Monday, July 21, 2014

Lemon Mascarpone Torte: Sometimes you really just need it to be easy

My readers will notice I did not post much in June.  That's because June turned out to be the craziest month of all time for me with a teaching schedule that went completely haywire, with multiple school districts with different calendars letting their students out at varying times, which affects me because suddenly half of my students want morning lessons.  Add to that summer students, my kids STILL in school, and church VBS and my stress levels go through the roof.  There were many moments when I felt like the world was reeling around me so quickly that I couldn't keep anything in place and intact.

All the while all of this craziness was going on, I still kept on riding my bike as much as possible.  It's a way for me to keep my stress levels under control because on my bike, you just can't help but smile.  I can't help but smile.  I wear the goofiest helmet of all time and it makes me happy and it makes me laugh.  (Should you want to emulate my incredible fashion sense, buy it here.)

Every once in a while, one of my friends will look at me as we are in the middle of an intense conversation and say something like, "I can't take you seriously when your head looks like a watermelon."  Then I'll take it off.  But while I'm on my bike, moving around my neighborhood, back and forth between school and home, my helmet stays on my head.

Unfortunately I can't do Costco shopping on my bike, so I usually run home, leave my bike and then hop into the car.  During my most intense time in June, I discovered I need something at Costco, so as it is my habit, I dumped my bike and excess equipment at school and went  to Costco.  I parked, flashed my membership card, and with my mind on figuring out and calculating how quickly I could finish what I need to do at Costco, I barely noticed the people giving me funny looks. As I ran towards the fruit section, I happened to pass a mirror section, which I quickly moved past, when I caught a flash of green on my head in the reflection.

Green as in my watermelon helmet.  Green as in the watermelon helmet that I DROVE to Costco with, got out of the car with, and ran around half of Costco with.  I sheepishly began laughing at myself, removed the helmet and shook my head at my own nuttiness.  Was I that intensely insane that I couldn't remember to take off a helmet?  Evidently yes.  My life had reached a fever pitch that made things so crazy that a watermelon helmet in the middle of Costco could completely happen.

I'm always grateful for the month of July because life slows down for me.  No more lunches to pack, students flit in and out of my life on vacation and then back off vacation, and a general slowing of the mayhem that is motherhood.  And during the slowdown I find myself feeling lazy and wanting simply to do less and do things simply.  It also gets warmer so it's less compelling to be in the kitchen.  I decided to go ahead and try and do a no bake cheesecake recipe, drawing inspiration from a bunch of different sources, but mostly this one.   
The result?  Summer easy yummy fun.  The main commitment is time to chill and set it, which clocks in at around 8 hours, or overnight (or up to 3 days ahead of time) but the end result is totally worth it, and it's easy!  No ovens to turn on and nothing complicated to do except layer, and you can probably even do it with a bike helmet on, should you feel so compelled. 

Lemon Mascarpone Torte
Serves 5 to 6

2 cups (16 oz mascarpone cheese)
⅔  cup heavy cream
⅔  cup prepared lemon curd
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
Kosher salt
About 15 whole graham crackers
Blueberries, for serving

Line a 8-by-4-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, allowing 4 inches of overhang.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the mascarpone with the heavy cream at medium speed until smooth and just firm; do not overbeat. Fold in the lemon curd, lemon zest and a pinch of salt.

Spread a 1/4-inch-thick layer of the lemon cream on the bottom of the pan.  (I used a broken off piece of graham cracker to do this - YUM!)  Arrange a single layer of graham crackers on top, breaking them to fit.  For a prettier edge, break the crackers a little bit short of the edge so that the outside will be cream and not a layer of graham, essentially leaving a border around the edge of your pan.   Repeat the layering with the remaining lemon cream and crackers, finishing with a final layer of cream.

Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Uncover and invert the cheesecake onto a platter. Remove the plastic wrap. Serve with blueberries.

Printable recipe

Cutting into yumminess.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Korean Spicy Pork Sandwich (돼지불고기 sandwich): Unexpected outcome

 For EK - my first drum teacher, who assured me that if I mastered one beat, I could play drums in praise for the rest of my life.  You were right.
For DK, EBK -your support and encouragment!

I started fiddling with the drums almost 4 years ago.  I got it in my head that long while ago, that given enough practice and discipline, I could be good enough to play in front of my church with our praise band.   Our praise band needed a drummer as there were none, and I was motivated to fulfill this role.  I practiced diligently for a while, then the drums sat idle for a long while, and then recently, in the last six months or so, I've been practicing far more regularly and trying a lot more to get my rhythms and my coordination together.  But I'm very much not that good.  A novice at best and an uncoordinated old lady at worst.  I've actually played excitedly in front of friends and family before and their immediate response isn't "You're good" but rather, "Don't you have any other beats or fancy stuff you can do?"  Deflate my ego.

However, because I am stubborn, I kept on practicing.  Still only novice level, but a confident novice.  And on a whim, one day during praise team rehearsal, where I have always been a pianist or keyboardist and sometimes a vocalist, I offered to play the drums while my guitarist took the lead on the song.  Everyone perked up on the team, and we decided to give it a go.  I helped establish the rhythm and I kept the beat for the entire song and the guitarist said, "You're great.  Why don't you play Sunday for service?"  My jaw dropped.  My face turned red.  My armpits got sweaty.  Piano in front of service was easy, a no brainer, and simple to follow through.  I had no worries when I played piano, but drums was a whole new perspective and I began to silently freak out.  "Can I do it?" I asked the team, and they all nodded encouragingly and said, "You were great!  Do it!"  After rehearsal was over, I asked, "Are you guys only saying to play drums because you're trying to keep me happy or do you actually want me to drum?"  They all said, "JUST PLAY!  It'll be GREAT!"

Then Sunday came.  I told Children I was playing drums but to keep it a secret from Husband so that he could be surprised when the beats came during our service.  I led a song on the piano, then moved from the piano to the drums and BAM!  Began playing!!!  And it was both thrilling and completely freaky at the same time.  It was only one song, probably about two minutes of beating the drums, but it was one of the most thrilling minutes of my life.  I was focused, concentrated and completely unable to do anything but focus on the two sticks and all the rhythm I was to create.

I got offered another opportunity to play again today, and I drummed TWO songs today.  And still, I'm not an expert drummer with fantastic beats or fancy embellishments.  But the praise leader this week made the interesting observation that what is needed isn't the fanciest drummer.  What is needed is the steady beat to help keep the song together and not mess it up with fancy solos.   In my head and in my arrogance I wanted to be the fanciest most spectacular female praise drummer the world had ever seen.  What I am is the steady and consistent amateur rhythm maker who helps keep the team together. Somehow, God used my small ability and used it to do what was actually needed, not what I wanted in my head.  I don't need to be fancy for God to use me.  I only need to be consistent and faithful and God uses me in the most effective way.

Unexpected outcome, but oh what a blessing.

These sandwiches were also an unexpected outcome.  I had made Korean spicy pork (돼지불고기) for Husband for dinner, and Girls complained that it was KOREAN FOOD AGAIN.  I quickly grabbed pretzel buns, sliced them in half, and said, "It's not Korean if it's on a sandwich. Make yourself a spicy pork sandwich."  Something about the pretzel bun must have intrigued them for they both decided to make themselves a sandwich and within seconds were oohing and aahing at the flavor.  It looked so good to me I threw some Korean perilla leaf on mine and was blown away at the yummy amazing flavor.  They are easy to make and the pretzel bun (which I picked up at Costco) is the perfect foil to the saucy and spicy pork.  It's a great dish to make for a large group.
Unexpected outcome.  But oh so good.

Korean Spicy Pork Bulgogi Sandwich (Dweji Bulgogi 돼지불고기Sandwich)
Serves 5 to 6

1 1/2 lbs thinly sliced pork shoulder (also called pork butt) OR you can use pork belly for this (your local Korean market will have the appropriate cut of meat)

1/3 cup Korean chili pepper paste (gochujahng 고추장)
3 tablespoons finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon hot pepper flakes (omit this to reduce the heat)
1 tablespoon sake
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon crushed toasted sesame seeds
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 scallions, cut into 2 inch lengths

12 pretzel buns (small so 2 per person) (or another type of soft roll)
24 perilla leaves and/or romaine lettuce leaves for serving on top of the sandwich.

In a large bowl, mix together gochujang, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, sake, sesame oil, honey and sesame seeds.  Add thinly sliced pork and using your hands, making sure each piece is evenly coated.

Add onions and scallions and mix well.  Allow to marinate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

Heat a heavy fry pan over medium high heat.  It is better to cook this in batches, than trying to cook it all at once.  Cook half the pork until the onions are translucent and the meat is fully cooked, about 6 minutes.  Transfer to a serving plate and cook the other half of the pork.

While the pork is still warm, slice pretzel buns in half, and scoop a nice hefty portion of pork onto the bun.  Add perilla leaves and romaine leaf.  Place bun on top and move sandwich to the mouth.  Chew. Chew. Chew.
Printable recipe

Great outcomes, unexpectedly

Friday, July 11, 2014

Korean Style Red Bean Shaved Ice Patbingsoo (팥빙수): Obsessions come home

There was a summer during college, when I went to Korea in order to figure out if teaching was what I wanted to do.  My aunt helped line up a series of students for me to experiment on, and I landed in Korea and had my own tiny little room in another aunt's house.  I spent my days teaching and my evenings hunting down Seoul's best version of their summer time dessert, patbingsoo, or red bean shaved ice.

I actually remember the first time someone offered it to me and I was immediately put off by the idea of red bean and ice.  WHAT?  Weird!  It's like refried beans that are cold?  Gross!  No way!  But when my cousin insisted that I try it, I did and I was so hooked I became obsessed.  My cousin suggested that we attempt to eat one red bean shaved ice each day and compare our favorites and find out which we liked the best.  It sounded like a great challenge and I'd even skip dinner some nights (as it was super hot anyways) just so I could go out and hunt for a great shaved ice with my cousin.  We ate cheap ones from mini corner stores that had a ton of fruit cocktail dumped on top, to fancier versions in hotel restaurants that had expensive and beautifully cut fruit arranged on top, much like one would decorate a cake.  We would eat them in bakeries and we would hunt them down in bookstores.  It became a ritual to hunt down another place where we could have them and we fulfilled our daily intake of shaved ice that summer.

While living in Korea, I also would occaisionally grab one during the summer, but for some reason I wasn't as crazy about it as I used to be.  Perhaps it was my anti-bean husband who didn't much care for it, or the fact that it's one of those dishes I associate with solitude and peace, and children don't equal solitude and peace.  For whatever reason, I didn't eat it much.

Last week, on the 4th of July, I had some friends over, and my friend brought this dish as a dessert.  There were a good number of people over, but she prepared an awesome selection of fruits and toppings and brought it over to share.  I shaved ice for folks and people got to decide what they wanted on their patbingsoo.  It was Children's first time ever seeing a manual ice shaver (yes, we've never been to Hawaii) and it ended up being super exciting for them.

In short, I had to go out and get everything so that I could begin my love affair with patbingsoo again.  I tried grinding the ice in the Vitamix as an initial solution, and it kind of worked, but not as well as I wanted.  I went and got a manual ice shaving machine from our local Ranch 99 along with a bunch of other ingredients readily available at the market.  Children became experts at creating the shaved ice dish of their dreams and I began creating the shaved ice versions from my own memory.

I personally favor the simpler shaved ices, which focuses more on fresh fruit and fewer toppings like this one.  With shaved ice, watermelon, red bean, mochi, and a little scoop of sweetened condensed milk it's the most refreshing one that I enjoy.

 Some people like a more complicated, more topping-filled one which has a variety of fruits, nata de coco (coconut jelly), lychees (canned), mochi, sweetened condensed milk and a sprinkling of cereal.

There is also the option of a scoop of vanilla ice cream to add to your shaved ice.

 Then you have my nutty kids who refuse to eat the red bean (which is sort of the whole point of the dish) and proceed to enjoy their shaved ice with a ton of fruit and a ton of syrupy soaked toppings.  Go figure.

The range of choices is super wide and people seem to have their own preferences of what they like so you can set out a bar of choices and let people construct them.  The key is to have cold everything - fruit, canned items, and condensed milk.  The colder everything is, the less ice meltage you have, which is the desired effect.  Prepare and wash your fruit and cut it and stick it back in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

The important ingredient is the ice itself.  Ice shavers come in a variety of permutations, but the best ones are simple to use, simple to clean, and simple to replace.  I found one for $11 at Ranch 99, and a lot of Asian markets will have one for less than you can find online.  In addition, try to find one that includes the ice molds so that you can create large disks of ice that shave the most efficiently in your ice shaver.  You can also find them on Amazon for a little bit more money, but if you're not close to a Chinese or Asian market, it may be your best option.

 As for my canned ingredients, here they are.  The red beans, although probably even tastier if I made them myself, taste very lovely in this dish from a can.  Sweetened condensed milk is the final sweet and creamy touch on top.  Nata de coco are coconut jellies and are currrently the obsession of both Daughters.  They also like the lychees in syrup, even though I'm not a huge fan.  All these I got at my local Ranch 99, with the red beans and condensed milk coming in at above $3.

Some people even like a little sprinkling of cereal. I think the tiny bits of mochi, which are at your local Korean market or Japanese market, are the most important.  But choose what you like and arrange cold toppings on a tray or a table and let your guests go to work!

My obsession at home!  I'm ready to mix this up!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Kale Salad with Feta, Pecans, Cranberries and Pickled Onion Dressing: Salad Betrayal

SN - I forgive you and take you back.

All lovers in love have heard that sappy saccharine quote, "If you love something set it free and if it comes back to you, it was meant to be." I recently had an experience that made me think of that quote over and over and I questioned the veracity of those words.

One of my good friends loves my many kale salads. Every opportunity I have, I try and give her a kale salad to satisfy all her cravings. She always eats it with such relish and such willingness that in my head I was sure I had her undying devotion to my kale salads.

However, a few weeks ago, I was stunned to receive this text from her. "I cheated on your kale salad." Turns out she went to a local grocery store and PURCHASED A KALE SALAD BEHIND MY BACK! I am a jealous woman so I did not respond well.  I was stunned. I was shocked. I was hurt and part of me died a little. How could she go so easily to another kale salad when she had mine almost as much as she wanted? 

I sent a series of texts back to her.
You're disloyal.
You don't deserve my kale salad.
It's over.
You can't ever get my kale salad again.
You'll never see any piece of my salad again.

She kept on interjecting in between my rant with empty words.
I liked yours more.
Yours tastes better.
I can't eat any other kale salad except yours.
I've learned my lesson. 
I'll never stray away from your salads again.

I shut off my phone and refused to hear anymore from her and her useless words about how she would never stray from my kale salad again.  But in the night, I discovered that separating her from my kale salad out of pure spite and stubborness hurt me more than it hurt her.  

The next morning I texted.
I forgive you.  My kale salads forgive you.

I'm happy to say that she went away from my kale salads and came back to them, so it must be meant to be.  My head was sure that she wouldn't stray, but now my heart knows she won't.  This harsh test of our relationship proves that we have what it takes to make it all the way, as long as my kale salad is involved.

To celebrate our reunion over kale salad, I made this new one for her, which has the exciting addition of pickled onions in the dressing, which just adds the right sharp and sour bite to a wonderful salad.  It touches on the Greek salad with the feta, but the richness of pecans mixed with the hearty kale just makes a truly satisfying salad.  I'm confident that this salad will also help you maintain loyal relationships with those around you.

Kale Salad with Feta, Pecans, Cranberries, and Pickled Onion Dressing
Serves 3 to 4

3 medium bunches Lacinato/dinosaur kale, washed and rinsed well, finely chopped (8 cups chopped)

½ cup finely chopped red onions
¼ red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
¼  cup extra virgin olive oil
¼  teaspoon fine grain sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 cup pecans (small pieces are fine, as you’ll be processing them anyways)

½ dried sweetened cranberries
¾  cup crumbled feta cheese

If you’ve never dealt with dinosaur/lacinato kale, you’ll need to remove the stem before trying to eat it.  I’ve found the fastest way is to simply grab the stem with one hand, and with the other, start at the base of the leaf, and it a quick motion, strip the leaf upwards until the stem is left stripped.  I save the stem and chop it finely and put it in my vegetable soups.   I find it much easier to wash the kale after the stem has been removed.  Wash, dry very well in a salad spinner, and then shred.  The smaller the shred, the better the texture in the salad.

In a large jar, add chopped red onions.  Pour red wine vinegar and sugar over onions and shake vigorously so as to coat onions with vinegar sugar mixture.  Add olive oil, salt, and pepper and set aside until rest of the salad is done, so that onions have time to pickle.  It’s okay if the dressing separates and the vinegar stays around the onions because it aids in the pickling process.

Preheat oven to 300.  Lay pecans on a cookie sheet.  Cook until fragrant and lightly golden, 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.  Chop nuts finely, using a food processor.  Set aside.

In a large salad bowl add shredded kale, pecans, cranberries and feta cheese.  Pour dressing over salad and toss.  The salad should get enough of the pickled onions for the full flavor.

Serve.  Because of the sturdy nature of kale, you can actually dress this salad and serve even 30 minutes later and it’s still delicious, although my preference is to eat it immediately.

Printable recipe

This salad demands and commands loyalty.

Monday, July 7, 2014

OmieBox: How to have your hot and cold food together!

The creator of the OmieBox and I met a few months back and I have to say that initially I was mostly skeptical before meeting her.  Could a lunch box do better than the system I had going now?  I had a way to deal with hot food, regular food, not hot food and it seemed to work pretty well.  I liked dividers, I liked the one box idea and I thought I had it pretty good the way I had things set up already.

When Nancy came to me and asked me to look at the box, immediately my thoughts shifted to Son, who has a number of food allergies which I think has contributed to his lack of curiosity when it comes to food.  He likes what he knows, doesn't really enjoy trying new things, and actually needs a HOT meal for most of his lunches.  These past few years haven't been a problem because I feed him at home; however, come this school year, Son will be eating on his own, at school, and the challenges of feeding him loom large and clear in my head. Upon seeing the prototype for the OmieBox, I began imagining the flexibility of lunches I could pack for him - something hot (miso soup) with his rice rolls and his fruit.  He would be able to eat it easily and in the way that suited him and I became very interested in this idea.

After seeing the OmieBox, it stuck in my head because Daughters began complaining about the monotony of their lunches.  It was always "cold" and sometimes they wanted a hot lunch, but when I offered to pack the thermos with something, they complained that it made everything too bulky because they had to pack so much within.  I kept thinking about the OmieBox and how it would solve the problem and I could pack something warm with something cold in the SAME BOX.

I'm excited to say that OmieBox is launching a kickstarter campaign in order to begin production of their boxes.  I'm pretty sure that it's going to sell out in the early stages (that's my gut instinct on this) so it will be to your benefit to join early and get one.  I think these boxes are a perfect solution to a lot of food and eating dilemmas out there, so please take a look at the kickstarter link and get ready to be a backer!

There is more information on the OmieBox, check out their website as well.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Shredded Kale Avocado Salad: Have you had enough kale yet?

I know inwardly you're groaning.  AGAIN Joanne?  MORE KALE AGAIN?  What's with the kale?

Every week, the farmer's in my neighborhood comes by and I go and buy armloads of fresh Tuscan kale.  I bring it home and spend about an hour washing, drying and shredding the kale so that I can always have a kale salad, at the ready.  I love kale salad because they are hearty, hold up well, and taste great in a number of different permutations, and this avocado kale version is one inspired by a friend of mine who told me that Whole Foods makes a version that always gets picked over because people take all the avocados.

In your home version, however, you can just add so many avocados (or as many as you'd like) so that NO ONE can pick out all of your avocados.  I love this version of kale salad for its brightness combined with the richness of the avocados.  You are satisfied after consuming it and probably your insides are happy to be so green with all of those great antioxidants.  Don't knock it until you try it (I know you there are kale haters out there) and a little bit of kale goes a long way in making you feel pretty darn great.

If you’ve never dealt with dinosaur/lacinato kale, you’ll need to remove the stem before trying to eat it.  I’ve found the fastest way is to simply grab the stem with one hand, and with the other, start at the base of the leaf, and it a quick motion, strip the leaf upwards until the stem is left stripped.  I save the stem and chop it finely and put it in my vegetable soups.   I find it much easier to wash the kale after the stem has been removed.  Wash, dry very well in a salad spinner, and then shred.  The smaller the shred, the better the texture in the salad.

Shredded Kale Avocado Salad
Serves 3 to 4

3 medium bunches Lacinato/dinosaur kale, washed and rinsed well, finely chopped (8 cups chopped)
2 or 3 large ripe avocados, cut into large chunks
3 large garlic cloves
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼  cup extra virgin olive oil
¼  teaspoon fine grain sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

In a food processor, or with a garlic press, create finely chopped garlic. Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, and whisk together.  (If you are using food processor for garlic, add lemon juice to the garlic in the processor and process.  Add olive oil, salt and pepper to processor and give a quick pulse.)

In a large salad bowl add shredded kale, and dress lightly with dressing.  Depending on the actual volume of kale you may need less dressing that what you’ve made.  Carefully coat all kale with the dressing then toss avocado chunks so that they are also coated with dressing.

Serve.  Because of the sturdy nature of kale, you can actually dress this salad and serve even 30 minutes later and it’s still delicious, although my preference is to eat it immediately.

Printable recipe

Keep all the avocados for yourself.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Chocolate Brownie Cookies: Sharing is more than just caring

I've noticed a disturbing trend in recent months.  People are reluctant to share and I'm not speaking about children; I'm speaking about ADULTS.  Fully grown, semi-mature human beings are unwilling to share.  Of course there are things that people share too much about - their lives, their bathroom habits, the ways they like to eat their potato chips, but there are those things that we should share MORE of that people have stopped sharing.



Sound advice.

Good ideas.

I recently received a message from a woman I don't know well who messaged saying she wondered how I could willingly share my curriculum enrichment ideas with everyone on my Facebook instead of saving it for myself.  She thought it odd that I'd like to SHARE some new ideas I've had with other people, which I do in hopes that other people will find it useful.  The messaging conversation ended with her pointing out that I was taking away an "edge" that I could offer my own children in order to help other people.  I think essentially she wanted me to share with HER but not everyone else.  She wanted to pick my brain but not have my brain available to everyone.

The conversation disturbed me for a little bit but then I shrugged it off.  I know for a fact that by sharing interesting math ideas or analogy workbooks with the parents of the friends of my children that I am, in fact, HELPING my own kids.  I'd like everyone to have an opportunity to elevate and challenge their thinking about teaching and learning and I know that in doing so, everyone benefits, including my own children, and not to their detriment.  (Currently the math book idea I'm sharing is this one,  inexpensive and a fun way to spend time with your kids.)

Sharing IS caring.  Sharing benefits not only the recipient but the giver as well.  Sharing is far more of an exciting trend than "getting the edge" or "keeping a secret" for myself.  So with that - I'm sharing this fantastic cookie recipe that has blown the minds of everyone who has eaten it.  It's a recipe that I'm happy to say comes from a local SF phenomenal pastry chef, Belinda Leong, who has a stunning patisserie in the city.  The trek is well worth it and the pastries immaculately made and presented.  She shared this recipe to Food and Wine, which I made more than a few times in the past weekend, and now I'm sharing it with you.  I could hoard it, keep it to myself, charge people double in order to have the honor to TASTE these babies, but I share it.  So that you can enjoy it at home.  So that you can make it at home and share with others.

These cookies are fudgy, gooey, moist, delicious, and like a brownie but in a cookie.   The major issue is timing as you have to freeze the dough in order for it to be workable in the oven, and it has to rest on cookie sheets before you move them around.  My recipe version has slight adjustments to deal with the home baker, and photos to accompany to help you along your way.

Chocolate Brownie Cookies
adapted from Food and Wine Magazine and Belinda Leong
Makes 3 dozen cookies (recipe easily doubled)

2 ⅔ cups semisweet chocolate chips (or a mix of bittersweet and semisweet) (16 ozs of chocolate chips.  Most bags are 12 oz, so you’ll need a bag and ⅔ cups more.  I use the extra large bag of semisweet from Costco.)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (½ stick of butter)
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 ½  cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon espresso powder (optional, but really brings out the chocolate)
¼  teaspoon salt
½  cup all-purpose flour
½  teaspoon baking powder
One 12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips (to be folded into the chocolate cookie dough at the end)

In a bowl, place 16 oz (2 ⅔ cups of chocolate chips) and ½ stick of butter in a bowl to be set over boiling water.  Melt chocolate and butter together until smooth and uniform, about 8 minutes.  The mixture will not be runny but more thick and creamy.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder.  Set aside.

In a bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, on medium speed, beat together eggs and sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla extract.  Fold in chocolate mixture.  Add espresso powder.  Carefully fold in flour mixture.  Finally add chocolate chips.  Stir carefully.  Pour mixture into a shallow dish and cover and freeze for about 1 hour. If you’d prefer to bake mixture off another day, then simply cover and place dough in the refrigerator and it will be ready to scoop after it has chilled.

Preheat oven to 350.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Scoop 2 tablespoon-sized mounds of dough, placing them 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet.  Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, until cookies are dry around the edges and crinkled on top.  Allow cookies to rest in baking pan for 10 minutes before removing them carefully to a cooling rack.

People will be tempted to eat them warm.  Let them.  They also taste amazing fully cooled.  If you happen to have some leftover, let them fully cool and store them in an airtight container.
Printable recipe

a completely shareable treat


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