Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies – A Guest Post

 

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Greetings! Most of you were probably expecting Emu, but not today! My name is Katie, Emma’s younger sister. I’m 11 years old, and I’m writing a guest post on these delicious chocolate chip cookies.

I am not anywhere close to a professional baker. I’m about fifty steps below my sister, but if I may say so myself, I make a mean chocolate chip cookie. My friend Kate and I found this recipe when we were browsing online, and to tell you the truth, I have no idea where it came from anymore, but the point is, I didn’t write the recipe.  I’m pretty sure that if I tried to write a recipe for something extravagant, like a torte, or pie, it would grow tentacles and try to murder everyone around it, but do those cookies look like they have tentacles to you? Nope! They’re just ordinary little treats to have with some afternoon tea.Image

Since it is the middle of summer, and the temperatures are gradually rising every day, I decided to put the dough in the fridge overnight and bake them in the morning, so that they did not heat up the house too much. In the morning, I turned on the oven and started to roll the dough into little balls. “Emma!” I had called. “The dough’s still really hard!”

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Emma came in to help, and told me that some bakers swear by putting your cookie dough in the fridge before baking, but to me, it still doesn’t change the fact that the dough. is. hard. Oh well. We finished molding them, baked the cookies, and without further ado, here is a recipe!

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies –  makes about 21, give or take a few

If you want less of a chocolate flavor, go ahead and use less chocolate chips. It’ll work out fine!

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter (or 1 stick)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. corn syrup
  • 1 egg (free range, people! free range!)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Whisk flour, salt and baking powder together. Set aside. Cream cold butter and sugar together by beating them until they are smooth. Add corn syrup, egg, and vanilla and continue beating until combined. Scrape down the bowl and gradually add the flour mixture, beating until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips with a spoon.
  3. Using a spoon, or just your hands, scoop out a ball of dough and place on a tray, covered in parchment paper. Flatten slightly. Leave enough room between each cookie for them to expand. Bake for exactly 12 minutes. Cool for two minutes on  cookie sheet, then move them to a cooling rack to cool further.

Last but not least, enjoy! 

*Best served when fresh out of the oven for a crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside texture.*

Photography by Emma

 

 

Homemade Bagels! Montreal Style

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I’ve never been good with yeast. To this day my cinnamon buns are always extremely dense and as hard as your pet rock. It’s the rising. It’s always been the rising. There’s never enough heat, or dry days and there is always, always that one thing called impatience.

But on this day, that is not the case! This day I have done it! I have ‘risen’ to the occasion and have made bagels that actually worked! This is how I did it.

You see, there is this lovely method I came across called ‘slow rising’, better known as ‘rising over night in the fridge’. After more research, I learned that some people swear by this method and say you can never get as good a flavour by rising it in a warm place for a few hours. Excited that I may actually be able to create a yeast baked good without it turning into a brick, I pulled out this recipe and went for it.

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I made the dough the day before baking and to my surprise, within an hour, the dough had already doubled in size. At this point there was a moment where I was afraid the dough would rise too much, or rise so much that it would fill the entire fridge and we would have to eat bagels for a month. Don’t worry, it was only a moment.

Hours later, boiling and baking were complete and I was receiving my families approval through full mouths. We had a delicious breakfast if I may say so myself. I can’t wait to make more bagels. Maybe I should make them cinnamon raisin! Or all whole wheat! Oh, I’m excited.

These bagels are imperfect perfection. They look a little rough around the edges, but are so worth it and super simple!

I left for work this morning with one bagel left, and came back and it had disappeared. I think that’s a good sign.

Montreal Style Bagels-makes 6 large or 10 medium sized bagels

Feel free to swap the whole wheat flour and all-purpose quantities. I’ve made both versions, and they both worked out magnificent!

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tb quick rising yeast
  • 2 tb granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tb vegetable oil

Day 1

In a large bowl combine flour, yeast, sugar and salt.
In another bowl combine egg, water and oil.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix together. If dough is quite sticky, add more flour.
Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes. If dough is still sticky, add more flour while you knead. The goal is for the dough to be pretty smooth, springing back slowly after pressing a finger into it.
Place in a large greased bowl and grease all sides and top of the dough.
Cover with a towel and set aside, let rise for 15 minutes.
Cover bowl in saran wrap and place in the fridge overnight.

Day 2

  • 3 tb granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • sesame or poppy seeds

Punch dough down; turn onto lightly floured surface and knead a few times.
Divide the dough into six pieces; roll each piece into a ball and poke a large whole in the middle with your thumb. Shape it into a bagel like shape, remembering that it will puff up and become larger.
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover and let rise in a draft free place for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Time to poach!
Fill 3/4 of a medium sized pot with water and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and stir in granulated sugar.
Slip bagels into the water, 2 at a time, and cook for 1 minute. Turn the bagel over using tongs and cook for 1 more minute. Place onto parchment lined sheet using tongs or a slotted spoon. Repeat with the rest of the bagels
Whisk egg in a small bowl and brush it onto the bagels. Sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds. Don’t be afraid to use a lot!
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and when you flip the bagel over and tap it, it sounds hollow.
Remove from pan and let cool for a few minutes on a wire rack.

Enjoy! I’m sure you will 🙂

Kale Salad with Almond Dressing

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You’d think that the story I am about to tell you would eventually have a nice segue into my kale salad recipe. Sadly, that is not the case today. Today the story is about crystal glasses, lace tablecloths and napkins, china dishes and the little old lady in all of us. We all know her. For some of us we see a lot of her, some of us she sometimes pops in for a cup of tea, and some of us never see her because she lives far, far away.

Personally, I think my inner little old lady frequents my house. My love for fine china, walks in the garden and tea parties are just a few of her many visits.

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Recently, my Mom brought home a few copies of “Victoria” magazine from the library. If your inner little old lady visits often and you have not heard of “Victoria” magazine, then oh boy, you are in for a delightful treat. This particular magazine takes you away to a fantasy world filled with stunning historic estates and tiny sandwiches with the crusts cut off. It’s a wonderful world it is.

Anything written in “Victoria” I imagine is written in this sort of situation: A very classy middle aged woman is holding an oaken pen, sitting with pristine posture at her vintage desk that is set infront of a grand window, overlooking a secluded bay. Of course she is drinking a fragrant cup of tea, made from the herbs in her garden, out of her fine Wedgewood cup, while treating herself to a lavender shortbread cookie filled with blueberry preserves. It is a beautiful summers eve and the lace curtains she inherited when her Grandmother passed are softly swaying in the cool breeze. She writes an article on the particularly smashing cookie she is carefully eating by only the light of the fading sun. She takes a sip of her tea, leaving behind a faint lipstick smudge. “It is time for a candle lit bath,” she says to herself as she gracefully rises and leaves the room. (All of this must be read in an English accent of course, because that is exactly how it was written!)

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All jokes aside, I truly love this magazine! Not only does it make you feel super classy, it inspires you to put a little more class in your life…or maybe tidy your room.

The dishes I used to photograph my Kale Salad are actually my great grandmother’s china! Inspired by “Victoria”, I have turned a simple country kale salad into a sophisticated dinner course.

So, with somewhat of a segue, I made a delicious Kale Salad to go with dinner yesterday! The original recipe came from our local farmer’s market, but a few tweaks were made to suit our taste buds. This recipe is a great way to use up those few bunches of kale you intended to use for green smoothies, but you just can’t stand one more of those concoctions.

Kale Salad with Almond Dressing-adapted from the local farmers market’s recipe

  • 2 bunches kale
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup almonds (or hazelnuts)
  • 1 tb raw sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Remove the ribs of your washed kale and finely chop. Finely slice the carrots and peppers as well.

Puree oils, vinegar, almonds, sugar and salt in a food processor until smooth. 1 tb at a time, add water, thinning until it reaches a thick dressing like consistency. (I added around 3-4 tb of water)

Toss the dressing with the kale and let mellow all day in the fridge or overnight, then add the peppers and carrots just before serving.

Nutritious and delicious!

Fresh Raspberry Fool

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Do you remember your childhood? I know I shouldn’t even be mentioning this because I’m technically still going through mine. For today’s purposes, I’m talking about when I was 6 years old. Or maybe I was 7? I’m not completely sure.

When I was young, I lived in an outdoor education center. What I mean by this is that my family and I lived in a forest in the middle of nowhere, smack dab in the middle between two towns. It was like a big summer camp. There was a lake, cabins, canoeing, kayaking, team building activities and one of my favourites, a high ropes course . Except their were no food fights in the dining hall. I absolutely loved living there. My father worked as a recreation instructor, so hence why we were there! We lived in a small cabin, so my brother’s and I would always be found outside jumping in puddles or going on long walks with Mom.

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I lived there for 5 years, but the memory I remember most is making jam. Yes, making jam. It wasn’t your average everyday jam though. It was special. There were only a few families living in the outdoor education center year round, so I had a few friends I became very close with.

Jam making was a favourite activity for my friends and I. By jam making, I mean finding every single type of berry in the whole place and squishing it together in a bowl. We had raspberries, a few varieties of currants, strawberries and probably a few leaves of some kind squished together. Then we would slap it on some bread and devour it. It was awesome.

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When I was halfway through grade one we packed up and moved to where we live now. After a few years we moved once again, but only a few blocks away. I was overjoyed to realize that in our back yard, we had a raspberry bush!

I used to hate being assigned the task of raspberry picker. My Mom had to harass me before I’d finally get my but out to the backyard. Nowadays, I don’t mind it at all! It’s nice to go outside with a bowl of yogurt and toss in a few fresh berries. It’s somewhat of a routine when the berries are in season.

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This raspberry fool really isn’t the most complicated of recipes. I’m not even sure if I can even call it a recipe. What I can say is that this was sure darn delicious, and I definitely picked all the berries in my pajamas.

Fresh Raspberry Fool- makes 4 small servings

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar (icing sugar)
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries

Take 1 1/2 cups of the raspberries and squish them with a fork until they reach a jam-like consistency. Depending on the ripeness of the berries, add a bit of sugar until you get your desired sweetness.

Whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form, adding the vanilla and sugar just before it’s finished whipping.

Carefully fold in the raspberries to the cream and chill for at least an hour.

Place in pretty glasses and toss on the remaining berries.

Enjoy!

Tuna Patties with Minty Steamed Carrots

Sometimes we just have those days. Those days where we want to go outside the norm and make a  sharp left turn on a straight stretch of road. But I don’t recommend doing this, because it involves crossing over the oncoming traffic’s lane and maybe getting hit and maybe crashing into the bush on the side of the road. Unless you’re in Europe of course, turn right. But the same warnings go for you and your Fiat. I love Fiat’s, so please don’t crash it.

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Contrary to popular belief, we can go outside the norm without taking such drastic measures. Wearing those awesome vintage striped pants you bought instead of  the usual low rise skinny jeans is different. Not enjoying the newest Taylor Swift song or Justin Bieber hit is different. By me, it’s encouraged.

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Today I’m taking the not so drastic route. By this I mean eating hot food on an already hot day. Living life dangerously! I know! And you thought this post was going to turn into something meaningful. Anywho, these tuna patties and minty steamed carrots seem like the perfect fall meal, but I just love fall! There’s always room for a little bit of fall in every season I always say. Well I don’t always say this, just now, but I shall start saying this! Right now!

We start by mixing together herbs in the name of dill and chives, yogurt and an egg white. Don’t forget that freshly ground salt and pepper.

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Then we toss in breadcrumbs and tuna like we just don’t care. But we do care. So be careful. We mostly care that these patties only have 6 ingredients. Not including the salt and pepper.

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When you steam those carrots, toss in a few mint leaves in with the water. It makes every bite of carrot taste like the mint gods made a personal visit.

As you can see, I topped my patties with fresh cheese and a few sprigs of dill. Toss on a chopped mint leaf to them carrots and enjoy! I sure did.

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Tuna Pattiesmakes 2

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon plain yogurt
  • a few stems of fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh dill, chopped-plus extra for garnish
  • a pinch each of salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon bread crumbs
  • 1 can flaked tuna, well drained
  • 1 tablespoon butter, for cooking
  • fresh cheese of any kind, or tzatziki

Whisk together egg, yogurt, herbs, salt and pepper.

Mix in tuna and bread crumbs until well combined. Form into 2 patties.

Fry in butter, in a pan set on medium heat for 4 minutes on each side, uncovered.

Top with fresh cheese or tzatziki and fresh dill. Serve with Minty Steamed Carrots.

Minty Steamed Carrots

  • 2 carrots, sliced thinly
  • 4 leaves of fresh mint

Place sliced carrots, 2 mint leaves and 1 cm of water in a small saucepan with the lid on, set over medium-high heat. When it starts steaming, stir and turn down to medium. Cook until carrots are tender and fall off a fork when speared. Chop up the other 2 mint leaves and sprinkle on top.

Enjoy!