July 2009


I’m not much of a cookie baker. I usually make cakes and pies, but I love chocolate chip cookies. Every so often, the New York Times runs a story about the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe. I was intrigued by Chocolate and Zucchini’s interpretation of a recipe that Jacques Torres had in the NYT a while back. I share Clotilde’s belief that chocolate chip cookies should not be the size of your face, but a more manageable size.

This recipe calls for chocolate disks or feves. I have never baked with them before so I searched around for a place that sells them. I found the most fantastic place in St. Lawrence Market called Domino’s which sells lots of yummy stuff in bulk. I grabbed some dark chocolate feves and some plantain chips and went on my way.

I doubled the recipe because I’m going to give away most of the cookies I make. The dough is pretty standard and easy to put together. I did hit a snag though and realized that I had accidentally used half the butter that I should have. I quickly added more butter and threw the dough in the fridge.

chocolate chip cookie dough

46 hours later, I baked all of the dough. I think the cookies look quite stunning:

chocolate chip cookies

Straight, warm out of the oven, they tasted good. I think i misjudged the salt, and didn’t use quite enough. I’m going to reserve full judgment until tomorrow. Clotilde says she thinks the cookies taste better the next day!

ETA (Aug 4): The cookies the day after are FANTASTIC! I brought them with me to a friend’s cottage for the long weekend, and they were more lovely the days after. The cookies stay light, soft and moist. I can’t wait to make them again.

I’ve been very amused with the coverage of Tim Horton’s getting into the NYC market. As a recently displaced Canadian New Yorker, I wonder if it might be a slow news day. There were two articles published in the NYT, one on the day Tim Horton’s unveiled itself, the other the day after with more personal stories. There were also two blog postings on Diner’s Journal. The first one was a taste test between the Dunkins and Tim’s doughnuts and a taste test of the coffee.

Not surprisingly, I’m not a fan of Tim Horton’s. Don’t get me wrong, you will see me from time to time with a cup of Tim’s, and perhaps a doughnut. But honestly, the coffee is just serviceable, and I usually don’t eat the doughnuts. And the last Timbit I had was hard as a rock.

Instead, I’d like to suggest some better options for coffee and a doughnuts in the 5 boroughs:

Coffee
Cafe Regular I used to live right around the corner from this place, and it’s a tiny place with strong coffee. Chocolate croissants there are also great.
Gorilla Coffee also in Park Slope, a great cup of coffee and a nice place to sit if you can snag a seat.
Klatch, the one spot in the financial district that doesn’t feel like the financial district. Lovely service and great place to hang out.

Doughnuts
Doughnut Plant in the Lower East Side, the best thing to get is the creme brulee doughnut. I’m a yeast doughnut person, so any of their yeast doughnuts are fantastic. Their cake doughnuts are pretty good too.
Peter Pan Bakery in Williamsburg/Greenpoint is supposed to be the best. I haven’t gotten around to it, but it’s on the list.

Ok, not a doughnut, but I can’t help but to think of chocolate croissants when I want a cup of coffee. The best place for croissants and chocolate croissants in the city is Patisserie Claude. Heaven in a brown paper bag.

I would just add that I found the best bakery so far in Toronto, and it’s the Harbord Bakery. They had these magnificent chocolate chip cookies with pistachios and whole wheat apple cider doughnuts.

harbord bakery

I was at Shopper’s the other day, browsing for some snacks to bring with me to the movies. (Moon, which I totally recommend) I found an old favourite of mine I haven’t seen in years.

pirate cookies

I’ve been living in the US the last little while, and they certainly don’t have these cookies down there. Anyway, I remember loving these as a kid and the 350g package was on sale for $1.50! Normally I would not let myself buy a big package of cookies just for me. The inner food snob in me knows these cookies are full of sugar and vegetable oil, but the kid me won out. Nostalgia works in this instance.

pirate cookie

prepping for coriander chutney

When I was still living in Brooklyn, our household became obsessed with Swad Coriander Chutney from Patel Brothers in Jackson Heights. We put it on everything. We would buy huge jars of the stuff and put it on salmon burgers, veggie burgers, all sandwiches, toast, eggs, rice, salad, beans, etc. It was our newest hot sauce.

To that end, having not yet found the equivalent of Patel Brothers in Toronto*, I decided to make my own coriander chutney. I always find that I buy a bunch of coriander use about half and then it goes bad in my fridge. Making coriander chutney seems like a good use of resources.

I used this recipe from indiasnacks.com and made a few adjustments.

Dhanya Chatni (Fresh Coriander Chutney) Recipe
Servings: 1

Ingredients

1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/4 lb coriander stems & leaves; washed, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup coconut; finely chopped
1/4 cup onion; finely chopped
2 tablespoon ginger root; finely chopped
2 teaspoon chile, red, hot; chopped
1 teaspoon sugar, granulated
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper, black

Directions: How to Cook Dhanya Chatni (Fresh Coriander Chutney)

Combine lemon juice, water and 1/2 cup coriander in blender; blend at high for 30 seconds until pureed. Scrape sides, add 1/2 cup coriander. Repeat until all the coriander has been pureed. Add coconut, onions, ginger, chili, sugar, salt and pepper. Blend again. When perfectly smooth, taste and add more sugar or salt if desired. Serve immediately or keep tightly covered in refrigerator up to 1 week.

From “The Cooking of India” posted by DonW1948@aol.com

coriander chutney ingredients in the bowl

I left out the coconut, and added some tamarind. As usual I added a little too much chili so it’s a bit on the spicy side.

coriander chutney!

Going to make a coriander chutney, avocado and cheese sandwich after this post goes up.

* To be fair, I haven’t yet been to Little India on Gerrard, so it’s really my own fault.

fresh fig

Fresh figs are available right now at Fiesta Farm. 2 for $1, or a case for $10. Also, the fruit market on Bloor across from PAT is selling 2 pint boxes for $6.