Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Lava Muffins

I'm a little stuck on my paper.  As a result I've been baking a lot to try to loosen up.  And somewhere along the line I found this recipe.  I made a few modifications: I used buttermilk rather than sour cream, and replaced the cloves and nutmeg with more cinnamon.

Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookies

I don't like cookie dough, well not as much as cookies that are baked, at least.  But what's really ideal for me is something halfway between cookie dough and baked cookie.  In college I would bake cookie dough halfway and eat it with a spoon.  But my love of half baked cookies reflects on how I like my (chocolate chip) cookies: gooey.  We all have preferences, some like them cakey, some like them crisp. I've always been a fan of the Nestle Tollhouse cookie recipe because I've never found anything better.  But I never thought they were perfect.  So I sought out to find a better recipe.  Not just a better recipe, but cookies that stay gooey even after they cool.  I'm not trying to keep them soft; I'm trying to keep them gooey.  They are different.  But I was fairly successful in making cookies that stayed gooey until I finished all 3 dozen (roughly 3 days, I had a little help from my roommate, though).

So I did a few things, and I tried a few different recipes.  The first is gluten free: it uses almond butter (because almond butter is gooey) instead of flour and butter.  And the second just has different proportions from my typical recipe.  But it stayed gooey.  But a few other tricks I used:
I underbaked the cookies (obviously)
I baked them on parchment paper, and as soon as I took them out of the oven, I used the parchment paper to slide them onto the counter.  I also let them cool on the counter.

Other recommendations that I took into account when choosing recipes:
Use a lower flour to butter ratio
Use a higher brown to white sugar ratio

Almond butter chocolate chip cookies
I found the recipe here.

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Gluten-Free}
Yields about 16 cookies
1 cup (250 grams) creamy almond butter
2/3 cup (150 grams) sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (60 grams) miniature chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).  Put parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the almond butter and sugar. Mix in the egg, vanilla, baking soda, and salt until evenly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Drop cookies by the tablespoon onto a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. I baked them for 9 minutes.  
Slide the parchment paper onto the counter and cool as long as you can resist eating them.  For me, this meant I burnt my fingers on molten chocolate chips.

Gooey Chocolate Chip cookies (makes 20)
I combined this recipe with this recipe.  The result was a softer, moister dough than I'm used to, but that was pretty useful.  Oh, I also halved them both since I was making two recipes for one person + roommates.  So I'm telling you the half recipe, except it called for one egg and I just used a whole egg rather than halving it.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 
3/8 cup brown sugar 
1/8 cup granulated sugar 
1 egg 
teaspoons vanilla extract 
cups flour 
teaspoons cornstarch 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
The gluten free almond butter cookie is on the left and the more traditional, gooey cookie is on the right.

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put parchment paper on cookie sheet.
2.  In a mixer, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat well.
3.  Add flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt and mix just until combined, then gently stir in chocolate chips.
4.  Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon (I use my hands and usually roll cookies into balls, but with this dough I just sort of glopped them on to the sheet), drop dough onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges.  (The tops will not brown, but do NOT cook longer than ten minutes.)  I baked them for 8-9.
5.  Slide them on to the counter and let them cool there.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Zippy

I graduated college 5 years and 2 days ago.  And it's graduation season again.  Coincidently a few days ago I was randomly thinking about Tommy's: my favorite restaurant from undergrad.  It has a decent selection of vegetarian food and tasty, flavorful, relatively healthy non-vegetarian food.  And the milkshakes... the milkshakes were the real draw.  They really just took ice cream and milk and blended it, but they let you mix flavors.  But I'm not making milkshakes so, I'll stop talking about them.

I'll talk about my favorite order: the toasted cheese.  It's not grilled cheese because it's not greasy.  It's pita bread with cheese put in a toaster oven.  It's delicious and somewhat healthier than grilled cheese.  And my favorite toasted cheese is The Zippy: toasted cheese with sesame sauce, sunflower seeds, and veggies.

The Zippy
1 pita
3 pieces of cheese
2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tsp tahini
1/4 green pepper
1/4 tomato

Heat the oven (or a toaster oven) at 350.
Cut the pita in half and put the 3 pieces of cheese in the pita.  Put half the tahini, sunflower seeds, pepper, tomato in the pita.  Heat until the cheese is melted 5-10 minutes.  Basically, I put it in when I preheated the oven and left it in a few minutes after the oven heated and it came out perfectly.

Remove from the oven, add the sprouts and enjoy!

Yum!  It's not quite The Zippy (the sesame sauce was a little sweeter than tahini), but it's awesome!