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Posts Tagged ‘chocolate chip cookies’

Cream together in a stand mixer:

2 sticks of butter

1 t. vanilla

1 c. brown sugar

Add:

1 egg YOLK

2 eggs

Beat well.

Mix in until just combined:

3 c. all purpose flour (I live near Denver, CO.  If you live at a lower altitude, reduce flour by 1/4 to 1/2 c.)

1 t. salt

1 t. baking POWDER

Pour in:

1 1/2 to 2 c. semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

1/2 c. white sugar

Stir/knead until sugar and flour are incorporated.

Refrigerate dough.

After at least a few hours (until the dough is thoroughly chilled) scoop out 3-T. sized cookies. Shape into balls, then flatten to about 1/4 inch tall and about 2 1/2 inches diameter.

Bake at 350 for about 14 minutes (ovens vary, adjust bake time accordingly). Sprinkle a little extra salt if desired, immediately upon removing from oven. Remove from pan and let cool briefly on a rack before gobbling up every gooey bite.

I don’t know about you, but it drives me crazy when I find a recipe on a blog and I have to scroll through pages of prep photos and stories about husbands, children, and grocery stores before I get to the need-to-know information to make the food!  So I put my recipe at the top.  But I do want to let my regular readers know that I have been researching and testing chocolate chip cookie recipes for about a year now, and I’m very happy with these results.  There is a more complicated recipe that I like slightly better, but this version is one of the best I’ve *ever* tasted!  

My sister makes amazing cookies.  I think that three things make them amazing: her laziness (using a stand mixer and taking frequent, sometimes day-long breaks), the huge size of the cookies, and using margarine.  I want big, soft, not-too-cake-like cookies myself, but faster and with butter instead of margarine.  These cookies are not crumbly.  They are not crunchy like store-bought cookies.  They are not flat.  

I like the flavor of butter in my cookies.  These have it. 

I like my cookies to have extra dimension in their flavor: sweet, chocolate, butter, salt, and a touch of caramel.  These accomplish that.

I like my cookies to be just a tiny bit gooey in the center, and not dark brown on the edges.  Here they are.  

A long time ago I read a suggestion of adding extra fat without too much extra liquid, by adding an egg yolk.  I’ve tried with and without the extra yolk, and I think it makes a difference in helping the cookie to stand up and stay gooey.  

Baking powder makes the cookies fluffier/taller than baking soda.  

Adding the white sugar at the end causes the outsides to caramelize during cooking, for an ever-so-slight crispiness encasing the soft cookie.  Using a little more brown sugar than white also contributes to the deeper flavor.

I’m liking Guittard’s Real Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, all GMO free, yummy flavor, and excellent melting.  They’re sold at my local Safeway and Sprouts stores.  

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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I love chocolate.  For being such a chocoholic, I don’t talk about it much.  So today I’m blogging about my favorite chocolate cheesecake. 

chcolate-cheesecake-dippers

 

The original recipe is from Nestle.  But I’ve modified it just a bit, because while I could eat a quarter of a cake, most people like smaller portions than are easily sliced.  There are also some cheaper substitutions I’ve made. 

 

The first thing you want to do is to set out your cream cheese.  I put mine on the stove while it is preheating for the cookies to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  You will need two 8-ounce packages, and it’s ok if this is off brand, because you’re going to mix it with chocolate and with sugar!  (Walmart usually has the cheapest.  You can also stock up when cream cheese is on sale during the holidays, because cream cheese has a long refrigerator life.) 

 

Next, you’re going to make the cookies.  You can use your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe or this one, which is a family classic. 

 

Mix 1 cup (2 sticks) of margarine with ¾ cup of sugar and ¾ cup of brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Cream.  Add 2 eggs.  Stir thoroughly, until the batter forms pea-sized chunks in the liquid of the whites.  Now mix in the dry ingredients: 3 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of salt.  When batter is the stiff consistency of cookie dough, add 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips. 

 

Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough onto a cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.  While the first pan is cooking, refrigerate your dough if possible.  Remove cookies from pan to wire rack to cool.  When all your cookies are done baking, you can start the filling. 

 

Begin with the two 8-ounce packages of cream cheese.  Add 1 cup of sugar, 12 tablespoons of cocoa powder, and 4 tablespoons of Crisco (solid vegetable shortening).  Stir for a really long time until: 1) your hand feels like it will fall off, 2) the bowl gets a hole in it, 3) the spoon breaks, 4) you can get a friend or family member to take over.  You will need the mixture to look thoroughly chocolate brown with no white showing. 

 

Then you are ready to add two 8-ounce tubs of whipped topping.  This will initially turn all of that lovely chocolate brown to fluffy white.  Stir, and you will begin to see signs of the brown reemerging.  Then stir some more, and your mixture may turn a lighter brown.  Stir, cream, press, beat until the whole thing is an even medium-brown color with a smooth texture.  Don’t use a mixer at any time, because the whole thing is pointless: the beaters get stalled in the thickness of the cream cheese, and you spend more time scraping than mixing. 

 

When this is accomplished you’re pretty much done.  Spoon the cheesecake filling into a pretty glass bowl, and line the sides with cookies or cookie halves.  You may want to provide spoons or knives with which to spread the dip over the cookies.  Cover with plastic and refrigerate at least for a couple hours before serving. 

 

The image at the beginning is half a batch.  I almost forgot the sugar on that one, and we got a Marine to do the beating, so my mom’s plastic mixing bowl broke.  Oops!  But oh, this is so yummy, and really popular.  Plus, except for it being really important not to forget the sugar, you can adjust almost any of the rest of the ingredients.  Use the low-fat or low-calorie versions of the whipped topping and the cream cheese.  Or use less whipped topping.  You can do less cream cheese.  And if when you’re counting you miss a tablespoon or two of cocoa, I dare you to notice the difference.  This recipe is very forgiving, and tastes great.  I’ve stored it in the refrigerator for over a week, still good.  The original recipe is actually a cake, where the cookie dough is the crust in the spring-form pan.  I’ve also thought about doing this parfait style in glass cups.  In the comment section of Nestle’s website, a few women mentioned making them in muffin cups and swirling the cheesecake filling like you would frosting.  Finally, I hear the filling is great frozen, almost like ice cream. 

chocolate-cheesecake

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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I have been camera crazy this year, filled with intentions of having one of those beautiful blogs filled with artistic pictures that speak effortless, silent poetry. Life has kept me busy, stunned me with its picturesque every day. This is my small sample. Me in one of my creative Christmas outfits. Here in Colorado the weather has scarcely ventured above freezing for two weeks, so I’m a little bored of my usual sweaters, inspiring creative ensembles.

There’s another cause, too. In December, for several reasons, we should cancel laundry: 1. We are buying new clothes for Christmas parties anyway. 2. We are receiving new clothes at Christmas. 3. We are never at home, so laundry is impossible. 4. There’s going to be enough guilt from all the candy and baked goods we eat, and all the New Year’s Resolutions we instantly break. Why add unfinished laundry?

(To be honest, my laundry is all caught up as of about an hour from now. And I really don’t get new clothes at Christmas or make New Year’s Resolutions. Nor do I feel guilty about my sugar intake.)

For my birthday I hosted a party at which we watched the movie, Penelope (starring Christiana Ricci, James McAvoy, and Reese Witherspoon). The bright contrasting colors inspired me. For my parties I usually have either candles or flowers. These were too perfect, and looking exquisite in the daisy vase a friend gave me for my high school graduation.


Aren’t the colors so vibrant?
Fall lingered in Colorado. I’m glad I have pictures to remember it by, not only because it was beautiful, but also because now it’s so cold that I can’t believe the Indian Summer we had.

See. Winter.
For weeks I went around with my camera in the passenger seat of my car so that when I found beautiful colors, driving through the right part of old Denver, I could snap a shot at a stop sign! It turned out great!

This old house was so charming as I drove that I took a picture of it, too. Denver is a lot nicer place when you see the cozy residential areas near downtown.
It can be a frustrating place. There is something nostalgic about railroad crossings, I admit. And I’m glad I had my camera, because otherwise the wait that day would have been intolerable. Trains are such dirty, slow, loud vehicles!
Speaking of waiting, that is one of only two things that I have done this season. The other is enduring impossible stores with gifts impossible to find or afford. I’m ready to stop waiting in lines and in traffic and behind trains and for people to come or go or catch up. My idea of nice waiting is to be curled up in front of the Christmas tree with a book, Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby crooning in the background, a nice plate of fudge and a cinnamon roll handy.

These are some of our family’s signature cookies. Admit it. You never want just one of those regular-sized cookies. So instead of making you go back until you’ve had three or four, we put the whole serving into one cookie. They’re amazing. And my 11 year old sister is a pro at making them, attributed to her procrastinating style.
Mom tried to recreate the salad she likes from Chik-fil-a. It was so bright and pretty that I had to take a picture.
That’s all.
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

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When I buy cookies, I can’t buy two.  Every time I do, I burn one. 

Paradise Bakery has the best chocolate chip cookies.  They stay soft forever, and are just delicious.  So why do I want to microwave them before eating?  I don’t know.  I got buy one, get one free before a ladies retreat and took the free cookie with me.  At the retreat location I put the cookie (still inside the decorative bag – with ink on it advertising the bakery) into the microwave and set the time for one minute.  At home it worked perfectly.  I promise. 

When I came back to the horrifying smell of smoke, it was too late.  My cookie was smoking, and couldn’t be eaten (obviously).  The entire night the retreat center smelled like burnt popcorn (associated with the paper packaging more than the food?).  It was so embarassing. 

But I don’t learn.  Tuesday at Safeway I bought two cookies for 98 cents (actually cheaper at regular price than Paradise Bakery, but a lot less yummy).  I ate most of one on Tuesday, and the other I decided to improve today by…

… microwaving it.  This time I was smart.  Thirty seconds in our new microwave on power level six (which is one of those intermediate settings that you’re supposed to use for thawing foods if your tastebuds hadn’t been accustomed to bland TV-dinner, ultraprocessed foods already and you cared about flavor) rendered the cookie almost perfect, but the chocolate chips were still hard.  So I returned the cookie to the spinning plate and set the machine to fifteen seconds on power level seven (this is the canned corn setting at my house, and typically has no other uses.  We live in the 8-10 power range).  The dessert emerged sizzling, barely transferrable on its almost penetrated napkin.  After cooling about fifteen minutes I bit into a carmelized sort of cookie, and gave up on the unnecessary parts, nibbling at the chocolate chips and leaving the hardened rest. 

Never buy two cookies when you could buy one.  Maybe I’ll start buying three. 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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