Sophisticated cookies and a banana bread fail

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Holy balls, batman…

My house smells DIVINE.

Mostly because this just happened:

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Mooooore coooookies!! Because really. Do I even need to justify this?! You can never have too many cookies. It’s also Cookie Thursday so, um, HELLO it wouldn’t be Cookie Thursday unless there were cookies. Obvi.

Incidentally I also made some bomb paleo banana bread except that it freaking stuck all over the inside of the pan and now I have a very misshapen and structurally unsound loaf. It is, however, extremely tasty. So, no complaints. Besides, I got to eat the bits that stuck all over everywhere, so I’m obviously not complaining.

IMG_6295You see? Totally not up to seismic code.

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I think I have chocolate on my face somewhere.

I haven’t looked in a mirror to ascertain this for certain, but somehow I am quite sure there’s a smear somewhere. Apparently this is standard protocol around here, chocolate-on-face. And on my camera, apparently. I’ve just discovered that as well.

Yes well.. moving on.

Considering I got an enormous batch of florentines and a loaf of banana bread in and out of the oven in about an hour, I am suitably impressed with myself. Quite a productive day, I must say. I located shoes for a June 1st wedding I’m in (wheeee!!!), and made things. And ate a really really delicious salad and some brussels. And now I essentially just want banana bread for dinner. That’s acceptable, isn’t it?? I’m an adult. Surely I can make these educated decisions for myself…

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Chocolate Pecan Florentines

Recipe adapted from Brave Tart, here! Yield: 43 cookies [aka an effton]. Thin, crispy-chewy, chocolately, nutty, and sweet. These are… delicious. And not particularly good for you. But hey, life is short and there is NO TIME for anything that isn’t delicious. So make these and eat them and be happy for eating them. And yes… you’re going to have to get out a scale. Soooorrryyyy but sometimes I have to get all technical on you.

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  • 12 ounces whole pecans
  • 4 ounces extra dark chocolate chips
  • 6 ounces whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 ounce unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 8 ounces coconut oil
  • 3.75 ounces raw honey
  • 8 ounces coconut sugar
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp finely ground espresso (mine was decaf)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper (or two, if you’re planning on rotating). And don’t even THINK about skipping the paper. You will hate life in about a half an hour. Preheat the oven to 350.

In the food processor, combine pecans and chocolate chips, and pulse until all the largish chunks are gone. It should be chunky though, not finely ground. Dump all this into a bowl, and add flour and cocoa powder. Stir to combine.

In a medium saucepan, heat coconut oil and honey until liquified. Stir in sugar, salt, and espresso. Bring this to a boil, stirring frequently to ensure the sugar is dissolving. Remove from heat once the sugar has gotten thicker—only a few minutes for me. It should smell like caramel! Stir in vanilla. Let this cool for a few minutes, then pour it into the dry ingredients. Stir to combine.

Drop dough by the tablespoon onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving enough room between the cookies for them to spread (I got 12 to a cookie sheet). Bake for 13-15 minutes (Mine went more like 15), then remove from the oven and let cool completely on the cookie sheet. I was lazy and left mine irregularly shaped, but feel free to make them perfectly circular with a cutter.

Store in an airtight container. I will most likely store mine in the fridge.

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Cookies are not structurally-sound building materials (sadly)…

mmm...

Wait… are those…?!

COOKIESSSS!!!

I dare you to NOT drool over these.

Even after the glut of holiday treats, why not have oneeee teensy cookie more? (Meeester Creeasote?! hehehee) It’s still New Year’s Day, after all, and as the Rose Parade isn’t until tomorrow, that kind of makes tomorrow New Year’s too. Ish. Enough that I can say it is, and eat holiday cookies. And really, chocolate chip cookies are my ideal way to ring in the new year. They go with champagne, right?! And if I eat them for New Year’s, along with my black-eyed peas and cabbage, doesn’t that mean I’ll have lots of chippies in the coming year? I hope so.

Besides, if I can drool over these, so can you. We know I’m the ludicrously picky chippy cookie-snob, the one who will only eat chocolate chip cookies that conform to my exacting specifications. Which is why I usually end up at my favorite bakery, rather than making my own (instant gratification has nothing to do with it, oh no, of course not). But THESE.

coooookies

These actually are deeeelicious. Not exactly to my bakery specifications, but delicious enough that I inhaled two fresh off the cooling rack (cooling? psh. Cookies don’t need to cool. Cooling racks are more like the cookie-waiting-to-be-eaten holding area). I would definitely make these again, which is saying quite a bit coming from me. They are perfectly crispy on the edges, with a chewy, vanilla-y middle. They do have a really pronounced vanilla flavor, which I (and Vacuum Vati) love. The only way they could be more perfect is if they were a bit fatter… they flattened out just a bit as they cooled. Not that this stopped me from eating them, clearly. Don’t let it deter you…

these are about to get up close and personal with my tummy gremlins

Crispy-Chewy Chocolate Chippies

Adapted from Full Circle Foodie, here!

I probably got about 30 cookies, most a few inches across, and several that were *ahem* larger (I may have eaten those myself. Shhh, don’t tell. Another picky specification: cookies are supposed to be BIG).

Rummage in your pantry for the following:

  • 2 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp  baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 c brown sugar, packed*
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 c chocolate chippies!**

*I left the sugar content as is in these, since brown sugar is what makes them chewy. However… for a second batch, I think I would play with reducing sugar, like in  my other recipes. Though I like deadly sweet (occasionally), I’ve come to prefer less sweet versions. Likely the sugar could be cut by about 1/4 without effect. Oops, oh well, I guess I have an excuse to make another batch…

**I also prefer a higher cookie to chocolate ratio in my cookies, so I cut the chocolate by half. Up to you, whatever floats your cookie boat!

This is like the Isengard of cookies (only not evil)

Preheat the oven to 325, and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. In a mediumish bowl, whisk together melted butter and sugars until fluffy (no stand mixers allowed for this recipe! Use it as a bicep workout). Add in whole egg, yolk, and vanilla, and whisk until your arm falls off. Fold into dry ingredients, as well as choc chippies. Drop by one-inch ish scoop for smallish cookies, or fatty scoops like mine for bigger ones. Or a combo. Like I said, whatever makes your cookie float! (in milk, ha)

Bake for about 14 to 16 minutes. Mine were about 14 for the smaller ones, 16 for the larger ones. Let cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheets, and then transfer to the cookie holding area (as in, those waiting to be discreetly scarfed on the way through the kitchen).

Eat, and relish the fact that not only will you have good luck in the New Year (thanks to my Southern roots: black-eyed peas and cabbage), but that my future will be rife with cookies. Can’t ask for a better 2012 than that. Wait… are those…?! :]

playing with my food?! nahhhh...
heheh whoops... Isengard was apparently not seismically sound...