Deluxe Chocolate-Chocolate Cookies

We have some really great friends, and one of the best ways I can repay them for their kind gestures is by baking them something yummy. I had just gotten to a chocolate cookie recipe in my Tartine cookbook, which I thought our friend Michael would like. He is so good when we visit Maryland; he checks our mail, takes us/picks us up from the airport if we need it, and so on. He also drives K to work, since K and I share a car. It’s nice having such a good neighbor, so he definitely deserved these cookies. I made a couple small changes, but I did not want to mess with the brownie consistency of these cookies. They stay soft for quite a while.

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The recipe did not call for any kind of chocolate chips, which I found horrifying. I love chocolate cookies with some sort of texture. Since the cookies were going to be super dark, I knew that white chocolate chips would go well: nice pockets of creamy sweetness. On a few of the cookies, I went bold and added some salt on top. It ended up working really well. You can leave it out, just like you could leave out the chocolate chips, but maybe you can try it on at least one cookie. Go on, be bold.

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Chicken Noodle Soup

With all of the flu and stomach virus stuff going around this year, I was in the mood to make chicken noodle soup. Hopefully it helps stave off any germs for us! I also decided to have fun using a chicken in multiple ways–to make chicken broth, in a soup, and just as roasted chicken. So, this all starts with making roast chicken, then using that to help make chicken broth, and now we have what we need to make a soup!

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You can top it with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Hopefully you saved some leftover chicken meat (the breast meat works really well here so that it stays moist in the soup) and shredded it. If not, you can cook some chicken and add it in, or buy a rotisserie chicken and use it. You will also want some vegetables, noodles (I love using egg noodles), and the chicken broth (homemade or not).

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Tartine’s Shortbread

I had been wanting to make shortbread for a while. The ingredients list is short and the recipes are relatively simple, but the flavor is so yummy. Previously, most of my experience with shortbread cookies has been with store-bought ones that aren’t very fresh. Still good, but homemade was super delicate and rich. An ingredient I was not expecting to use is cornstarch, and quite a bit of it. So, be prepared for that. Apparently the cornstarch is what makes the texture so fluffy and crumbly. Traditionally, you just use sugar, butter, and flour, but I would still say you should try this recipe because it was really good. Next time I might try to mix in some other flavors, like vanilla extract or something else. The flavor of the shortbread is subtle, so if you eat it with other desserts, you can pair it with similarly light flavors. We ate it with buttermilk ice cream and enjoyed both mild flavors together.

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Tips-y Tuesdays: How to Make Chicken Broth

Just like with the roast chicken “recipe”, I decided not to make this an official recipe post because it is more about strategy than amounts. It is also a way of what you can do with the roast chicken carcass from last week. I knew you could do something with it, so after doing some research, I decided to save the chicken carcass and bones after we finished carving it. I made a broth from it, and then made chicken noodle soup. Super yummy and healthy for you, and not too tricky. You could obviously make the soup without homemade broth, but if you’re already making the roast chicken, it’s not really much extra work.

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Remember how I had you only use 1/2 an onion in the chicken? And you probably had some leftover vegetables…specifically a stalk of celery and a carrot? Here’s your chance to do some good with it!

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Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza

Last month, K and I celebrated our 5 years of being together, and I posted a celebration cake from my friend Lisa’s birthday. Now, I’ve talked before about how I keep getting behind (or ahead, depending on how you look at it) with posts on this blog. I’m about a month off just because I go on cooking frenzies. Sorry you get delayed notice. It also means that sometimes when WordPress and I have issues with the “schedule” button, you get sent emails telling you about some new recipe from me that isn’t actually supposed to be posted yet. Again, apologies. So, even though I made this pizza a month ago, you are just now seeing it. Hopefully it’s worth the wait!

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Meringue and Ice Cream Cake

If you’ve been visiting this week, then you would know what was coming today! The topping for the ice cream cake! But, as with the other recipes, you can just use this meringue to go with any other recipe you want. You could make a lemon meringue pie, make a different ice cream cake, use it to top a regular cake, make a tart…lots of possibilities! The recipe is straight out of the Bi-Rite Creamery cookbook. In case you are worried about using lots of egg whites for this (something than turned me off before from making certain recipes), I can tell you that it pairs perfectly with most ice cream recipes, which is the main reason I wanted to make this over a different frosting. Meringue needs 4 egg whites, and the buttermilk ice cream I paired it with (much like other ice creams I make) uses 4 egg yolks. Yay! Meringue also works really well for ice cream cakes because it stays fluffy and soft in the freezer. This particular meringue is not too sweet like some, so it is almost like a whipped cream topping, but healthier. Before you make the meringue, though, you will want to assemble the cake, so I will provide those directions first.

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