Friday, July 30, 2010

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Bars

Why is it that I only am in the mood to bake when it is 100 degrees outside? I needed a chocolate fix and so I decided to try a recipe I found on My Kitchen Cafe.

Makes a 9x13 inch pan of bars

2 1/8 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch pan with foil leaving a little hanging over the edges for easy removal. Spray foil with cooking spray.

Mix flour, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside. Whisk the melted butter and sugars together. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add dry ingredients and fold in until just blended. Don't overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips and place in pan using a spatula to smooth out the top. **I, Kristen, found that it was a very thick batter. Don't be alarmed. It's ok.**

Bake until the top of the bars are light golden brown, slightly firm to the touch, and edges start to pull away from the pan. The recipe says about 24-28 minutes but I had to cook mine for about 33. I checked at 24 minutes and again at 29 minutes and then they were good to go at 33. Keep an eye on them. Cool completely and remove from pan.

These are oh so good and oh so rich. They have that slightly undercooked texture to them that I love so much because it's like eating raw cookie dough. My family gave it rave reviews as well.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Spaghetti Carbonara

I have so many versions of this in my recipes and I've never tried it. It wasn't until reading "Garlic and Sapphires" by Ruth Reichl (a food critic) that I found an easy enticing recipe that I had all the ingredients for. I didn't get a picture because my family ate it up SO fast. Proof that it was so YUMMY!!

1 pound spaghetti
1/2 lb thickly sliced bacon
2 cloves garlic
2 large eggs
Black pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano cheese, plus extra for the table (I used much more than this because I love cheese)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When it is boiling, throw the spaghetti in. Most dried takes 10 min. to cook, and you can make the sauce in that time.

Cut the bacon into pieces about 1/2 inch wide. Put them in a skillet and cook for 2 min., until fat begins to render. Add the whole cloves of garlic and cook another 5 min. until edges begin to crisp. Do not overcook.
Meanwhile, break the eggs into the bowl you will serve the pasta in, and beat them with a fork. Add some grindings of pepper.
Remove the garlic from the bacon pan. If it looks like too much fat to you, discard some, but you're going to toss the bacon with most of its fat into the pasta.
When it is cooked, drain the pasta and immediately throw it into the beaten eggs. Mix thoroughly. The heat of the spaghetti will cook the eggs and turn them into a sauce. Add the bacon with its fat, toss again, add cheese and serve.

I threw on fresh diced tomatoes on top because I just love them.