Christmas break seems like eons ago. I was in Mexico City for part of the holiday, medical where it was a balmy 70 degrees. Perfection! I came home and was swamped with edits for the latest cookbook. Then there was the polar vortex. And the latest cold snap. Ugh. Weather, cialis 40mg and January.

When it gets brutal outside, physician your style of cooking changes, doesn’t it? You braise and stew, make pots of soup, bowls of chili, hearty dishes that warm you from the inside out. Well here is another recipe that will keep your stove on…

ChickenChili1

Awhile back I was sent The Lemonade Cookbook. With new takes on classic, comfort food-style recipes, it had a recipe for chicken chili, just the sort of recipe to have on a cold winter’s night. There were very few surprises in the list of ingredients– which was exactly what I wanted– something that was warm, sustaining, reliable, and delicious. But by using ground chicken rather than ground beef, the chili is lighter than most, allowing the spices to shine through.

The original recipe is for one big ol’ pot of chili. Too much for me and my leftover-eating apathy. So the recipe I’m giving is for just about half a recipe. (Don’t worry you’ll still have leftovers!) I used only 1 pound of ground chicken (the original recipe called for 3 pounds), but the chili was still meaty. Simmering on the stove this chili smelled great, and tasted even better.

Stay warm!

ChickenChili2

Chicken Chili

adapted from The Lemonade Cookbook

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1 pound ground chicken, both white and dark meat, if possible
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
lots of pepper
1 tablespoon flour
1 (16-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven, or large pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook until they begin to soften and brown. About 10 minutes.

Add the chicken, and brown, breaking up any large clumps. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle in the spices and herbs, salt and pepper. Cook until the spices begin to smell fragrant. Sprinkle in the flour, stirring to incorporate, and to cook out any raw taste.

Pour in the tomatoes with their liquid, and the stock. At this point the chili will be very brothy. Reduce heat to medium-low. Gently simmer, uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning, and serve.
Christmas break seems like eons ago. I was in Mexico City for part of the holiday, page where it was a balmy 70 degrees. Perfection! I came home and was swamped with edits for the latest cookbook. Then there was the polar vortex. And the latest cold snap. Ugh. Weather, and January.

When it gets brutal outside, your style of cooking changes, doesn’t it? You braise and stew, make pots of soup, bowls of chili, hearty dishes that warm you from the inside out. Well here is another recipe that will keep your stove on…

ChickenChili1

Awhile back I was sent The Lemonade Cookbook. With new takes on classic, comfort food-style recipes, it had a recipe for chicken chili, just the sort of recipe to have on a cold winter’s night. There were very few surprises in the list of ingredients– which was exactly what I wanted– something that was warm, sustaining, reliable, and delicious. But by using ground chicken rather than ground beef, the chili is lighter than most, allowing the spices to shine through.

The original recipe is for one big ol’ pot of chili. Too much for me and my leftover-eating apathy. So the recipe I’m giving is for just about half a recipe. (Don’t worry you’ll still have leftovers!) I used only 1 pound of ground chicken (the original recipe called for 3 pounds), but the chili was still meaty. Simmering on the stove this chili smelled great, and tasted even better.

Stay warm!

ChickenChili2

Chicken Chili

adapted from The Lemonade Cookbook

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1 pound ground chicken, both white and dark meat, if possible
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
lots of pepper
1 tablespoon flour
1 (16-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven, or large pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook until they begin to soften and brown. About 10 minutes.

Add the chicken, and brown, breaking up any large clumps. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle in the spices and herbs, salt and pepper. Cook until the spices begin to smell fragrant. Sprinkle in the flour, stirring to incorporate, and to cook out any raw taste.

Pour in the tomatoes with their liquid, and the stock. At this point the chili will be very brothy. Reduce heat to medium-low. Gently simmer, uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning, and serve.
Something happened to the way that I cook when I moved to the East Coast. I waste very little. It’s not that I was a spendthrift before– but I was guilty of throwing away sorry looking-vegetables in the bottom of the crisper, visit web or leftovers that weren’t appealing to me anymore– they just got discarded. I know, try I know, link I’m not proud of my wasteful past.

Now however, it’s a different story. Maybe it’s that I find food costs to be higher on the East rather than the West Coast, maybe it’s just that I’ve matured, but I find myself not discarding a thing. Kale leaves are used in salad, while the stems are sauteed and served as a side dish. Tired looking fruit is simmered into compote and eaten with yogurt. And snack food– well that gets used too!

These Everything Cookies were inspired by a half-eaten bag of pretzels sticks. I am not the hugest pretzel fan, but had bought the bag to crush as breading for chicken cutlets. (Which is DELICIOUS, and should be made by those uninitiated!) So what do I make with the extra pretzels? Crush them too, and slip them into cookie batter.

Now these cookies weren’t simply pretzel cookies. They had crushed Whoppers– or malted milk balls– in them. Then there were dark chocolate chunks. (I had a few ounces in my baking pantry.) Finally, there was a little bit of ground espresso. These were not a coffee flavored cookies, but it rounded the ingredients out, and gave the cookies depth.

The cookies had that salty-sweet flavor from the pretzels, a chewiness from the melted and subsequent congealing of the malt balls, all while resembling a favorite chocolate chunk cookie. With all of those ingredients, these cookies seemed pretty everything to me. I may just have to buy pretzels for the purpose of making these cookies again!

Everything Cookies

Makes 24 cookies

1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (3 ounces) light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup (2 1/3 ounces) sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups (6 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crushed pretzel sticks
2 packages (3 1/2 ounces) Whoppers, crushed
1/2 cup (3 ounces) dark chocolate chunks
1/2 teaspoon ground espresso

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both of the sugars, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and the vanilla until well-incorporated.

In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Add the flour mixture, and beat on low speed until just combined. Using a spatula, fold in the pretzels, Whoppers, chocolate chunks, and espresso until well-combined.

Scoop the dough by heaping tablespoons onto a parchment-lined, or Silpat-lined baking sheet. The dough will fill two pans. Bake for 13-15 minutes, switching pans halfway through the baking process. Remove from the oven, allow to rest on the pan for 5 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack.
Crispy or chewy, advice flat or cakey, visit this everyone has their preferences when it comes to cookies. But I guess you could say, that I am egalitarian– I like them all. Every cookie has its place; and it’s often in my belly!

CreamCheeseCookies2There are times when I want just a little something sweet, just a discrete bit, and these cream cheese cookies did just the trick. They are small, about 2 inches in size. They are light (both in color and texture), and are gently sweet. This is not a sturdy, overly decadent treat; these cookies almost melt in your mouth. But as Goldilocks said, I found these cookies to be “just right.”

The dough is almost like a sugar cookie dough, except it is enriched with cream cheese, giving the cookie some body and bite, and the sugar is confectioners’ sugar, or powdered sugar. This amendment makes the cookie soft and pillowy. By using confectioners’ sugar, rather than granulated sugar, the sugar doesn’t have the opportunity to caramelize thus getting crisp and golden brown.

CreamCheeseCookies1After a brief rest in the refrigerator, the cookies get rolled in sugar– granulated this time– giving them a  crackly finish. Before baking, it’s important to give the dough a press. These treats won’t spread when baked, so they need to be encouraged!

I incorporated a bit of chopped bittersweet chocolate. It paired so nicely with the tanginess of the cream cheese. This recipe is not abundant, making about 2 dozen cookies, but the dough will stay fresh in the refrigerator for a few days. I like to bake just a few off at a time. There is nothing like a fresh, warm-from-the-oven cookie to satisfy a sweet tooth, and these cookies did just that.

CreamCheeseCookies3

Chocolate Chunck Cream Cheese Cookie

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups (8 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth, and well-blended, at least 1 minute. Add the confectioners’ sugar, baking powder, and salt, and continue to beat until well-incorporated. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until fluffy. Beat in the flour until just combined. Fold in the chocolate. Refrigerate the dough for a minimum of 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Put the 1/4 cup of granulated sugar in a small bowl. Scoop the dough into small, 1-inch rounds. Roll in the sugar, and place on a Silpat-lined cookie sheet. With the heel of your hand, press down on the dough slightly, making  a flatter cookie. Bake as many as you would like; the cookies will not spread much during baking.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookies will have slightly browned on the bottom, but will not have browned much on the top. Let cool on the baking sheet slightly, and then remove to a cooling rack.

One Response to “Chocolate Chunk Cream Cheese Cookies”

    I love cookies – although I shouldn’t be looking at these right now, because I’m on a diet, but I love cookies lol..I love the look of these chocolate chunk cookies, they look absolutely delicious :)

  1. --Alex

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