16 September 2014

The Importance of Baked Goods

One of the perks of moving to a new place was that we needed to buy a stove. At first glance, this looks more like an expense than a perk, but I can guarantee you that this has already been money well spent.

A few times in the past I mentioned my experiences with the devil appliance - the combination convection oven and microwave. For someone that likes to bake things and making casserole-ish type meals, more often than not this meant burns on the outside while underdone on the inside. I figured out a few things that I could make while working around the oven's quirks, but favorite meals and treats were missing.

When we moved into the new place, we had to buy a stove and a refrigerator for ourselves, and now we have a proper oven again. Which means that in a few short weeks I'll need to start rolling myself out of our flat. It hasn't been a month yet, but I've already made 2 large batches of cookies, 3 batches of muffins, and an assortment of dinners in the oven. It's been amazing, and I have no plans on slowing down - I have 2 years of baking to catch up on.

All sorts of delicious.

And so in honor of my favorite new appliance, I'm sharing my own take on the famous Chocolate Chip Cookie. Unfortunately, I have no pictures as of yet - they just don't last too long in this house. But trust me, they look and smell great, and it's a version of the classic recipe that I've tweaked over the last few years to what I think tastes best.

Ace's Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
250 grams/8 ounces dark chocolate bar - cut into small chunks

Preheat your oven to 350 F/175 C.

In a small bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Set to the side.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the shortening, butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat thoroughly. Next, add in eggs and vanilla to the sugar mixture. You can do this in a mixer, but I prefer using a wooden spoon.

In small amounts, add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture. The mix will become tougher as you add the flour. After the flour mix is completed, add the chocolate chunks to the dough.

Using two spoons, make small drops of dough, approximately 1 inch in diameter, and place on baking paper or a cookie sheet.

Place the cookies in the middle of the oven. Bake for 9-10 minutes.

Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before movie them to a cookie rack.



  1. I would have a really hard time not having a proper oven as well, I am all about casseroles and pasta bakes!

  2. My current place has one of those devil microwave/oven combos and it's alright but nowhere near as good as just a plain old oven ... More upsetting though is the fact that as my bf and I continue to look for a place in Utrecht, I would say well over half of the places (even in higher price ranges) don't have an oven or even a place to put one!! What is it with these wacky non-gluttonous Dutch people??

  3. Okay, so I am not a baker (clearly by this next question) What is shortening?

  4. It was hard - I'm so happy to have one again. And on top of it all, it's actually the best oven we've lived with since we've been married!

  5. Haha! It's like the Dutch have much more self control or something... Or at least more than me!
    It seems like if your looking at a flat or apartment, you'll have a devil oven, but if you look at a house you might have an proper oven. We "lucked out" that we had to buy something this time around.

  6. Shortening is a cooking fat. It's kind of like lard, but nowadays it's usually made out of hydrogenated vegetable oil. So it's slightly healthier than butter, and not as melty. But Americans often use it in place of butter to make our junk food healthier - so you can eat more of it. =)

  7. Riiiiiiiiight that explains it. We just use butter. The french yellow stuff hmmmmm mmmmm hmmmm. And I still it loads of it (hence the size of my rear)


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