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Brown Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I spent the morning interviewing ex-cons.

For them, the employees of Homeboy Industries, it’s a second chance and fresh start. A non-profit that works with gang members, fresh out of jail, provides culinary training, GED prep, job placement, parenting skills and so much more. "It’s like a big family, but everyone believes in you." Said one guy, back for a second chance at his second chance.

But sitting at the front of the Homegirl Cafe, interviewing and photographing the employees, it felt like a second chance and fresh start for me too. I was hired to write an article about food. Paid to go there, talk to people and take photos. A rare opportunity it seems for me to bulldog my way into this food writing world that I’ve been fighting so hard to be  a part of. An article I hope to do justice to, undoubtably spending the better part of the next week working on.

So here we are. Me and them. My transformation so much less dramatic, so much less important to my survival. They inspire me. When I asked the man I met, the one who is back for his second time and only 3 days out of jail, how he is going to do things different this time around, he shrugs, "I’m just going to keep showing up. That’s all."

I think he’s on to something there.

 

Pumpkin Ale Cheesecake with Beer Pecan Caramel Sauce

Ingredients

    For The Cheesecake
  • 9 standard sized graham crackers
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 4 tbs melted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 16 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup pumpkin ale
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbs flour
  • For The Caramel Sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin beer
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup pecans

Directions

  1. In a food processor add the graham crackers and brown sugar, process until only crumbs are left. While the food processor is still running, add the melted butter and process until it resembles wet sand. Dump into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan. Press into the bottom until well compacted.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the brown sugar, white sugar and cream cheese. Mix until well combined. One at a time, add the eggs and vanilla, mixing until well combined, scraping the bottom, before adding more.
  3. Add the pumpkin puree, cinnamon nutmeg and salt, mix until very well combined.
  4. Add the beer and stir until combined.
  5. Sprinkle the flour over the bowl, stir on medium speed until just combined.
  6. Pour over the crust.
  7. Bake at 350 for about one hour or until the center no longer jiggles when you shake the rack the cheesecake sits on, it will still look wet in the center. The secret to a great cheesecake is not to over bake it, it's better to slightly under bake it for a smooth mousse like texture.
  8. Chill until set, about 3 hours.
  9. To make the caramel sauce, add the sugar, beer and corn syrup to a pot and stir over medium high heat for about 1 minute. Stop stirring and allow to boil, untouched, until it turns an amber color, about 10 minutes (230 on a candy thermometer). Add the butter and cream, stir until combined. Add the pecans and stir. Allow to cool to approximately room temperature before serving over chilled cheesecake.
https://domesticfits.com/brown-butter-oatmeal-chocolate-chip-cookies/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Chip, Stout & Beer Nut Cookies

 

If you live in the Los Angeles area, I’m going to need you to do me a favor. I’ve somehow been booked on CBS, Los Angeles mid-day news with a cooking segment this Friday, August 31st. They want me to do a quick Cooking With Beer segment on the news at noon. People will be hungry, naturally, it is lunch time, and my hope is that this will persuade them to ignore any brief moments of nervousness that I have.

But If you could tune in, and support me, that would be great. I’m not really nervous, I keep waiting for that to set in, but it hasn’t yet. When it does, I would love to know that people who have been visiting me here on this little blog for the past year are out there cheering me on.

That would be great.

In the meantime we’re going to make some cookies. These call for the classic Beer Nuts, which I found myself in possession of after a particularly round night of cards at my house. Several bags of Beer Nuts left by an anonymous donor.  And I can’t just leave them in my pantry, I need to find a use for them.

We are also going to revisit that crazy idea I have of making beer extract. Because vanilla is just too…well, vanilla.

 

Chocolate Chip, Stout & Beer Nut Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup stout beer
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 3/4 cup bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (60%)
  • 3 oz bag Beer Nuts
  • (Makes 10-12 cookies)

Directions

  1. In a pot over medium high heat add the beer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1 tbs.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and both types of sugar, beat until well creamed. Add the egg and beat until well combined. Add the 1 tbs of beer extract and beat until well combined, scraping the bottom to make sure all the ingredients are well combined.
  3. In a sperate bowl, add both types of flour (these two types of flour are very important to the end result of your cookies, regular all purpose flour will not give you the same results), cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Add dry ingredients to the stand mixer and mix on medium/low speed until just barely combined, don't over mix. Add the chocolate chips and Beer Nuts, and stir until incorporated.
  4. Resting the dough is an important step in this recipe. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, scoop golfball sized scoops of dough, roll them into round balls and place on the baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 350.
  6. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until light golden brown, don't over bake. (If you don't chill the dough, or if you make smaller sized cookies, the cooking time will be much shorter. Start to keep an eye on your cookies after about 14 minutes).
https://domesticfits.com/chocolate-chip-stout-beer-nut-cookies/

 

Coconut Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

For years I’ve been insisting that I hate coconut. Ever since those crappy Almond Joys and Mounds bars started taking up valuable real estate in my orange plastic pumpkin during childhood Halloweens, I convinced myself that coconut was to blame.  Assaulting me with it’s odd texture that wasn’t quite crunch and wasn’t quite chewy and it definitely was not caramel.  

And with the loathsome of all Trick or Treat offerings, the Neapolitan Sundaes as a side kicks in my Trow Away pile of post Halloween candy sorting, my distain was cemented. I hated coconut. 

Even when I discover Malibu Rum in college, and I would only buy coconut scented sunscreen because the smell made me blissfuly happy, I still wouldn’t release my grudge. 

And even, after years of growing up with the idea that International Cuisine was Costco Lasagna and Taco Bell, I figured out that I adored Chicken Panang so much I wanted to bathe in it, still my aversion persisted. 

And when I waitressed in dozens of mid-level family style restaurants, with shrimp shooters and extreme fajitas avoiding conversation about my Flare, and I was introduced to the white trash joy of Coconut Shrimp, it changed nothing.

I hate it, I’m serious. 

It wasn’t until I read a post from my friend Julia that It all clicked. I don’t hate it. I hate crappy candy. Huge difference. 

I went directly to my nearest store and bought some Bob’s Red Mill Coconut and set out to bake. 

I made these for some friends who came over for a poker night, one of whom said, "No thanks, I don’t like coconut."

After I begged and pleaded for him to just take one tiny taste, he ate five cookies. Afterwards, he said to me: "I totally thought I hated coconut until I ate these cookies."

I have no idea what you mean. 

Other than the fact that these cookies rule. And so does coconut. 

My husband and I at Poker Night, not exactly winning,but having a great time. 

Coconut Chocolate Chop Oatmeal Cookies

1 stick of butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup coconut milk fat (scraped off the top of a full fat can of coconut milk)

1 cup oats

3/4 cup bread flour

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp corn starch

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (Bob’s Red Mill strongly recommended) 

1/4 cup sliced almonds

3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and both sugars. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on high until well combined. Add the coconut milk and beat until well combined. 

In a separate bowl, add the remaining ingredients (other than the almonds and chocolate chips) and stir until well combined. 

Add the dry ingredients into the stand mixer and mix on low until just barely combined. Add the chocolate chips and the almonds and mix again until barely combined. 

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Using a cookie scoop or an ice cream scoop, scoop out balls approximately the six of a golf ball and place evenly on the baking sheet. 

Refrigerate for 2 hours, up to 24. 

Preheat oven to 350. 

Bake for 20-22 minutes or until lightly golden brown. You don’t want to over cook these, so start to check on them at about 12 minutes in case your oven cooks way faster than mine. Especially if you skip the refrigeration step, room temperature cookies will be done a lot sooner. Once you pull them out of the oven, slide the parchment paper onto the counter and allow to cool. 

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