Monday, February 21, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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There is much debate over what kind of cookies are the best, soft and chewy, or thin and crunchy. Do not fret people, I have found the solution to this problem. Instead of choosing one why not have both? I have always been a girl who likes options and what better option that to have two different textures of cookies.

What is great about this recipe is that you don't need a hand or stand mixer, just a simple wooden spoon will do. I find it quite funny when Martha Stewart will question why people prefer to use hand mixers as oppose to stand mixers. Maybe it's because stand mixers cost $300-$400!! Trust me, I would love to get a stand mixer one day, but for now I will have to settle with my hand mixer and wooden spoon.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ยบ.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together in a bowl.
  3. In another large bowl, cream the butter with a wooden spoon to lighten it a bit and then mix in the sugars. Add the water, vanilla and eggs to the butter mixture.
  4. Stir in the flour mixture and then fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Using a soup spoon, drop the cookies 2" apart onto two nonstick or greased cookie sheets. Bake for 9 minutes for soft and chewy, 12 minutes if you want them crispy. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool, and repeat the process with the rest of the batter.
Yields about 40 cookies

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

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Well it seems that I may be having a strawberry craze this month, but I figured since Valentines is coming up, people would want to make these delicious treats for loved ones.

Now I decided to drizzle white chocolate on top of mine, but of course you can add anything you want to these chocolate covered strawberries. You could dip them in crushed peanuts, shredded coconut or even cover them in red sprinkles. Often people will spend way to much on Valentines and forget that people love the baked goods rather than the bought. At least I do anyway. I will even guarantee that it will instantly add more love because the lucky recipient will know that you took the time to make them.

Because of course, everyone knows, that all you need is love.

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Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  • 1 lb of strawberries (about 20) washed and dried well
  • 200 grams of your favourite dark chocolate
  • 50 grams of white chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp of vegetable oil
  1. Place dark chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure the bowl is not touching the water, you are using the steam to melt the chocolate, not the water. Stir occasionally, until melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat once melted.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, only use parchment nothing else. One at a time, dip each strawberry in chocolate, twirling to coat and then place on parchment paper.
  3. Once you have dipped all the strawberries melt the white chocolate the same way as the dark chocolate. Since you are using the white chocolate to drizzle, you will add the vegetable oil to thin out the white chocolate. Make sure you don't use water or else it will make the chocolate clumpy.
  4. Stir the white chocolate with the oil until you get the consistency that you desire for drizzling, if it is not thin enough to drizzle, add more oil.
  5. Use a fork to drizzle the white chocolate over the chocolate covered strawberries.
  6. Chill chocolate-dipped strawberries for at least 15 minutes in the fridge before eating.

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Strawberry Banana Muffins

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One of my absolute favourite fruit combination is strawberry and banana. I love the combination in smoothies, crepes and especially in Yogen Fruz. This was originally a banana bread recipe from my mom but I decide to add strawberries and oatmeal. I added the oatmeal because I enjoy the texture of it in muffins but you can also replace the oatmeal for bran. If you don't like either of them than you can replace the oatmeal measurement for flour.

So bring these muffins to your next brunch or simply make them for your family to enjoy fresh muffins in the morning. I would suggest cutting up strawberries and bananas to serve with the muffins because who doesn't like a bit of fresh fruit with their the breakfast!

Enjoy!

Strawberry Banana Muffins
  • 1 1/4 cup of flour
  • 3/4 cups of oatmeal or wheat bran
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 cup of chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup of oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 4 tbsp of sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  1. Preheat the oven 350°F. Butter a standard 12 cup muffin pan or line with muffin cups
  2. In a bowl whisk together the flour, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In another bowl, mash the bananas with a fork and combine the eggs and sugar. Mix in the oil, sour cream and then the flour mixture.
  4. Once the batter has been well mixed add in the vanilla and strawberries.
  5. Pour the batter into the muffin pan, about 3/4 full for each cup.
  6. Bake the muffins for about 25 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the muffin comes out clean. Let the muffins cool for at least 15 minutes before eating.
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