Monday, September 15, 2014

Seriously Delish Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

This post is making me so happy...and I'm only on the first sentence. ;)  Today, we're talking about a fantastic new cookbook, we're talking about chocolate chip cookies...and well, we might even see a fluffy kitty.  See?  So much to be happy about.
Seriously Delish: 150 Recipes for People Who Totally Love Food

Seriously Delish: 150 Recipes for People Who Totally Love Food is the first cookbook (I predict of many) from Jessica Merchant of How Sweet Eats.  I've been a fan of Jessica's for...forever.  I love her recipes, many from her blog have become staples in our house.  I love her fun style of writing.  I love that Jessica LOVES FOOD.

whole wheat chocolate chip cookies from the Seriously Delish cookbook
I've already made 4 recipes from her book...we have loved each of them.  Last week, kiddo had a friend over for dinner and I made the Green Chili Turkey & White Bean Enchiladas. I think we demolished the entire pan in 5 minutes.  So good.
We'll be talking about those Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies more in a minute.

Here's a little peek inside:
Seriously Delish: 150 Recipes for People Who Totally Love Food ... cookbook review
When I read it, I really felt like Jessica was hanging out with me in my kitchen.  Such an engaging and personable read...I love that in a cookbook.

Seriously Delish: 150 Recipes for People Who Totally Love Food ... cookbook review
The photography is beautiful.  Not only did Jessica develop the recipes, she did her own photography.  Multi-talented, that one.

Jessica has this knack for creating recipes that are unique and modern and fresh, but still keeping them simple enough to make every day.  Next on my list:  Amaretto-Butternut Squash Soup with Cinnamon Toast Croutons (!!!), Parmesan-Pistachio Kale Chips, and the Fleur de Sel Caramel Bourbon Brownie Milkshakes (oh. MY. gosh.).

kitty reads a cookbook
Spike was very interested in the Buffalo Chicken Pizza.

fluffy kitty reviews a cookbook ;)
He REALLY likes this book. 

The cookies.  In my option, there is nothing better than a chocolate chip cookie.  Nothing.  Well, maybe the dough before it's baked, but basically nothing.  A cookie that is made with whole wheat and oat flour, though?  That might even be better than the original.
whole wheat chocolate chip cookies from the Seriously Delish cookbook
I felt so good about eating all that whole wheat that I ate a few extras purely for the health benefits.
You say multi-vitamin, I say cookie.  Tomato, to-mah-to.

whole wheat chocolate chip cookies from the Seriously Delish cookbook
print recipe photo printrecipe.jpg

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

{reprinted with permission from Seriously Delish}

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
1/3 cup oat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 TBSP (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup loosely packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli Bittersweet)

Preheat oven to 350.  In a bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter on medium until smooth and creamy.  Add both sugars and beat on high speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and beat until combined, another 2 to 3 minutes.  Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed.

With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients.  Mix until just combined.  Use a large spoon to stir in the chocolate chips.

Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the dough (I used a cookie scoop) and roll it into a ball.  Place the dough balls on nonstick baking sheets 2 inches apart.  Bake until cookies are set around the edges and slightly golden, 10-12 minutes.  Allow the cookies to cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then remove them with a spatula and place on a cooling rack.

whole wheat chocolate chip cookies from the Seriously Delish cookbook
Yeah, they ARE delish!

Seriously Delish: 150 Recipes for People Who Totally Love Food ... cookbook review
So, Seriously Delish?  You want it.  Oh!  And, check to see if Jessica is coming to your town on her book tour.  I went to the one in Houston, and not only is Jessica a doll, but the entire crowd was just so delightful.  I feel sure it's the same in every city...Jessica brings the fun with her.

spike the cat ♥
Seriously Delish.  Mom tested, kitty approved. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sweet on Trader Joe's Saturday: Brownie Truffle Baking Mix

Time to review a little something new this of Trader Joe's baking mixes.
trader joe's truffle brownie mix ... yay or nay?
We've never tried a TJ's baking mix before, but I always think it's a good idea to have a brownie mix in the pantry for emergencies. 

Trader Joe's Brownie Truffle Baking Mix makes an 8x8" pan of brownies.  The mix is made with Dutch cocoa and chocolate chips, and the box costs $2.99.

The brownies are easy to mix up, just add eggs and melted butter.

trader joe's truffle brownie mix ... yay or nay?
A mom's (my) take: It's hard to make a bad brownie...and these are not bad at all, just not my favorite.  The brownies came out really dry around the edges and on the top.  I like a fudgy, shiny-topped brownie.  (The instructions were very specific about using a toothpick to test for doneness in "several locations." I don't normally do this with brownies, especially ones with chocolate chips like these. I think this is why they came out a bit dry.)  The center was tasty, but I ended up tossing the dry edges.  This mix won't be the one I keep in my pantry for dessert emergencies.
Overall rating: 3 of 5 stars

A teenager's (kiddo's) take: Like my mom, I prefer a chewier, softer brownie. However, these brownies are amazing if you are a "dry brownie" person. The chocolate is actually very rich and flavorful, even though the brownies themselves are a bit dry.
Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

trader joe's truffle brownie mix ... yay or nay?

Trader Joe's Brownie Truffle Baking Mix: not bad, not great.

Want to see more of our reviews of Trader Joe's desserts?  Click here.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Life is just a bowl of cherries (cookies).

I have been the biggest cherry lover for the longest time.  I guess it all stems back from my days working for Mary Engelbreit.  You just can't get those cherries out of your system. ;)

decorated cookies with cherries and polka dots!
These cookies are for a little project I'm working on (more on that later!), and I didn't intend to post these on the blog.  BUT!!!  You guys...I just couldn't not post them.  Those cherries with the yellow and the dots just speak to my soul.

No step-by-step photos for these, but I'll walk you through how to make them.

decorated cookies with cherries and polka dots!

To make the cherry cookies, you'll need:

  • heart and scalloped oval cut-out cookies
  • royal icing, divided and tinted with AmeriColor Egg Yellow, Bright White, Super Red, and Leaf Green
  • couplers and tips, #2, #5, and leaf
  • disposable icing bags
  • squeeze bottles

1. Outline the cookies in the base color using a #2 tip.  (Reserve some of this white icing.)

2. Thin the remaining yellow and white icings with water, a bit at a time, stirring with a silicone spatula, until it is the consistency of a thick syrup.  You'll want to drop a "ribbon" of icing back into the bowl and have it disappear in a count of "one thousand one, one thousand two." Four is too thick, one is too thin.  Count of 2-3 is good.  Cover with a damp dishcloth and let sit for several minutes.
Stir gently with a silicone spatula to pop and large air bubbles that have formed.  Pour into squeeze bottles.

3. Fill in the outlines with the thinned icing, working 6-8 cookies at a time.  Use a toothpick to guide the icing to the edges and to pop large air bubbles.

4. Starting with the first cookie filled, drop dots of the contrasting color onto the wet icing.  Let the cookies dry for at least one hour.

5. Thin the red icing as above, but don't thin it as much.  Draw a knife through the center of the icing.  You'll want it to come back together in a count of 20 seconds.  Do the same with the reserved white icing.

decorated cookies with cherries and polka dots!
6. Pour the icing into a piping bag fitted with a #5 tip.  Pipe cherries onto the cookies.  With a #2 tip, add the detail on the cherries with the white icing.

7. Use a #2 tip to add the cherry stems in green.  Switch the tip to a leaf tip and add a leaf.

8. Let the cookies dry uncovered, 6-8 hours or overnight.
decorated cookies with cherries and polka dots!
I now return you to pumpkin season.

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