I'm excited! Brought to my attention by the fine folks at Is My Blog Burning
Saturday, September 30, 2006
This is the cake that nearly wasn't. One should never attempt a 4-layer cake and try to ice it smoothly without an offset spatula and turntable. After numerous frustrations (including a suicide attempt in which the fully layered cake LEAPT off the table and onto my beige carpet, frosting side down) I finally got it finished enough so that it was presentable, but nothing special. By the time I was done my chocolate buttercream was starting to separate, and I was afraid any more delays would doom the cake entirely.
So it wasn't the splendid birthday success I was hoping for...at least I can tell a good story when anyone asks about the chocolate carpet stains.
Four-layer chocolate cake filled with whipped cream and strawberries, frosted with chocolate buttercream and topped with chocolate-dipped strawberries.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Chocolate chip cookies are incredibly simple, and you would think they would be foolproof...but no. How many times have you eagerly taken a bite of a chocolate chip cookie, only to be disappointed by a chalky/crumbly/disgusting/just plain disappointing treat?
Me too, me too.
So here's my no-fail method for great cookies. In fact, they're so great, they're known within the family as "world-famous." First, the ingredients:
2.25 cups All-Purpose (AP) flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 TB vanilla extract
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened to room temperature
3 cups chocolate chip cookies
Preheat oven to 350*
Ah, butter and sugar...the foundation of every delicious baked good.
First, cream together all the butter and both sugars in a large bowl. A mixer is strictly optional...the spoon-and-arm method burns off extra calories you can then replace with a few spoonfuls of cookie dough.
Add and blend in the 2 eggs and 1 TB vanilla. Once those are well combined, add and blend the flour, salt, and baking soda. At this point all that is left to do is stir in the chocolate chips. Please note the favorable chocolate-to-dough ratio:
Timing is everything.
Seven and a half minutes. That’s it! The secret to good cookies is to underbake. They should come out when they are still soft in the middle, but the raw shine is off. They will continue cooking once out of the oven. This is the way to get cookies that stay moist and chewy.