A Teeny-Tiny Batch of Eensy-Weensy Chocolate Chip Cookies


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I will never be someone who can eat just one cookie. Some people (i.e. those with self-control) can do it. Me? If I have one cookie, I want fifteen more just like it. On the other hand, I like the idea of a portion-controlled single-serving cookie, à la those “giant cookie[s] for one” that I see all over the blogworld. So I decided to combine portion control + my love of multiple (multiplemultiple) cookies and figured out the measurements for a teeny-tiny batch of eensy-weensy cookies.

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image_5These are perfect for any time life calls for a tiny batch of cookies. Like when you MUST HAVE some fresh-from-the-oven goodies but you don’t want to make a normal-sized batch and accidentally-on-purpose eat two dozen. Or when you’ve had a long Tuesday and want to drown your sorrows in warm chocolate chip cookies but you only have ten minutes and two tablespoons of butter and one bowl. Because that’s all you NEED for these, yo.

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And…THEY ARE JUST SO DARN CUTE. They fill me with happiness. Ideal happy Melanie moment: dancing around my kitchen to this song wearing a high pony munching on a batch of teeny tiny eensy weensy adorable-beyond-words cookies. On vacation. And there are sprinkles somewhere close by. And it’s sunny outside. And Mike comes home early from work and makes me dinner. It’s grilled cheese. And he brings a puppy. It’s going to be mine-all-mine and I name it….

image_3…I’m getting ahead of myself. I just can’t even handle the cuteness. There’s something about miniature baked goods that make me do a happy dance. Like, each cookie is ONE TEASPOON of dough. Cutie cute cute cute cute CUUUUUUTE.

image_2imageA Teeny-Tiny Batch of Eensy-Weensy Chocolate Chip Cookies

yield: 18-20 teeny tiny cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, browned (or melted) and cooled slightly
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons egg*
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/8 cup mini chocolate chips

*note: to get 2 teaspoons of egg, crack an egg into a bowl, beat it with a fork, and measure out 2 teaspoons

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk the slightly cooled butter, brown sugar, white sugar, and vanilla. Add the egg and whisk until smooth. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir together with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  2. Drop the dough by teaspoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Bake for four minutes (watch carefully, these bake quickly!!), then place on a wire rack to cool.

Cambridge Eating Tour Adventure

eating tour mapLast weekend, Mike I planned to spend some time poking around Cambridge. Naturally, “poking around” translated into “searching for food” and we ended up on an eating tour of sorts. I loved that our adventure took us to so many new places we had never even heard of before, AND since we walked the whole thing (almost 5 miles!) none of the calories counted ;) Here are some pictures from our adventure, followed by a list of the places we went to!DSC_0015Three words, five syllables: Bel.gian-waff.les-YO.

DSC_0003DSC_0028Who knew there was an entire store dedicated to honey? Who knew I liked honey? Revelation.DSC_0018PicMonkey CollageDSC_0031DSC_0040Couldn’t resist making Mike play model. #hipsterDSC_0043DSC_0044DSC_0053Vegetable samosas FTW. These were goooood. Like, I-don’t-even-like-Indian-food-and-I-still-thought-they-were-good goooood.DSC_0058Pistachio + coffee Oreo

Our last stop was at The Friendly Toast but they sat us in THE DARKEST corner of the whole restaurant so I didn’t snap any pics. We ordered this:

Screen shot 2013-02-21 at 1.42.05 PMand it was everything I could ever hope for and more.

Then, we walked a million more miles back into Boston and I snapped a million more pics, which I’ll share another day, another time. DSC_0090

Cambridge Eating Tour Adventure

  1. Zinnekin’s – Belgian waffles in Harvard Square
  2. Follow the Honey – Just outside Harvard Square
  3. Dosa Factory – Indian food in Central Square
  4. Christina’s Homemade Ice Cream – Inman Square (right next door to Christina’s Spice and Specialty Foods, which has every spice and random baking supply you could imagine!)
  5. The Friendly Toast – Kendall Square

We didn’t stop at these places this time around, but here are a couple more of my favorite Cambridge eateries:

  • Flour – bakery in Central Square
  • Sweet – cupcakes in Harvard Square
  • Area Four – bakery/bar/pizza/etc. in Kendall Square
  • Bon Me – Vietnamese food in Kendall Square

 

Honey Pistachio Muffins

DSC_0007I have irrational fears. Like, a lot of them.  Perhaps the most irrational of them all is the belief that the girl from the Sixth Sense lives under my bed. I’ve checked (physically) and know (rationally) that underneath my bed is full of storage and bags and there’s no way a creepy dead girl could fit, much less LIVE under there. But that CERTAINLY does not stop me from leaping into bed from five feet away so she (imaginary creepy dead girl) won’t be able to reach my ankles to grab them. M. Night Shyamalan, thank you for ruining my life.

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Additionally, I’m scared that every time I stub my baby toe I’m going to lose my toe nail. (This happened to me last week and NO I DO NOT WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT.)

And any time anyone gets hit in the eye and they cover their face like “Ouuuuch Charlie!“, I’m convinced that when they uncover it their eyeball is going to be GONE. Vanished. (Who has two thumbs and is passionately irrational? This girl.)

I’m also worried that I will forget my keys and/or forget to lock the door and someone will break in and murder me. (This fear was newly exacerbated when Mike couldn’t find his keys one morning only to discover them IN THE DOOR. ON THE OUTSIDE. WHERE THEY HAD BEEN ALL NIGHT.)

Finally, I fear that I will never own a puppy. (Just kidding. Threw that one in for comic relief. Obviously it’s only a matter of time.)

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Awhile back I heard someone use the term “sugar tumors”* and [(ir)rationally] convinced myself I was growing at least 17 and decided to back off the sugar for awhile**.

*It’s also possible that I made this term up in my own head.

**Read: Four days.

Despite the sometimes-breaks from sugar, I recently realized that I’ve never actually made a baked treat with minimal/no added sugar (to me this means granulated or cane sugar) and set off to make a baked good sweetened only with honey. And honey pistachio muffins were born!

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WOW-za. Revelation! First of all, I totally do not feel guilty eating these muffins for breakfast because, hello! Barely any sugar. They are just a little bit sweet, almost to the point of savory. And the batter? DEEEEEEEE-lish. Also perfection served warm with a little drizzle of honey.

DSC_0042Honey Pistachio Muffins (adapted from Scarletta Bakes)

yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
  • 1/2 cup honey (use the good stuff, it’s worth it!)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, finely ground*
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, finely chopped

*Note: Use a food processor to grind the pistachios until they are the texture/size of coffee grounds.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk oil and honey until combined. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground pistachios.
  3. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the oil/honey/egg mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk (so you should add some flour mixture, mix, half the buttermilk, mix, flour mixture, mix, the rest of the buttermilk, mix, the rest of the flour mixture). Stir until just combined; do not overmix!
  4. Divide the batter equally among the muffin tin, filling each liner about 2/3 of the way. Sprinkle the finely chopped pistachios onto the tops of the muffin batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

 

Sibs in Boston!

DSC_0106My brother (Peter) and sister (Emily) came to visit me and Mike in Boston this weekend, and on Saturday we braved the cold & wind for a little adventure. We headed to Harpoon’s new beer hall (which was our back-up plan after discovering that all the brewery tours sold out only an hour after opening!!) where we tasted some beers and scarfed down soft pretzels with IPA cheddar, garlic parmesan, and maple cream cheese dips. To DIE.

Then we took Emily to try her very first lobster roll and poked around the Seaport and Fort Point Channel (obvi stopping by Flour for homemade oreos). These visits always feel too short but I was so happy to have them here! Come back soon, sibs!

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Blizzard Bonanza

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NEMO!!! Love ya to pieces.

Disclaimer: I don’t have a car or house to shovel out and wasn’t affected by power outages or transportation delays (perks of being on a school snow day schedule) so to me blizzard = play time. Major playtime.

Mike and I headed out Friday night in the height of the blizzard to hang with my old roomies (perks of having besties two blocks away) and almost became insta-snowpeople. Observe:

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On Saturday we (I) made Nemo pancakes because HOW COULDN’T I, then we bundled up and hopped into our cross-country skis to ski around the ‘hood. Cross-country skiing is HARD, yo. I was sweating like a wildebeest and almost-crying but eventually channeled my inner snow bunny and got the hang of it. We dropped our skis off at home and hippity-hopped around town, took 1,000 photos, and came home to eat Kraft mac and cheese and drink hot cocoa. It was wonderful :)

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I asked Mike if he had any spare gloves I could wear. This is what he presented me with…

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PicMonkey Collage

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Homemade Snickers Cookie Bars

image_3I have a serious case of writer’s block, so instead of a typical blog post, here’s a list of random thoughts that are swimming around inside my head. And some delicious pictures of homemade Snicker-meets-Twix-cookie-bar-thingies (Mike suggested I call them Snix?). Enjoy!
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Babylandia. Beyonce. Destiny’s Child reunion. Blue Ivy (where IS she these days???)

French onion soup in a crock pot (THIS IS NOT GOOD.)

Snow day (when the heck are we going to get one?)

First cold in 2 years (waaaaaaaaaah.)

Parenthood (recently discovered, now addicted.)

Last week’s episode of New Girl (say WHAAAAAT?!)

Thinking of getting rid of cable (say WHAAAT?!)

Babylandia (want to move there.)

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Enchiladas.

Valentine’s candy.

Homemade caramel. Peanuts. Shortbread. Chocolate.

Yum.
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Snickers Cookie Bars (otherwise known as Snix)

yield: about 24, depending on what size you cut them

Shortbread Cookie Layer (recipe adapted from alli ‘n sons)

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line a 8×8 pan with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, beat butter and sugar on high until fluffy. Add vanilla; blend well.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir in flour and salt on medium until combined.  Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are just golden brown.  Allow to cool for at least 45 minutes before topping with caramel/peanut layer.

Caramel and Peanut Layer (recipe adapted from Ina Garten)

  • 1 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  •  2 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Sprinkle the peanuts over the cooled shortbread. In a deep saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, corn syrup, and water.  Bring to a boil and cook the sugar, swirling the pan (don’t stir!) until the mixture has reached a deep amber color.  Watch it carefully, as it happens fast.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, bring the cream, butter, and salt to a simmer.  Remove from heat.

When the sugar is done, remove from heat and pour in the cream+butter.  Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon.  Cook over medium-low heat until it registers 244 degrees (just above “soft ball”) on a candy thermometer.  Immediately remove from heat and pour over the cooled shortbread.  Allow the shortbread and caramel to cool for 2-3 hours, until firm.

Chocolate Layer

  • 1 cup milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable shortening

In a microwave-safe bowl or a double boiler, melt chocolate and shortening, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.

Spread the melted chocolate over the cooled caramel. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to allow the chocolate to firm up.  When the chocolate has hardened, remove from the pan and cut into squares. Store and serve at room temperature.