Tag: Chocolate Chip Cookie

Friday Finds 6:28:13

1. Chocolate Chip, Apricot, and Espresso Cookies

Friday Finds: Chocolate apricot espresso cookies by Orangette // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Chocolate apricot espresso cookies from Orangette

I made these chocolate chip cookies with apricot and espresso from Orangette while in Seattle. They were warm and rich and oh so lovely. I definitely recommend for a cooler than usual summer day.

2. Homemade Ice Cream

Friday Finds: Ice Cream Recipes from Food52 // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Ice Cream Recipes from Food52

I can’t wait for it to get hot enough that all I want to do is make ice cream. It has to be pretty warm for me to not want to use my oven, but I have faith that it will happen. I need it to, so I can try some of these amazing looking flavors.

3. Homegrown Garlic!

Friday Finds: Homegrown garlic! // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Homegrown garlic!

Jonah harvested our first head of garlic, and it just makes me so excited! Jonah gets any and all garden credit. He took the initiative, drove me to the garden store, and did most of the digging around in the dirt. And man oh man, have I been reaping the rewards! Fava beans? Broccoli? Kale? Lettuce? Garlic scapes? And now garlic? Yahoo!

4. Bollywood Theater

Friday Finds: Bollywood Theater // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Bollywood Theater

Bollywood Theater, probably my favorite Indian restaurant in all of Portland is opening a second location near my office (and it’s crazy reasonably priced!). So… that’s a dangerous thing.

5. Corn

Friday Finds: Mexican Street Corn Salad by Love and Lemons // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Mexican Street Corn Salad by Love and Lemons

Corn is back, and with it, lots of corn filled recipes: My roommate Carmelle has the most amazing cornbread recipe that we made for commune dinner this week, I made risotto with fava beans and corn (recipe coming soon), and this tried and true corn salad. Next up? This Mexican street corn salad looks crazy good.

Restaurant Review: Besaw’s (for dinner!)

About a month ago, Jonah and I were contacted by a local PR company to join them for dinner at a restaurant that’s a client of theirs, Besaw’s. Now, if you know anything about Portland, you know it’s a brunch city. Everyone goes to brunch, the lines are hours long, and brunch places are known for just that, BRUNCH. Besaw’s is one of these places. It’s known for its amazing brunch. The one time I tried to go, it was an hour and a half wait, and I was on a schedule, so I couldn’t stay. But if a place has an hour and a half wait, and people are WAITING, you bet your bottom it’s good.

The lovely dining room at Besaw's, feeling cozy and warm.

When I had long ago looked at the brunch menu, I had also glanced at the dinner menu, and let me tell you, it looked good. So I was pretty excited to have an excuse to drive across town (read: 20 minutes in Portland rush hour, really not so bad) to eat there. Now, I’m going to start with the end of our meal, because the owner, Cana Flug joined us before dessert and told us about how she came to own Besaw’s and the history of the place, and it’s quite cool. The restaurant has been around since 1903, when it was opened by loggers George Besaw and Medric Liberty as a beer hall. When the prohibition rolled around, Besaw became the sole owner and started serving food. Fast forward about 80 years, to when Cana started frequenting Besaw’s (it became a favorite spot and she lived nearby) and became friends with the owners. When they were ready to sell, they asked her if she wanted the place and, at the ripe age of 25, she said yes. Can you imagine owning a restaurant at age 25? I certainly cannot. The restaurant is sweet in the evening – nice lighting, and a very cozy and homey feeling. That, plus the fact that we were sitting with all these awesome, food-loving, powerful women, made the whole evening so comfortable and fun, filled with lots of stories and laughs.

On to the food: we started with cocktails and appetizers, specifically the Besaw’s Board (the house charcuterie board), fried pickles with a spicy aioli dipping sauce, and roasted mushrooms over polenta with marsala sauce. I shared these starters with Brooke, one of the publicists from Little Green Pickle, as well as Rebekah and Bee, two other food bloggers. My favorite of the starters was the mushrooms with polenta – so flavorful and the polenta was perfectly creamy. Yum.

Jannie holds a light while the photo shoot occurs, and Cana (owner of Besaw's) looks on and laughs.

We ordered our entrees while we waited for the rest of our party (Carrie and Jannie, the founders of Little Green Pickle). Our table quickly filled as the plates came out: Mac and Cheese, Fried Chicken over a Cheddar-Chive Waffle, Baked Fish (I think it was trout), Meatloaf, and the Elk Burger with an egg over easy on top. Carrie and Jannie arrived, and then came my favorite part of the evening. As a food blogger, I am constantly taking pictures of my food, which I think can be odd or annoying to the people around me. But surrounded by other food bloggers and lovers, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE at the table, whipped out their cellphones and started taking pictures of the dishes. Jannie even used her flash as a light to shine on the dishes in the dimly lit restaurant. It must have been a scene to the diners around us, but I thought it was hilarious.

Besaw's meatloaf with bacon, pan sauce, and roasted veggies.Besaw's takes on chicken and waffles: crispy fried chicken with a cheddar-chive waffle on the side. And syrup. Don't forget the syrup.

All of the food was really lovely, and it was definitely comfort food. But you know how comfort food can be really filling and heavy and make you feel like “oh, I should not have eaten all of that” afterwards? This did not feel like that. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t light, but it was really enjoyable to eat. The flavors were so homey and full without being overwhelming. My favorite dish, the meatloaf, was a surprise to me. I never liked meatloaf growing up, and if it’s on a menu, I never ever order it. But this meatloaf was so good. It had some bacon on it (let’s face it, bacon never hurts) and was served over roasted veggies (which are a serious weakness for me) and drizzled with some pan sauce. Oh gosh it was so good. I could have eaten that whole plate by my lonesome if I hadn’t been sharing with 6 other people. Also, the fried chicken was delicious – not too heavy and so crispy.

Besaw's Butterscotch pudding (in a cute little jar) served with molasses cookies and seasonal bread pudding (this one had lots of rosemary and was very fragrant).

After dinner, Cana sat down with us and talked to us about the history of the restaurant and her food and philosphy. She is extremely cool. I hope, should you decide to eat here (which you totally should) that you bump into her. She is enthusiastic, sweet, and very bright. After telling us her story, I heard perhaps my favorite words of the night when, after we had all been poring over the dessert menu, Cana told our waitress, “Just bring us one of everything.” Um, yes please. Again, the table was filled with plates of chocolate cake, bread pudding, apple betty, a chocolate chip skillet cookie (with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream), and my personal favorite, butterscotch pudding. Again, I was surprised by what ended up being my favorite dish – I am not usually a fan of butterscotch and I do not usually order pudding, but here I was wishing I had a jar of the stuff to myself. The butterscotch was perfectly subtle, and the pudding itself was so rich and creamy. A close second was the chocolate chip skillet cookie, which was perfectly crispy and crunchy on the edges and chewy in the center, balanced by the cool ice cream.

Overall, I could not have been more pleased with the meal. The service was lovely, company was fun, and the food made me feel like someone’s grandmother was cooking me dinner. Because the food was so homey, I immediately felt comfortable in this setting and with these new friends. I am of the belief that food should bring people together, bond them, and give them a shared, pleasurable experience.

Thomas Keller’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thomas Keller's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thomas Keller's Chocolate Chip Cookies
Thomas Keller's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thomas Keller's Chocolate Chip Cookies

You know how everyone is always on the hunt for the best chocolate chip cookie? When I was younger, our family friend Anita was known for making the best chocolate chip cookies around. Whenever we went over to her house we (my sisters and I) were excited because we knew we would get those delicious cookies. Despite staying close to her family, I do not have her cookie recipe… Odd.

Anyway, the other day I felt like baking (strange, huh?) and Jonah requested classic chocolate chip. I wanted to do a variation, like those thyme and sea salt chocolate chunk cookies I made a while back. But after having no luck finding anything before heading to the store, I remembered Thomas Keller having a recipe for chocolate chip cookies in the Ad Hoc cookbook. I figured, “Hey, that guy kind of knows what he’s doing,” so I pulled out the recipe and went to the store.

I will tell you now that these are possibly the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had (besides Anita’s). You know the great debate: Crunchy or chewy? These are perfectly both. They are crispy on the edges (thanks to our old friend, butter) and chewy and soft in the middle. Oh my goodness. And they spread out when they bake, so they’re pretty big, which makes you feel like you’re really getting a good portion of cookie when you eat one. And if one seems large enough to be satisfying, you would think it’d be easier to not eat like 10 of them. But it’s not. You just get more full.

Side note: Jonah bought me these wonderful baking sheets for Christmas. The brand is Chicago Metallic; they came in a package with two pans and a cooling rack. These pans need no liner or greasing. Nothing EVER sticks to them (knock on wood). They are heavy duty with a wire around the edge so they don’t warp, and industrial-kitchen sized. I love them. I highly recommend them if you’re looking for new pans.

Thomas Keller’s Chocolate Chip Cookies


2 1/3 cups plus 1 Tbl all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
5 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (think 55%), cut into chip sized pieces (about 1 1/4 cups)
5 oz. dark chocolate (think 70-72%), cut into chip sized pieces (about 1 1/4 cups)
2 sticks cold unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar (preferably dark)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (or just grease them a little bit).

Ok, sorry. Now, sift the flour and baking soda into a medium bowl, and stir in the salt. Usually if a recipe says to sift flour, I ignore it, but I had a lot of time on my hands, and hey, I’m not gonna ignore Thomas Keller. I would say that it made a difference. Put the chips of chocolate you’ve cut in a fine mesh basket strainer to get out all the “chocolate dust.”

Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat half of the butter (1 stick that has been cut up into small pieces) until it’s smooth and creamy. Now add the sugars and the rest of the butter (also cut into small pieces) and beat until well combined and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between them. Be sure during all of this to be scraping down the sides of the bowl to get everything well-incorporated. Now add the dry ingredients and mix them in.

Thoroughly fold in the chocolate chips. It’s a little tricky because the dough is really thick, but stick with it, it’s worth it. You wouldn’t want those cookies from the bottom of the bowl to not have any chocolate in them, would you? No. No you would not. At this point you can wrap the dough up and refrigerate it for up to 5 days or freeze it for 2 weeks. But I just don’t understand, you’ve gotten this far, why would you not just make the damn cookies at this point?

If you’re continuing on, take about 2 tablespoons of dough, roll into a ball, and place it on the cookie sheet. You only want to put about 8 on a sheet because these suckers need their space. They spread out for real. Leave 2 inches between each ball of dough. Bake for 12 minutes, turning the cookie sheet halfway through baking. Let the cookies cool on the pan for a couple minutes before removing them to a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way (if you can wait that long). Enjoy with a glass of cold milk.