Friday, August 1, 2014

Chocolate Chip Delight Cookies

 
 
Chocolate-chip cookies…my old standby. This is probably my MOST-OFTEN made recipe!!! (Terrible, I know!) It is my version of the Nestle Toll House recipe, and over the last 20+ years I have completely mastered it. It’s perfect for potlucks, holidays, non-holidays, after-school snacks, satisfying chocolate cravings, or feeling better if you’re down. J
 
My 5 kids each have a “Cookbook” binder to collect their favorite recipes, and for some time they have been begging for “Chocolate Chip Cookies”. I’ve resisted because the ingredient amounts are not standard (they ARE consistent each time!), but finally I have typed up my recipe. I asked the kids to come up with a name for our recipe, and “Chocolate-Chip Delight Cookies” was the winner. Here you go! J
 
P.S. I live and bake at sea-level. If you are in the mountains, please make your normal adjustments (more flour?)
 

Ingredients:
1 c. butter (room temperature)
9/10 c. sugar
9/10 c. dark brown sugar, packed
2 t. vanilla
1 egg
2 ½ c. flour
1 t. baking soda
¾ t. salt
2 c. (12 oz. ) semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
1-2 c. walnuts (optional)
Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375° F. 

2. In large bowl or electric mixer, add butter, sugar, and dark brown sugar. Stir.

Ingredient notes: Butter = better cookie consistency than margarine. Buy “salted” butter, which is usually labeled “Sweet Cream Butter”, as opposed to “Unsalted Butter”.

ALSO: Light brown sugar will work in place of dark brown, but won’t taste as temptingly delicious! ALSO my favorite (moist, fine-grained) brown sugar is DOMINO BRAND brown sugar IN A BOX!

Hands-down BEST brown sugar
 
If you buy Domino sugar in a bag OR a different brand (e.g. C&H) in a bag OR box, the sugar crystals will be coarser and drier. (I am NOT sponsored—wish I were! Just pointing you to the best ingredient!)

3. Add vanilla and egg. Stir.  

4. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir.

Dough should be stiff and moist, not runny like cake batter. Dough is too wet if it is all one big lump (i.e. play-doh) but too dry if you have flour-y crumbles.


Just right!

5. Add chocolate chips (and nuts if using). Stir.

I usually use semi-sweet chocolate chips for that classic chocolate-chip cookie taste, but milk chocolate chips are also tasty and decadently sweet!

6. Form dough balls, 2 teaspoons dough each.

I use a 1-teaspoon measuring spoon and heap dough until it’s as tall above the spoon as the spoon is deep.

7. Place dough balls at spaced intervals (~ 1 ½ - 2”) on ungreased, insulated (AirBake-style) cookie sheet. I usually fit about 20 cookies on one sheet.

If you use a non-insulated cookie sheet, cookie consistency will suffer.
 
 

8. Bake cookies until you start to see a little brown on the edges of some of your cookies. In my oven, this takes 8-10 minutes (10 minutes for the first batch, then shortens to 8 minutes as the oven heats up). If you wait until ALL the cookies on the sheet are golden-brown, they’ll be crunchy and taste overdone.

9. Cool cookies on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before removing to wire cooling rack or plate!


Nutrition Facts:

Ingredient
Calories
Sodium
(% RDA)
Protein (g)
Fiber (g)
Calcium (% RDA)
1 c. (8 oz.)salted butter
1600
64
0
0
0
9/10 c. sugar
648
0
0
0
0
9/ 10 c. dark brown sugar
648
0
0
0
0
1 large egg
70
3
6
0
2
2 ½ c. all-purpose flour
1100
0
30
5
0
1 t. baking soda
0
48
0
0
0
¾ t. salt
0
75
0
0
0
2 c. (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
2240
0
16
0
0
Total: ~65 cookies
6306 kcal
190 %
52 g
5 g
2%
1 Cookie
97 kcal
3%
1 g
0 g
0%

 

Nutrition facts calculated from packaging:
I used “Kirkland” (Costco) brand salted butter, “Domino” brand sugar and dark brown sugar, “Eggland’s Best” brand large egg, “Bakers and Chefs” (Sams Club) brand all-purpose flour, “Arm & Hammer” brand baking soda, “Morton” brand salt, and “Nestle” brand semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Four-Bean Salad



At summer potlucks when I was a kid, my mom usually brought her three-bean salad. In college, I always had a batch stashed in the apartment fridge to eat with boxed mac-n-cheese. Mama’s three-bean salad recipe is sweeter than most versions you’d buy in a jar, and I’m a sucker for sweet (bean salad) with salty (mac-n-cheese)!
In recent years, I’ve added a fourth bean to the mix...
Ingredients:

My ingredients

14.5 oz. can cut green beans
14.5 oz. can cut wax beans             
15.5 oz. can kidney beans
15.5 oz. can chick peas
                      (garbanzo beans)
1 c. sugar
1 c. apple cider vinegar
½ c. vegetable oil
¼ t. salt
¼ t. black pepper
Note: Wax beans can be hard to find; if your store doesn’t carry them, double the green beans.
 
Directions:

1. Drain beans.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir.

3. Marinate for awhile in the fridge to help sugar dissolve (or eat salad immediately, if you want!)

Note: You can add a little minced onion if you want

 
In case you were wondering…
Mama’s 3-bean salad recipe: (From a cookbook??)
14.5 oz. can green beans
14.5 oz. can wax beans
15.5 oz. can kidney beans
½ c. sugar
1/3 c. apple cider vinegar
2/3 c. vegetable oil
¼ t. salt
¼ t. black pepper

 
Nutrition Facts* for Four-Bean Salad
Ingredient
Calories
Sodium
(%RDA)
Fiber (g)
Protein (g)
Calcium
 (%RDA)
14.5 oz green beans
70
42
3.5
3.5
7
14.5 oz. wax beans
70
35
3.5
3.5
7
15. 5 oz. kidney beans
385
67
21
28
21
15.5 oz. garbanzo beans
385
49
21
21
14
1 c. sugar
720
0
0
0
0
1 c. apple cider vinegar
32
0
0
0
0
½ c. canola oil
1040
0
0
0
0
¼ t. salt
0
25
0
0
0
Total (6 c.)
2702 kcal
218 %
49 g
56 g
49 %
½ c. serving
225 kcal
18 %
4 g
4.5 g
4 %
¼ c. serving
113 kcal
9 %
2 g
2 g
2 %

*Calculated from food packaging:
 I used “Great Value” (Walmart) brand cut green beans and chick peas, “DelMonte” brand cut golden wax beans, “Hanover” brand light red kidney beans, “Domino” brand sugar, “Food Lion” brand apple cider vinegar, “Wesson” brand canola oil, and “Morton” brand salt.