World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie (Seriously)

best chocolate chip cookie

I feel like I’ve been working on perfecting the world’s best chocolate chip cookie recipe for years. Since I was 6 actually. To me, there is nothing more comforting than a chocolate chip cookie. I’m sure the synonym for nostalgia is “chocolate chip cookie” in fact. And no matter how many times I thought I got it right, a new technique or trick seemed to fall in my lap. I mean, it is a rough life, eating all of those chocolate chip cookies. But someone has to do it. Someone has to find the best chocolate chip recipe in the world, right?

best chocolate chip cookie

The wait is over. I think I found THE WORLD’S BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES. Yeah, I know there are a lot of other recipes out there claiming to be the best. But do those recipes have a ooey, gooey, chocolately center? Do the other recipes have toffee-like, slightly crispy, slightly chewy edges? Are the other cookies fluffy, nutty, and with a hint of salt?

Trust me. These are the best. I dare ya to try them and not agree!

Note: Check out these tools to help with this recipe!

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The World's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies (Seriously)
This is the world's best chocolate chip cookie recipe. The luscious, molten center is encircled in crispy, caramelly edges with obscene amounts of chocolate.
Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 20 min
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 20 min
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch, nutmeg, and salt into a bowl. Set aside. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Fold in chocolate and incorporate without breaking pieces. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside. Scoop 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then transfer cookies onto another rack to cool completely.
    best chocolate chip cookie with milk

A Wintery Blanket in a Bowl (AKA Indian Chicken Curry)

IMG_8238Since we’re hanging out in Asia after my last post, I thought heading a little west to India would not only be a great way to continue our delicious exploration of Asian food, but its 13 degrees today and I’m cold and want something warm and full of spice.

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Indian food took some time for me to comprehend. Even after all the research and testing I’ve done, I still would never call myself an expert by any means. “Indian food” (as with all “Asian food”… or “food” for that matter…hmm) varies by region, by city, and even by family. That’s one of the many beautiful aspects of Indian food- you will never get the same dish twice. But unfortunately, that complexity is one reason why many people refuse to attempt cooking it at home. Thankfully this cuisine has become so popular, even your local grocery store will have the “beginner’s kit” of Indian ingredients.

In order to cook a delicious and decent imitation of an Indian curry, you’ll need 5 major ingredients: onion, chili, ginger, garlic, and spices. Easy enough, right? Even if you’re feeling confident and want to invest in a spice box (families in India take pride in their carefully procured spice box. In fact, “curry powder” isn’t a thing!), all it takes is a little research to find the spice blend that represents your version of the cuisine. But if you’re just starting out and finding fenugreek leaves is impossible near you, the “curry powder” blend found in most supermarkets is a nice entry level spice to use. Even better if you can find garam masala too! The beauty of this cuisine lies in the blends of spices so once you’re comfortable, have fun playing around with what you can find!

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Once you have that foundation, you can start to add anything you’d like! I like throwing in leftover vegetables or beans when I prepare this during the week. It’s a fast, hearty, and healthy way to not only use up ingredients hanging out in your kitchen, but the whole family gets their veggies without a second thought. Top it with braised chicken, like I did, for a deliciously satisfying meal.

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Chicken Curry with Spinach and Cauliflower

Yields 8 portions

Ingredients

  • 1 Whole chicken, cut into 10 pieces (2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 2 wings, 2 breasts cut in half), marinate with curry powder and salt
  • ¼ cup oil or ghee
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed
  • 1 yellow onion, julienned
  • 1-1 inch piece of ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cans of whole tomatoes, cored and squeezed into sauce consistency*
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • Vegetables (roasted cauliflower, spinach, or anything you have on hand)
  • 3 Tbsp curry powder

  • 1 tbsp garam masala (optional)

  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt to taste

Note: *I use whole tomatoes and process them to the desired consistency because diced tomatoes contain calcium chloride, which helps retain their shape. I prefer a more “saucey” texture with my curries. But you can purchase diced for convenience.

Start by making a paste of garlic, ginger, and jalapeno- puree all 3 in a food processor or mince by hand. Set aside. Add oil to large stock pot on medium heat (large enough for chicken and vegetables). Sear the chicken, skin side down, until brown. Remove from pot and set aside. Lower heat and add onions, scrapping up any chicken bits on the bottom of the pot. Cook onions until brown and caramelized (it may take 30-45 min. Don’t rush this part. The sweet onions start to build the foundation for a more complex curry). Once caramelized, add ginger-garlic-chili paste. Cook until aromatic (1 min). Add spices and toast (bloom) for 1 min. Add in the tomatoes and chicken stock. Season with salt. Add in the chicken. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160ºF. Add in the vegetables. Season with salt, if desired, and add in lemon juice. Serve with rice or grain (optional) and garnish with yogurt and/or cilantro.

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Why I Left The Restaurant Industry

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I used to be a restaurant chef. I hated it. Not because it wasn’t fulfilling…. It was. I actually thrived in it. It was hot, fast-paced, and loud. And I loved it. I was able to overcome the chaos and dive deep within myself to find clarity, peace, and creativity. I was nicknamed “ninja” because I could stealthily move throughout the busy kitchen faster and quieter than anyone else. But I wasn’t happy. The long hours and the low pay were hard to cope with. I wanted more. Mostly I wanted a “real” life. One that didn’t start at noon and end at 2am. But mostly I wanted the possibility of having a family.
Now I know it’s entirely possible to be a woman, a chef, and a mom. But I was never able to see how I could be 100% happy with that path. So I left. I left longgggg before my wife and daughter were even a blip on my radar. There are times I miss it. I miss not having a space to constantly create. I miss the camaraderie, especially with those that understand my love borderline insane passion of food. You don’t come across people who can talk for hours about the origin and uses for lemongrass or benne or uni like you do in a professional kitchen. I suppose that’s one benefit I hope to gain by writing this blog. Are you out there, ready to dig deep into a culinary convo with me?

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But what I don’t miss? The burns… the cuts… the exhaustion… the lack of contact with the outside world. Sure I may have taken a step others wouldn’t have. And that’s fine. I’m ok with that actually. I’m ok with not being “a real chef” in some eyes. Because I gained so much more. Yeah, I may never serve my pork cheek dish to a James Beard official… but seeing my daughter’s face light up when I pull a freshly baked loaf of bread out of the oven is more rewarding of a feeling than any culinary honor could bring. I’ll take her smile over a Michelin star any day.

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So what does this used-to-be chef make for dinner now that she has all of this “free time”. Sometimes it’s an intricate, lengthy, exotic recipe. Other times (most times) it’s a dish like this- a few simple ingredients, prepared gently to coax out the innate flavors inside. Bonus: it’s a great week day side dish! Active prep time is only about 10 minutes. Toss it all together and serve it alongside a roasted chicken, seared steak, or slow-roasted salmon (like I did this week!).

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Roasted Acorn Squash and Cauliflower with Preserved Lemon, Apricot, Chili Threads, and Basil

Yields 2 large portions

Ingredients:

    • 1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets
    • 1 acorn squash, seeded and cut into cubes
    • ¼ cup dried apricots, cut in half
    • 6 Thai basil leaves, picked
    • Olive oil
    • Salt, to taste
    • Specialty ingredients (click image below to can find online!):
    • ¼ preserved lemon peel, cut into thin strips
    • Pinch of chili threads (or red pepper flakes if threads are not available)

Preheat oven to 450ºF. Toss cauliflower and acorn squash in olive oil and season with salt. Place on separate roasting pans, sprinkle apricots evenly on both trays (mix to incorporate) and roast for 15-20 minutes, until slightly charred. Remove from oven and toss together with preserved lemon, basil, chili threads, and salt to taste. Finish with olive oil and a few more chili threads.

Pho

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Has anyone else had a crazy-busy January?? (Raises hand.) Where did the month go? Pink hearts and Valentine’s Day decorations adorn every store already and I’m over here like: “Wasn’t Christmas yesterday??” But despite the exciting schedule my family had this last month, I was able to spend some amazing quality time in the kitchen. Whether it was finding creative recipes for those post-holiday blues, concocting delicious cocktails (ugh politics…at least there are fun drinks with umbrellas to help), or tackling all-time favorite foods that require patience and finesse, my January has been a fun and culinarily-challenging month. And today’s recipe certainly plays to that theme.

From the moment I first tried pho in college, it became one of my favorite foods. There really isn’t anything more comforting than a large, steaming bowl of this Vietnamese aromatic noodle soup. And since California has seen more rainy days lately than I can remember, I knew I had to learn about and conquer this dish so that I could enjoy it without leaving my warm, dry home. And here’s something cool I learned during my pho education: its actually not that difficult to make! Patience, quality ingredients, and a good 24 hours is all that’s really needed to make this popular dish at home. Follow the tips and techniques below and you too will be a pho aficionado!

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Pho

Yields 4 portions
Ingredients:
Broth
  • 3 lbs beef bones, preferably knuckles or marrow*
  • 2 anise seed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1½ tsp whole fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp. whole coriander seeds
  • 4-inch piece of ginger, cut in half from top to bottom
  • 1 white onion, cut in half
  • 2½ tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 3-4 quarts water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Serving

  • 2 lbs protein of choice, very thinly sliced (chicken, tri-tip, sirloin, etc. or just veggies)
  • 1 package banh pho noodles (rice noodles)
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly julienned and soaked in cold water for 30 min

Garnishes

  • fresh herbs: Thai basil, cilantro, mint
  • bean sprouts
  • jalapeno slices
  • lime wedges

Notes:

*Beef knuckle and marrow bones are full of collagen which produces a thicker broth and is arguably where the great nutrients and heath properties lie. Plan your shopping trip to the butcher days before your pho day too. Some butchers don’t keep bones around for too long, so if no one scoops them up, they end up getting tossed. The next bones up for sale may not be available for a couple of days.

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The key to great pho is taking special care of each ingredient on its own. So to start, place the onion and ginger halves, face up, on the top rack of a broil pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, or until the tops are very charred. You can also use a grill to achieve the same results (preferred method, if possible). Set the ginger and onion aside. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the spices until fragrant. Set toasted spices aside.

Place bones in a 5qt stockpot and cover with cold water. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Boil vigorously for 2 to 3 minutes to allow impurities to be released. Drain bones and rinse with warm water, scrubbing any impurities stuck to the bones. Quickly scrub the pot to remove any residue and return bones to the pot. This step is key to clear, beautiful broth. Skip this step and you may have to do a lot more skimming during the cooking process and the end result will be cloudy.

Add your charred onion and ginger, the toasted spices, fish sauce, and sugar to the pot. Over low heat, cook the broth uncovered for at least 10 hours until as long as you’d like! The longer the broth cooks, the more collagen (and flavor!) is extracted from the bones, making your pho more luscious, delicious, and addictive. Keep an eye on the level of the liquid throughout the cooking process and add more water as needed. Also skim any fat pooling at the surface as you go. Don’t stress too much about this step, however. Once you get the broth cooking, just let it do its thing. Your part is done, for now; it’s the ingredients’ time to shine.

Ok, so your broth has been on the stove for many hours, the house smells INCREDIBLE, and you literally can’t handle the anticipation anymore. Now it’s time to finish the dish. Start by straining the bones, onion, ginger, and spices from the broth into a second large stock (or drain into a big enough container, then clean the stock pot and return clear broth to same pot).

To ensure the clearest broth possible you can strain the broth through cheesecloth. Once strained, return broth to a low boil. Cook your pho noodles according to the packaging (cool under cold water until ready to serve). You can quickly (20-30 seconds) blanch the bean sprouts in the noodle water as well.

For the protein portion: all beef and chicken is typically sliced super thin and placed raw in super hot broth. The combination of the two will produce perfectly cooked piece of meat without threat of being over or under done. To ensure this you can do several things:

  1. Ensure the serving bowl is warm before placing the soup inside. A cold bowl will drop the temperature of the broth too fast before the protein has time to cook.
  2. Make sure you’re serving the pho in deep bowls, not shallow salad bowls. A deep bowl will better retain heat.
  3. Bring your broth to a rolling bowl 2-3 minutes before serving to make sure it’s extra hot.
  4. Don’t add the cooled noodles until the meat is cooked. Adding the cold noodles will drop the broth temp before the protein cooks.
  5. If you’re worried about whether the meat will cook in the broth before you devour the whole bowl, you can always blanch the protein in a pot of boiling water for 1-3 minutes.

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Here it is! You’ve waited all night and day, you can see the finish line just around the corner, your mouth has been permanently salivating since you came home from the grocery store…but wait just a few moments more. Don’t forget to prep those garnishes. Customization is one of the best parts of pho. Arrange the prepped garnishes on a plate for the middle of the table so each diner can choose their favorite combinations. I love spicy pho so I add a few more jalapeños. My wife loves the herbs so she drowns 3-4 more leaves in her pho than I do. Its the easiest part of making and the most fun.

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Rosemary and Balsamic Glazed Salmon

img_4888Welp… presents have been unwrapped, stockings are empty, and Santa is probably on his way to Hawaii for some much needed r & r. I don’t know about you but I had a great holiday season – lots of fun time with family, friends, and food. I even competed in a little stollen (traditional German Christmas bread) throw down!

Annnnndd then January 2nd hit and it was back to reality.  I know I wasn’t the only person dragging their feet back to work yesterday. But I will say that I am very excited to get back to playing in the kitchen! Since my diet for the last month has basically consisted of cookies, candy, and holiday treats I thought I’d start my New Year’s week off with one of my favorite salmon recipes. Rosemary and Balsamic Glazed Salmon is super easy, super healthy, and full of flavor. Pair it with some roasted winter squash and lemony-wilted greens and you have the perfect dinner to start your year off right!

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Rosemary and Balsamic Glazed Salmon

Yields 4 portions
 
Ingredients:
  • 4-5 oz  portions of skinless wild salmon*
  • 1 sprig of rosemary, leaves picked off and finely minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 2 cups of balsamic vinegar
  • pinch of red chili flakes, optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
 
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Preheat oven to 375°F. Place salmon fillets on a greased sheet pan and lightly season with salt and pepper. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, heat olive oil until shimmering. Add in the garlic and rosemary and sauté for 15 seconds. Stir in the dijon mustard, honey, and optional red chili flakes. Add in the balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil.  Once the vinegar reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium and simmer the vinegar. Don’t forget to turn on your kitchen fan! The vinegar will give off strong fumes as it cooks. Continue to simmer the balsamic vinegar mixture (stirring constantly to avoid burning) until it reduces in quantity to about ¾ – 1 cup (about 7-10 minutes). The glaze should be slightly thick and syrupy (the mixture with thicken as it cools). Let the glaze cool for 5 minutes. Once cooled, coat the top of each salmon fillet with glaze. Place the glazed salmon fillets in the oven and roast for 7-9 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 139°F. 
 
*Note: Since it isn’t currently salmon season, don’t be afraid to use frozen salmon for this recipe! 
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Peanut Butter Middles

img_4841Since we are smack-dab in the middle of cookie season I had to bring out the big guns: chocolate and peanut butter. This recipe for Peanut Butter Middles has to be one of my all-time favorite holiday cookie recipes. I suppose they can be eaten all year long (and trust me, you will want to make them all year long) but I typically reserve this cookie recipe for my favorite time of year. This cookie platter standout may take a little more elbow grease than others but they are soooo worth the time and effort that go into making them. Just make sure you hide a few for yourself or you may wake up to an empty cookie box in the morning!

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Peanut Butter Middles

Yields 25 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • ½ tsp. basking soda
  • ½ sugar
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • Colored frosting for decorating (optional)
Filling:
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup sifted powdered sugar
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Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a small bowl, combine the filling ingredients. Roll filling mixture into 25 – 1 inch balls and place on a plate or cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Place the peanut butter balls in the freezer while you prepare the chocolate dough. (This step will make it easier to share the chocolate dough around the peanut butter centers.)
img_4840In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa, and baking soda. In a large mixing bowl, beat brown sugar, sugar, peanut butter, and butter until light and creamy. Add in the vanilla and egg and beat well. Remove the slightly frozen peanut butter balls from the freezer. Using lightly floured hands, shape about 1 tbsp. of chocolate dough around each ball of peanut butter, covering the peanut butter completely. Place cookie balls 2 inches apart on parchment paper or silpat-lined cookie sheet. Flatten each cookie with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar, flattening to about ¼-inch thickness. Bake for 7-9 minutes. Cool completely on a cooling rack before decorating.
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Gingerbread

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’Tis the season for cookies, cookies, and more cookies. And is there a cookie that epitomizes the holiday season more than gingerbread?? Even if it’s not your favorite cookie, you have to admit that it’s difficult to refuse those spicy-sweet treats this time of year. Whether you make gingerbread people or go all out with a gingerbread house, treating your family to a batch of these gingerbread cookies should be a must every December. This recipe has been my family’s go-to since I was a tiny baker. Some of my earliest Christmas memories were spent around the dining table with my sisters and dad as we constructed the tastiest gingerbread house on the block. If you haven’t dedicated an entire December day to Christmas music and gingerbread baking while being elbow-deep in candy decorations, then you’re really missing out. But even if gingerbread house construction is just out of reach this year, you can opt for cookie-cutter gingerbread cookies instead. And dont forget that sturdy royal icing (recipe below)!  

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Gingerbread 

Ingredients

  • 6 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  •  1 tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. ground ginger
  •  4 tsp. cinnamon
  •  1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  •  1 tsp. ground cloves
  •  1 cup unsalted butter, softened 
  •  1 cup sugar
  •  1 ¼ cup unsulphured molasses
  •  2 eggs
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Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a small bowl, thoroughly mix flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. In a large mixing bowl on medium speed, beat butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Mix in the molasses and eggs. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients. Turn mixture onto a lightly floured surface and roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Using either a cookie cutter or a gingerbread house template*, cut out cookies and place on a parchment paper or silat lined cookie sheet. Bake small cookies for 6-10 minutes; bake large cookies for 10-15 minutes. After baking, loosen gingerbread with a spatula to prevent sticking and allow to cool on the tray. After 10 minutes, transfer cookies to cooling rack and cool completely. 
Note: If you’re not going to use your gingerbread dough right away, place dough in an airtight container and refrigerate. Refrigerated dough will keep for a week. Be sure to remove the dough from the fridge 3 hours prior to rolling so it softens. 

Royal Icing

Yields 7 cups

Ingredients

  • 3 cups powdered sugar  plus more if needed 
  • 2 egg whites (about ¼ cup)
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, salt, and cream of tartar. Set aside. In large bowl of stand mixer combine the egg whites and vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form. Add powdered sugar mixture gradually and mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated and mixture is shiny. Cover the bowl with a damp towel as you decorate your cookies so that the icing doesn’t dry out.
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*Print your gingerbread house template (there are hundreds available online) before baking your gingerbread house. Cut the gingerbread according to the template, bake, then re-cut using the template again to ensure straight and accurate measurements. This will create the secure framework for the house, safeguarding it against any disappointing collapses. 
 
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Mixed Berry Fruit Leather

img_3536Phew! Anyone else exhausted (and still full) from Thanksgiving? *Raises hand* What a fun-filled, food-coma holiday, though! But if you’re like me, you’ve probably been chowing down on those healthy, crunchy greens and fruit since Sunday. That doesn’t mean we have to give up on our daily sweet treat, however. In an attempt to clear up some kitchen space (before holiday cookie season kicks into high gear) and satisfy her sweet tooth, my wife came up with this delicious recipe for to use up the extra fruit we had lying around. This updated, healthy version for fruit leather takes that childhood classic and combines frozen berries, a little honey, and fresh mint. Super easy, super healthy, and super portable!

Mixed Berry Fruit Leather

Yields 12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups frozen berry mix (we used blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 5-6 sprigs mint (about 1/3 cup)
  • juice and zest from 1 lime

Defrost the berries in the refrigerator overnight. Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Spread mixture evenly on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place cookie sheet in a 170°F preheated oven for 7 hours, rotating tray after about 4 hours. The leather is ready to take out of the oven when the texture is firm to the touch, and not sticky. Cool completely. Cut leather in half, roll up, and cut strips. Tie the rolls with kitchen twine. Leather can be stored in an airtight container for about 1 week.

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Mulled Wine Biscotti

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Apparently as soon as the weather dropped below 65°, I went into full holiday baking mode. These past few weeks have been taken over by my former pastry chef life… and I love it! Thanks to nostalgia, I feel the need to be in the kitchen baking nearly every day. Recently I was inspired to come up with a baking project that uses one of my favorite holiday scents: mulled wine! Mulled wine has been associated with my holiday season for as long as I can remember, even before I was old enough to enjoy its taste. Whether it was the smell that permeated from my dad’s kitchen, warming up my hands as I walked through a Christmas market in Germany, or the warm mug perched on the floor in front of me as we watched holiday movies in front of the fire — mulled wine will forever be one of my most cherished holiday scents.

img_4402 What’s not to love: cinnamon, citrus, nutmeg, and delicious red wine that warms you up before you even take your first sip. This recipe challenged me to get my holiday gears moving by finding a way to combine all of those warm, spiced flavors into a crispy cookie.

Mulled Wine Biscotti

Yields 18 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups red wine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • zest from 1 orange
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 3 eggs
  • 2¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup almonds, slightly toasted and rough chopped
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350°F. Over high heat in a small saucepan, reduce red wine for 10 minutes. (You should be left with about 3 tbsp. red wine syrup.) Stir together sugar, butter, red wine syrup, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Add in the eggs and stir until incorporated. Stir in flour, baking powder, orange zest, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cranberries, almonds, and salt until just combined. Cover and chill dough for 30 minutes.

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Using moistened hands, halve dough and form 2 loaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until pale golden, about 30 minutes. Transfer the loaves to a rack and cool for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 300°F. Cut loaves into 3/4-inch slices with a serrated knife. Arrange the biscotti, cut side down, on a clean baking sheet and bake until golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool completely. Serve with a cup of coffee, hot tea or cocoa, or mulled wine, of course.

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Salted Caramel and Chocolate Chip Cookie Adult Milkshake

img_4372Congratulations! It’s Friday and I think you deserve an extra special treat to get the weekend started. This recipe was created after a bottle of salted caramel Kahlua went untouched after it was used to make my grandma’s 90th birthday cake (yes, that’s right — Grammy rocked out her 90th with a Kahlua soaked chocolate cake. And it was deee-licious). What better way to use salted caramel Kahlua than in the most ridiculous (and by ridiculous I mean extremely tasty) adult milkshake ever. I even went the extra mile to include my chocolate chip cookie recipe. Alcohol, cookies, ice cream, and caramel… How could you not start your weekend without one of these!

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Salted Caramel and Chocolate Chip Cookie Adult Milkshake

Yields 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz vanilla vodka
  • 2 oz salted caramel Kahlua
  • ¾ cup chocolate ice cream
  • ½ cup ice
  • 3 tbsp. chocolate chips
  • caramel (optional, for garnish)
  • whipped cream (optional, for garnish)
  • chocolate chip cookie, for garnish
  • pinch of salt

Crunch up the chocolate chip cookie into fine crumbles. Dip the rim of a chilled glass in caramel then into the cookie crumbs. Blend the ice cream, ice, chocolate chips, vodka, and Kahlua until smooth. Pour into the cookie-rimmed glass and top with whipped cream, caramel, and a pinch of salt. Don’t forget a fun straw!

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