Tag Archives: sous chef

My Little Helper (AKA The World’s Most Adorable Sous Chef)

24 May

My love of baking is something I really hope I can pass on to my son – I know he likes eating my baked goods already, but I want him to appreciate the time and effort that goes into them, too! I have been letting him “help” me in the kitchen for a while now, with extremely adorable results:

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He actually did pretty well standing on a regular dining room chair, but when I saw a picture of a “toddler helper” stool on pinterest, I knew it would make a great project for my dad (who is always looking for something to do to keep himself out of trouble!). It turned out great, and was super easy/cheap for him to put together. Check out how you can make your own here

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My mother in law made us matching Mickey and Minnie aprons – aren’t they amazing? Perfect for me and my little sous chef!

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He REALLY enjoyed helping me make sugar cookies, and enjoyed the frosting we made for them even more!

I really hope that giving him the chance to help in the kitchen (and yes, make messes, too!) will keep him coming back for more, and keep him interested in helping and learning, too!

Embarrassing Confession (+Pumpkin +Chocolate)

9 Aug

 

I LOVE FALL – this is not a new love, and I have obsessed over the autumn season for a LONG time (maybe it has something to do with all the amazing things you can do with APPLES?). Love everything about it – the foods, the colors, the weather, the décor, the activities, the holidays – nothing beats it in my book. That being said – it’s now time for me to make my embarrassing confession- ready? I HATE SUMMER. There. I said it. I hate the heat, the sun beating down on me, the bugs, the humidity, grilled foods are not my first choice, and I am not too much of an “outdoor girl”, so getting to spend summer days outside does not appeal to me. At all. When I admit this to people – most of them are shocked and appalled, as the majority of people love summer. Sad (and slightly ashamed) to admit – I am just NOT one of them

So when people complain about the back to school ads and fall decorations and Halloween candy coming out earlier and earlier every year, I listen and nod along with them – but am secretly thrilled with the ever early arrival of fall (I got my first email for a “back to school sale” a few weeks ago and screamed out loud – that’s how exciting fall is to me!). I decided that since it was back to school time, then its fall recipe time too – and then I came across these Salted Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies on Picky Palate, I knew they would be the recipe to usher in the start of (my) fall season!
Salted Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Ingredients
• 1 stick/8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
• 2 tablespoons molasses
• 1 large egg
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose Gold Medal Flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• one 10 ounce bag chocolate chunks (2 cups)
• A few pinches Fleur de sel salt or sea salt for sprinkling on top of cookies
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Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place butter and sugars into stand mixer, beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add molasses, pumpkin, egg and vanilla, beating until well combined. Add flour, salt and baking soda, mixing to combine then add in chocolate chunks. Using a scoop/tablespoon, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet. Flatten cookies with hands then sprinkle lightly with salt if desired.
3. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until baked through
Makes about 15-20  2 inch cookies

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Me and my sous chef Walter – his main job function is cleanup should any debris accidentally litter the floor

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Pressed and salted cookies all ready for the oven!

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…Aren’t they pretty? Look at that pumpkin color, and that salt!

The only things I did differently from the written recipe were that I used all brown sugar (because I was out of white), and I also sprayed nonstick cooking spray on my fingers to flatten the cookies so the dough wouldn’t stick to my hand

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The end result? A cake-y, chocolate, delicious cookie! You could definitely taste the salt and chocolate, and the pumpkin makes it super moist, but unfortunately, the pumpkin taste gets lost in the shuffle, it’s VERY subtle, and that saddens me, as I would prefer as much pumpkin flavor as possible! But my husband loved that it was not as pumpkin-y, so to each their own I suppose

I will make them again for sure – what a fun way to take a chocolate chip cookie and put a salty, autumn-y twist on it!