Whole wheat white chocolate chip toffee cookies

Whole wheat white chocolate toffee cookies

And thus continues my obsession with Good to the Grain. I’ve made Kim Boyce’s whole wheat chocolate chip cookies before (the first recipe listed in the book) and they’re now the only chocolate chip cookies I ever want to eat. Those interested in trying them out at home (please, please do) can find a close version of the recipe via A Sweet Spoonful.

This past weekend, between Noise Pop gigs and working on work stuff, I decided to bake – only I didn’t have any high-quality bittersweet chocolate lying around, as dictated by Kim. I did, however, have some white chocolate chunks and toffee bits left over from previous baking efforts, and decided to roll with it.

The result was really, really awesome. I’ll still call the original version of the recipe my favorite (because OMG), but these are pretty fantastic. The white chocolate is plenty sweet (nicely offsetting the kosher salt), and the toffee melted down into each cookie, making them moist and chewy.

Whole wheat white chocolate chip toffee cookies
Adapted from Good to the Grain

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract [note: I was out of vanilla extract, so I just mixed some additional brown sugar with some water and threw that in there instead]
1 cup white chocolate chips/chunks
1/3 cup toffee bits

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and kosher salt into a large bowl (I used my mesh strainer).

Cut the cold butter into small pieces (1/2 an inch or so) and add to the bowl of a mixer along with the sugars (I used my stand mixer with a paddle attachment). Beat the butter and sugars on low speed until just blended (2 minutes or so). Add the eggs and the vanilla one at a time, mixing until combined. Stop the mixer and briefly scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour mixture until just about combined (should take less than a minute). Scrape down the bowl again, then add the white chocolate chips and toffee bits. Start the mixer again for a few seconds, until the chocolate and toffee are mixed in. Use your hands if need be to make sure all the flour and chocolate/toffee are incorporated with the dough.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop the dough onto the sheet – the scoops should each be the size of about three tablespoons, spaced three inches or so apart.

Bake the cookies for 16 to 20 minutes. You can bake two sheets of cookies at once – just position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and rotate the cookie sheets halfway through the cooking time. When I made these, I ended with up two and a half baking sheets’ worth of cookies (15 total).

Whole Wheat English Muffins

Whole Wheat English Muffins

I love English muffins. I eat them quite often. Usually toasted, with a poached egg on top. Or maybe some strawberry jam. They freeze and defrost easily. I have my favorite kind at Trader Joe’s. These are all good things.

I subscribe to FoodPress, a WordPress subsidiary that features various recipes and photos as posted on WordPress (since there happen to be a lot of food-related blogs hosted on WP). A recipe for Homemade English Muffins made with (mostly) whole wheat flour popped up in my Reader one day, and I just had to try it.

The end result was really, really good. Great, in fact. I ended up with 19 muffins (as opposed to 10-12, as noted in the above recipe) – I’m guessing my English muffin rounds were a bit smaller than Channeling Contessa’s, or my dough rose more/differently, or whatever. Either way, I can’t argue with extra English muffins.

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Cooking with Trader Joe’s

I love Trader Joe’s. Joe is my religion. The only downside of shopping at Trader Joe’s (for me, at least) is that sometimes it’s not a one-stop experience, especially if you’re picking up particular recipe ingredients.

Enter Cooking with Trader Joe’s, a rather large recipe resource. The site’s content is mostly user-generated, wherein users can upload and share recipes, as well as rate and review others. You can also create and print out recipe lists.

The pure beauty of it (aside from new meal ideas) is that every recipe utilizes items carried by Trader Joe’s, so unless your local TJ’s is out of something in particular, you’ll be able to pick up everything you need all at once. It’s brilliant.

This weekend, we made two recipes from the site: Potato Spinach Soup and Spicy Buffalo Pesto Pizza. Both were awesome. I used my own leftover pizza dough (use of frozen pizza dough = successful!) for the pizza instead of the TJ’s dough, so our pie was smaller and used fewer buffalo wings. Highly recommended.

P.S. The Cooking with Trader Joe’s site is the companion site for various “cooking with Trader Joe’s” cookbooks – I don’t happen to own any, but they are definitely tempting.

More pizza, this time: cheeseless.

Cheeseless whole wheat pizza

I had lots of whole wheat flour at home and a hunger for something bready and crusty. So I decided to make whole wheat pizza again. I was also determined to use some leftovers and not pick up anything extra at the store.

I doubled the amount of whole wheat flour this time and cut back on the white stuff, making for 2 cups whole wheat and 2 cups white. I divided the dough up before rising and froze the extra three portions for later.

The dough still rose quite well, despite the fact that our apartment is, um, cold . . . because I propped up the bowl next to my space heater. It worked. I seemed to have inherited at least some of my mother’s resourceful genes.

For the tomato sauce, I used the half can of whole peeled tomatoes I had in the fridge – cut them in half, shook out the seeds, chopped them up. Sauteed a bunch of garlic in olive oil over medium heat for a minute, threw in the tomatoes, as well as one smaller can of diced tomatoes I had lying around. Pinch of salt and pepper. Three small sprigs of thyme. Let cook until nice and thick, then added some more pepper for extra kick. Removed the thyme sprigs before using, of course.

I spread it across the dough once it was ready, then sprinkled a bunch of torn spinach on top. Since I didn’t have any cheese at home, I just didn’t use any. And it was SO GOOD. Next time, maybe I’ll use crushed red pepper in the sauce and roasted vegetables for the toppings.

Actually, I lied. This wasn’t totally cheeseless, because I sprinkled some Parmeson on top after baking. Can you blame me?

Whole wheat pizza with mushrooms and spinach

Whole wheat pizza

I wanted to do two things for dinner yesterday: utilize whole wheat flour and my brand new gorgeous KitchenAid stand mixer (thanks, Mom and Dad!). Solution: whole wheat pizza!

Pinch My Salt has a very appetizing whole wheat crust recipe with fresh rosemary, so I went with that one. She provides a “tangy tomato sauce” recipe that we followed as well.

We followed both recipes exactly, except we used my stand mixer to do the kneading (so easy!) and also used a regular pizza pan and cookie sheet for the pizzas (no pizza stone available).

For the toppings: I chopped up some crimini mushrooms (I just eyeballed it – maybe about a cup and a half) and fresh spinach (around one cup). We added a touch of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper to the mushrooms and let sit while we prepared the pizza dough and sauce. The toppings were enough for two of the four pizzas that the dough recipe will yield, and the sauce yielded just about enough for all four pies.

End result? Delicious.

Whole wheat pizza