Archive for February 2010

Feb162010

Tuesdays With Dorie: Chocolate Chip Cookies

I (and about 20 other co-workers) got some really crappy, crummy news today, and since I don’t comfort eat, I decided to do some comfort baking. It works for me!

So, it’s been a little while since I did a Tuesdays With Dorie post, but it wasn’t for lack of wanting to! With the big holidays now out of the way I have more time to focus on the stuff I truly enjoy doing, and unsurprisingly, baking is one of those.

This week’s Tuesdays With Dorie is My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies, selected by Kait of Kait’s Plate.

I love chocolate chip cookies — who doesn’t? But I tend to like the ones that are thick and chewy, not thin and crispy. In fact, I call those cow patty cookies because, well, that’s what they look like! These, however cow patty-ish they may look, tasted like anything but. They were amazing! Though I don’t know that I’d call them the best I’ve ever had (I’ll write about those later), they are very, very good.

I had everything on hand except some good bittersweet chocolate, though I did have a couple of bars of Hershey’s Special Dark in my chocolate drawer (you don’t have a chocolate drawer?). Since Hershey’s is better baked with than eaten plain (yuck), I chopped it all up (very therapeutic) into some nice chunks.

Like Kait, I also ended up bringing down the baking time to nine minutes and kept the dough in the fridge while the cookies in the oven baked.

Kait’s got the recipe on her blog.

My happy place

Feb122010

Cherry Crumble

Cherry Crumble

Cherry crumble was one of the first desserts I learned to make growing up. My mom canned cherries every summer and we had so many jars stored that we were more or less allowed to make it whenever we wanted.

Though the last jar of canned cherries was used up more than 22 years ago (and I still can’t seem to find a canned cherry that has the same perfect tartness!), I still like to make cherry crumble for my family as often as I can.

Cherry Crumble

I use Comstock brand canned cherries, and one of their varieties claims to be “less sweetened,” but it is sweetened with Splenda and has a funky, almost watery “not quite right” aftertaste. I try to avoid that one when I’m in the baking aisle.

This would be a perfect treat for Valentine’s Day if you plan to stay in, and is the perfect amount for my family of five. The original recipe says to enjoy it warm or at room temperature, but I’ve always liked it cold out of the fridge. The kids like it warm and with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Cherry Crumble

1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
6 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/4 – 1/2 tsp cinnamon (to taste)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (20 ounce) can cherry pie filling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Melt butter or margarine in a small saucepan. Remove pan from heat and stir in oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt until a dry, crumbly dough forms. Press about 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of 9 inch square pan, making an even layer.

Spread cherry pie filling in the crust, and sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until top is lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Print this recipe! Print this recipe!

Feb22010

Homemade Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is thick, creamy and surprisingly easy to make. It’s also called for in many frozen yogurt recipes because there is less water in the mixture, making for less ice crystals and a thicker final product.

You can actually use regular yogurt to make Greek-style yogurt, and depending on what you want it for you can use just plain or vanilla, or even the fruit varieties. Sugar- and fat-free work too. Here’s what you do:


Get your strainer and a bowl big enough that the strainer can fit into it with a bit of space space between the bottom of the bowl and the bottom of the strainer.

Line the inside of the strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth (you can find cheesecloth in the baking aisle at the grocery store). Empty a container of yogurt onto the cheesecloth, and depending on how much you’re using you can even use a smaller strainer and bowl, etc.


You’ll immediately start to see some of the liquid from the yogurt. Gently cover the top of the yogurt with plastic wrap and place the whole thing in the fridge.

Depending on how thick you want your yogurt will determine how long it should stay in the fridge and drain. For a creamy, sour-cream textured Greek yogurt, keep it in for 4-6 hours. A more authentic Greek yogurt needs 8-12 hours, and 24 hours will give you something close to cream cheese.

When you’re done, gently lift the strainer from the drain bowl. The liquid that’s left is whey, and actually contains any bitterness from the yogurt. Scoop your Greek yogurt into an airtight container and keep stored in the fridge, or:


Make frozen yogurt!