Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Chewy by Alton Brown

I have seen this recipe on almost every one of the cooking blogs I follow. Since I love cookies that are chewy rather than crispy, I knew I had to make these. My husband, N, wanted me to make something for a colleague at work to thank him for his help. I instantly thought of these. I have to admit I was a little disappointed in them. While they are good, I don't think they are any better than the Toll House cookie. Also, mine turned out more crunchy than I would have liked, but that may be because I didn't put them into an airtight container right away.

The Chewy

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown

2 1/2 dozen cookies


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


  • Ice cream scooper (#20 disher, to be exact)
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking sheets
  • Mixer


Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.

Pour the melted butter in the mixer's work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Chill the dough, then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning.

Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Samoas Cookie Bars

I love Girl Scout cookies. My favorite is the Samoa cookie. I'm not a big fan of coconut usually, but these are so good and addictive. Unfortunately, I moved to Canada a few months ago, and they don't have Girl Scouts here. I was so disappointed when I found out. I saw this recipe on several of the cooking blogs I follow, so I thought I would make them myself. While they did not taste exactly like the Girl Scout version, they were pretty close. I especially loved the top caramel layer, and toasting the coconut gives it much more intense flavor. I don't have a picture, and haven't even figured out how to put pictures in my posts, but I will soon.

Homemade Samoas Bars
recipe adapted from Baking Bites
yields 20 bar cookies
Cookie Base:
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F.

Make the crust first by lightly greasing a 9×13-inch baking pan, or line with parchment paper.

In a large bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together sugar and butter, until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract.

Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly, like wet sand. The dough does not need to come together.

Pour crumbly dough into prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until base is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before topping.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Clear Away the Clutter Read-a-Thon

I have A LOT of books, most of which I have not read. I do not reread many books, and I get rid of most of the books that I have read. I recently made a list of the books that I have not read and I came up with over 200. I went a little crazy when I joined paperbackswap. I also buy books that I find on sale. My goal this year is to not buy any more books. I may have found a way around that a few times already. Like, for instance, my husband bought me a book he knew I really wanted for getting into grad school. He also bought me another book I wanted for Valentine's Day. So those don't count. Anyway, my big goal this year is to read and get rid of at least 100 books from my collection. So, when I found The Clear Away the Clutter read-a-thon at The Neverending Shelf, I knew that I had to join. This event takes place from April 5th to April 11th. I'm looking forward to getting some of my books read and also getting to know some people in the book blogging community.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My First Post

My name is Amanda and reading is one of my favorite things. I am 23 and am an American currently living in Montreal, QC. I am married to an amazing, nerdy Canadian husband. We have a silly, adorable cat named Newton (after Isaac Newton). I am starting a master's program in the fall to be a librarian and I cannot wait. This blog will probably mostly be about reading, as that is what I do most often. I will also occasionally post about some of my other interests, including knitting, and cooking.