Tag Archives: chile powder

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies are my weakness.  I could eat this entire batch alone – that is IF they even made it to the oven before I ate all the dough.  I try to only make them if I am planning to take them somewhere.  That is about the only way I can avoid temptation.  This recipe yields a cookie that is crispy around the edges and chewy in the middle.  If you’re looking for a tall, soft cookie, this is NOT it.  It’s a matter of preference, really, and I just prefer these.

Creaming the butter and the sugar is really important in a good cookie.  I whip my butter until it is light and fluffy before I even add any sugar.

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After you add the sugar, be sure you let it go until it is light and fluffy again.  Then add the vanilla and one egg at a time and beat until they are completely incorporated.  Add your dry ingredients and as soon as the dough comes together add your chocolate chips.  I don’t stir mine in by hand.  Sure the paddle on my mixer breaks a few of them up, but not that many.  And, really, they’re going to melt when they bake anyway.  This recipe has a little chile powder in the mix.  Don’t be afraid.  It isn’t enough to make your cookies spicy, but it adds depth of flavor.  I rarely make chocolate chip cookies without it anymore. Scoop the dough onto your cookie sheets and bake.

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I baked half of this recipe on my countertop rotating oven and half in the conventional oven.  Here’s a halfway shot from the cookies baking on the countertop oven.

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After the cookies cooled, I put them all on one plate.  The countertop oven is on the left, the conventional oven is on the right.  If you only want to bake a few cookies, the countertop oven is definitely a time saver, but for a whole batch it just isn’t practical.  Of course, they do look prettier, so there’s that to consider.

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Recipe:

2 sticks room temperature unsalted butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon red chile powder

2 cups dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350*

Beat butter until it is fluffy and light in color.  Cream butter with sugars.  Add vanilla and one egg at a time.  Beat until each egg is completely incorporated and scrape down sides of bowl between eggs.  With mixer on its lowest setting, add flour, baking soda, salt and chile powder.  When those are just incorporated, add chocolate chips and stir through (seriously I count to 3 or 4 is all).

Drop cookies by spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets leaving 1″ between cookies.  Bake at 350* or 8-10 minutes.

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Red Chile Honey Butter

I like to cook with butter.  I also like to butter breads and vegetables.  Real butter just has so much good flavor.  That’s no excuse to just use it plain though.  Oh no.  Compound butters are way too simple to make.  I whipped this, but, if you don’t have a stand mixer, just stir it all together.  The flavor will still be fantastic.

Start with a stick of room temperature butter.  I used unsalted and added salt just because unsalted is what I keep on hand.  If you have salted butter, skip the salt and go from there.  Put the butter and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Using the whisk attachment, whip for 5 minutes.  Scrape down the sides halfway through.  Your butter will be lighter in color and have slightly more volume.

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Add good quality honey and red chile powder.  Whip another 5 minutes. Again scraping down once.  I know it seems like a long time, but it makes this butter so light and fluffy!

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Serve on rolls, cornbread or a variety of vegetables.  I particularly love it on baked sweet potatoes.

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Recipe:

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon chile powder

Place butter and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Using whisk attachment, whip butter for 5 minutes.  Scrape down sides once about halfway through.

Add honey and chile powder to the bowl.  Whip another 5 minutes.  Scrape down sides once about halfway through.

Use anywhere you would use plain butter to add a little sweetness and a little spice.

Risotto-style Brown Rice

I want to preface this post by saying that I have never eaten risotto that was not made in my own kitchen.  I’ve read, and watched and researched about it, but I have never eaten it anywhere.  Yes, this is an indication of the quality of dining available to me.  But darn it, I have the Food Network and the internet, and I’ve followed the process as best as I understand it.  So, if you are a risotto connoisseur, this recipe is probably not for you.  If you’re not, and you’re looking for a way to change up your boring rice side dish, give it a try. You need two pots for this – one for the rice and one for your stock.  Heat your stock up in one pan and keep it hot, but not boiling.  In the other pan, toast up your rice with a little butter and some chile powder.

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When your rice is toasty and your stock is hot, add a ladle-full of stock to your rice and stir.  Be careful, this one will bubble and steam quite a bit.  You could use a half cup of white wine instead of broth in this step, but my kids don’t like that as much.

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Stir the rice frequently.  When almost all the liquid has been absorbed or evaporated, add another ladle of broth.  After a half hour, and 3 ladles (or 1 1/2 cups of broth), my rice looked like this.

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If it doesn’t look much different to you and you are getting discouraged, I’m with you.  This dish is not quick and it is not one you can just set on the stove and walk away from.  I really think the end product is worth the trouble, but I don’t do it often.  After another half hour (yup, that’s an hour total) and another 3 ladles of broth (totaling 3 cups), it is thick, creamy and delicious.

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Those little black specks are evidence of home made stock.  I used the bones from some leftover grilled chicken to build my stock.  And, since I was serving this with grilled chicken, it really tied all the flavors together.  If you’ve used a well seasoned broth, you shouldn’t need to do much to this in terms of seasoning.  Taste it.  If it’s flat, add some salt and pepper.  If you know your stock is only marginal, toss in some finely diced onion with the rice and butter at the beginning of this process. You can add virtually anything to this before serving – some grated parmesan, more butter, sautéed mushrooms, fresh or frozen peas, even protein. Or, you could just leave it alone and enjoy it alongside your favorite main dish.

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Recipe:

1 Tablespoon butter

1 cup brown rice

1 teaspoon chile powder

3 cups chicken stock (the more flavorful the better)

Melt butter in a heavy sauce pan over medium heat.  Add rice and chile powder and toast.  While rice is toasting, heat chicken stock until it almost boils.  Reduce heat to low and keep stock hot.

When the rice is toasted, reduce heat to low.  Add one ladle of stock (about 1/2 cup) and cook over low heat, stirring almost constantly until almost all the liquid is absorbed/evaporated.  Add another ladle of stock.  Repeat this process until rice is the desired consistency (I added 3 cups of stock a half cup at a time – 6 repetitions).  Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to your liking if necessary.