Everyone loves Chocolate Chip Cookies. It’s the world’s most popular cookie! Last week I shared the recipe for The Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie. It is one of my favorites! But sometimes I get a craving for more chocolate and that’s when the Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies come in handy. They are simply delicious!
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I’m sure you’ve seen them at Starbuck’s and other retail bakeries. I think there are even some packaged ones by Pepperidge Farms. But nothing comes close to my Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies. They’re definitely chocolaty but the white chocolate morsels I add give it that extra yum! They like crunchy brownies with a kick of delicious white chocolate. They go great with a cold glass of milk!
Another tip for making bakery quality cookies is to have the proper tools. In this case to make really good looking (and tasting) cookies you’ll need a measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls, an electric mixer (a standing mixer is easier but costlier so a hand mixer works too), a 1 Oz. Scoop (they make the cookies all the same size) and a Silicone Baking Mat (or you can use parchment paper, either one works well, but the mat ends up cheaper in the long run and is definitely more eco-friendly). I know it seems frivolous to buy these things specially if you don’t bake often. I remember back in the day when we really didn’t have the extra money to spend on them (they were much more expensive then) I used to make do with whatever I had. But these days with online shops and big box stores baking equipment has become much more affordable!
But you don’t have to rush out and buy mats, scoops, and whatever. Use what you have or borrow from a baking friend or your mom! Just make sure you use the best ingredients that you can find, that’s the most important thing!
A chocolate chip cookie, the ultimate comfort food. Who can resist them? But do you know its history? Most of us don’t and it’s really quite interesting no matter which version you believe!
For starters the chocolate chip cookie is a true American concoction that came to be quite accidentally when its original baker ran out of Baker’s chocolate, or nuts. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Ok back in 1930 a dietician named Ruth Graves Wakefield and her husband Kenneth purchased a Cape Cod style house in Whitman a town between Boston and New Bedford, Massachusetts. The house was originally built in 1709 and was used by travelers to rest, change horses, have a meal, and pay any tolls needed to use the road. Ruth and Kenneth soon turned their home into a lodge which, with a nod to its past, they named “The Toll House Inn”.
Now Ruth was a skilled baker and soon drew in visitors from all over the northeast. Many came to sample her delicious baked goods. One of her favorite desserts were Butter Drop Do Cookies and her recipe which dated back to colonial days called for Baker’s chocolate. So one day in 1937 Ruth was making these Butter Drop Do Cookies and found herself lacking the chocolate, so she chopped up a bar of Nestle’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate into tiny pieces thinking that the chocolate would melt and spread throughout the dough. When it didn’t the chocolate chip cookie was born! Well that’s one version; another version is she ran out of nuts and substituted the chopped chocolate; still another version claims she accidentally dropped a bar of chocolate into the dough and it broke into tiny morsels. Whatever the version it’s all part of chocolate chip cookie history!
The new cookies were a hit and Ruth called them “Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies”. Her recipe was published in news papers all over New England and the sales of Nestle’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate bars rocketed.
Then in 1939 when “Betty Crocker” (she was a fictional character who had a radio show) featured them on her radio series “Famous Foods from Famous Eating Places” the chocolate chip cookie went big time! Ruth being a shrewd gal approached Nestle’s and struck a deal, they could print her recipe on all their semi-sweet bars and later bags in exchange for a lifetime supply of chocolates. Lucky lady!
The cookie has become the most popular cookie worldwide and is the official cookie of Massachusetts. As for Ruth and hubby they sold the Toll House Inn in 1966 and it burned down on New Year’s Eve 1984.
So now you know its history. I’m sure you also know many versions of the chocolate chip cookie recipe have popped up, you may even have your own, I know I do! But have you ever tried The Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie? It’s one of our favorites! You can order it for dessert at their Mariposa Restaurant where you get a boxed set of 3 cookies and a recipe card, very cute! Or you can buy the giant sized cookie at their Bistro. And you can also buy tins of them from the Neiman’s gourmet food department at Christmas time. We do all 3! A box of 3 from the restaurant costs $6, the giant cookie at the Bistro is $5, and a tin of them will set you back about $20+.
But Neiman’s is nice enough to share their recipe, remember the boxed set at Mariposa comes with a recipe card. So if you don’t feel like shelling out $5 or more for a cookie or two; or if you’ve never tried the Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie then read on because I’m sharing it today!
Crema de Fruta is another popular Filipino dessert that usually consists of sponge cake topped in succeeding layers of custard cream, fruits and gelatine. This dessert is usually served during Holidays like Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Festival, Birthdays and Etc.
It’s a delicious recipe that leaves no leftovers during celebrations and still makes your crave for more and more. Today I will give you my version of Crema de Fruta Filipino Style Recipe. Enjoy!
1 large can fruit cocktail, 30 ++ ounces
2 tbsp. unflavored gelatin
4 cups milk
8 pcs. egg yolks
1 tsp. baking powder
⅓ cup butter
1½ cup flour
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
1¾ cups sugar
2¼ cups water
Sponge Cake Procedure:
Sift the baking powder and 1 cup flour using a flour sifter. Set aside
Add the 4 egg yolks in a mixing bowl and then beat until the texture becomes thick.
Add-in ½ cup sugar gradually while beating the eggs.
Slowly add the sifted flour and baking powder mixture then mix the ingredients thoroughly.
Combine the 1 cup milk, butter, and vanilla extract in a pan and cook until butter melts.
Pour the cooked mixture milk, butter, vanilla extract into the mixing bowl and mix with the existing concoction until evenly distributed.
Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pour the combined mixtures in a baking pan then bake for 23 minutes or until sponge cake is ready.
Heat a saucepan and placing ¼ cup sugar.
Add ¼ cup of water immediately and cook until the sugar completely dissolves then let cool for a few minutes.
Pour the simple syrup on top of the sponge cake and then spread using a brush.
Combine ½ cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 3 cups milk in a pan then cook while stirring until the mixture thickens.
Add half of the cooked mixture on the bowl where the 4 egg yolks are placed, then mix well.
Put everything back in the saucepan with the rest of the ingredients.
Mix until texture is thick enough “this is now the custard”.
Apply the layer of custard evenly on top of the Sponge cake.
Drain the liquid concentrate from the fruit cocktail and set aside.
Arrange all the fruits on top of the custard layer.
Make sure to place them evenly.
Dilute the gelatin in 2 cups of water.
Heat the saucepan then pour the diluted gelatin and fruit cocktail concentrate and bring to a boil.
Immediately after boiling, turn off the heat, let cool down until temperature is a little above normal for a room temperature.
Pour the gelatin mixture on top of the fruit cocktail layer.
Everyone loves brownies, it’s the ultimate comfort food, rich, chewy, and chocolaty, it triggers all your happy spots.
I have made brownies from box mixes and from scratch, my favorite ones are those that I make using the recipe I found in a mystery novel I read. I call them Triple Chocolate Brownies, but in the book they’re called Scout’s Brownies.
I’d like to share the recipe I found in Diane Mott Davidson’s book “Dying for Chocolate”. I read this book years ago and have been making these amazing brownies since. They really are “to die for”. They’ve become a family favorite.
If possible try to use the same brands the recipe calls for.
1 cup unsalted butter
3 ½ oz. Valrhona or best quality unsweetened chocolate squares
3 tbs. Valrhona or European style cocoa powder
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup Ghirardelli chocolate chip morsels
Preheat oven 350 degrees
Melt butter and unsweetened chocolate squares in a double boiler; set aside to cool
Sift together cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt
Beat eggs until creamy
Beating constantly slowly add sugar
Add vanilla and cooled chocolate mixture
Stir in dry ingredients until just combined
Spread batter into buttered 9”x13” baking pan
Sprinkle chocolate chips over surface
Bake 30-35 mins. or until center is set
Cool completely before cutting into 32 brownies. Serve with a glass of ice cold milk for an awesome treat.
Merienda is the Filipino version of brunch and afternoon tea. It’s a light meal that fills the gap between breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner. It’s quite popular in European and South American countries as well. But Filipinos have taken it to a whole new level.
As a rule a morning Merienda in Europe and South America is a light snack such as a piece of fruit or cookie paired with coffee or juice, in short sort of like a coffee break; the afternoon Merienda is usually tea accompanied by a baked snack such as scone or toast with jam or honey. Well in the Philippines the afternoon Merienda has evolved into a major event with big hotels offering lavish buffets between 3-5pm.
Even at homes the afternoon Merienda is often a larger meal than a mere snack, specially during holidays or when relatives come to visit. Meriendas can include noodle and meat dishes, Kakanin or snack foods, a variety of desserts, and beverages. As I’ve said Merienda can be an elaborate meal in the Philippines.
We thought we’d share our Merienda favorites with you in a Mereinda recipe series. We’ll be posting our favorite merienda recipes for the next little while. We hope you’ll find something you and your family will love! To start off the Merienda series here’s the recipe for Bibingka Galapong, it’s a merienda staple!
Galapong or milled glutinous rice is the main ingredient because rice is cheap and widely available. It’s also full of carbohydrates. In other countries you can buy glutinous rice flour in Asian Markets, it’s called Mochiko.
Most Filipinos tend to eat Bibingka after Misa de Gallo or the Christmas Evening Mass,. Bibingka is one of the best treats and almost everyone prefers it. We usually pair it with milk, hot chocolate, or Cape Barako, a pure strong coffee that blends perfectly with Bibingka.
If using short or medium grain white rice: Soak rice in water overnight then drain the rice, reserving the liquid.
Grind the rice finely in a blender or food processor.
Add just enough of the reserved liquid so the mixture is not dry then set aside for about 12 hours at room temperature. Skip this step if using rice flour.
Preheat oven to 180ºC (350º F)
Beat eggs in a bowl until foamy. Add sugar and butter until it’s fluffy.
Pour the coconut milk into the ground rice and mix well.
Blend into the egg mixture, beating well until smooth.
Add the baking powder.
Wilt banana leaves by passing over an open flame for several seconds and get it immediately, don’t over flame it so that they do not crack when folded
Line 2 small baking dishes about 8 inches in diameter, with banana leaves or parchment paper.
Brush banana leaves or paper with butter.
Pour mixture into the baking dishes.
Top with grated cheese and brush with butter again.
Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Bibingka is best served hot so,
If banana leaves are not available substitute parchment.
Aside from passing over an open flame for several seconds dip the banana leaves in boiling water until they just start to soften.