Posts tagged ‘Chocolate Chips ‘
Read all about my trip to North Carolina for my firned Chrissy’s wedding, and the wedding cake I made for them, which will be hence for known as Cupcake Mountain.
Add a comment November 28, 2012
In time for Valentines Day these are a great homemade, but really easy to make confection for someone you are sweet on. But first, I want to mention the event I made these for and my favortie, absolute favorite organization: VDay.
When I was in college studying theatre and wondering “What the hell am I gonna do after I graduate?!?!” I auditioned for a play, and got the chance to be on stage in a neighboring college’s production of The Vagina Monologues. I was also studying Solo Performance Art and quickly learned about the controversial play’s author Eve Ensler. I ended up doing a presentation on Eve and her work. I was astounded how she choose to use her piece to help others. To this day I don’t think any other playwright has written the rights to their work in such a giving and original way.
Each year (to this day) Eve allows college and community organizers to perform The Vagina Monologues, free of royalties. Proceeds from the performances are donated to a local organization who help to end violence against women and girls. I soon decided that it was odd the the super progressive, funky, eclectic and very eccentric college I attended didn’t do their own annual production of TVM. So the following year I produced and directed the first of 2 VDay events during my college career. Currently there are 1500 schools across the country who participate, raising millions for non profits in their communities. 4,000 events will take place this year around the world, and VDay has evolved too. Organizers can present many plays and films including The Vagina Monologues, A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant and a Prayer, Any One of Us, and films: What I Want my Words to Do to You, and Until the Violence Stops. There are book clubs for young girls, and teach-ins for the issues that VDay spotlights each year: Haiti being this years spotlight Campaign. There are V groups for men too, because violence doesn’t just affect women. VDay involves many amazing women and men who are all committed to ending violence and they use art to spread this transformative message.
Ever been on a stage? I’m sure you can attest to a metamorphosis feeling of being an actor, storyteller, or having seen a great piece that really changed your life. One of my favorite plays I’ve ever seen, is aptly called Metamorphoses— a pool of water instead of stage? A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. And thats theatre– art really. My story with VDay doesn’t really end. I made a brief but powerful connection to one of the Campaign Directors at the West End Theatre the year I first produce The Vagina Monologues, the next year I was interning and amoungst all the volunteering I still do for VDay whenever I can, and especially when they need a theatre nerd backstage. And that Campaign Director, Shael well I was there when she went into labor for her daughter Aela, and every year I make her birthday cake. Its our thing. And its always been my excuse to show a little V-girl what cool lady’s can do for the people who are special to them.
I hope to make the world a great place one cake at time, and VDay, aside from being all over my professional resume has been at the heart of how I want the world to be: happy, safe, amazing, accepting of everyone, for everyone. When violence is no longer perpetrated against women and girls– we are all ladies and gents safe, happy, accepting, progressing. We’re better. Better People, Better Friends, better family, better lovers, better artists. GOOD. If you want to get involved: be in a play, become or wake up that activist in you, reach out, open up, raise funds for a good cause, get educated, educate, become apart of a heart beat, a backbone of people who want the world to be a better place, be an artist, inspire, lead, be an example to the next generation of people, make the world better for your own kids, then go to VDay.org. You’ll find a performance or film screening near you and organizers always need help, so reach out and jump in. Make a donation if you want.
On to a really easy recipe just in time for VDay. Save the cash on store bought chocolates and make these for your sweetie.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles:
Start with a package a Nestle’s mini morsels.
Omit the eggs and levening agents. Walnuts are optional, and you are good to go.
Combine 3/4 c sugar, 3/4c brown sugar, 1c butter and 1 tsp vanilla
Add 2 1/4c flour and 1 tsp salt.
Its like a fluffy cloud of buttery sugar!
Fold in chips.
and you are ready to start scooping.
Of course try to get these as uniform as possible, scooping and rolling the truffles in your hands. Chill in the refridgerator for about an hour or longer before you dip in chocolate.
In a double boiler or microwave gently heat 1 c (more if you need) semisweet chocolate chips. I recommend adding 2 tbsp butter or shortening to thin the chocolate for a really thin consistency. Use a plastic fork with the 2 middle tines removed. Dip chilled truffles and allow to set on wax paper.
I like to finish these off by placing them in mini cupcake cups or candy cups for display.
Of course you can doctor these but using vegan butter and chocolate. I haven’t seen mini vegan chocolate chips, but chopping up your chocolate always works.
2 comments February 8, 2011
Its cookie season. So I’m going to start off with my favorite recipe of all time. Chocolate Chip cookies from Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book.
First reason I love this bookis because the first copy I owned was given to me by my beloved grandmother, an avid and exceptional baker– when she was eulogized years ago, her banana cream pie was mentioned– thats the kind of reputation she had. My grandmother taught me to make all kinds of things: jam, cookies, pies. We also used to cook way inadvance and she would totally let me indulge by sneaking a few cookies here and there out of the freezer. I bought a used copy on Amazon.com for under $3. Sure its stained and a little dog-earred, but it looks just like the one I lost and as the seller stated, its worn appearance is a testament to the recipes inside.
Second reason to love this book: all the fabulous cooky (spelled that way on purpose) recipes illustrated in super saturated 1970’s photography. This book came about before food stylists really existed I assume, nonetheless fullbleed super saturdated color photos still keep you inspired.
Third reason to love this book: in the back they dedicate recipes for cookies based on the years they were most popular. For example the Chocolate Chip was the Best Cooky of 1935-1940. Some historical highlights mentioned in these years: 1936 Edward VIII abdicates the throne to marry the woman he loves. 1938 Gone with the Wind premiers to become one of the most popular movies of all time. And truthfullly I don’t think we are all that different then we were all these years later. Prince William and his lady Kate will be married this year, and the last of the Harry Potter books has made it to the theatres breaking records again. I doubt the Chocolate Chip Cooky will ever go out of style.
Chocolate Chip Cookies: I typically double this recipe as listed below.
2/3 c shortening*
(I generally despise shortening, but certain cooky recipes it helps to keep the cookies puffy instead of melting all over the pan. You can change the ratio of shortening to butter if you feel inclined.)
2/3 c butter
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar ( I used 1/3 light brown and 1/3 dark brown, either or both work. The more the molasses–dark brown will add a more chewy the cooky’s texture)
2 tsp pure vanilla
3 c all purpose flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1 c chopped walnuts
2 c (12 oz) chocolate chips
Cream butter, shortening, eggs and vanilla. I suggest you cream the shortening, butter, and sugar first. The butter should be soft but still cool. Take out of the fridge 30 minutes before you use. After the fats and sugar are blended add the eggs and vanilla, and beat until smooth.
Combine dry ingredients. You can sift the flour, soda, and salt if you choose, honestly I’d rather not use the time.
Fold in the chips and walnuts. Nuts are of course optional, but I absolutely believe that walnuts are as apart of chocolate chip cookies, as the chips are. To each their own. I should also note that you should go lightly on the chips. 2 cups are only 12oz, so you shouldn’t use the whole of the 16oz bag,unless of course you are a choco-holic and in that case go for it!
I scoop the dough with a small ice cream scooper so that the cookies are uniform. Press the dough down in the center with your fingers. Make sure there is at least 2 inches between each as the dough rises and spreads.
Bake on parchment lined baking sheet. Do not use wax paper! Unless you want your cookies to taste like chocolate chip crayons. You can continue to reuse the same parchment sheet until its dark brown, then disguard and line with fresh sheet.
Cook for approximate 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Take out when the centers of the cookies are still pale, “lilly livered” as my grandmother used to say. The cookies continue to bake as they cool, so taking them out slightly underdone renders them perfect.
I’m hoping to do some other variations of the Chocolate Chip Cookie in the future, if you are looking for some GREAT insight I suggest you DVR Good Eats. Alton Brown does a number of recipes oc the cookie: Chewy, crispy, fluffy. Using bread flour, cake, flour, butter and/or shortening will give you a slightly different result. Missed it on TV? DVD sets of the show are now available and would make a great Christmas gift for your favorite foodie!
Add a comment December 7, 2010