Saturday, July 26, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookies

After 15+ years of making cookies from the same basic recipe, I have come up with a new kind of cookie. The inspiration is a brown sugar cookie from Joy the Baker. This new version uses no baking powder, so the cookies are flat and chewy instead of cake-like. They have the signature salty taste that I love in baked goods, thanks to salted butter and kosher salt. My family taste-testers approve of the change! One recipe makes 36 cookies, using a 2 Tbsp.-size scoop. My next goal: to incorporate oatmeal.
1 1/2 cups butter
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 to 3 cups chocolate chips (depending on your preference)

1. Beat butter and brown sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and eggs, 1 at a time, until thoroughly blended. Combine flour and next 2 ingredients; beat in to butter mixture until combined. Add in chocolate chips. Scoop dough out onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
2. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Dill Pickles

Because of my grannie's green thumb, I have been over-run by cucumbers. The solution: Make dill pickles and can them. This recipe is pretty simple. The hardest part is waiting a month before trying the fruits of your labors!
11 cups water
5 cups white vinegar
1 cup canning salt
12 lb. cucumbers, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
12 dill sprigs
24 garlic cloves

1. Bring water and next 2 ingredients to a boil in a large pot; boil for 10 minutes. Pack cucumber slices into sterilized hot pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch space at top of jar. Place 1 dill sprig and 2 garlic cloves in each jar.
2. Carefully ladle hot vinegar mixture into jars, leaving 1/2 inch space at top of jar. Remove air bubbles; wipe rims and attach lids and rings. Process jars for 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Remove from canner, and allow jars to cool on towels for 24 hrs. Check lids to make sure they are sealed. Allow pickles to rest for 1 month before opening. Once open, keep in fridge for up to 2 weeks.