Archive | 6:25 PM

Woodchuck-Airedale Interaction Report

19 Aug

While taking tomatoes to the neighbors, Jay spied a woodchuck up behind the house, so he snuck back home, got Hawthorne on a leash and with Isabelle snuck back up to the chuck’s area.  Hawthorne never saw the woodchuck until it was 5 feet from its hole. He grabbed it in the middle, then let go.

The woodchuck made for its hole.  H. pulled it out of the hole.  Then let go.  Repeat.  Woodchuck got far enough into the hole to not be pulled out.

The end.

Jay reports Hawthorne always grabbed the chuck gingerly, as if it were a toy. The woodchuck did not fight back, either.  That will be a surprise for next time.

Try This at Home

19 Aug

Changed Chocolate Chip Cookies

The original recipe came from the NY Times. Yes, I have changed the recipe.  For the better, I think. Not only the ingredients, but their amounts and the general directions have been changed.  And the original was way off on how many the recipe makes.  I get 5-5.5 dozen normal sized cookies.  It calls for 3.5 oz. dough mounds.  I make slightly smaller than golf ball size dough balls–they are about the size to fit in the space made when you make a ring of your thumb and pointer finger. About one ounce.

I am using up a 5-kg bar of bittersweet Callebaut chocolate by hand chopping about 7 oz. per recipe and then adding a cup or so of mint chocolate chips.  I have never used a full pound of chocolate in the recipe. I use about 11 ounces.  The first time I also threw in the leftovers of some mini-chips I had.

The main point of this recipe is to hold the dough in the fridge for 24 hours so that the flour has time to absorb all the moisture.  When you cook the chilled dough, the cookies come out soft in the middle and crispy brown around the edges; the chocolate is all soft and runny.  Maybe this is why people like to make cookies from store boughten dough?  Same effect?

I have been making one baking sheet full–about 15-18 cookies–each day.  The dough last for four days that way.  Today we had company, so I made all the rest in one fell swoop–about 3 dozen.

The coarse salt– I use Kosher–is supposed to add to the flavor.  Who knows?

2 cups white flour

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp coarse salt

2 sticks butter

1 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup (or less) white sugar

2 large or extra large eggs  If you use large, add 1-2 Tbsp. water to dough

2 tsp vanilla

1 lb (or less) mixed chopped chocolates/chocolate chips  (11 ounces is plenty)

Cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Sir in vanilla.  Reduce speed to low, add soda and baking powder, salt, then flours and mix until just combined, 5-10 seconds.  Drop in chocolates and incorporate slowly.  Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 or more hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a spoon, then your hands, scoop a tablespoon sized ball of dough out, about the size to fit in the space made when you make a ring of your thumb and pointer finger.  Place on cookie sheet.  Repeat until full.  Bake 7 minutes, turn pan, bake 7-8 minutes more.  Cookies will be brown but slightly underdone in the middle.  Let them sit for a couple minutes on the pan–they will keep cooking.  Transfer to cooling rack.

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