Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies Y’all!

This is by far the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I’ve come across. I had never made anything with browned butter before and now I want to attempt to change every recipe that calls for butter to now have BROWNED BUTTER in it. Its beyond wonderful. I’ve made these cookies a few times just to make sure I’ve perfected the recipe and bake temp/time with my billion year old oven.

And even in this old geezer without a window I’m able to bake these suckers to perfection.

I don’t usually give out the recipes I use unless someone asks for it, no – BEGS for it. None of them are my own, I’m a total recipe plagiarizer (thats a word right?), but hell yes I will try to pass it off as a One-Of -A-Kind Elaine creation! I’m feeling the love tonight – maybe its just a sugar high – nevertheless I feel like passing along my new favorite recipe, Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.
I’m pretty sure you could have just googled it.

I never follow recipes exactly. Even when I was a kid I always thought that 1/2 cup was pretty much just the same as 3/4 cup when measuring ingredients. While that may not matter with some ingredients, it really, really does with others. So take my advice with caution. Also, I don’t have these pretty step-by-step photo instructions to guide you along the way. My bad. I’m not a food blogger y’all – I just like eating yummy stuff.
Ok ready go!

  • 1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 14 tbsp unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
  • 1/2 c white sugar
    I use organic because I’m semi-pretentious. 
  • 3/4 c packed brown sugar
    I like the 1/4 cup pre-portioned packs because I’m lazy. Yes. 
  • 1 tsp salt
    Try using non-iodized sea salt. When you bite into a big piece of salt at the same time as a chocolate chip your mouth goes ballistic!
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
    If you get any of the second egg white in there you will be fired. 
  • 1 1/4 c chocolate chips
    Ok see now this is where that 1/2 cup vs 3/4 cup rule doesn’t really apply. I use roughly 1 cup milk chocolate chips and about 1/2 cup ish peanut butter chips. Sometimes 1 cup each. Just depends on how much I got in the pantry.
  • optional: 3/4 c chopped pecans or walnuts
    Nuts are not optional. Ever. Unless you have an allergy. Then you are excused. ALWAYS ADD NUTS TO COOKIES. 

1. Preheat oven to 375
Because I got old bertha baking up my cookies I have to drop the temp down 25 degrees and hold the bake time by 2 minutes. Every oven is different so adjust accordingly if the first batch doesn’t come out just the way you like it.

2. Line two large baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats. Sift or whisk together the flour and baking soda in a medium bowl.

This is where the awesomeness begins – are you ready?

3. Put 10 tbsp of the butter in a medium skillet set over medium high heat. Allow the butter to melt for 2 minutes and swirl it around the pan, allowing it to brown. Make sure to keep the butter moving so it doesn’t burn.  You’ll know it’s done when it smells nutty and it has a dark golden brown color. Golden brown y’all, not muddy brown. That mess is burned by then! 

4. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the butter to a large, heatsafe mixing bowl. Add the remaining 4 tbsp of cold butter to the melted butter and stir gently until it is melted.

5. Add the white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and salt to the butter and whisk the ingredients together. Add the egg and egg yolk and whisk again until mixture is smooth. Allow the batter to rest for 3 minutes, then whisk again for about a minute. The mixture should be thick and shiny.

Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined, about 1 minute. Gently stir in chocolate chips and nuts – the batter will be soft so don’t freak out if its not as tough as regular cookie dough.

Using a #24 cookie scoop, place cookies about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. If you don’t have a cookie scoop, go buy one! Don’t be cheap, they are like 4 bucks!

Bake one tray at a time, 10 to 14 minutes, on the middle rack of your oven. Check cookies at 10 minutes; you want them to be golden brown and set around the edges, but puffy in the middle.

Allow to cool on the pan for about 1 minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Halleluyer!

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There’s a Pie in That Cake!

Let them eat cake! And Pie. Together.

Welcome the Piecaken.

If you know me, you know I love to bake. I was given the challenge to make a Cherpumple a while back but the size of that monster was really intimidating. Next best thing? The Piecaken. So what is a Piecaken? Its basically a pie baked inside a cake. Simple, yeah? Well…I’ve seen this guy all over Pinterest and a couple of bloggers I follow actually made one. It didn’t look half bad. Or half difficult. Why not give it a whirl?

A friend of mine, who I would describe as a Crossfit-Paleo health nut, is also a closet monchie. (define Monchie: lover of all things fried/sweet/savory and bad for you) And it also happened to be his birthday. What a great time to force him to fall off his gluten-free wagon and give in to my urge to try this thing out. I decided on a simple combo that I thought would taste good. Apple pie, vanilla cake and cream cheese icing. Done.

So first thing I did was whip up an apple pie. Bake. Easy.

Then you whip up some cake batter. Pour about ¼ of the batter into a large enough pan to fit both the pie and the cake. Plop in the beautifully baked pie and pour the rest of the cake batter on top. This is pretty much the part where I thought, ok this is gonna be a big soggy mess, I just know it! But to my surprise, it wasn’t! Fully baked cake (with a pie inside). Done.

Once this sucker cooled I generously covered it in cream cheese icing. Come on, who doesn’t love cream cheese icing?!

Delivered the cake to a very excited monchie. All was right in the world.

 

I will definitely attempt this again. I’m going to try a less gooey pie, something more stable like pecan pie or pumpkin pie. Also, the pie was quite heavy and sunk pretty much to the bottom so I’d like to try a smaller pie and hopefully get this to float in the middle next time.

Here’s to round 2! Cheers!

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Barefoot India

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve cringed at the smell of curry or killed a cockroach in the bathroom before a shower. It’s been a few weeks since I left India and in a strange way, I sort of miss it.

It hadn’t even been 30 minutes since I had arrived in India that I knew this trip was going to be a lot more interesting than I had imagined. The smell of exhaust, spicy food and rancid water hit me almost immediately. It was around noon, local time, and my internal clock was ready to pass out. I was greasy, sleepy and in desperate need of a shower but I knew the day ahead was jam packed and I needed to muster up as much “umph” as I could find.

I apparently didn’t pack that in my carryon.

Trying to make sense of what I just got myself into and right in the middle of impending nausea I noticed something as I was staring out the window driving down the bumpiest road I had ever been on – people walking around with bare feet. Everywhere. Men, women and children walking down the street, in and out of buildings, everywhere, without shoes. Now I get that this doesn’t sound like much of a big deal but for me it was. These same streets are shared with cows, cars and the not-so-occasional man relieving himself! On these same streets children run barefoot chasing each other, men and women cross barefoot without caution to oncoming traffic, trash and rotting food cover these same streets…and its normal. No need for a tetanus shot. No fear. At first this completely grossed me out (as did a lot of things) but in the end I began to appreciate this way of life.

While poverty is very evident in the area I was in, this wasn’t a sign of poverty but rather a way of life and at times a sign of respect. Shoes are removed when you walk into homes; shoes come off when walking into a store, so why wear shoes at all? I realized that I had to learn to respect their lifestyle. It wasn’t easy to not cringe when you’d see people touch their feet and then want to shake your hand, knowing where those fingers had been. But I did my best to graciously respect them with the same respect they gave me.

I learned more about myself on this trip than I thought I ever would. And boy do I have stories for days! I may not have visited the most glamorous cities in India and I certainly didn’t see the amazing sights that this beautiful country has to offer. But in the end I feel like I gained more from this visit than I ever could have. In the end I embraced the life of a barefoot Indian and left my shoes at the door of shop in the alley, crossed the sidewalk barefoot and walked right on in.

I can’t wait to visit again.

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To India & Beyond

I’m headed to India for 10 days and I’m mildly freaking out. If you know me, I have a quasi-obsession with Indian culture and up until this afternoon I was completely stoked to head east, throw on a sari and bindi/henna myself out. I mean, I’m still excited but I just got to thinking about the “just-in-case” situation that could happen while I am away.

I decided that it might be a good idea to write down all the travel info, important numbers and “who-will-own-cats” details in the event that, well, you know…”just in case”.

I got to thinking, who exactly do I leave that to? Can’t leave it with my folks since they are joining me on this trip. My brothers? Lets just say that if a “just-in-case” situation occurred they would be the last two people you’d want to talk with.  Considering the fact that I don’t have a +1 in life, my roommate gets stuck with “just-in-case” duty.

As well as kitty duty (also, kitty doodie – duty).

So there I am, writing away, figuring out time zone changes and flight info when it dawns on me that my fur children could be motherless…again! I rescued those little brats when no one wanted them. And I can only hope that if a “just-in-case” situation happened some other crazy cat lady/very sane man would take them in.

Ok really I’m not THAT paranoid but one has to be prepared. So, if you would like to be considered for custody of the cats in the event of a “just-in-case” situation please let me know.

PS. They come as a set. Like salt & pepper shakers.

PSS. There is no compensation. Bummer, right?

Tokyo Leroy Feo

Quincy Jones (known alias: Party Cat)

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Pinterest, You Are a Big Nasty Tease

If you have no idea what Pinterest is feel free to move on and not read this post. You’ll likely be bored. But if you are a fan, as I am, I hope you’ll enjoy my little rant.

The most frustrating thing about Pinterest is when I find something that is completely amazing, click on the link to where this new treasure can be purchased and then…nothing. It came from nowhere. Or its just an image that has been re-pinned over and over no one knows where it even came from. Tease.

Am I the only one who can’t search for friends that I know have an account but can’t seem to find them because they don’t have a Twitter account or we aren’t actually friends on Facebook to sync the contacts? If this function does exist please feel free to educate my annoyed little soul.

Why is Pinterest so addicting??? Seriously! I can spend hours just pouring through random STUFF. And I’ll “Like” and “Re-pin” till my heart is content, but I’ll likely never actually attempt  half of the DIY projects that grab my attention. However, I have made some cupcakes I found on there, and they were fantastic!
Bacon & French Toast Cupcakes

I am officially addicted to Pinterest. Everything on there is wonderful and I can never have half of it. Pinterest, you are a big nasty Tease, and I love you for it!

You can follow me on Pinterest too!

 

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Grow a Mustache, Save a Prostitute…I Mean Prostate

Its Movember!! Hipsters all over the world are thrilled to finally have a entire month dedicated to men looking like them on purpose! I for one am a supporter of the year round mustache…IF you can pull it off. If not, please don’t bother. You will only be forcing people to stare, point, make faces and probably even flip you off.

The Mustache is a coveted facial feature and it must be treated with respect.

Peach fuzz and splotchy patches of whiskers do not count as a mustache. Please stop pretending it is. You are making small children cry when they look at you. This is a crime and you will be punished.

Now, just because you can’t grow a mustache does not mean you can’t participate and support this cause. There are several ways to rock a Faux-Stache this Movember.  Its as easy as swiping a black eyeliner (or lip liner if you have a chola in your life) pencil from your lady friend and drawing it on each morning…a la Borat. Or you can glue hair extensions to your face for an homage to Salvador Dali. The best option is probably just use the template below.

This will ensure that you properly support the cause without disgracing the magnificent mustache. Prostitutes will appreciate it as well.

Join the movement. Participate in Movember.
Supporting Prostate Cancer and other Male Cancer Initiatives

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Food Babies and Static Cling

I woke up this morning with an overwhelming excitement – for lunch! Yesterday we planned on trying a new place for lunch, Good Time Charlie’s. I heard about this place over the weekend but didn’t get a chance to try. Knowing that this establishment was famous for “down home” rich flavors I knew that I had to be prepared! This morning I carefully chose a loose fitting silk top that would no doubt conceal the food-baby I was anticipating from the chicken fried steak. Confident, I walked out of my apartment and was on my way to work.

Yes, I was daydreaming of mashed potatoes and cream gravy the entire way.

I stepped out of the car and that’s when I felt it, the cool silk blouse was stuck to me! I was a victim of static cling! The more I fussed with the damn shirt the worse it became. For the record, static cling is not the ideal situation for me…EVER. Static cling is not flattering on anyone, especially if you don’t have a perfectly flat stomach. I’m not talking about 6 pack ripples here; I think you know what I’m saying…. No bueno.

Endless conference calls and impromptu meetings have interrupted my lunchtime plans. Good Time Charlie’s is a significant distance from me and I’d need plenty of time to enjoy my meal and no doubt the immediate regret afterward. It just wasn’t going to happen today. So I settled for the next best thing, Freebirds! I love Freebirds and I was thrilled when I was able to convince a couple of my girlfriends to join me for lunch.

Food-baby commence. Come on, its Freebirds, even the baby burrito is ginormous! We sat outside and enjoyed out quasi-Tex-Mex cuisine. Respectfully, I could not leave a bit of the “Hybird” behind. Not one of us left with regret.

Yes, I still have static cling
Yes, I’m sporting a food-baby
And yes, I’d do it again…for Good Time Charlie’s.

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