Have you all heard about the famous bakery in nyc called "Baked"? Amazing place. No, I haven't been, yet. Oh yes, I will be going there, soon, very soon. I hope to meet at least one of the owners and just tap their minds about owning, running a top-notch bakery. It is has been my dream to have my own bakery & diner. And I just love this bakery's concept: new frontiers in baking. I just love how creative they are: no boring cupcakes or same old cookies to be found there. They are creative and inventive, and from what I've heard not stingy on the sizes and quantities. They claim: "...We like to think of ourselves as dessert experts; the kind of people blessed with a highly (almost holy) developed sense of taste and smell...." I can sooo relate to that! I know I have a highly developed sense of taste; knowing what is needed or missing in a recipe; knowing there is too much heat, too little sweet, or not enough cream, etc... Amen.
**Thank you Matt from Baked for your wonderful email--I don't think you could ever imagine how much you made my day with that email! You so totally rock my world!**
Months ago I finally broke down and bought their cookbook: Baked. I opened and devoured the book like it was a brand new shiny and clean Mercedes Benz; pouring over all glossy pictures, with clean hands, careful not to sneeze, move my hair so I won't dirty the pages with any body hairs, fluids, nothing! Careful not over-bend the pages and cause the spine of the book to move, crack, rip, tear, nada. It's a lovely book, a book I will go back to time and time again. As you know I made their famous root beer cake. God that was good. Such a unique, but easy taste in a cake. And the frosting was perfect. I will make that again just so I can take better pictures this time with my new camera. These cookies were really good. I love a good cookie that tastes different. I think it's genius that they made this cookie with dark brown sugar--it made all the difference. And use a good quality milk chocolate in here kids. I mean if you're going to make a damn good cookie from a damn good cookbook then use high quality ingredients.
Here's a serious question for all you foodies out there: if you could have your own bakery, diner, or food related establishment, what kinds of creative food creations would you feature?
Did anyone catch the new show The Chopping Block with Chef Marco Pierre White? Oh I have loved that man and his cooking philosophy for years. He's quite talented, and so very focused on his craft. I love his saying of: "...romance of the chef...is it consistent? Or is it unhinged? A lot of chefs today, in my opinion, cook by numbers, they dance to the drum of the guides, not the palettes of their clients..."
I just hope that during the length of the show series we actually get to see Chef Marco cook, what a treat that would be.
Peanut Butter Cookies with Milk Chocolate Chunks
1 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter
6 ounces good milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together until fluffy.
Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated.
The mixture will look light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla and peanut butter and beat until just incorporated.
Add half of the flour mixture and mix for 15 seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.
Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the chocolate. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (I left mine in the fridge for 2 nights—I just forgot about it; it came out perfect).
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart. With the palm of your hand, very gently press each cookie down so it forms a very tall disk shape. Do not press too hard and do not press it flat. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with granulated sugar and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until the tops of the cookies just begin to brown.
Should make about 30 cookies.