Tuesday, February 16, 2010

TWD : Dorie's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies anche in italiano

Kait of
Kait’s Plate selected My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies and I'm amazed nobody chose this recipe before ! In Italy chocolate chip cookies aren't so famous obviously ,just recently some brands started making them but in the thick and chewy version only.
As you might already know I have a special gift in spreading any cookie (Laura suggested the cause may be the different fat content in American vs. Italian butter) and so I kept on doing this time too obtaining very thin and crunchy cookies.
What can I say.... not knowing what to expect they were a huge success at the carnival party and people kept asking for the recipe !
Please visit the other TWDers and run to Kait to get the recipe !!


Kait di Kait’s Plate Ha scelto My Best Chocolate chip cookies e mi stupisco che nessuno abbia scelto questa ricetta prima! In Italia i chocolate chip cookies, non sono così famosi ovviamente e, solo di recente, alcune marche cominciato a farli, ma nella versione spessa e morbida.
Come si sa ho un dono speciale per far allargare qualsiasi biscotto
e così ho continuato a fare anche questa volta ottenendo dei biscotti molto sottili e croccanti
(Laura mi
ha suggerito che la causa possa essere il diverso contenuto di materia grassa nel burro americano rispetto a quello italiano).


250 gr di farina
1 cucchiaino di sale
3 / 4 di cucchiaino di baking soda
227 gr. burro a temperatura ambiente
200 gr di zucchero
140 gr di zucchero di canna
2 cucchiaini di estratto di vaniglia pura
2 uova grandi
340 gr. di cioccolato fondente, tagliato, oppure 2 tazze di gocce
170 gr di noci tritate finemente o noci pecan


Preriscaldare il forno a 180 gradi. Foderare due teglie con carta forno.

Setacciare insieme la farina, il sale e il bicarbonato di sodio.

Lavorare con un mixer, preferibilmente con la foglia, o con un mixer a mano in una terrina, sbattere il burro a media velocità per circa 1 minuto. Aggiungere gli zuccheri e sbattere per altri 2 minuti o giù di lì, fino a che sia ben amalgamato. Aggiungere la vaniglia. Aggiungere le uova una alla volta, sbattendo per 1 minuto dopo ogni uovo. Ridurre la velocità mixer al minimo e aggiungere gli altri ingredienti in 3 parti, mescolando solo fino a quando ogni aggiunta è incorporata. A bassa velocità, oppure a mano con una spatola di gomma, unire cioccolato e noci. (L'impasto può essere coperto e refrigerato per un massimo di 3 giorni o congelato. Volendo, è possibile congelare cucchiaiate di impasto arrotondate, già pronte per la cottura. Non c'è bisogno di scongelare la pasta prima della cottura - basta aggiungere un altro minuto o due per il tempo di cottura.)

Porre l'impasto in cucchiaiate leggermente arrotondate sulle teglie, lasciando circa 2 centimetri tra una e l'altra.

Cuocere i biscotti - un foglio alla volta e ruotando il foglio a metà cottura - per 10 a 12 minuti, o finché non sono scuri ai bordi e dorati al centro, il centro può essere ancora un po 'morbido. Estrarre la teglia dal forno e lasciare riposare per 1 minuto, poi trasferirli con attenzione con una spatola larga di metallo su una griglia a raffreddare a temperatura ambiente.

Ripetere l'operazione con il resto dell'impasto, raffreddando le teglie tra un'infornata e l'altra.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Daring Cook's Challenge : Mezze

The 2010 February Daring COOKs challenge was hosted by Michele of Veggie Num Nums. Michele chose to challenge everyone to make mezze based on various recipes from Claudia Roden, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Dugid.

I was so happy with this challenge but I made it yesterday evening !!!! Sorry to be late !
But we had a great dinner, I couldn't make more mezze but we bought some kebab and had some salad so we all had great fun filling the pitas !!
Please visit the blogroll for more mezze and Michele who had many interesting suggestions !


Pita Bread – Recipe adapted from Flatbreads & Flavors by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
Prep time: 20 minutes to make, 90 minutes to rise and about 45 minutes to cook

2 teaspoons regular dry yeast (.43 ounces/12.1 grams)
2.5 cups lukewarm water (21 ounces/591 grams)
5-6 cups all-purpose flour (may use a combination of 50% whole wheat and 50% all-purpose, or a combination of alternative flours for gluten free pita) (17.5 -21 ounces/497-596 grams)
1 tablespoon table salt (.50 ounces/15 grams)
2 tablespoons olive oil (.95 ounces/29 ml)

1. In a large bread bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water. Stir to dissolve. Stir in 3 cups flour, a cup at a time, and then stir 100 times, about 1 minute, in the same direction to activate the gluten. Let this sponge rest for at least 10 minutes, or as long as 2 hours.
2. Sprinkle the salt over the sponge and stir in the olive oil. Mix well. Add more flour, a cup at a time, until the dough is too stiff to stir. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Rinse out the bowl, dry, and lightly oil. Return the dough to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until at least doubled in size, approximately 1 1/2 hours.
3. Place a pizza stone, or two small baking sheets, on the bottom rack of your oven, leaving a 1-inch gap all around between the stone or sheets and the oven walls to allow heat to circulate. Preheat the oven to 450F (230C).
4. Gently punch down the dough. Divide the dough in half, and then set half aside, covered, while you work with the rest. Divide the other half into 8 equal pieces and flatten each piece with lightly floured hands. Roll out each piece to a circle 8 to 9 inches in diameter and less than 1/4 inch thick. Keep the rolled-out breads covered until ready to bake, but do not stack.
5. Place 2 breads, or more if your oven is large enough, on the stone or baking sheets, and bake for 2 to 3 minutes, or until each bread has gone into a full balloon. If for some reason your bread doesn't puff up, don't worry it should still taste delicious. Wrap the baked breads together in a large kitchen towel to keep them warm and soft while you bake the remaining rolled-out breads. Then repeat with the rest of the dough.

Hummus – Recipe adapted from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden
Prep Time: Hummus can be made in about 15 minutes once the beans are cooked. If you’re using dried beans you need to soak them overnight and then cook them the next day which takes about 90 minutes.

1.5 cups dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water overnight (or substitute well drained canned chickpeas and omit the cooking) (10 ounces/301 grams)
2-2.5 lemons, juiced (3 ounces/89ml)
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
a big pinch of salt
4 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste) OR use peanut butter or any other nut butter—feel free to experiment) (1.5 ounces/45 grams)
additional flavorings (optional) I would use about 1/3 cup or a few ounces to start, and add more to taste

1. Drain and boil the soaked chickpeas in fresh water for about 1 ½ hours, or until tender. Drain, but reserve the cooking liquid.
2. Puree the beans in a food processor (or you can use a potato masher) adding the cooking water as needed until you have a smooth paste.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Adjust the seasonings to taste.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

TWD : Rick Katz’s Brownies for Julia

This week I was sure we were going to eat chocolate ! The recipe was chosen by Tanya of Chocolatechic and she delighted us with this special brownies recipe, I loved the results as the brownies were lighter than usual even if not less sinful !!!

The recipe is quite simple, as a pose to my usual recipe you need to use the mixer bowl too but it's no big deal.
My brownie are fudgier but I'm not sure if I overcooked these I'll have to visit the others to check ! Visit Tanya for the recipe !!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

TWD : Milk Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes

Kristin of
I’m Right About Everything picked the mini bundt for this week I really didn't know what to expect and started reading the P&Q section of the TWD site. I learned that I could use muffins tins and that I should be very careful about overcooking.
I must say I was very happy about the minis; I made a few in muffin cups and some in my mini flower silicon mold. I put the hazelnuts swirl only in some muffins and on top of the minis because I knew the kids wouldn't like it.
I especially enjoied the melting in your mouth consistency, the kids loved the milk chocolate flavor.
Please visit the other bakers here

Monday, February 1, 2010

Recipes to Rival: Parmigiana di Melanzane

This month Temperama, like me, needed some summer so she chose this recipe from Mario Batali.
Nowadays we can buy eggplant all year around even if I try to buy seasonal most of the time.
I'm really glad I made this parmigiana because it's raining so much in these days in Rome that its smell really helped.
The only change I've made has been to 'fry' the eggplants in the oven.
Please visit the blogroll for more melanzane !

Recipe courtesy Mario Batali

•2 pounds (about 2 medium-sized) eggplant
•4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
•1 cup fresh bread crumbs, seasoned with 1/4 chopped fresh basil leaves and 1/4 cup pecorino
•2 cups Basic Tomato Sauce, recipe follows
•1 pound ball fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
•1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Wash and towel dry the eggplant. Slice the eggplant horizontally about 1/4-inch thick. Place the slices in a large colander, sprinkle with salt and set aside to rest about 30 minutes. Drain and rinse the eggplant and dry on towels.

In a sauté pan, heat the extra-virgin olive oil until just smoking. Press the drained eggplant pieces into the seasoned bread crumb mixture and sauté until light golden brown on both sides. Repeat with all of the pieces. On a cookie sheet lay out the 4 largest pieces of eggplant. Place 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce over each piece and place a thin slice of mozzarella on top of each. Sprinkle with Parmigiano and top each with the next smallest piece of eggplant, then sauce then mozzarella. Repeat the layering process until all the ingredients have been used, finishing again with the Parmigiano. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the top of each little stack is golden brown and bubbly, about 15 minutes.

Basic Tomato Sauce:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onion, chopped into 1/4-inch dice
4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded
2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt and serve.

This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.

Fresh bread crumbs are required for the coating to stick without an egg wash.
The oil must be HOT HOT HOT or the eggplant will not cook fast enough and will be a greasy soggy mess.
The Mozzarella must be very thinly sliced or the eggplant tower will slide (it will still taste great)

Culinary tour 2010 - Argentina: Alfajores de Maicena de Ilda

This week I will finally join Joan's new Culinary Tour Around the World in Argentina.
The recipe I chose is the recipe I received from an expert pastry maker from Paraguay, she lives in Sant'Ignatio a town in the Misiones region which now is divided between Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina. This region's history is both complicated and sad (some of you may remember the film 'Mission').
The sweet called Alfajor has arab origins in Spain between 711 and 1492. It was then exported to South America were now it is considered traditional.

The Alfajores I made are thinner than usual and with less filling but I think the most important thing is the cookie recipe and then each of us can play with it (I'm planning of filling some with lemon curd !).

Combine :
500 gr of flour
500 gr Maizena
350 gr Sugar
2 tsp baking powder
Lemon zest
Add :
4 Eggs room temp
250 gr Butter room temp

And you will see how wonderful this dough is ! No need of refrigerate it it won't shrink or spread just roll it at your desired thickness and bake in a 350°F oven until pinkish then fill with Dulce de leche and roll them in shredded coconut.
Ilda recomends eating them after a couple of days (they are different : taste some right away and compare !)