Monday, January 16, 2012

Cuckoo Momofuku

Recently I read a recipe for something called the Cornflake-Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookie inspired by  a cookie from the Momofuku Milk Bar. The idea of a crunchy yet chewy cookie was enticing ! I followed the recipe, with slight alteration, but probably should have read the WHOLE recipe first as they take a bit of time to make. May I say it is worth the time and the nasty cut from the plastic wrap teeth to make the cookies. Know ahead you need to refrigerate for at least an hour before baking and only 4 will fit on a cookie sheet. I baked one pan the first night due to my early recipe inattention. The rest of the cookies were baked today and given to family who agreed the cookies are really good. The dough can be refrigerated up to a week if well sealed in plastic wrap.

Here is the recipe and some pics !

Cornflake Crunch
3 cups cornflakes ( I used special K, you know cause I'm dieting)
1/4 cup malted milk (I used Ovaltine)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp melted butter


2 sticks room temperature butter
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
cornflake crunch (from above) (If you are truly lazy you might be able to substitute cocoa krispies and not make the cornflake crunch, I have not tried that though)
2/3 cups mini chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups mini marshmallows (do yourself a favor buy the minis I cut whole ones since I had some in
the house what a pain)

Mix all ingredients of the Cornflake crunch spread on a baking sheet and cook at 275 degrees for 15 minutes stirring once. Remove from oven and let cool.

Cream together butter and sugars for 2-3 minutes, then add egg and vanilla and beat for 7-8 minutes (really let the mixer work this long!)
Reduce speed to low and add flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda, mix until dough barely comes together. With  mixer still on low add chips, marshmallows and cereal mix, mixer will try to really work. Stop the mixer as soon as just incorporated and fold.
Line a baking sheet with parchment and make 1/3 cup measure size cookies flattening as you go (4 to a sheet max). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour. While in fridge preheat oven to 375 degrees. After one hour remove from fridge and bake 18 minutes. Let cool on sheet. Enjoy with a big glass of milk !
Cornflake crunch out of the oven and cooled

chips and tragic large marshmallows

Kitchenaid working like a champ

Only 4 per cookie sheet !

Plastic wrap injury 

Look at the size of these cookies

Finished product !

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Grapefruit and Honey Cake

This particular recipe is one we tried from Mario Batali, you have to like a more savory cake. It would be great with tea or as a dessert after a particularly heavy meal. The cake itself is dense and beautiful. The grapefruit rind lends a bitter taste to the final product but served with some freshly whipped cream and a drizzle of honey... it's just divine. It also keeps well and probably freezes nicely too. Easy to make and on second thought maybe a nice hostess gift as it would be great for a brunch or breakfast cake. (Tip - do yourself a favor and grind your own breadcrumbs it really makes a nice difference) .

 1/4 cup and 3 tablespoons freshly ground breadcrumbs
2 medium grapefruits
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9" round cake pan with tall sides and dust it with the 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs. Zest both grapefruits ( for a less bitter taste you can cut back on the zest and when grating make sure to only get the skin not the white pith, it's way more bitter). Juice 3/4 cup juice from one of the fruits. Combine zest, juice and olive oil in a bowl.
In a large bowl beat the eggs and salt with an electric mixer until frothy and light, slowly beat in the sugar and then the honey, continue mixing until pale and thick (about 2 more minutes).
Sift into the egg mixture the baking powder, additional breadcrumbs and flour, when combined fold in the grapefruit juice mixture until just incorporated.
Pour batter into pan and bake for 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes then remove from pan and let cool completely on rack. Serve with fresh whipped cream and a drizzle of honey or if you are really ready to knock 'em dead section some grapefruits for the top as well.
Always great to get your ingredients out first so nothing is missing !

Pan oiled and dusted with breadcrumbs

finished cake out of the oven on cooling rack

first slice (we couldn't wait 'til after dinner)

Presentation fun for the holidays !

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Perfect Pretzel Rolls

As promised I took pictures and secured the recipe for the fabulous pretzel rolls Justin taught me to make over the holidays. Many chefs these days are using artisanal breads and rolls for sandwiches with delicious fillings. I think fig, proscuitto, brie, arugula and honey mustard would be delicious on these. If you don't want to make them as rolls I think you cold probably roll them a little thinner and make plain soft pretzels, additionally some chefs will make them unsalted which are great as well. One tip, try to find a kitchen scale to measure, Martha Stewart sells a great one. I used a convection oven for these if you have a traditional oven you may need to play with the temp and time !
Dough cut into sections

rolling the dough before the twist

after the twist

immersion in the baking soda & water

On parchment awaiting eggwash and salt

fresh from the oven

close up of deliciousness !

cooked to perfection !

Pretzel Rolls

Preheat convection oven to 450 degrees

In the bowl of a stand mixer add -

~ 1 1/2 c Warm Water (105 degrees is perfect)
~ 2 tsp Salt
~ 3 Tbsp Sugar

Stir to combine then sprinkle on top:

~ 2 1/4 tsp (or 1 packet) yeast

do not stir

wait 5-10 minutes for the yeast to foam (it will appear to cover the surface of the liquid)

When it has foamed, add:

~ 2 Tbsp butter, melted
~ 22 oz (by weight!) All Purpose Flour

Knead on medium speed with dough hook until smooth and elastic, no lumps or tears should be evident in the dough and it should not be sticky when you poke it.  If you press your thumb in to it, the dough should be firm and spring back.  This kneading should take about 8 minutes.  If the dough crawls up on the dough hook and just spins around the bowl, stop the mixer, pull it off the hook, and start it again.

Place in a greased bowl covered tightly with saran wrap and wait 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile in your wide Sautoir pan (wide bottom pan with straight sides)


~ 10 c water to boil

Then add (EXACTLY)

~ 2/3 c Baking Soda

Quickly portion the dough in to 8 pieces (I make a disc and cut it like a pie), knot however you like, and place 1 - 3 at a time in the water, cook until the dough turns slighly yellow and firms (about 30 seconds, no longer than 1 minute).  Remove to a WELL greased parchment lined sheet pan (if you cook with a sheet pan on the bottom shelf it needs to be doubled up, meaning 2 pans thick to prevent burning).

Brush pretzels with a mixture of 1 egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water and sprinkle heavily with kosher salt (as desired).  Bake 12 minutes, switching pans top and bottom shelf halfway through.

When desired color reached remove from oven to cooling rack, remove from parchment and enjoy!