Tara O’Brady is an Ontario-based Canadian food blogger behind Seven Spoons. O’Brady has made a name for herself for nearly ten years now with her mouthwatering food photography and unique voices in the culinary world. Her warm narratives and distinct sensation earned her a gold star from Oprah!
I’m happy to offer you two cookbooks for two lucky winners. Contest and giveaway at the end of the post below!
Tara O’Brady recently launched her first cookbook – Seven Spoons: My Favorite Recipes for Any and Every Day. Her debut cookbook shares stories her home and easy to make recipes that are refine. Take the Plum Macaroon Cake and Tangerine Almond Cake for example are modestly sweet, accessible and inspirational.
Tara O’Brady and her eloquent writing and simple and elegant photography has earned her awards from Saveur magazine, Gourmet, and the Daily Mail.
BASIC, GREAT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES – by Tara O’Brady
My obsession with baking chocolate chip cookies started in high school. The recipe resulting from those years of study is one that I’ve pared back as best I can—there is no need for a mixer, or to get the eggs and butter out of the fridge in advance. With it, it is possible to go from start to cookies in 30 minutes, with little by way of cleaning up.
Even if these cookies required a rigmarole, they’d be worth it. They stay in fattish mounds, with their humped backs shot through with crackles, fudgy without being underbaked, and with a sweetness kept in line by salt.
This recipe works best with bar chocolate that has been chopped, pure chocolate buttons, callets, or fèves. Because they lack the stabilizers used in chocolate chips, these forms of chocolate ooze into the batter during baking, slipping into the cracks and leaving both puddles and rivulets throughout the finished cookies. The irregularity is exceptionally pretty and, in a way, gives the impression the chocolate goes further.
If you have the patience, hold the dough in the fridge overnight and for up to a few days before baking, portioned in scoops and covered. Aging the dough allows for the flour to better absorb the liquids. The flavor will become deeply caramelized and nuanced, and the cookies will have more color, but slightly less spread. I usually bake one tray for immediate gratification, and keep the rest for later demand.
Makes about 28 cookies
- 1 cup (225 g) unsalted butter, chopped
- 3¼ cups (415 g)
- all-purpose flour
- 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons medium-grain kosher salt
- 1½ cups (320 g) packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 12 ounces (340 g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat an oven to 360°F (180°C). Line 2 heavy baking sheets or sheet pans with parchment paper.
In a medium saucepan over the lowest heat possible, melt the butter. There should be no sizzle, crackling, or pops; let the butter ooze into liquid, without boiling, so minimal moisture is lost. Stir regularly, until the butter is almost completely melted. (This is a good time to chop the chocolate.)
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt. Set aside.
Pour the melted butter into a large bowl and whisk in the sugars. The mixture may look like it will seize, but it will relax with a few seconds of stirring. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking briskly after each addition, but only to combine. Stir in the vanilla. Use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to stir in the dry ingredients. Once mostly blended, fold the chocolate into the dough until the remaining flour is incorporated, and the dough no longer looks dusty. Bring any stray ingredients up from the bottom of the bowl. Do not overmix.
If the dough seems warm or looks overly glossy, refrigerate for 5 minutes. Then roll into balls using 3 tablespoons of dough for each. Arrange on the prepared pans, leaving 3 inches (7.5 cm) in between each. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake until the tops are cracked and lightly golden, yet the cookies are still soft at the center, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking. Leave the cookies on the sheet pan for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Continue shaping and baking cookies with the remaining dough, making sure to use a cold sheet pan for each batch.
The cookies can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Thin and Crunchy Variation: For a thinner, crunchy-throughand-through cookie, use 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons (390 g) flour.
Shiny and Crisp Variation: For a shinier cookie with a crisp surface and edge, decrease the brown sugar to 1¼ cups (265 g) packed light brown sugar and increase the granulated sugar to ¾ cup (150 g).
Whole Wheat Variation: Some or all of the all-purpose flour can be replaced with whole wheat or rye. It will, of course, change the texture and look of the finished cookie, but is worthy of a try.
Nutty Variation: This amount of dough can accommodate ¾ cup (75 g) chopped walnuts or pecans.
TARA O’BRADY – SEVEN SPOONS COOKBOOK CONTEST FOR TWO LUCKY WINNERS
Contest closes June 24, 2015 and announced June 25, 2015.
Winners chosen at random and will get a copy of Seven Spoons sent straight to them. Contest details and entry form below: