Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love the pillowy soft pumpkin chocolate chip cookies I made last week, but I was also curious to check out some other pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipes.

I found a promising recipe from Handle the Heat, who got the recipe from the Food Network.  The recipe was pretty simple to put together and required more spices than my previous recipe.

One thing I noticed was that this dough was a lot easier to work with. The pillowy cookies had a really sticky dough, and this one was more firm.

One of the problems though was that the dough didn’t really spread when it baked. So it maintained all it’s uneveness. I would definitely make sure to make the rounds as smooth as possible next time before popping the dough into the oven, and also flattening the cookie dough before putting them in the oven since they spread so little.

The spices ended up being a little too much for me. And I was disappointed that they didn’t bake as pretty. The texture was cakey like my other recipe, but not as soft and melt in your mouth as the other recipe. I prefer the other recipe I used, but some may prefer this recipe if they want a stronger pumpkin spice taste.

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (slightly adapted from recipe found on Handle the Heat)

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth.  Add in the white and brown sugars and beat until mixture is light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.  Slowly beat the flour mixture into wet batter.  Stir in the chips with a large wooden spoon.

4. Scoop tablespoons of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets ( I would recommend making smooth balls and flattening the cookies because they don’t spread much) and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

During my sour cream baking kick two weeks ago, I also made this sour cream coffee cake. The sour cream keeps this cake incredibly moist.  And I love the cinnamon crumble on top and in between.

This cake is deceptively good.  What I mean by that is for some reason I kept forgetting that I liked it. I think because I made it at the same time I made the wonderful sour cream pound cake and chocolate pound cake. I would think “Oh I don’t really like this that much, I’ll just have a tiny bite,” and then next thing you know I’ve eaten two pieces!

Next time, I’ll have to put a more generous layer in between because I had too much crumble left for the top.

When I was making this cake, I was worried because it called for so much sour cream. And when I was mixing it, all I could see was sour cream. I was afraid there wasn’t enough flour!

I actually had to bake the cake a bit longer than the original recipe called for because of all the sour cream which didn’t want to bake. So when it was finally done, I was doubtful as to how it would taste.

But it tasted delicious! Very, very moist. You definitely taste the sour cream, but it’s very yummy.

I made a couple of changes. I used an 8 x8 pan instead of a 9 x 13. I didn’t want my cake to be too thin and I wanted a thicker streusel layer.  I think next time I might also reduce the sour cream a tad. I think the cake had slightly too much, making it harder to bake properly. My streusel top was getting a bit burned as I waited for the cake to fully cook. Here’s the modified recipe below:

Sour cream coffee cake (adapted from gimme some oven)

Ingredients:

Cake Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
8 oz of sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract

    Topping Ingredients:

    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup chopped pecans

      Method:

      1. In a mixer, cream together butter and sugar.  Add eggs to the mixture, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

      2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

      3. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Then add the sour cream and vanilla.  Mix until combined.

      4. Pour half of the batter into a greased 8 x8 inch pan, and sprinkle with half of the topping, distributing evenly around the surface.  Add the remainder of the batter on top, and sprinkle with the remaining topping.  Bake at 350 degrees for40 -45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

      Thursday, October 14, 2010

      Cafe Hue revisit

      Cafe Hue
      3860 Convoy St. #106
      San Diego, CA 92111
      858-571-7947

      After my meal at Spicy House a few weeks back, I passed by Cafe Hue, which is right next door, on my way out. I haven’t had the desire to revisit Cafe Hue after not being too fond of their belgium waffle.

      But as I was passing by, I noticed a display of ice cream. Now this did excite me. Previously, I was able to order my waffle at Cafe Hue with gelato. However, they didn’t serve the gelato separately. Was it now finally serving a gelato bar?

      I’ve mentioned before that gelato has been the next big trend in the Bay Area since the fro-yo craze, with many frozen yogurt shops also offering a variety of gelato including many asian flavors like green tea and lychee.  So far, I haven’t seen the same in San Diego. The only gelato shops are the traditional Italian gelato shops.

      So I was excited to see gelato displayed at Cafe Hue and went in to give it a try. They had lots of flavors. I ended up choosing green tea and hazelnut.


      The gelato ended up being really disappointing. It tasted very artificial and different from the gelato I had previously when I had it as a waffle topping.

      Little Sis got some chocolate. BF got vanilla. I thought they were all too artificial tasting.  I left pretty disappointed.

      My previous Cafe Hue posts can be found here and here.