Another Take On Chicken & Waffles

The Grilled Cheese Truck (http://www.thegrilledcheesetruck.com/) was parked just steps from my place today, so I couldn’t resist trying their Fried Chicken and Waffle sandwich. I got it without the “upgrades” (bacon inside and parmesean crusted waffle) because I wanted to taste the purest version of it. The waffle was a bit soggy and could have been a bit sweeter to offset the spicy fried chicken, but the country gravy was surprisingly flavorful. I’m still in search of my “perfect” chicken sandwich, but this one hit my gluttony spot.

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Ultrathin Chocolate Chunk Cookies (ala Alice Medrich)

When I was a kid, one of my favorite snacks was to layer two slices of American cheese on top of a piece of Wonder bread and microwave it until the bread transformed into the texture of a crouton and the cheese bubbled up, hardened, and was slightly brown around the edges.  You could say that I have an affinity for things to be crispy and well done.  So, it’s no surprise that Alice Medrich’s recipe for Ultrathin Chocolate Chunk Cookies has catapulted itself into my top 10 favorite cookie recipes.  These cookies are surprisingly sturdy yet very thin, they hold their perfectly round shape during baking, and they’re snappy with their crisp.  An interesting thing to note with this recipe is that it does not have any eggs or vanilla extract.  And the cookies are easy to make as they don’t require a mixer.  You should set aside a little time for the dough to rest before baking.

Ultrathin Choc chunk cookies- A Medrich 3

These cookies are so fantastic that even when I accidentally overbaked a batch (cookie on the right), they still tasted delicious.Ultrathin Choc chunk cookies- A Medrich 5

Ultrathin Chocolate Chunk Cookies

(from Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts by Alice Medrich – http://alicemedrich.com/books/; My notes are in italics between [   ] .)
Makes 15 5-inch cookies

Ingredients

1 1/3 cups (6 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ tsp salt
10 tablespoons (5 oz) unsalted butter, melted [I melted the butter in the microwave]
½ cup (1 ½ oz) quick-cooking oats [not regular oats]
½ cup (3 ½ oz) granulated sugar
¼ cup (1 ¾ oz) packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (2 ounces) light corn syrup
2 tablespoons whole milk [I didn’t have whole milk so I used a mixture of heavy cream and 2% milk]
1 cup (6 oz) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips or chunks [I used semisweet chocolate chips]

Directions

  1. Position the racks in the middle and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line 2 cookies sheets with foil, dull side up, or parchment paper.
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and mix together through with a whisk.
  3. Whisk together the melted butter, oats, sugars, corny syrup, and milk in a large bowl. Mix in the flour mixture.  Mix in the nuts, if using.  If the dough is warm from the butter, let it cool before adding in the chocolate.  Stir in the chocolate chips or chunks.
  4. If possible, let the dough rest for at least several hours at room temperature, or, better still, overnight in the fridge. The rest makes for an especially crisp and flavorful cookie.
  5. Divide the dough into 15 equal portions (each a scant ¼ cup, or about 1 ¾ oz). Arrange 5 pieces of dough (4 to make a square and 1 in the center) well apart on each of the lined cookie sheets, keeping in mind that the cookies will spread to 5 inches.  With the heel of your hand, flatten each piece of dough until it is about 3 ½ inches in diameter.  Flatten the remaining 5 pieces of dough on another large sheet of foil/parchment; set aside.
  6. Bake the two sheets for 18 to 24 minutes, until the cookies are thin and very brown- if they are too pale, they will not be crisp. Rotate the sheets from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.  If the cookies are not baked enough, they will not be perfectly crispy when they are cool.  If this happens you can return the cooled cookies to the oven for a few minutes.
  7. Slide the sheets of foil onto the racks to cool completely before removing the cookies. Bake the third batch; you can even slide the sheet of foil/parchment and cookies onto a hot cookie sheet, as long as you immediately put the pan in the oven.

The cookies keep in an airtight container for at least 3 days.

© 2015 eatsweetsandbemerry.com

A Pie-Cake Sighting

Pie-Cake- Republic of Pie 2a

For a while now, the existence of the famed turducken of desserts, the Pie-Cake, has captured my curiosity, but I wasn’t sure that I would ever come face to face with it.  Well, thanks to Republic of Pie (http://republicofpie.com/), that is to be no more.  I had my first taste of their three pies (cherry, pumpkin, and apple) baked in a vanilla cake (they call it the “Triple Threat Pie Cake”).  While it wasn’t THE BEST thing I’ve ever eaten, it was good. The vanilla cake was a little dry on the outside but tasty enough to inspire me to put a vanilla cake recipe on my must-bake list.  The pies tasted how pies normally taste when not baked in a cake.  I didn’t eat much of the pumpkin pie as I’m not a pumpkin pie fan.  Overall, it was an experience to be had and probably not repeated as the Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding Pie at Republic of Pie is calling my name.

© 2015 eatsweetsandbemerry.com

Classic Carrot Cake (a la Alice Medrich)

Alice Medrich has a gift for taking simple, basic dessert recipes and weaving them into amazing (yet still simple to make) creations.  I’ve tried many carrot cake recipes, and this one wins big for being tender, light, not too sweet, and super flavorful (it’s slightly spicier than the usual carrot cake in the best possible way).  The recipe is easy to make and doesn’t require a mixer, and it also makes a lot so you have lots to share.

Classic Carrot Cake- A medrich 2

Classic Carrot Cake

(from Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts by Alice Medrich – http://alicemedrich.com/books/; My notes are in italics between [  ]. )
Makes 12 servings

Ingredients

For the Cake:
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 cups (14 oz) sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups (9 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups (12 oz) lightly packed grated peeled carrots [about 6 large carrots]
1 cup (3 1/2 oz) coarsely chopped walnuts [I used pecans instead]

For the Frosting
8 oz cream cheese, slightly softened [1 package]
8 tablespoons (4 oz) unsalted butter; slightly softened [1 stick]
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

To Make the Cake

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 325°F.  Grease a 9-by-13 inch baking dish. [I used a metal baking dish lined with parchment].
  2. Combine the oil, sugar, and eggs in a large bowl, and beat with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until well mixed.
  3. Add the dry ingredients and beat until smooth. [I combined the dry ingredients in a separate bowl to make sure they were well mixed together.  Then I added that mixture to the wet ingredients.]
  4. Add the carrots and nuts and mix until well incorporated.
  5. Scrape the batter into the baking dish and spread it evenly.  Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the baking dish on a rack, for at least 2 hours before frosting.

To Make the Frosting

  1. Combine all the frosting ingredients in a medium bowl.  Mix by hand or electric mixer until smooth.

To Assemble the Cake

  1. Drop dollops of frosting all over the top of the cake, then spread evenly with a small spatula or the back of a clean wooden spoon.
  2. Cover and refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.  Cut into 3-inch squares to serve.

The cake keeps for up to 5 days; bring to room temperature before serving.

© 2015 eatsweetsandbemerry.com