Archive for January, 2008

Peanutbutter Cookies, replacing one bad habit with another?

January 12, 2008

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Every saturday morning, my family and I go to the market in our neighbourhood to do our weekly shopping. On our way there, we pass by one of my favorite cafés in Berlin, Barcomi’s. Usually, the smell of coffee and baked goods wafting out onto the streets makes us forget our recent breakfast and forces the market expedition to a halt.

Because we try to be reasonable, we mostly just get a coffee and a cookie instead of say a cinammon roll, a monster brownie, a cream scone or a plain bagel. The cookies are big enough to provide satisfying elevenses without spoiling our appetites for lunch and are therefore the compromise of choice. I always choose the peanutbutter or peanutbutter-chocolate-chip cookie because it seems that it has proteins (peanutbutter!) and is thus a totally healthy cookie choice (HA!). I also had never found a recipe for a peanutbutter cookie that I liked. My quest finally came to an end this fall, when the founder of the café, Cynthia Barcomi, came out with a cookbook unveiling the recipes behind her pastries.

I received a copy of it for my birthday, and the cookies were first on my list of things to try. Since her recipe yields about 30 big cookies of a 7 cm diameter, and we were still recovering from the christmas feasts, I only made half a batch. I also subsituted half the plain white sugar with muscovado sugar, which gave the end result a lovely mellow caramel flavor. I am not sure if owning the cookbook will help break our saturday Barcomi’s habit though!

Peanutbutter Cookies

Adapted from Cynthia Barcomi’s Backbuch
prep time: 10 min, baking time: 10 min

180 g flour
125 g butter, softened
65 g plain white sugar
65 g brown or muscovado sugar
175 g peanutbutter
1 egg
1 tsp molasses (Grafschafter Goldsaft)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla sugar

makes about 40 small cookies

preheat the oven to 190° and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
In a big mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
In another bowl, cream the butter with the two sugars. Add the egg, vanilla sugar, the molasses and the peanutbutter until thoroughly combined.
Beat in the flourmixture with a wooden spoon.
Drop by teaspoonful onto your cookie sheet, score crosswise with a fork and bake for 10 min, or until lightly browned.

My ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, or how to be yet another boring foodblogger

January 9, 2008

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Chocolate chip cookies have got to be one of the items on my list of top ten favorite things to eat. Since they are pretty much THE north american cookie of choice, there are already numerous blogposts on them and everybody claims to have found the ultimate recipe for the most perfect chewy/crispy/meltey cookie ever.

Well… what can I say, so have I!! Maybe I will win an award for being the millionth (aspiring) foodblogger to post a chocolate chip cookie recipe on their blog!

My recipe comes from the classic Fanny Farmer cookbook that my husband brought with him from Canada on his move to Europe. It was given to him by his grandmother and has never failed me as a cookbook for classic north american food. This recipe is a great base for cookie dough, since you can tweak the add-on ingredients (oats and chocolate chip) and replace them by whatever strikes your pantry: nuts, raisins, cranberries, orange zest (Note to self: must try orange zest+chocolate chips!)

So without further ado let me introduce MY ultimate

Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies

Adapted from theFanny Farmer Cookbook
Prep Time: 15 min baking time: 8-10 min

½ cup (115 g) butter
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
¾ teaspoon vanilla (optional)
1 1/8 cup 155 g flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup uncooked oats
1 cup chocolate chips (I used half dark, half milk chocolate)*

Makes about 40 cookies

Preheat the oven to 190C° and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Cream the butter, then add the two sugars, beating incorporated. Or simply soften the butter together with the sugar in the microwave, mix to combine.** Beat in the egg and vanilla.
Mix in the flour, salt, and baking soda blending well. Stir in the oats and the chocolate chips.

Drop dough by teaspoonfuls – or roll into teaspoonfull sized balls – on to the cookie sheets about 2 cm apart and bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.

* I use chunks of chocolate rather then chips, since chocolate chips are a rare commodity in my part of the world
* *I prefer this method since it’s faster, and the cookies don’t really need the extra air from the creaming of butter and sugar, since unlike cake, they don’t have to become light and fluffy….

Last Christmas – a log disaster

January 6, 2008

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try making the traditional french bûche de noel while surrounded by 16 people, 7 of which under the age of 7. Add to that a cavalier baker, thinking it will all be done with the flick of a wrist and you get a recipe for disaster. Luckily, in this instance the many cooks saved the proverbial broth and turned what was meant to be a chocolate log filled with raspberry mascarpone cream and slathered in ganache, into a brique de noel, much prettier and equally as delicious as was hoped for.

(more…)


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