Tuesday, October 27, 2009

bring on the beer

I had a boyfriend in high school who loved beer. He was Irish - fair skin, freckles, the whole nine - and I remember walking into a "guys-only" poker night at his parents house to 5 skinny, American Eagle-wearing high school dudes smoking cigars and slurping down beers of all kinds. We dated through most of college (he went to the big 10 university and I went to the tiny liberal arts college) and I remember hearing tales of home-brewing beer during holiday breaks and visits home.

I never understood his fascination and chalked it up to ancestry, since the beer of choice at my college was Natural Light in cans (if we were lucky, Coors Light kegs) which was choked down in pints for one purpose and one purpose only (and it wasn't because we enjoyed the taste). Senior year we traded our Natty for something much more refined and sophisticated: Franzia. We'd take our boxed wine to frat parties and challenge the boys to "Franzia-stands" in place of keg stands. You know, 'cause we were classy like that.

So I never caught on to my boyfriend's love of Guinness. I had no place for the bittersweet stout that friends claimed was more "like a meal" than a beer. Ummm I wasn't hungry, I wanted a drink! But "it tastes like chocolate!" Ummm I didn't want dessert, pass me my vodka/cranberry! It wasn't until I was studying abroad in England where the "Irish car bomb" shots flowed freely among my American friends that I came to appreciate Guinness (but only when accompanied by Bailey's Irish Cream and Jameson Irish Whiskey). With that shot, it really did taste like smooth, creamy chocolate, and we slurped them up at the Waterfront in Norwich like the American's we were in a foreign country.

Aside from the filling shot (and I haven't had one in years), I couldn't come up with a good use for Guinness until I saw Deb post about a chocolate stout cake. It's been on my radar for months but it wasn't until my office decided to throw a Halloween bash this week that I came up with a reason to make it. So I went to the store tonight, bought a pint of Guinness in a can (why does it have that weird ball inside the can at the bottom?) and got to it.

This cake is super easy to make, and since Deb warned that it made a lot of batter, I scooped some into a cupcake pan so that I could give it a try before serving it at the party. All I can say are two things: 1. yum, it makes an excellent dinner, and 2. I can't wait to eat more tomorrow at the office.

I used Deb's halved recipe and it actually looked just like hers, though to stay in the Halloween spirit I tossed a couple candy corn on top for decoration. After this cake I might be sold on using unusual ingredients to create fabulous versions of usual recipes (i.e. Guinness in chocolate cake). What's the next challenge?

Here's hoping the co-workers enjoy! Happy Halloween!

Chocolate Stout Cake
Bon Appetit

1 cup stout (I used Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
6 tbsp. heavy cream
3/4 tsp. instant coffee granules

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter or spray a bundt pan well, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 34 minutes (it took me 45 minutes, so watch the cake). Transfer cake to rack; cool completely in the pan.

For the ganache, melt the chocolate, heavy cream, and coffee granules in the top of a double broiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Drizzle over the top of the cooled cake.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Note: The following is a departure from my usual sweet baking posts to a savory dinner recipe. A friend told me to blog about "meat," so here goes!

Once in a while a weekend rolls around when you just want to stop, press the rewind button, and start over. This was one of those weekends. Since I couldn't find one of those universal remotes a la Adam Sandler in that awful 2006 movie "Click" (what was Christopher Walken thinking??), I did what I do when the going gets tough - went into hyper-drive to distract myself. Admittedly not the most mature or sophisticated way to deal with things, but it gets the job done most of the time. The weather yesterday was terrible, so it wasn't until Izzy and I woke to a gorgeous fall Sunday that the hyper-activity began.

I made coffee and had a piece of apple cake that I threw together on Saturday (I used less sugar this time - still great!). Izzy and I went off to the dog run at the Natural History Museum park. We walked around the Crafts Fair. We tried to go to the farmers market but no dogs allowed at P.S. #44. We went home. I went for an 8 mile run through a blazing Central Park (leaves have turned!). I went back to the farmers market and picked up ingredients for dinner as well as several ornamental cabbages for my winter flower boxes. I planted my new cabbages. I went to the grocery store for last minute fixins (Honey Bee Haagen Dazs included), and then came home to start a 4-hour recipe for pasta bolognese.

A couple weeks ago my friend Nadine made an out-of-this-world dinner for the Cullen contingent of NYC, and I had to have the recipe for her bolognese. I swear I've never had a meat sauce that good outside of a Batali restaurant and she was kind enough to share her secret. Turns out it's from one of my other favorite NYC chef's - Anne Burrell of Centro Vinoteca. I had my birthday dinner there a few years ago and in addition to a fantastic wine list, Anne's small plates are delicious. Seeing her recipe for an uber-reduced bolognese that called for an entire bottle of wine was all it took to settle into my closet-kitchen for a long 4 hours of stirring and reducing (and by 4 hours... I mean close to 6).

This is a hearty, complex, layered meat sauce, and after Annabelle and I scooped into it for supper, I let it go for a while longer on the burner. While cleaning the dishes I licked the spoon I used to ladle it into a fridge-proof bowl... wow. Even better than over my rigatoni a couple hours earlier. All of the Food Network reviewers said it: it's worth the ridiculous amount of time to get the big flavor. I rarely eat pasta at home, but having this in my freezer ready to get into at a moment's notice might change all that.

I don't have a photo of the finished product because it just looks like red meat sauce (a little browner than red) over pasta, so imagine the best bolognese you've had at a restaurant and then double the flavor factor. Totes TDF.

Pasta Bolognese
Anne Burrell, courtesy of the Food Network

1 large onion, or 2 small, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch dice
4 cloves garlic
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 pounds ground chuck, brisket, or round
2 cups tomato paste
3 cups hearty red wine, such as Chianti or Cabernet
3 bay leaves (I left these out)
1 bunch thyme, tied in a bundle
1 pound spaghetti (I used Rigatoni)
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

In a food processor, puree onion, carrots, celery, and garlic into a coarse paste. In a large pan over medium heat, coat pan with oil. Add the pureed veggies and season generously with salt. Bring the pan to a medium-high heat and cook until all the water has evaporated and they become nice and brown, stirring frequently, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the ground beef and season again generously with salt. Brown the beef and don't rush this step. Cook another 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and cook until brown about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the red wine. Cook until the wine has reduced by half, another 4 to 5 minutes.

Add water to the pan until the water is about 1 inch above the meat. Toss in the bay leaves and the bundle of thyme and stir to combine everything. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally. As the water evaporates you will gradually need to add more, about 2 to 3 cups at a time. Don't be shy about adding water during the cooking process, you can always cook it out. This is a game of reduce and add more water. This is where big rich flavors develop. If you try to add all the water in the beginning you will have boiled meat sauce rather than a rich, thick meaty sauce. Stir and TASTE frequently. Season with salt, if needed (you probably will). Simmer for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

During the last 30 minutes of cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat to cook the spaghetti. When the water is at a rolling boil add the spaghetti and cook for 1 minute less than it calls for on the package. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. While the pasta is cooking remove 1/2 of the ragu from the pot and reserve. Drain the pasta and add to the pot with the remaining ragu. Stir or toss the pasta to coat with the sauce. Add some of the reserved sauce, if needed, to make it about an even ratio between pasta and sauce. Add the reserved pasta cooking water and cook the pasta and sauce together over a medium heat until the water has reduced. Turn off the heat and give a big sprinkle of Parmigiano and a generous drizzle of the high quality finishing olive oil. Toss or stir vigorously. Divide the pasta and sauce into serving bowls or 1 big pasta bowl. Top with remaining grated Parmigiano. Serve immediately.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

counter space

Last weekend it wasn't enough that I was surrounded by amazing scenery, peak fall foliage, friendly people, gallons... no, never-ending BARRELS of wine, and no responsibility until Monday. I couldn't just embrace the relaxation and do nothing at the end of a long day of winery visiting and Riesling drinking. Nope. I walked into the Vaala's blue lake house kitchen, took a peek at the enormous island with more counter space than two of my apartments, and saw one thing: pie crust.

It helps that you can't turn around twice up there without running into one darling fruit stand after another (can you believe they trust people to just leave money and take the fruit when no one is there!?). So after passing my 5th "pick your own apples!" sign, I gave my friend a look that said "puhleeeeaase?"

Unfortunately (or fortunately) we were just leaving our 7th winery of the day when the apple farm shut it doors for the evening. We got lucky and a farmers market down the street stayed open for us to grab a bag of 20 Ounces. Having grown up in Western Pennsylvania and worked at an Orchard when I was a kid, I was surprised I'd never heard of 20 Ounce apples (we lived in McIntosh and Empire country), but the label said good for baking so we snatched them up.

A quick trip to the grocery for butter, sugar, and flour (is anything as pure?) was all we needed before heading to the lake to make a Keuka apple pie. When you're at a "second home," whether it's a beach house or lake house, the kitchen is usually stocked with funny things that people leave behind and missing the things you need... like a rolling pin.

Luckily, the pie baking took place on day 2, and on the morning of day 2 there were 3 empty bottles of wine from night 1 sitting on the kitchen counter. And what does an empty wine bottle look like? Ding! The perfect rolling pin for a lake house apple pie.

We lit up the wood stove, threw on layers of flannel, made a pie crust and the rolling began. To be honest, I've never rolled a perfectly round pie crust like I did that night - I might be sold on the wine bottle.

The 20 Ouncer's turned a little applesaucey so I'm not sure how great they are for baking, but the pie was tasty as can be and oh so lake house pretty. This recipe is as real as it gets - 2 cups of flour, a cup and a half of butter, and 4-5 apples. Next time I'm Blackberry/wireless/internet-free, at least I can remember this crust recipe. YUM!

Old-Fashioned All-American Apple Pie
Jasper White's Cooking from New England

2 cups pastry flour (we used all-purpose)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 and 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
about 7 tablespoons of cold water

4-5 freshly picked firm and slightly tart apples
granulated sugar to taste
ground cinnamon to taste
about 3 tablespoons sifted all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, cut into small bits

Mix together the flour and salt. Cut the butter into pieces the size of a walnut. Mix the flour and butter together in a large bowl, using only your hands, until the butter begins to break up.

When the flour has just begun to pick up a little color from the butter, add the water, a bit at a time, and mix until the dough starts to come together. Since the exact amount of water needed will always vary, you have to develop a feel for how much to use.

Remove the dough from the bowl to a floured surface and knead briefly, just until the dough begins to smooth out. Wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate immediately for at least 3o minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Peel and core the apples and slice them about 1/4-inch thick. Toss with sugar and cinnamon to taste with the flour.

When ready to roll out the dough, divide it in half. Place one half on a floured surface, return the other half to the refrigerator. To roll out the dough, form each half into a flat circle and quickly roll it out in the shape required. Always roll the dough very thin (about 1/4 inch). Line the pie plan with one half and set aside the second half for the upper crust. Refrigerate until ready to use.

When assembling the pie, fill the pie with the apple slices, mounding them somewhat in the center. Dot with butter. Roll out the second half of the dough and lay on top of the pie. Wet the edges where the two crusts join, to form a seal. Using your thumb and index finger, crimp them together. Make vents for steam to escape.

Place in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour or until golden brown. The smell will tell you when it is ready. Serve while still warm.

Monday, October 19, 2009

flx, new york

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a farmer and an astronaut. I saw that movie Space Camp ('86) and wanted to be Lea Thompson, up in space before my time with an injured Kate Capshaw, trying to find more oxygen and a way home to Earth. When that didn't happen, I became a competitive horseback rider (show jumping, thank you), listened to Reba McIntyre, volunteered at FarmAid, and took my Birkenstock-and-designer-jeans-wearing self to a preppy (but fabulous) liberal arts school in Ohio to study poetry from a poet with a "healthy awareness of the physical or emotional connections between humans and nature." 4-years later, I left with an expensive poetry degree and a wonder for the environment that helped lead me to the Finger Lakes wine region of New York state last weekend (well, OK... a good friend that I hadn't seen in 5-years and the promise of "industry discount" wine tastings helped pull the trigger on the flight to Rochester).

What ensued was a weekend full of... well, total awesomeness. Even though it's mid-October, Central Park stays pretty green with trees full of leaves until well past early "fall." So when my puddle-jumper prop plane dropped below the clouds above Rochester, the fall foliage was a total shock. Trees! LOTS of them. With colors ranging from gold to maple to crimson and everything in between. We drove from the ROC to Keuka Lake, and started our wine tasting tour with abandon. First of all, it SNOWED on Friday. I literally thought the shock of fresh air and vast horizon had me seeing things, but it really snowed.

The first stop was Hunt Country Vineyards, where my friend Dave has worked for the past couple years doing wine tastings in the tasting room. Johnny D lead us through tasty whites and smooth reds with a pairing of perfectly scrumptious local cheeses (best breakfast ever!), and we strolled into the winery for a tour and barrel tasting from the winemaker himself. We visited 3 more wineries that day on Keuka Lake (Dr. Konstantin Frank, Heron Hill, and Ravines) and were graciously invited by Jonathan Hunt (Hunt Country Vineyards' winemaker) and Caroline Boutard-Hunt (organic gardener-extraordinaire) to their home for dinner.

Dinner was deeelicious (homemade beef stew, fresh-from-the-farm mixed green salad, cheesy polenta I could have eaten for days - the polenta was from Caroline's parents farm in Oregon - and stuffed apples with Corn Hill Creamery Tahitian vanilla ice cream for dessert). We paired the meal with red wine and an amazing Cream Sherry that I'm now obsessed with (we killed the bottle), and I couldn't have been happier to spend the time with such kind people.

On Saturday we got up and made the long drive to Seneca Lake's Grist Mill to start the day with to-die-for egg sandwiches on homemade buttermilk biscuits. Um. Yum. From there we had our most epic wine-tasting day, hitting up 7 wineries in under 5 hours (Red Newt, Lamoreaux Landing, Lakewood, Hermann J. Wiemer, Anthony Road, Red Tail Ridge, and Fox Run) and purchasing a case of the areas finest Riesling's and Gewurtztraminer's, with a splurge on a fantastic Late Harvest Chardonnay at Hermann J. Wiemer. We re-fueld with Italian food and more NY wine at Esperanza Mansion and got into some late-night Tawny Port from Fox Run back at the lake house (amazing) before hitting the sack as wine-tasting rock stars.

On Sunday we woke to SUN and a gorgeous blue sky, and headed to Keuka Springs for our last pre-noon tasting. The afternoon finished with a long walk through Hunt Country's property before I exercised my well-stretched credit card and bought just shy of another case from my new-favorite east coast family vineyard. In California it's Talley Vineyards but in New York State the Hunt family has my wine-loving heart.

It was a great getaway that left me feeling miles from Manhattan ready to dig out my Birk's, throw on overalls and join Caroline and her friend Heather in the garden, and the flight home was bittersweet. But a friend put it best today: love it or hate it Manhattan is home for now, and everyone likes a good sleep in their own bed and a return to familiarity - even if dreams are filled with barking farm dogs and the rounded hay bales of Upstate New York.

p.s. Special thanks to the Vaala family for letting me crash and being the perfect hosts!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

tied with a bow

I've recently become a believer that good things can come in small packages. As I'm sure you've realized already, I'm typically a "more is better" kind of gal. More life-changing vacations that I can't really afford (maybe South Africa next year?). More good wine than I should probably drink (more on this after my Finger Lakes trip this coming weekend). More plans with friends than I have time to fit in (I'm a terrible over-extender). More (and bigger) goals to work towards (Mt. Rainier tops my 2010 list - bring on the crampons!).

But lately I'm making a concentrated effort to embrace the smaller gifts for what they are. In the past year I've gotten so wrapped up in the bigger events, decisions, and general life "plans" that I haven't paid enough attention to what's right in front of me. So, I'm changing my perspective to focus more on the little every day gifts that shape my life. This blog was a start -- a small step on the way to my bigger plan of owning my own bakery. And, your comments are my little gifts. You create a blog and put it out into the cyber-world and know for a fact that a few of your friends read it (because you make a point to send it to them on a daily basis), but that's kind of all you can expect. What's such a gift are the comments and sweet emails from old friends, new friends and fellow-foodie lovers (future friends!) telling me they're enjoying what I'm doing as much as I'm enjoying doing it. So thanks for the props!

Other small-package gifts I've noticed lately:
1. Flowers in my flower boxes surviving against all odds
2. My puppy dog stalking squirrels the Central Park
3. Rainbow carrots and turnips at the farmer's market in Union Square
4. The discovery of Dunkin' Donuts caramel latte lite's (OMG, so yum -- and this coming from a Starbucks girl)

In the spirit of good things in small packages, I dug out that fabulous Apple Galette recipe from a few weeks back and modified it into hand-pies, the perfect on-the-go fall snack. I also added sliced pears to the apple mix for a little surprise in the middle.

I told you how well I rocked the pate brisee for my last galette... umm I did it again. And this time, instead of 1 1/2 sticks of butter, I subbed in a 1/4 cup of vegetable shortening. At a Pies & Tarts class I took at Whole Foods on Bowery, they mentioned that layering the "fats" gets you the flakey pie crusts that we all try for -- they're right!

Use the same recipe for the pate brisee from my galette, and follow these directions (taken from SmittenKitchen's adaptation of Martha Stewart's recipe). It bakes up quite a few pies, so share the love -- it might just be the small package that someone needs to realize their own good little things.

Apple & Pear Hand Pies

On a lightly floured work surface, roll one half of dough into a large rectangle, about 1/8-inch thick. Using a 5-inch cookie cutter, cut out 6 rounds. Transfer rounds to prepared baking sheet.

Place apple and pear slices onto one-half of each round, overlapping slices. Lightly brush egg around the edge of the covered half of each round. Fold remaining dough over to enclose, forming a half moon. Gently press edges together to seal. Brush the tops of each pie with egg. Using a paring knife, slash the top of each pie. Sprinkle generously with sanding sugar.

Bake at 375 F until golden brown.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

hold on tight, spidermonkey

This is the post where I'm really glad that you don't know my real identity. I mean... the three of you out there who read my blog who aren't my close friends don't know who I really am... right?

You see, there was once this teen sensation called Twilight... which lead to a series of 500-page novels... which lead to a low-budget movie... which re-introduced us all to Robert Pattinson after his brief Harry Potter stint. And that re-introduction lead to a world-wide hysteria that hit even the most unsuspecting victims: young, smart, stylish, professional, business women. Even women in New York City. It just so happens that my friends (and let's be honest, myself) fall into this category of fabulousness, so it wasn't long after the 4-book saga ended, the movie was played and re-played, and the Robert Pattison posters were hung in cubicles, that a group of us realized the best party theme idea ever: Twilight.

Clearly this exclusive fete will only include the most die-hard fans, will not include the men in our lives that mock us, and has got to be a party Alice Cullen would be proud of. The hostess is making Italian food ("Molto Bene!"), we're playing Debussy in the background ("Clair de Lune is great"), we're serving blood-red wine, and we're all wearing flannel shirts and galoshes (because Bella hates the cold rain in Forks, WA). Next on the agenda is fading my tan to vampire-pale and growing out my hair for the November 19th midnight showing of New Moon. Because we're obviously going. And I obviously already have my ticket.

In the meantime, for my contribution to this week's party I thought long and hard. Other than a fantastic bottle of Hunt Country Cabernet Franc 2007 paired with a Camembert to die for, my hostess asked me to bring... what else? Dessert. She knows me too well.

Even though the Cullen's don't eat people-food, there will be a few hot-blooded females ready to chow, so I thought of a dessert party-favor that even the most fanatical fan could appreciate. When James is after Bella in Twilight, Esme and Rosalie don Bella's clothes and head north to throw James off Bella's trail (who is headed South). They rub her clothes on trees in the forest, leaving her scent for James to follow. So, what am I making? Chocolate bark! One that everyone will love to smell (and we humans will love to eat).

I tested this recipe last week and over-did it a little on the nuts, so I upped the chocolate in this batch. I dunno kids, chocolate bark might be my new go-to hostess gift. It's simple, tasty, looks great in a clear cellophane bag wrapped in ribbon, and has countless adaptations to try. I can't wait to break up candy canes for holiday-ready peppermint bark in the coming months. I used apricots and raisins, but dried cherries and hazelnuts (like in the original Southern Living recipe) would be divine. Use whatever's in your pantry and send me your combinations!

Chocolate Almond Bark
adapted from Southern Living

1/2 cup almonds, sliced
1/3 cup dried apricots, coursely chopped
1/4 cup raisins, coursely chopped
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli)

Slice almonds and coursely chop dried fruit. Combine in medium bowl.

Place chocolate in a microwave-safe measuring cup. Microwave on HIGH 1 minute or until chocolate melts, stirring every 15 seconds. Add to nut mixture, stiffing just until combined. Spread mixture evenly on a jelly-roll pan lined with foil; freeze 1 hour.

Break into pieces; serve immediately. Yield: about 12 ounces, serving size 1 oz.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


When you live on Manhattan island, you pretty much have the world at your finger tips (or at least within 3 blocks). Local deli's carry anything you'd need, there's a Starbucks on every other corner, and dry cleaners seem to pop up faster than fleas on a puppy dog. When I first moved to the city I remember being completely disgusted by friends who wouldn't leave the island for months on end. Didn't they feel claustrophobic? How could they possibly stay in Manhattan without a weekend trip away to breathe fresh air and eye some greenery? It's such a phenomenon that Candace Bushnell addressed it on Sex & The City when Carrie met "Manhattan Guy"... a seemingly normal bloke who hadn't left the island in 10 years because there was nothing "out there" worth seeing.

I obviously don't subscribe to this methodology (if you don't believe me, get ready for dozens of out-of-town posts coming in the next couple months), but I do agree that you can stay Manhattan-bound without necessarily trying for weeks at a time if you don't pay attention. I found a really good reason to trek out to Park Slope, Brooklyn today (from the UWS it might as well be Siberia) and made an afternoon trip to Red Hook to check out Oprah's "favorite" brownies at Baked on Van Brunt Street. After a yummy brunch at Hope & Anchor, we opted for a giant chocolate chip cookie at Baked (we'll go back for the brownies, FOR SURE) and I snagged their famous Mountain Blend granola before heading down the street to walk the waterfront.

Turns out Brooklyn's pretty cool (MAL: don't start with me). I had a really fun day of exploring... and, with no expectations of what was there, Red Hook impressed me with its culture, diversity, and street vendors near the ball fields. I can't wait to go back for tacos and fried plantains!

Like Red Hook, this recipe is impressive. It seems so easy (maybe even uninteresting) but the crispy caramel cookies are addicting - beware! The ingredients are already in your pantry and the dough can be defrosted as-needed if you don't want to have a full batch too handy for snacking (but I bet you will).

P.S. The wine in the background of my fridge photo is TDF (to die for). The vineyard gives a description of "floral & mineral notes; hints of pears," but my description is "extreeeemely tasty." A friend of mine works at Hunt Country Vineyards, so look for more tasting notes after I pay him a visit up north in a couple weeks :)

Caramel Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar, dark
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (I used all-purpose)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 400 F. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar, egg and vanilla extract. Add remaining ingredients and beat thoroughly.

Scape dough out of bowl and onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Roll dough into a log, about 2 1/2 inches wide; completely wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 20 minutes or overnight (I put mine in the freezer for an hour).

Cut dough into 1/8-inch thick slices and arrange on several large ungreased cookie sheets about 1 to 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until lightly browned around edges, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet for about 1 minute and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
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