What a busy day! I love days where you accomplish everything on your To-Do-List. Feels so satisfying. It’s been two weeks since I’ve baked anything and it reminded me that baking runs a high risk of me burning myself. Totally worth it though. I really need to bring my apron downstairs and hang it in the pantry because I keep thinking I can get through making something without getting my clothes dirty but I always fail 20% of the way through. I don’t know how chefs keep their white coats white.
I had to bake some stuff with Splenda today because my uncle has diabetes. I was reluctant to because I’ve had bad experiences with it in lab but my aunt somehow convinced me it wouldn’t be a problem. Sorry Splenda I’m not giving you anymore chances. Failed me once. Failed me twice. Never working with Splenda again. I made Cardamom Cookies, half with and half without Splenda. And my apple pie was made only with Splenda. The Cardamom cookies with Splenda were really crumbly and my sauce for the apple pie wasn’t viscous and not enough for the pie. The cookies with regular sugar however turned out really good and was approved my the aunt and grandmother. I know some of you might be thinking how nasty the Cardamom cookies sound, I was skeptical myself. The first time I made them, I was surprised that they tasted so good and it was big hit with the parental unit and older relatives.
I then made a batch of chocolate chip cookies for the weekend since it has to sit in the fridge for 36 hours. It’s hard to keep people in the house from eating the cookie dough. When I get around to baking the cookies, there’s craters where people have been digging their spoons for a taste. Shame on them. I’ve never made this recipe the same twice and keep experimenting with it. Partly because I don’t remember what I tweaked the previous time but posting it here will surely help.
Khatai/Cardamom Cookies (Adapted from Linda Kovacevic)
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbs ground cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup oil
1/4 cup roughly ground pistachios
Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Separate the cardamom shells from the inside black seeds. Throw out the shells and ground the seeds in a coffee grinder. Mix the flour, sugar, cardamom, pistachios (run through coffee grinder if you only have whole/split pistachios). Add in oil and mix. Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls and line on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minuets until the cookies are slightly brown on the bottom and set on top. It will barely brown on top. Allow to cool on baking sheet.
Best Chocolate Chip Cookies (Adapted from NY Times)
3 2/3 cups minus 2 tablespoons AP flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter (at room temperature!!)
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnimon
1/8 tsp instant coffee granules
1 cup milk chocolate chips
Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment (you can use hand mixer), cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix with a spatula or hands. Stir in chocolate chips. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside. Make 2 in balls and line them on a baking sheet, about 6 on one pan. Bake for 15 min, until golden brown. Eat warm, with a glass of milk.
If you want to know why the dough has to set for about a day, here is the article in the NY Times. It suggests to use sea salt but it seemed too salty for my taste. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/09/dining/091crex.html?_r=1&ref=dining
Also, a friend sent me this amazing site that tells you all that you’ve ever needed to know about eggs. Awesome information! http://www.ichef.com/news.cfm?itemid=111555
AND, from the same friend, here’s a link describing different kinds of flours if you’ve ever been confused about which one you have to use. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cake_flour#Wheat_flour