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  1. If you are close to a Trader Joe’s, their block chocolate (they are not enormous) is very good for the price. I have heard it is made for them by a well known high quality chocolate manufacturer (Callebaut maybe?).
  2. Has nobody else tried these amazing cookies?
  3. Have not tried it yet, but they published a version with weights instead of volumes. https://covalent-hiltoncf.s3.amazonaws.com/DoubleTree/Brand-comms/2020/Q2/DoubleTree-Signature-Cookie-Recipe-Metric.pdf
  4. Wegman’s has an absolutely wonderful chocolate-chocolate chip cookie, that they call “chocolate indulgence.” They sell it in the bulk cookie area, but when I look online it appears they also sell what appears to be the same cookie in packages of 2, link below. I never saw it packaged in the store. I had purchased them several times before I found out they were gluten-free (uses oat flour). It is crispy on the outside and fudgey on the inside, and deeply chocolate flavored, not overly sweet. After 15 seconds in the microwave, it is even more amazing, when the chips melt. Among the best cookies ever, especially for someone who loves dark chocolate. Half a cookie satisfies a chocolate craving for several days. Since we are not going to the store often these days, I’d love to make something similar but have not been able to locate a similar recipe on the internet. I have done very little gluten-free baking so do not feel confident reverse-engineering it. Does anyone have a recipe that is similar, especially if you have tried the Wegman’s cookie and know what I’m going for? I’m not tied to the idea of gluten free - we eat gluten - but I suspect that may be part of the way they get the texture. I have not baked with oat flour, so have no idea of proportions. This is the link that I found - I think it is the same cookie, although it looks darker in real life, the color of a very dark chocolate. https://shop.wegmans.com/product/59520/wegmans-chocolate-indulgence-cookie-2-pk. Ingredients: Sugar, Cacao, Eggs, Butter, Oat Flour, Cocoa Butter, 2% or less of each: Water, Natural Flavor, Sunflower Lecithin, Leavening (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda), Cornstarch, Salt, Coffee.
  5. Any update? I’m assuming it is called off or potentially delayed, as I cannot see it being safe or advisable to travel any time soon.
  6. Has there been any discussion about cancelling this year due to COVID-19? Although I do plan to wait before making a decision, the CDC is recommending cancelling unnecessary travel. I think it is something we need to at least be talking about. We are less than 2 weeks behind Italy in the trajectory of the disease.
  7. I use two nested stainless steel bowls, a heat gun from the hardware store, and a dedicated wooden spoon. Works great, and unlike some of the commercial roasters, I can both see and hear the roasting beans. Takes me about 15 minutes - I usually sit on the porch with a podcast or some music. I’m building a slightly more sophisticated set up with a large hand crank flour sifter, aforementioned heat gun, a wooden frame and maybe eventually, an electric drill to turn the crank.
  8. I took a class with Ciril Hitz but not KAF. I think Ciril used to do some of the KAF classes - not sure if he still does. It was a fun class. It was a general bread baking class, and we made several different breads. He showed us lots of techniques for shaping the dough, and we all left with a bunch of great breads. He was an enthusiastic, engaging teacher. I would happily take a class from him again. We happened to be on the way to a vacation in MA, and the timing was perfect to do the class on the way to our vacation.
  9. Thanks for all the suggestions. Szechuan book is on pre-order. I got some of the crunchy sauce - yummy and some similarities but chunkier and less sweet than what we had in the restaurant. I’m going to play with some of the recipes posted. I may be wrong about the presence of Szechuan pepper but if it was there is was minor compared to the chilis. I didn’t get the numbing sensation. But I may add a little when I experiment.
  10. I don’t think so, assuming you are talking about the standard “sweet soy sauce.” Again, quite complex, with spices I could not identify. What you mention sounds yummy, but more more simple than what we ate. Thanks! I’ll look into this! We have two Szechuan restaurants in our area, and both are pretty good at times but inconsistent in quality. So I’d like to be able to do more at home.
  11. On review, it looks like the homemade version on serious eats has a larger variety of spices than the stuff in the jar, and may be closer to what we tried. I’m planning to hit a couple local Asian markets this week and give that recipe a try. Thanks! As as an aside, any suggestions for a good Szechuan cookbook would also be appreciated!
  12. I think that may be a starting point. I think I have had that before, and I will see about getting a jar and starting there. As I remember, the sauce in the jar is pretty much straight savory. The one in the restaurant was mildly sweet, tempering the spice a bit, and more complex than I remember that sauce.
  13. On our way home on vacation, we went to a Szechuan restaurant in Fairfield, CT, called Shu. There were a couple appetizers (a rolled scallion pancake and a dumpling) that were served with an amazing sauce that I would love to replicate. It was spicy, but I think the spice all came from red peppers, not Szechuan “numbing” peppers - I didn’t get the numbing sensation, just standard red pepper burn. The sauce was fairly oily and very red/orange, but complex and mildly sweet. Definitely garlicky, maybe some ginger (the garlic predominated), and some other savory spices I could not identify. It also smelled wonderful. My main dish was not as good as the apps, and I ended up using some of this wonderful stuff on my rice. For those who know more about Szechuan food than I, does this sound like a sauce you know of? I’d prefer not to wait until our annual MA beach vacation to eat this again!
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