Bananas Foster Gelato Recipe

I submitted this recipe to Better Homes and Gardens Magazine and won first place for the August 2009 dessert contest. In order to claim the prize money I had to sign away the copyright, so I don't think I can write the recipe here, but here is the link!!

Bananas Foster Gelato Recipe

ETA:  This recipe ended up winning the 2009 overall $10,000 grand prize!  Wow!  

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Double chocolate chip cooke recipe!!

These are my favorite cookies EVER. I make a double batch and bake a dozen. Then I roll the rest into half-ounce (1 tablespoon) balls, lay them out a baking sheet and freeze them. Once they are set I just put them in a zip top bag or a washed-out bulk yogurt container and leave them in the freezer. Then just bake as many or as few as you want so you always have fresh baked cookies!! You'll need to increase the baking time 1-2 minutes depending on the size, but leave the oven temperature at 375. Please enjoy!!

Ingredients:
2+1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon table (not kosher) salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter*
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 ounces unsweetened solid chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

1 12 oz bag chocolate chips**

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Melt solid chocolate***. Set aside to cool slightly but not resolidify.
3. Cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar****.
4. Incorporate the melted and cooled chocolate.
5. Add the shelled eggs one at time.
6. Add the vanilla extract.
7. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
8. With mixer on low speed, slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Scrape down the mixer paddle and bowl and continue to mix just until the flour is all incorporated. Do not overmix.
9. Incorporate chocolate chips on low speed until just combined. Do not over mix.
10. Place batter on a baking sheet in the portion you want, 1/2 ounce for mini cookies, 3 oz for large cookies, giving space to spread.
11. Place sheet in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to chill*****.
12. Bake at 375 for 9-11 minutes depending on size for crisp cookies and 7-8 minutes for chewy cookies.

* If you are using salted butter make sure to decrease the salt to 1/2 teaspoon, but do not omit completely. You need the salt as a counterpoint to the richness of the chocolate. Make sure to take the butter out of the fridge about 20-60 minutes before you need it, depending on ambient temperature. You want to be able to beat it in the mixer, but it should not be soft.

** You don't have to stick with just semi-sweet chips, try white chocolate or even peanut butter chips. You can also use crushed candy bars like Heath toffee or Butterfinger, or candies such as M&M's or Reese's pieces!

*** You can melt the chocolate in the microwave instead of a double boiler, but be careful because even when it's fully melted, solid chocolate can hold its shape and still appear solid. Microwave in 10 second increments and stir it around a bit with a toothpick until it's smooth. Depending on your microwave this will take 20-40 seconds or so.

**** Do not rush or skip this step. Although you have baking soda, most of the leavening power of the batter comes from this step. When you cream the butter with the sugar, the sugar crystals punch holes the butter and aerate it. This is also why the butter needs to be not too hard but not too soft. If it is too melty the butter can't support the air pockets. These air pockets expand during the baking giving the cookie its lift and volume.

***** Do not rush or skip this step either or your cookies will spread too much and be flat as crepes. Alternatively, you can roll the dough into a log in parchment paper and slice off the cookies.

P.S. You could use kosher salt, but because the crystals are larger, you will get little 'pops' of saltiness. Which may be something you are interested in. If so, try it!!