Tag Archives: Butter

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

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Do you like crunchy and thick cookies? Whenever I think of a chunky cookie, I remember the Pepperidge Farm Nantucket Chocolate Chip Cookies that my grandmother used to buy (I would surreptitiously take one or 2 from the package every time we visited her house). If you do like that, this recipe is definitely for you. And if not, well, it still may be worth a try. Let me explain.

I am actually a member of the chewy cookie fan club. In an ideal world, every cookie that I eat would be a warm, just-baked soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie. BUT, these cookies may be the exception to my chewy cookie rule.

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This recipe is from Macrina Bakery’s newest cookbook, More from Macrina: New Favorites from Seattle’s Popular Neighborhood Bakery. I adapted the recipe slightly by using melted butter, and by ever-so-slightly reducing the sugar and butter content. I’ve seen a number of recipes that recommend using melted butter and resting cookie dough overnight before baking, so that’s what I tried here.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies in Oven

The result? Initially, I was slightly disappointed. I had not expected a crispy cookie (see above. I ♥ chewy cookies). But, as I kept nibbling away at my cookie, my disappointment quickly faded. The peanut butter, oat, and chocolate combination kept enticing me back for bite after bite. It was slightly salty, but also sweet, and sufficiently chocolatey (I increased the amount of chocolate chips in the recipe…what can I say, I love chocolate). I even grew to like the crispy texture, it was somehow more satisfying than its chewy counterpart, allowing me to indulge in one or two cookies without feeling the need to gobble up the entire tin of cookies in one or two sittings (you know what that means….more cookies for later in the week!).

Happy Cooking,
Pippa

Cookies with Clementine

Question of the Day? Do you prefer chewy or crispy cookies? What is your favorite type of cookie, homemade or store bought?

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies
Makes about 30, 2-inch wide cookies

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • A dash of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats (not the quick-cooking type, although those would probably work if that is all that you have on-hand)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chip cookies (I used Trader Joe’s brand, they are my favorite).
  • 2/3 cup natural chunky peanut butter (I used Whole Foods 365 brand peanut butter)
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted (the original recipe called for 1 ¾ sticks)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (the original recipe called for light brown sugar)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar (the original recipe called for 1 cup)
  • 1 large egg (brought to room temperature)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  1. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl and using a fork, quickly mix the dry ingredients (I do this instead of sifting the flour and other dry ingredients because I am often too lazy, and it’s always worked with cookies).
  2. Add the oats and chocolate chips to the flour and mix with fork until combined.
  3. In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer, beat the sugars and melted butter on medium speed until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the peanut butter and beat for an additional minute or two, or until the peanut butter is fully incorporated.
  5. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium speed until well mixed, about 1 minute.
  6. Add the flour mixture and beat on very low speed, until just combined (using high speed or overmixing will activate the gluten in the flour and make your cookies tough).
  7. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight (I refrigerated my dough overnight). You can also freeze the cookie dough at this point.
  8. Take the dough out of the refrigerator 30-40 minutes before you are ready to bake your cookies.
  9. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  10. Form the cookies using your hands into 1-inch wide balls. Flatten the cookie dough on the baking sheet with your palm and place cookies about 2 inches apart.
  11. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until cookies are just barely beginning to turn golden. Remove from oven and transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
  12. Store cookies are room temperature in an air-tight container for one week (you can also freeze the baked cookies in a zip-lock bag if you are worried about them going stale).

Gina de Palma’s Almond Olive Cake

I actually never meant to blog about this cake. It came about in part because of boredom, in part because I hadn’t baked anything in quite a long time, and in part because Brian has developed quite the predilection for almond cakes ever since he sampled a piece (actually probably more like 4 or 5 pieces) of buttery almond cake at our neighborhood Italian grocery store a year ago.

As I perused my cookbooks, old magazines, the Internet, and various other sources of inspiration this weekend, I came across Gina de Palma’s recipe for an almond cake that is made with olive oil instead of butter. Gina de Palma is the pastry chef at Babbo, one of our favorite Italian restaurants in New York City (just thinking about it makes me salivate, especially the thought of their mint love letter ravioli…).  The desserts at Babbo are also worth ordering and definitely worth the extra calories (and that is on top of the thousands of calories that you already consumed eating the beef cheek ravioli, which arrive at the table plump and oozing with rich meat, squab liver and the essence of black truffles. These are also worth getting by the way.) Oh, and I probably should have mentioned that Babbo isn’t your typical red-sauce Italian restaurant—it’s a rare treat that can only be enjoyed after painstakingly hitting the redial button on your phone for 45 minutes (exactly 30 days prior to the day that you want to reserve a table) in hopes that you will eventually get through to the reservationist, who will most likely offer you two equally dismal times of 5:30pm or 10:30pm (take the 5:30pm table, just trust me).

Enough about Babbo, let’s move on to this cake, which is truly one of the best cakes that I have ever made, and that is saying a lot. It’s everything that a cake should be—moist, sweet but not too sweet, tender, and most importantly, delicious.  In fact, I am warning you, once you start eating this cake you may not be able to stop. It took a massive effort for me to restrain myself from taking a second slice.

This cake would be great even without the glaze, but I implore you to make it. The brown butter adds wonderful depth and nuttiness to the glaze, and it compliments the citrusy cake beautifully. The slivers of almond also contribute great textural contrast.

I barely adapted this recipe, so all of the credit should go to Gina de Palma. However, I did make a few minor modifications, which you may or may not want to follow. To begin with, I increased the amount of vanilla extract to a half-teaspoon and the amount of almond extract to a scant full teaspoon. I also ran out of fresh orange juice (I only had one orange), so I add the juice of half a lemon and some skim milk until I reached the full half-cup of liquid that the recipe called for.

Now, on to the recipe because you should really make this immediately, or at least in the near future and I don’t want to delay you any longer.

Happy Cooking,
Pippa

Almond Olive Oil Cake
Serves 6 to 8
Adapted slightly from pastry chef Gina de Palma of Babbo via Serious Eats

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup orange juice (or juice of 1 medium orange, juice of ½ a lemon, and ¼ cup milk—or enough liquid to equal ½ cup)
  • Zest of ½ medium orange
  • Zest of 1 lemon

For the glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • A few drops of lemon juice
  • ½ cup sliced blanched almonds, toasted and cooled

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan or a springform pan and reserve for later.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and whisk lightly until the yolks are broken up completely. Add the sugar and whisk briskly for approximately 30 seconds. Slowly add the olive oil and whisk until all of the ingredients are combined and the mixture begins to thicken slightly. Whisk in the orange juice (and lemon juice and milk if using), zest, and extracts.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and whisk lightly until the batter is smooth and homogenous.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a cake taster inserted into the thickest part of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Allow cake to cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes and then carefully invert the cake out of the pan and allow to cool completely on the rack.
  8. While the cake is cooling, heat a small saucepan (not non-stick if possible) over medium heat. Add the butter and swirl the butter around in the pan, carefully, until the solids begin to turn a light tan/golden color (do not overcook). Remove the pan from the heat. The solids will continue to darken slightly as the butter cools.
  9. While the butter is cooling, whisk together the confectioners sugar and milk in a medium sized bowl. Add the cooled butter slowly, whisking continuously until the glaze is smooth.
  10. Add a few drops of lemon juice, taste, and add more as necessary to balance the sweetness of the glaze. Stir in the toasted and cooled slivered almonds.
  11. When the cake has cooled, place it on a large serving plate and spread the glaze on the top and sides of the cake. (The glaze may be a touch liquidy, which is fine, just allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides of the cake). Allow the glaze to cool and harden.
  12. Serve the cake either on its own, or with slightly sweetened whipped cream or berries.

Simple Roast Chicken with Dorie’s Creamy Rice


I’m not sure how I have managed to neglect roast chicken on a blog with the title of “Sunday Suppers”, but somehow I did. It’s time to change that. Last weekend we made a simple roast chicken with fresh haricot verts (green beans) and Dorie Greenspan’s “creamy, cheesy, garlicky rice with spinach”. I can’t decide if the chicken or the rice was the highlight of the meal. Irregardless, it was a great meal accompanied by a nice bottle of wine, and perfect for a cold winter night. Make this soon!

Happy Cooking,
Pippa

Simple Roast Chicken with Dorie Greenspan’s ‘creamy, cheesy, garlicky rice with spinach’
Rice slightly adapted from Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan
Serves 4

Ingredients the roast chicken:

  • 1 3lb. free range, organic chicken
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • ½ head of garlic (skin on)
  • ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions for the roast chicken:

  • Take the chicken out of the fridge 20-30 minutes before you plan to cook it.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove the giblet packet from the chicken if it inside the cavity.
  • Liberally season both the cavity and skin of the chicken with salt and fresh ground pepper.
  • Stuff the chicken with the lemon, garlic, and thyme sprigs.
  • Truss the chicken with string if available.
  • Rub the entire chicken with melted butter.
  • Place the chicken breast side up in a roasting pan and place it in the preheated oven.
  • Cook for approximately 1 hour, or until the chicken is done and the juices run clear.

Ingredients for the rice:

  • 3 ¼-3 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup Carnaroli rice (Arborio may be substituted but Carnaroli is more resistant to overcooking)
  • 10 ounces frozen leaf spinach
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ¼ – ½ cup grated Gruyere
  • Approximately ¼ to ½ cup half and half
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions for the rice:

  1. In a medium saucepan with a lid, bring 3 ¼ cups of broth to a boil. Add the rice and stir once, cover, and simmer over low heat until almost all of the broth has been absorbed and the rice is tender but still slightly al dente (approximately 20 minutes).
  2. While the rice is cooking, defrost the frozen spinach by placing it in a colander in the sink and pouring boiling water over the spinach. Drain and dry the spinach and coarsely chop.
  3. Place a medium to large sauté pan with straight sides over low heat and sweat the onion and garlic in butter until the onion is translucent and soft.
  4. Add the spinach and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Add the rice and stir well. Add the cheese and cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook over very low heat until the cheese has melted.
  6. If the mixture is dry, add a bit more half & half or broth.
  7. Serve immediately.