TV Dinner {The Mindy Project}

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Here’s another episode of my TV Dinner series. This one is dedicated to one of my ultimate feel-good shows The Mindy Project. It’s snarky, it’s sparkly and super fabulous. I’m a devoted fan of Mindy Kaling (read her book if you haven’t already) and the other actors in the cast, especially Chris Messina and Ike Barinholtz make the show what it is.

I love that Mindy is a strong woman who’s not afraid of coming across as aggressive or superficial or incredibly smart. She’s also a woman who’s not shy about eating.

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grown up chocolate chip cookie sandwiches

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Let’s face it, Father’s Day is often the forgotten parents’ appreciation holiday. Mother’s Day always steals its thunder with its flowers and chocolates and breakfast-in-beds. By the time Father’s Day rolls around, people have already Instagrammed their cutest picture with Mom and are much too busy in summer mode to fuss over what to get Dad. Another tie? A hammer to replace the one he lost or maybe some grilling utensils? You know… MANLY things!

But you know what, men like chocolate too. So here’s a dessert that I’m pretty sure will knock your dad’s socks off (those socks you got him because you couldn’t think of what else to buy). These grown up chocolate chip cookie sandwiches are sprinkled with smoked sea salt and filled with a whiskey frosting. To be honest men, women, and children (over the age of 21) can all enjoy this delicious treat! Cause GAH dad, why does it always have to be about you??

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TV dinner {Downton Abbey}

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I’ve had my heart broken many times… by Julian Fellowes. After the last season of Downton Abbey, I vowed I was done with the show. No more Downton. No more Lady Mary. Not even the Dowager Countess.

After Sybil, there was just too much of this…

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and last year’s season finale that aired on freakin’ CHRISTMAS caused even more of this…

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I was too frustrated and exhausted to continue. But now that I’ve had almost a full year to recover, the scars are slowly starting to heal. Now for us non-UKers, the new season has yet to premiere in the States. Yet somehow I’ve been watching the new episodes online (don’t worry, I’ll watch them when they air on PBS too!) and of course I find myself, once again, wrapped up in the storylines of Carson and Branson and wily Thomas… even Edith! I will not give away any spoilers for my fellow American fans. Instead I’ll provide you with a delicious recipe!

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momofuku milk bar no. 12 {confetti cookies}

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These confetti cookies are a cause for celebration… say for a wedding, birthday, graduation, or perhaps the BIRTH OF THE NEW PRINCE OF CAMBRIDGE!

I admit, I have been completely overcome with royal baby fever. I know I know, all babies are precious and unique and AHHH Kate Middleton just gave birth and looks beautiful! Her hair! Her wedges! Polka dots! Am I obsessed? No no… AHHH royal baby’s first princely duties are a-DOR-able!

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momofuku milk bar exam no. 8 {cornflake-chocolate-chip-marshmallow cookies}

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I have to admit something… this is not my first time making these cookies. It’s actually my third.

The first two times were ‘test runs’ aka I was craving them too badly to bother documenting them. They are that good. Some may say they’re addictive, but I swear I can totally stop at ANY TIME… I just like to keep some extra cookie dough in my freezer for emergencies only I promise. If you find yourself baking a batch to share/blog, and then needing to do this another two, three times that’s completely normal. And once I get off this sugar high next week, I will totally explain to you why.

{cornflake- chocolate chip- marshmallow}

{cornflake — chocolate chip — marshmallow}

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momofuku milk bar exam no. 4 {corn cookies}

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Corn is genetically modified. Corn is nutritionally empty. Corn is the devil’s carb.

If you agree with any of these statements, stop reading and start making these cookies. You will change your ways, I promise. Because corn is delicious. Seriously guys, these cookies are THE BEST. If you like corn muffins or corn pudding, you will love these cookies. Add to the hitlist of Momofuku Milk Bar Exams thus far.

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The corniness in these cookies comes from corn powder and corn flour.  I got the corn flour at Whole Foods but the corn powder was a little harder to find. Christina Tosi makes her corn powder by grinding freeze dried corn in a blender… but the two Whole Foods I went to surprisingly didn’t have freeze dried corn. It can be found pretty readily on Amazon but only in multiple packs and I don’t really need 3 pounds of freeze dried corn. So when I found a packet of freeze dried corn at Fairway, I jumped for joy (literally, it was on the very top shelf). You can also buy them online on Just Tomatoes or just buy the corn powder straight from the Momofuku Milk Bar website. Just buy them somewhere, anywhere, for the love of God. Because I really want you to make these cookies.

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momofuku milk bar exam no. 1 {blueberry & cream cookies}

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This cookie was actually the first item I ever tried at Momofuku Milk Bar (thus starting this obsession). For a place known for its eccentric Crack Pie® and Bagel Bombs, these blueberry & cream cookies look deceptively simple. Ohhh but think again! Imagine a chewy, buttery cookie dotted with blueberries and white chocolate and multiply those flavors by 1000! You’re gonna love this cookie.

The thing I really appreciate about the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook and Christina Tosi is that she’s very clear with her directions as well as the specificity of her ingredients. I’m a recipe/cookbook connoisseur and I hate when chefs leave out the specifics– Tosi keeps no secrets. She’s very direct in the intro pages about EXACTLY what brands she uses for her butter, flour, sugar, chocolate, fruits, etc.  which is a tremendous help to an obsessive nit-picker like myself. I’m going to try my darnest to listen to her suggestions and adhere as closely as possible to each recipe. My new motto is: What Tosi Wants, Tosi Gets. She would probably be mortified and slightly disturbed by my cult-ish devotion but I’ve tasted her Kool-Aid (cookies) and I’m just not going back!

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What makes these cookies stand out are a handful of key changes. Since this was my first Momofuku Milk Bar endeavor for y’all, I was a bit nervous. Milk crumbs? Glucose? I’ve never baked with these ingredients before. But it all makes sense. The milk crumbs (a combination of mostly butter, milk powder, and white chocolate) give the cookies an additional oomph in the creamy, milky department. And the addition of glucose (which I previously only associated with my dreaded year of organic chemistry) is now my new best friend and the secret to what keeps these cookies nice and chewy.

Most of my ingredients I procured at either Trader Joe’s, Fairway, or Whole Foods, but the glucose I actually purchased at Michael’s. The directions say that corn syrup can be substituted for the glucose but speaking from experience now, I can say that glucose is WAY stickier and less sweet than corn syrup (and thus probably produces a better chewier texture).

{milk crumbs}

{milk crumbs}

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As hard as it is, resist from eating all the cookie dough before baking. Or eat half then bake half. Compromise.

{ready to eat. or scoop.}

{ready to eat. or scoop.}

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{momofuku milk bar exam no.1 complete!}

 

blueberry & cream cookies
from Momofuku Milk Bar
makes 12 to 17 cookies

  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks, 225g) butter, at room temperature [preferably Plugra, I used Whole Foods brand– sorry Tosi!]
  • ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup (150g) light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • ¼ cup (100g) glucose [can substitute: 2 tablespoons (35g) light corn syrup]
  • 2 [large] eggs
  • 2 cups (320g) flour [preferably King Arthur bread flour]
  • ½ teaspoon (2g) baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon (1g) baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • Milk Crumb, recipe below
  • ¾ cup (130g) dried blueberries [can be bought at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s]

(1) Combine the butter, sugars, and glucose in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes.
(2) Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. (Do not walk away from the machine during this step, or you will risk overmixing the dough.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
(3) Still on low speed, add the milk crumbs and mix until they’re incorporated, no more than 30 seconds. Chase the milk crumbs with the dried blueberries, mixing them in for 30 seconds.
(4) Using a 2 ¾-ounce ice cream scoop (or a ⅓-cup measure), portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Pat the tops of the cookie dough domes flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour [I did overnight], or up to 1 week. Do not bake your cookies from room temperature—they will not bake properly.
(5) Heat the oven to 350° F.
(6) Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pans. Bake for 18 minutes [Mine were done at 15-16 minutes, don’t overbake!]. The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. After 18 minutes, they should be very faintly browned on the edges yet still bright yellow in the center; give them an extra minute or so if that’s not the case.
(7) Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or to an airtight container for storage. At room temp, the cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.
 

Milk Crumb

  • ¼ cup (20g) milk powder [non-fat dry milk]
  • 2 tablespoons (20g) flour
  • 1 tablespoon (6g) cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon (12.5g) sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon (1g) kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons (¼ stick, 27.5g) butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons (10g) milk powder
  • 1 ½ ounces (45g) white chocolate, melted

(1) Heat the oven to 250° F.
(2) Combine the 20g (¼ cup) milk powder, the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Toss with your hands to mix. Add the melted buter and toss, using a spatula, until the mixture starts to come together and form small clusters.
(3) Spread the clusters on a parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes. The crumbs should be sandy at that point, and your kitchen should smell like buttery heaven. Cool the crumbs completely.
(4) Crumble any milk crumb clusters that are larger than ½ inch in diameter and put the crumbs in a medium bowl. Add the 10 g (2 tablespoons) milk powder and toss together until it is evenly distributed throughout the mixtures.
(5) Pour the white chocolate over the crumbs and toss until your clusters are enrobed. Then continue tossing them every 5 minutes until the white chocolate hardens and the clusters are no longer sticky. The crumbs will keep in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for up to 1 month.

Pucker up!

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But what the heck do you do with limes?! That’s precisely the problem I found myself in this weekend with a bundle of limes on my hands.

Luckily I love limes, possibly even more than lemons. Key lime pies, limeades, margaritas, mojitos 🙂 With my limes, I decided to make these lime bars, a variation on my favorite lemon bar recipe. But honestly when you add butter, sugar, eggs and flour to anything, what wouldn’t taste good?

Lime Bars
adapted from Barefoot Contessa

  • ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 large eggs at room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated lime zest (4 limes)
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (6 to 8 limes)
  • 1 cup flour
  • confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

(1)  Preheat the oven to 350° F.
(2)  For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the flour and salt, with the mixer on low, to the butter until just mixed.
(3)  Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9x13x2-inch baking sheet, building up a ½-inch edge on all sides.
(4)  Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly golden. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
(5)  For the filling, in a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, lime zest, lime juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature then refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
(6)  When ready to serve, dust the top with confectioners’ sugar and cut into squares.