Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chocolate chip shortbread cookies

These cookies were really popular this past weekend, and I promised a guest that I'd put the recipe on my blog, so here it is:

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

Bill at the York River Inn Bed and Breakfast in Yorktown

1 c butter softened to room temperature

½ c brown sugar

1 t vanilla extrac

t2 c flour

1/4 cup of corn starch

1/4 t salt

½ cup mini chocolate chips

1 T sugar for coating

Beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla thoroughly.

Mix flour, cornstarch, and salt together, and gradually blend that mixture in to the butter and sugar mix until well incorporated.

Add chips. Blend until just mixed in.

Form into 1-inch balls (or smaller) and place on silpat sheet or parchment paper on a baking sheet. Put sugar on a small plate–and dip the bottom of a flat-bottomed drinking glass in the sugar. (Ok, first take your finger and put it in some butter lightly, and then grease the bottom of the glass with the butter to make the sugar stick to it.)

Gently press down on each cookie to flatten all the cookies evenly. Once you’ve done the first one, there’s enough residual butter to make the sugar stick to it for the rest of them.

Bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes. Makes about 3 dozen.

You can overcook them pretty easily, so be careful.------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I usually add a half cup of toasted chopped pecans or almonds with the chips–you might like another nut selection. And I have made them with white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts–to die for.

You really have to use the mini chips in these. And if you use white chocolate? The regular chips are too big–you have to run them through your food processor or something to get them into smaller chips. It’s a hard thing to do–for white chocolate chips, or blocks–or other chocolate too. The pieces need to be small not to overwhelm the small cookie.

Where it says “beat” I use a food processor through the stage of adding the cornstarch and flour–then take the dough out and use my hands to mix the chips and nuts in together.

And if you’re using a mixer, you really have to beat the dickens out of the butter and sugar mixture. In a food processor, you need to run it for a minute or so–way beyond just “mixing”

You can make them and freeze them as I’ve described before–and they’re easy to take out and bake later. You’ll have to judge the time and temperature depending on whether they’re frozen or thawed.

I’ve also made up the dough, rolled it into about a 1 1/4 to 1 ½ inch cylinder and frozen it. Then I have taken it out, cut it with a sharp knife into about 1/4 to ½ inch slices, put them on the baking sheet, and baked them like that. That way you can make as many or as few as you like and save the rest for later. Or make them as directed and put them on parchment. Freeze and put into a plastic bag so you can take the exact number you need. Thawing only takes a short time.

You’d think a simple recipe would be simple! But with me? Nothing is EVER simple!!

Farmers' Market in Yorktown

Yorktown had a wonderful farmers' market down on the waterfront all summer on Saturday mornings. We'll have a couple more before the season ends.

We always have a chef's tent for local restaurants or others to use to prepare some item for the public to sample.

They asked me to be the "Celebrity Chef" last week, and here are a couple of pictures of that.

I fixed "almond stuffed biscuits" which I often prepare for breakfast--and is one of the most popular items I fix!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Last night was another great concert on the waterfront by a military band--the Air Force band. Our Celebrate Yorktown Committee sponsors them for 5 concerts every summer on Tuesday nights. And our group enjoys fixing a nice box dinner for the performers and the supporting crews--they tell us that we're the only ones who do such a nice thing for them, so that makes us feel really great! We think they entertain even better with full stomachs!

Sometimes it's a smaller ensemble group--but one concert is always a big group--and last night was 35 performers! And they were great!

We've lucked out on the weather and last night was a wonderful night with a great breeze off the river.

My guests walked down and used my folding chairs---then went to dinner at the Riverwalk Restaurant.