This Cookie Scoop Will Fool Your Friends Into Thinking the Rest of Your Life Is Perfect Too

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My first purchase with my HomeGoods employee discount in the early-2000s was a cookie scoop. I had just watched Ina Garten make chocolate chunk cookies on Barefoot Contessa and admired the precise, equal-sized dollops that she dropped across the baking sheet. I needed to have perfect cookies.

It wasn’t just about the way they’d look all piled just so on a platter at the cookie swap. This uniformity, she informed me, would also ensure that the cookies bake evenly, and thusly, taste like perfection too. So, I lingered in the baking aisle in the middle of a work day, bought a scoop as close to a 1¾-inch diameter as I could find (following Ina’s very specific instructions), went home, and started making dough. I’ve used it to bake dozens of meticulous cookies ever since.

The OXO medium cookie scoop ($14 on Amazon) is my platonic ideal of a scooper, thanks to its built-in wiper—a reliable mechanism that releases the dough in a no-stick kind of way. Thanks to this little helper, I can get close to a dozen cookies onto a parchment-lined baking sheet in two minutes, which means I’m that much closer to brown butter and toffee chocolate chip cookies. And since it has a comfortable grip, I don’t get a hand cramp while baking big batches of holiday cookies.

cookie scoop 1

Photo by Chelsie Craig

This medium size is perfect for most standard cookies and also larger meatballs!

But cookies aren’t all that I make with my trusted scoops. Yes. Plural. I have a collection now. There’s the larger one with a 3 Tbsp. capacity (and a price of $15 on Amazon), that’s the perfect size for filling muffin or cupcake tins, or scooping ice cream for sundaes. A smaller one with 2 tsp. capacity ($13 on Amazon) is ideal for scooping out the insides of potatoes for the twice-baked kind, or used as a melon baller. And that medium scoop (about 1½ Tbsp.), my first love, scoops impeccable Sunday Sauce meatballs, in addition to loads and loads of cookies.

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Photo by Alex Lau, styling by Sean Dooley

I love when all of my favorite brown butter and toffee chocolate chip cookies are all the same size.

Everything in my life might not be flawless, but at least all the small round things can be.

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This Vegan Creamed Spinach Recipe Will Fool ALL the Dairy Lovers at the Table | Healthyish

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These days, everyone comes to the Thanksgiving table with a dietary restriction. We bend over backwards trying to accommodate with gluten-free pies and vegan turkeys, all while trying to please our tradition-loving relatives too. (It’s just not Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes, we agree.) Rather than spending time and money on extra food, we think the best strategy is to make dishes that everyone can eat and love, like this creamed spinach with a secret omission: There’s no cream.

Healthyish Tofu Spinach 1

Photo by Alex Lau, Food Styling by Yekaterina Boytsova

So creamy and comforting, it could double as a blanket.

Dairy-free creamed spinach isn’t just possible. It’s rich, creamy, and packed with flavor. The secret? Homemade tofu cream. We promise it works: Purée some drained silken tofu in a blender and you’ll get a sauce that’s as smooth and silky as heavy cream. (Just skip the extra-firm stuff, which won’t break down nearly enough.) And because tofu and spinach aren’t exactly known for being packed with flavor, senior food editor Andy Baraghani adds brightness with sautéed ginger, chile, ginger, and scallions. These aromatics aren’t traditional Thanksgiving flavors, but they add just enough heat and layers of flavor.

This recipe has the best healthyish intentions, calling for a hefty two pounds of mature spinach—not baby spinach—which holds its shape well and has bigger crunchy stems. It will seem like an absurd amount of spinach but, as always, those leafy greens will dramatically shrink down. Add the tofu cream as soon as the spinach is wilted and bright green—not even Popeye wants overcooked spinach.

Once that sautéed spinach is bathed in a creamy sauce punched up with flavorful aromatics, it becomes a side totally deserving of a spot on a crowded Thanksgiving table. And unlike nearly everything else on the menu, this dish stays on the stovetop—so you can save the oven space for the bird. And if your cousin unexpectedly shows up with his vegan roommate in tow, or Uncle Jim forgets his lactose pills, you can get this from the kitchen to the table in ten minutes flat. Now that’s something to be grateful for.

Bring on the spinach:

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A Healthyish take on classic creamed spinach: Puréed silken tofu lends such a smooth, velvety consistency, your guests just might be fooled.

SEE RECIPE

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