Tag Archives: pecans

Butter Pecan Cookies

10 Feb

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar, plus more for coating
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. On a baking sheet, toast pecans until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Let cool completely; finely chop.
  2. With an electric mixer, cream butter for about a minute. Add 1/3 cup sugar and cream until light, about 1 minute more. Beat in vanilla, salt, and flour, scraping down sides of bowl, just until dough comes together. Fold in pecans.
  3. Using your hands, shape the dough into balls about 1 1/2 inches wide (should make 12-14 cookies). Roll dough balls in sugar and place 3 inches apart, on a baking sheet.
  4. Gently flatten with the bottom of a glass or measuring cup (reshape sides if necessary). Sprinkle with sugar.
  5. Bake until golden brown, rotating sheet halfway through, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with more sugar. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes

German Chocolate Cake

10 Sep
German Chocolate Cake
Growing up, I watched my mom make this once a year for my dad. Although I’ve always loved it; I’ve never made it because it always looked like so much work. I’m actually not much of a cake baker. I’m generally into quick baking fixes — cookies, muffins, and things like that. But I volunteered to bring a cake to a friend’s party, and this one came to mind.
After digging around online for different recipes, it seemed like most people were making the original recipe. I even called my mom and she confirmed that all these years she’s been using the recipe on the Bakers German Chocolate box. So, not wanting to fix reinvent the wheel, I stuck with the original recipe listed below.

German Chocolate Cake

Cake Recipe
INGREDIENTS
1 pkg.  (4 oz.) Bakers German’s Chocolate
1/2 cup  water
4 eggs, separated
2 cups  flour
1 tsp.  baking soda
1/4 tsp.  salt
1 cup  butter, softened
2 cups  sugar
1 tsp.  vanilla
1 cup  buttermilk

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cover bottoms of 3 (9-inch) round pans with waxed paper and spray sides with cooking spray.
  2. Microwave chocolate and water in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1-1/2 to 2 min. or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 min. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
  3. Beat egg whites in a small bowl with mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form; set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt.
  4. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Blend in melted chocolate and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating until well blended after each addition. Gently mix in egg whites until well blended. Pour into prepared pans.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean (rotate pans halfway through baking if on different racks). Immediately run small rubber spatula around cakes in pans. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Spread Coconut-Pecan Filling and Frosting between cake layers and onto top of cake.
Coconut-Pecan Filling and Frosting Recipe
INGREDIENTS
4 egg yolks
1 can  (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1 1/2 tsp.  vanilla
1 1/2 cups  sugar
3/4 cup  butter
1 pkg.  (7 oz.) flaked coconut (2 2/3 cups)
1 1/2 cups  chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS

  1. Beat egg yolks, milk and vanilla in large saucepan with whisk until well blended. Add sugar and butter; cook on medium heat for 12 minutes or until thickened and golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
  2. Add coconut and nuts; mix well. Cool to desired spreading consistency.

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

7 Jul

IMG_20130706_185912

These are my favorite chocolate chip cookies. I found the recipe on the Cooks Illustrated website, which is by the same folks that produce America’s Test Kitchen. On a side note, America’s Test Kitchen is becoming one of my favorite cooking shows. (I know it’s been around for years, but I’m just now discovering it.) I actually feel like I’m learning something when I watch it — not just a recipe but why something works the way it does when cooking. Even the boy likes it. ;)

This recipe for chocolate chip cookies requires a bit more work than the standard recipe on the back of your bag of chocolate chips, but it’s well worth the effort. The final result is a cookie that is somehow soft, chewy, and a little bit crispy all at the same time — de-lish!


Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

INGREDIENTS

1 3/4 cups  unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon  baking soda
14 tablespoons  unsalted butter  (1 3/4 sticks)
1/2 cup  granulated sugar
3/4 cups  packed dark brown sugar  (I typically use light brown sugar because that’s what I have on hand)
1 teaspoon  table salt
2 teaspoons  vanilla extract
1 large  egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups  semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
3/4 cup  chopped pecans  or walnuts, toasted (optional)
Coarse sea salt for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula making sure to capture any browned bits, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted. (Note about browning butter: It helps to use a stainless steel skillet because it’s easier to see the color change. Your butter should be a little lighter than the color of a penny.)
  4. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated.
  5. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny.
  6. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.
  7. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie onto the prepared baking sheets. Makes about 30 cookies.
  8. Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking.
  9. Remove baking sheet from oven. While cookies are still hot, sprinkle very lightly with coarse salt and gently press it down to embed. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated