Archives

Taste Test Time- Chocolate Souffle

My mom joyously volunteered to taste the soufflé. She’s so nice and brave.  She’s been my taste tester for so many of my culinary concoctions.

She loved that the soufflé was light and fluffy. The chocolate wasn’t over-bearing and the crème anglaise added a light sweetness that she enjoyed.

Well she finished it, so I think she liked it overall.

Advertisements

Pretzel Time

You haven’t had a pretzel until you’ve had a warm sourdough Philly pretzel fresh from the oven with mustard on the side. DELISH.  Find a Pretzel Factory near you soon!

A close second… are the pretzels at the Stoltzfus Bakery located in the Farmers Market in Williamstown, NJ- please stop by this place and bring your wallet because there is money to spent. The fresh squeezed strawberry lemonade and Cajun crab dip are also highly recommended.

Last but not least is Auntie Annes at the mall. Which I don’t get to often because I’m an internet shopper, I hate the crowds.  My favs are the original, cinnamon sugar and the hot dog pretzel isn’t bad either.

So in a quest to avoid long lines, save money and reduce the amount of artificial colors/flavors/preservatives and everything else we can find in our food. I present to you “Soft Pretzel Day”. (please note that this is not a real day and you will not receive paid time off from work for celebrating this day with me)

I was browsing King Arthur’s Website and under their favorite recipes I found one for soft pretzels and I figured, why not.

So lets do this.

Add all the ingredients to the mixer and watch as it shapes into a ball like this. Dough should be warm and soft to touch. I love my mixer, it makes my life so easy.

Lightly flour the ball and seal in a plastic bag for 30 minutes.

While the dough is “resting”, (which I don’t know why the dough needs to rest it hasn’t done any work today…corny joke. I cant help myself sometimes), Mix up the baking soda and water solution.

Divide the dough into equal parts. I didn’t measure them out like the recipe “suggested”.

Now I’ve watched the folks at Auntie Anne’s roll out pretzels and I tried to mimic their techniques.

Roll one ball of dough out using both hands and form a cylinder shape , the longer the dough the  bigger the pretzel. Once you reach your desired length pull both ends of the dough together  to form a U.

Cross them over each other and press into the bottom of the U.  Here’s what mine looked like. Not too shabby if I say so myself.

Let them take another rest and then give them a dip in the baking soda bath

Sprinkle with pretzel salt. I used sea salt and I covered some of them with Asiago Cheese…..Mmmmmm Me Love Cheese (in my cookie monster voice).

After some time in the oven. Boom, Bam these things look delicious. Auntie Anne would be impressed.

Brush with melted Butta! Something this good deserves melted butta not butter. No margarine here. No ma’am.

Let cool and then devour. I dipped them in mustard but I’m sure some melted aged cheese like the stuff used for nachos at the fair would taste good with these.

FYI: I also froze some. I cooked them for 6 minutes, added the butta, let them cool and popped them in a freezer bag. I’ll re-heat them in the oven when I’m ready. Also I thought it would be cool to make pretzel bites too.

Here’s the link to the recipe. Let me know how yours turn out.

Tagged , , , , , ,

The $250 Cookie Recipe

Today is the day of First. First Blog Post. First time using a Kitchen Aid Mixer (wish me luck)! First Recipe on the Blog. Ahhhhhhhh I could go on and on.

My new BFF

So lets just do this.

Nothing gets me going like a good story. I don’t care whether it’s a juicy over embellished story between girlfriends, a movie plot that keeps me tied in until the credits roll or a page turning book. You’ve got a good story I’m all in.

So I decided my first recipe would come with a story and sorry folks but it’s not an original of my own, but I sure don’t mind re-telling this tale.

This urban “legend” aka “the awful truth they wont admit” (another overdone embellishment, I cant help myself) is all about the Neiman Marcus $250 Cookie Recipe.

Unless you’ve been without internet, email or just under a rock for the last 10 years this is probably one of the most common chain letters floating the web.  The story goes, watch for the over embellishments cause once again I can’t help myself, that a woman and her daughter are dining at Neiman Marcus and both have salads. This is so fitting cause fine ladies at Neiman Marcus only eat salads not cheeseburgers and fries. They decide to order the Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookie for dessert (who eats just one cookie…not me).  The woman enjoys it so much she asks for the recipe and the waitress tells her she can’t have the recipe. When the woman offers to buy the recipe, the waitress states that the cookie recipe cost two fifty. What a steal the woman thinks until her credit card statement comes in the mail. She was charged 9.99 for 2 salads (what a steal!), $20 for a scarf and $250 for the cookie recipe. She began to argue with Neiman Marcus for a refund and she was told they would not refund her money because she has already seen their recipe. So since revenge is a dish best served warm, she emailed her story along with the recipe to as many people as she could and requested that they pass it along.

So here is where the controversy comes in: Neiman Marcus states that around the time this so-called incident occurred that they weren’t even selling chocolate chip cookies in their stores (insert side stare). And that variations of this folktale have been going on for years. There’s a similar story about a red velvet fudge recipe and the Waldorf Astoria. Oh and there’s the story about Mrs. Field and her $250 cookie recipe too.

‘Til this day Neiman Marcus denies any involvement in such said rumor and offers their own recipe free to copy, download and print. (although this recipe differs from the one on the chain letter). And yes I’m making both.

So here’s the recipe from Neiman Marcus and their disclaimer.

Neiman Marcus $250 Cookie Recipe

An urban myth is a modern folk tale, its origins unknown, its believability enhanced simply by the frequency with which it is repeated. Our signature chocolate chip cookie is the subject of one such myth. If you haven’t heard the story, we won’t perpetuate it here. If you have, the recipe below should serve to refute it. Copy it, print it out, pass it along to friends and family. It’s a terrific recipe. And it’s absolutely free.

Ingredients

·  1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
·  1 cup light brown sugar
·  3 tablespoons granulated sugar
·  1 large egg
·  2 teaspoons vanilla extract
·  1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
·  1/2 teaspoon baking powder
·  1/2 teaspoon baking soda
·  1/2 teaspoon salt
·  1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder
·  1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

1.Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream the butter with the sugars using an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy (approximately 30 seconds)

2. Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract for another 30 seconds.

3. In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture at low speed for about 15 seconds. Stir in the espresso coffee powder and chocolate chips.

4. Using a 1 ounce scoop or a 2 tablespoon measure, drop cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into a 2 inch circle. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned around the edges. Bake a little longer for a crispier cookie. Yield:2 dozen cookies

Chain Letter-$250 Neiman Marcus Recipe

(Recipe may be halved):
2 cups butter
4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups brown sugar
5 cups blended oatmeal (measure oatmeal and blend in blender to a fine powder)
24 oz. chocolate chips
1 tsp. salt
1 8 oz. Hershey bar (grated)
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)
2 tsp. vanilla

Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda.

Add chocolate chips, Hershey bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies.. Have Fun!!!

Tagged , ,