Sunday, October 24, 2010

things i've made recently

As discussed earlier, I don't have a whole lot of time/energy/ability anymore to bake new things and blog about them. It's not like I can bring a hot plate and a toaster oven to my hotel room and whip things up. Occasionally, I've made something on the weekends that I'm home but they've been my old stand-bys. So as a reminder to you all, I'm re-posting some links to these must-make recipes.

Hot Fudge Sundae Cake
Coconut Macaroons
Banana Oat Shake (lately I've been adding frozen blueberries into the mix with this)
Plum Jam
and Pumpkin Pie 
(lots of pumpkin ideas here, if you are as excited as I am that pumpkin is back in town)

But, don't you worry about me, I've been eating very well. Too well. Remember how much I love San Francisco food?

Also, as soon as I figure my life out and am in a more permanent situation, wherever that may be, I'm going to make this the winter of crock-potting. Would you guys be interested in more than just baking recipes? Or should I stick to what I know best?
As it turns out, I really need this cookbook.

Monday, October 4, 2010

wheat germ chocolate chip cookies

My sister offered to make me dinner a few Sundays ago, and asked if I could bring a treat. I figured this would give me the opportunity to actually bake again and try my current obsession, a recipe that is like my personal form of crack: the Wheat Germ cookie at Specialty's Bakery. The best part about my traveling situation right now is that I get to eat all my favorite foods, including this ridiculous cookie. I found a recipe online that claims to be the same as Specialty's. After searching online for a recipe I found this one, which seemed to be fairly close. While this cookie is pretty exceptional it's not quite the same. I must figure this out, many test batches must be made…
(note: with my add-ons/changes in parenthesis, it actually is fairly similar)

Also, sorry there is no picture, I couldn't get any pictures taken in good lighting, but I figured a post with no pictures is better than no post? Maybe?

3/4 cup old fashioned whole rolled oats
1 cup whole-wheat flour (I used 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour, and 1/4 cup almond meal)
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
1/2 cup raw wheat germ
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes (I would chop this up or use flaked coconut so it's in smaller pieces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (I would actually use half of this next time I make these)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
(I added 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons honey)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (Specialty's uses mini chocolate chips)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I used very, very finely chopped pecans)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray (not required if your using non-stick pans or a silpat)
2. Mix oats and flour in a medium bowl. Add baking soda and salt and whisk until mixed in. Whisk in wheat germ, flax and coconut.
3. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla; beat until smooth and creamy. With the mixer running, add the dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips and walnut pieces using a wooden spoon or spatula. Chill the dough in a refrigerator for at least 1 hour. The dough should be firm before proceeding with step 4.
4. Force a spoon into the dough to remove about 2-3 tablespoonfuls per cookie, at least 1 inch apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies, until firm around the edges and golden on top, about 12 minutes. (I actually decided to bake for 9 minutes on the second batch and preferred that). Remove baking sheets from the oven immediately and cool the cookies for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks with a spatula to cool.

**Specialty's version of this cookie is tall and rectangular. If you prefer that shape then mold the chilled dough into a 2" x 2" rectangular log and cut into 1.5" pieces to form the cookie. (I will try this note from the original author next time, I think).