Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Salted Crispy Oatmeal Cookies

A word about photographing cookies...it's hard! For the most part, they are not that colorful or otherwise interesting looking. But what's more important is that they taste yummy! These cookies are a good example. So sorry about the stock "stacked cookie" photo (really, the most common pose you'll find on TasteSpotting!), but at least this definitely is a Top 10 recipe! From Cook's Illustrated (which also includes an Orange-Almond variation I really must try.)

1 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
14 tablespoons butter, slightly softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2+1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
coarse sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk dry ingredients (through salt) together. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in egg & vanilla, then stir in dry ingredients and oats. Divide dough into 24 equal portions (about 2 tablespoons each) and roll into balls. Place on three parchment-lined baking sheets, and flatten dough slightly to about 3/4" thickness. [These do spread quite a bit, so don't put more on a sheet unless you're making smaller cookies.] Lightly sprinkle sea salt over all the cookies. Bake one sheet at a time for 13-16 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, until edges look crisp. Transfer baking sheets to wire racks and cool on sheets.

**Update** The Orange-Almond variation is quite good too, although I think I still prefer the plain salted recipe. To make the Orange-Almond, add 2 teaspoons of orange zest to the butter & sugars when you cream them. Then, decrease the oatmeal to 2 cups and add 1 cup chopped, toasted almonds. Do not sprinkle with sea salt.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I love carrots. But I do not like shredded carrot, for reasons unbeknownst to me. A few years ago I bought this implement under the assumption it was a zester.

I'm not sure if it technically is, but I do know that when I want to get some sort of citrus zest I use this implement:

So basically, this first "zester" has been a dud...until I found a new use for it--probably it's proper use--which is julienning!!! It's been a revelation... julienned carrots are so much better (and prettier) than shredded!
Without further ado, here is a recipe using julienned carrots: Sesame-Broccoli Salad. I haven't been making it that long, but every time I have it's been a big hit. (Adapted from an Eating Out Loud recipe here.)

2 heads broccoli, chopped (throw in sliced stems as well)
1 cup lightly packed cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup julienned carrot
2 green onions, chopped
3/4 cup toasted, slivered almonds
1/2 cup dried cherries (or cranberries, or raisins)

for dressing:
1/2 cup canola oil (I've been using peanut oil since that's what I had on hand)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 - 2 teaspoons sugar
2 - 3 teaspoons soy sauce

Whisk dressing ingredients together, then pour over salad. Toss to combine and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let flavors meld.