Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ultimate Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are the best chocolate chip cookies you will ever bake and eat. I spend years perfecting this recipe. Chocolate chip cookies are a personal thing. Everyone has a different style cookie that they like. I have a friend named Robin who is on a constant mission to find the best chocolate chip cookie. I think the perfect cookie should have the following requirements:  They must be chewy crunchy soft fudgy and gooey. Well, i have nailed it and I hope these would make Robin proud! The secret is the 1/2 cup of sugar added at the end to create a crust that caramelizes in the oven. They are so so so yummy. 

Ande's Ultimate Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 sticks unsalted butter softened 
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs 
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2.5 cups flour 
1 tsp salt 
1tsp baking soda 
1 tsp baking powder 
1/2 cup white sugar 
1 bag of high quality semi sweet chocolate chips (I like ghiradeli)

Preheat oven to 350. line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs one at at time scraping down the bowl between each.  

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl except the white sugar- that gets added at the very end. Add the dry ingredients to the butter egg mixture all at once. Then add the chocolate chips. THEN add the white sugar. Form the dough into balls ( i use a scoop so they are all the same size) and refrigerate for half hour or more. Space the balls about 3 inches apart on the baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Cheddar Chive Biscuits

This is my original recipe. One of the many jobs I've held included a pastry chef gig at a restaurant in Williamsburg Brooklyn in 2010. The head chef Blake decided that we needed a really good biscuit with gravy dish on the brunch menu. The task was left up to me. Because he was southern, he was the perfect biscuit critic and so it forced me to get this recipe perfect. I tweaked it until it met his approval. The key to this recipe is keeping the dough cold so the butter doesn't melt. This way you get soft fluffy layers and a
crunchy top.

Below is the original recipe I had posted in the kitchen for the crew on my day off so they would know what to do. I saved it but the proportions have changed so don't worry, I've scaled it down for the at home baker- see below.

Ande's Cheddar Chive Biscuits:
1.5 stick of unsalted butter cubed and frozen
1 cup cold whole milk/buttermilk or cream
2 cups of self rising flour 
1.5 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (Gruyere and Parmesan work deliciously too)
1/4 cup fresh chopped chives (you can use rosemary, sage or any other kind of herb you desire) 

Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients. Using your hands break up the cold butter chunks into the flour mixture until they are about the size of small peas. Place the entire bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes. Add milk all at once and form a dough. Add a touch more flour if you need to and kneed it out on a smooth dry surface. Once you have your desired dough, cut biscuits 1.5 inch thick and place on a parchment lined and pammed/silpat covered baking sheet. Brush tops with cream or egg wash. Bake for about 15-20 mins or until golden brown.