Saturday, August 28, 2010

Special Order...Mom's Birthday Cupcakes

The request was white cupcakes with vanilla icing. Easy enough! I made vanilla bean icing just to add a bit of fancy. They were delicious (if I do say so myself) and dissappeared quickly. Recipe to follow.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Chocolate Chunk Pecan Cookies

Recipe: Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (from The Food Network)

I love these because they are not too sweet and have great flavor. Make sure you use quality chocolate chips, real butter and good vanilla as this will make a huge difference in your outcome. Don't overbake as they are supposed to be chewy!

■1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
■3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
■3/4 cup sugar
■2 large eggs
■1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
■1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips, or chunks
■2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
■3/4 teaspoon baking soda
■1 teaspoon fine salt
(I added 2/3 cup chopped pecans which some folks would consider optional!)

Evenly position 2 racks in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone sheets. (If you only have 1 baking sheet, let it cool completely between batches.)

Cream butter and sugars until smooth and light. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla.
Put the butter in a microwave safe bowl, cover and microwave on medium power until melted.
Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt in another bowl. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a wooden spoon; take care not to over mix. Stir in the chocolate chips or chunks (and this is when you would add the pecans or other nuts if you choose to do so).

Scoop heaping tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared pans. Wet hands slightly and roll the dough into balls. Space the cookies about 2-inches apart on the pans. Bake, until golden, but still soft in the center, 12 to 16 minutes, depending on how chewy or crunchy you like your cookies. Transfer hot cookies with a spatula to a rack to cool. Store cookies in a tightly sealed container for up to 5 days.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Madeleine Monday

This following recipe was originally published in the cookbook “Chef Daniel Boulud – Cooking in New York City.”


Makes 6 dozen small or 1 dozen large madeleines
◦3/4 cup all-purpose flour
◦1 teaspoon baking powder
◦Pinch of salt
◦1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
◦2 large eggs
◦1 tablespoon honey
◦1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
◦finely grated zest of 1 lemon
◦6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and kept warm
◦Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

1. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl using a wire whisk, mix the eggs, sugar, honey, brown sugar and lemon zest. Add the flour mixture and whisk just until combined. Add the melted butter, stirring just until incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

3. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Liberally spray either a nonstick 20 mold or 12 mold madeleine pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place the batter in a pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip. Pipe the molds two-thirds full, using about 1 teaspoon of batter for the 20 mold pan and 2 tablespoons of batter for the 12 mold pan.

4. For the small madeleines, bake until the centers rise and the edges are golden brown, about 4 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking. For the large madeleines, bake for 5 minutes, reduce the heat to 350°F, rotate the pan halfway, and continue baking until the centers rise and the edges are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, invert the pan and tap it against the counter to release the madeleines. Serve the madeleines warm, dusted with confectioners’ sugar.