I know this isn't makeup, but I see this as a forum for sharing all sorts of creative endeavors, even if the focus is makeup. I know I like it when bloggers I follow post about other hobbies and creative pursuits, so I decided to offer you all selective glimpses into the rest of my life. As long-time followers of my blog may have picked up on, my boyfriend and I recently moved into a new house! This is very exciting news, for many reasons. One of the numerous upgrades has been in the kitchen department. Meaning, we now have a reliable oven, counter space, and a stand mixer on loan from my boyfriend's mother. I have been baking on and off for the last few years, but I'm new to cooking, and finding vegetarian recipes that suit my boyfriend's tastes (he's a picky vegetarian!) and my lack of cooking expertise has been a challenge; I figured maybe a few of you would appreciate hearing about some of the simple, delicious vegetarian recipes I've found! This first post will be about baking, though.
This was my breakfast. Don't be too jealous.
I saw this recipe, and immediately began craving these Double Chocolate Cookies. However, I am a tinkerer, and never leave well enough alone; I altered the recipe very slightly by reducing the number of chocolate chips called for and adding dried cherries to add a bit of tartness to offset the richness of the chocolate cookies. They are amazing. I cannot believe how delicious these turned out. I have to give all recipe credit to Annie of Annie's Eats cooking blog, and I believe she found the recipe and altered it slightly to suit her tastes...
My beautiful breakfast cookie, after I broke it in two. I microwaved it so it would soften up and get all melty again:
I'll transcribe the recipe here as I made it for ease. Please note that this has been changed ever so slightly from the original by the addition of dried cherries, the reduction of chocolate chips, and the use of regular table salt rather than coarse salt. (I took one look at the coarse salt, envisioned one of the six giganto flakes ending up in my mouth embedded in the middle of delicious cookie, and promptly dumped out my teaspoon and went with a slightly smaller quantity of table salt instead.) I'm also altering the directions to better reflect what I did (because I don't follow instructions to the letter, but my cookies turned out great!), but please remember that not all of the directions you'll see below are completely original; they have been adapted from directions from this blog. The recipe is supposed to make 12 very large cookies; I flattened my dough into a disk, and then marked it into 12 wedges, but somehow only ended up with 10 cookies. The dough was sticky and messy, and it was hard to only break off my neatly divided wedge. So I somehow ended up with 10 really REALLY big cookies. Do not plan on eating one of these in one sitting, unless you want to be full for the next 8 hours.
Yield: 10-12 large cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1 and 1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark, found in the baking aisle of any old grocery store, and it worked out beautifully)
2 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour
Scant 1/4 teaspoon salt (don't go quite all the way to the rim of your measuring spoon!)
1 tsp. baking powder
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup dried cherries
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl you plan to mix them in. Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Blend in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix in the cocoa powder until well blended. Add the flour, salt, and baking powder to the bowl one at a time, blending as you go, and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Be careful not to over-mix. Fold in the chocolate chips and dried cherries with a spatula, then transfer the dough to a work surface and knead briefly by hand to be sure the ingredients are well combined. The dough will be sticky; I put foil on a heavy cutting board and kneaded on that surface, but in the future, I'd make sure the foil (or parchment or whatever you prefer; I didn't want to work on a floured surface, in case that added too much flour to the dough) was anchored down under the cutting board on both sides so it wouldn't stick to the dough as I folded it. I didn't knead it very much at all, just enough to make sure that the ingredients were mixed up evenly; over kneading will change the texture of your finished cookie.
Flatten the dough a bit until you have a disc; divide it into 10 or 12 wedges, and then tear each wedge off, and roll it into a ball and place it on your cookie sheet. Flatten it slightly by hand; these will not spread out on their own very much as they bake. Once all your cookies are on the sheet, put them in the oven and bake for 16-20 minutes. It will be difficult to tell when they are done since the dough is dark and they do not spread much as they bake; I cooked mine for about 18-19 minutes, and they were fine, but it will depend on your oven. I very unscientifically stuck my hand in the burning hot oven and poked at the cookies to see if they felt doughy or a bit firmer. If you can't fit all of your cookies in the oven at one time (I had to bake each cookie sheet separately), put the sheet back in the fridge to keep the dough from getting too warm while you wait for the first batch to bake. I took my second cookie sheet out of the refrigerator about 5 minutes before they went in the oven (so it was only in the fridge for about 10-12 minutes total), and set the sheet on top of the oven so it could warm up to room temperature before it went in the oven.
I'm planning on including a few more cooking-related posts. Do you guys cook very often? What kinds of recipes are your favorite? How do you find new recipes- blogs, family, cookbooks? My mom was a great cook but she never taught me how to cook, so I'm just kind of figuring it out through trial and error. I had a pizza disaster, but other than that, I haven't messed anything up too royally-- yet!