Friday, September 27, 2013

Chewy and ( sort of ) crispy double chocolate chip cookies

I love making mini version of cheesecake , on the other hand , I just can't resist making huge cookies !

What's with that , anyway ?

Take these cookies for instance , all but six are 3 1/4-inches , now that's what I call super size !

Okay , not really an American size but more to satisfy Anne's ever burgeoning size lol

The only letdown about these cookies is the appearance and if you have America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book , you'll know what I'm talking about . Not really a letdown , but I'm expecting that these goodies will look a bit similar to the ones at the book *sigh* Remember these gorgeous cookies from the same book ?

I don't mind about the thickness , all but 4 are thick and the rest are thin and  sort of crispy , which I really love . These are called thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies but since most of my cookies are thin instead of thick , I just leave out the thick word out on the title .

I think there was something that I did wrong , when I made this . Maybe over beating the cookie dough , most likely , or I've over cooked it again , I'm sure , since I haven't bought a new timer yet . Hey , I'm vacuuming the floor while baking  at that time ^____^ ''

Oh , instead of 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour , I've forgotten to add 2 tbsps , I think one of the reason why my dough was a bit wet . Yup , I just found out about it while I was typing the recipe pffftt !

But there's no denying that these cookies are the best I've tasted so far ! The huge uniform size ( I measured each dough ha ! ) for one and the chewy and crispy ( for several hours ) texture .

Have you tried any recipe from America's Test Kitchen ?

Recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book

Makes 24 cookies ( 35 grams / 2 tablespoons dough ) I made 26 cookies , 2 pieces ( 50 grams cookie dough ) , 18 pieces ( 40 grams ) and 6 pieces ( 35 grams ) 

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt ( I used about 1/4 tsp ) 
12 tablespoon unsalted butter , melted and cooled
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips ( 1 cup milk chocolate chips plus 1/2 cup white chocolate chips ) 

* Preheat oven to 325°F / 160° C . Line baking sheets with parchment paper .

* Whisk the flour , baking soda and salt together in a mixing  bowl .

* In a large bowl , beat melted butter and the sugars together on medium speed until smooth , 1 to 2 minutes . Beat in egg , egg yolk and vanilla until combined , about 30 seconds  , scraping down sides as needed .

* Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until combined , about 30 seconds . Add in the chips until incorporated .

* Roll 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball and lay it down into the prepared sheets , space the dough about 2 inches apart .

* Bake the cookies until the edges are set and beginning to brown , about 15 to 20 minutes . Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely .

This post is linked to Cook your Books event hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Mini lemon cheesecakes with homemade lemon curd topping

I still got some cream cheese that's begging to be used so  , who am I to resist ?!

As if I need an excuse to bake cheesecake lol

Last week I baked lemon cheesecake for somebody's birthday . I love lemon but never had the urge to bake cheesecake with it until that day . Boy , I'm really glad that I did !

If you've seen some of my cheesecakes , especially the minis , you'll noticed that most of them comes from one Martha Stewart's cheesecake recipe . I just tweaked them by adding or reducing some ingredients , the difference is only the toppings .

I used this recipe from BBC GoodFood for my first lemon cheesecake and it tasted really good er the batter since I haven't eaten the finished product  -____-'' 

At that time , I was thinking of what topping should I use , most lemon cheesecake topping online tend to be lemon curd . Now , lemon curd here is not really expensive but I'm not so impressed by the color and after scrutinizing the long list ingredients at the back of the label , I decided to make it myself . How hard it can be ?

I've been eyeing both King Arthur's and Yen's lemon curd but settled on the former . I haven't tried store-brought curd so I got nothing to compare to but I remember reading somewhere online that once you made homemade lemon curd , you'll never go back and I couldn't agree more ! Just four ingredients , mind you ! Though the first time I've made it , I got some curdled egg white so I strained the mixture , problem solved ! I even made grapefruit curd , trust me , it tastes sensational !

For this bake , I used another recipe , this time from The America's Test Kitchen's Family Baking Handbook As usual , I couldn't help but tweaked the recipe , I made half of the recipe but since half of the cream cheese is not that much , I've added some sour cream . The result is quite delectable , creamy with a wonderful tartness from the lemon and not overly rich . Even without the topping , these delightful minis will surely please all cheesecake aficionados !

Recipe adapted from The America's Test Kitchen : Family Baking Handbook 

You'll need sixteen 2 1/4 x 1 1/4-inch loose bottom tins or these muffin liners

Below is the full recipe and in blue is my modified half version . The instruction is also modified  .

Crust :

5 oz crackers or tea biscuits 135 grams light digestive biscuits 
6 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and cooled 45 grams unsalted butter , softened 
3 tablespoons sugar omitted this

* Process digestive biscuits into food processor until fine then add butter and pulse to combine . Put about 1 tablespoon of crumbs into the prepared tins and press firmly and evenly . Freeze for about 20 minutes .

Filling :

1 1/4 cups sugar  100 grams 
1 tbsp grated fresh lemon zest 1/2 tablespoon 
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese , cut into chunks and softened 300 grams cream cheese plus 135 grams sour cream , at room temperature 
1/4 salt pinch of coarse salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice ( from 2 lemons ) 3 tablespoons 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 teaspoon
4 large eggs 2 eggs at room temp
1/2 cup heavy cream 4 tablespoon 

* Preheat oven to 325°C / 160° .

* Process the sugar and the lemon zest together in a food processor until sugar is yellow and the zest is very fine .

* Using a handheld mixer , beat the cream cheese in a large bowl , mixing on medium speed until smooth , about 2 minutes then add in the sour cream and beat a minute more . Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed .

* Add in half of the lemon sugar and salt and beat until well combined . Beat in the remaining lemon sugar , 1 to 3 minutes . Beat in lemon juice and vanilla until well incorporated . Add in the eggs , one at a time , beat until well combined . Beat in the heavy cream until well incorporated , about 1 to 3 minutes .

* Divide batter into tins and bake in a water bath for 30 minutes . Take out from the oven , let cool for 45 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely . Put tins in a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap , refrigerate overnight .

Lemon curd  ( Please check original recipe @ King Arthur )

Makes about 225 ml

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
125 grams sugar
70 grams butter
2 eggs

Grapefruit curd

Makes about 1/2 cup

generous 1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice
50 grams sugar
2 tablespoon butter
1 egg

* Combine the ingredients above in a small saucepan , over slow heat and using a whisk , stir mixture together until thickens ,  about 10- 12 minutes . Strain mixture and let cool completely , transfer into glass container and chill in the fridge overnight before using . Pipe or spread on top of the minis .