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cioccolata's Profile

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Least healthy store bought product

No, no they are not. I'm still not even sure they can be considered food...

Jul 26, 2011
cioccolata in General Topics

What to cook with cast iron skillet in oven?

Hey! Sorry it took me so long to respond (yeah studying for the GRE). I've never tried subbing oats for the flour in this recipe, but since I've tried it in regular chocolate chip cookie recipes with no problems I think it would work fine. I wouldn't sub in more than half though since it will change the texture of the cookie. I have seen oat flour sold in the stores which I think would work better to maintain the original texture than using regular old fashioned oats while still providing the same health benefits. Unless of course you prefer the texture that whole oats gives... Let me know how it works out for you!

Jul 26, 2011
cioccolata in Home Cooking

What to cook with cast iron skillet in oven?

Addicting isn't it? Even though the summer heat is here I still find myself making it, although I tend to let it cool for a little longer (hot cookie is a lot more appealing in the fall and winter). I actually have a skillet I use solely for this purpose (mainly because it is the perfect size to make a cookie that serves 1-3 people).

Jul 26, 2011
cioccolata in Home Cooking

"cookie of the day"

Those look amazing! Since I'm usually the one who brings desserts to my agility class (I love to bake but I usually end up with much more than I can eat) I have a feeling I'll be trying these soon. I don't usually add fruit to my desserts (why bother adding anything but chocolate?) but the crumb bars intrigue me. Plus I have a lot of blueberries in my fridge that I need to do something with...

Jul 26, 2011
cioccolata in Home Cooking

ISO: Individual-portioned, easy chocolate dessert for 50.

There's always cookies when in doubt. The concept might not sound unusual but depending on what you add in you could make them very exotic (even just adding unusual spices like ginger to a chocolate chip cookie recipe). Plus, they wouldn't need to be refrigerated and could be made small enough to be called finger food.

May 27, 2011
cioccolata in Home Cooking

Are there things you eat/avoid every day to be healthy?

I can't even remember the last time I ate at a fast food joint. Once I started cooking for myself I must admit that I became a food snob and will no longer frequent such places. I still eat out, I'm just more picky where. Funny how as a kid I loved eating at places like McDonald's and now I just avoid the place. Admittedly I would always take the meat off so I really only ate their buns with cheese, the chocolate milkshakes, and the fries. I was a very picky eater when I was young...

May 27, 2011
cioccolata in General Topics

Are there things you eat/avoid every day to be healthy?

Good point. Since I hate ketchup though I need to add something to the fries. Even just the addition of garlic would probably do it for me. I don't like them oversalted (which most fast food chains seem to do in my opinion) so I think it would be cool to allow the customer to add as much as they want. Oddly enough I hate the addition of salt to sweet potato fries so I usually make my own.

May 26, 2011
cioccolata in General Topics

ISO: Individual-portioned, easy chocolate dessert for 50.

I love TJ's chocolate lava cakes! I served them a New Year's Eve party and they were a hit. No one could believe that they were from a grocery store as they had a fresh baked taste to them (perhaps from the microwave?). Ice cream on top drizzled with fudge is a must!

May 25, 2011
cioccolata in Home Cooking

What are you baking these days? May 2011 [old]

This sounds interesting. I've never made brioche before but I'll give it a try! (how hard can it be, right? *nervous chuckle*) And if it turns out badly I'm sure my dogs won't mind... :) In all seriousness, as long as it tastes good my family is pretty good about willingly eating my failed attempts at new recipes. I can't wait to see how it turns out for those that are more experienced though. I'm sure those will be masterpieces!

May 25, 2011
cioccolata in Home Cooking

Are there things you eat/avoid every day to be healthy?

No salt on the fries?! What the heck? It's almost like they are purposely trying to prevent people from enjoying a good side order of french fries.... I would definitely avoid the fries there too!

May 25, 2011
cioccolata in General Topics

What to cook with cast iron skillet in oven?

I use the skillet baked chocolate chip recipe from Martha Stewart. Here's the directions (I usually divide the recipe in half and bake whatever doesn't fit into the skillet as regular chocolate chip cookies) Enjoy!:
Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (about 9 ounces) mixed milk- and semisweet chocolate chips
2 pints vanilla ice cream
Caramel Sauce
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla; mix until they are fully incorporated. Add flour mixture, and beat until just combined.
Stir in chocolate chips.

Transfer dough to a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, and press to flatten, covering bottom of pan. Bake until edges are brown and top is golden, 40 to 45 minutes. Don't overbake; it will continue to cook a few minutes out of the oven. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, 15 to 20 minutes. Cut into 8 wedges. Serve warm; top each wedge with a scoop of ice cream

May 25, 2011
cioccolata in Home Cooking

What are you baking these days? May 2011 [old]

I recently just started to really get into garlic bread. I've always loved the stuff but had only really ever made in once or twice. Now I'm making some at least once a week. The hardest part for me is getting the amount of garlic just right. Sometimes I tend to overdo it to the point where I think our neighbors can smell it...

May 22, 2011
cioccolata in Home Cooking

Stuck on what type of cookies to make for dessert!

Thanks for all the input and suggestions :). The funny thing was that some friends ended up visiting so I ended up mixing up both kinds (as one is a health nut and will only eat cookies she deems has some healthy aspect while the others aren't big fans of oatmeal in general). Good thing they were willing to help out since it took quite a bit of effort and time to bake two different batches, but then again we all had a lot of fun trying to outdo each other making shapes with the cookie dough. All in all it was totally worth it (especially since they took home the leftovers so I wouldn't be tempted, not that there were many left...).

May 22, 2011
cioccolata in Home Cooking

Small Recipes for 1-2 people? ARGH!

Good point. I never really though about that. I guess I just assumed that all restaurants made a huge batch and then dished it out as needed. In that case maybe I should try it again... (practice makes perfect, right?)

May 21, 2011
cioccolata in Home Cooking

Do you have a recipe that works so well that you have no interest in trying another?

Mine are crunchy on the edges with the rest being soft with a rather gooey center(I make sure to slightly undercook so that they don't harden upon cooling). I like nuts just not in my cookies. I guess the reason why I like them so much is that I can control the sugar amount (I tend to find most recipes oversweet) and the temperature at which I consume them. Plus, I really like the texture and chocolate chip to dough ratio I have come up with (one can never have too many chocolate chips. The dough is merely there to hold it all together :)).

May 21, 2011
cioccolata in Home Cooking

Stuck on what type of cookies to make for dessert!

Okay, so I love to make cookies and right now the weather here is perfect for them. The problem is that I have two really good recipes BUT I can't decide between oatmeal chocolate chip or regular chocolate chip cookies for dessert tonight. I love both types yet I really don't have the time to make both (plus I don't need that many cookies sitting around the house tempting me). I know this topic kinda sounds trivial but any inputs/ opinions would be greatly appreciated. What type of cookie would you want on a nice cool (65 degrees!) summer evening?

May 21, 2011
cioccolata in Home Cooking

"cookie of the day"

I saw those and was tempted to try them but the ground hazelnut and almonds keeps me from actually making them. I don't have a grinder and so far I haven't found any ground hazelnuts at any of the stores near me. But they do sound very good...

May 21, 2011
cioccolata in Home Cooking

Question: When you say, "I Hate . . . .

I so agree. Unfortunately a few of my friends seem to think that their opinions are universally shared and do not understand why I would eat something they consider disgusting. Case in point, green tea (although I guess that's more so drinking than eating....)

May 20, 2011
cioccolata in Not About Food

What to cook with cast iron skillet in oven?

Chocolate chip skillet cookie (with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge of course). I have a cast iron skillet I dedicate solely for this purpose (yes I'm a cookieoholic (if that isn't a word it is now!)).

May 20, 2011
cioccolata in Home Cooking

which cookies freeze well?

I've frozen snickerdoodles before without any problems (I think they had been in the freezer for 2 months. My family kinda forgot about them...) We just stuck them in the fridge one night to defrost them a bit and then took them out a couple of hours before we planned to eat them and as far as I can tell the texture/taste was fine. Hope that helps!

May 20, 2011
cioccolata in Home Cooking

Do you have a recipe that works so well that you have no interest in trying another?

My chocolate chip cookies! Seriously, after perfecting mine I'm no longer even tempted to try anyone else's (after having been disappointed too many times by too crisp or dry cookies from stores). It's gotten to the point where when I make a batch I hoard it away from everyone else. My family has learned to stay away from the cookies unless I leave out a plate with some I am willing to share :). It's the one thing I refuse to share with anyone else. I know that there are thousands (perhaps millions?) of recipes for chocolate chip cookies out there but I can't seem to convince myself to try one.

May 20, 2011
cioccolata in Home Cooking

What are the steps to becoming a good dessert home cook?

I totally agree. I care about all of my cooking but I definitely put the most time, effort, and love into my desserts since they are what I really savor the most during the week. Then again dessert has always been my favorite meal...

May 20, 2011
cioccolata in Home Cooking

What are the steps to becoming a good dessert home cook?

Yes, the kitchen scale is one of the most important tools needed for making good desserts. That and a convection oven.... (a personal dream of mine) :)

May 20, 2011
cioccolata in Home Cooking

Small Recipes for 1-2 people? ARGH!

I'm the same way. I feel that my attempts to scale down the serving size negatively affects the taste so I tend to make the full serving and then give away the leftovers to neighbors and friends. If the goal is to save money too by not making the full serving size then I would suggest starting with cookbooks already mentioned that are specifically designed to serve one or two people.

May 20, 2011
cioccolata in Home Cooking

"cookie of the day"

I loved the picture of the saluting cat! Who knew there was actually a NOM following? Clearly I'm not in the loop...

May 20, 2011
cioccolata in Home Cooking

Are Nestle chocolate chips good for anything besides their chocolate chip cookie recipe?

I have the feeling that after trying this I'll never be able go back (my motto being chocolate can make anything taste better :)). Does the quality of the chocolate really matter? (since as far as I can tell you don't want to add so much that you actually taste it)

May 19, 2011
cioccolata in Home Cooking

Best Chocolate Chips

When I was attending UCD Nuggets carried them. Now I can find them at Vons but that is the only major grocery chain store that I have found them in recently, although my mom claims that Ralphs once carried them. The price is pretty reasonable at Vons, around $3.50 for a 12 oz bag. I bake a lot of chocolate chip cookies so i go through them quickly. Ordering them online would be too expensive (especially with shipping and cool packs).

May 19, 2011
cioccolata in General Topics

"cookie of the day"

that is seriously the coolest looking cupcake I have ever seen. If I had the time and patience I would so try to duplicate that.

May 19, 2011
cioccolata in Home Cooking

Are Nestle chocolate chips good for anything besides their chocolate chip cookie recipe?

I never thought of that. I'll have to try it the next time I make chili...

May 18, 2011
cioccolata in Home Cooking

Best Chocolate Chips

Guittard is my favorite supermarket brand, although it can be hard to find in most stores. The quality, in my humble opinion :), is much better than Ghirardelli or *shudder* Nestle.

May 18, 2011
cioccolata in General Topics