Archive | January, 2012

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies

29 Jan

I just had to see for myself what the hype was all about. Several bloggers have raved about this recipe. And many of them claim these cookies are their favorite!

The only down-side to this recipe is that it requires a little planning ahead. You will need bread and cake flour- two kinds of flour I don’t normally have. And the dough has to chill 24 to 36 hours before baking. But it is so worth the wait! I’m lucky there was any dough left to be baked! I couldn’t seem to keep my fingers out of the bowl while it was “chilling.” Which probably explains why I didn’t get as many cookies out of the recipe as it said I would! 🙂

This is one recipe that I don’t recommend messing with the first time you try them. You’ll love them just the way they are!

Yes, the scale reads 3.25 ounces! Slightly larger than a golf ball. It’s one heck of a ball of dough! I so wanted to sink my teeth into one of ’em!

Look how freaking huge they are! But trust me, after you take your first bite, you’ll be glad they aren’t any smaller! Crispy edge with a soft, chewy middle! They really are thee BEST chocolate chip cookies!

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups minus two tablespoons cake flour

1 2/3 cups bread flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter

1 cup plus two tablespoons granulated sugar

1 1/4 cups light brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate

 

Sift flours, baking soda, and baking powder into a bowl. Set aside.

Using a mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about five minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently stir in chocolate pieces. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.

Roll dough into 3 1/2 ounce balls of dough (slightly larger than a golf ball.) Bake until golden brown but still soft, about 17-20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack to cool for ten minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and allow to finish cooling. Make sure to try one while it is still slightly warm!

 

Source: Recipe from The New York Times

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Back to being a student!

12 Jan

Another two week hiatus. Yes, yes, I know, I said I was going to be better about blogging more consistently. But ya see, if I’m going to share recipes, that means I have to actually cook. Which I have have done very little of in the past two weeks. The poor hubby has been living off of pizza, chips, and ice cream for dinner.

So since I have no recipes to share, I figured I’d ramble on about something else that I’m starting to take a little more interest in as well. And that “something else” is photography! Which also plays a part in this here blog! I’m trying to improve my skills so that I don’t blind you with the horrible pictures I post.

I bought my baby, a Canon Rebel t2i, last April before we went on our trip to Italy. While in Italy, I shot almost every picture on auto mode. Mainly because I didn’t know how to use the beast and didn’t want to miss out on any photo opportunities. But when we got home I forced myself to start using the manual mode. So far I’ve deleted way more pictures than I’ve kept. And it still takes me at least ten attempts before I get a some what decent photo.

So after owning this beast of a camera for nine months and still not knowing a lick about working it, I decided it was finally time to enroll in a class. Being that the self-teaching method obviously wasn’t getting me too far. Apparently I need someone to hold my hand and show me how to use it.

Last night was class number one! I took the Digital SLR1 class at National Camera Exchange. And I learned a TON! I thought for sure I would get bored with a two and half hour camera class, but it was actually the exact opposite! I already can’t wait for the next three classes! Now I just have to practice all of the information they taught us!!

A few of the key points for me were:

It helps me to have general guidelines for ISO! I need to commit these values to memory so I don’t have to adjust it a million times!

Oh, shutter speeds! Determines how much light is transmitted into the camera. Very important when working with moving objects!

(And p.s. these two pictures were taken with my phone, not my SLR. Don’t be judging my picture-taking abilities quit yet!)

And the final thing I learned in class, I am missing a few vital accessories! Oh shoot! Gotta do a little shopping! I need to buy a lens hood and circular polarizer! Both have the potential to drastically improve outdoor pictures!

Now if only it wasn’t ten degrees outside so I could go out and practice!