Posts Tagged ‘Ina Garten’

Thin & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies


Remember how I was planning to make the walnut chocolate chip cookies from Top Chef Just Desserts? Well, I got sidetracked by the thin & chewy walnut chocolate chip recipe in this month’s Saveur.

{Side note: Chock full of writers reminiscing about their favorite meals, this month’s Saveur is a keeper}

Saveur pulled the recipe from The Essential New York Times Cookbook, Amanda Hesser’s new follow-up to Craig Claiborne’s 1961 classic.  My mom’s copy of the original is worn with use and Ina routinely invokes it so we know it must be great.  I’d love to have both and compare what was popular then as opposed to now.

Follow the recipe as is and you’ll produce a wafer thin cookie with the perfect mix of crunch and chew.  While more complex than your average chocolate chipper, it’s not precious but deliciously sweet and salty and, because you grind the walnuts, has an overall nuttiness that’s more subtle and satisfying than biting into the occasional lumpy nut.

The low baking temperature allows the dough to spread on the pan before it hardens.  Shaving the chocolate helps it to melt, producing the ooey-gooey-ness I can’t resist.  The bittersweet chocolate is very rich and strong and so, yes, the cookies need a scant 1 tablespoon kosher salt.  I skimped on the salt and had to counteract all that thick chocolate darkness with a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt.  Which, in the end, was no mistake at all.

{Side note 2: all this recent cookie baking is on account of our having Angus’ students over every Tuesday for cookies and Glee.  If you have a cookie recipe you’d recommend, email it to us at  We’d love to share a collection of readers’ favorites!}


Thin & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 60 cookies

2 cups flour
1 scant tablespoon kosher salt
1-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1-1/4 cup sugar
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
12 ounces finely shaved bittersweet chocolate
8 ounces finely ground walnuts

Whisk flour, salt and baking soda in a medium-sized bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, beat sugars and butter until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Beat in eggs one at a time and then vanilla.  Add the flour mixture, chocolate and nuts.  Mix until just combined.  Chill for at least an hour before baking.

Preheat the oven to 325°.  Scoop 1-tablespoon portions of dough onto a prepared baking sheet, spacing each portion about 3-in apart.  Flatten with the palm of your hand and bake until golden brown, about 14 minutes.

The Weekend Dish: Anticipation


Happy October, my dears!

What are you up to this weekend?

Lydia is hunkering down at home to finish her wedding details.  Only a month to go!

I’m heading north to celebrate friends getting married among the Redwoods of Mendocino County. How romantic is that?

Speaking of Ina, did you see Liz Lemon loving her on 30 Rock?  So happy Ina has hit primetime!  I’ve already pre-ordered her new book.

Any thoughts on Top Chef Just Desserts?  I’m loving the challenges—every step is so high stakes with pastry!  I’ll bake last night’s winning cookie as soon as I get back.  Sylvia Weinstock was raving about it.

Any Angelenos want to join me for Artisanal LA?  It would be fun to get a group together and support our local food culture.  Plus…

They’re having a wooly pocket herb garden workshop!  Who can resist that?

Mario has a vegetable butcher! Can’t wait to check it out next time I’m in NYC.


P.S.  Have you subscribed to A & O yet?  Get your daily hit delivered to your inbox or reader–just click on our RSS feed at the top right.  Or follow us on twitter for updates and extra recipes and foodie tips. xoxo

Tomato Tart, Plum Tart


By Sarah Lagrotteria

I’m majorly obsessed with tarts. They are the easiest things to make (especially with the help of good-quality frozen puff!) and always look beautiful. Here’s one savory and one sweet I’ve made this past week.

The first is a tomato, feta and kalamata olive tart in a puff pastry crust.

I bought the frozen puff from Surfas in Culver City which has the absolute best in my opinion.  If you haven’t been and you live in Los Angeles, go!  It’s an amazing place.  Trader Joe’s also has an excellent all-butter frozen puff.

For this tart, I preheated the oven to 400 degrees.  I broke a block of feta into smaller chunks and tossed it with olive oil and a generous shake or two of dried oregano.  I quartered the kalamata olives and left the beautiful cherry tomatoes whole.  I rolled the dough into a 9-inch tart pan and, working from the inside out, laid the tomatoes in concentric circles (it took an entire pint of tomatoes), leaving gaps here and there for a chunk of seasoned feta.  I then added the olives and finished it off with a sprinkle of sea salt and a few grinds of fresh black pepper.  Bake until the crust is lightly browned, the cheese is gooey and the tomatoes are just beginning to blacken, about 40 minutes.  And the smell…..

My second tart of the week was a take on Ina’s delicious plum tart.

I kept her proportions except I used a 9×13 rectangle tart pan instead of a 9-inch round. I’ve made this recipe before and there is more than enough of nutty buttercrumb crust to fill the larger tin.  I also used almonds instead of walnuts and beautiful yellow and pinky green pluots instead of plums.  Baked as directed, the tart was sour-sweet perfection.


Olive Oil Lemon Yogurt Cake

by Lydia Ellison
Olive Oil Lemon Yogurt Cake

Olive Oil Lemon Yogurt Cake

This is the quintessential light cake of summer. Fruity, eggy, sweet and yet refreshingly tart. The olive oil and yogurt give a divine spongy texture. Serve it for a luncheon or at a dinner party with fresh berries. Pack thick slices wrapped in parchment paper for the beach. Best part, no mixer or beater required, just a spoon!

last slice

Olive Oil Lemon Yogurt Cake

Adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (I like Face brand Greek yogurt)
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (fruity)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Bring the eggs to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Fold the olive oil into the batter, making sure it’s well incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake. Best eaten within 3 days of baking.

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