July 28, 2012
Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies
July 28: National Milk Chocolate Day
We have been blogging for a few years now but have not yet included a recipe post for basic milk chocolate chip cookies—until now. On National Milk Chocolate Day, we could have baked a milk chocolate cake, blended a milk chocolate shake, or melted milk chocolate to cover nuts or dip pretzels or fruits. But we stuck with an old-time favorite: classic milk chocolate chip cookies. Mmmm…ooey, gooey, rich and chewy! Milk chocolate chip cookies are simple yet satisfying for chocoholics like us. And they are perfect to post as a recipe on National Milk Chocolate Day!
(Adapted from Hershey’s)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- ¾ cup granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups milk chocolate chips (we used Hershey’s brand)
In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugars. Add the vanilla extract. Beat in the eggs.
In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add these dry ingredients to the wet ones. Mix until a soft cookie dough is formed. Gently fold in the milk chocolate chips.
On a lightly greased baking pan lined with foil, scoop one-inch balls and place them about two-inches apart. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 4-5 dozen cookies.
- We halved the original recipe to feed just the two of us. But we like a lot of milk chocolate chips in our cookies and usually measure out two cups instead of one!
- Star Wars fans may enjoy something similar to milk chocolate chip cookies: Wookiee Cookies.
- Search our blog for more chocolate and cookie recipes.
July 27, 2012
Easy Crème Brulee
July 27: National Crème Brulee Day
We sometimes order crème brulee at restaurants because they look like an impressive dessert. But after we got a crème brulee torch as a Christmas gift a few years ago, we have been impressing our own guests ever since!
Crème brulee is basically a custard. But it is the crackly burnt sugar top that makes this dessert unique. It is not that hard to make either, and we use the leftover egg yolks from another French-inspired confection—macarons (see samples on our Mac Attack page).
Impress your guests and make an easy crème brulee, especially for National Crème Brulee Day.
(Adapted from CD Kitchen)
- 6-8 egg yolks
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract)
- ½ cup light brown sugar, reserved for the topping
In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks, cream, sugar and vanilla. Whisk until ingredients are blended well. Strain the mixture to reduce any bubbles and foam. Pour evenly among 8-10 small ramekins (ceramic dishes). Place in a larger baking pan.
Boil water. Pour the boiled water halfway up the sides of the ramekins to make a water bath. Bake in a preheated oven at 300 degrees F for an hour or more, testing for doneness with a toothpick (it took us 1 ½ hours in our kitchen). Remove from the oven and carefully transfer the ramekins to a wire rack. Cool for about 30 minutes then cover and refrigerate overnight.
Before serving, sprinkle a thin layer of brown sugar on top. Carefully use a crème brulee torch in a back and forth or circular motion to caramelize the sugar to a crisp. Serve immediately while the custard is still cold and the sugar top hardens.
- If a crème brulee torch is unavailable, broil them in the oven close to the heating unit. First freeze the custards for about 10-15 minutes before sprinkling the brown sugar on top. Then broil for 5 minutes or until the sugar starts to bubble and darken.
- Baking time may vary, depending on one’s oven so adjust the time every 15 minutes when necessary. Test the crème brulee after 45 minutes by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out clean, it is done. The custards may jiggle a bit in the middle but it should set when cool.
- Thanks to Olga W. for gifting us with a crème brulee torch set!
July 24, 2012
July 24: National Tequila Day
Besides beer (cerveza), tequila is another popular yet potent liquor around Texas, especially since we live close to the South of the Border. Tequila is an alcoholic beverage made from the blue agave plant, which grows abundantly around Tequila, Mexico. Although it can be drunk straight up (neat), it is often mixed in a variety of creative cocktails. One that we tried was a “Tequila Sunrise” for today’s observation of National Tequila Day. When the colors of gold tequila, orange juice and grenadine gradually mix in the glass, it looks like the sun is rising, hence, the name of this drink. ¡Salud!
(Adapted from About.com Cocktails)
- 4 ounces orange juice
- 2 ounces tequila
- 1 ounce grenadine
- orange slice and maraschino cherry for garnish
Place ice cubes in a highball glass. Add the orange juice, then tequila. Carefully pour the grenadine down the side of the glass without mixing. Allow the flavors to blend and the colors to create gradations. Garnish with a sliced orange and maraschino cherry. Serve immediately.
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