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Host Jeremy Hobson speaks with Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst about her new book, co-authored with Katherine Alford, "Rage Baking: The Transformative Power of Flour, Fury, and Women's Voices."
Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies From Kathy Gunst
Makes about 24 cookies
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (130 grams) all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- A generous pinch of Maldon or other sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup tahini, well stirred
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 (10- to 12-ounce) bag bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chunks, chopped, or chocolate chips (about 1 ¾ cups)
- About ¼ cup white sesame seeds
Chocolate chip cookies are everywhere. And while I never tire of a good chocolate chip cookie, I wanted to take this classic to the next level. So I added tahini (roasted ground hulled sesame paste) and it hit the perfect note. The cookies are not overly sweet, and the tahini gives them a rich, nutty flavor, much like peanut butter but far more interesting. A sprinkling of crunchy toasted white sesame seeds and coarse sea salt is the perfect finishing touch. The dough can be refrigerated for at least four days or frozen for up to two months.
- Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl.Beat the butter, tahini, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed in an electric mixer or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 3 minutes, until fluffy and fully incorporated, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times as needed. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix for 1 minute more.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate, being careful not to overmix. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight. (This might sound fussy, but the cookies are honestly better after the dough has had a chance to rest.)
- Position two racks evenly in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Scoop out a generous tablespoon of the dough, roll it into a ball, and place it on the prepared pan, making sure not to place the cookies too close together. Repeat with the remaining dough, dividing the cookies between the prepared pans. Lightly moisten your palm and gently push the cookies down to flatten them. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and press them lightly to make sure they adhere to the dough.
- Bake for 6 minutes, then rotate the pans 180 degrees and switch their positions from top to bottom and bottom to top. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes more, until the cookies are almost deep golden brown around the edges, but still somewhat pale in the center. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the cookies with the sea salt, gently pressing it into the cookies to adhere.
- Let the cookies cool for at least 5 minutes on a wire rack then serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Store in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Zucchini-Almond Bread From Rebecca Traister
Serves 6 to 8
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup almonds
- 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil, plus more if needed
- 2 cups grated zucchini (about 1 large)
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract or vanilla extract
Rebecca Traister, author of "Good and Mad," provided so much inspiration for this project. We were so thrilled when she shared her recipe for this moist zucchini bread. It’s got the right note of cinnamon and has great texture — thanks to ground almonds. You can add other nuts or flavorings; Traister recommends ground walnuts and vanilla, or ground pecans and anise. It’s the ultimate breakfast bread or pick-me-up snack, served with strong hot coffee or iced tea.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mist a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or brush with oil.
- Grind the almonds in a blender or food processor until almost finely ground.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon, in a medium bowl.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the eggs, sugar, and oil and beat on medium speed until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and beat until fully incorporated. Add the zucchini, ground almonds, and almond extract and mix until the batter is smooth.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes, then turn the bread out of the pan and serve warm or at room temperature. Wrap tightly in foil and store at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Chocolate Pudding Now From Alice Medrich
Makes 6 puddings
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ⅛ teaspoon fine salt
- 2 ¼ cups whole milk (or 2 cups milk and ¼ cup heavy cream, if you like)
- 1 cup (about 6 ounces) semisweet
- (or dark or extra-dark) chocolate chips, preferably 60% cacao
- Whipped cream, for serving (optional)
“Sometimes, chocolate pudding is just what’s needed,” says chocolate expert and cookbook author Alice Medrich. “When you—or the people you love—need satisfaction, or comfort, or control over something, try chocolate pudding. This recipe is as easy as it gets with results infinitely better than anything made from a box. I have fancier recipes that call for fancier chocolate, but this one does the job impressively (and immediately), with three ingredients you probably have on hand.” We couldn’t have said it better. Try it. You won’t be sorry.
- Have a timer, heatproof spatula, and six 1-cup custard cups or ramekins near the stove. In a medium saucepan, combine the cornstarch, salt, milk, and chocolate. Cook over medium heat, whisking continuously and scraping the bottom, sides, and corners of the pan, until the chocolate has melted and the first bubbles appear around the edges, 8 to 9 minutes. Simmer gently, whisking and scraping the pan continuously as the pudding thickens, 2 minutes more, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent it from boiling furiously.
- Immediately scrape the pudding into the custard cups or ramekins. If desired, top with whipped cream before serving. Serve warm, or at room temperature, or cold (my favorite). If you don’t like the skin that forms on pudding, you can press plastic or reusable wrap against the surface. Refrigerate for up to 2 days.
From RAGE BAKING by Kathy Gunst and Katherine Alford, published by Tiller Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Copyright © 2020 by Kathy Gunst and Katherine Alford. All rights reserved.
This segment aired on February 13, 2020.
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