Tag Archives: Chocolate

Kitchen Sink Cookies


Kitchen Sink Cookies

Tis’ the season for baking, oh heck with it, any season is the right time to bake.

But this time of the year we I tend to bake a lot more.   One of my favorite cookies is the Kitchen Sink Cookie.   At least that is what I call it.   I use the leftover coconut from another recipe, the rest of the bag of craisins, any nuts I have in the cupboard, sometimes chopped up dried fruit.  It really does not matter.   It’s all good.
I’m also not that fond of Chocolate Chip cookies but my DH loves Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies so I compromise.   I make a base Oatmeal cookie, divide it and make some cookies for him, and some for me.

Oatmeal Cookies
1 ½ cup butter (can use only 1 cup if you prefer)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar (I use dark brown sugar, cause I like it, oh and if you don’t have any brown sugar, make your own by adding a tbsp. of Molasses to a cup of white sugar)
2 eggs
1-2 tbsp. Kahlua (most recipes call for vanilla extract, but I use Kahlua for this, I like the nuance it brings to the cookie, but go ahead and use your own home made vanilla)
4 cups oats
1 ½ cups flour
½ tsp. Salt (opt.)
1 tbsp. baking soda
1 cup Chocolate Chips
1 cup chopped nuts, walnuts, pecans or whatever you have
1 cup coconut
1 cup craisons or raisins or dried fruit, whatever you have on hand.
Dump the sugar and butter into the mixmaster, or just beat it until the sugar has begun to break down and the mixture starts to lighten a little in color.

Add eggs, one at a time or both at the same time and beat in.

Add the Kahlua at this point, it also helps the sugar break down a little. I like the sugar to be as smooth as possible before I add the rest of the ingredients.

I think it makes for a lighter, crispier cookie.  I will take a smidge out and check the batter to see if the sugar has dissolved.  OK, so I taste it, but don’t do like me if you’re pregnant or ill, just in case.  It does have raw egg in there.

Once that is done, add the oats, flour and baking soda, and the salt as well if you use it. Personally I do a lot of salt free cooking and the salt in the butter is more than sufficient for my taste.

And now for the fun. My DH likes Oatmeal Choc Chip cookies, but I don’t so at this point I divide the dough in half. I add one cup or so of chocolate chips to his half of the dough and mix it together.

At this point I dump the cookie dough onto a long piece of plastic wrap, and make it into a long roll. I put it in the fridge and proceed with the other half of the dough.

Next, I take the other half of the dough and dump in whatever I have on hand, one cup of nuts, one cup of coconut, one cup of dried craisins, or raisins or … even some chopped up dried apricots, peaches or what ever you have on hand.

Now you know why it’s called a Kitchen Sink cookie, anything goes.  I then form this into a log and place it in the fridge to firm up for a little while.

Take out your cookie rolls in an hour or so and slice with a very sharp knife into slices.

Squish them down a little,  and place on a cookie sheet and back in a preheated 350 deg oven for about 15 minutes, or until they’re done to your taste.

Pour yourself a nice glass of milk or in my case a fresh cup of coffee and sit down for a minute and enjoy your treat. In fact, that’s what I’m about to go and do.

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Cream Puffs, Eclairs and other good stuff.


I just know you ran right out to the fridge, grabbed out some eggs and butter and flour and tried to make the Choux Pastry, and now you’re wondering what to do with it.   You have these wonderful little golden puffs, (and if you haven’t sampled one by now, I want to know why?), and need to fill them with something good.

In our house we love Eclairs and Cream Puffs, and I make them from time to time.    One  of the things I love about Choux Paste is that you can make a batch of these little puffs, and you don’t need to finish them off right away, they freeze, and freeze well.   So if you’re in the mood for an Eclair or a Cream Puff, just grab a few out of the freezer and let them sit on the counter after you’ve prepared the fillings.  By the time you get a pastry bag filled, the puffs will have thawed enough to work with.

There are two ways of filling a Puff.   One is by cutting it in half, squirting in the whipped cream or Creme Patisserie or custard, then placing the top back on and finishing them off.   My favorite though is to get a pastry bag with a large round tip, inserting the tip into the side of the puff and filling them that way.   Much more fun, and it cuts out a step.

Filling for Choux Paste

Sweet Side
Sweetened Whipped Cream
Creme Patiserrie
Custard
Chocolate Custard
Ice Cream

 Savory Side
Chicken Salad
Ham Salad
Crab Salad
Shrimp Salad

Honestly, you are limited only by your imagination as to what you use to fill your puffs with.
Here’s my favorite filling.   But if you have your own favorite custard sauce or custard recipe, by all means use it.

2 cups milk, heated
3 egg yolks
4 tablespoons sugar
2-4 tablespoons Cornstarch  (depending on how thick you want the custard)
1/2 -1 tsp Vanilla, or my favourite, Kahlua Liqueur

Beat eggs yolks with sugar and corn starch until well mixed.   Strain them if you like at this point to get that pesky little bit of egg white that always clings to the yolk out.    Set aside for a minute or two while heating the milk.     Temper the eggs by pouring a little of the heated milk into it, then add a little more, whisking it well each time.    Then add the tempered egg mixture into the heated milk, whisking it well.   You don’t want to scramble the eggs yolks by pouring them directly into the hot milk, which is why you temper the eggs with some of the hot milk first.    Heat to a boil, whisking it all the time, let cook for about 30-45 seconds, then remove from heat.   It should be fairly thick.   This will thicken some upon standing.    Pour into a bowl, then cover it with plastic wrap, pressing it down onto the surface.   This prevents a skin from forming.   At this point you can place it into the fridge and let it cool down completely, or to hasten the cooling, just put your bowl on a bed of ice, and let sit for about ten minutes or so.   Then take off the plastic wrap and stir, replacing it after you stir.  It should be cool enough to pipe into the puffs after about 20 minutes.

Then just place the tip of the filled pastry bag that you just filled with your Creme Patisserie, into the puff and squeeze, filling the puff as you are drawing out the tip.   Top with some melted chocolate if you like and set it into the fridge to finish cooling.

 

To make the chocolate topping, just microwave a couple of squares of baking chocolate, til it’s softened, stir in one tablespoon of unsalted butter, mix thoroughly, then use a spoon or pastry brush to add a little chocolate to the top of the puffs.  And VOILA! you have an Eclair, or just a cream filled puff.   Call it whatever you like.

 

And if you want this puffs to do double duty just fill them with your favorite chicken or ham or seafood salad.

Filled with some lovely Chicken Salad, each one pretty much bite size.

Now doesn’t this look like a fun appetizer or dessert?

I’ll be posting a couple more ideas you can make with Choux Paste a little later on.

For now, go and practice making some custard.  One nice thing about custard, if you don’t make it exactly right you can always eat the evidence.   No one has to know, it will be between you and your scale or …