Monday, December 27, 2010
Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookies
adapted from Epicurious via Smitten Kitchen
Makes about 3 dozen cookies (see note 3)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
1 cup quick-cooking oats
2 cups chopped pecans
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment or a Silpat (nonstick baking mat). Using an electric mixer, beat the butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla, and beat until well mixed, about three minutes. Stir in eggs, one at a time. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove in a separate bowl. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter with the mixer on low speed. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the second half. Stir in the oats, pecans and chocolate chips.
Drop the dough, by the tablespoon, onto the cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on a rack. Store at room temperature in a cookie jar or other airtight container.
Best. Cookies. Ever.
1. The original recipe had a bunch of orange zest in it. Apparently it was too much for Deb and a lot of the commenters on Epicurious. I don't like orange with chocolate much anyway, so, with the complaints in mind, I omitted it altogether. We never missed it.
2. I fresh ground (spice grinder, mortar and pestle) my cinnamon, nutmeg and clove the first time I made these. The second time I did not. You can taste the difference and I prefer the fresh. More work, but it comes across so beautifully in the final result.
3. Original says "makes 3 dozen." *LAUGHS MANIACALLY* 3 dozen COOKIES FOR GIANTS, maybe. But for normal sized cookies, it was more like 6 dozen (almost). I tripled this recipe, thinking I would have 9 dozen total (8 for my coworkers, 1 for us). After 5 hours of assembly-line style baking, I was on my 17th and final dozen and hadn't been able to stop to cook dinner. And it was the same a few days ago when I made a "single recipe" batch and ended up with nearly 6 dozen.
Just be forewarned: you're gonna be there scooping those tablespoon-sized chunks for a while. But is it worth it? You bet.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go shovel more cookies into my mouth.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Prime Rib - I used Elise's guidelines, but, really, it's hard to mess this up as long as you have a meat thermometer.
Creamed Spinach - This really is as good as it gets, a perfect recipe.
Garlic mashed potatoes: Place 20 cloves unpeeled garlic in a small skillet. Toast on low heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until browned in spots and soft, about 25 minutes. Let cool, then peel and cut off root end.
In the meantime, place 2 pounds peeled potatoes in a large pot. Cover with cold water by 1 inch. bring to a boil on high, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain potatoes, then cut into small enough chunks to put through a food mill or ricer.
Over empty pot, push the potatoes and roasted garlic through the mill or ricer in batches. Add 1 stick (8 tablespoons) melted butter and fold. Then add 1 cup half and half, heated, and stir to combine. Season with a teaspoon of Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, if desired.
Deviled eggs: Put 6 eggs in small sauce pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, then turn the heat off and leave covered for 17 minutes. Remove cover and run under cold water to stop the cooking. I did this part twice; I made a dozen eggs total. Peel. Slice the eggs vertically, removing the yolks to a separate bowl as you work. Mix the yolks with mayonnaise, mustard and pickle juice, as desired. Spoon filling into a sandwich bag, then cut one corner off the bag to create a piping mechanism. Squeeze as much filling into each egg half as you wish.
Cranberry sauce: Stir one cup water and one cup sugar into a large pot. Bring to a boil, then add one 12-oz. bag of cranberries. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, until all the cranberries have "popped." Add 1/4 teaspoon or so of both ground cinnamon and nutmeg and stir to combine. Let cool to room temperature, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Butter rolls bought from Cream Pan.