Spilled Milk Deserves Cookies

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One of my most favorite/horrifying/eye opening moments while teaching high school comes from the time the class was making chocolate chip cookies. One particular student checked her groups’ cookies and said (with a very concerned tone) “Ms. Wright, our cookies don’t look right. They’re fluffy and light brown.” It was at this moment that I realized a lot of my students had only seen flat, pale, and sad cookies. So sad.

A great chocolate chip cookie recipe is a necessity. If you have never experienced a fluffy, delicious, crispy on the outside, soft in the middle, golden brown cookie you are missing out.

Say goodbye to sad and flat cookies today with this recipe!

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Chocolate Chip Cookies (High Altitude)
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 dozen
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2½ cups Brown Sugar
  • 1 lb Butter (do not use margarine)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3 tsp. Vanilla
  • 6 Cups Flour
  • 1½ tsp Salt
  • 1½ tsp Baking Soda
  • 6 Cups Chocolate Chips
  • 2 Cups Chopped Walnuts (Optional)
Instructions
  1. Cream together sugar, brown sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla in mixer.
  2. Add flour, salt, baking soda. Mix well.
  3. Add chocolate chips and nuts.
  4. Pre heat oven to 350.
  5. Roll dough into balls and place on cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Cool on cooling rack.
Notes
i often times will half this recipe. When you cut the recipe in half, reduce the eggs to two, instead of three.

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All Things Argentina

Have you heard of Try the World? Basically, every two months or so (depending on your subscription) you receive a box of food from a different country. This is my kind of subscription. Click the link for more information Try the World.

First up, Argentina. My nephew Owen (who was visiting) was very intrigued by what came in the box.

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This is what I got in box…Chimichurri sauce, malbec wine marinade, butter cookies, dulce de leche, green olive paste, Argentine teas, and dulce de membrillo.

The butter cookies, which I am snacking on right now were delicious!

It is recommended to use the wine marinade on meat, but since I don’t like sweet marinades, we just spread it on bread instead.

The first thing I made is called Cornflour Alfajores with Dulce de Leche. The cookie has a bit of a mealy texture due to the corn flour. I didn’t have powdered coconut, but I did have stale shredded coconut. So I put the shredded coconut into my magic bullet and voila… powdered coconut. The directions were a little vague on the assembly so I did my best. I mixed the coconut and dulce de leche and then made the cookie sandwiches. After the sandwiches were assembled I sprinkled more coconut on the filling (mostly for looks). If I were to make them again I would roll the dough a little thinner, but overall I thought they turned out great.

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For dinner one night, I used the rest of the ingredients from my box. I was quite pleased with the results.

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Our appetizer was a toasted baguette with a green olive paste and shaved parmesan cheese. I’m not a huge fan of green olives, but I didn’t hate the spread.

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I marinated some pork with the chimichurri sauce. The sauce was good, but a little sweet for my liking. I like more savory flavors with meat. I cooked this in the oven, but I think it would have been better on the grill.

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For dessert, I made something called Pasta Frola with Quince Paste. It was fairly easy to make and I loved that it wasn’t overly sweet. It’s basically a tart with a fruit filling. You can mix any flavor jam with the quince paste to make the filling. I used strawberry peach.

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I enjoyed experimenting with new flavors and ingredients. I’m anxiously awaiting my next box!

It’s not a donut hole

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It’s beignet time. My dad and I both have a love for food and cooking. Since my parents live a little closer to me during the summer time, we decided the next time I was in town to make beignets…a delicious French pastry! I have had quite a few beignets over the years, each varying slightly. My favorite has been in Chicago at The Grand Lux Cafe. I love the rustic look and the lighter color. They were served with three dipping sauces… raspberry, vanilla, and chocolate ganache. Oh my goodness, they were delicious!

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The first tip I want to tell you is to have all the proper tools. As we were making these, I kept thinking how ridiculous it would have been trying to make these at my house and improvising tools (like we always do). Don’t do it. This guy on the left (spider) I found particularly helpful when frying the beignets.

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The dough is pretty straight forward (and delicious).

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After letting it rise for what seemed like forever, the fun begins! You only get to roll the dough out once so make the most of it. We didn’t have a biscuit cutter so we used the lid to a mason jar. It worked like a gem.

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Don’t waste the extra dough. Cut it up into roughly the same size pieces and fry them.

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Tip #2. Do not guess what the oil temperature is. Use a thermometer. Keep an eye on your oil, the temperature can rise very quickly resulting in crispy outside, but an undone center.

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Test one or two to start and see how it goes. Once you start the process goes quickly and it’s very helpful to have two people in the kitchen.

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Once they are done frying, coat them in sugar. We tried granulated and powdered. I thought they were both good, but I think the powdered sugar looked a little classier. But of course I don’t have any pictures of those. If using powdered sugar, either sift the sugar on or put sugar and beignet in a ziploc and gently shake.

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Don’t forget the dipping sauces!

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Beignets
Author: 
Cuisine: French
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: About 24
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3½ cups bread flour
  • Extra flour, for rolling the dough (about 1 cup total)
  • 1 gallon fryer oil
  • Granulated sugar, for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the yeast and the water. Set aside to proof.
  2. After 10 minutes, stir in the all-purpose flour, cover with plastic, set aside in a warm place and let it double in size.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the eggs, with the mixer on low speed, one by one. When the mix is smooth, add the vanilla and salt. Stir to blend. Add the bread flour and mix on low speed until fully incorporated.
  4. Change the electric mixer attachment to a dough hook. Continue mixing the dough until it becomes a ball. Then, stir in the yeast mixture until thoroughly incorporated. Put the dough in a bowl, cover with plastic and allow to proof, 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes.
  5. Lightly flour a cool surface and roll the dough out to about 1½-inch thickness. Cut rounds of dough with a cutter and turn them onto a floured baking sheet to rest, 20 to 30 minutes, before frying.
  6. Heat the oil in a large pot to 365 to 370 degrees F. Drop the beignets in the hot fat and cook until golden brown on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon.
  7. Roll in the granulated sugar.
  8. Serve immediately with Vanilla Dipping Sauce.
Notes
You can also fill these pastries by putting filling into a pastry bag or zip lock with a small tip. After frying, poke the side of the beignet and fill with desired filling.