Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have a serious weakness when it comes to a well baked chocolate chip cookie (I am actually eating a cookie while typing. . .ha ha!).  While Nestle Toll House has a pretty good recipe, I have now successfully convinced my husband that it is not the best.  It took close to 6 years trying many new recipes, many of them right here on my blog.  Our absolute favorite is this one.  But, one more recipe has been added to my stack of amazing chocolate chip cookies.

Back in September, when Deb at Smitten Kitchen blogged about these cookies, I stared at the recipe for a few minutes, possibly drooling over the beautiful pictures she posted and knew that I had to make them as soon as possible.  This was one of those recipes that never had time to get pinned to my food board, because they were made almost immediately! 

They were a huge hit to everyone who tried them.  I thought I froze some, but when I went to check yesterday, either we already baked them or they just never made it to the freezer!  I also think I sent them with people as surprise treats. 

This is definitely a recipe that you will want to make. . . probably right now.   If not, you will before you get to the end of this blog post.

Okay.  You might want to wipe that drool off your chin.  I won't tell anyone...it's our little secret!  Now, quick. . . go check to see if you have all the ingredients.  I am sure you do. . . they are pretty basic.  If you don't know where to get chunky sea salt, I get mine for super cheap at Trader Joe's.  I am sure they have it at the regular grocery store with the salt.

I will leave you now with the recipe and happy baking!

Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1/2 cup butter
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp turbinado sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp baking soda
heaping 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 bag of dark chocolate chips
flaky sea salt

 Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line your baking sheet with a silpat or parchmaent paper. 

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until very fluffy. . . this takes about 5 minutes.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Slowly beat in sea salt, baking soda, and flour.  Fold in chocolate chunks. 

Scoop into balls and place on cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake for 11 minutes.  You want them to be a nice golden brown, and gooey on the inside.  Let them sit on the sheet for about 5 minutes before moving them to a wire rack. 

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

What's for Dinner? {October Edition}

Confession: I've been in a cooking slump.  The past two months, we've just been so busy that I haven't had time to do any real menu planning.  Between soccer practice and other activities, we've been eating out a lot and eating some of our go-to favorites: Spaghetti and meatballs, paninis, French Dip sandwiches, DIY naan pizza, Trader Joe's Orange Chicken, pancakes, and tacos.  There were a couple of recipes that squeezed into our menu and they were delicious! 

Black Bean Chili
This is a family favorite!  It's even gotten rave reviews at a work chili cook off!  Not only is it delicious, but it is economical, too. . . canned beans are cheap!  This is a great dish to add to your meatless Monday. . . if you do that kind of thing.  We enjoy taking a break from a "Meat" item every week. . . just not on Mondays. 

Roasted Eggplant
So, this really isn't a main dish, but my eggplant decided to bear fruit this fall and we have had quite the harvest.  It's been pretty awesome.  If you sprinkle some balsamic vinegar over the top. . . even better! 

Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts
So, these really aren't dinner.  But, we made them on Monday morning and they were awesome!  Super easy and fun and really, they're baked so maybe less guilt than a real, deep fried, coated in sugar doughnut?

What was your favorite dinner recipe in October?  Link up in the comments.

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Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Pumpkin Scones

Fall came.  Yesterday.  It came with a great big rain storm that lasted all day and into the night.  Ethan had the day off, and so we hung out in our comfy clothes and snuggled under blankets and watched movies on Netflix.  It was probably the best.day.ever.  Today, I dressed in layers and it was awesome.  So, yes, fall is officially here in Sunny, drought ridden California!  We must celebrate. . . and the only way that really makes sense is to bake something pumpkin-y. 
I realized the last time I made these that I posted about them and just shared the link.  I must have been so lazy back then, because, I really need to have that recipe where I can find it.  It's one of my fall baking traditions.  Everyone loves them!  Weston just wants to eat the frosting, but what 4 year old doesn't?
I made them into squares this time because I've noticed that Starbucks started making them square this year (and I probably spend way too much time in the Starbucks drive thru).  Doing it this way, you don't even need a cookie cutter, you can just cut them out with a knife.  Easy peasy! 

Pumpkin Scones
adapted from here

2 cups flour
7 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger
6 Tbsp cold butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 Tbsp milk
1 large egg

Glaze #1:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp whole milk

Glaze #2:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
pinch of ginger
pinch of cloves

Preheat oven to 425.  Line your favorite baking sheet with parchment or use a silpat.

Combine dry ingredients into a food processor.  Pulse a couple of times to get it all mixed up.  Cut butter into small cubes and add  butter to flour mixture.  Pulse until nice and crumbly.  Slowly add pumpkin, egg, and milk to mixture and pulse until nice and mixed up.  Dump mixture out onto a floured surface.  Sprinkle a but of flour over the top and pat out into a rectangle.  Cut out your desired shape and lay on your prepared baking sheet.  Keep doing this until no dough is left.

Bake for 14-16 minutes.  They should be a light brown.    Cool on a wire rack.

Make glaze #1 in a small bowl.  Using a silicone pastry brush or a small spoon and spread over the tops of the scones.  It doesn't take long for it to become hard. 

Make glaze #2 in the same small bowl.  Pour glaze into a sandwich bag and snip off the tip with your scissors.  Drizzle over first layer of glaze and allow to harden. . . or just dig in and eat.

Enjoy and share some with some friends!  


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