When in Doubt…Leave it at 350

baking, cooking, and other adventures

Tuesdays With Dorie: Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies March 20, 2013

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This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie is being hosted by Peggy of Galettista. She is hosting the recipe for Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies which is located on page 330 in Baking With Julia.

I know I have made cookies similar to these, so I was trying to be careful with regard to using espresso powder instead of instant coffee. There was also the optional addition of dried apricots to the dough, but since I didn’t have any on hand and I knew Mike probably wouldn’t appreciate the apricots, I left those out. I did use a combination of dark chocolate and white chocolate since I didn’t exactly have a pound of dark to go around. That would be because I baked Mike chocolate chip cookies a week or so ago using the NY Times Recipe.

I also baked up these pretty little Beurre de Sel Jammers courtesy of Dorie and Bon Appetit

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So we have had A LOT of cookies in our house as of late, and they have all tasted great. Mike really liked the Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies even with the addition of white chocolate. The only other change I made to the recipe was to only use 1 teaspoon of espresso powder that I sifted. I decided to sift the powder because we had an incident with chunks of coffee catching you off guard from another time that I made cookies.

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Tuesdays With Dorie: Croissants March 5, 2013

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This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie recipe is CROISSANTS, which is being hosted by Amanda of Girl+Food=Love. This recipe is located on pages 185-186 in Baking With Julia, if you cruise on over to Amanda’s page it should also be there.

I have actually made croissants before, so I knew a couple of tricks that I didn’t know the first time that helped me out here. Mainly, if the recipe says to refrigerate the laminated dough (butter already incorporated) while doing the turns, you might want to only do half of the the time because you run the risk of the butter getting too cold and cracking while you are rolling it out. Which doesn’t make a pretty croissant, but it does taste good.

With this recipe it actually takes a couple of days to complete because you make the base of the dough, refrigerate it for 8 hours or overnight, add butter/laminate/do turns, rise for 3-4 hours, and finally form and bake. I think the hardest thing for me during the recipe was rolling the dough out. I was having a hell of a time, and getting a constant workout. But it probably doesn’t help that I had recently taken a 3 hour Glucose Test and my arms were bruised up (FYI I passed).

The first half of the dough, I accidentally made really small croissants. I had them rising on the counter for 3-4 hours and they really didn’t rise too much, but I baked them anyways. They looked okay, but they weren’t nice and fluffy. I did this part while my daughter was taking a nap. She decided to take a really short one so I was unable to roll out the other half of the dough until she went to bed later that night. So at 10 pm I rolled out the rest of the dough. I made 2 chocolate croissants and the rest plain, and I actually made them bigger this time. I wasn’t about to stay up for 4 more hours because I am almost 30 weeks pregnant and chasing around a toddler all day is exhausting. So I decided to do an experiment. I left the dough on the counter overnight to let it rise. Ten hours later, at 8 am, I walked into the kitchen to bake them off. They had rose beautifully and looked great, and they baked up perfect.

Now I just need to practice forming the croissants so that I get the more traditional look.