Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Giant Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

I made this for dessert on Christmas Eve and it was a huge hit...I think the thing that really set it off were the 60% cocoa Ghirardelli chips, but I'm sure it would still be good with other varieties.

Serves 8

* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
* 1 large egg
* 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* 1 1/2 cups (1 bag) 60% cocoa large Ghirardelli chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla; mix until they are fully incorporated. Add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

2. Transfer dough to a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, and press to flatten, covering bottom of pan. Bake until edges are brown and top is golden, 40 to 45 minutes. Don't overbake; it will continue to cook a few minutes out of the oven. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, 15 to 20 minutes. Cut into 8 wedges. Serve warm; top each wedge with a scoop of ice cream and some caramel sauce if desired.

Fig and Blue Cheese Savouries

Got this recipe from the Food52 blog.
I hate cheese, and especially hate blue cheese, but loved this recipe. The amount of blue cheese in the dough is just enough to add a strong flavor, but no one was sure what it was...just that they liked it.
Turns out my whole family hates blue cheese too, yet these things disappeared when I made them Christmas Eve.
Makes about 2 - 3 dozen
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • Ground black pepper
  • Fig preserves, about 3 Tablespoons
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the flour, butter, blue cheese and a few grinds of black pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the dough just comes together and starts to form a ball.
  3. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times to pull the dough together. Roll out to 1/8 inch thick with a floured rolling pin. Cut rounds out of the dough with a floured 1-inch cutter and transfer the rounds to the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  4. Using the back or a round half-teaspoon measure or your knuckle, make an indention in the top of each dough round. Spoon about ¼ teaspoon of fig preserves into each indention, using your finger to push the preserves as best as possible into the indentions.
  5. Bake the savories for 10 – 14 minutes, until the preserves are bubbling and the pastry is light golden on the bottom.
  6. Let cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes, the remove to a wire rack to cool.
  7. You’ll find fig preserves at the grocery – it may be shelved with the “fancy” jams and jellies. You can make these a day ahead and keep them in two layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Coconut Macaroons

From my mom's Christmas cookie collection this year:

2 egg whites
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. almond extract
3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. shredded coconut

Start slow oven 300 degrees. Cover cookie sheet with waxed paper. Beat egg whites, salt and tartar together until soft peaks form. Beat in almond extract and sugar until peaks are very stiff. Fold in coconut. Drop by teaspoon, 1-inch apart on waxed paper sheets. Bake for 25 minutes (light golden brown). Let cool slightly before removing from paper. Yield: 2 1/2 dozen cookies.