Thursday, October 21, 2010

Midnight snack!

These are serious cookies.

Besides being chocolate with chocolate chips and mini peanut butter cups, they are (were) the size of your head, melty hot, and served with cold milk. YUMS.

Here's Nicole and Vanessa's secret recipe aka thanks internet:

Levain Bakery Copycat Dark Chocolate Peanut butter Chip Cookies (**Yield - 1 dozen cookies)


  • 2 sticks cold and cubed unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ***1/4 to 1/2 cup good quality dark cocoa powder (we used 1/2 cup)
  • 2 1/4 to 1/2 cups all-purpose flour- Spoon and Sweep method (what? just googled it. didn't do that.)
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips ("1 cup" aka dumped in the bag)
  • 2 cups peanut butter chips (we substituted with TJ's peanut butter cups, which turned out wonderfully melty)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle, cream together butter and sugar until well blended and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until well-incorporated, then beat in cocoa powder.

2. Mix in flour, salt and baking powder until just combined. Gently fold in remaining ingredients.

3. Transfer dough to clean work surface and gently mix dough by hand to ensure even distribution of ingredients. Divide into 12 equal portions, **about 4 oz each, and place each on sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven 16-20 minutes depending on how gooey and raw’ish you like the middles (I bake mine at 375 for 18 minutes, as I prefer a less raw’ish’ interior), taking care not to overbake. . Let cool on a rack and store what you don’t immediately eat, in an airtight container. To freshen them after a few days (if they last that long), give them a quick nuke in the microwave for 5-10 seconds.

Note – The Levain Bakery doesn’t use vanilla extract in their cookies, as they feel it’s unecessary. However, some feel you need it. You can add 1 tsp to 1 T to each recipe if desired. Just add it after each egg is incorporated.

** Note – The Levain Bakery uses 6 oz of cookie dough per cookie. As mentioned above, If you want 12 cookies out of the above recipes, a little over 4 oz per cookie (4.1 to 4.2 oz. Use a kitchen scale) will get you that. If you want to use 6 oz of cookie dough per cookie, you’ll probably get only 6-8 cookies. However, a little over 4 oz makes a cookie just as thick and huge, so you don’t even notice the difference.

*** Note – Regarding the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter cookies. I mostly use Dutch-process cocoa. If you use basic, natural unsweetened cocoa (you know, the Hershey’s in the brown can or whatever), add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp baking soda (I just use a heaping 1/4 tsp when using regular baking cocoa) to the dry ingredients. Also, if they’re too ‘chocolatey’ and rich for you, use only 1/4 cup cocoa powder, and add 1/4 cup extra flour.

[as the site mentions, we were attempting to copy levain bakery (which will soon be our neighbor—hooray!). ours ended up way flatter—still don't know how they get them so thick—but equally undercooked, and therefore equally delicious. -n]

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Steamed BBQ Pork Buns

Also known has char siu bao! Instead of chinese bbq roast pork, I made the buns with an american style bbq pulled pork from my slow cooker

BBQ Pulled Pork
This process is rather difficult to describe because I pretty much played it by ear.

7 pounds of pork shoulder

Spice rub: chili pepper, dried oregano, ghost pepper salt (got it from chelsea market), cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, clover, kosher salt
1 1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of white granulated sugar
probably 1 1/2 tablespoons of worcester sauce
1 cup of ketchup
1/2 cup of vinegar
2 tablespoons of siracha rooster sauce
1 beer
1 chicken bullion cube with 1/2 cup of water or 1 can of chicken broth

  1. Hack up the pork into manageable pieces and get down and dirty with the rub.
  2. Mix up the rest of the ingredients with the exception of the beer and chicken broth.
  3. Place the pork into a 6 quart slow cooker and then pour the sauce on top.
  4. Add the cooking liquid (beer & chicken broth).
  5. Cook on low for 10-11 hours.
  6. Live life
  7. Remove all the fat that's floated up to the top, and then place the pork in a serving/baking dish. Pour the de-fatted sauce on top of the meat.
  8. Wait another 2 hours for the meat and the sauce to come together and then shred.

I used this recipe for the steamed buns:

Ingredients (the amounts are separated for the different steps you mix them in)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flower
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 table spoon vegetable oil

  1. Mix together yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 cup flour, and 1/4 cup warm water. Allow to stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Mix in 1/2 cup warm water, flour, salt, 2 tablespoons sugar, and vegetable oil. Knead until dough surface is smooth and elastic. Roll over in a greased bowl, and let stand until triple in size, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  3. Punch down dough, and spread out on a floured board. Sprinkle baking powder evenly on surface, and knead for 5 minutes. Divide dough into 2 parts, and place the piece you are not working with in a covered bowl. Divide the dough into balls the size of small clementines. Let the balls rise for 20 minutes before you shape each ball into a disk and place the pork in the center. Put each bun on some sort of leafy green, preferably cabbage, but we used collard greens.
  4. Place steam-plate on a small wire rack in the middle of the pot, wok, rice cooker, etc. Don't forget to put water into the pot - you know, steamed buns. Steam the buns for 15 minutes then CHOW DOWN. yay.


LOOK CAROLINE CAN PLAY THE ACCORDION! also note the little flags that we made for her while she was sleeping.

Happy happy birthday, from all of us to you. We wish it was our birthday, so we could party too! HEY!!! yay you finally turned the big 1-9, oh wait, you're still baby.

look i can clap happy birthday! better in person.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Video blog pt. II

let's make soup! from Eunice Kim on Vimeo.

The video is called let's make soup, but it's not really about making soup.