Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Double Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies & Shake Shack Burgers: A NYC Weekend

I spent this past weekend in New York City with three of my best girl friends from school to celebrate our friend Dana’s birthday. The morning I left, I made a gigantic batch of these double chocolate chip peanut butter cookies, bringing half for Dana and leaving the other half for my other friend’s surprise party I had to miss. We lucked out with some beautiful weather, fun nights out, and an all around fantastic trip. New York can be dirty, unpleasant, and overwhelming, but it’s truly one of a kind.

There are thousands of hole-in-the-wall restaurants, each one better than the next. On Saturday, we took a leap of faith and tried a Venezuelan restaurant, suggested by Dana’s sister. This was a first for everyone, and it didn’t disappoint. Venezuelan food is awesome! It got me even more excited to dive into South American cuisine in a few weeks when I’m in Argentina. Here are a few photos from our meal.

Yoyos (fried plantains stuffed with white cheese)
Arepas (corn flour buns grilled and baked with shredded beef, black beans, fried plantains, and white cheese)
The biggest food adventure of the weekend was my relentless search for Shake Shack. If you haven’t heard of Shake Shack, then you need to get on your game. I discovered it about a month ago when my boyfriend sent me a link to this article from Serious Eats. It describes a lengthy competition between In-and-Out Burger (from Cali), Five Guys (based in DC), and Shake Shack, a newly emerging high-end fast food burger joint in NYC. The judges unanimously agreed on Shake Shack as the clear winner, and ever since I’ve been fantasizing about its juicy goodness.

Saying this burger did not disappoint would be a gross understatement. I waited with my two friends Garam and Shai for a full hour in a horrendous line and missed our 5:30 Chinatown bus back to Boston. (Luckily we caught the 5:45.) This burger is absolutely the most delicious, juicy, beefy, saucy creation I have ever had the pleasure of consuming. Do yourself a favor and book a ticket to New York ASAP – just be prepared to stand in line, and remember good things come to those who wait.

And now, what you’ve most likely been waiting for, (unless you already skipped this and went straight to the bottom of this page), my recipe for double chocolate peanut butter cookies. Enjoy!

Double Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies
Makes: 2 dozen cookies  Prep: 10 minutes  Total: 20 minutes

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups chocolate chips 
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup peanut butter

Preheat oven to 375. Combine butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Stir dry ingredients, including cocoa powder and peanut butter, into the bowl and mix well. Add eggs one at a time, then chocolate chips and mix until the dough is light and fluffy.
Scoop tablespoon-sized spoonfuls of dough, roll into a ball and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool before serving.

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