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Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

October 23, 2017 Leave your thoughts Print this page

Hello again, friends! I’ve been cooking up a storm, so I’m back again for another post. I hope you’re ready for some fat, decadent cookies.

In other news, it’s October, but still feels like summer. What gives, New York? (Or more like, what gives, climate change?) I’ve got a pile of sweaters in my closet just waiting to be worn, but the weather refuses to budge away from tank top temperatures. UGH.

While this complaint is justifiable — it shouldn’t be 75 degrees in the second half of October — part of the problem is that I’m an incredibly impatient person. I always have been: patience is an Achilles heel of mine. As I child, I couldn’t last for more than 45 minutes in a museum or aquarium. I’d work myself up into a tizzy if I didn’t know what I was doing each day. Lines and long car rides were the death of me (and my poor parents).

Patience is something I’ve been coming back to again and again recently. Because lately, I’ve been especially antsy about getting things to happen.

Everything I do is fast. I walk fast. I talk fast. I jump into friendships fast. I make decisions fast. I get tests done fast. I practice yoga fast. My brain is constantly going at lightning speed, quickly bouncing from one thing to the next. It doesn’t help that I live in New York City, one of the most fast-paced environments in the world. Simply stepping out my door makes me want to move and think even faster.

Slowing down is honestly so challenging for me. I wish I was some chill, laid-back girl-next-door who could just be spontaneous with life. But alas, I’m not she, nor will I ever be she.

And you know what? That’s okay. Being an energetic planner means that I’m great at initiating, whether that be in conversations or lunch dates. It means I give a shit about getting shit done. Authenticity is my jam, and I will never stray from who I am just because I’m not “chill” enough.

That being said, we all have things we could and should work on, and one of mine is definitely patience. I need to be more patient with people: friendships take time, and everyone has flaws and approaches things differently. I need to be more patient with life: love will find me when the time is right, when the person is right. And I need to be more patient with myself: lessons cannot be learned overnight, and something like anxiety takes a lifetime to conquer.

But one place where I can definitely exercise patience? The kitchen!

I personally see cooking as a laboratory for things I need to work out in my life. (Perhaps this is why I always hide in the kitchen when I get stressed out?) So this week, I worked out some impatience by baking some cookies that needed to chill in the fridge for a few hours before baking. (See the theme?)

No matter how you prepare them, cookies are delicious. But allowing some doughs to chill in the fridge before baking can do wonders for texture. Have you ever bitten into a thick, sensuous, chewy cookie? Part of that is likely flour content, but part of it too is that fridge time. When doughs are cooled in this fashion, the fat (butter) melts more slowly in the oven, thus preventing the cookies from becoming flat and crunchy.

And who would want a flat, crunchy cookie when you could have a sumptuous mouthful of peanut butter and chocolate?

These are pretty straightforward. My only recommendations? Use salted peanut butter. Crunchy, creamy, whatever, doesn’t matter. But please use salted. And DO NOT flatten the cookies before baking them in the oven. Drop ’em on the baking sheet and let them be. You want to maintain that magical thickness.

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Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time 15 min
Total Time 3 hr
Yield ~30 cookies

2 sticks of unsalted butter (1 cup), softened

1 1/4 cups of brown sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 cup of salted peanut butter (crunchy or smooth, up to you)

1 tbsp vanilla extract

2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt (if you aren’t into salt, use unsalted peanut butter and keep salt at this amount)

1 tsp baking soda

2 cups of dark chocolate chips or chunks

Directions

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a bowl with an electric beater), cream the butter and sugar. Scrape down the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl again. Add the peanut butter and beat until smooth. Add the vanilla and give a quick beat just to incorporate.

Add the flour, 1 cup at a time. Scrape down the bowl between each addition. During the final addition, add the salt and baking soda. The cookie dough should be quite thick: if you’re using a stand mixer, the dough should stick and hold its shape around the hook attachment. If still feeling a bit too wet, add up to 1/4 cup more flour.

If you’re good to go, fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let chill in the fridge for 1-3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with plastic wrap.

With an ice cream scoop or two large spoon, shape the cookies. Do not flatten them in any manner. Space them evenly on the baking sheet. Bake until the edges begin to turn golden brown and the middle springs back with a gentle touch, about 12-14 minutes.

Let cool slightly, then transfer to a cooling rack. Serve warm, or keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days.


Here’s to zen, my friends. Maybe one day I too can be a chilled-out cookie.


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Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

October 21, 2017 Print this page

The thickest, most decadent peanut butter cookie you will eat. Best served fresh out of the oven.

Ingredients

Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time 15 min
Total Time 3 hr
Yield ~30 cookies

2 sticks of unsalted butter (1 cup), softened

1 1/4 cups of brown sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 cup of salted peanut butter (crunchy or smooth, up to you)

1 tbsp vanilla extract

2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt (if you aren’t into salt, use unsalted peanut butter and keep salt at this amount)

1 tsp baking soda

2 cups of dark chocolate chips or chunks

Directions

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a bowl with an electric beater), cream the butter and sugar. Scrape down the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl again. Add the peanut butter and beat until smooth. Add the vanilla and give a quick beat just to incorporate.

Add the flour, 1 cup at a time. Scrape down the bowl between each addition. During the final addition, add the salt and baking soda. The cookie dough should be quite thick: if you’re using a stand mixer, the dough should stick and hold its shape around the hook attachment. If still feeling a bit too wet, add up to 1/4 cup more flour.

If you’re good to go, fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let chill in the fridge for 1-3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with plastic wrap.

With an ice cream scoop or two large spoon, shape the cookies. Do not flatten them in any manner. Space them evenly on the baking sheet. Bake until the edges begin to turn golden brown and the middle springs back with a gentle touch, about 12-14 minutes.

Let cool slightly, then transfer to a cooling rack. Serve warm, or keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days.


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Nacho Average Nachos

October 8, 2017 Leave your thoughts Print this page

Hello! I am still alive! And well! And I have a RECIPE to share on the blog?! WHAT?!

Unfortunately, Yes to Yummy has been on the back burner for the past year or so. While I have found time here and there to write about the New York delicacies I was sampling, I could rarely pull together a few hours to get myself to a kitchen, grab my camera, and write about what I was up to.

Oh yeah, and I didn’t have a kitchen in my freshman dorm. That played big role, too.

And this summer, I thought I was going to have time to cook and develop recipes. Yup, good joke. I’m pretty sure I just ate tomatoes with olive oil and salt for dinner when I’d get home at night from my full-time job.

But now I’m back in school. A good friend (and former roommate of mine) and I are living in a lovely upperclassman dorm with a wonderful kitchen. Being able to make dinner in my pajamas again has totally rocked my world.

The past month or so has reminded me why I fell in love with cooking all of those years ago. I love the process of planning, going grocery shopping, perusing the farmer’s market, preparing, eating. I love the sounds, the sights, the smells, the tastes. I love the satisfaction of feeding my friends something delicious. I love having conversations about everything under the sun at my dining table. I love having my passion back. It feels so good.

So, why nachos? There’s a story behind that.

When I was younger, I was never a fan of nachos. It was that goopy artificial cheese. From a can or something. Yuck. And I could never understand why you would purposefully ruin a wonderfully crunchy chip with tons of sub-par dairy. Needless to say nachos were not my snack of choice at the movie theater or bowling alley.

It wasn’t until my senior year of high school when my perspective changed. One night, a friend of mine and I went out to a local restaurant in the town over from ours, a healthy/vegetarian place called The Lime. I had been going there since childhood, eating their thick, warm slices of whole wheat bread and drinking glasses of carrot juice. But never before had I been there by myself, as a “kind-of-adult” who could drive and order her own food.

“We have to get the nachos,” my friend insisted, glazing over the appetizer list. “They’re amazing.”

For a moment, I resisted. I was Abby, lover of all things crispy, skeptic of sogginess and sour cream. I wasn’t a nacho fan.

But I agreed anyway. I still don’t know why. Perhaps it was because I was seventeen and itching for newness, itching to get out of my small suburban town. Everything felt repetitive and claustrophobically familiar. Maybe nachos would be my first step into the unknown, the rebellious, the reinvented.

Unfortunately, these nachos were not the cure to my teenage angst. But they knocked my socks off nonetheless.

I remember that dark brown dish landing on our table like it was yesterday. Beneath layers of melted cheddar lay succulent black beans and bits of onion. Salsa stood as a punchy sidekick, beckoning us to dip those cheese encrusted chips. We dove in with relish, and from that day forward, I was a nacho lover.

Even though high school is far behind me and that friendship is no longer, I still look back fondly on that chilly evening at The Lime. In a way, it was a small reminder that things could change, that things could get better. And they did.

And now, two years later, I’m standing in my kitchen, making nachos for myself. I’m so much happier, so much more secure in myself and my place in the world. I’ve let go of so many things I needed to put behind me. But I haven’t let go of my desire to make and eat nachos my way.

This recipe is honestly a breeze. If you’re got an oven, a nearby grocery store, and half an hour on your hands, you can get a delicious, inexpensive sheet of goodness on the table for you and several buddies. I got fancy and made my own salsa with heirloom tomatoes from the farmer’s market; if you’re lazy or short on time, just get some good salsa from the store. I love a combination of cheddar and jack cheese, but feel free to use one or the other. And yes, go ahead and put sour cream on top if you’d really like. (I’m still not a huge fan of sour cream. Some things don’t change, and that’s okay.)

Go forth my friends. Make good food for the people you love.

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Nacho Average Nachos

Ingredients

Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time 15 min
Total Time 30 min
Yield 4-6 servings

FOR THE SALSA:

2 large tomatoes, finely chopped

2-3 jalapeno peppers, seeded or not (you decide), finely chopped

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

The juice of 1-2 limes (about 2-3 tbsp)

Salt, to taste

FOR THE NACHOS:

1 15 oz can of black beans, drained

2 tsp cumin

3/4 tsp salt

1-2 tsp chili powder

4-5 cups of sturdy corn tortilla chips

1- 1 1/2 cups of mild cheddar cheese, shredded

1 cup of jack cheese, shredded

Directions

FOR THE SALSA:

In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Taste and add more salt or citrus, if necessary. Let sit for at least half an hour to let the flavors meld.

FOR THE NACHOS:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine the black beans, cumin, salt and chili powder. Cover with a lid and heat over medium. Cook until just beginning to soften, about 10-15 minutes. If the black beans start sticking to the pot, add a tablespoon or two of water to keep things smooth. Set aside.

Line the bottom of the baking sheet with a layer of tortilla chips, taking care to make sure the chips aren’t overlapping. Top with about a third of the salsa and half of the black beans. Cover with half of each of the cheeses. Add another layer of chips on top and repeat, finishing with a final layer of cheese.

Bake until the cheese melts and begins to turn golden brown, about 15 minutes. If the cheese is melted, but still looking pretty white, turn the broiler on low and watch carefully as the cheese begins to crisp up. (Be careful, though — there’s parchment under those nachos!)

Serve immediately with remaining salsa and guacamole, sour cream and/or fresh cilantro, if you’d like.


We back, ladies and gentlemen.

(What will my next recipe be? Nacho business.)


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Nacho Average Nachos

October 8, 2017 Print this page

A very easy and affordable — yet delicious — dinner. Serve with more salsa and guacamole to take your nacho experience to an ethereal place.

Ingredients

Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time 15 min
Total Time 30 min
Yield 4-6 servings

FOR THE SALSA:

2 large tomatoes, finely chopped

2-3 jalapeno peppers, seeded or not (you decide), finely chopped

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

The juice of 1-2 limes (about 2-3 tbsp)

Salt, to taste

FOR THE NACHOS:

1 15 oz can of black beans, drained

2 tsp cumin

3/4 tsp salt

1-2 tsp chili powder

4-5 cups of sturdy corn tortilla chips

1- 1 1/2 cups of mild cheddar cheese, shredded

1 cup of jack cheese, shredded

Directions

FOR THE SALSA:

In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Taste and add more salt or citrus, if necessary. Let sit for at least half an hour to let the flavors meld.

FOR THE NACHOS:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine the black beans, cumin, salt and chili powder. Cover with a lid and heat over medium. Cook until just beginning to soften, about 10-15 minutes. If the black beans start sticking to the pot, add a tablespoon or two of water to keep things smooth. Set aside.

Line the bottom of the baking sheet with a layer of tortilla chips, taking care to make sure the chips aren’t overlapping. Top with about a third of the salsa and half of the black beans. Cover with half of each of the cheeses. Add another layer of chips on top and repeat, finishing with a final layer of cheese.

Bake until the cheese melts and begins to turn golden brown, about 15 minutes. If the cheese is melted, but still looking pretty white, turn the broiler on low and watch carefully as the cheese begins to crisp up. (Be careful, though — there’s parchment under those nachos!)

Serve immediately with remaining salsa and guacamole, sour cream and/or fresh cilantro, if you’d like.


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Chocolate Mousse

May 16, 2017 Print this page

Need an easy dessert to impress your friends? Don’t have much equipment? No need to fear, chocolate mousse is here! With a straightforward list of ingredients and little work involved, this treat will both put you at ease and knock the socks off of anyone to whom you serve it.

Ingredients

Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time
Total Time 4 hr
Yield 4-6 servings

2 cups of heavy whipping cream

3 egg whites

1/3 cup of sugar

6 ounces of good dark chocolate, finely chopped

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Directions

Place a medium/large bowl and a whisk in the fridge. Let chill for 30 minutes.

Remove the bowl and whisk, then add the heavy cream. Beat vigorously until stiff peaks form and the cream holds its shape, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

No whisk? No problem. Chill a glass jar with a screwable lid for 30 minutes, then pour cream in up to the halfway mark. Screw the lid on tight and shake vigorously until the cream stops making sloshing noises. If you open the lid and see that the cream has thickened, you’re done! If not, keep going. This method might sound silly, but trust me, it works in a pinch.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with a whisk until soft peaks form, about 7 to 8 minutes. (If you don’t have a whisk, you can use a fork. It will be a pain in the butt, but it will get the job done.) Then add the sugar and continue beating until still peaks form, about 5 minutes longer.

In a small saucepan, melt the chocolate over medium-low heat until smooth. (You can also do this in a bowl in the microwave.) Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.

Pour the chocolate into a large bowl. Gently fold in the egg white/sugar mixture with a spatula, going slowly as not to disrupt the aeration you’ve just created. Once only a few streaks of egg white remain, add the whipped heavy cream and vanilla. Continue folding gently until no streaks of white remain.

Put the bowl with the chocolate mousse in the fridge to chill for at least an hour, preferably four hours or longer.

Spoon the chocolate mousse into bowls or serving cups. Garnish with more whipped cream, berries and/or cocoa powder. Serve chilled.


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