Monthly Archives: July 2013

Cookies for Muffin

I wasn’t really planning on writing a long post about these triple chocolate cookies that I made the other day, until they became part of a charity bake sale.  I really just wanted to say “hey guys, these cookies are really good.  Go make them.” and that would’ve been the end of it.

Then, I saw her.  Muffin.  This sweet dog that had been abused and neglected.   She is currently being cared for by a wonderful family through Response-A-Bull rescue.   I find myself at a complete loss for words when I see the photos of these dogs.  Having endured unspeakable things and still able to trust, love, and protect their (new) human companions.

Those of us who love our pets like family can’t even begin to fathom how someone could harm an animal, yet it happens with more frequency than I care to think about.   Which brings us to Muffins for Muffin.   Kita, a fellow blogger over at Pass the Sushi, organized a wonderful bake sale to auction off our baked offerings to benefit Response-A-Bull and Muffin’s increasing medical bills.

cookies!

I couldn’t make up my mind about what to send.  What will travel the best?  Is it too hot to bake something with chocolate?  Will it melt by the time it arrives?  What if people don’t want 3 different types of chocolate in their cookie?! (I realized that was just plain silliness!  OF COURSE they do!)

So, off to the kitchen I went to bake a batch of Triple Chocolate Cookies for Patrick, the generous winner of this item.   While I do enjoy baking, this particular batch was extra special.  Full of love and gratitude for being given the opportunity to help a little dog named Muffin.

 

Triple Chocolate Cookies
Yields 24
A Brownie-Like Cookie studded with 3 different types of chocolate
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
18 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
18 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  3. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 1 stick unsalted butter
  6. 4 oz good quality milk chocolate, chopped
  7. 1 cup sugar
  8. 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  9. 2 eggs
  10. 1 tsp vanilla
  11. 1/4 cup each: semi-sweet, milk and white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. (preheat oven to 350 degrees)
  2. In a small sauce pan, melt butter over low heat. Once butter is completely melted, remove from heat and add in chopped milk chocolate. Let chocolate melt into butter, stirring occasionally.
  3. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. Pour butter mixture into bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add sugars and vanilla, beating on low speed until combined (about 2 - 3 minutes), then add eggs and beat until completely incorporated.
  5. Add in flour mixture on low speed (or turn mixer off) and mix until just combined. Turn mixer off, scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, then add chips.
  6. Beat on low speed just until chips are evenly distributed in dough.
  7. Using a small (1 1/2 oz) scoop, scoop dough onto parchment lined sheet pan. Let rest for at least 15 minutes in the refrigerator prior to baking.
  8. Dough will spread more when it is warm. If chilling dough overnight, let dough come to just below room temp before baking.
  9. Place dough 2 - 3 inches apart on baking sheet lined with nonstick mat (Silpat) or parchment paper.
  10. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, rotate tray and bake for an additional 6 - 8 minutes, depending on your oven.
Notes
  1. Do not overbake. The key to these cookies is letting them sit on the warm baking sheet to cool. The outside will be just barely crisp and the inside will be soft and brownie-like in texture.
Pook's Pantry http://www.pookspantry.com/

 

Corn Fritters

corn-fritters-for-pp

Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.  As we drive back from the beach, our skin tight from laying in the sun all day, hair still damp from salty ocean water and sand clinging between sunscreen-slicked fingers and toes we pull off the Belt Parkway and drive along Emmons Avenue.  The smell of salt water still fills my head.

Driving along the bay, restaurant after restaurant, across from the fishing boats that take you on day trips is Roll ‘N’ Roaster. 

The place looks like it hasn’t changed a single thing since the day it opened.  I love places like that.  To some they may look tattered and old, but to me there is history in those places… Stories to be told.  Every person I’ve ever talked to about this particular place has stories of going there as a child and the first thing they say is “It looks like it did when I was young”.

 The plastic bench seats, the Formica tabletops, the dangling heat lamps.  All the same. 

There is comfort in that, in things not changing.  So many things in the world change at such a rapid pace we can barely keep up.  You buy a new cell phone and six months later, there is a new, better version of it hitting the market with lines of people wrapped around city blocks camping out to get it.

I like my old things.  They are worn and weathered, but there is history there.  There are memories attached to those old things, those old places.  

Stories of going there with parents, grandparents, aunts & uncles… Maybe that is partly why I loved going there so much.  There was a story with every visit,  it was part of a ritual and it was almost always, after the beach. 

The order, however, never changes:  roast beef sandwich, corn fritters and orangeade. 

corn-fritters-ingredients

Corn Fritters
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears)
  2. 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  3. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  4. 1/2 cup coarse cornmeal
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  7. 3/4 - 1 cup buttermilk
  8. 2 large eggs
  9. 1 tablespoon sugar
  10. oil for frying (canola or peanut suggested; roughly 2 quarts, depending on size of pot)
Instructions
  1. In a deep, heavy pot, heat oil to 350 - 360 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk egg, buttermilk and melted butter together. Pour egg mixture into flour mixture and whisk to combine.
  3. Stir in corn kernels.
  4. Carefully drop batter into hot oil by the spoonful or using a small cookie scoop. Drop as close to the surface of the oil as possible to avoid a splash. The corn will "pop" a bit causing the oil to spatter, so be careful when turning fritters in the oil.
  5. Let fritters cook until golden brown, turning them every so often so they brown all over. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon (or spider) and set on a plate lined with paper towel to drain excess oil.
  6. Serve immediately, preferably with an ice cold beer and a sweet & spicy dipping sauce.
I made them plain here, but here is a short list of suggested mix-ins
  1. - crumbled bacon
  2. - crab
  3. - bell peppers
  4. - cheese
  5. - lobster
  6. - hot peppers
Pook's Pantry http://www.pookspantry.com/
 corn-fritters-tall

Cherry Hand Pies

Do you remember your favorite childhood treat?  Mine was Hostess Cherry Pies.  Cloyingly sweet cherry pie filling encased in a lackluster pastry shell coated with a cavity-inducing glaze of white icing.  To think of eating one now does absolutely nothing for me, but the 10 year old version of me would slap me right across the face for such condescension. 

Cherry was my favorite of all the pies we had growing up and believe me, there was no shortage.  On holidays there was the obligatory pumpkin, but once in awhile we were allowed to weigh in on this topic and when the opportunity presented itself, I always chimed in “CHERRY”!

(later on and still to this day, it has changed to peach)

cherry hand pies pook Whenever stone fruit season rolls around, I, like most people, buy pounds of cherries, peaches, plums and nectarines…  and then am in a frenzy to use them up before they go bad.   It’s like my Mom has always told me “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach”.  I guess they still are. 

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