Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sasha's Kitchen: Magnolia Bakery's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Magnolia Bakery is one of New York's most famous bakeries and also one of my favorites.  Recently, I stopped by and picked up a copy of the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook, which I am so excited to explore.  So far I have made two recipes - I made Magnolia's chocolate chip cookies and I made their famous banana pudding, both of which were delicious.  I plan to make their apple walnut cake with cream cheese caramel frosting for New Years and explore some new baking recipes, including cupcakes, in January.  As I mentioned in a recent post, I received a whole box of baking supplies from ShopRite, which is right up my sleeve since I LOVE TO BAKE!  I figured chocolate chip cookies were another perfect recipe for using all of these goodies.  These were the best chocolate chip cookies I've made yet - chewy and chocolate-ey just like I like them.  The combination of brown sugar and granulated sugar is the trick that makes the cookie what it is.  Be sure to bake the cookies only the time allotted, even if they seem soft when they come out of the oven. They continue cooking after they come out of the oven and will be just perfect after 12 minutes or so in the oven, once they cool.  I used the brown sugar, sugar, vanilla, chocolate chips and flour that ShopRite sent me in this recipe.

Magnolia Bakery's Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.  In your stand mixer, cream the butter and the sugars for three minutes until smooth.  Beat in the egg and vanilla and mix well.  Add in the flour mixture and mix thoroughly, and then stir in the chocolate chips.  Drop well rounded, heaping teaspoonfuls of cookie dough onto cookies sheets lined with parchment paper, leaving space for expansion.  Bake 10-12 minutes, one sheet at a time, in the center of your oven until lightly golden brown.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sasha's Kitchen: Chipotle Rubbed Flank Steak with Corn-Avocado Salsa

I made this delicious steak recently, on Christmas Eve for our stay at home boring Jewish Christmas.  The meal was surprisingly easy and delicious.  The one thing I didn't anticipate was how smoky grilling a chipotle rubbed steak is - it made the kitchen very smoky! The resulting flavor was a little but on the spicy side, but very flavorful and went nicely with the corn and avocado salsa.  This would be a great summertime dish made on an outdoor grill as well, although I obviously made it indoors in a grill pan.

Sasha's Chipotle Rubbed Flank Steak with Corn-Avocado Salsa
One 1/2 lb flank steak
2/3 cup orange juice
3 canned chipotle peppers in adobo
2 diced cloves of garlic
2 T olive oil
1 cup corn
2 avocados, peeled and chopped
1 T lime juice
1/2 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1/4 cup minced red onion

In a blender, combine the chipotle peppers, orange juice, olive oil and garlic and puree.  Marinate the steak for ten minutes.  Remove the steak from the marinade and let the excess drip off but don't wash off the marinade.  Grill as desired in your grill pan or outdoor grill on both sides.

In a separate bowl, combine the corn, avocado, lime juice, jalapeno and red onion and serve on top of the flank steak as salsa.
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