Sunday, November 18, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I used to think this was the best recipe for chocolate chip cookies. I still think it's pretty darn good, and it was my "go to" for years. This year, I found a recipe that rivals it, but this one is still worth taking a look at.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Crisp edges, chewy middles. Prep Time: approx. 20
Minutes. Cook Time: approx. 10 Minutes. Makes about 4 dozen. 
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2 Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar
until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in
the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to
batter along with salt and cinnamon. Stir in flour until almost completely incorporated, then add chocolate chips. Stir gently to incorporate, but be careful not to over mix (This will make your cookies tough!) 
3 Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned. Let cool slightly about 1 min. before removing from the cookie sheet with a spatula.

Find original recipe here. It even has a video if you would like to watch it! 

My French in-laws have asked for the recipe, so I had to get busy with a translation. I meticulously measured out each ingredient then weighed it. (Yes, I know I didn't do the minor ingredients that are measured by teaspoons and tablespoons. If someone else would like to do, you can send me the measurements!) 

Step one, convert to metric:

226 g unsalted butter, softened
182 g white sugar  
200 g brown sugar  
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

445 g all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
340 g semisweet chocolate chips

Step 2 translate to French:

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Environ 4 douzaine

226 g de beurre non salé, mou
182 g de sucre
200 g sucre roux
2 œufs
1 cuillère à soupe d'extrait de vanille
445 g de farine
1 cuillère à café de bicarbonate de soude
2 cuillères à café d'eau chaude
1/2 cuillère à café de sel
1/8 cuillère à café de cannelle
340 g d’éclats de chocolat noir

1) Préchauffer le four à 175 degrés C.
2) Mélanger ensemble le beurre et les sucres jusqu'à consistance lisse. Ajouter les œufs un à la fois, puis incorporer la vanille.
3) Dissoudre le bicarbonate de soude dans l'eau chaude. Ajouter à la pâte avec le sel et la cannelle. Incorporer la farine et puis les pépites de chocolat. Attention de ne pas les mélanger trop !
4) Laisser tomber par grosses cuillerées sur une plaque à biscuits non graissée. 4-5 cm entre chaque cookie. Cuire au four pendant environ 10 minutes dans le four préchauffé, ou jusqu'à ce que les bords soient bien dorés. Laisser refroidir 1 min avant de les enlever de la plaque.

 recette originale: c'est en anglais mais il y a aussi un vidéo!  

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cake Pruneaux Lardons

 Have you ever come across a recipe so weird you just had to try it. Sounds like a really bad idea, but it could be good. I'm trying to be adventurous and think outside the box....

The recipe I speak of is a French one that I found on the internet:

Cake aux pruneaux et aux lardons

First of all, when a French person says "Cake", they are referring to what we Americans would call a "quick bread".  So this translates to: 

Bacon Prune Bread

I know, weird.... Really weird, but it has bacon so I gotta try it. It says it's great with a salad or as an appetizer... OK, let's do this!

Step 1: Fry up 150 g. of bacon. For me it was about 6 thick slices. Break into pieces.

Step 2: Weigh out your dry ingredients and place them in a bowl.You need 150 g. flour, packet of baking powder and some salt and pepper. Yes, the French get their baking powder in little cute pink packets. You can just weigh out 11 g.  (0.38 oz.). Whisk together (.... or sift if you prefer....)

Step 3: Weigh out your pitted prunes and shredded cheese (Emmental, Gruyere or Comté). You will need 100 g each. Chop your prunes into small pieces.

Step 4: Make a well in your flour mixture and add: 3 eggs, 15 cl. milk and 2 TBSP. olive oil. Stir just until combined. Add in the bacon, prunes, and cheese. Stir as little as possible.

Step 5: Butter and flour a loaf pan. Pour ingredients into pan and bake at 180°C (about 350°F) for 45 min. to 1 hour.

Oh rats! I lost my photo of the finished project, so I will just borrow one.

cake aux pruneaux et lardons
 I'm not really sure about that. The bacon took on a weird chewy texture. Which, I suppose is to be expected. Try it, if you are brave enough :) 

Cake aux pruneaux et aux lardons
Temps de préparation : 20 minutes
Temps de cuisson : 45 minutes
Ingrédients (pour 8 personnes) :
- 150 g de farine
- 1 sachet de levure chimique
- 3 œufs
- 100 g de pruneaux
- 150 g de lardons
- 2 cuillères à soupe d'huile
- 15 cl de lait
-100 g. d'emmental râpé
- sel et poivre
Préparation de la recette :
Mélanger farine, levure, œufs, battre le tout, ajouter sel, poivre, puis ajouter l'huile.
Faire griller les lardons à la poêle. Faire chauffer le lait. Couper les pruneaux en petits morceaux. Ajouter le lait chaud à la préparation, puis les lardons et les pruneaux.
Beurrez un moule à cake (y ajouter une fine couche de farine, en la répartissant dans le moule).
Cuire à four chaud (thermostat 7) pendant 45 mn.
Servir froid ou chaud.
Remarques : Idéal pour une entrée avec une salade, ou en petits morceaux à l'apéritif.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Banana Cake

To Die for Banana Cake
from ButterYum (Hey, with a name like that you know it has to be good!)
Makes one 8x8-inch pan (double recipe for a 9x13 pan)

2/3 cup sugar
½ cup sour cream
1 egg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 mashed super ripe bananas (about 3/4 cup)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
¼  c. heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or equal amount of pure vanilla extract)
1 ¼ c. confectioner's sugar

To make cake (easily mixed by hand…really it is… I did not get out the KitchenAid! I used a wooden spoon.):
Mash the bananas with a fork then stir in. 
Preheat the oven to 375°F (350°F if using a glass pan.).  Cream together sugar, sour cream, egg, and 2 tablespoons softened butter.  Add mashed bananas and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.  Add flour, salt, and baking soda; mix well.  Pour into greased 8x8 pan.  Bake at 375F for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely before frosting.
To make frosting:
Cream butter and confectioner's sugar together until smooth.  Slowly add the heavy cream; stir until smooth.  Stir in the vanilla bean paste until fully incorporated.  Spread on cooled cake. 
I wonder if the frosting is what makes it so good? So delicious and simple!
Not dense like banana bread, this cake is light and moist.