Chocolate Easter Nests

I’ve been so in love with this idea since I first saw it two years ago. It has probably already circled the internet a few times, but if you haven’t, by chance, seen it, I would say this might be the one Easter idea that is worth doing, especially if you are short on time. In fact, I am thinking of having these be my kids’ Easter baskets this year–small, simple, beautiful, and ready to fill with a few candies and eggs.

This recipe comes from Alice Medrich, who I think is incredible, and I originally saw it on Food52. I used to do a lot of candy making at Easter–caramel and peanut butter eggs, molded chocolates, homemade Peep-type things, but now I really just do this and some breads. It’s the right amount. And again, so pretty.

Chocolate Easter Nests

  • 4 ounces (115 grams) dark chocolate or 6 ounces (170 grams) milk chocolate, chopped [I ended up adjusting a little according to the look, too]
  • 4 to 6 cups thin salted pretzel sticks (such as Snyder’s of Hanover)
  • Equipment: Two-quart stainless steel bowl to use as a mold
  1. To prepare the mold, press a sheet of plastic wrap across the bottom and up the sides of the bowl, as smoothly as possible and with as few air bubbles as possible, letting the ends hang over the bowl. If necessary, press another sheet into the bowl crosswise to cover any bare sides of the bowl. Tip: If you wipe the bowl with a damp sponge or cloth, it will help to adhere the plastic a little better, but be sure that chocolate never comes in contact with a moist surface. And no, foil is not better for lining the mold!
  2. Put the chocolate in another (clean, dry) medium stainless steel bowl. Bring about an inch of water to a simmer in a wide skillet. For dark chocolate, set the bowl directly in the water and adjust the heat so that the water is not quite simmering. For milk chocolate, turn the heat off under the skillet and wait 60 seconds before setting the bowl of chocolate in the water. [If you’re familiar with melting chocolate in the microwave, it’s also very doable and easy. Just microwave only in 30 second segments, stirring between each turn. It doesn’t take long and requires attention not to scorch, but it can be easier.]
  3. Stir the chocolate frequently with a clean, dry spatula until the it’s melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the water and let the chocolate cool to lukewarm, (about 90° F–this will temper the chocolate relatively well, too, so you don’t have white streaks). Pour about 4 cups of the pretzels into the chocolate. Use a rubber spatula to turn the pretzels gently in the chocolate until they are completely coated; add more pretzels if you can, as long as you can get them coated. It’s okay if some of the pretzel shows through the chocolate, but they should be coated and the chocolate should still be sticky. Continue to turn the chocolate-coated pretzels in the bowl until the chocolate seems a little thicker and cooler, but not yet starting to set.
  4. Use your fingers to arrange the pretzels in the bottom and up the sides of the lined mold.
  5. Refrigerate to set the chocolate. To unmold, lift the plastic liner out of the bowl. Set the basket down on a serving platter and peel the plastic gently away from the pretzels. Serve filled with chocolate truffles, stemmed strawberries, or other treats.

Salted Caramel Meringues

This is the recipe that popped out at me when I opened Erin McDowell’s The Fearless Baker. This book is full of fun and beautiful recipes, and I have already made a couple, but this one is a good one for a few pantry staples (especially if you happen to have salted caramel sitting in your fridge–which luckily, I did), so it might inspire those of us who are rather homebound.

My main alteration for next time would be to play with the baking times. I’ve liked baking meringues hot and fast rather than low and long (doesn’t that sound very 21st C.?) because I’m not a great ahead-of-time thinker and I’ve had terrific luck with it (like my Christmas Dream Drops), but I did as the recipe suggested here and went for low and long. It didn’t work great–I probably pulled the pans too soon, and the meringues collapsed. They tasted great and were still pretty, but I will go longer next time, or go fast and hot. Haven’t decided yet. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these beautiful little cookies! My twelve-year-old is already asking for them again . . .

Salted Caramel Meringues

4 large egg whites
1/4 t. cream of tartar
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/4 t. fine sea salt
1 c. Salted Caramel Sauce

Preheat the oven to 325. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer), whip the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until lightly foamy. Raise the mixer speed to high and add the sugar in a slow, steady stream. Continue whipping until the meringue holds medium peaks, 5-7 minutes. Add the vanilla and salt and mix to combine, about 1 minute.

Gently scoop the meringue onto the prepared sheets using a scoop or two spoons to create 1/4 c. dollops, leaving 1 1/2 inches between each. Use a small offset spatula to slightly flatten the mounds, keeping them circular. [I didn’t flatten them, but I did depress a mound in the center and then filled it with the sauce, and then swirled.]

Drizzle 2 teaspoons of the caramel sauce over each meringue (you can transfer the caramel to a disposable pastry bag to do this, or just use a spoon), then use the tip of a paring knife to gently swirl them together, keeping the swirl to one or two wide strokes (the more you swirl the more likely the meringues will deflate).

Transfer the meringues to the oven, lower the oven temperature to 250 and bake until the meringues are very dry to the touch (the caramel will melt slightly into the cookies.) How long this takes depends on how dry the weather is–anywhere between 45-90 minutes [aim for the longer–I live in a dry desert climate, and it wasn’t fully done at 60 min.]. When the meringues are dry, turn off the oven and leave the sheets in the oven until the cookies and sheets cool completely.

Salted Caramel Sauce

1 1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. corn syrup
1/4 c. water
1 t. vanilla extract
4 oz. unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
1/2 c. heavy cream
3/4 t. fine sea salt

Note: I think this is a particularly well written caramel recipe! If you’re a newcomer to caramel, the author explains the process very well.

Combine the sugar, corn syrup and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. You can stir the mixture before it boils to help dissolve the sugar, but stop stirring the moment it starts. Boil the syrup until it’s a medium amber color. Once it starts to color, tilt the pan occasionally–it’s easier to see the true color of the caramel when you’re looking at less of it (or it may seem darker than it really is). As soon as it’s close to medium amber, turn off the heat–the caramel will retain some heat, so it’s good to allow for carryover cooking.

Add the butter to the caramel and stir gently to combine. Stir in the cream (be careful–the caramel may bubble up and steam a lot. Just keep stirring and it will die down). The sauce should be smooth and creamy. If it seizes up and you see lumps of caramel that haven’t fully dissolved in the sauce, return the pan to low heat and stir occasionally, until the sauce is smooth. Stir in the salt and vanilla. Remove from heat and cool.

Besides Pumpkin

I was flipping through several cookbooks yesterday, looking for pie inspiration, but was feeling a little uninspired. Yes, pumpkin. Yes, banana cream. But what else? I looked at Martha, Chang, Poliafito and Lewis, Ko, Beranbaum, Parks, Tosi, all my usuals, but I wasn’t feeling it. Today, when I asked my kids for their thoughts, they announced they wanted all the old reliables. The ones I make every year. And, I’m actually great with that. Funny enough, they’re also all on my blog and have been for years. So, just to share some tried, true, and remarkable old reliables, here’s a list of what I’m making this year.

This is the pear custard which I’m holding in my hands and taking a picture with my old cell phone, so it looks rather unsightly. I hope it doesn’t dissuade. It’s actually super easy and delicious.

Lemon Chess Pie (my favorite, by far)

Southern Praline Pecan Pie (okay, this one might be my favorite, by far)

Pear Custard Pie (this is definitely my son’s favorite. And sometimes mine too)

Rosemary Apple Pie (sometimes I decide this is too much work, because I guess chopping rosemary just sends my brain a little over the edge, but then I’m happy I bit the bullet)

I may add another one to the lineup, like I usually do, but if so, it will be after these are baked. The extras are to leave at home, so that we don’t return from our large family dinner completely empty-handed. As much as I love bringing the pies, I always also want a slice for breakfast on Friday morning.

Hopefully this can stir the inspiration around. Happy Thanksgiving!

Roasted Peach Cobbler with Berries

I’m just happily working through many new cookbooks, and I couldn’t wait to make this peach cobbler before peaches were out of season. We actually had a fair amount of peaches off our own tree that we planted six years ago (we should have more, but it’s had quite the history, this tree!), but I didn’t quite get to making this before we’d eaten them all, so luckily peaches are still plenty available at farm stands and stores.

I have cobblers that I like and even love, but this one definitely adds to the collection, so I’m recording it. It tasted so good, I thought, I would rather eat this than pie. And that is saying something.

This recipe comes from Food and Wine, so if you want the original, follow this link. This variation includes my own innovation of strawberries and raspberries, and I doubled the cobbler to make a bigger amount. I’m wanting to remember this, so I can make it again and again and again.

Roasted Peach Cobbler

  • 8 large ripe peaches (4 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  • 4 c. fresh or frozen strawberries (slightly defrosted if frozen)
  • 1 c. fresh or frozen raspberries (slightly defrosted if frozen)
  • 3 T.  light brown sugar
  • 1  c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. kosher salt
  • 8 T. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream, for serving
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic syrup (I haven’t tried yet, but it sounds delicious!)

Preheat the broiler on high and position a rack about 6 inches from the heat. In a large bowl, toss the peaches with the brown sugar and scrape them onto a rimmed baking sheet. Broil the peaches for about 15 minutes, flipping them halfway through, until caramelized and juicy. Let the peaches cool slightly. Lower the oven temperature to 375°.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda and salt. Add the butter and, with your fingers, rub it into the mixture evenly. Stir in the egg yolks and vanilla. Refrigerate the crumb topping.

In a bowl, toss the cooled peaches with the lemon juice, and add strawberries and raspberries; divide among 12 8-ounce ramekins (or bake in a large 9x 13 pan for 35 minutes).  Sprinkle with the crumb topping and bake until the topping is golden and the fruit is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve with the vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of the balsamic syrup.

Swedish Gingerbread

While my memory serves me, and before winter expires, I’m chronicling some of the more memorable holiday baking I did. Hopefully this will make next year easier, unless I decide to reinvent the wheel, like usual.

We did a couple of things this Christmas to celebrate my family’s Swedish ancestry, including a family gathering that spotlighted Swedish Christmas food. I had clipped this recipe from a Saveur magazine years ago, but hadn’t yet made it, so it was finally time. There were a lot of desserts at the gathering (that’s how we celebrate!) so I was surprised to see that so many of these delightful cookies had been eaten. I worried that the amount of cloves would deter the kids, but quite the opposite: it made them distinctive and delightful. I can’t wait to make them again. A new Christmas favorite! Saveur reports getting this recipe from an 80-year-old bakery in Stockholm called Vete-Katten. Worth a visit!

swedish gingerbread saveur

Swedish Gingerbread Cookies

34 c. flour
3 t. ground cloves
12 t. ground cinnamon
12 t. ground ginger
14 t. baking soda
11 T. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. packed dark brown sugar
12 c. golden syrup or dark corn syrup
12 c. heavy cream
2 c. confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 t. fresh lemon juice
1 egg white, lightly beaten

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and baking soda; set aside. In another large bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and golden syrup using a handheld mixer set to medium speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy, 1–2 minutes. Add the reserved spice mixture and the heavy cream in 3 alternating batches, beginning and ending with the spice mixture, until the dough just combines. Transfer dough to a work surface, divide in half, and shape each half into a flat disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 1 hour. (Can be refrigerated for up to 2 days, and in fact, we still rolled some out 5 days later, and they were great.)
  2. Heat oven to 350°. Unwrap 1 disk of dough and place on a floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll dough to a 1⁄8″ thickness. Cut out cookies using the cookie cutters of your choice and place cookies 2″ apart on parchment paper–lined baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough, rerolling scraps. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until browned and set, about 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.
  3. To make an icing, if you like, whisk confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and egg white in a medium bowl until smooth. Transfer icing to a resealable plastic bag (or a pastry bag). Snip off a bottom corner of the bag and pipe icing onto cookies in a decorative pattern.

Coconut & Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pistachio Chocolate ChipI picked up a cookbook recently called Sugar & Spice (by Sarah Seneviratne), thinking it would have ideas right up my alley, and though I haven’t found myself in it very often, I was so happy to try this amazing recipe. The author calls this her “go-to” chocolate chip, rather than selling it as a riff on the classic. When I tried it, I thought, “yeah, this could be a new ‘go-to’ but it also is so unique!” So, I’ve renamed them to reveal a little more of what they bring to the table. Even so, my name also doesn’t give them full disclosure, because it doesn’t incorporate how much the vanilla shines through and carries the flavors together. This might be my favorite part! 

In terms of the kid factors, everyone but my littlest (who is only vanilla, all the time) loved them. That is high marks, especially because pistachios aren’t really everyday around here. So, if you’re in the process of expanding your chocolate chip recipe repertoire, here’s yet another for your basket, and it really is a keeper. 

Coconut & Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 c. (4 1/2 oz.) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 c. melted virgin coconut oil
  • 1/3 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate (60 to 70 percent cacao), chopped (about 1 c.)
  • 2 1/2 oz. (1/2 c.) shelled raw pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1 c. (3 oz.) shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted
  • Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling (optional but I chose without)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, combine the coconut oil, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until creamy. Stir in the vanilla and egg. Add the flour mixture to the coconut oil mixture and stir to combine. Fold in the chocolate, pistachios, and coconut.
  3. Scoop the dough in 2-tablespoon scoops and place on the prepared baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart. Sprinkle each cookie with a bit of sea salt. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. Let the cookies cool on the sheets on racks for about 5 minutes.

 

Lemon and Blueberry Teacakes

 

Lemon and Blueberry Teacakes

I was so excited to buy Ottolenghi’s new baking book, Sweet, in late fall, but have found myself so busy that I haven’t baked from it yet. Recently, though, when I was looking for a good springtime treat to share with friends, I came upon this recipe from that book. It looked terrific, and it tasted even better. I even got rave reviews from the piano movers who happened to be at our house when the cakes came out of the oven.  And since many of house in my house are lemon lovers, I’m sure I’ll use it frequently. (Note: I usually buy almond flour at Costco these days, if you are looking for an affordable and easy option.)

Lemon Blueberry Teacakes

Makes about 12 cupcakes

3/4 c. + 1 1/2 T. (190 g) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
1/4 c. + 1 T. (45g) all-purpose flour
2 c. (190g) ground almonds
3/4 c. +  3 1/2 T. (190g) sugar
4 eggs
1/4 c. (60 ml) lemon juice
finely grated zest of one lemon
1/4 t. salt (the original amount is 1/8)
1/4 t. baking powder
2/3 c. (100g) blueberries

Glaze:
a few squeezes of lemon juice
freshly grated lemon zest of one lemon (my addition)
1 1/3 c. (160g) icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (180°). Grease all 12 molds of a regular muffin pan with butter and dust lightly but thoroughly with flour. Tap away any excess and set aside.

Place the butter, granulated sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment in place. Beat on medium-high speed until light, then add the eggs and almond meal in three or four alternating batches. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl, then add this to the mixer and turn the speed to low. Finally, add the lemon juice and eat until combined. Spoon the mixture into the molds and divide the 2/3 c. blueberries between the cakes: push them down slightly so that they sink into the batter. The reason we do this is to ensure that each cake gets an equal number of berries.

 

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes before tapping them out gently onto a cooling rack so that they are sitting upside down. Cool completely.

To make the icing: combine the confectioners’ sugar and zest and juice in a bowl and stir until it has a thick pouring consistency. Spoon the icing over the cakes and dot the remaining blueberries in the center (or strawberries!). Serve.

Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats

Rice Krispie Brown Butter

If you’ve had a rice krispie treat that tastes different, and significantly better, than the ones that are typical, I bet that this is recipe that you’ve tried. This is the kind of rice krispie treat that gets accused of being laced with some other type of illegal substance, because it’s so addicting and so good. And since I’m already perhaps one of the biggest fans of these crazy simple, crazy good desserts, I’m an even bigger fan of these. So, for all my Texan cousins out there, here you go! I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. The recipe comes from Joanne Chang’s Flour cookbook, one of my favorite baking books out there. Also, when I’m making these for a large crowd, I double the recipe and put them in a half-sheet tray, which is 18″ by 13″.

Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 vanilla bean [watch for these at Costco during the holidays, or buy at Amazon]
  • 2 10-oz bags marshmallows
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 9 cups crispy rice cereal (I actually use a little more than this, maybe 1/2 to 1 cup more)

Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray [I line it with aluminum foil and then spray the aluminum foil so I don’t have to wash the pan and I can lift them out easier].

Add the butter to a large saucepan set over low heat [I set it at medium-low]. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan with the butter. The butter will melt then begin to bubble and foam [it will sound like people applauding for a little while, and then it will stop. Once the noise has stopped, swirl the pan and watch carefully]. Eventually it will start to turn brown and smell nutty – be patient and watch carefully, it can go from brown to burned quickly.

Once the butter is browned, add all of the marshmallows and the salt. Stir the mixture constantly until the marshmallows are completely melted. Turn off the heat under the pan and add the cereal. Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to coat the cereal evenly with the buttery, marshmallow liquid. Spread the mixture in an even layer in the prepared baking pan. Let cool for at least an hour before cutting and serving. You can store the treats in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days.

Chocolate & Cream Yule Log

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The Christmas and New Year Season has died down, the kids and my husband and I are all back in school, and I’m finally getting a moment to record the fun baking we did at Christmas this year. My favorite part: the Buche de Noel. This Christmas cake is a tradition my dad brought home with him from France, and he’s usually the one who bakes it each year, but I was excited that he let me make it this year.

I found this recipe in one of the funnest baking books I own, called Baked. I will include their directions, though I changed them a bit. I’m not as big of a fan of malted milk balls as they are, so I substituted chestnut paste  (which is a more traditional French flavor) and I also made it into the more traditional log instead of a stump. Otherwise, I was super happy with how it turned out. Hope it goes this well again next year!

Chocolate & Cream Yule Log

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 pound bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 1/4 cup of hot water (I would cut this down to 1 T. next time. I thought it was the dominant flavor as is)
  • 1 dozen large eggs, at room temperature, separated
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Malted Buttercream and Dark Chocolate Buttercream
  • Meringue mushrooms, candied cranberries and candied rosemary sprigs, for garnish (optional; see Note)

Preheat the oven to 350. Butter two 12-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheets and line them with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on all of the short sides. Butter the paper and dust with flour.

In a small bowl, whisk the 1 cup of flour with the cocoa and salt. In another small bowl, combine the chocolate and espresso. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, combine the egg yolks with 2/3 cup of the sugar. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Transfer the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk and beat at high speed until the yolks are pale and thick, about 5 minutes. Beat in the melted chocolate mixture along with the vanilla. Transfer to a large bowl.

Thoroughly wash and dry the mixer bowl and the whisk. Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar on moderately high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 2/3 cup of sugar and continue beating at high speed until the whites are glossy, about 2 minutes longer. Whisk one-fourth of the egg whites into the cake batter, then fold in the remaining whites until no streaks remain.

In a small bowl, whisk the melted butter with 1/2 cup of the batter; fold this mixture into the batter. Working in 2 batches, sift the cocoa powder mixture over the batter and gently fold it in. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, spreading it out to fill the pans. Bake for about 18 minutes, until the cake feels springy and dry; shift the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. Transfer the pans to racks to cool completely. Run the tip of a knife around the edges, cover with parchment paper and a baking sheet and invert; peel off the parchment on top.

Spread the Malted Buttercream over the cakes. Using a ruler, cut each cake precisely in half lengthwise, cutting through the paper; you should have four 6-by-17-inch strips of cake. Roll one strip into a tight coil, leaving the paper behind. Roll the 3 remaining cake strips around the coil in the same way to form a very wide, short jelly roll. Set the cake on a large plate, spiraled end up. Frost the outside of the cake with the Dark Chocolate Buttercream. Refrigerate until set, at least 8 hours. Decorate the cake with meringue mushrooms, cranberries and rosemary sprigs and serve, cutting the cake into wedges or horizontal slices.

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Chocolate & Malted Buttercream

  • 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup malt powder, dissolved in 2 tablespoons of hot water
  • 12 malted milk balls, crushed (I used chestnut paste instead. Or, I think I would just use vanilla bean paste)

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, combine the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the egg whites are just warm to the touch. Return the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk. Add the vanilla and beat the egg whites at high speed until firm and glossy, about 5 minutes. With the machine on, whisk in the butter a few tablespoons at a time. If the mixture begins to look curdled, continue to beat until smooth before adding more butter. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the buttercream to a bowl and whisk in the melted chocolate. Beat the dissolved malt powder into the remaining buttercream, then beat in the milk balls.

 

Nibby Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nibby Chocolate Chips

Have I mentioned that I like to try new recipes? Even if I have four chocolate chip cookies that are my favorite? (If you’re interested in the lineup, this includes an old  ATKs, and Josey Baker’s, which is so amazing, and the 100% whole wheat from Good to the Grain, and King Arthur’s one with a little bit of oatmeal, making it awesomely chewy.) Well, since I got a new little baking book, Bake Good Things, I had to try it’s chocolate chip cookie, because it’s new. And, I like new, because it either reaffirms that I do indeed already have the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, or it adds something that the other recipes don’t quite have. This recipe, for example, is extremely loaded with chocolate, and it is much crisper than the other recipes I love. But I switched things a bit by   replacing some of the chips with cocoa nibs, to see if it changed the chocolate flavor in an interesting way, as well as give it a little crunch. Yes on both.  So, if you also want to try something new with your chocolate chip cookie, here’s a good one! 

Nibby Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/4 cups (6 1/2 oz./200 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz./105 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
6 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (15 oz./470 g) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup cocoa nibs (can substitute for chocolate chips, or buy them quite easily on Amazon!)

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix on low speed until blended. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir in the chocolate chips and nibs.

Using a small ice cream scoop or heaping tablespoon, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the dough mounds 2 inches (5 cm) apart. (For crisper cookies, drop by teaspoonful.)

Bake the cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until the bottoms and edges are lightly browned and the tops feel firm when lightly touched, 10-13 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Makes 30 cookies.

NIbby Chocolate Chips 2