1st Time Dumplings

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Some girls go to sleep at night figuring out what they will wear the next day, accessorizing their outfit in their mind.  I was never good at accessorizing….so I sometimes go to sleep trying to figure out what I’ll be making the next day. And last night I decided that I would try making another chocolate chip cookie recipe and chicken dumpling soup.

There’s always people claiming that their cookie recipe is the “best” and they’ve finally found the secret!  How many “best” chocolate chip cookie recipes are there?  And personally, I don’t believe there is a perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe.  Some like there’s with milk chocolate chips, others with semi.  Others enjoy a softer cake crumb while other might prefer crunchy, chewy, or harder on the edges & a chewy middle.  It’s really a personal preference.

And since all my recent brown-butter recipes have been turning out pretty darn good, why not make chocochip cookies with brown butter?  The results: Amazing.  I believe these have replaced my NY Times recipe, as my favorite recipe.  I do, although, want to try using different chips.  I might be making another batch tomorrow seeing they were a big hit today.

Brown-Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 sticks butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 large egg, plus 1 egg yolk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Melt the butter in a sauce pan and heat for about 10 min, until butter has turned golden-brown.  Stir frequently to ensure the butter doesn’t burn.  Once the butter has browned, combine it in a mixing bowl with the sugars, apple sauce and salt.  Whisk in the egg + egg yolk for about 30 sec.  Let it rest 3 min.  Whisk again for 30 sec, rest 3 min.  Repeat this process a total of 4 times.  This will result in a smooth, glossy mixture.  Stir in the flour and baking soda till combined.  Add in the chocolate chips and stir till evenly distributed.  Place in fridge covered with plastic wrap for about 10 min.  Make dough balls and place on baking sheet.  Bake for about 10-14 min.  Once they’re done, cool on a cooling rack.

When I run across a certain thing multiple times, I feel like it’s the worlds way of telling me something.  And that is how I came about to making Chicken Dumpling Soup.  I kept seeing it everywhere and last night I was imagining sinking my teeth into a soft yummy dumpling.  So I just had to make it.  It was hard to find a decent recipe so I was left to figure out how to fill in the blanks.  This is a nice soup that has your veges, protein & starch, making it a nice filling meal.

Chicken Dumpling Soup (some help came from here)

Stock

2 tbs butter

~1/2 cup chopped carrots, celery, mushrooms each

1/4 tsp dried tarragon

handful of chopped parsley

5-6 whole peppercorn & cloves, each

6 pieces of chicken, cleaned & washed

1/4 cup frozen peas

Dumplings

1 cup whole wheat flour (i’m going to try 1/2 c AP flour 1/2 c WW next time)
3/4 T baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup frozen, drained spinach,
or 1 cups fresh spinach, whirred in food processor or chopped finely
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
Soup
2 tbs flour
2 tbs butter
1 potato
Dumplings
6-8 c chicken stock
shredded chicken
Stock
Melt the butter in a large stock pot and saute the carrots, celery, and mushrooms.  Cook for 5 min or until the veges are tender.  Add 8 cups of water and chicken, peppercorns, cloves, peas, tarragon, and parsley.  Cook until chicken is cooked through.  You can cook it longer for more flavor.  Remove the cloves and peppercorns.  Take out the chicken and place in a bowl & shred once the chicken has cooled down slightly.
Dumplings
Combine the dry ingredients.  Whisk in, or using hands, the wet ingredients until combined.  Make small balls of this dough until all dough is used.
Soup
Melt butter in a large pot.  Using a whisk, whisk in the flour, making a roux.  Brown the roux till desired color and whisk in the a little bit of the warm stock, making sure no lumps form.  Slowly add in the remaining stock with all the veges in the stock.  Add the potatoes & shredded chicken.  Once the liquid has come to a simmer, place the dumpling balls into the liquid.  Cover the pot and cook for about 15 min or until the center is biscuit like.  Turn off heat and let it sit for 30 min and serve.
Note:  You can use stock cubes instead of making your own stock.  You can just saute your veges, add flour, whisk in water with stock cubes, add in whole chicken to shred once cooked, and then add dumplings.
This was my first time making dumplings and I believe it was a success!

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