Thursday, March 19, 2009

Levain Copycat Chocolate Chips Cookies

Before I started my cooking blog, I spent several hours online searching for a good cookie recipe. I was searching for titles which read the Ultimate recipe for…. The best ever recipe for... I tried several recipes which turned normal and sometimes less than normal, I was wondering… is this what they call ultimate and the best ever??? For sure the people taste has changed.

Last week I visited a friend's blog, Lisa wrote about the famous Levain cookies, to my surprise I never heard of these cookies before or the famous bakery, though I visited NYC twice couple of years ago.

What was interesting Lisa called her recipe Levain Bakery Copycat Chocolate Chips Cookies, Lisa was trying to achieve the right recipe, it took her more than one attempt, until she was satisfied with the results. That to me proved that these cookies should be the Ultimate and worth trying “though I still had my doubt about finding the right chocolate chips cookies” but I was very curious to try Lisa’s recipe and see what is the story behind the famous Levain Cookies every one is talking about. I also visited the Levain Web Site which Lisa had a link to, and was surprised to find that a dozen of these famous 4 inches cookies sells for 66.00 USD.. WOWWWW

Lisa‘s recipe achieved the right thickness and has a crunchy flavour which I like at the same time they are not hard inside and crumbly, also she added they are best eaten the same day, and if they last couple of days longer 5-7 minutes in the micro will freshen them.
I really like the cookies, though I got a burned finger from a melting chocolate, but they are worth it. One thing I changed I didn’t cut them into 12 portions to achieve the 4 inch size cookies, I used an ice cream scoop to measure the same size , according to my husband the cookies are around 3 inches -24 cookies.


2 sticks ‘cold and cubed’ unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 to 3 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon table or fine sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 cups good quality semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (I usually use half semisweet and half milk chocolate)
1 cup walnuts (Toast the nuts for more flavor, if desired. Use any kind of nut you like)

I was lazy to bring my Kitchen Aid machine to whip the butter with the sugar, so instead I used a pie mixer and I cut the butter and the sugar to break them into pieces then added the eggs and with a hand mixer I whipped the mix to soften and melt the sugar, then I used a wooden spoon and mix everything together, I had to use my warm hands to bring the dough together. I put the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool, and then I sliced and baked in a warm oven at 375F to 17 -20 minutes. Here are some photos to share.

Big thanks to Lisa from me and Michel….…. Great recipe!

a yummy bite caused a burnt finger.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Vegetarian Pumpkin Kibbee

I don’t have a real recipe to give you for this recipe, but I know that for every cup of cooked unsweetened Pumpkin you add 3/4 cup of Burghul.

If you don’t want to go into the labour of peeling, cutting and boiling your pumpkin, feel free to use a can of pumpkin try with a small size Can, empty it in a glass container and warm it in the microwave to heat it to be more easy to mix with the washed and drained burghul, mix well by hands, add salt and pepper and softly cooked chopped onion. If the mixture is getting dry add more warm water to make it playable for you and looks like dough.

I will give you three kinds of stuffing you can use to stuff the Kibbeh:

A- 1 kg of Fresh spinach wilted to dry the water, or you can use defrosted frozen spinach package. Add one chopped onion, salt and pepper, sumac, one cup cooked Chickpeas split in half (using a kitchen towel add the soaked chickpeas on one half of the towel and close the other half over it, and run the rolling pin back and forth to split) or a small Chickpea can, mix well and adjusts the season.

B-Roasted potatoes cut into 1 cm squares, same ingredients without Spinach.

C- 1 pound chopped mushrooms, 1 large green chopped pepper, 4 sprigs of green onions chopped, 1 minced garlic, ½ tsp marjoram or thyme, salt and pepper


Put filling aside. Divide kibbeh paste into
egg sized balls Dip your hands in cold water then roll each ball between the palms of your hands until smooth. Make a hole in the centre with your forefinger. Work finger round in the hole until you have a shell of even thickness. Fill hole with filling mixture and close opening. Moisten with cold water to seal well and to shape with two pointed sides. If any breaks appear in shell, close with wet fingers. Place balls on a tray. Heat oil in a pan or deep fryer to 370F, fry the Kibbee till brown evenly and cooked. Serve kibbi hot with salad

For instruction on how to make the kibbee check my kibbee balls.

It tastes good and healthy full of nutrition and a vegetarian !!