Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

As an avid cookie baker, I'm always looking for a really great recipe for the classics. I enjoy venturing out into new treat territory, but with Sam requesting chocolate chip cookies most often, I have been on a quest for the perfect recipe. I have found it! Tonight I baked my personal best batch of chocolate chip cookies thanks to Alton Brown.

After scanning the Food Network search results from my cookie query, I noticed a cookie listed as “Chewy” with a 5 star rating based on 485 reviews. This I had to try and it did not disappoint.

Thankfully, I had a bag of bread flour waiting in the pantry and kosher salt on hand. These appeared to be the only out of the ordinary ingredients. The dough had to be chilled for a bit and then, using an ice cream scoop, I plopped out 6 “gimantic” (as Sam would say) balls of dough on my parchment lined cookie sheets. Just 14 minutes in the oven and I pulled out the large, beautiful cookies that turned out perfectly chewy, but not under done. There was also a nice golden crisp to the cookie exterior that combined nicely with the chewy interior.

This recipe is a must for any chocolate chip cookie lover you know: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/the-chewy-recipe/index.html.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Makin' Whoopie

Nine years ago, before my husband and I were married, we took a drive through Lancaster County in Pennsylvania. I was enthralled with the Amish people at the time and gawked at their quilts, their clothes, their buggies. We stopped at a little bakery to have a snack and bought a two Red Velvet Whoopie pies. It was love at first bite!

Now I know I can't recreate the same romantic mood we had nine years ago during our courtship. But I'm determined to recreate a Whoopie pie that takes us back in time. So far, I've tried three recipes; this is my fourth attempt. My husband says I'm getting closer. Obviously, you can tell these are not Red Velvet but that's nothing a bottle of red food coloring can't fix. Basically, though, this is a Devil's Food Cake recipe plopped onto parchment in 1/3 cup portions. It makes separate little cakes that get smooshed together with a creamy filling. It's the filling that I'm having a hard time with. This filling was made from powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and Marshmallow Fluff. He thinks it tastes too marshmallowy but I like the light texture it imparts to an otherwise heavy buttercream frosting.

Don't worry. These Whoopie pies are disappearing fast, leaving me free to look for another recipe and start makin' whoopie again!