Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Of beans and chocolate chips

Today I'm going to pass on two cooking/baking tips that I have added to my repertoire of cooking/baking skills! One I cannot take credit for at all, but the other I like to think is mostly my own innovation. If you think it's not, that's fine, but keep it to yourself. Everyone deserves a little glory. ;-)

So, #1. If you are like me and love a big pot of beans, but think the process is a time-consuming drag, I've learned a way to eliminate the "soaking" step! A commenter on explained that you cover the beans with cold water, bring it to a boil, and boil for about 10 minutes. Then put the pot in the sink, and throw in 1/4 cup of baking soda. Start stirring it around and an amazingly disgusting-looking green/yellow/brown foam starts boiling up. Keep stirring vigorously til the foam disappears, and then rinse the beans and pot thoroughly. Put the pot back on the stove and start the cooking process! I am used to having to carve out about 4 hours to make beans, but this method shaves off about 1.5 hours. Awesome!

#2. After receiving a ton of mini chocolate chips leftover from Christmas baking items at my job and not sure what to do with them, I decided to throw them in some chocolate chip cookie batter. Voila! My new favorite cookie (and everyone else's, apparently--I have gotten rave reviews on these cookies whenever I make them)! I use the basic recipe that's on the back of most chocolate chip bags, but when it comes time to add the chocolate chips, I add a ridiculous amount of mini chocolate chips. You definitely don't buy one bag of minis for a batch of these cookies; buy a couple. If you're not willing to do that, well...why are you bothering in the first place? Skimping on the chocolate in chocolate chip cookies should be a crime.

Anyway. Basically, my rule is: if you add the mini chocolate chips to the dough and it looks like enough, add a little more.
This tip is what takes your cookies from the "oh nice, you brought chocolate chip cookies," level to the "OMG! These are the best cookies ever!" level. =) They stay chewy, moist, and immensely chocolatey in every bite. YUM!


  1. Okay, that bean tip is genius! I hate soaking beans (usually do it overnight, but so annoying when I forget). Am trying it tomorrow!!

  2. Thanks for the beans tip! I can never seem to cook with dry beans, even when soaked a long time--they always remain dry for me!

    I actually enjoy the non-chip portions of the cookies a lot, so I'm not a fan of too many chips--but the mini chips idea seems fun!

  3. Baby John and I both deem your cookies the best ever! Can I buy your recipe on the black market, or are you open to sending it over a secure wire???? I think Georgia needs to experience them ....

    Im lying. Ill make them in Georgia .. but I wont share :)

  4. I agree, that ridiculous amounts of chocolate chips are necessary!:)

  5. Maggie: I know, right?? And I've tried it 3 times so far and the beans always turn out great, so it's tried and true. =)

    Jessica: Not a chocolate chip fan?? Horrors! lol I'm not sure what to suggest for cooking beans without knowing your process, but I cook a bag of beans in about 7-8 cups of broth for about 2 hours on medium heat.

    Anne: Just buy a bag of chocolate chips and use the recipe on the back of the bag--that's all I do! =) The only thing different thing I do is add a little more flour than called for, and then the loads of mini chips.

  6. Great tip on the beans. I usually just let them soak over night in the fridge. I use mini chips al the time in cookies! I like them better that way. I also like the mini ones better in pancakes. =) Sometimes, I throw in a few butterscotch ones in the batter to add a little extra flavor. ;) Now I want, no NEED some cookies!!!!!!

  7. Haha.. I do like chocolate chips, I just like the other part too and don't want to detract from it too much. :) That dough looks SO GOOD though.