Sunday, December 15, 2013

Brown Butter Gingersnap Choc Chunk Cookie Bars Recipe

What better excuse is there to bake than being snowed in? Yesterday we got probably around 5 inches of snow, so I decided to test out a new recipe I saw on Picky Palate and it was amazing. It's the perfect holiday recipe and I followed it exactly with no issues. Usually I have to make adjustments after trying something for the first time, but not with this! The only thing I changed is the amount of time they had to cook because mine were still jiggling in the center after the 30-33 minutes it said to bake them. Here are pictures of mine and the recipe! 

I urge you to bring these to holiday parties because they're a huge hit! Who wouldn't love a gingersnap & choc chip cookie all in one, but in brownie form? The only non-gingersnappy thing about them is that they don't have that spicy aspect, but they're still so good. I brought them to my boyfriend's family party and they devoured them. (They also had a contest of who could remember the name).

Brown Butter Gingersnap Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars

2 sticks unsalted butter (can be straight out of the fridge since you're melting it)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses (I used Grandma's original unsulphured)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 bag of Brach's milk chocolate stars (from Target) or chocolate chips (semisweet would be fine, too)

Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with parchment paper. 

Brown the butter in a medium saucepan- put butter in pan over medium heat (on a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is the lowest heat I had it on 6.5) and stir occasionally until brown and bubbly. Remove it from the heat and let sit for 15 minutes.

Place the browned butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a stand mixer or a mixing bowl and beat until combined. 

Add in the eggs, molasses, and vanilla and mix until completely combined.

Stir in the flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, and chocolate stars/chocolate chips until combined.

Transfer to your prepared baking dish spreading evenly and bake for 40 minutes.

Let cool completely for 30-60 minutes before cutting into squares.

I made mine in a 9x13 brownie pan, not a glass baking dish so that could have affected the baking time for me. To be safe, check your bars after a half hour to see what they look like.
I cut mine into 15 bars and they were still pretty big. Since they're dense it's not a bad thing if you cut them into smaller size squares. Then more people can try them, too!
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Friday, December 6, 2013

Restaurant Review: Land Thai

Sorry I've been so horrible with posting lately! Working retail during the holiday season in Rockefeller Center is madness in itself, and then add being a full-time student to that and I've basically been running around and prepping for finals nonstop! This post is totally worth the wait though..

For all of my NYC readers: if you haven't gone to Land Thai on Amesterdam, you must. I'm a Thai food lover and I've had it at so many different places, but Land is absolutely the best Thai food I've ever had. I was in a group of 6 and every single person was extremely impressed with all of the appetizers and their meals.

Photo c/o

The place is super tiny, but I love that it's so cozy and comfy. They do deliver and you can also order take-out, so keep that in mind! The service was fine, nothing spectacular but it wasn't bad by any means. Now let's get to the food!

I saw a waiter walk by with something that looked like beets (not commonly an ingredient at Thai restaurants), so when I got my menu I was so excited that the Land Salad did indeed have beets! So I ordered it and it was extremely delicious. It was just Romaine lettuce with roasted beets and tofu croutons in a lime peanut dressing, but boy was the dressing good. It had a hint of coconut, too.

The beef satay wasn't one of the most raved about appetizers, but everyone did enjoy it. It was your traditional app with a yummy dipping sauce.

The chicken wraps were a hit! The chicken was apparently amazing (I didn't have any) and they give you lettuce to make your own wraps! I recommend ordering this appetizer.
These vegetable dumplings were definitely the highlight of my evening. I've never had such an amazing dumpling ever. Inside they have shitake mushroom, sweet corn, tofu, spinach, peanut, and garlic chips all chopped up tiny and they give you soy sauce to dip. I could have had this as an entree and my life would be complete.

The last appetizer we got was the crispy calamari. The chili peanut sauce was amazing. I highly recommend this dish, too.

I forgot to take a picture before I dug in so I'm missing a couple of bites, but not much. The portion size of this was perfect (especially after all of the appetizers). I got the wok chili pepper, but with tofu. A lot of times I have a problem with tofu in asian dishes because it's fried so much that the outside is chewy and weird and there's essentially nothing on the inside. It's weird, but this tofu was cooked perfectly. The menu says that this is a mildly spicy dish, but it's not even remotely spicy. Regardless, it was delish.

I didn't take pictures of everyone's meals, but my mom loves pad thai (it's what she always orders) and she couldn't believe how amazing it was at Land. So there you have it, a pad thai connoisseur gives it the stamp of approval! The pad thai dish is big, too.

One person I was with got the crab meat fried rice and one that got the salmon fried rice. They both really liked it and it's a big portion. If you finish the whole thing you will be quite full. The person I was with that got the crab meat one was a guy and he finished the whole thing, but the person who got the salmon one was a girl and she had to take almost half of it home. 

My dad got the green curry with chicken and loved it. He's a big fan of curry and he said it wasn't too spicy despite the fact that it was given the three star rating which means it's the spiciest dish they offer. He loves spicy, so he would have loved it even more if it was so hot you're sweating while you eat it, but despite that he still really enjoyed the meal. 

My brother got a duck special and literally inhaled it. I don't even think I picked up my fork and I looked up and he was finished. 

Anyone who likes Thai food absolutely needs to go to Land. It's not a "hidden gem" of NYC, so it does get crowded, but it's totally worth it!

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