Friday, March 26, 2010

Leslie's Ultimate Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate. Chip. Cookies.

   Have I got your attention now?  Everyone's favorite cookies are the ones filled with morsels of rich chocolate chip heaven.  Warm and fresh from the oven, a very buttery and sweet brown sugary taste with the warm vanilla undertones and the soft, chewy!!!  I must warn you though, this batter is just as good as the cookie.  So for all you naughty batter eaters, you will not make it to the oven at all!
I have tried many chocolate chip cookie recipes, for these are my ultimate favorite cookie, and this recipe is the best!  I love, love, love all of the brown sugar that makes these cookies so sweet and chewy.  It also gives them the perfect golden brown color when baked.  I love to use Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips in mine.  They are larger and the milk chocolate melts beautifully!  Sometimes I will combine milk and semi-sweet chocolate chip, too. You may want to try spooning these out in a couple of different sizes, although usually I make them about 1 1/2 Tbsp.
  I am so excited to share this treasured recipe with you all. -- my mouth is watering as I type. I hope they turn out as absolutely delicious for you and your family!  Just remember to not ever get discouraged if a batch isn't as perfect as you'd like, because that's just a wonderful excuse to try again later.  I mess up on things all the time, but always take it as a challenge to come back to the recipe.  After all, the look of food isn't the most important thing, as long as it tastes good -- that's really all that matters!
Enjoy this heartwarming recipe with your loved ones and they will be sure to come back for more visits and cookies!

1c. butter (2sticks)
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 bag of chocolate chips, or chunks (or both!)

Mix (on medium speed) butter and brown sugar, well. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth.

Mix flour, baking soda, and salt together.  Carefully mix in  flour mixture in the butter mixture until well incorporated.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts, if desired.

Drop dough in about 1 1/2 Tbsp. (or your preference of cookie size) on sheet pan 2 inches apart.
400 degrees for about 6-8 minutes, or until golden.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Good Morning Blueberry Muffins


Breakfast might just be my favorite meal of the day.  I think it brings good memories of me waking up as a child to the smell of bacon frying, biscuits and gravy or our Sunday morning treat--cinnamon rolls!  I am a coffee lover, and I so enjoy the smell of the freshly brewed coffee and taste of the first sip to get you going.  Eating breakfast out is nice, but eating a hot breakfast at home is great on a lazy morning. 
These blueberry muffins are a recipe my husband grew up eating as a child.  They are filled with plump, juicy blueberries in a batter that's rich with whole grains and warm spices! Perfect to start off the morning with a steaming cup of your favorite coffee.  
Here are a few tips that I have found to help me make this recipe the very best: Before you cream the sugar and butter together, let the butter stand to soften for about an hour or so.  Once you add the wet ingredients, the batter will look a little clumpy (which I kind of flipped out about at first) but precede with adding the dry ingredients and it will turn out perfectly.  I don't like to stir the batter too much. I just stir to combine so that the muffins are left very tender and fluffy.  I have used fresh and frozen blueberries, and they are both delicious.  I always add a couple more berries to the top of the batter, after I fill the muffin cups, to give the muffins the look that they are truly bursting with blueberries!
There are actually some healthy benefits to these muffins: like the whole wheat flour, wheat germ and all the anti-oxidants in the blueberries.  I have heard that you could probably substitute about half of the butter for applesauce and still have the right consistency while reducing the fat.  I am always on the lookout for a tasty and healthful recipe to make!
These are truly some of the best homemade muffins I have had.  When you wake up to the anticipation of these yummy blueberry muffins, you will start your day with a very good morning!

Good Morning Blueberry Muffins

1c. sugar
1/2c. butter or margarine
1c. milk
1 egg
1c. all-purpose flour
1c. whole wheat flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4c. wheat germ (I used honey wheat germ)
1c. fresh or frozen blueberries (I usually add a few more!)

Mix in the order given.  I creamed the sugar and butter with a mixer first, added the milk and egg and mixed well.  Then I combined all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and mix them in just until combined. Carefully stir in the blueberries.  Evenly divide the batter among the muffin cups.
Bake in well greased muffin pans in a 400 degree F. oven for 22-25 minutes.
Serves about a bakers dozen. (12-13)