Category Archives: Recipes (Sweet)

Maida Heatter’s Chocolate and Peanut Butter Ripples

Made with a chocolate dough and a peanut butter dough, no two look quite exactly alike.
Made with a chocolate dough and a peanut butter dough, no two look exactly alike.

In my household, there is a clear division of labor.

My husband is responsible for mowing our minuscule lawn, unclogging drains, and figuring out which smoke detector in the house is causing that incessant beeping.

Me?

I make sure we always have a stash of home-made cookies on hand.

It’s an important job, and one that I take seriously.

Oh sure, my husband will indulge my whims to bake cookies with ingredients such as cardamom, rose water, chicharrones, corn nuts, or five-spice — as long as I don’t neglect the mandatory chocolate on a regular basis.

That’s why “Chocolate and Peanut Butter Ripples” appealed so much. After all, when I practically have to hide all the mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups from him until after Halloween, I knew this cookie would be right up his alley.

It’s a recipe from “Cookies Are Magic: Classic Cookies, Brownies, Bars, and More.” Have truer words ever been printed?

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Louisa’s Cake

A sunny ricotta cake that is so moist, buttery, and rich.
A sunny ricotta cake that is so moist, buttery, and rich.

We all grew up seeing our parents and grand-parents, who lived through the Great Depression, wars, and/or famines, take care — to the extreme — to not let any drop of sauce from a can, any heel of bread or any minute shred of fish off the bone ever go to waste.

Not on their watch.

And now, not on ours, either.

With the pandemic creating food shortages — both real and exaggerated ones — we find ourselves looking at food much differently now, treating everything with the reverence it deserved all along.

The very bottom stems of parsley that I once tossed? No more. Now, they get finely diced and tossed into salads and soups. Those radish tops I once never looked twice at? Now, I savor them sauteed in an egg scramble.

The leftover ricotta I had from making lamb meatballs? Not that I would deign to ever throw something like that out, but these days, it takes on an outsize importance. Yes, that leftover ricotta that I once just nonchalantly enjoyed with berries for breakfast the next day, now seemed too good for that. Clearly, it should be destined for something far more special, I thought.

I found exactly that in “Louisa’s Cake.”

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A First: DoubleTree’s Signature Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

The one and only honest-to-goodness DoubleTree Hotel chocolate chip cookie recipe.
The one and only honest-to-goodness DoubleTree Hotel chocolate chip cookie recipe.

They’re craved by legions of sweet-tooth travelers. Home-cooks have tried in vain to come up with copycat recipes for it for years. And such is its stature, that it was the first food to actually be baked in orbit — aboard the International Space Station this January.

For so long, the only way to sink your teeth into a bona fide warm DoubleTree Hotel chocolate chip cookie was to check into one of its hotels, where you’re gifted with one for free with your room key.

Until now, that is.

Yesterday, in a thoughtful goodwill gesture in these horrific times, DoubleTree released a home-version recipe of its famed cookie to the public.

And faster than my printer could spit out the recipe, I was already putting sticks of butter out on my counter to soften.

At a time like this, don't we all need a cookie? Especially a DoubleTree one?
At a time like this, don’t we all need a cookie? Especially a DoubleTree one?

Knock on wood, I actually had all the ingredients on hand, too — no easy feat in this pandemic that has stripped store shelves and online sources of many baking products, as we all hunker down to shelter in place, and apparently stress-bake to no end.

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The Chocolate Cake For When Times Are Uncertain and All-Purpose Flour Is MIA

This chocolate cake may look plain, but it is a showstopper in taste and satisfaction.
This chocolate cake may look plain, but it is a showstopper in taste and satisfaction.

No doubt you’ve heard that Americans are drinking far more during this pandemic.

Me? I’m gorging on a whole lot more chocolate.

And that’s saying something since I consider the consumption of chocolate to be practically a daily requirement.

After all when the going gets tough, the tough get dark chocolate.

Thankfully, “Chocolate Cake” by renowned Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten satisfies on every level. It’s from his cookbook, “Home Cooking with Jean-Georges: My Favorite Simple Recipes” (Clarkson Potter, 2011), in which the Michelin-starred chef shares favorite casual recipes he makes for his family

First, this cake uses hardly any all-purpose flour, for those who are running low on it like me. In fact, it calls for just over 1 tablespoon of the stuff. It’s such a small amount, though, that you could probably get away with substituting any other kind of flour for it.

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The World’s Easiest Cookies — And That’s No April Fool’s Joke

Yup, I made these three different cookies from one recipe that really requires only four ingredients.
Yup, I made these three different cookies from one recipe that really requires only four ingredients.

At a time when so many baking ingredients are scarce at supermarkets, come these cookies to the rescue.

They require no all-purpose flour, no eggs, no granulated sugar, and no butter.

Which means they are gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free. It also means they are vegetarian, vegan, and paleo.

“The World’s Easiest Cookies” live up to their name. It’s a recipe from the cookbook, “World’s Easiest Paleo Baking: Beloved Treats Made Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, and with No Refined Sugars” (Lake Isle Press, 2016) by Elizabeth Barbone, which I spied on the Kitchn site.

These cookies use only four ingredients: finely ground almond flour, baking powder, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.

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