Sunday, March 22, 2009

Chocolate Cookies with White & Semi-Sweet Chips

This recipe was given to me by one of my cousins a number of years ago, I have no idea where it orginated. It's been tweaked along the way. They are a very nice change from regular chocolate chip cookies.

The dough freezes very well, you can have warm cookies on demand~ just shape the dough into 1-inch balls, freeze on wax paper, or parchment lined baking sheets until hard, then pack in sealable plastic bags or containers. When ready to bake, follow recipe (preheat oven and bake until crisp around edges, and soft in the center.)

These are good cookies to use in ice cream sandwiches, too. I make them a little larger than described in the recipe.

Buttery Chocolate Cookies with White & Semi-Sweet Chips
Yields 2 dozen ~ 3-inch cookies

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon Kahlua, optional
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder (I use Droste)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips or chunks (I switch out, sometimes using half semi-sweet, and half white chunks or chips.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F)

Place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners.

Sift or seive the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt together. (Set aside)

In the bowl of electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until completely blended. Add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. Fold in the the chocolate chips.

Using a small ice cream scoop or two spoons, place about 1 1/2 tablespoons dough on the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart.

Bake for approximately 8 to 10 minutes or until the the cookies are still soft in the center but are firm around the edges.

Remove from oven and allow cookies cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to wire rack to cool completely. They will be slightly crisp around the edges when just fresh, but will soften a bit upon standing.

Makes about 24 - 3 inch round cookies.

Click HERE to return to Once Upon a Plate. :)


Monday, March 9, 2009

Meyer Lemon Pots de Crème

Note~ This recipe was designed for Blood Oranges, so I increase the sugar depending upon the tartness of the lemons.

Regular lemons can be used in this recipe, again, increase the sugar, and if desired a splash of orange juice can be added to mellow the tartness a bit.


1/3 cups sugar (add more up to double if lemons are very tart)
1 whole egg
4 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup Meyer Lemon juice, regular lemon juice, or blood orange juice
(if using blood orange juice, add 1 tsp. lemon juice)
1 teaspoon grated rind from the citrus you are using


Heat oven to 325-degrees F.

Bring a kettle or pot of water to a boil.

In the meantime, in a medium size blow, whisk egg yolks, whole egg, citrus juice, sugar and cream, beating until sugar dissolves.

Pass the mixture through a strainer to filter out any pulp; stir in the zested rind.

Place 4 ramekins in an 8x8 baking dish. Pour or ladle the mixture evenly between the ramekins.

Pour enough boiling water in the pan to come halfway up the sides of the dishes and cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.

Place on a middle rack in the oven and cook about 40 minutes; the custard should be just set around the edges, and a little jiggly in the centers when the pan is moved.

Remove the ramekins from the pan and allow them to cool on a wire rack.

Chill the puddings in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and as long as 24 hours.

Recipe adapted from


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Utterly Decadent Warm Chocolate Ganache Sauce

One of the most simple and decadent dessert sauces I know of ~
and it's so simple to assemble. Fair warning though, it can be addictive!

Wonderful for sundaes, parfaits, profiteroles, a drizzle for pound cakes, as a fruit dip, etc.

You can flavor it with different liqueurs to change the flavor if you like. Sauce will thicken
as it cools.


1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons light or dark corn syrup
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate or semisweet chocolate, chopped

In a heavy medium-size saucepan, bring cream and corn syrup to a simmer; remove from heat; Add chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth; Pour into a small container and refrigerate until ready to use; When ready to use heat slightly to soften the chocolate until it is the consistency you prefer.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Asparagus & Lemon Risotto

The recipe I used this time is from British chef Nigel Slater, from his BBC television program "The Kitchen Diaries."

Asparagus and Lemon Risotto
Serves 2 generously

Nigel's notes: "You could use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. The flavour will be much the same, but your risotto will lack the soul, not to mention the silky texture, that can only be achieved with a fine, gelatinous chicken stock. "


50g/1¾ ounces butter

1 small onion, finely chopped

200g/7 ounces arborio rice

125ml/4½ fluid ounceswhite wine or white vermouth

1 litre/1¾ pints hot chicken stock

400g/14 ounces asparagus, chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 lemons, zest and juice

3 tbsp grated parmesan


I keep the stock/broth on a low flame near the risotto pan, it is crucial that the stock/broth be hot when stirring into the rice.

Melt the butter in a wide, high-sided pan over a very low heat. Peel the onion and chop it finely. Don't fry the finely chopped onion, instead allow it to soften in the butter, stirring from time to time so that it does not brown but instead becomes "translucent and silky".

Stir in the rice, folding the grains over briefly in the butter with a wooden spoon. Pour in the wine or vermouth and allow it to gently simmer until the wine has nearly all evaporated. While the wine is reducing slice asparagus into 1/2 to 3/4-inch pieces. (I reserve all of the tips for garnish, steam or microwave them until just crisp tender, and still bright green.)

Add a large ladleful (about 8 ounces) of hot stock to the rice, turn the heat up a bit, then let the liquid almost disappear before adding the pieces of asparagus and a second ladle of stock. Continue adding the stock as it boils down to almost nothing.

Stir the rice often, grating and squeezing the lemons as the rice is cooking.

Season with salt, pepper, the lemon zest and juice and continue cooking till the rice is creamy but has a bit of texture left in it. Stir in the cheese and eat immediately.

Recipe adapted from Nigel Slater.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette and Dressing

I've given two recipes here, both from my mother's extensive recipe files.

The first contains raw egg yolk ~ if that is a concern, I suggest using the second recipe which utilizes mayonnaise instead of the egg yolk to give body and thickness to the dressing instead.

Both are perfect when you want a non-sweet Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette, or Dressing ~ excellent on lettuce greens, endive, crudite, shellfish or simply prepared chicken or fish. I serve them with Salad Niçoise .

Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette
(I usually double this recipe if it is to be used within two days.)


1/2 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk with the lemon juice. Whisk in the olive oil and cream. Season with salt and pepper.

Store, covered, in refrigerator until serving time. Use within 3 days.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Lemon Dressing

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the mayonnaise. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking until blended. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.

Store, covered in refrigerator until serving time.

I like to serve this in a small pitcher or bowl along with my version of Salad Niçoise, so each diner can add as much or as little as they prefer.