Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Chocolate Chip Cookies

adapted from "Barefoot Contessa Parties" by Ina Garten

For 55-60 small cookies or 45-50 big cookies

Unsalted butter, room temperature - 170 g
Light brown sugar, packed - 1 cup
Granulated sugar - 1/2 cup
Vanilla exctract - 2 teaspoons
Eggs, room temperature - 2 large
All-purpose flour - 2 cups
Baking soda - 1 teaspoon
Salt - 1 teaspoon
Chocolate chips - to taste, about 2-3 cups

- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Cream the butter and two sugars until light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time, and mix well.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt and add to the butter. Mixing only until combined.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Frop the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper abour 3-4 cm apart.
- Dampen your hands and flatten the dough slightly.
- Bake for about 10-12 minutes for small cookies or 15 minutes for big cookies. The cookies will seem underdone.
- Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack to cool.

- The original recipe called for 226 grams of butter!!!! I took a chance and reduced it to 170, cookies turned out just perfect. I would actually maybe reduce it even more to 150 grams!!!
- The more you bake the cookies, the harder they get, so for a chewier, softer cookie, bake less.
- I add the chocolate chips just by hand and I am not sure how many cups there were.
- If you decide to omit the chips, add some extra sugar as the dough is not too sweet.
- Also, the original recipe called for walnuts and although I love nuts in my cookies, I decided against it this time.
- All in all, it's a really good recipe, I actually liked the cookies more the next day!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Fresh Sweet Corn and Potato Chowder

adapted from http://www.carina-forum.com/carina/

Bacon, chopped into bite size pieces - 4 strips
Onion, diced - 1 medium
Sweet corn kernels - 3 cups (about 4 cobs)
Garlic, finely minces - 4 cloves
Chicken or vegetable stock - 2 cups
Milk 2% - 1 cup
Potato, chopped into 3 cm pieces - 220g (about 1 medium potato)
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Pepper - 1/4 teaspoon
Cayenne pepper to taste

- In a pot, saute the bacon pieces until they are crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add the chopped onion to the bacon fat and saute on low-medium heat for about 8 minutes, until the onion is soft and caramelized.
- Add the garlic and corn to the pot and saute for 30 seconds, constantly stirring.
- Add the stock, milk, and potato. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes on low heat until the potato is ready.
- Pour 2 cups of the soup into a blender and puree it.
- Transfer the pureed soup back to the chunky soup, mix, add the spices and reheat.
- Serve hot with crispy bacon bits for garnish.

- This soup can be made without bacon and with vegetable stock, so it will be suitable for vegetarians. Just saute the onions in some olive oil and serve it with some garlic croutons.
- This is my first try with corn. I've never cooked with it before and it turned out amazing.
- This is a very good soup!!! I was impressed!