Quote from Intro:

"Anyone can cook, and most everyone should. It's a sorry sign that many people consider cooking 'from scratch' an unusual and even rare talent.
In fact, it is a simple and rewarding craft, one that anyone can learn and even succeed at from the get-go."
-Bittman, HTCE

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Recipe: Brownies
Page: p. 881
Rating: *****

I think I'm the one making the most desserts around here (or at least, making the most from Bittman and rating them). Anyway, I don't know why anyone would make brownies from a box when they could make the nearly-as-simple-and-far-more-decadent version a la Mark. Super easy!

I didn't pour the melted chocolate/butter mixture into a different bowl--I just added everything into that one pot. They baked in the amount of time given but are SUPER soft when you pull them out. Letting them cool in the pan is a necessity, but they are awfully good when still pretty warm and gooey...not that I would be that eager to try them of course.... and I added the last of my Andes chocolate candy pieces.... (about 3/4 cup) and will have another brownie when fully cooled just to confirm the ***** rating....

I've had slightly better homemade brownies, but they were more difficult to prepare. For ease of preparation, fudgy nature, top chocolate flavor--these get a ***** rating. This will be my go to brownie recipe when we suddenly get that brownie craving!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Chocolate Cookies (Variation)

Recipe: Chocolate Cookies (variation of Butter Cookies)
Page: p. 892
Rating: ****

These are nice little cookies to know about. They're more cake-y than chewy or crisp. They aren't terribly sweet hot out of the oven, but in my experience, chocolate cookies taste a little sweeter as they cool. I'm not sure why. I added Andes Mint Candy chips to mine (about 1/2 cup); if I hadn't, I think I might have used a sweeter chocolate mixture. Mark recommends a mixture of unsweetened chocolate and sweetened chocolate; for my sweetened chocolate, I used bittersweet chocolate. Semisweet might a better choice if you're not going over the top and adding MORE chocolate like I did in the candy pieces. (This begs the question: CAN you have too much chocolate?)

The recipe made right at 3 dozen cookies; mine are 2-3 inches across. They don't spread too much in the oven, and I used a regular teaspoon like I might use for eating out of. (not a soup spoon/tablespoon)