Cooking

Achieving Balance in the New Year: Mushroom Soup with Greens

Mushroom Soup        www.morewinelesswhines.com

Mushroom Soup with Greens

I will be honest with you.  I struggle to find balance  – among work, graduate school and home life – between travel and rest – between my dietetics undergraduate training and my ill-acquired grownup habits.   It is a continual process, one which forces me to look forward and strive to improve each day.  I’ll take the struggle over complacency.

While trying to improve the foods my family cooks and eats together, I found this unusual Mushroom Soup in Jean-Georges:  Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef.    I am constantly on the prowl for a creative spark to jump-start a cooking session – and this cookbook has done wonders for my culinary prowess.  See the Sautéed Chicken with Green Olives and Cilantro + Chive Oil recipes on this blog as evidence.

The soup, along with other recipes in the cookbook, achieves a harmonious balance of colors, textures and flavors.  What better way to usher in the new year?

Mushroom Soup before adding broth      www.morewinelesswhines.com

Mushroom Soup with Greens before adding broth

I started the soup by making a rich mushroom ‘broth’ on a Sunday.  Then, I assembled the actual soup for dinner on a Monday night.  The final brief cooking &  ‘assembly’ went quickly.  It is not until all the ingredients come together at the last minute that you will agree with me and go “ahhhh, this WILL be delicious!”

Ingredients for Mushroom Soup (note, the broth is in the bowl and was made ahead of time)       www.morewinelesswhines.com

Ingredients for Mushroom Soup (note, the broth is in the bowl and was made ahead of time)

Mushroom Soup with Greens
Recipe from cookbook Jean-Georges: Cooking at Home with a Four Star Chef

For the broth:
2 lbs button mushrooms, rinsed & coarsely chopped
4 oz shiitake mushrooms
4 T. unsalted butter
sea salt
4-6 shallots, roughly chopped (~1 c.)
6 garlic cloves, smashed (ok to leave skins on)
4 thyme sprigs

For the final soup:
2 T. minced shallots
1/2 c. fresh or frozen and thawed peas (Optional – I did not use)
2 tsp. walnut or hazelnut oil
2 T. soy sauce
freshly cracked black pepper
1 T. port
2 c. mixed salad greens
2 T. toasted breadcrumbs (I used Panko)

1.  Heat a deep skillet over high heat and add butter, chopped button mushrooms and a tiny bit of sea salt.  When mushrooms release their juices, add shallots (chopped), garlic & thyme.  Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, 5-10 minutes, or until mushrooms are brown.  Add 6 c. water.  Keep heat at medium-high to high and cook at a steady boil for 30 minutes, until reduced by half.

2.  Pour mixture through a strainer, pressing on mushroom mixture to release all juices.  Keep broth warm.  (Broth can be made up to 2 days ahead of time in a covered container:  Cool broth by putting strained broth on top of an ice pack or nest in a larger bowl filled with ice cubes, then transfer to the refrigerator).

3.  While broth is cooking, place 2 T. butter in a skillet, turn heat to high and add minced shallot and shiitake caps.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes.  (Optional:  If using, add peas and cook for 1 minute at this time).  Turn off the heat and stir in walnut oil and 1 T. soy sauce.

4.  If needed, reheat broth.  Season with remaining 1 T soy sauce, cracked black pepper and port.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

5.  Place greens in individual bowls and spook shiitake mixture over them.  Add bread crumbs.  Pour soup over ingredients in the bowls and serve warm.

Enjoy!

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Prosciutto Cups : A New Year’s Appetizer to Wow the Guests

Prosciutto Cups

Prosciutto Cups

Let me tell you a not-so-secret secret.  Come closer or someone else will hear!  It is really simple to throw a great New Year’s Party.  Don’t try too hard.  Stick to friends, family, appetizers, the best wine and champagne.  Make your food FUN – not stuffy!  There is something tantalizing about any food you can hold in your hand, banishing fork and knife to a dark kitchen drawer, including skewered treats, BACON WRAPPED WATER CHESTNUTS, toothpick appetizers, phyllo pastry cups, lettuce wraps and more.  Ever heard of a little high brow- a little low brow?  What about – a little classy – a little trashy?  These fit the description – Fancy bacon made into a bowl!  Perfect!

The Don cutting the prosciutto into little bites

The Don cutting the prosciutto into little bites

Given this information, is it really surprising that I take such joy in prosciutto cups?  They are simple enough to make.  All you need are some mini muffin tins and prosciutto.  Borrow a few tins from an aunt, friend or neighbor if you don’t own any. It starts with the prosciutto.  Go to an Italian deli or your local deli (if you are lucky).  Have the person behind the counter thinly slice some good prosciutto for you.  You don’t need to go overboard and get the best prosciutto from Italy.  If you buy some of the ‘really good stuff,’ save it for eating raw, wrapping around breadsticks/freshly sliced melon/chicken tenders or served atop pizza.  Get a decent, mid-priced variety.

The Don placing the prosciutto into mini muffin tins

The Don placing the prosciutto into mini muffin tins

Prosciutto Cups

Preheat oven to 375 F.   Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray.  Cut each prosciutto slice into 3-4 pieces, width wise.  Wrap each piece in the muffin tin to form a cradle or little bowl.  Bake in preheated over for 15 minutes, or until starting to crisp but not burn.

Using a spoon or your hands, remove crisp prosciutto cups and transfer to a serving plate.  Fill with fresh pears, crab, cheddar cheese & chives, etc.  Get creative with your fillings.  I won’t tell you what to do for this one.  Have fun – get fancy and bake an egg in the prosciutto cups if you dare!  Serve immediately.

Happy New Year, friends!  I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015!

Prosciutto Cups with Fresh Pears

Prosciutto Cups with Fresh Pears

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Gardening, Travel

Christmas at the Phipp’s Conservatory in Pittsburgh

If you are ever in Pittsburgh and love flowers, take time to visit Phipp’s Conservatory.  I have visited the conservatory with my husband and his family during multiple seasons over the past few years.  Each visit has been unique.  Several years ago, we toured during a Chihuly glass exhibit. Last fall, we sat through an Indian spice session in the Indian Rain Forest exhibit and then toured the Center for Sustainable Landscapes.  This year, we visited during the winter display featuring decked out Christmas trees, poinsettias galore, a “snowman” wedding made out of air plants (bromeliads) and more!  Enjoy the photos below – don’t ask me the names of all the orchids because I couldn’t tell you!

One of the decorated trees at Phipps Conservatory     www.morewinelesswhines.com

One of the decorated trees at Phipps Conservatory

Norfolk Pine, Paperwhites and Hydrangeas at Phipps Conservatory      www.morewinelesswhines.com

Norfolk Pine, Paperwhites and Hydrangeas at Phipps Conservatory

Beautiful Display at Phipps Conservatory    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Beautiful Display at Phipps Conservatory

Staghorn Ferns + More in a large wire hanging basket at Phipps Conservatory www.morewinelesswhines.com

Staghorn Ferns + More in a large wire hanging basket at Phipps Conservatory

Bridal Bromeliads at Phipps Conservatory    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Bridal Bromeliads at Phipps Conservatory

Succulent Christmas Tree    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Succulent Christmas Tree

Air Plants in all their glory     www.morewinelesswhines.com

Air Plants in all their glory

It'll be a Blue Christmas without you!   www.morewinelesswhines.com

It’ll be a Blue Christmas without you!

Beautiful spin on a classic boxwood garden with a poinsettia twist at Phipps Conservatory   www.morewinelesswhines.com

Beautiful spin on a classic boxwood garden with a poinsettia twist at Phipps Conservatory

www.morewinelesswhines.com www.morewinelesswhines.com www.morewinelesswhines.com www.morewinelesswhines.com www.morewinelesswhines.com www.morewinelesswhines.com www.morewinelesswhines.com www.morewinelesswhines.com

Phipps Conservatory - Poinsettias, Cyclamen, and more!     www.morewinelesswhines.com

Phipps Conservatory – Poinsettias, Cyclamen, and more!

Bromeliad ring bearer at Phipps Conservatory     www.morewinelesswhines.com

Bromeliad ring bearer at Phipps Conservatory

Bromeliad bride with Bouquet at Phipps Conservatory    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Bromeliad bride with Bouquet at Phipps Conservatory

Eco bears at the Phipps Conservatory    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Eco bears at the Phipps Conservatory

A light display meant for nighttime at the Phipps Conservatory     www.morewinelesswhines.com

A light display meant for nighttime at the Phipps Conservatory

 

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Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

The start of a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce www.morewinelesswhines.com

The Start of a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

I am not too proud to admit that sometimes I just do not like bell peppers.  Maybe it stems back to frozen paninis in college that, once reheated in the microwave, left a bad, stale pepper aftertaste all day during class.  Regardless, I have been timidly trying main courses and side dishes that utilize bell peppers.

One recipe that is on my “To do” list is a classic Romesco sauce.  As a stepping stone to making a Romesco, I tried this Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce by Laura Calder of the Cooking Channel.  This recipe is absolutely wonderful!  I have served it with my Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter, Whole Roasted Chicken, and Quesadillas, to name a few.  I think it would be great as a little soup “shooter” with a cheesy puff pastry twist for dipping.  Just ideas.  Try it.  You will like it – regardless of whether or not you are a big pepper fan or not!

The peeled, seeded red bell peppers       www.morewinelesswhines.com

The peeled, seeded red bell peppers

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Original recipe by Laura Calder of the Cooking Channel.

2 red bell peppers
2 T. olive oil
1 shallot, minced
3 T. white wine (I used some Chardonnay)
6 T. chicken stock (I used Turkey stock that I had frozen/leftover from Thanksgiving)
juice from 1/2 a lemon
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F (My oven has been set at either 400 or 450, depending on what else I am roasting). Set the papers on a cooking spray lined baking dish and roast for 20 minutes. Turn peppers with tongs & roast an additional 15-25 minutes, until flesh is soft and skin is browning in spots. Place immediately in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside 10 minutes to “sweat.” Remove plastic wrap, and gently peel and seed the pepper with your hands (Be careful! Peppers will be warm!) Tear or cut into strips/pieces and set aside.

Heat a small saute pan over medium heat. Add oil. Once hot, add shallot, stirring occasionally, until translucent and soft, about 3 minutes. Add white wine and cook 1 minute. Add stock and cooked red pepper. Cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Pour into a small food processor or blender. Season to taste with lemon juice (1 tsp at a time), sea salt & pepper. Serve warm or cold. Enjoy!

The start of a roasted red pepper sauce        www.morewinelesswhines.com

The start of a roasted red pepper sauce

Easy Ingredient Prep for Roasted Red Pepper Sauce        www.morewinelesswhines.com

Easy Ingredient Prep for Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter, Sautéed Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper Sauce www.morewinelesswhines.com

Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter, Sautéed Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

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Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter, Sautéed Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter, Sautéed Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper Sauce     www.morewinelesswhines.com

Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter, Sautéed Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Simple and delicious.  If you like scallops, try this recipe.  If you’ve never eaten scallops before, start with this recipe.  The trick is to use high quality scallops that are free from additives.  One of the local grocery stores had a special on Peruvian Bay Scallops, so I used them instead of the traditional kind.  (These are smaller than regular scallops -think the size of a nickel-quarter instead of a half dollar) and cook very quickly.  I found several recipe variations using a simple combination of butter, olive oil, lemon juice & thyme, but the best one was from Bon Appetit.

Try to space the scallops out in the pan so they are not overly crowded or touching when you first sauté them.  I should have cooked up the scallops below in two batches to obtain a better crust, but I was impatient.  (Note:  they still turned out fine and tasted incredible).

Dinner - not too fancy, but really good     www.morewinelesswhines.com

Dinner – not too fancy, but really good

If you like pairing your food with wine, there are two New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc labels that I really like right now.  One is “90+”, which is like the Whole Foods/Trader Joe’s private label brand for the wine world.  The other wine is called “Wild South.”  I tried both of them at wine tastings first and then with these scallops.  Delicious!

Sautéing the Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter      www.morewinelesswhines.com

Sautéing the Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter

I made these scallops for dinner on a Sunday night and they took me less than 10 minutes to prepare.  I served these with sautéed spinach, lemon orzo & a roasted red pepper sauce.  Everything was excellent (except the orzo)!   The recipe for the roasted red pepper sauce is coming soon!

Sautéing the Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter www.morewinelesswhines.com

Sautéing the Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter

 

Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter

Many variations on this recipe exist, but I will give credit for this one to Bon Appetit

1 lb. sea scallops, side muscle removed
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 T olive oil
2 T. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 sprigs fresh thyme
juice from 1/2 a lemon

Place sea scallops on a paper towel lined dish. Top with a second paper towel to draw out any excess moisture. Let sit for 5 minutes. Sprinkle tops of scallops with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium to medium high heat. Add oil. Once hot, add scallops, salt & pepper side down. Cook, undisturbed, 3 minutes. Sprinkle tops of scallops with sea salt & pepper. Turn scallops using tongs. Add butter and thyme to pan. Continue cooking, spooning pan sauce over scallops, until scallops are cooked through, about 3 minutes longer. Stir in lemon juice. Serve scallops with the pan sauce.

Easy Prep for Brown Butter Scallops      www.morewinelesswhines.com

Easy Prep for Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter

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The Classics Revisited: Baked Spinach Lasagna with Meat Sauce, Bolognese Style

Baked Green Lasagna with Meat Sauce, Bolognese Style www.morewinelesswhines.com

Baked Green Lasagna with Meat Sauce, Bolognese Style

What started out as a curiosity turned into an intense interest and then became an obsession.  What was the object of my obsession this past weekend?  Crafting the best possible lasagna, of course!

For the past few weeks, I have been completely absorbed in my work during the day and intense study during the evenings and weekends as this past quarter of my MBA capstone course wound down.  Highly analytical, critical thinking and problem solving consumed my every waking moment.

But you know what?  I function at my peak when I balance the left and right sides of my brain!  To find balance, I cooked like a madwoman the past few weekends.  I decided to make a few meals for the busy week ahead… including one of my favorite soup recipes and this new lasagna!  I originally was going to just make a bolognese from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, but I ended up making the whole lasagna, including a béchamel sauce.

It’s a process to make this lasagna, but the actual assembly goes very quickly once the pasta, bolognese & béchamel are ready!  Please make sure, if you ever take the time to make a homemade lasagna, to enjoy it with a good glass of wine.  I chose a 2013 Cabernet Franc, which I found at a recent wine tasting.  (I also used it in the Bolognese sauce).  Enjoy!

Great Lasagna Wine Pairing: The Franc: 2013 Cabernet Franc www.morewinelesswhines.com

Great Lasagna Wine Pairing: The Franc: 2013 Cabernet Franc

Prepping the Ingredients for Spinach Lasagna with Bolognese Meat Sauce     www.morewinelesswhines.com

Prepping the Ingredients for Spinach Lasagna with Bolognese Meat Sauce

Layering the Béchamel, Bolognese and Parmesan over the Spinach Lasagna Sheets     www.morewinelesswhines.com

Layering the Béchamel, Bolognese and Parmesan over the Spinach Lasagna Sheets

Spinach Lasagna right before Baking in Oven    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Spinach Lasagna right before Baking in Oven

Baked Spinach Lasagna with Meat Sauce, Bolognese Style

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan

Bolognese Meat Sauce
Béchamel  Sauce
Homemade green pasta dough or purchased fresh lasagna sheets
2/3 c. freshly grated parmiggiano-reggiano cheese (or Romano cheese)

1.  Set a bowl of cold water next to the stovetop.  Bring 4 quarts of water to a rapid boil, add 1 T salt, and as soon as the water begins to boil, add the lasagna noodles, 3-4 at a time into the water.  Use a “spider” or small colander to scoop the noodles out of the pasta after about 2-3 minutes maximum.  Plunge the strips into the bowl of cold water, then run under cold running water,  Place on a towel to dry.

2.  Preheat the oven to 400 F.

3.  Spray bottom of lasagna pan with cooking spray and about 1 T. béchamel.  Line the bottom of the pan with a single layer of pasta strips, cutting them to fit the pan.

4.  Spread meat sauce & béchamel in a thin layer over the pasta.  Sprinkle on the grated Parmesan.  Then add another layer of pasta, cutting to fit the pan.  Repeat until there are at least 6 layers of pasta.  Leave a little sauce to spread over the top layer.  Sprinkle the top with parmesan.

5.  Bake on top rack of oven for 10-15 minutes.  Remove from oven, allow to set for 10 minutes, then serve.

 

Baked Green Lasagna with Meat Sauce, Bolognese Style       www.morewinelesswhines.com

Baked Green Lasagna with Meat Sauce, Bolognese Style

Ingredients for the Bolognese Meat Sauce    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Ingredients for the Bolognese Meat Sauce

Bolognese Meat Sauce, browning the beef with the vegetables   www.morewinelesswhines.com

Bolognese Meat Sauce, browning the beef with the vegetables

Bolognese Meat Sauce, Simmering     www.morewinelesswhines.com

Bolognese Meat Sauce, Simmering

Bolognese Meat Sauce
(I would double this recipe if you prefer a very saucy/meaty lasagna)

1 T canola oil
3 T butter
1/2 c. chopped onion
2/3 c. chopped celery
2/3 c. chopped carrot
3/4 lb. ground beef chuck
salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 c. whole milk
whole nutmeg
1 c. dry white wine
28 oz can imported Italian plum tomatoes, juice reserved

1 Melt oil & butter in a large dutch oven. Add chopped onion and sauce until translucent. Then add carrot & onion. Cook 5 minutes, stirring well.
2. Add ground beef, a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir & ‘chop up’ the beef with a wooden spoon, until cooked through.
3. Add milk and let it simmer until soaked into the meat almost completely. Add a tiny grating of nutmeg and stir.
4. Add the wine. Let it simmer until evaporated, then add the tomatoes. Once tomatoes begin to bubble, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Add the reserved tomato juice to the pot throughout the long simmering period.
4. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Set aside for making the lasagna.

Bechamel Sauce

3 c. milk
6 T. butter
4.5 T. flour
1.4 tsp. salt

1. Put milk in saucepan, turn heat to medium low and bring milk to an “almost boil.” (a ring of bubbles will form around the edge of the pan)
2. While milk warms, place a large saucepan over low heat. Add butter. once melted, sift in the flour, stirring with a wooden spoon to eliminate any lumps. Cook, stirring constantly, 2-4 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Whisk hot milk into flour-butter mixture 2 T. at a time. Whisk continuously. Continue whisking in milk, 2 T. at a time, until about 1/2 cup has been added. Then, whisk in 1/2 c. increments of milk, until all is incorporated.
4. Heat the pan over low heat and gently stir in salt. Allow to cook undisturbed until sauce thickens. Use immediately for lasagna.

 

Green Pasta Dough, a photo story:

Green Pasta Dough Basics:  Eggs, Spinach & Flour     www.morewinelesswhines.com

Green Pasta Dough Basics: Eggs, Spinach & Flour

Forming eggs, spinach & Flour into a shaggy ball    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Forming eggs, spinach & Flour into a shaggy ball

Kneed dough for 8 minutes, until smooth and looks like this       www.morewinelesswhines.com

Kneed dough for 8 minutes, until smooth and looks like this

Divide green pasta dough into sixths     www.morewinelesswhines.com

Divide green pasta dough into sixths

Making Homemade Spinach Lasagna Noodles www.morewinelesswhines.com

Making Homemade Spinach Lasagna Noodle

The finished sheets of green pasta dough    www.morewinelesswhines.com

The finished sheets of green pasta dough

Green (Spinach) Pasta Dough

1.5 c. unbleached flour
2 large eggs
1/2 of a 10 oz bag frozen spinach, thawed & excess water squeezed out

Make a well in the flour.  Add eggs and spinach.to the flour well Gently begin to incorporate the spinach and egg together with the flour in a large bowl with a wooden spoon until a shaggy, wet dough is formed. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Kneed the dough by hand, adding flour as needed, pressing with the heel of your palm and turning the ball of dough in the same direction (i.e. clockwise), for 8 minutes. (THIS IS GREAT STRESS RELIEF!)

Cut into 6 equal parts. Cover each piece with plastic wrap.

Place pasta machine on the widest setting. Working with one piece of dough at a time, run it through the machine. Fold the dough in on itself and run through the widest setting once more. Repeat 1-2 times if necessary. Reduce the width between cylinders to a more narrow setting. Run the dough through at this setting twice. Reduce the width between the cylinders a final time. Run dough through 2-3 times to attain desired thinness.

Set prepared pasta sheets on cookie sheets (optional: lined with plastic wrap). Cover either with damp paper towels or plastic wrap and use immediately.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites (no eggs!)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Please let the record show I am a cookie dough addict.  Luckily, there are others who share my cravings for cookie dough!  For example, there is a little ice cream parlor called Cookie Dough Creations in downtown Naperville (a suburb of Chicago) for people just like me!

At  Cookie Dough Creations,  you can order your ice cream and get a scoop of cookie dough on top!  If you are feeling rebellious, you can order cookie dough with no ice cream!  You can get a cookie dough sandwich, too!  The raw dough is made without eggs and comes in 8 flavors:  chocolate chip, peanut butter, oreo, fudge brownie, brown sugar, turtle, M&M and cake batter.  My favorite flavors are chocolate chip & turtle.

I took my little cousin to Cookie Dough Creations a few weeks ago as part of our sleepover weekend and I went back again recently only to find the line out the door despite the AC unit being broken inside!

Using The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook as my guide, I found a great egg-less recipe for cookie dough.  I used the recipe, rolled the perfectly edible though not bake-able cookie dough into little marble-sized bites and froze them for a few hours.  Wait.  Let me back up a step.   I would roll one piece of cookie dough, place it on the parchment lined pan and then eat a little bit.  Next my husband would try eating some cookie dough.  I would yell at him afraid we were going to run out and then the process would repeat.  Hypocrite rolls, hypocrite eats, hypocrite scolds…

I tried making frozen yogurt and stirring the cookie dough in at the end, which worked great.  The only issue was that I ate (no self control) the cookie dough bites I saved to “serve on top” before the frozen yogurt was ready.   These are good drizzled with chocolate or even sandwiched between two regular chocolate chip cookies!  I have also taken this cookie dough and sandwiched it between rice krispie treats, which my little brothers love ( I actually found this application a bit too sweet).

Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites   www.morewinelesswhines.com

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Original Recipe found in The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook

1/3 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 c. milk
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. mini chocolate chips

In a medium mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy 2-3 minutes.  (This can be done by hand or with an electric mixer).  Stir in vanilla and milk.  Mix in flour and salt on low speed until incorporated.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Cover bowl with cookie dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate 15-30 minutes.  Remove from refrigerator.  Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Use a small spoon or melon baller to scoop out cookie dough little by little.  Roll into little marble-sized “bites.”  Place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Freeze, covered, several hours until firm.  Use immediately or place in airtight plastic container in freezer.

Yield (after some nibbling):  about 2 cups cookie dough bites.

Note:  This recipe omits baking soda and eggs, so this cookie dough will not ‘work’ if you try to bake and make real cookies with it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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