Saturday, February 21, 2009

Chocolate Chunk Brownie Cookies

Chocolate Chunk Cookies and Brownies, two of the most popular baked goods of all time, I really can't think of two better things that should be put together!! I played with the combination and in the end decided not only to fold chunks of brownie into the cookie dough but chocolate chunks as well. Halfway through baking I added a mini brownie on top just to make this cookie even more glorious! It's just how I like my chocolate chip cookies, soft and chewy in the middle with a slightly crispy edge, with the added fudginess and chewiness of chocolate brownie chunks and a hint of pure dark chocolate. Warm from the oven with a cold glass of Almond Milk (even better than milk) and I am in my very happy place!

6 tbsp butter, softened
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 x 2'' baking pan.
2. Melt butter and chocolate together, let cool slightly. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
3. In a mixer beat sugar, eggs and vanilla together until pale. Add chocolate mixture, scrape down sides of bowl and add flour mixture. Mix just till combined.
4. Pour batter into greased pan and bake 40-50 minutes.
5. Let cool completely and place in freezer for 15minutes. Cut 1 1/2 cups worth of bite size brownie chunks, cut the rest into larger chunks to place on top of the cookie.

NOTE** Usually you would almost want to under bake your brownie, but since we are folding this into a cookie dough, we want the brownie to be firm and cooked all the way through**

Chocolate Chunk Cookies
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chunks

1. Preheat oven to 370 degrees F. In a mixer cream butter and both sugars. Add eggs one at a time, add vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a separate bowl. Slowly add dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture.
2. Add in chocolate chunks. Fold in brownie chunks.
3. Drop 4 tbsp size dough balls onto cookie sheet lined with silpat or baking paper. Bake 6 minutes, add a brownie chunk on top of each cookie and bake another 6 minutes, just until golden around the edges.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

All in a days work

I had been working at a place doing mostly baking and pastry and at first I loved it, tiny little kitchen that overlooked a garden, I felt like I was baking at home. I have been in a transitional period so it was just a good place for me to be at the time while I figured things out. Who wouldn't want to be in a kitchen where most of the time you could literally crack open a cookbook or use any idea you had and get to create it on a whim? After awhile I started getting bored and not feeling challenged enough because from a cooking aspect, there was no one there to teach me any new skills or keep me feeling creative and inspired. Don't get me wrong, I looove baking but I miss cooking, REAL cooking. Ironically when people ask what I do its like welll I just graduated from Nutrition school and now I am working as a pastry chef using (and eating) copious amounts of unrefined sugar and flour! I still want to incorporate the whole nutritional aspect into my cooking at some point but damnit a croissants a croissant and sometimes there is just no messing with those ingredients! After leaving this job the first relief I had was that I won't eat so much garbage (although very tasty garbage!) anymore. Me and one of my co-workers called it quality control, we had to taste it to make sure it tasted good right?? Woohoo maybe I can stop going to the gym so much! Croissants were made every couple days, I helped make em once in culinary school but this is my first attempt at making them by myself. Chocolate, Almond, Cheese and Plain. Could have been a bit darker but not so bad.

Glorious Caramel Pecan Brownies

Christmas orders comin in...

Quiche special

Moussaka I was making for the Greek themed staff x-mas party. At the dinner one of the girls said great Moussaka! The owner who was sitting across from me, said THANKSS! Then abruptly looked up at me. I thought, seriously lady? Did you just take credit for my moussaka...

Catering gig

Testing out Tartines Pate Sablee Dough for Chocolate Hazelnut Tarts and Flaky Tart Dough for Wild Mushroom Caramelized Onion Quiches. Saved three Chocolate Tarts in the back to top with fresh raspberries.

Double Chocolate Chunk Brownie Cookies (chunks of brownie folded into the cookie dough as well) a recipe I had been meaning to trial for awhile. (Stay tuned for this recipe!)

Did somebody really leave me in this kitchen to my own devices??

Friday, February 13, 2009

A new approach...

I realize I have been terrible at keeping up with my blog, so I have decided not just to post things I make with the recipes (it can be very time consuming!) but even just my food ramblings, to places I eat in the city and my favorite discoveries. So here I go....! From the day I moved out to Van from Calgary I started making sticky notes of all the restaurants and places I heard about and wanted to go eat, they started to accumulate on my wall and everytime I made it to one of the places I checked it off my list. Thats the great thing about Vancouver, the food scene here seems NEVER ENDING! Its like whoa whoa whoa ANOTHER ramen noodle place just opened up?? What's this about our own local soup nazi? Ganache Patisserie makes canneles? I have to check it out...I honestly dont even know where to begin because not only do I take pictures of the food I make, but pretty much EVERYTHING I eat, yes I am that annoying friend. I have very patient friends because they know me by now and always wait for me to take pictures of the food before we eat. So I guess I may as well start with todays lunch...the much talked about MARKET by Jean-Georges Vongerichten opened up not too long ago and I have been wanting to try it. A friend and I have other criteria on deciding if we like the place (besides the main course), good bread and clean bathrooms.
Good crusty chewy bread, check. (Extra bonus points for the coarse sea salt)

I had to...I really did, I mean look at this bathroom. Cleanest and best bathroom ever! Check.

Okay I realize what the H you went to Jean Georges' restaurant and ordered SOUP? I honestly wasnt even that hungry but thats never stopped me from eating somewhere, so we just ate in the cafe. I also have a thing for soup. Creamy tomato soup, I always have to try it because I think there is a fine line between tomato soup tasting like tomato sauce thrown together with chicken stock and a good hearty tomato soup made with the right ratio of other veg and pureed until rich and creamy. It was delicious btw. (Extra bonus points for the soup being poured into my bowl at the table)

Goat Cheese and Beet Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette-Pretty good but not as good as the one I had at Chambar.