What a difference an ingredient makes. I previously attempted Thomas Keller’s chocolate chip cookie recipe in his Ad Hoc book. I didn’t have dark brown sugar so I used a light brown. The cookies were underwhelming for me.

After visiting Bouchon Bakery, I wanted to try the cookies again. This time I made sure I used the right sugar. The cookies came out darker, chewier, and more like the type of cookie I was expecting. This is definitely one of my favorite cookie recipes. My ultimate favorite is still The New York Times Jacques Torres recipe, but depending on my mood, I can see myself preferring the Ad Hoc ones on certain days.

Brazen BBQ

It’s been a while since I’ve written a poor review of a place….

Coop’s BBQ opened my eyes to genuine Texas-style bbq. Since then I’ve been curious of other bbq joints that smoke their meats. Brazen BBQ opened recently in Hillcrest. According to their website, the owners slow cook and smoke their meats and have won multiple BBQ awards.

The reviews on yelp were mixed about Brazen. Many complained of their limited menu options during their soft opening. As a result, I waited a couple of weeks before heading out to check it out.

The way the place is set up, you go to the counter and place your order and are then given a number to take with you to your table, where you wait for your food to arrive.

Once we arrived, we were told that there were still operating under a limited menu and gave us a menu to browse. The meats we were most interesting in trying, pork ribs and brisket, were both on the menu, so I wasn’t too bothered by the limited menu options.

I spotted a family platter, that allows you to choose three kinds of meats, three sides, and comes with corn bread. I thought it might be a good option for my family but I was trying to gauge how much meat we would be given.

Unfortunately, the employee taking our order wasn’t very helpful. He wasn’t able to give me any idea of how much meat there was other than telling me “it’s more food than for one person.” I decided to go ahead and order the family platter, and when I selected my meats, at this point the employee informed me they were out of pork ribs that night.I don’t know why he didn’t mention it early. Especially since he mentioned pork ribs in our conversation at least three times when I was asking about the family platter.

So we ended up selecting brisket, pulled pork, and chicken hot links.  For our sides we chose cole slaw, baked beans, and fries.

At our table, we found two sauces. One was a little sweet, and the other a little spicy.

Soon after we were seated, our order arrived. The platter of food was a good amount for 3, and maybe 4 people, depending on how big the appetites are. We finished everything for our party of four, though if my brothers had been a little more hungry that night we might have needed slightly more.

A month ago, Saveur published this recipe for giant soft chocolate chip cookies. The cookies looked so thick, fat and delicious, I immediately bookmarked it.

The key to soft chocolate chip cookies is a lot of butter. This recipe calls for a European butter, or similar butter with a high fat content.
When I was shaping the dough into a ball, it felt like I was molding whipped butter. The batter is definitely butter heavy.