Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies: A Video Recipe

Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: about 2 dozen
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Use the best quality ingredients you can for amazing cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces room temperature butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Add the butter and sugars, stir to combine. Add eggs and vanilla, mix until smooth.

In a separate bowl combine:

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Add to sugar and butter mixture; stir to combine. Do not over mix.

Mix in:

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Use a small scoop to make even size cookies. Space 2 inches apart. Sprinkle the tops of each cookie with Maldon Flaked Salt, if desired.

Bake 350°F for 15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Let cookies sit on the pan for a few minutes to “set up” before moving the cookies to  cooling rack.

Make sure you hide some for yourself because they go fast!

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Ciabatta Bread

Timg_2177here is nothing quite like the aroma of freshly baked bread, unless it’s eating freshly baked bread.

This loaf can be made in just under 2 hours and is easy and really delicious. The only problem I have with this loaf is that it does not last very long.

It gets gobbled up super fast.

 

Ciabatta Bread

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Dry Ingredients: Combine in the bowl of a stand mixer

  • 3 ½ cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon organic sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt (non-iodized like Himalayan Pink Salt)

Wet Ingredients: Combine in a glass measuring cup

  • 1 ½ cups warm water (heat 30 seconds in a microwave until the water feels warm to your finger tip)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

Using a dough hook, mix the dry ingredients on low speed. Slowly add the wet ingredients, mix until it is all combined.

Set the timer and knead on medium speed for 10 full minutes.

The dough will look wet and sticky. It is and that is the way it is supposed to be. A wet dough will give you the bigger holes Ciabatta is known for. Resist the temptation to add more flour! At 10 minutes kneading time, the dough will be perfect.

Remove the dough hook; cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel.  Allow to rest for 15 minutes in a warm area. (Your oven on bread proofing setting is perfect)

In the meantime, prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper (or Silpat sheet), lightly dust with cornmeal and set aside until needed.

Generously flour a surface to put the dough on after 15 minutes. Plop the entire dough mass onto the flour and dust the entire surface with flour so your hands don’t stick to the dough.

img_2169Press the dough into a rectangle, fold into thirds, and then repeat. Do not knead the dough, just lightly pat it into place. Pat, pat, pat, just lightly.

Shape the dough into a rectangle and place onto the baking sheet. Loosely cover and let rise for 45 minutes.

While the bread is rising outside the oven, preheat the inside of the oven to 425° F.

After the bread has risen for 45 minutes, spritz with water and place it into the oven. The water will help give the bread a crisp crust.

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Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.

Shelf life: 3-5 days or until gone, typically the same day it’s made.

Series: How to Cook a Thanksgiving Meal: Desserts

If an elaborate dessert table is on your menu, look no further.

Molded Desserts:

Chocolate Almond Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate Almond Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

Chocolate Pate

Pate de Fruit et Pate du Vin

Making gelee Pate de Fruit

Making gelee Pate de Fruit

Custard Based:

Strawberry Cheesecake rhubarb compote

Strawberry Cheesecake rhubarb compote with hemp seed crisp

De-constructed Strawberry Cheesecake with Rhubarb Compote

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding with Toasted Almonds

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding with Toasted Almonds

 

Pies and Tarts:

Easy tart and pie crust

Easy tart and pie crust

An Easy Crust for Pies and Tarts

Fig, Almond Frangipani Tart

Fig and almond tart

Fig and almond tart

A delicious Green Tomato Pie

A delicious Green Tomato Pie

Green Tomato Pie

Cherry Hand Pies

Cherry Hand Pies

Hand Pies

Lemon Blueberry Tarts

Lemon Blueberry Tarts

Lemon Blueberry Tarts

Nut Crusted Fruit Tart

Nut Crusted Fresh Fruit Tart

Nut Crusted Fresh Fruit Tart

Cakes and Brownies:

Applesauce Cake

Applesauce Cake

Applesauce Oatmeal Cake

Gluten Free Almond Cake

Gluten Free Almond Cake

Versatile Gluten-Free Almond Cake

Quince and Gingerbread

Quince and Gingerbread

Quince and Gingerbread

Oatmeal Cranberry Bars

Oatmeal Cranberry Bars

Zucchini Brownies

Zucchini brownies

Zucchini brownies

Cookies:

Raw Almond Date Cranberry Cookies  Rather than "raw" let's call them "No Bake"

Raw Almond Date Cranberry Cookies
Rather than “raw” let’s call them “No Bake”

Almond Date, Cranberry Lime No Bake Cookies

Cranberry Oatmeal Bars

Glazed Lemon Shortbread

Pumpkin Snicker-doodles

Something Special:

Cinnamon, Almond, Pistachio Danish Ring

Serve warm  Apple Dumplings with whipped cream and caramel sauce. A few fresh berries add color to the plate.

Serve warm Apple Dumplings with whipped cream and caramel sauce. A few fresh berries add color to the plate.

Pineapple, Chestnut, Caramel upside Down Cake

Cinnamon Almond Danish Ring

Cinnamon Almond Danish Ring

Warm Apple Dumplings

 

 Have Fun!

#holidaybaking #desserts #makedessertsathome #dessertrecipes #gettingfat

 

Make Almond Milk – It’s So Easy!

It’s so easy to make almond milk at home, why wouldn’t you?

Almond Milk and Cookies

Almond Milk and Cookies

The most difficult thing is to remember to soak the almonds overnight. Once you start making your own milk on a regular basis, you’ll get into a rhythm. There is not one bit of this that is hard to do.

The ingredients are few, recognizable as real food and delicious.

Here’s how:

Almond Milk, lightly sweetened

  • Servings: 5 eight ounce
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients for Almond Milk

Ingredients for Almond Milk

To make 5 cups:

1 cup raw almonds, skin on

Water to cover for initial soaking; about 4-5 cups (this water gets discarded)

4 cups water – to make the milk

3 Medjool dates, remove the pits

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

Method:

Place the almonds in a bowl, cover them with fresh water. Cover the bowl and allow the almonds to soak for 12-24 hours.

Drain the water and use it to water some plants.

Place the soaked almonds into a blender.IMG_9859

Add 4 cups fresh water, pitted dates, vanilla and salt into a high-powered blender. Secure the cover and turn on high. Allow it to run on high for 2-4 minutes, depending on the power of your blender. If you are using a vita-mix, use the lower time to 2 minutes, more generic style blenders, process for a longer time.

Use a wire mesh strainer over a bowl to strain the milk from the solids. Using a rubber spatula or bowl scraper,work the almond, date pulp around the wire strainer until it’s as dry as you can get it. Save this for another use, after all it’s just ground almonds, dates and vanilla.

Straining Almond Milk

Straining Almond Milk

Pour the milk into a pitcher or milk jug and refrigerate until well chilled.

This milk is very lightly sweetened and is the consistency of whole milk. If you want it thinner, add more water, thicker, use less water. Same with the dates for sweetening.

You want chocolate Almond Milk? Add organic dark coc

oa powder with the dates. Simply amazing.

Almond Milk Label

Almond Milk Label

Once you try this homemade almond milk, you’ll be so spoiled! Read the labels on a store-bought almond milk. Which would you prefer to drink and give to your family?

The ground almonds and dates left over from the process make nice cakes and cookies. I’ve used the almond debris to replace zucchini in zucchini brownies with great success.

I’ve made Chocolate Almond Cherry Ice Cream and no bake almond butter, date and oat balls.

Almond milk "debris"

Almond milk “debris”

How do you use the almond debris left over from the milk? I’m getting fat from the cakes and cookies!

#almondmilk #makeyourown #makealmondmilk #almonds #noprocessedfood #wholefoods #vegan #nondairymilk #nutmilk

#makenutmilkathome #healthyeating #wellness

Almond Milk and Almond Cranberry cookies made from the debris

Almond Milk and Almond Cranberry cookies made from the debris

Pita Bread From Laurel’s Kitchen

The other day I was reading about a basic bread recipe in one of my favorite old cookbooks Laurel’s Kitchen. She suggested to make one loaf from half of the batch of dough and then make about a dozen pita breads out of the other half.

Puffed Pita

Puffed Pita

My curiosity was peaked. I’ve taught how to made pita bread in the bakeshop classes before, but I never considered making them at home. So, I though I’d give it a try.

I divided the dough into 12 round smooth balls, rolled them out and baked then on the hot pizza stone.

Dough balls for pita

Dough balls for pita

Here’s the recipe from Laurel’s Kitchen, not quite verbatim.

This is half of the original recipe since we aren’t making an additional loaf here today.

Pita Bread

  • Servings: about 12
  • Difficulty: moderate to skilled
  • Print

  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 3 cups whole wheat bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups warm water (not over 110°F)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Mix the dry ingredients, make a well in the center of the bowl. Mix the wet ingredients then pour them into the well made in the dry ingredient bowl. Mix on low-speed in a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with a dough hook  until everything comes together.

If the dough seems too dry at this point, add water 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach  the desired consistency. If the mixture is too wet, add more flour.

The perfect dough will feel slightly sticky, not firm and clay-like.

If kneading by hand, knead for 20-30 minutes. Using the mixer, knead on medium speed for 8-10 minutes until the dough in elastic.

Oil the surface of the dough, cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in size.

Pre-heat the oven to 450°F, place a baking stone (if you have one) on the bottom shelf. Remove all other shelves before you heat the oven.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Divide the dough into 12 or so smooth round balls. Cover and allow the dough to rest in a draft free area for 10 minutes. Laurel claims this step is essential.

Starting with the first ball made, roll out 2 or 3 balls into a disk “about the thickness of a good wool blanket” or 1/8 of an inch thick. The circles should be about 6″ around.

Roll to a thickness of a heavy wool blanket

Roll to a thickness of a heavy wool blanket

If using a heated baking sheet, place 2-3 dough circles flat onto the hot stone. Move quickly to retain heat in the oven, but don’t get burned either.

Quickly shut the oven door and set the timer for 3 minutes.

Turn on the oven light and watch the pita bake.

At 1 minute they look like Mrs. Douglas’ hot cakes on Green Acres; the next minute the magic happens as the dough begins to puff up like a balloon! It’s fun to watch! Let it cook through the third minute. The dough is done when the bottom side is lightly brown and the top side slightly moist, but not shiny wet.

Poofy Pita!

Poofy Pita! I flipped these over so you can see the brown on the underside. Don’t let the top get brown or the bread will be too crispy.

Don’t let the pita get golden brown on top too or else the pita will dry out and be crispy instead of flexible and all foldy like.

The key is to be sure the dough circle lay flat on the stone or the baking sheet, whatever you use.

Cut the pita in half and you’ll see the perfect pocket for stuffing!

My favorite pita sandwich is a couple of slices of roasted chicken, turkey or ham filled with chopped salad and drizzled with Italian dressing, top with shredded cheese.

The chopped salad has lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, radishes and shredded carrot in it, cut so it fits easily into the pocket pita.

Try it if you want, I sure had fun!

We’ve had pita sandwiches of all kinds, pita pizza, and toasted some for pita chips to go with the guacamole.

If you make them, be sure you watch them rise. It really is like magic!Baked pita

A word about Laurel’s Kitchen: The New Laurel’s Kitchen is a vegetarian cookbook published in 1976. It was one of my favorite books when it came out. I have literally worn out 2 copies and am working on a third.

A Pile of Pita

A Pile of Pita

Almond, Date, Cranberry and Lime “No-Bake” Cookies

A Morsel of Almond Date Cranberry Lime Cookie

A Morsel of Almond Date Cranberry Lime Cookie

Almond, Date, Cranberry and Lime “No-Bake” Cookies are a real treat!

They are a “no-bake” cookie which puts them in the raw category; they are no sugar, eggs or butter so they also fall into the vegan category. With all natural ingredients so they also fall into the healthy foods and nutritious category.

Personally, my favorite category for  these morsels: Delicious!

Keep in mind some people might be put off thinking they are eating a raw cookie. So change the language and present these delicious morsels.

NOTE: Don’t fall prey to marketing ploys and think that because the label claims “healthy, all-natural or nutritious” does not mean low in calories! Learn to read a nutrition label and compare information.

Here’s the recipe for the cookies. It’s pretty much put it all in a food processor and pulse until a dough forms. Have fun!

Almond, Date, Cranberry and Lime “No-Bake” Cookies

  • 1/2 cup pitted Medjool Dates
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup crunchy almond butter
  • 1 generous Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • Zest and juice from 1 lime
  • Pinch of Sea Salt

Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until a dough forms. Leave some nuts chunky for a cookie that has some crunch.

Taste the dough and see if it need adjustment: a bit more salt? More vanilla or lime?

Form the dough into about 18 balls. Place the balls on a cookie sheet. Flatten each cookie with a fork.

That’s it.

Flatten the dough balls with a fork; like you would peanut butter cookies

Flatten the dough balls with a fork; like you would peanut butter cookies

The texture is kinda like fudge but in a much better way. If you leave some nuts slightly chunky, your cookie can have a crunchy texture too, but if you want a smooth cookie, pulse until smooth.

You can choose to roll the cookies in coconut, chopped nuts or cocoa with a dash if cinnamon if desired. Use peanut butter, cashew or almond butter with cocoa in it. I guess in a pinch you could use Nutella but the point here is to avoid added sugar and processed foods in delicious ways.

(OK, so now I have to make another batch using the cocoa!!!)

Most people would never realize these are considered “raw food” but they are.

These certainly aren’t low in calories but the sure supply great nutrients: Potassium, fiber, iron, B-6 and magnesium and vitamin E.

Just a note, you can leave the coconut oil out but it adds so much, I would use it.

Oh, and don’t bake these beauties for any reason! If you try, all that will happen is the oils from the nuts will leak out and leave you with a rather unpleasant mess. So if you want  a baked cookie recipe, use another recipe, not this one.

Hopefully you make your own vanilla extract, if not, go get ya some vanilla beans and some 100 proof vodka and make some!

Click this link: Perpetual Vanilla Extract

Please make a batch of these and let me know how you like them and how they go over with friend and family.

Raw Almond Date Cranberry Cookies  Rather than "raw" let's call them "No Bake"

Raw Almond Date Cranberry Cookies
Rather than “raw” let’s call them “No Bake”

Ciabatta Rolls

I’m  sucker for good bread and these easy ciabatta rolls are simple and delicious, soft and chewy too!

This is a two-step recipe: one for a “biga” and the second step is making the dough using the biga.

The day before you want the bread is the time to start as the biga needs to ferment overnight.

Ciabatta Bread

Ciabatta Bread

Easy Ciabatta Rolls

For the Biga:

  • 1- 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 /8 teaspoon yeast

Mix these ingredients into a bowl, cover and let sit in a warm area for at least 12 hours, up to 24 hours. the mixture will be wet and bubbly.

The Biga when ready to use

The Biga when ready to use

Transfer the entire biga to a mixing bowl of a stand mixer then add:

For the dough:

  • All of the biga
  • 2-1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon yeast

Mix all of the ingredients in a mixer on low-speed until well incorporated. Knead on low-speed for 2 minutes, then increase the speed to medium and knead for an additional 4 minutes.

Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for 1-2 hours. Once the dough is risen, turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. Shape the dough into a rectangle about 6″ x 12″.

Use a serrated knife or pizza wheel to cut the rectangle into 8 equal portions.

Ciabatta rolls ready to rise on a peel

Ciabatta rolls ready to rise on a peel

Place the rolls, flour side up onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Let rise for 45 minutes.

If you have a bakers peel, sprinkle it with corn meal and place the rolls on that to rise. Slide them onto the hot pizza stone after they have risen.

While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 450°F. If you have a pizza stone, preheat that too at this time.

Slide the rolls from the bakers peel onto the stone and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown.

Cool on a rack and enjoy!

These make great sandwiches and sop up soup like a champ, or slice them open for a quick pizza.

What’s your favorite way to use ciabatta rolls?

Ciabatta Bread

Ciabatta Bread