Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Location: Sprinkles – Disney Springs – Walt Disney World

Location: Sprinkles – Downtown Disney – Disneyland

Source: The Sprinkles Baking Book by Candace Nelson

Hi Beautiful Bakers!

I have to admit I made these cookies as a late night snack. I didn’t really think much about them. It was just one of those situations where I looked for a recipe I had all the ingredients for. I later heard three separate people say they were the best cookies they have ever had. They also requested when we make chocolate chip cookies in the future, we make these ones.

Candace Nelson, the founder of Sprinkles says the perfect chewy chocolate chip cookies consists of a crisp outside that has a grey interior “studded with still-melty chocolate chips”. That’s the kind of cookie she wanted to create for Sprinkles bakery. She knew there were so many variations of chocolate chip cookies, she really wanted hers to stand out. She gave us a delicious treat that guests can enjoy at either Disney Spring at Walt Disney World and at Downtown Disney at Disneyland.

Chef Nelson says the trick is she melts the butter first before mixing it in. Then by allowing the dough to rest, it allows the flavor and texture to mature. She says it develops the complexity. She promises the extra steps really makes a difference.

The recipe makes 14 to 16  cookies. I tried to follow the measurements and made 14 cookies exactly.

Once my husband tried the cookies he said they were the best cookies he ever had. I thought it was late and he was being sweet to his wife. He is my biggest supporter in all aspects of our lives.

The next day I woke up and realized a forgot to make a birthday cake for a coworker. I knew I didn’t have time to make one so I brought in the cookies and promised her a belated cake the next time I saw her. Well everyone loved them. They couldn’t stop eating them. So that late night snack turned into my new staple cookie. I just wish you could cook more than four at a time.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp fine sea salt

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (melted and still warm)

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar

  •  1/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar

  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Sift your flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium-size bowl. Whisk all the ingredients together really well.

  2. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, on medium speed beat the butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. It should take about 2 to 3 minutes. Take breaks to scrap down the sides with a spatula.

  3. On low speed, add the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until it’s well blended. Slowly add the flour mixture. You add it slow because it will mix better, and so it doesn’t spray back up at you. If it happens don’t worry everyone has done it. I did it this morning actually. Make sure to take time to stop and scrape the sides of the bowl down. Flour will easily hide at the bottom of the bowl. So scrap right down to the bottom.

  4. Fold in your chocolate chips. You want to do this by hand because a mixer will break the chips and will make a less clean looking cookie.

  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for a few hours. The longer you chill it, the better. Ideally, if you can let it sit and chill overnight, then that’s the best option.

  6. Preheat your oven to 350F degree.

  7. Prepare your cookie sheets by covering the sheets with parchment paper.

  8. The recipe says to scoop 1/4 cup of dough and make a ball of the dough. I had to let it warm up a little to be able to make the balls. Do not press down on the balls. They will flatten out themselves.

  9. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.

Enjoy my friends!!!!

(Originally posted on Decemeber 22, 2017)

Types of Salt

alcohol background bar beer

Source: Idiot’s Guide to Baking – By Alexandra Zohn

 

Hi lovely bakers!

I thought we could look at types of salt for today’s baking basics. I know salt might not be the most exciting topics but it sure is tasty… I mean important. The type of salt or the amount of salt in a recipe really makes a difference.

Let’s take a look at the different kinds of salts out there to use.

Sea Salt

Sea Salt comes in two forms; coarse and fine grains. You make sea salt by evaporating seawater. Where it comes from really makes a big difference. Each region will have different minerals and will give the sea salt a different flavor.

Kosher Salt

The salt comes from seawater or the earth and it’s made without additives. Since it doesn’t dissolve easily, it’s used a lot on of different loaves of bread. It’s a great way to “finish products”.

Most people will know that it gets its name from its use in how meat is prepared according to the rules of Jewish dietary guidelines.

Rock Salt

This is mainly used in making ice cream. To be specific mainly for old fashion ice cream. It’s pretty large salt crystals and they usually have a greyish color.

Table Salt

This is the kind of salt that most people will have in their kitchen and it’s probably what most people think of when they think of salt. It’s super “refined salt mined from underground salt deposits”. Did you know Table Salt has 97 to 99 percent more sodium chloride than sea salt does? I thought that was interesting when I read that.

side view of a bottle with salt

Exotic Salts

These salts tend to be more decorative. They have been used the “finish” an item. Bakers will sprinkle them over items to make the item look more decorative. You could really sparkle up a dish with it.

  • Himalayan Salt – It comes in white, pink and red. Some people say it’s one of the purest salt you can find.

  • Celtic Sea Salt – After salt crystals have sunk to the bottom of ponds, it can be racked up. That’s why they call it Celtic Sea Salt. It’s a coarse sea salt. You can use it in baking or to finish a recipe, it is “moist, granular and chunky”.

Salts also come in different flavors like lemon, herb, and vanilla. Who would have thought that little ingredient that you should cut down on can improve a dish so much? Salt used properly can really improve a dish.

Happy baking everyone!

Advice from the Pros: Kate Jacoby

clear glass container with coconut oil

Source: Bake from Scratch – Magazine Sept/Oct 2017 edition

Continuing our Advice from the Pros series we have some fantastic advice from Kate Jacoby of Philadelphia’s Vedge. I know when we hear Vegan sometimes we think not so great taste but things are different now. Many vegan desserts you wouldn’t even know were vegan.

Pastry chef Kate Jacoby creates incredible vegan desserts at the Philadelphia restaurant group she runs with her husband chef Rich Landau. The couple have two cookbooks called Vedge and V Street.

Here are four of Kate’s tips for Vegan desserts.

“Work Backward”

She achieves the same effects of egg and milk-based products by looking at the chemical reactions. How can change the least amount of nonvegan ingredients to achieve the same result with plant-based replacements? She doesn’t want to make things complicated. She looks at the result she wants and figures out how to get there with other ingredients.

“Blend Your Milk”

The main types of “milk” she uses is soy and coconut. She says if you use only one kind of milk replacement the result can turn out tasting like that item. So important to mix multiple kinds of “milk” together. For example, ice cream is a milk-heavy item. When replacing the dairy item you have to keep in mind how different kind of milk alternatives with change the taste of the desired ice cream recipe.

“Faba-lous Chickpeas”

Chef Kate says a “game-changer” for making meringue without eggs is something called aquafaba. It’s made from cooked chickpeas. The liquid is super protein rich. That’s something important to remember if you are looking to change nonvegan recipes to a vegan one. It is something super important for someone who has an egg allergy too.

“Easy Agar”

A great replacement for eggs in vegan recipes is Agar-agar. It’s an algae-derived gelling agent. She says you have to be careful how much you use because if you add too much you will end up with a solid jelly mold.

Happy Baking Everyone!

The Gray Stuff

Inspiration: Be Our Guest Restaurant

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When my Prince Charming and I were on our Honeymoon in Walt Disney World, Be Our Guest Restaurant had recently opened and you better believe it was the first ADR we booked! And for the following 179 days, all I could think about was ordering the Gray Stuff.

While not all Disney Fans agree on whether or not the version at Be Our Guest lives up to the hype, I love it and it will always remind me of our honeymoon. So I thought it would be fitting to whip it up for our 4th anniversary.

Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (3.4 ounces) pkg instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • 3 tablespoons instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 15 regular Oreos
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract, separated
  • 1-pint whipping cream
  • Edible pearl sprinkles

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine all vanilla pudding mix, 3 tablespoons chocolate pudding mix,1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1.5 cups milk in a large bowl. Whisk together, then chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.

2. In a food processor, blend Oreos into fine crumbs. Or, place Oreos in a gallon-size zip-top bag and crush into fine crumbs with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer.

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3. Fold Oreo crumbs into chilled pudding mixture.

4. Using the whisk attachment of your stand mixer, whip 1 teaspoon vanilla extract together with the whipping cream until peaks form.

5. On low speed, add in the Oreo pudding mixture and whip together until just combined and uniformly “gray”. Do not over whip.

6. Spoon gray stuff into a piping bag with a star tip and pipe into your favorite dessert ware in a swirl pattern. Sprinkle with edible pearls.

7. Chill until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

 

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Sundae Lessons: Is this Egg Fresh?

food eggs

Source: Idiot’s Guide to Baking by Alexandra Zayn

Hey beautiful bakers!

Everyone knows there is an expiration date on the side of the carton, but what if the eggs aren’t in the cartoon? What if you can’t read the date? Or what if you just have no way of knowing how old they are? There is an easy way to tell if the egg is fresh.

It’s super easy to do. All you have to do it place your egg in a clear glass. The cup should be at least double the size of the egg. Fill the glass with water and then place your egg in it.

If the egg rests at the bottom of the cup, the egg is fresh.

If the egg hovers at the bottom and sort of bounces a little, that means the egg is about a week old.

If the egg floats near the top but the largest tip of the egg is near the top, the egg is close to 3 weeks old.

If the egg floats completely to the very top, the egg is very old. That’s because sulfur built up inside the egg and you need to throw it out immediately.

I hope that helps if you find some random eggs laying around in your refrigerator. I think we all need to clean out our refrigerators more than we do sometimes.

Happy Baking Everyone!

(Originally posted December 17th, 2017)

Where did you get that?

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Hello Disney Bakers!

“How did you find the recipe?”

I have always loved to bake. You can map my life growing up by what I was baking. During the teased bang stage (the bigger the better) I was into pies. During my love affair with JTT from the TV show Home Improvement, I couldn’t get enough of cakes (the relationship was a little one-sided but I feel like in his heart he knew I existed and knew we were soulmates). Finally all the way to my love of George Clooney and entry into Pastry school. I loved it all.

*shout out to JTT and our love…

So it always surprises me when people think it’s impossible to get their favorite recipes from their favorite restaurants. All you really have to do is ask. Honestly, just ask.

If you are too shy and are into Disney recipes, there are some amazing resources to help you create your favorite Disney Parks recipes at home.

… cough * cough… this one for example 😉

With that being said, there are some great places to get it and some not so great.

white ceramic mortar and pestle beside book

 Cookbooks

Disney has published numerous cookbooks of their favorite recipes. They are awesome because you know the recipe isn’t an “as close as it gets” type things. It’s the real deal. You just need to be aware of two things with them.

Disney likes to rename and republish the same cookbook sometimes. Always pay attention to what recipes are in the books. I have fallen for that numerous times. I’ll see a book on Amazon with a cover and name that I’ve never seen before and get super excited. Only to order it, and notice it’s the exact same as two other versions I already have.

If you are lucky enough to get your hands on one of the older ones you need to pay attention that the ingredients match the steps. The proofreader must have been sick a couple days but some things got forgotten about. For example in one the Blueberry Muffin recipe from The Farmers Market in Epcot mentions blueberries in the ingredient list but doesn’t have any mention of them in the instructions. I may be crazy but I think the blueberries are a pretty important part of The Blueberry Muffin.

There are independent cookbooks too. I would be very careful with these. I have not read all of them so I can only speak of the ones I have seen. My concern lands mainly with the e-book ones. Again I want to mention I’m not speaking about all of them. To say some need more research is an understatement. One has Disneyland recipes in a book titled Walt Disney World recipes. Another was missing huge steps, and ingredients. It was obvious someone didn’t try them out first. The intention was probably good but it doesn’t help you recreate the perfect School Bread from Norway.

cigar rolls

Online

Speaking of electronic sources, there are some fabulous ones and ones to stay clear of. The tip is the same as the book section. Make sure it’s from an official source like The Disney Parks Blog, or the poster actually made the recipe. If you read a recipe it’s super easy to tell if they made it or not. Go with the one who cares enough to make the food for their own family.

To best honest, since we are a new site we haven’t personally made all the recipes in our printable section yet. We are doing our best to get through them as soon as possible.

I will not be naming the bad recipe sites, that’s just not necessary, but I will 100% be naming the ones I think are fantastic. I’m not trying to win the Disney Blogger views competition.

I just want to eat some cake and talk about Disney with fellow Disney fans!

At the park

Many people don’t know that until recently you can ask for the recipes from the restaurants or guest relations. They have discontinued this officially now but they can still find some laying around the back. Sometimes they will have them and sometimes they won’t but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

I’d be going over things in more detail later on but for now, go out and enjoy those amazing Disney treats.

I think I need a Mickey Bar now. 🙂

Advice from the Pros: Pastry Chef Jenny McCoy

Source: http://www.thekitchn.com/be-a-baker-advice-from-professional-pastry-chef-jenny-mccoy-195383

white and yellow cupcake with fruit toppings

Happy Baking Days!

Ever since the moment I first told people I was going to culinary school people started sending me food related articles. No one had mentioned food to me before but I tell people I’m going to Pastry school and BAM a million Facebook messages show up with recipes people think I will like.

Don’t get me wrong; I know it means my family and friends want to support me. I think it’s awesome actually. The break from the political arguments on my Facebook timeline was pretty fantastic too.  Hey, what can I say, sometimes a girl just wants to look at pictures cookies and not debate the future of the free world. Ok, now I’m thinking of cookies.

I thought it would be interesting to look at some of the advice from chefs that have come before us. Those people who have the experience under their belts and the delicious recipes in their food-filled brains. Today let’s listen to Pastry Chef Jenny McCoy.

I found this expert interview on www.thekitchn.com and thought it was super helpful. If you have ever researched any cooking online you will have passed through this site. It’s a big one filled with super useful information. You should check them out.

The Kitchn asked Chef Jenny McCoy for some tips on becoming a better baker and I love the simple and straightforward advice she gave. If you are unfamiliar with her she is an awarding-winning pastry chef, baking instructor and the author of her book Jenny McCoy’s Desserts for Every Season.

Let’s check out her advice for us.

Firstly, I thought the interviewer took a really interesting angle on the questions. She asked about how to improve your skills and not just about the basics. That’s super helpful for people who have covered the basics in the past. So many sites just cover information for the very beginner or the absolute pro but it is very little in the middle. The interviewer started out asking how a baker who has master everyday baking can take their baking to the next level, and Chef McCoy’s answer was great.

She said once a baker understands the techniques behind making everyday baked goods like cakes, cookies etc., it’s important for them to understand the functions of each ingredient in a recipe.

cupcake topped with white frosting

I couldn’t agree more. Before starting culinary school I had no idea what eggs do in a recipe or that each ingredient has a specific role to play in the baking process. You hear it all the time, but baking is like chemistry. It’s why I love it so much. With cooking, you can add a little of this and a little of that and transform the dish for your own taste, but baking is different. Yes, there is room to make a recipe your own, but there is a much smaller margin of leeway. If a recipe says it needs 5g of salt, you can’t leave it out or add 5g of baking soda. It’s just not the same thing. Going deeper, she gives the example of gluten in the flour. The different levels of gluten in the flour can change the texture of your dough. That so important to know if you are going to up your baking game.

She also mentions it’s important because it will help you make adjustments if needed.  Chef McCoy mentions that it has saved her numerous times when she didn’t have the correct ingredients, tools or equipment.  When I first started baking I never really thought about how different equipment can change how a recipe turns out. I honestly thought there was no difference in making pie dough by hand or by machine. Is it just mixing right? Nope, it’s so much easier to overwork a dough in a mixing machine and you need to be able to feel the size of the fat (butter or shortening in this case) to affect how flaky your crust will be. It’s honestly the reason you can follow the same pie dough recipe and create different piecrusts every time. Hint: the fat should be the size of chestnuts for the best and flakiest pie crust. Now I want pie instead of that cookie from earlier.

Chef McCoy also went on to recommend some other pastry chefs she admires and I thought we could look into them for future expert posts.

photograph of chocolate cupcake with red strawberry toppings

The main takeaway here is to learn about your ingredients. Don’t just add something because the recipe says to add it. Learn what its job is in the recipe, that way if you ever find yourself without it, you can make adjustments. For example, don’t have buttermilk? Add a cap full of vinegar to regular milk and let it sit for 5 or 6 minutes. Bam it will do the job you are looking for. That little tip has helped me so many times. I can never seem to remember to buy buttermilk.

Do you want more information about Chef McCoy? Check out her at her website www.jennymccoy.com. I am nowhere near an expert; I’m just a baker trying to bring some Disney goodness home with me.

She closes the interview off by giving one of the best baking advice anyone can give. Essentially just bake. Bake and then bake and then bake some more. You will learn from the wins and learn from the not so wins. It will all make you a better baker. Then when you have perfected a recipe, bake some more.

Happy Baking Disney Peeps

101 Dalmatians Puppy Birthday cake!!

Author: Nelson
Source: Disney Cakes and Sweets Magazine Issue 1: Titled Patch’s Dalmatian Paw Print Cake
*DISCLAIMER: I did not feed this cake to my dog. It was consumed by humans, no dogs! Also, no puppies were harmed by Cruella De Vil in the making of this cake and blog post. Thank you!*
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Hello, again readers!! I am back!! I know its been about a month and a half since my last post but the month of March was busy for me. With working a full-time job and teaching classes on the side. March was the last month I could teach classes through Wilton and I had the most responses than I have had since I started teaching again last September. So between you and I this will be my “post for March” okay lol.

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