Baking with a three year old is always an adventure. I'll admit my kid has more experience than most but that doesn't change the fact that she's three, and more of the chocolate chunks end up in her as opposed to the cookies. That said, she can crack an egg very well and is very patient but can't stand when her fingers get messy. This is a fairly easy recipe that she loves to make. It's one of my favorite cookies recipes that I come back to over and over. It's an adaptation of an adaptation but you can use it as your own and I won't tell anyone. I tend to freeze the extra dough in portioned rounds and store them in a freezer bag with baking instructions written on it. I usually only have to add about a minute compared to typical baking time when frozen so that's what I write on the bag, 360F degrees for 11 minutes.
Sea Salt Chocolate Chunk Cookies:
(Recipe barely adapted from here)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons raw sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light or dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon good salt
1 3/4 cups AP flour
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips or chunks
Flaky sea salt, to finish
Heat oven to 360°F (180°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until very light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beating until incorporated, and scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in sea salt and baking soda until combined, then the flour on a low speed until just mixed. The dough will look crumbly at this point. With a spatula, fold/stir in the chocolate chunks.
Scoop cookies into golfball size rounds (I used a portion scoop), spacing them apart on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each with a few flakes of sea salt. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden on the outside but still very gooey and soft inside. Let cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring a cooling rack.
Fried chicken so good it once brought my divorced parents together.
Can I top this recipe? Probably not in the memories department. Years ago while my father was still alive, I made fried chicken. He stopped by and picked up a bunch of it and drove it home. A short time later he called my mother and told her, "Do NOT eat that fried chicken. It is bad." My worried mother told me what he was saying and said, "I don't know George, it's possibly the best fried chicken I've ever had." My father replied, "I said don't eat it! I'll be right over to pick up the rest of it!!" We all got a laugh out it and I think I may have cried. My parents never got along before that, let alone laughed together. So you could say this fried chicken is life changing. It certainly was for me, and my parents who had a much better relationship going forward.
Wether you use bone in, dark meat, breasts, or tenders, it will all be delicious. The major difference is cooking time, and I tend to deep fry the bone in pieces as opposed to shallow fry. You can adjust the heat as well...in the buttermilk brine or flour mixture. I used to love some heat but I tend to dial it back now with a three year old in my house. Gluten-Free? That's easy! Use a gluten-free flour mixture instead! If you're making both gluten-free and traditional fried chicken for a party, make sure you cook them separate and use clean utensils for each or, cook the gluten-free first so you don't cross contaminate with the oil or buttermilk when double dipping them!
Lemon Herb Fried Chicken
Chicken (your choice, tenders are pictured)
Buttermilk, zest of 1 lemon, fresh thyme leaves (stems removed), pinch of good salt, splash of hot sauce if desired
Canola, vegetable, or peanut oil
1 lemon, zested and sliced
Garlic cloves, fresh, unpeeled
AP Flour, or gluten-free flour, salt, pepper, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder (about a teaspoon of each spice per cup of flour, but use half the amount of onion powder, and you can add a pinch of cayenne if you like spice). Or get Loveless Cafe's Fried Chicken Breading here: Loveless Cafe Store. I promise it's fabulous!
Prepare the buttermilk brine and allow the chicken to soak overnight, covered in the fridge.
Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with a paper towel. The thyme and zest should still stick in some places. Dredge in the seasoned flour, then dip into the buttermilk brine mixture, and then dredge again in the seasoned flour mixture.
Allow the chicken to sit on a parchment lined sheet pan for about 20 minutes, so the coating will stick before frying. In the meantime, begin to heat the oil. Place the herbs, garlic, and sliced lemon in the oil while it is cool and allow it to cook as the oil heats up. It will be done just as the oil comes to temperature, at which point remove the herbs, garlic, and lemon and reserve for serving. Drain on a paper bag or cooling rack over a lined sheet pan.
Fry the chicken (at 350-375 degree F) in small batches until golden brown and cooked thru. Time will depend on size and type of chicken you are using.
Remove from oil and again, drain the chicken on a paper bag or rack. Top with flaky sea salt and the herbs and garlic for serving.
Home cook, Mom, wife, and crafty creative, Mandy is from California and has traveled the world and lived in lots of places. She has fallen in love with Dallas, TX and calls it home.