One woman’s Vogue is another gals cook book – know what I mean? Between you & me, I never really got into fashion magazines. Truthfully, I enjoy Vogue & Vanity Fair more for the articles than anything else & while I absolutely appreciate the styling & editorial finesse, they never became a staple in my purchasing habits. But cookbooks are a different story entirely.
PS – Hey, CHICAGO! Scroll down to the bottom, I’ve got a special surprise for you!
Give me a good cookbook & I will read it like an 11-year-old reading Harry Potter for the first time (or, fine, okay, also me every time I read it…I mean book 6 is just so freaking good!) A new cookbook is full of exciting possibilities – new recipes, yes, but also new stories, new ingredients to fall in love with, new ways to show your friends and family you love them, new ways to be thoughtful about your food & mindful of what you are putting into your body. In fact, I love cookbooks so much, I have given myself a strict monthly budget to indulge my little habit. December’s cookbook of the month is the latest from Nancy Silverton, Mozza at Home.
If you don’t know Nancy, you should! She is the only chef to win both the Outstanding Pasty Chef & Outstanding Chef awards from the James Beard Foundation (i.e. big freaking deal). Mozza at Home is all about crowd-pleasing recipes for relaxed, family-style gatherings. Uhh, does that sound like anyone you might know?! She gives you the backstory on each recipe, where it came from, why it’s personally significant, and she tells the story of her time in Tuscany & you are tempted to put in your two-weeks notice & fly out to meet her. I just got the book yesterday but am already obsessed! I was so excited, I woke up this morning (yes, as in like 3 hours ago) and whipped up her Chai Chocolate Chip cookies & they are nothing short of magical. Enjoy with a cup of coffee or hot mint tea and you’ve just about died and gone to heaven. Grab the recipe below.
- 1 cup pecans
- 1¾ cup + 2 tablespoons cake flour (or unbleached all-purpose flour)
- 1⅔ cup + 2 tablespoons bread flour (or unbleached all-purpose flour)
- 2½ sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1½ teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1½ teaspoons grated nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1¼ lb chocolate (60% - 70% cacao), chopped into ½ chunks
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position & preheat the over to 325.
- Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast them in the over for 10-12 minutes, or until they are lightly browned and fragrant. Feel free to shake the pan & adjust half way through baking, so nuts brown evenly. Remove from the oven, set aside to cool, & turn off your oven. Once nuts are cooled, coarsely chop and set aside.
- Combine the cake & bread flour in a large box and stir to combine.
- In another large bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and pepper and mix until light in texture and color. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly in between.
- Add the vanilla and mix. Reduce speed and add in the flour and mix until no flour is visible. Add in chocolate and stir to combine.
- Cover the dough & refrigerate for at least 1 hour (preferably over night)
- Adjust the oven rack so one is on the top third and one is on the bottom third and preheat to 350 & set up two cooling racks.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and roll into 1¾ ounce balls (smaller than a ping pong ball). Put 6 to 8 balls on each large baking sheet with at least 2 inches of space in between each ball of dough.
- Put one sheet on each rack in the oven and bake for 12-14 minutes, until light golden, but still soft. Switch baking sheet positions halfway through cooking time, so they bake evenly.
- Remove baking sheets from the oven and set on the cooling rack & let sit for 5 minutes.
- Repeat with the rest of the dough & enjoy!
For all my CHICAGO friends, come meet me & Nancy at her book signing at the Macy’s State Street at noon on December 9th! I’ll be there from 12-1, so come introduce yourself & say ‘hi’ & I’ve got a special gift for you!
Looking for more fun holiday events? Check out this list of events happening at Macy’s this month!