Category Archives: The Cookie Project
I was talking about hamburgers with a friend recently, and when she said how can anybody mess up making a burger, it got me thinking. There are many ways to ruin a perfectly good burger. When I had my restaurant, our burgers were one of our best sellers. People would ask how I got them so juicy, and big. We used locally grown, organic black Angus beef that was delivered every other day, and I think that while this added to the flavor, one can achieve a fantastic burger with regular store bought ground beef. Here are several “rules” I follow, and my results are the same every time. Thick and juicy. I thought I would share them, since we are now officially in the grilling season.
Rule #1 – Always use a good lean- to – fat ratio. 80 / 20 is perfect. The fat provides optimal flavor.
Rule #2 – Do not over handle your meat. People tend to try to get the perfectly round patty, and do not realize that all they are creating is a tough, juice-less burger instead. All you need to do is grab a good sized handful, (about the size of a baseball) and press lightly into the palm of your hand, gently shaping into a disc about 3/4 inch thick. That’s it. It does not need to be a perfect circle.
Rule #3 – Salt. And a good amount of it. Salt both sides of the burger, about 1/2 tsp per side, and then more before serving. The salt allows the meat to get a good crust while cooking, either in a pan or on the grill.
Rule #4 – Never, ever press down on the burgers while they are cooking. You may think this will help it cook faster, but it does not and all your really doing is pressing all those beautiful juices and flavors right out of the burger. The only time they need to be touched is when you are flipping them. And this only needs to be done once. I cook my burgers 5 minutes per side. Do not overcook. 4-5 minutes per side at 375 – 400 degrees is plenty of time to insure your burger is cooked to perfection. (medium)
and last but not least….
Rule #5 – Let the burgers rest a few minutes before taking that first bite. This allows all of the juices to remain in the meat, and not all over your bun.
Follow these tips, and you will be the burger king or queen! (pun intended)
Now on to the cookie recipe for today.( I found the recipe here )
I missed last week of the cookie project so this week I am going to try and double up. Here is the second attempt at figuring out the secret cookie. Still not it, but darn good! We made some this afternoon in between our Slip and Slide adventures outside.
Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips (I used half semisweet and half milk chocolate)
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
Beat the butter and brown sugar until thoroughly blended. Add eggs, and vanilla and mix to combine. Add dry ingredients and mix just to blend. Gently fold in chips.
Place dough onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheet using a scooper.
Bake 10-12 minutes (depending on the size of your cookies and your oven) or until cookies are pale brown.
Cool cookies on cookie sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack until cooled completely.
A good friend of mine is determined to crack the recipe of a “secret” chocolate chip cookie that a friend of hers, who will not give up the recipe, makes. (This rubbed me the wrong way, since I think sharing recipes is a wonderful thing).
The Cookie Project is my attempt at recreating the cookie in question for my friend. I will make a batch of cookies a week until I get it right. I will be victorious! (and if not, at least my trial and error will be tasty)
The SC (secret cookie) has me stumped. I have sampled it, and although I am usually pretty good at naming ingredients, there is something that I can’t quite figure out. I have scoured the web in search of unique cookie recipes and so far have found about a dozen. The recipes range from classic to blondie.
I started with a recipe I found on http://www.preparedpantry.com
These are not the SC, but they are worth making. They have the texture and taste of a blondie but in cookie form.
Blondie Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup pecans or walnuts
1 cup milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Cream 1/2 cup of the butter, sugar, and salt together. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each. Beat until light and fluffy.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the second 1/2 cup of butter in the microwave until it is mostly melted, about 45 seconds at high power. Stir in the brown sugar to make a thick syrup. Stir in the vanilla extract.
Measure the flour by spooning it into the measuring cups. (If you scoop the flour from the bag, it will be packed and you will have too much flour.) Mix in the baking soda so that it is dispersed.
Beat the brown sugar mixture into the creamed sugar mixture. Add the flour mixture in two or three additions mixing only until combined. Add the chocolate chips and nuts.
Drop rounded spoonfuls or ice cream scoop (my preference) of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for nine to eleven (rotating pan halfway through cooking time). Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool.