Saturday, October 17, 2009

Friday Nights

I love doing something Friday nights, it makes the weekend seem longer. Last Friday I was feeling a wee bit exhausted, but my husband and I always try to make it to our friend Kurt and Kari's. They had a baby a little over a year ago and in the interest of keeping it simple we just head to their house and usually pick up take-out or throw something quick and easy together.

Again, for the sake of simplicity and utter exhaustion from the week we decided to do our own version of Iron Chef at home – which we’ll just call "Hidden Dinner"... Since I had already been to the market this week and had some fresh ingredients on hand, we said we would bring those to pair with what ever Kari had in her pantry. Did I mention Kari is a marketing director for Bon Appétit Management Co? Before we arrived Kari pulled out one of her cookbooks and opened a page to grilled chicken, potatoes and asparagus. She had no idea what I was bringing but thought we could pick up at the market what other ingredients we were missing....or we could cook something else.
I took one look at the recipe and almost fell over, because inside my bag were....chicken, potatoes, asparagus, thyme and some other random vegetables . The best part it was easy and we did all the prep and the guys did all the cooking on the grill.

Recipes and inspiration can be found HERE.

Here is our version.
You didn't think I forgot dessert did you.....My husband Todd made some amazing Cookies last weekend. The recipe came to me from a internet recipe exchange....

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

(Revised by Elle)

Makes 16 cookies. Published January 1, 2009. Yvonne Ruperti, Cooking Illustrated



cup granulated sugar

1 1/2

cups unbleached all-purpose flour (7 1/2 ounces)


cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder


teaspoon baking soda


teaspoon table salt


cup dark corn syrup


large egg white


teaspoon vanilla extract


tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter , softened


cup packed dark brown sugar

1 cup bittersweet chocolate , chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

½ cup white sugar for coating individual cookie dough balls


1. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl. Whisk corn syrup, egg white, and vanilla together in small bowl.

2. 2. In stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter, brown sugar, and remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low, add corn syrup mixture, and beat until fully incorporated, about 20 seconds, scraping bowl once with rubber spatula. With mixer running at low speed, add flour mixture and chopped chocolate; mix until just incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping bowl once. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no pockets of flour remain at bottom. Chill dough 30 minutes to firm slightly
(do not chill longer than 30 minutes).

3. 3 Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. Place ½ cup granulated sugar in shallow baking dish or pie plate Divide dough into 16 equal portions; roll between hands into balls about 11/2 inches in diameter.. Working in batches, drop 8 dough balls into baking dish with sugar and toss to coat. Set dough balls on prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart; repeat with second batch of 8.

5. Bake, reversing position of the baking sheets halfway through baking (from top to bottom and front to back), until cookies are puffed and cracked and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone), 10 to 11 minutes. Do not over bake.

6. Sprinkle cookies with extra granulated sugar as needed and cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes, then use wide metal spatula to transfer cookies to wire rack; cool cookies to room temperature.

Note: Cookie dough balls can be stored in the refrigerator up to 4 weeks until ready to bake. These cookies are so good that refrigerating the dough (instead of baking the entire batch) enabled us to enjoy the cookies longer and eating fewer of them by baking them in small batches.

We hope we have inspired you to get together with your friend or family and try our version of "Hidden Dinner".

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