Chocolate Chip Cookie Challenge #6

April 18, 2014

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I have not posted in over a month!  Honestly, I have been baking, but they have been repeats, so I have not been posting.  I need to get back on track!

Lately I have been craving some cookies, homemade chocolate chip cookies.  When I went back to see what number I was on in the CCCC, I was shocked to see that I had not tried a Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe in over a year!!! I guess with my new love of biscotti and also trying to find the perfect Oatmeal Cookie, the CCCC got the back burner.  Time to get back on track!

I found this recipe at The Pinning Mama, it was the picture that did it for me.  I eat with my eyes first and this one pulled me right in.

 {Copycat} Panera Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c butter, softened
1/2 c shortening
1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
4 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 bag mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

1. Mix butter, shortening and sugars until light and fluffy.

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2. Add egg and vanilla and mix until well combined.

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3. Combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt and mix together.

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4. Mix dry ingredients slowly into wet ingredients and blend well.
If the dough is crumbly, stir in water 1 teaspoon at a time until it just holds together. The dough should not be sticky.

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5. Add in chocolate chips and stir until evenly distributed.

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6. Using ¼ cup measure, scoop out dough and form into a ball. Continue until all dough is formed.

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I got 21

 

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7. Place dough in the freezer for 2 hours or up to 3 months. (I froze mine on the cookie sheet before putting them in the baggie)

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8.  Place frozen cookie onto parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 min.  I only took 3 out to bake, which is a nice bonus to this recipe!

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Let cool 2 minutes.

 

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I love that they kept their big thick shape and did not fall as they cooled

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Look at the size of these things!!

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Look at the inside! Looks heavenly!

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As amazing as these look, I was not a huge fan.  They were ok, (don’t get me wrong I have eaten many) but had a very odd texture, maybe from the corn starch?  I can’t even describe the texture, just seemed odd, not like any cookie I have had, and I wasn’t big on it.  I think I will try them again, without the cornstarch and see if that makes a difference

Thank you Pinning Mama for the recipe!


Maple Bacon Butter Tarts….again!

March 10, 2014

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I know this is probably my 4th post on these tarts, but they are worth it!

On Sunday, I was headed out-of-town to a baby shower which brought me right past Doo Doo’s Bakery!  I knew I couldn’t just drive by, I had to go in and get some butter tarts!!!  It smelt delicious when I walked in, a few people were having breakfast, not what I was there for though, I headed right to the tart counter.  I saw signs for Plain, Raisin and Pecan.  I was slightly disappointed as I was hoping to be there on a day they had their amazing Maple Raisin Butter tarts.  When it was my turn to order, out of pure desperation I asked “Any chance you have Maple Bacon today?” With a smile she said “Yes“.  Jackpot!!!!  I left with a dozen, 6 Maple Bacon, 4 Raisin and 2 plain.

Look at that crust…

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Big pieces of real BACON!

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Gooey, semi runny filling….heaven!

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I’m just glad I gave up bread for Lent this year and not treats as I usually do.  These would have been hard to pass by.

If you have not been to Doo Doo’s in Bailieboro, you must go.  It will be worth your drive :)


Lemon Poppyseed Biscotti

March 4, 2014

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I have been impressing myself lately.  Usually, I do not stray from a recipe, I do it exactly as is.  This is why I like baking, you follow the recipe and it turns out, it’s a science.  Well, I have become quite adventurous with biscotti.  I have finally found a ‘base recipe’ that I am able to play around with flavours.

This week I had numerous people asking for more biscotti, so I made 3 batches!  I made cherry almond, chocolate and lemon poppy seed.  A few weeks ago Mom asked about making lemon poppy seed ones, I initially shriveled up my nose and thought, ick! Who would make that?  Well it turns out quite a few people d0!  I was looking for a recipe and there were tones, I was pleasantly surprised.  After reading dozens of recipes I figured I would ‘wing it’ and hope for the best.

Lemon Poppy Seed Biscotti

2 1/2  cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup ground almonds
4 large eggs
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp (generous) lemon zest
2 tbsp poppy seeds

Directions:

1. Preheat oven 350ºF

2. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, poppy seeds, lemons zest and ground almond,  set aside

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3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugar, lemon juice and eggs.  Beat on high with whisk attachment until it holds a ‘ribbon’ for a few seconds. (approx 5 min)

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4.  Add flour mixture and mix on lowest speed until just combined

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5. Form into 3 even logs

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6. Bake until firm to the touch and golden, mine are usually 35 minutes

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7. Transfer to a wire rack and cool

8. Slice and turn to oven and back until desired hardness, mine were about another 25-30 mins, depends on the day

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9. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!  Lasts a few weeks in a storage tin.  Tupperware and plastic bags will also work

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For me these were just OK.  Everyone else said they really liked them.  The texture was great, but I found them lacking in flavour but, admittedly in previous post, I am a bit of a lemon freak, when I have something lemony I want a punch of lemon, not a hint.  I think another reason I wasn’t a huge fan is, they really were not that sweet.  That being said, I still ate them! haha.

Next week I will try something new!


Oatmeal Raisin Biscotti

February 22, 2014

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Here we are back at the biscotti!  I really, really wish Mike had not asked me to make those biscotti for him a few years ago, because I just can’t stop!!! It’s not just me, I have a lot of the family hooked as well.  I have been making 2 batches every other weekend.  I have been getting a little more adventurous with my biscotti, now that I have a good base to go with.  This time I wanted to try something completely different, oatmeal raisin!  I was inspired by this recipe Oatmeal and Raisin Biscotti

Oatmeal Raisin Biscotti

2 1/2  cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup ground almonds
4 large eggs
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup almonds

Directions

1. Preheat oven 350ºF

2. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ground almond, and set aside

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3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugar and eggs.  Beat on high with whisk attachment until it holds a ‘ribbon’ for a few seconds. (approx 5 min)

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4. Add oats, mix on low until just combine

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5. Add raisins and almonds, stir until just combined

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6. Form into 3 equal logs and bake until firm to the touch, approx 35 mins

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7. Allow to cool.  Slice and turn to oven and back until desired hardness, mine were about another 25-30 mins, depends on the day

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8. Allow to cool on a wire rack – enjoy!  Stores very well for weeks (if they last that long) in a tin

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These were delicious!!! I really liked the cinnamon raisin combination.  The oats really did not come though as much as I had thought.  Might try grinding them up and use in place of the ground almonds.

I will definitely be making these again.  I stepped out of my comfort zone (straying from a recipe) and it worked!  Very inspired to try more new flavours!


Sweet 16 Cake

February 21, 2014

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This is my 4th cake in 3 weeks!  I have not made very many in the last while, thought maybe the theme cake was going out of style.  I am quite happy to be back in the kitchen whipping up some new creations.

I was asked to make a Neon Sweet 16 Cake.  They showed me kind of what they wanted, but said to just do what ever!  Very difficult when everyone has such different taste.  What I think is cute, someone else may hate!  Anyways, I stuck to ideas that they showed me.  Had to turn to my cake making friend Christine (who makes awesome cakes!) for advice on the accessories (for lack of a better term?) for this cake.  I had never done a cake with things coming out of it before, but I do love the challenge!  It was a chocolate cake with vanilla icing.  I hope the Birthday girl likes it.


OCC #5

February 17, 2014

 

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It is Family Day long weekend here in Ontario, what better way to spend it than baking! As I was unimpressed with my last attempt in the OCC I decided I needed to try again.  This time I went with Ina Garten’s Raisin Pecan Oatmeal Cookies.  I can remember watching her cooking show, The Barefoot Contessa, on the Food Network.  She always had such amazing looking food and desserts!  I have made a few others things of hers and they were all successes, so I had high hopes for these cookies.

 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Ina Garten’s Raisin Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
2 heaping cups of Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.

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3. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.

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4. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together into a medium bowl.

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5. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture.

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6. Add the oat and chocolate chips

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7. Mix until just combine

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8. Using a small scoop or a tablespoon drop dough onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly with a damp hand.

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9. Bake until lightly browned. Transfer the cookies to a baking rack and cool completely.

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These were good!  They had great flavour and did not fall when they cooled.  I substitute the raisins with chocolate chips so I omitted the cinnamon.  The true flavour of the oatmeal was wonderful.  The outside had a slight crunch but the inside was soft and chewy.  I do think I over baked them slightly, next time I would bake them a few minutes less.

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They were a huge hit! Everyone loved them! I even made ‘smaller’ ones to please everyone – those weirdos who say my cookies are too big!

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Thick and chewy and delicious!

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These are definitely a runner-up….

Thank you Ina!


Crossword Puzzle Cake

February 17, 2014

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I was asked to make a crossword puzzle cake for an eightieth birthday.   They sent me a picture of her usual crossword which had hundreds of clues, I had to scale it down a tad, but this is what I came up with.  Apparently, it was a huge it! :)


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