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February 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies milk 

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 ¼  teaspoons baking soda

1 large egg, room temperature

2 ounces milk, room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Combine the egg, milk, and vanilla and bring to room temperature in another bowl.

Cream the butter in the mixer’s work bowl, starting on low speed to soften the butter. Add the sugars. Increase the speed, and cream the mixture until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed and add the egg mixture slowly. Increase the speed and mix until well combined.

Slowly add the flour mixture, scraping the sides of the bowl until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Using a #20 ice cream scoop, drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Cookies will be dark brown. Rotate the baking sheet for more even browning.

Remove the cookies from the pans immediately. Once cooled, store in an airtight container.

Chocolate chip dough balls

Crisp Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal cookies stack  

Download Crisp Oatmeal Cookies recipe


1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (5 ounces)

¾ teaspoon baking powder 

½ teaspoon baking soda 

½ teaspoon table salt 

14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 ¾ sticks), softened but still cool, about 65 degrees

1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)

¼ cup packed light brown sugar (1 ¾ ounces)

1 large egg 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

2 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats

½ cup coconut, optional

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl.

2. In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars at medium-low speed until just combined, about 20 seconds. Increase speed to medium and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute longer. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula. Add egg and vanilla and beat on medium-low until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl again. With mixer running at low speed, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated and smooth, 10 seconds. With mixer still running on low, gradually add oats (and coconut, if using) and mix until well incorporated, 20 seconds. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no flour pockets remain and ingredients are evenly distributed.

3. Divide dough into 24 equal portions, each about 2 tablespoons (or use #30 cookie scoop), then roll between palms into balls. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 ½ inches apart, 8 dough balls per sheet .  Using fingertips,  gently press each dough ball to 3/4 inch thickness.

4. Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are deep golden brown, edges are crisp, and centers yield to slight pressure when pressed, 13 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely on sheet.

Oatmeal cookie dough rounds   

Oatmeal cookies baked   

Oatmeal cookies  



Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Mac aand cheese  

Homemade Baked Macaroni & Cheese  Download Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Bread Crumb Topping

4 slices Pepperidge Farm Hearty White Sandwich Bread, torn into quarters

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Macaroni and Cheese

1 pound elbow macaroni 

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dry mustard

¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour 

3 ½ cups whole milk

1 ¾ cups low-sodium chicken broth 

1 pound Colby cheese, shredded (4 cups)

8 ounces extra-sharp Cabot Cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)

 Ground black pepper 

1.   Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees.

2.   Pulse bread with melted butter and parsley in food processor to form bread crumbs; set aside.

3.    Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot for the macaroni. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and the macaroni and cook until almost tender but still firm to the bite, about 5 minutes. Drain the macaroni and leave it in the colander.

4.   Wipe the pot dry, add the remaining 6 tablespoons butter, and melt over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, nutmeg, cayenne pepper and mustard. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

5.   Stir in the flour and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk and broth. Bring to a simmer. Cook, whisking often, until the mixture is thickened and just starting to bubble, about 15 minutes.

6.    Off the heat, slowly whisk in the Colby and cheddar until completely melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the drained macaroni, breaking up any clumps, until well combined.

7.     Pour into a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with the breadcrumbs. Bake until golden brown and bubbling around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

To Make Ahead:

Assemble the casserole as directed through step 7, but do not sprinkle with the buttered breadcrumbs or bake. Store in the refrigerator, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 3 days before serving. The casserole can also be frozen, wrapped in an additional layer of foil, for up to 2 months. Allow the macaroni and cheese to sit at room temperature for 1 hour before baking. (If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before letting it sit at room temperature.)

Bake 1 Freeze 1 - Pour macaroni and cheese into 2 8" square pans and place one in the oven to bake and wrap the other in plastic wrap and foil and freeze.

Bittersweet Chocolate Bundt Cake

Chocolate Bundt 1  

To grease the pan:

1 tablespoon butter , melted

1 tablespoon cocoa


3/4 cup natural cocoa (2 1/4 ounces)

6 ounces Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

3/4 cup water (boiling)

1 cup sour cream, room temperature

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)

1 teaspoon table salt 

1 teaspoon baking soda 

12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), room temperature

2 cups packed light brown sugar (14 ounces)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract 

5 large eggs, room temperature

 confectioners' sugar for dusting


1. FOR THE PAN: Stir together butter and cocoa in small bowl until paste forms; using a pastry brush, coat all interior surfaces of standard 12-cup Bundt pan. (If mixture becomes too thick to brush on, microwave it for 10 to 20 seconds, or until warm and softened.) Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. FOR THE CAKE: Combine cocoa, chocolate, and espresso powder (if using) in medium heatproof bowl; pour boiling water over and whisk until smooth. Cool to room temperature; then whisk in sour cream. Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda in second bowl to combine.

3. In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, beat butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, mixing about 30 seconds after each addition and scraping down bowl with rubber spatula after first 2 additions. Reduce to medium-low speed (batter may appear separated); add about one third of flour mixture and half of chocolate/sour cream mixture and mix until just incorporated, about 20 seconds. Scrape bowl and repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining chocolate mixture; add remaining flour mixture and beat until just incorporated, about 10 seconds. Scrape bowl and mix on medium-low until batter is thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds. Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan, being careful not to pour batter on sides of pan. Bake until wooden skewer inserted into center comes out with few crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert cake onto parchment-lined wire rack; cool to room temperature, about 3 hours. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired.

Chocolate Bundt Cake  

Penne with Butternut Squash and Fresh Sage

 Butternut Squash plate

Penne with Butternut Squash and Sage


4 slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

8 large fresh sage leaves , plus 1 tablespoon minced

1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 tablespoon unsalted butter 

6 scallions, sliced thin (about 1 cup)

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 

1 teaspoon sugar 

 Table salt and ground black pepper 

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth 

1 pound penne pasta or other short, tubular pasta

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

4 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon

1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted


1. Cook bacon in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Add whole sage leaves and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer into small bowl, reserving bacon fat and bacon-sage mixture separately.

2. Return skillet to high heat, add 2 tablespoons reserved bacon fat (adding olive oil if necessary) and heat until shimmering. Add squash in even layer and cook, without stirring, until beginning to caramelize, 4 to 5 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until spotty brown, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Add butter and allow to melt, about 30 seconds. Add scallions, nutmeg, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, and minced sage; cook, stirring occasionally, until scallions are softened, about 3 minutes. Add broth and bring to simmer; continue to cook until squash is tender, 1 to 3 minutes longer.

3. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta. Cook until just al dente, then drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water, and transfer back to Dutch oven.

4. Add squash mixture to pasta; stir in 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and reserved bacon-sage mixture, adjusting consistency with reserved pasta liquid. Serve, passing almonds and Parmesan separately.

Butternut squash ingreds    

Butternut squash saute   

Banana Bread

Banana breads  

Download Classic Banana Bread


1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 ½ cups flour (unbleached or white whole wheat)

1 tsp. soda

1 tsp. salt

1 cup mashed very ripe bananas

½ cup sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. grated lemon zest

½ cup chopped toasted walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom only of regular glass loaf pan, or grease and flour bottom and sides of nonstick 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan, or 4 small loaf pans; set aside.

2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer.

3. Beat in eggs.

 4. Sift the dry ingredients and combine with butter mixture using a large wooden spoon. 

 5. Add the bananas, sour cream, zest and vanilla. Mix to combine. Stir in nuts.

 6. Bake 1 hour (40 minutes for small pans)


Banana bread baked   

Crystallized Ginger Pound Cake

Pound cake ginger  



Bring ingredients to room temperature!

3 ounces milk, room temperature

7 eggs, room temperature

1 Tablespoon vanilla

3 cups (10.5 ounces) sifted cake flour  

1 ½ cups sugar

3 tablespoons crystallized ginger  

1 ½ tsp. ginger

½ tsp mace or nutmeg

1 tsp. Baking powder

1 tsp. Salt

3 sticks plus 3 Tablespoons soft unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour 2 8x4 loaf pans or one 12-cup bundt pan.

  1. In a medium bowl, lightly combine milk, eggs, and vanilla; set aside
  2. In food processor, pulse sugar and ginger until combined, about five 1 second pulses.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar mixture, baking powder, ginger, mace and salt and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and half the egg mixture. Mix on low speed until ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed (high speed if using hand held mixer) and beat for 1 minute to develop the cakes structure.
  4. Scrape down sides of bowl. Gradually, add the remaining egg mixture in 2 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides.
  5. Scrape the batter into prepared pan and smooth surface with spatula. The batter will be about ½ inch from the top of the pan. Bake loaves 55-65 minutes or fluted 40-45 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean.

Pound cake sliced