in the sugar in a constant stream
  5. Whisk in the chocolate butter mixture
  6. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and cinnamon, switch to a rubber spatula and fold into the chocolate/egg mixture.** Fold technique: The reason the flour is folded into this recipe rather than just mixed is to keep the air inside. This is what creates the airiness and volume in cakes and brownies. To fold in the flour make horizontal sweeping motions, like you’re folding what’s already in the bowl over the flour that you’ve added. Each time I do one sweeping motion I rotate the bowl slightly so that I’m folding from different angles and making sure I haven’t missed any of the flour. Make sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as well.** Careful: One of the biggest mistakes people (including myself sometimes) make when it comes to brownies is over mixing. **
  7. The batter may still be warm from the melted butter and chocolate. If so, set it aside until it has cooled to room temperature (test it with your fingertip). Once cooled, fold in the chocolate chips until just combined.
  8. Pour into the prepared baking dish and level with an offset spatula
  9. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
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  10. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let them cool completely, roughly 1 – 2 hours.
  11. Wrap the pan in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight is best.
  12. Once cold, transfer to a cutting board, measure two-inch squares and cut into pieces and eat them!

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Enjoy!

Kristin

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