Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sweet & Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies

I suppose I should make some sort of excuse as to why I haven't been posting lately, but I honestly don't have one. Yes, work is busy and yes life has been busy, but no more so than usual. Yes, Brad has been gone on business since last Friday and won't return until this Friday, so what reason do I have to cook or bake when I have no one to taste test it for me? I think I may be enjoying this semi-relaxing period before all the hub-bub of the holidays start... Soon (as in NEXT week) Thanksgiving is upon us. Then those few precious weeks leading up to my favorite day of the year, Christmas Eve, will fly by way too quickly and be gone before we know it. For now though, I'm dreaming and scheming and making list after list of ingredients for all the cookies and sweets and appetizers I want to make for all the upcoming holiday events.

Back on topic though, I did find a reason to bake this past weekend. My youngest nephew's first birthday party was Saturday. I made my favorite go to quick cookie, sweet and salty chocolate chip cookies. The sea salt added in with the chips doesn't melt leaving you with the perfect combination of sweetness & saltiness. They were gone within 10 minutes of my arrival.

Sweet & Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/3 cup coarsely chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts (I used almonds)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place nuts in a small baking pan. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes or until lightly toasted; cool.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda, stirring well with a whisk.

Place sugars and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 2 minutes). Add vanilla and egg; beat until combined. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed until well blended. Stir in peanuts, chocolate chips, and salt.

Drop dough by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on pans 5 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

recipe from cookinglight.com


Kristen said...

Hi Sarah,

These cookies look and sound amazing - as does everything on your blog!

I was reading your profile and wondered if you guys are vegetarian or mostly vegetarian. I'd love to faze meat out of our diets a bit, but haven't committed to it yet. Would you say that since you've taken this food challenge your food budget has decreased or increased?

Sarah @ naughtytastebud said...

Hi Kristen,

Thanks for visiting! I'm glad your enjoying our blog.

I wouldn't say we're vegetarian, but we definitely consume way less meat than we used to. I've heard it labeled "flexatarian". We used to buy chicken & ground turkey every week, then naturally we'd find something to make with it. Since beginning our new food journey, we RARELY buy meat. We've probably bought it less than once a month over the course of this past year, mainly when we had others over for dinner. Instead we've replaced our ground turkey or chicken dinners with lentil loaf(better than meatloaf, seriously!), chickpea burgers, roasted veggie sandwiches, and lots of soups, etc.

Overall, our budget has stayed the same if anything. Our old grocery cart was filled with lots of prepackaged stuff claiming to be good for you - fat free yogurt, snacks like sun chips & pretzels, laughing cow cheese, canned soups, breads and cereals with way too many ingredients to be good for you...We've given that all up for fresh fruits & veggies (best when they're from our own garden!), dried lentils, lots of beans, split peas, almonds & walnuts for snacks. I generally make our bread instead of buying as well as granola instead of buying cereal.
So you see, it's just a game of give & take - if you're not spending $10 on cereal & bread for the week (chances are you have most of the ingredients on hand for these 2 already) you can splurge on buying $6 organic milk (instead of the $3 regular milk - I use this example because this was the hardest thing for me to get over!, the frugalness of my father is in me!).

Alright, I'm probably boring you by now! I hope this helps. My advice to you - start slow...if you have meat every night of the week, choose a night or 2 to go meatless. Let me know how it goes!


Brad said...

I have a couple points to add regarding Kristen's question. In his book 'In Defense of Food', Michael Pollan defines "flexitarian" as averaging less than one serving of meat per day, and we're definitely under that.

But how much meat we eat depends on your definition: we rarely ever eat red meat, but we've never eaten much. We've cut down our poultry consumption, but are eating more fish than we used to.

I would also argue that our grocery bills have decreased, even with splurging on organics. But this is less a function of decreasing our meat consumption and more a result of making more at home. As Sarah mentioned, making a batch of granola each week is A LOT cheaper than buying a couple boxes of cereal.

I also want to stress that a big part of our food philosophy is eating local, not necessarily just more organic or vegetarian. Not only is local produce better, in my opinion, but, in season, it's also cheaper.

Kristen said...

Thanks, guys. : ) I really appreciate your good advice. I haven't had time to look back through your archives, yet, but I will. I'll try some of those recipes you mentioned. I really think how you guys are eating sounds amazing!

Thanks for blogging!