A Chocolate Chip Cookie

     There’s a perfect recipe out there, somewhere, and one day I will find it. I thought I was going to when I finally had the bread flour to get at Alton Brown’s recipe, but once this batch’s honeymoon phase of gooey warmth was over, I didn’t see much difference between this recipe and the recipe we used in my middle school Life Skills class. I’ve produced cookie upon cookie with that recipe, and almost each time they come out differently. These cookies were flat (though this could have had to do with the deceptive oven temp), and not sufficiently chocolate-chip-cookie chewy. And though it instructed me to put six cookies on each sheet, I didn’t listen, because 1. Why should the cookies be coming out that big? and 2. Who has real estate like that? Or time for multiple batches? So the majority of them came out squished against each other, and it took some luck to find two suitable for blog photos….sigh. In conclusion, I’m still on the search for the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. Until then, this one from Joy the Baker from Alton Brown will suffice.

Ingredients
8 ounces unsalted butter
12 ounces bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 ounces granulated sugar
8 ounces light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 ounce whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Directions
Melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat. Set aside to cool slightly.
Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda onto a paper plate. Pour the butter into your stand mixer’s work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar and beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together the whole egg, the egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract in a measuring cup. Reduce the mixer speed and slowly add the egg mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds.
This recipe’s “different” because it has you melting the butter.
Much to Joy the Baker’s intrigue.

Using the paper plate as a slide, gradually integrate the dry ingredients, stopping a couple of times to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Once the flour is worked in, drop the speed to “stir” and add the chocolate chips. Chill the dough for 1 hour.

Unfortunately, the look of your dough will not help you gauge
the quality of your end result…unless you did something very wrong.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place racks in the top third and bottom third of the oven.

Scoop the dough into 1 1/2-ounce portions onto parchment-lined half sheet pans, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake 2 sheets at a time for 15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Remove from the oven, slide the parchment with the cookies onto a cooling rack and wait at least 5 minutes before devouring.

If it looks like I forgot to take a picture of my dough balls before
putting them in the oven, it’s because I did.
I insist on the addition of walnuts…that is all.

Oatmeal Date Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

As seen on “Foreign Food on Photos“, my Nigerian food blog
If you look closely you can see the SURPRISE

     EVERYONE GUESS WHAT! I made cookies.
     Duh, I made cookies…I mean I created cookies. How is this the first time I’ve made a cookie recipe, you ask? I’ll get back to you on that. But it looks like it took traveling 5000 miles from my kitchen to do it. Don’t worry, it will happen again! And it’ll only take me 300 miles. But here’s what happened.
     My uncle bought a good 3 kilos of rolled oats after giving up on the instant lifestyle (darn). He kindly asked if I would be willing to help him make some cookies with them (or something like that). So what does bored old me do with a clean kitchen in the dead of night when everyone’s gone to bed? Get cReAtIve. And too creative, by the sounds of it, right? Don’t worry, read on!
     With a half full tub of peanut butter waiting for me to make my lunch sandwiches, some questionably-sourced dates returning from I’m-not-sure-where in my cousin’s hand, no chocolate, and those darned oats, I had some interesting flavors to work with. And work I did. I wanted to go all out after the chocolate chipless cookies I’d made some weeks before, so why not use all these things, and if no one likes them, more for me! Haha kidding…
     ….yeah. So I had the basics: butter, sugar, flour etc. I decided to try the dark brown sugar that was around, which was a successful first. It’s also expiring on Thursday. Here was my “logic”, if I had been thinking rationally (I think it’s all subconscious at this point): peanut butter cookies are a norm, and so are oat and date cookies (soo good, you can actually check “my” recipe here!). Oats and peanut butter could be easily paired together. This combo might need something sweet to cut the thickness/nutty flavors. Dates are sweet. In they go!

Dark brown sugar for extra molasses chewiness and color

     Of course, right after adding some knife fulls of peanut butter, I decided I wanted to be like those fancy gourmet bakers who stuff shenanigans into their cookies. In my ideal cookie, this would be chocolate. Just an eruption of melted chocolate everywhere. But I had peanut butter. And peanut butter is what I used. So peanut butter cookies became stuffed with peanut butter. And it was an excellent choice. If you’re not so into PB, you can skip that part, but don’t skip the PB in the dough because it’s mild and lovely. I made some normal cookies so I wouldn’t overwhelm with the decadence, and they were good too.
     Alright, enough of the blog banter, let’s get y’all baking these. And I must warn you that some of these instructions and measurements are approximate, for I guesstimated a temperature from the knob on the gas oven and kept adding more of stuff. Who goes exactly by the recipe, though? They’re more like guidelines, anyway.
     Also, if you think of a better name for these cookies, do tell! I’ll bake you some for free. So far my other candidate is “Oatmeal Date Cookies with a Heart of Peanut Butter (or gold??)”

How innocent-looking

Crazy Oatmeal Date Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies
Makes 25 stuffed cookies, or 35 regular cookies

Ingredients
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup butter at room temperature
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 dashes of salt
6-8 mejdool dates, coarsely chopped
1 cup rolled oats
Several more spoonfuls of peanut butter

  1. Preheat the oven whenever you want, but it will be at/around 360 degrees. Butter two cookie sheets and set aside.
  2. Combine your softened butter and sugars in a large bowl until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well, then add the peanut butter.
  3. Gradually mix in the flour, baking powder and salt. Add in the dates, making sure they separate in the dough. Gradually stir in the oatmeal.
  4. To make stuffed cookies, make small balls of dough, using just over half the dough, and place on the cookie sheets. Use a spoon to make a small well in the dough. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to stiffen. Place a 1/4 teaspoon of peanut butter in the well of the dough. Use your hands to flatten small tops to cover the peanut butter. Diligently seal the sides of the cookie so the peanut butter doesn’t escape.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean/with just peanut butter.

You can make bigger cookies to add more peanut butter,
but they’re already fairly large
I suggest finding your milky beverage of choice before
finishing the batch

Facebook Responds: Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Ok who has the same plates as we do?

     I was running low on flour, yet I had the baking itch. Some timing that was. Too indolent (yay vocab words) to figure out what to make while my dad stopped at the too-far-and-too-lazy-to-go co-op just for me, I used all the resources at my fingertips at the time (all nine). When faced with the request “Aaaah quick someone tell me what to bake.” in the form of a Facebook status, Facebook really delivered. I went with former classmate Mandy’s Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies, from Post Punk Kitchen, on their game once again (recall the college-ified chocolate chippers)! Excellent choice. There was definitely more chatter than I was expecting on that status. About eight people’s worth. I think I could make this work to my advantage. Might make it a new theme: mandatory recipe usage from comment of Facebook status…uh oh.

Get your nutmeg ready! Because yours is probably whole too
(it’s the hipster thrifty thing to do)

Molasses is important!

     Since this was a vegan recipe, there’s no egg or butter. But you can change this if you want, though the texture without is just fine. Key players are now canned pumkpin, molasses, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Still playing with my food…

     I omitted a lot of extra crunchies that the recipe had, but I’m sure the cookies are still fairly nutritious…

You should probably keep the oatmeal (rolled/old-fashioned!)

Ok here’s my version
Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients
2 cups flour
1 1/3 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup half melted butter (it’s not like you don’t do that by accident anyway right?)
2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup canned pumpkin, or cooked pureed pumpkin (ain’t noobody got time fuhdat)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions
Preheat oven to 350. Have ready 3 greased baking sheets.
Mix together flour, oats, baking soda, salt and spices.
In a seperate bowl, mix together sugar, butter, molasses, pumpkin and vanilla until very well combined. Add dry ingredients to wet in 4 batches, folding to combine.
Drop by tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets. They don’t spread very much so they can be placed only an inch apart. Flatten the tops of the cookies to press into cookie shape. Bake for 16 minutes at 350
Remove from oven and get cookies onto a wire rack to cool. These taste best when they’ve had some time to cool and set. They taste even better the next day! ( <– Ha what?)

Here’s the real one…

Let’s do this again, social media outlets.

Speaking of, my Instagram feed’s been killin it as of late, check it out for pre-blogging snaps @ http://instagram.com/carmzl …#shamelessplugging.
While we’re at it, send me your favorite cookie recipe! Maybe it’ll show up here. Till next time!

Chocolate Chip. Cookie Dough. CUPCAKES.

     What happens when you bring a cookie chef and a cupcake pro together? Something like this. Two months in the planning, Jake and I finally made our chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes yesterday. Far from healthy, the combination of cookie dough balls (egg-less, y’all), chocolate cake batter and cookie dough frosting (ohh yeah) is something I wish we’d thought up first. But apparently this already existed, with different versions and varying degrees of doughy-ness and cupcake presence. Clearly, the correct combination includes cookie dough, in the center of a chocolate cupcake, topped with cookie dough frosting. Take it from the real pros, and the may-as-well-be-pros when we say you must experience this.

If you want the dough to stay dough in the cupcake,
leave them in the freezer while you run to the store to get
baking soda…and make the cupcake batter.
If you think they might be too big when you round them, they are.

    So first you make the cookie dough, which is egg free, so fret not about your salmonella poisoning odds. Though you probably weren’t…sigh. Then you stick the bowl in the fridge, take it out after 15 minutes and roll the dough into little balls. While you’re waiting you can make the cupcake batter. The whole half cup (or 1 if you’re doubling) is not necessary, as we discovered.

We do not condone eating this raw, as it does have egg in it.

But sometimes you just have to test it, right?

     The best part was probably dropping the cookie dough into the batter-filled cupcake liners. If you’re only skimming the recipe you may not notice what Jake saw about keeping the dough afloat – if the dough sticks out of the batter and it’s touching the bottom of the liner, cover the dough anyway, even if it sticks out a bit. We tried rolling/turning/flipping the dough balls with toothpicks. This way, they won’t cook as much.

Leave some space for the dough balls when you’re filling the liners;
a full 1/4 cup worked well.
Like so, previous to awkward rolling

      While these are baking, you can make the frosting – don’t skip it if you want the full experience! Use of an electric mixer/stand mixer is necessary so you can whip the butter properly for a true frosting texture.

We don’t exactly not condone eating this one out of the bowl…
SO GOOD P:

     The hardest part of it all may be waiting for the cupcakes to cool before you put the frosting on. But you know what happens if you don’t – melted mess everywhere.

Technically they’re fine without the frosting…

     And you’re done! Depending on what you were expecting, you may be surprised once one hits your mouth. I think it takes some practice/diligence to perceive the distinct flavor of each part, but maybe that’s not the point.

     I’m glad we stuck to the raw dough, and that it mostly worked, apart from the occasional cooked crust at the bottom. Play around with different versions and recipes; they’re definitely out there for consumption. Happy baking!

You should probably hire us for your next party.
Quick note: we doubled the filling & cupcake recipe, and not the frosting: ended up with three or four cupcakes that weren’t frosted. Also, we added the chocolate chips into the frosting as you can see…thought it looked more like cookie dough.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Yield: 1 dozen cupcakes
Prep Time: 45 min + freeze time
Cook Time: 25 min

Ingredients:
COOKIE DOUGH FILLING:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda (not necessary, so we found)
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
CUPCAKES:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (a little more necessary)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
COOKIE DOUGH FROSTING:
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar (<–makes all the difference in the cookie taste!)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
GARNISH:
additional mini chocolate chips
12 mini Chips Ahoy cookies (lol nahh)

Directions:

1. Prepare the cookie dough filling (see *Tips below): In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to stir together the butter, sugars, milk and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients and the chocolate chips. Refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes, or until the cookie dough is firm. Scoop out dough in 2 tablespoon scoops and place it on a cookie sheet. Freeze until firm, at least 30 minutes.
2. Prepare the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 liners. Place the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and salt in a blender. Blend to combine. Add the water, oil, egg and vanilla. Blend to combine, scraping down the sides as needed a couple of times until all is well mixed. Divide the batter between the 12 cupcake liners. Drop a ball of frozen chocolate chip cookie dough into the center of each cupcake. If you would like the cookie dough to bake up slightly, keep the top visible as pictured in the post. If you’d like to keep the cookie dough somewhat raw, push it to the bottom of the cupcake wrapper, making sure that the batter comes up and over the dough.
3. Bake the cupcakes for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cupcake portion of the cupcake (not tested through the center where the dough is), comes out fairly clean. Cool the cupcakes completely before adding the frosting.
4. Prepare the frosting: In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the butter and sugars until smooth and creamy. Mix in the flour, milk and vanilla and continue to mix until all is well combined.
5. Assemble: Frost cupcakes with a knife or scoop the frosting into a piping bag and pipe it on decoratively. Sprinkle mini chips on top and garnish with a small chocolate chip cookie.

TIPS:*You don’t necessarily have to melt the butter and refrigerate the dough before scooping. The melted butter just helps the sugar dissolve a bit more so you don’t have that grainy texture in the cookie dough. It is necessary to freeze it though.
Recipe from Recipe Girl 

Check out a first ever homemade cupcake attempt hither!

How Many Different Ways Can You Spell Doughnut?

How about with some Fs? You know, like duffin! That’s what Torey, Tommy and I made one or two busy weekends ago. This adventure is proof that inspiration can come from anywhere – in this case, instagram. Yes, I do in fact shamelessly take pictures of my food and share with the world (http://instagram.com/carmzl). Don’t be envious of my food and picture snapping skills, there’s a good chance whatever you find in there will end up here so you might as well think of it as a preview of lovely recipes to come.
     So doughnut muffins. A doughnut or a muffin? I’ll give you a hint: You can usually go by the last word. So when you add nutmeg and muffin stuff to muffins, and glaze them, they’re gonna taste like muffins. With some doughnut…essence. I think we were envisioning light and fluffy “muffins” that were really doughnuts in disguise…more like muffins disguised as breakfast. Except they were also breakfast. Uh anyway, they’re pretty easy to make, and as long as you’re expecting muffins, you’ll likely enjoy them. The glaze was definitely the best part.

I promise I helped – there’s even proof
Look at that texture
Is that me? In my own blog?! The scary things that happen
when I share the camera
Per the request of Torey
Wasn’t lying about the glaze…
Next time we’re making doughnuts…no Fs included

Glazed Doughnut Muffins

For the Batter

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 to 1 ¼ teaspoons ground nutmeg, to taste (I used 1 ¼)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk

For the Glaze

3 tablespoons butter; melted
1 cup confectioners’ sugar; sifted
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons hot water

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin. Or line with 12 paper muffin cups.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugars till smooth.
  3. Add the eggs, beating to combine.
  4. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla.
  5. Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined.
  6. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pan, filling the cups nearly full.
  7. Bake the muffins for 15 to 17 minutes, or until they’re a pale golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.
  8. In a medium bowl, prepare the glaze by mixing together the melted butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and water. Whisk until smooth.
  9. When muffins have cooled slightly, dip the muffin crown into the glaze and allow the glaze to harden. As recommended in the adapted recipe, I glazed my muffins twice.
  10. Serve warm, or cool on a rack and wrap airtight. Muffins will keep at room temperature for about a day.

Brought to you by one SemiSweetie

Rollin’ Roulade

     Happy New Year! My Frame-By-Frame baking cookbook struck again with its slightly inconvenient recipe for a roulade, which I guess can mean anything rolled up, likely edible (and not to be confused with the musical technique). Originally a coffee walnut roulade, the sticky outcome of Iris and my efforts was more of a spice-cream cheese roulade. All the better, though! This was definitely a new experience for the two of us, having to beat egg whites…and their yolks, with an electric mixer. After adding all the baking spices in the cupboards, almond & vanilla extract in place of the coffee extract, and the typical dry ingredients, we poured the mixture (not much of a dough) onto a baking sheet and moved it to the oven while we worked on the filling. Lacking necessary/most ingredients for the classic icing swirl, we opted for a cream cheese frosting instead, using only cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract. The most important part of the process was likely the patience possessed while we waited for the roulade to cool in its ultimate rolled shape right after it came out of the oven. You see, if you let it cool flat and then spread the icing, when you come to roll the whole thing up, it will tragically and literally rip to shreds. There’s little else more frustrating than having your baked good come out looking wonky because you couldn’t wait long enough. Moral of this episode isss: restrain thyself; your occipital lobe will thank you for it.

3.5 eggs and countless minutes later, we have this

Folded, not stirred (bahah wow…)

Looks….uh

The moment of truth
Look at that aesthetically pleasing confection


Coffee and Walnut Roulade
From Frame by Frame Baking by Love Food
Serves 6

Ingredients
Butter or oil, for greasing
3 eggs
1 egg white
1/2 cup superfine sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tsp coffee extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
Roughly chopped walnuts, to decorate

Filling
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus extra, sifted for dusting
1 tbsp coffee liqueur

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F/200°C. Grease a 13×8.5 inch jelly roll pan and line with nonstick parchment paper (any baking sheet will do, though the paper is important).
  2. Place the eggs, egg white, and sugar in a bowl over a pan of very hot water. Whisk with an electric mixer until pale and thick enough to leave a trail (completely stiff is unnecessary).
  3. Whisk in the coffee extract, then fold in the flour and finely chopped walnuts lightly with a metal spoon.
  4.  Spoon into the pan, spreading evenly. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown and firm.
  5. Sprinkle a sheet of parchment paper with superfine sugar (that might have helped, but we didn’t do it). Turn out the roulade onto the paper and peel off the lining paper. Trim the edges (oops).
  6. Quickly roll up the sponge from one short side, with the paper inside. Cool completely (try hard).
  7. For the filling, place the cream, sugar, and liqueur in a bowl and whisk until the mixture begins to hold its shape.
  8. Carefully unroll the roulade, remove the paper and spread the cream over. Roll up carefully

Serve the roulade dusted with confectioner’s sugar and topped with roughly chopped walnuts.  <!– @page { margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in 

Dinner & A Cookie

Last week I went to my uncle’s house to get my 13 month-old udon noodles properly cooked. When the only heatproof round container you have is an over-sized mug, it’s tough to make noodles that aren’t chewy. One of these days I’ll have a real-life sauce pan. Until then, there’s always the 15 minute commute. Homemade chicken broth and some fresh veggies were all they needed. Quite simple, really, yet truly refreshing. I brought along some cookie supplies to try to get rid of the foodstuffs from the apple donut affair. Without a base recipe, I attempted what I recalled from my chocolate chip cookie ratios, threw in some peanut butter, chocolate frosting (shh) and rolled the dough in sliced almonds. Sometimes we college kids have to get creative with the food we leave ourselves with…seemed to work out, though.

That kale, though…how appetizing
Yummish…not bad for no recipe, surely