(Warning: this post does not contain a specific recipe. There will be links to two recipes though, one that I have written about before and one someone else’s.)
Chocolate chip cookies are the comfort food of cookiedom. Oh sure, you come across one of those oddities of people who don’t like chocolate but I think they must be aliens from outer space. No offense intended.
First I made the best chocolate chip cookie recipe EVER! to take to my weekend in Maine with “the girls”. We are all grown women ages 40s to 60s but we call this the girls’ weekend and have done for the past 5 years. The recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated and I wrote about it a while ago https://mykitchenmythoughts.com/2017/11/30/cooks-cookies-chocolate-chip/. The secret is the browning of some of the butter. It is a bit fussy to put together but absolutely worth it. Hubby and I ate a dozen of them before the weekend and then the camp neighbor took the remaining 4 in the bag. We thought he would only take one! We did have Sue’s chocolate cookies with nuts which were quite delicious too.
Meanwhile here I am trying to adjust to new progressive eyeglasses. I can see further better but this mid range and reading are a chore. And I have worn progressives for a number of years. I think my eye doctor did not test my reading range adequately but I did not want to write my own prescription by making an adjustment. It also takes 2-3 weeks to adjust just because it is a new prescription. Must have patience.
The next chocolate chip cookie is a tribute to the fall season when all the recipes are coming out as pumpkin spice. I like pumpkin but am not that fond of pumpkin spice coffee unless it is one of those fancy lattes with whipped cream and such. The description of this cookie sounded like a cookie I would eat, not cakey. I have made the pumpkin cookie recipe from my Betty Crocker cookbook and although tasty it was cakey. This promised to be “super soft, chewy, and filled with chocolate chips.” https://www.livewellbakeoften.com/pumpkin-chocolate-chip-cookies/. My first bite was heavenly. I do not like the phrase “to die for” but it would apply to these cookies.
I am continuing to enjoy having a house husband. I was never a proper housewife so had no idea what to expect. I think our advanced ages make this more workable than say a couple in their twenties. Hubby claims not to be fond of cats. Our cat Squeaky is the only pet remaining in our home. So, who feeds her “mushy food”, who brushes her fur? He is working hard at home refinishing the floors and scraping the layers of paint off the mantle, which is flying about and leaving paint spots on the floors. He is not worried about this so I won’t worry about it either. He is my handyman!
The third batch of chocolate chip cookies were eaten but not enjoyed. These were made by the recipe on the back of the package of almond flour I bought just for fun. I will not bother with this again. These were mushy in texture even though light brown on the edges and the bottoms. Hubby had the great idea of re-baking them to see if they would crisp up. I re-baked them the next day for another 10 minutes. They did crisp but were still not enjoyable.
Until next time, happy fall and fall baking! I’ve already made a pumpkin pie!
Another recipe made by request of Hubby. It was a cool weekend and prime for baking. I got out a number of cookbooks looking for bread recipes. There were so many and then I saw a recipe for scones with maple syrup and pecans. Yum! I also have a scone pan that I had never used. The retired doctor and baker from whom I purchased this at an estate sale told me to be sure to grease the pan because it is not non-stick. I think he sold this to me for $3.
The problem with the scone recipe is that we have no cream, not even half-and-half now that we drink our coffee black. Well, I did not look up substitutions but decided I could use sour cream (or yogurt) and thin this with a bit of almond milk. And hope for the best!
This recipe is an adaptation of maple-pecan scones from The New England Table by Lora Brody.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pecans, chopped roughly
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup full fat sour cream + 1/3 cup almond milk (I have unsweetened vanilla)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray scone pan with cooking spray or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine dry ingredients, stir with a fork (I use a whisk), then add pecans and cranberries stirring to coat. In another bowl whisk together the butter, maple syrup and sour cream/milk mixture. Dribble this over the flour mixture and stir with a fork until it comes together. Turn out on a floury surface. Knead ever so slightly so as not to make a tough dough. Pat into a circle.
At this point I have to figure out how to make triangles out of a circle to fit into the sections of the scone pan. I confess I did not think of this ahead of time or I would have patted the dough into a square. So I cut the circle in half and then each half into 8 pieces and gently stuff each piece into the pan. If not using a scone pan, cut the circle into 10 wedges, or as many as you would like. For wedges you are to place them on the prepared baking pan about and inch apart. Bake 14-16 minutes.
For my scone pan, these were not done after the baking time. I had Hubby taste test and sight test. So I put them back in to bake for another two minutes and then another minute with the oven turned off.
While these are baking I make the glaze. Glazes are simple, right? Well, I did not read the directions and ended up with a thick frosting-like concoction. I mixed it together in a small bowl. To make it softer I had to heat this over the stove so that it would be thin enough to drizzle on the scones. Apparently this particular glaze was to be cooked on the stove. The lesson is to read all the way through the recipe first.
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Melt butter over low heat, whisk in the sugar and syrup until smooth.
The finished product was very tasty. Hubby thought they were a bit too sweet. They had a slight but not overpowering taste of maple.
Life goes on at our home. I go to work, walking most days. Hubby continues his unproductive job search. We avoid getting run over by a car. We hope we did not board up the sparrow babies in their nest when we fixed the eave under the gutter. Really, we listened very closely and did not hear peeping for a several days. We watched and did not see momma and daddy sparrow going in to feed the young. We are trying not to feel guilty but did our best to honor the bird lives. Eminent domain? 😦
Hubby asked if I could do this. One of my nieces told me a few holiday seasons ago that they are easy to make. I looked through a few cookbooks and settled on Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. I will ‘fess up to two mistakes: I should have flattened the logs before baking the first time and I forgot to leave them in the oven until dry the second time. Oh, and I just smeared the chocolate on the after dipping did not work out so well.
1/2 stick butter (4 Tablespoons, softened)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1-2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 cup dried cranberries
4 ounces dark chocolate orange with almonds chocolate bar, melted
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and then add the extract. Mix dry ingredients and add to the dough a little at ta time and add the milk as needed to bring the dough together. Add the cranberries at this time as well.
Butter and flour two baking sheets. Divide dough in half and roll into logs about 2 inches wide. Bake these 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Lower oven temperature to 250 degrees F. When loaves are cool enough to touch use a serrated knife to cut them into 1/2 inch slices on the diagonal. Put these on the baking sheets and return to oven, turning them once, for 15-20 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
I then tried to dip them in melted chocolate. And then I glopped the chocolate on them as frosting. Very tasty. Very rich tasting. Hubby ate most of them.
Will I make these again? Not especially. Well, perhaps if Hubby asks nicely!