Baking Adventures: Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies from “Ambitious Kitchen”

I’d like to introduce you all to some of the best snickerdoodle cookies ever:

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Last weekend, I tried out this recipe from Ambitious Kitchen for Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies, and the result were very appetizing!

I had planned to make these things a while ago, but it turned out that I didn’t have the right ingredients yet.  And I got lazy.  It happens.

The the recipe is again quite simple.  The most complicated part was browning the butter.  Yes I know, it’s really just heating up some butter, but I had never really browned butter on purpose.  I didn’t really know how long it should take or what oven setting to use.  In the recipe, it says that it takes a couple of minutes to brown 1 cup of butter (2 sticks) at a medium heat – I think it took me a little longer, maybe 5 or more minutes, but it’s not that big of a difference now that I’m writing it.

The recipe also calls for the dough to chill for at least three hours in the fridge and recommends an overnight chill for soft cookies.  I chose to do it overnight and I am happy I went that way.  The author kept saying that freezing the dough would not give the same results and I am not sure why.  Any idea anyone out there?

So, after chilling the dough in the fridge overnight, I baked them in the morning while watching How I Met Your Mother on Netflix.

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DSC_0034They were super easy to work with and everything was set up in no time for baking.  The recipe says that you should bake between 8 and 11 minutes or until the edges were brown.  I always like my cookies a little under-baked, but I know my mom at least like a little crunch.  It was kind of hard to tell if they were getting brown on the sides, but at 8 minutes, they still looked a little raw.  After three more minutes, they looked done.  They had a really nice crackled look to them, thanks to the sugar/cinnamon coating.  They look a bit lighter than the ones on the recipe website, but the taste was great!  Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside – like good bread, except sweeter and cinnamon-ier.

A great recipe that I definitely recommend.  My brother, who is a cinnamon monster, said they were very good too, so that was cool.

If you want to see the recipe, click here.

 

 

Baking Adventures: Double Chocolate Cheesecake Cookies from “How Sweet It Is”

IMG_0035I’ve been collecting recipes for all kinds of meals and desserts (mostly desserts though) to hone my skills for future cooking and baking.  This weekend, I decided to start with this recipe for Double Chocolate Cheescake Cookies from a cute little blog called How Sweet it Is.

The recipe was really simple – no complicated instructions.  The dough was a little bit sticky when it was all mixed together, but there were instructions to chill it in the refridgerator for about fifteen minutes.  After that, it was easy to work with and, with the help of a cookie dough scooper, I was able to plate everything out nicely to bake.

IMG_0021So I got the little poop balls into the oven and waited.  The instructed cooking time is 10-15 minutes.  I usually try to under-bake my  cookies because I prefer them chewy so I started at 10 minutes.  I stuck a fork in the cookies in the middle of the sheet at the 10 minutes mark, but they were seemingly under-cooked, as some chocolate dough had come up with the fork.

I tried another 5 minutes and then stuck the fork in again, hoping that they weren’t hard.  The cookie wasn’t hard, but there was still dough coming up for some reason.   Then I figured out that the fork was bringing up melted chocolate from the chocolate chips in the batter – so then I was worried that they were overcooked.

Fortunately, they still were quite soft after cooling.  I whipped up the mascarpone frosting (I actually didn’t know what mascarpone cheese was until I made the frosting) and piped them on and the cookies tasted pretty good.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure they turned out quite right.

In the pictures on the blog, they seem a lot more chewy and melty and fudge-y.  Mine are a bit more dry and … heavier.  They act like brownies.

Also, I’m not sure I taste the cheesecake in these double chocolate cheesecake cookies.  I mostly taste chocolate.  The mascarpone frosting helps cut the chocolate taste a bit, so I’m glad I decided to add it.

It’s definitely not a bad thing.  Too much chocolate, I mean.  Next time, I just may add more cream cheese and less chocolate.

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Hello Again

It’s been about a month since my last post and a lot has happened since then.

  1. I went on a NorCal trip with my family.
  2. I met up with friends in San Diego and got to hang out with my besties.
  3. I spent two weekends in a row with my bf.
  4. I started working at my old elementary school for the after school daycare program.
  5. My unpaid internship with Noozhawk turned into a paid internship.

Last week was my first week doing both my Noozhawk internship and my daycare job and it has been pretty hectic.

While I had hoped my time between graduation and eventual grad school would be a little more laid-back, this suits me fine.  It allows me to get into the groove of working during regular hours, and it is helping me understand what it means to have a budget.

I still have a lot of processing to do, but for now, it’s Sunday night.  It’s a Harry Potter weekend on ABC Family, I just ate dinner with my parents, and have all the ingredients ready to try out this recipe for double chocolate cheescake cookies.  I’ll let you know how they turn out.

The French Press, Santa Barbara

The French Press, Santa Barbara

Yesterday, my mom and I ventured out on our first assignment in our mission to drink good coffee and eat pastries.  At the top of our list of cafes to try was The French Press, a locally-owned cafe which lives up to its namesake – every cup is made-to-order with a french press.  At their State Street location, there is always a long line spilling out of the front doors of the cafe.

Instead of going to the State street location, we opted for the less-crowded Anacapa Street location.  We ordered two lattes and two homemade pastries – a lemon-blueberry buckle, which is a sort of coffee cake, and a chocolate chip cookie.  Everything was delicious and the espresso was really flavorful, without the bitter part.

You don’t need to tell me twice that we should nix the coffeemaker at home.