Monday, 24 October 2011

Jacques Torres' Chocolate Chip Cookies


 Diwali, one of the most awaited Indian festivals is in 2 days. It's associated with sweets, new clothes, firecrackers, oil lamps (diyas) and lots of fun and cheer. What have I been doing to usher in Diwali this year? I've been studying for midterms (they finally got over today! YAY!! :D), working on college applications, organizing the Commerce Culturals, and baking these scrumptious cookies. :) I've waited almost a year to bake these. No joke. You want to know why? Because we don't get cake flour and bread flour in India. So I had to ask my dad to buy some from the US. Even after he brought it here, it was just sitting in the pantry for a few months. FINALLY I got around to baking these amazing, heavenly cookies and in between stuffing my face with them, I've been kicking myself for waiting so long to bake them. These have got to be one of the best cookies I've had. No wonder this recipe is so famous. The cookies are crisp at the edges and chewy in the center, and utterly, sinfully delicious. I know it's weird that I don't like Indian sweets (yup, not even one), so this is my end-of-exams-beginning-of-Diwali treat for myself. And I've got to say, it's probably the best treat I could ever give myself. I can finally cross this off my ''to bake'' list. The 24-36 hours waiting period is torture, but it's most definitely worth it! So I wish you an amazing holiday season with lots of love, happiness, cheer, and chocolate chip cookies. :)


2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1 2/3 cup bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1  1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate chips or cocoa nibs


1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. 
2. In another bowl, cream butter and sugars for about 5 minutes, until very light.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring well after the addition of each egg. 
4. Stir in vanilla essence.
5. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. 
6. Mix in chocolate chips/cocoa nibs.
7. Refrigerate cookie dough for 24-36 hours. Cookie dough can be refrigerated for unto 72 hours.
8. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees farenheit (about 180 degrees celcius). Line baking tray with parchment paper. 
9. Place mounds of cookie dough on the baking tray and sprinkle with sea salt.

10. Bake until golden brown and slightly set, about 15-20 minutes. 
11. Cool cookies completely and then eat. :D

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting


 Apparently it's fall. Fall is usually associated with a change in the weather, brown and yellow and red leaves, acorns, apples, Thanksgiving, pumpkins, scarves, Halloween, hot chocolate, pies and bonfires. Yet I don't see any of these. Why? Because I'm living in Chennai, where there is only one season - Summer. Yeah, there's the occasional month of ''monsoon''. But for the most part of it, it's just hot. I can't wait to go abroad for college, to a place that actually has 4 seasons. Don't get me wrong, Chennai isn't bad at all. It's just that sometimes I'd like to actually experience autumn and winter and bake a pumpkin pie and drink hot chocolate. Anyway, I decided not to let the lack of fall in the air stop me from baking something that screams ''Autumn''. As I was looking for something pumpkin-y to make, I stumbled across this recipe from one of my favorite blogs. I took one look at the name and was sold. This was definitely my next baking venture. :D I've got to say, my first baking experience with pumpkin turned out to be pretty darn amazing. The cupcake is to die for (literally). They're moist and packed with flavor. The frosting is sweet, but the cinnamon really shines through and tops these cupcakes off perfectly. I'd really urge you to take some time off to bake these. It'll be worth it! I made 6 standard size cupcakes and 12 mini cupcakes with this recipe. 


1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (I didn't have it, so I left it out)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
7.5 ounces pumpkin puree


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees farenheit (about 180 degrees celcius). Line cupcake tray with liners, or grease the tray.
2. In a bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and the pumpkin pie spice. 
3. In another bowl, whisk together the butter, brown sugar and granulated white sugar. 
4. Add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. 
5. Mix in the pumpkin puree. 
6. Pour batter into the cupcake tray and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. 
7. Cool, then frost with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:


5 ounces cream cheese
1/6 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup icing sugar
1/2-1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract


1. Use a mixer to mix the cream cheese and butter together until smooth.
2. Slowly add the icing sugar until completely incorporated.
3. Add the cinnamon and vanilla extract.