February 26, 2013

Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've been craving the salted oat cookie from Milk & Cookies bakery ever since our cupcake tour a few weeks ago. So this past weekend I decided to try to make something similar. I combined two recipes so I could get what I was going for. I ended up with what I'm calling a salted chocolate chip cookie.

The ingredients were all standard baking ingredients with the exception of corn starch which was new to me. One of the recipes I was basing this on noted that the addition of corn starch helps the cookies bake soft and fluffy.

 The other tip I saw and tried was chilling the dough for 30 minutes before baking. The cookies will spread less in the oven and bake thicker when the dough is chilled.

 After the dough was chilled I rolled it into balls and sprinkled a little course salt on top which gives the cookie a great salty/sweet combo. The cookies turned out so yummy!

Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

  1. Two sticks of butter
  2. 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  3. 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  4. 1 egg
  5. 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  6. 2 cups all purpose flour
  7. 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
  8. 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  9. 1/2 teaspoon of salt (then extra for topping)
  10. 1 bag of chocolate chips
  1. In a large bowl using a mixer cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. 
  2. Mix in egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides as needed. 
  3. On low speed, mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. 
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Dough will be thick and sticky. Chill for at least 30 minutes 
  6. Pre-heat oven to 350F
  7. Roll dough into golf ball size balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. 
  8. Dip the top of the ball into course sea salt.
  9. Bake for 8-9 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. Do NOT bake them longer than 10 minutes. 
  10.  Remove and let cool for 3 minutes on the cookie sheet then transfer to cooling rack. 

I'm always looking for the perfect cookie recipes. Please share your favorites in the comments along with any baking tips that work for you.

Until next time

February 24, 2013

Sleeping Beauty

Last week Shelby and I ventured over to Lincoln Center to see the New York City ballet's production of Sleeping Beauty. Shelby is in a class this semester which requires her to see a live performance at some point over the semester. She chose Sleeping Beauty and I tagged along. I actually saw a local production of this ballet when I was little so I had seen it before although I didn't remember much.

I love Lincoln Center at night. Doesn't this picture look like an architectural mock up drawing with fake people they would use for publicity to show what was being built? It's not though, ha ha.

I think this exact picture has already been shared here but here's another :)
We bought the tickets pretty last minute so we ended up with seats on the top level of the venue. What we didn't realize beforehand was that our seats were a single row along the balcony....

...so we were actually sitting single file with Shelby's seat directly behind mine.  
 At first we were a little hesitant mostly because we were really high and had to lean over the balcony a little to be able to see the whole stage. However, once the ballet started, we ended up really liking this because we had a good aeriel view of the whole stage so we could see everything easily. 

 The ballet was very good. I'm glad there was a detailed synopsis in the playbill as otherwise it would have been a little hard to figure out what was going on. All the dancers were very good (and we are harsh judges) and I was particularly impressed with all of the little kids in the production.This is the second New York City ballet production we've been to and have really enjoyed. If you ever get a chance to go we recommend it!

Until next time

February 21, 2013

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!
Ashley and I decided to have a little get together for all of our girlfriends last Thursday. It was so much fun! Everyone baked something yummy, and we all enjoyed spending time with each other. We also drew names a few weeks ago for secret valentines. It was a perfect way to spend the holiday. Here are a few of our highlights!

Some of the amazing treats we had!

Daniella and Chandler posing for the camera!

Loved Logan's reaction to her secret valentine gift!



Love them all!<3


Valentines poses!


Love this picture!

Even Pixie joined in on the fun!


We had a wonderful Valentines Day! I hope you all did as well! Let us know what you did to celebrate!

Until Next Time

February 11, 2013

Cupcake Walking Tour

Yesterday afternoon Shelby and I went on a cupcake walking tour around New York City. It was SO fun. If you know us you know we love cupcakes so this was the perfect way for us to spend an afternoon. We went to 6 different spots.

We met our tour guide in Union Square and walked to our first stop which was Baked by Melissa. Shelby and I have both been here many times but it's one of our favorites. All the cupcakes are bite size so it's a great way to try a bunch of different flavors. Today we got to try their Valentine's Day cupcake which is a pink velvet. The story of this bakery is a great one. When Melissa, the owner, was fired from her job in advertising in 2008, she decided from that moment on she was going to do what she loved. Drawing on inspiration from the care-free rock 'n roll culture of the 60's and 70's and the idea that people should be able to taste more flavors without that post-dessert guilt trip, Melissa engaged the help of some key people in her life, and in 2009 opened the first Baked by Melissa shop, in New York City's SoHo district. 

Our next stop on the tour was actually not for a cupcake. We went to Amorino for a taste of gelato. Amorino originated in Paris and was created by two childhood friends. Now they have many locations around Europe and their one location in the United States is in NYC. I've been all over Italy and had tons of gelato there and what I had yesterday was just as good if not better. We got to taste the mango flavor and it tasted exactly like a mango.

Our third stop was to Crumbs. This is another one that we've been to before but they offer a ton of really unique and different flavors. Crumbs Bake Shop first opened its doors in March of 2003 on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. With their more than 50 varieties baked fresh daily and a new cupcake of the week every Monday, each Crumbs Bake Shop is an oasis of wall to wall deliciousness. We got to chose any flavor mini cupcake to enjoy. Instead of branching out I went with my favorite- cookie dough. Shelby tried a mini devils food cupcake.

Our walk took us through Washington Square Park which was so pretty with all the snow on the ground. 

Our next stop was at Molly's Cupcakes. The owner named the bakery after his third grade teacher, Molly, because she always brought her students cupcakes on their birthdays. In honor of her a portion of the proceeds are given to schools in the community. Here we actually got to build our own cupcake. We picked vanilla cake with french buttercream frosting. We then went over to the "sprinkle bar" and added some sprinkles for decoration. It was good but the frosting flavor didn't taste like I was expecting. The decor was actually my favorite part of this place. The table tops were old desks and the bar stools looked like swings...except sadly they didn't move.


 Our fifth stop was actually another non-cupcake place but it was really yummy. Milk & Cookies Bakery bakes their cookies throughout the day so you are guaranteed to get the freshest cookie available. They will also create a custom cookie if you need something special for a party or event. We got to try their salted oat surprise cookie. It probably wasn't something I would have ordered on my own but I'm really glad I got to try it as I enjoyed the salty/sweet combo the cookie offered.

Our last stop was to the famous Magnolia Bakery. In 1996, Magnolia Bakery opened its first location on a quiet street corner in the heart of New York’s West Village which is the location we went to today. From its inception, Magnolia has been cherished for its classic American baked goods, vintage decor and warm, inviting atmosphere. The bakery was made famous from it's cameo the show Sex and the City. We took home two red velvet cupcakes which were yummy!

We enjoyed playing tourist in our own city and loved trying the places we hadn't been to before. Can't wait to make some return trips in the future!

Until next time

February 9, 2013

A Little Fun With Nemo!

As most of you may know, the Northeast was hit Friday night with a super storm! The result, a blizzard named Nemo! Most of it happened during the night, so when we woke up Saturday morning we were so excited to see the massive amounts of snow. Being from Texas, this is very exciting. We decided to take the short walk to Central Park for a little adventure. It was the most fun that we have both had in awhile. It was nice to be carefree.

Posing on our way to the park.

Having so much fun!

I felt like a little kid!

 I have never seen the park look so beautiful!

So much snow!

Ashley having a little fun!

Sisters in the snow!<3

So beautiful!

So many little kids bringing sleds to the park for some fun!

Such a pretty day!

We took a pitstop at the bathroom...and my nose started bleeding. As you can tell from the picture I was not amused that Ashley wanted to document this....

I felt like we were in Scotland!

 So many snowmen around the park!

On our walk home! So happy with the snow!

Yep, this is basically every car in Manhattan right now!

We had so much fun today! A once in a lifetime experience for sure! 

Until Next Time