April 7th, 2009

Chocolate Cream Pie

You have to love it when someone asks for a birthday pie instead of a pedestrian cake. My co-worker Meg wanted a chocolate cream pie for her birthday, and she wanted it with a regular pie crust instead of a traditional cookie crumb crust. I used my standard Cook’s Illustrated vodka crust and an epicurious.com recipe for the filling.


I thought the pie turned out well, although I did over bake the crust. The chocolate pudding was creamy and had rich chocolate flavor. I used a combination of 55% and 72% Valrhona and Ghirardelli chocolates. I doubled the amount of whipped cream as I thought it would be better, presentation-wise.


Several of my co-workers couldn’t wrap their head around pudding from scratch. They thought by “homemade” I meant that I used Jello’s 5 minute cook and serve mix. I had to insist several times that there was no box involved. Homemade pudding is pretty easy, try it yourself and impress some people.

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“Perfect” Chocolate Chip Cookies

The newest issue of Cook’s Illustrated land on my doorstep and featured a recipe for “Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies” so needless to say, I had to try it.


The recipe is a little fussy, it involves an extra step of browning the butter (which is great if you always forget to take the butter out to soften) and there’s a step that involves stirring for 30 seconds and then waiting for 3 minutes and repeating this process three times.


I had high expectations for these cookies. The cookie dough was delicious. The nuttiness of the brown butter really came through. But after baking, the nuttiness was barely detectable. The recipe makes 16 cookies, because these are 3 times bigger than a regular cookie, which mean you feel three times as guilty.Don't get me wrong, it's a good cookie, but it's not "perfect."


Here’s the recipe, try it and compare for yourself.

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