Make Something New Every Day

This blog is inspired by all those who love to cook, whether experienced or not, and who continue to experiment with new ideas & ingredients, and best of all, share their passion with others.

The first entries are recipes prepared by the students of Lionel Wilson College Preparatory Academy in Oakland, CA. Fifteen students with varying cooking experience participated in my weekly workshop (via Tutorpedia), and successfully prepared various meals, snacks, and baked goods as part of an after-school program.

Along with the recipes from that class, I will continue to add new seasonal items, spanning every genre of the culinary world, as well as a helpful list of links to recipes, instructional videos, and places to shop and volunteer in your area.

Feel free to ask me questions and share your recipes and ideas as well. I look forward to cooking with you.

June 14, 2013

Best. Cookies. Ever.

or just really good cookies that someone brought a lot of to work. people like lots of free cookies. I like to bake cookies. here we go.

this is a very basic "chocolate chip" cookie recipe. you can add about 3C of assorted goodies to the basic dough. a mix of dried fruits, chocolate and nuts is a typical "cowboy" cookie. oats soak up a bit more of the moisture, so you'll get a denser cookie with oats.
you wanna eat a cowboy? giddyup. 

1C unsalted butter
3/4C each, white and light brown sugar
2 XL eggs
1t vanilla
2 1/3C unbleached white flour
1t salt
1t baking soda

and in this case...
3C total of semisweet chocolate chips, dried cherries, shredded coconut, and toasted pepitas. When dry toasting the pepitas on the stove, I add about 1/2t of kosher salt. Let them cool before stirring them into the dough.

Butter works best when cool room temperature. Better to cream it a bit longer when cool than let it get greasy. Once beaten until fluffy, add the white sugar...beat...then the brown...beat some more. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in one egg until combined and the dough is fluffy. Beat in the 2nd egg until the dough is as combined as its gonna get. Stir in the vanilla, then stir in the flour mixture. If using a stand mixer, pulse the switch between "off" and the lowest setting to "pulse" in the flour. If you just let 'er rip, your flour will fly out of the bowl and all over you and your counter.

Barely stir in the flour. Then add your goodies and stir a bit more. Turn off the mixer, scrape the dough off the paddle, and use a spatula or wooden spoon to give the dough a final stir to incorporate the ingredients.

At this point you can chill the dough, or scoop & chill the dough, or just scoop and bake the cookies, then systematically eat them until you want to die a happy, chocolatey death. Using a golf ball-sized ice cream scoop will yield evenly-sized cookies. Scoop and level the dough to fit 12 cookies to a standard baking sheet.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper for even baking and easy clean-up. Bake at 350' for anywhere from 10-14 minutes, depending on your oven. Slide baked cookies' parchment onto cooling racks, and store cooled cookies in airtight containers for up to a week.