Entries Tagged as 'new york times'

2012 Cookie Party Recipes

December 19th, 2012 · No Comments

Here are the recipes from the the cookie party. See also, recipes from other years: 2011 recipes, 2010 recipes, 2009 recipes, 2008 recipes, 2007 recipes (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

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1st Place
by Emily

For The Crust
4 1/2 ounces (9 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for parchment
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt

For The Chocolate Caramel
10 1/2 ounces milk chocolate, chopped (2 cups)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon sea salt, preferably fleur de sel

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the crust: Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides; butter parchment, excluding overhang. Beat butter and brown sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add flour and table salt, and beat until just combined.

Press dough evenly into pan, and bake until lightly browned, about 30 minutes.

Make the chocolate caramel: Place chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, washing sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming, until amber, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Add butter, cream, and table salt. Bring to a boil, stirring until smooth. Pour over chocolate. Let stand for 2 minutes. Stir to combine, and let stand until cool, about 10 minutes.

Pour mixture over crust. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight. Run a knife around edges; lift parchment to remove whole bar from pan. Sprinkle with sea salt. Trim edges, and cut into 16 bars.

Makes 16

From: Martha Stewart

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2nd Place
by Stephanie and Jessica

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups roasted salted cashews
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
24 cubes soft caramel candy (7 ounces)
1/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour and salt together. Coarsely chop 1 cup cashews; set aside. Process remaining 1 1/2 cups cashews in a food processor until finely chopped. Pour in oil. Process until mixture is creamy, about 2 minutes.

Put cashew mixture, butter, and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low; gradually add flour mixture. Mix in reserved chopped cashews.

Shape dough into 1 1/2-inch balls; space 2 inches apart on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 6 minutes; gently flatten with a spatula. Bake until bottoms are just golden, 6 to 7 minutes more. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.

Melt caramels with cream in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring. Let cool. Using a spoon, drizzle caramel over cookies; let set. Store airtight in single layers.

From: Martha Stewart

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3rd Place
by Lisa

1 8 oz. package cream cheese
1 4 oz. stick of butter
3/4 cup flour
1 egg white
1 cup coarse baking sugar

Place the butter in a bowl. If the butter is cold, grate it with a cheese grater so it mixes nicely with the other ingredients. Beat in the cream cheese. Fold in the flour and mix ingredients well so they form a dough.

Place the dough on a lightly floured flat surface and mold it into a ball. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or as long as overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle some flour onto a pastry board and roll the dough until it is about 1/8th of an inch thick. Cut out individual cookies using the rim of a small glass.

Beat the egg white in a dish and using a pastry brush, coat each cookie with it. Dip the wet side of each cookie into the baking sugar until generously coated.

Bake the cookies on a baking sheet for 25 minutes until golden brown. After about 20 minutes start to check the cookies. Depending on the oven, they might need an extra 5-10 minutes.

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by Loden

Recipe Coming Soon!

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by Caroline

Recipe Coming Soon!

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by Mary/Mom

3 egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 tsp salt
3 Tbsp Red Jello (any flavor)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp white vinegar (or extract)
1 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or brown paper bags. Set aside.

In glass bowl start to beat egg whites until foamy. Add the salt to the egg whites and beat until they start to hold soft peaks. (Be careful not to over beat.) Now alternately add the sugar and jello gradually, about 2 tablespoons at a time. Add vinegar (or extract) and continue beating and adding remaining sugar in batches, until all of the sugar is dissolved and the meringue is very shiny and tight. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Working with one teaspoon at a time, push a teaspoonful of meringue from the tip of 1 teaspoon with the back of another teaspoon onto the lined baking sheets, leaving 1-inch of space between cookies. Place baking sheets in the preheated oven. Bake 25 minutes. Do not open door. Turn the oven off. Leave the cookies (undisturbed) in the oven for at least 2 hours and up to overnight, or until cookies are crisp and dry.

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by Sara

Cookie ingredients:
1/2 C butter, softened
3/4 C sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 C flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Filling ingredients:
2 C cranberries
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C water, divided
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch (I used 4 Tbs tapioca as a thickener instead)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

In a large bowl, cream butter with sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Scrape
bowl as needed, especially prior to each new addition of ingredients.
Add in dry ingredients. Mix until fully incorporated into the dough.

Divide dough in half. Form each section into a ball, wrap in plastic.
Chill for at least 1 hour.

Over medium high heat in a medium sauce pan, add cranberries, sugar
and 1/4 cup of water. Heat until berries pop, stir frequently.
Continue to cook, reducing temperature to medium heat. In a small
bowl, mix cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup of water. Add water mix to
the cranberries. Heat and stir until thickened. It will thicken
quickly. Add 1/2 tsp of cinnamon to mixture, stir until incorporated

Remove from heat. Transfer cranberry mixture to a medium bowl. Let
cool for 15-20 minutes at room temperature before covering with
plastic and returning to the fridge to cool completely.
When both your dough and filling are ready to be worked with. Remove
one ball of dough from the fridge. On a lightly floured workspace,
roll out dough into a large rectangle.

Spread half of the cranberry filling over the dough, up to 1/2? from the edge.
Carefully begin rolling dough from one of the shorter ends. Pinch and
seal off the ends. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, followed by foil.
Repeat process with second ball of dough. Store in the freezer for at
least one day.

After at least one day, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice 1/3? thick
or so. These will not expand much so don’t go too thick or too thin.

Place 1 inch apart on a lined baking sheet. Use a silpat or parchment
paper. This is an absolute necessary step with these cookies due to
their filling.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges just slightly start to turn
a golden color. Cool on tray for 5 minutes before carefully
transferring to a cookie sheet to cool completely.

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by Jen

1 Stick (4 oz) unsalted butter at room temp
4 oz (1/2 pkg) cream cheese at room temp
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp flour

4 Tbsp unsalted butter
9 Tbsp mini choc chips
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 egg white beaten
Coarse white sanding sugar

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar on high speed for 3 min.

Add the vanilla and salt and mix at low speed until blended. Mix in the flour at low speed until incorporated.

Divide dough into thirds; pat into disks; wrap in plastic wrap; and refrigerate for 15 min.

Preheat the oven to 350. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll out each disk into an 8 inch round. Stack the rounds between parchment paper on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 min.

While dough is in fridge, melt the butter and then let cool for 5 min.

Place 1 dough round on a floured surface. Using a small spatula spread 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp melted butter; sprinkle with 3 Tbsp of choc chips and 1 Tbsp granulated sugar. Using a large knife cut the round into 8 wedges.

Working from the wide end roll up each wedge and transfer to a prepared pan, spacing evenly and bending in the ends to form a crescent shape. Refrigerate the remaining cookies while you repeat with the remaining dough rounds, butter, choc chips and sugar.

Brush the cookies with egg white; sprinkle generously with sanding sugar. Bake until golden 22 to 24 min. Transfer to racks to cool. Makes 2 dozen.

From: Real Simple

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by Jamie

3/4 c butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 c dark brown sugar
2 tbs water
2 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
12 oz. semisweet choc chips
3/4 lb. fannie may green meltaways, frango mints, hersheys mint kisses or andes mints

over low heat melt butter, sugar and water. stir until smooth. add chocolate chips stir well till partially melted. remove from heat. pour into mixing bowl beat 1 egg at a time, add flour, salt and slowly blend.

chill dough for 1 hr. bake at 350 degrees for 12-13 minutes. add mint (eye it might just need half) swirl it with spoon.

place on cooling rack.

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by Emily

Adapted from Jacques Torres

Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons
(8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)
Sea salt.

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

Note: Disks are sold at Jacques Torres Chocolate; Valrhona fèves, oval-shaped chocolate pieces, are at Whole Foods.

From: New York Times

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by Rachelle

8 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate, roughly chopped (or chips)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces Andes Baking Chips (or broken up Andes mints)
4 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips or chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat chopped chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl in 20-second increments, stirring in between, until almost melted; do not overheat. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; beat in melted chocolate. Mix in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in Andes baking chips and chocolate chunks. Refrigerate dough for about 15 minutes.

Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 2 to 3 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are shiny and crackly yet soft in centers, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on sheets 10 minutes; with a thin metal spatula, transfer to racks to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

From: rachelleb.com, adapted from Martha Stewart

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by Jessica

6 Keebler mini graham-cracker pie crusts
1 cup cold water
1 envelope Knox gelatin
1 and 1/4 cup water
1/3 cup canned pumpkin pie mix (already spiced)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup rum
1/2 tablespoon cold heavy cream
Whipped cream, for serving if desired

Pour 1 cup of cold water in sauce pan and sprinkle the gelatin packet on top. Let it sit for a minute or two. (No heat)

Turn heat on to medium and add pumpkin mix and sugar stirring until combined. Turn off heat and let cool.

Mix 1/2 cup rum, remaining 1/4 cup water, and 1/2 table spoon heavy cream in a separate bowl, then add to the gelatin mixture.

Pour mixture into pie crusts and refrigerate overnight. Top with whipped cream if desired. Cut pies in halves then quarters to serve small bite sizes. (if quartered makes 24 shots)

From: That’s So Michelle

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by Amy

18 – graham crackers halves
18 – pieces from of Hershey’s chocolate bars (2-4 chocolate bars depending on your pan size)
9 marshmallows (the flattened marshmallows work the best)

Preheat oven to 375 and lightly grease an 8×8 baking pan (or 13×9 if you want thinner bars)

Combine flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.

Blend softened butter and sugars with a mixer at medium speed until combined. Mix in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time and blend.

Slowly add flour mixture and blend until the cookie dough is fully mixed. Stir in chocolate chips.

Press half the cookie dough onto the bottom of the prepared pans.

Top cookie dough with 9 halves of graham crackers. Place 2 rectangles of Hershey’s chocolate bar on top of each graham cracker. Top each chocolate with a marshmallow.

Complete the s’more by places a graham cracker square on top of each marshmallow.

Carefully spread the remaining cookie dough on top of the graham crackers. Be careful not to break the graham crackers as you spread the dough but if you do it’s not the end of the world.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top of the cookie dough no longer looks raw. Cool slightly and then cut into squares and enjoy.

From: Baby Gizmo

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by Rachelle

1 (12 ounce) package cranberries
1 package white chocolate or almond bark

Melt chocolate chips or almond bark. Dip cranberries in chocolate (I put a bunch in then fish them out with a fork). Place on wax paper to dry in a cool place.

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Hot (Pot) & Ice (Cream)

November 20th, 2009 · 2 Comments

I found out from Hopstop that to get from the Garment District to Chinatown I’d just need to take the A train down to Canal. The A train entrance closest to my hotel was located at 40th Street and 8th Avenue, which is where this building is located:



I met Jessica at the A line Canal stop. Our old office, where she still works, is located just up the street on Hudson. From there we began walking into Chinatown. Our destination was Grand Sichuan, where we were going to have hot pot for dinner.

When you’re walking over on Canal you’ll see this building and know you’re heading the right way:


And then when you see this, look across the street and you’ll see Grand Sichuan:


If you’re still not sure, there’s this:


Aha! Now I know where to get hot pot.

Jeannette and Tien had arrived just before us and were waiting at a table. We ordered half the pot spicy and half mild. And then we ordered an assortment of meats and vegetables – broccoli, chicken, dumplings, beef, Chinese cabbage, wheat noodles, clear noodles. Noodles aren’t meat or vegetables, but that’s what we ordered.

Jeannette: “Are they ever going to bring the meat!?”


Jeannette: “I neeeeed MEEEeeeeaaaAATTT!! Also, is that a rat I hear up there?”


Jeannette: “Fine, I’ll make-do with broccoli.”


Jessica: “I’ll take my own meat out, thank you very much. You keep splashing the boiling liquid on everyone!”


Tien: “I know you’re taking my photo and I will let you, but that doesn’t mean I won’t hide my face in my hair and look at you creepily while you do so.”


The hot pot was fun and tasty. I hadn’t been to hot pot since 2004, so it was fun to go again. And I don’t mean to imply that the service was slow and our wait for meat was long. The service was pretty great. And the rat thing is an inside joke. There are no rats at Grand Sichuan. That I know of.

The check. How do I submit a receipt for my portion of this?


Outside walking on Canal Street again. We need to hit up the ATM so someone can pay someone and so we can all get ice cream.


At Chinatown Ice Cream Factory the girl behind the counter seemed really aggrevated that we were there. She kept reminding us that we could only get two tastes per person (even when we only just asked for one) and was annoyed by our presence. We decided on our ice cream and brought it outside. I held up my camera to take a photo of the neon Chinatown Ice Cream Factory sign and the sign immediately flicked off. I guess it was closing time and that’s why the shop girl was so annoyed. Here is a photo of my red velvet cake ice cream cone anyway:


On the way back up to Midtown. Got off the A train at 42nd and navigated the underground tunnels to make sure I got back out on 40th and 8th and not in the middle of Times Square madness.


Walking back to my hotel, just what I was looking for!

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Will Okun, CPS Teacher/Photographer

October 3rd, 2007 · 2 Comments

Last week we had a surprise guest speaker in my photography class. His name Will Okun and he’s a Chicago Public Schools English teacher on the West Side of Chicago, in Austin, at a school that’s basically a second chance school for kids that have dropped out. He’s also really into photography and, more specifically, photographing his students and their families. Will realizes that people have already photographed the same scenes in poor minority neighborhoods a million times.. photos of drugs, teen mothers, dirt and grit, and he believes in taking photographs of moments of happiness and joy that occur in those same neighborhoods and situations. As a result his photographs are really something special.

Will doesn’t just take photographs of his students. He also realized how much photography could benefit his students by bringing them together and by taking them out of whatever their personal situations are for a while and by discovering hidden talent. If you hand a high-end SLR to a few dozen people, you’re going to find out that at least 1 or 2 of them have some real talent hidden in there, no matter who they are or what their background is. So, Will successfully got private and government grants to start a program, buy a van, buy a few cameras and run a photography class. Every day he teaches a couple periods of English and then when it’s time for photo class he loads about 30 kids up into a van, drives to a neighborhood in Chicago, has them shoot, then takes them back to school.

Will also goes home with his students to shoot photos of them with their families and friends. Many of those photos can be seen on WJZO.com, his website. He also photographs parties and weddings and baby showers and whatever else his students may request. And he goes to a lot of cultural events on the South and West sides that a lot of us on the North Side never even hear about. He told us about Carifete, a Carribean celebration, and showed us some amazing photographs. Basically, he’s showing us all a different view of our city than we’re used to seeing.

Will also does photography work with local newspapers. At one time with the Trib, now with the Chicago Defender. He’s also affiliated with Vibe and Spin. He briefly mentioned to us how he has also been blogging at the New York Times. Last week I looked him up and come to find out, he traveled around Africa with NYT writer Nick Kristof and that’s what he’s blogging about there. He had to enter an essay contest to be included and this is his winning essay. It tells a lot about what he does here in Chicago.

I think the work that Will is doing is amazing, the documentation of lives that are probably otherwise overlooked and not celebrated. And I’ve been reading up on his blogging in Africa and he’s a fantastic writer. Very down-to-earth. Very “what would it be like if I up and went to Africa?” He also does a good job of relating his trip to experiences in America. After spending the day in Rwanda he met the Rwandan president and wrote this:

The media can no longer just depict “Africans as people holding bowls in our hand asking for people to put something in it.” The President concluded that the Rwandan people are effecting results and these “huge differences (from the time of the genocide 13 years ago) need to be captured.”

This frustration with media portrayal also exists among many American communities, like the West Side of Chicago where I teach high school. Of course, excruciating problems do exist on the West Side, but the media fixates on these negatives and rarely notes the groups and movements that are achieving progress. School places unprecedented number of graduates in college? Pass! Mob action fight in another school? Traffic jam of television trucks.

Give it a read here
. Will’s photography is fabulous, but his writing is just as good.

It was great to hear Will speak. After he was done students were lined up to get his card and ask him questions and speak to him. I told him I was involved with Chicagoist and that maybe we’d have an opportunity to work together. He said he knew the site and thought it was “dope.” We exchanged cards. We’ll see what happens.

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