Favorite Treats

Martin has a massive sweet tooth! To be honest, he gets it by right. Now my daughter Emily has discovered treats and she is in love!

Today is my father’s birthday and tomorrow is Martin’s 4th birthday!! Crazy town. So seeing that it is almost the big man’s birthday, in honor of him, we will be revisiting some of his favorite sweet treats.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Early in our marriage my husband set out to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. No fancy add ins or embellishments, just a perfect chocolate chip cookie.

He found it.

We have made these cookies for years but I recently learned some bonus cookie techniques that have taken these to the next level! Like when and when not to really mix your ingredients. For one, I have adopted Chef Christina Tosi’s 10 minute creaming method (she’s the chef and owner of “Milk Bar”). You beat the butter and sugars for 10 whole minutes, then once the flour is added you barely mix it. I didn’t know these cookies could get better but boy did they ever!

“Puppy” helped us out by being in charge of the recipe card

When Martin and I made these cookies, he insisted that his favorite toy “puppy” join us. When you cook or bake with kids you have to be okay with last minute changes and going with the flow. Puppy really wanted to help cook but I quickly learned we would end up with half the ingredients on the floor and puppy in the washing machine. Thankfully we all agreed that puppy would be in charge of the recipe. In the end everyone was happy, we successfully made the cookies and I didn’t have a massive mess to clean up!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup + 2 tbs sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 oz good quality chocolate chips (we use Ghirardelli)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt- set aside
  3. Using a paddle attachment cream butter and both sugars for 10 minutes.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time- mixing well after each addition
  5. Add vanilla
  6. On low speed add dry ingredients until just combined, do not over mix
  7. Stir in chocolate chips by hand
  8. Scoop cookies on to parchment lined baking trays
  9. *optional* chill for 1+ hours (I always skip this step- I never have the time!)
  10. Bake 15-17 minutes *they will look under done but they will be perfect by the time you transfer then to the cooking rack
  11. Let them stand for a few minutes on the tray before moving them to a cooling rack. Store in an air tight container at room temperature.

Mistake Cookies

During Italy week I made gelato and the recipe called for 4 egg yolks, so I had 4 egg whites left over and no use for them.  Well I have a hard time throwing things away so I found a recipe for Italian meringue cookies with chocolate mixed in.  

I was like- this will redeem by gelato disaster! I made the cookies and adjusted since I didn’t have the type of chocolate that it called for, put them in the oven and 5 minutes in I smelled burning so I turned the oven off and hoped the residual heat would be enough. 

Well they worked! More than that they were a massive hit!

So I dubbed them ‘Mistake Cookies’ or since it’s Italian week ‘Cookie di Errore” (thanks google translate).   

These bizarre meringue cookies were delicious! 

Cookies di Errore

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbs flour
  • 1/4 cup dark semi sweet chocolate chips, roughly chopped
  1. Place the egg whites and sugar over a double boiler and with an electric whisk beat the eggs over the heat till light and fluffy (roughly 10 minutes)
  2. Remove from the heat and continue to mix on medium speed for another 7 or so minutes or until shiny
  3. Fold in flour, vanilla and chocolate.
  4. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop the mixture onto parchment lined cookie sheets.
  5. Bake at 350 for 5 minutes, then turn off the oven (seriously! turn it off) and leave the cookies in for another 15 minutes (DO NOT OPEN YOUR OVEN EARLY!)
  6. Remove cookies to cooling rack after letting them sit for 5 minutes out of the oven

Mochi

Mochi is one of those desserts that I love and I thought mystery dough, ice cream… this should be easy!

Ha!

I figured out 100 ways not to make mochi… but some how we got there in the end!

If you are unfamiliar with mochi, it is a golf ball size ball of ice cream wrapped in a soft chewy dough. They are served cold and you bite into them- my absolute favorite is green tea mochi after some hibachi.

Our favorite place to enjoy this combo is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA and it’s called Little Tokyo. If you are ever in Mt Lebanon do yourself a favor and have a meal there- the owners are super nice and their food is phenomenal!

How to make Mochi ice cream

This recipe can be completed in phases, which is helpful if you don’t have a huge chunk of time all at once. I also want to apologize- I do not have a lot of pictures of this process. Like I said I found 100 ways not to make them, so I will impart my learned wisdom through words. I followed this super cute recipe video but there were some steps left out that would have made a big difference! You can find the recipe here: https://izzycooking.com/mochi-ice-cream/

Method

  1. Scoop the ice cream into balls roughly the size of golf balls and place either on a parchment lined cookie sheet or I used individual silicone cupcake cups.

2. Mix 3/4 cup of Mochiko or “sweet rice flour” in a bowl with 1/4 sugar, slowly add 3/4 cup water while stirring. Be sure to remove any and all lumps.

3. Microwave time! Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 2 minutes. Remove, stir and microwave again for 30 seconds more.

4. LET IT COOL!!!! Seriously! This is the part that is not mentioned in the original recipe I followed. When it is hot no amount of cornstarch will help you. It was like trying to roll out and handle chewing gum- seriously, it was disgusting and SO MESSY! Once it cooled I was able to roll it out with relative ease and the cornstarch helped a lot. Lesson learned, let it cool!

5. Roll out the dough till it is very thin and cut out large circles that are basically 2x the width of your ice cream. My circles were about 3″ in diameter. *Make sure to add a light dusting of cornstarch in between the disks or they will stick together.

6. Remove your ice cream balls and one at a time wrap the ice cream up in dough. Use a piece of plastic wrap to squeeze it together. Place them in back in the freezer to refreeze.

7. Enjoy! I didn’t roll our dough out thin enough so it was impossible to get your teeth into them at first. You had to wait until they warmed up and softened a bit before you could eat them

Martin loved eating them, as did my husband. So the big question is will I make them again?

Yes.

Partly because I have a bag of Sweet Rice Flour that I don’t know what else to do with in my fridge…

Bonus: These treats are gluten free! So this is a great option if you’re like me and have someone very special in your life who has a gluten intolerance or allergy.

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