Chocolate chip cookies and coffee must be a match made in cookie heaven, agree? I decided to combine the best of both worlds for Valentine’s, using the Recipe of the Year from King Arthur Flour® and Zojirushi’s newest coffee maker. The King Arthur Flour company claims to have baked over 1200 cookies to perfect this chocolate chip cookie recipe, and used over 38 pounds of butter in the process.
I was worried about the cookie dough spreading out into an unrecognizable blob when it baked, so I simply baked them right in the mold. All it took was greasing the sides of each cutter, then baking like any batch of cookies.
If you like your cookies on the cakey side, this recipe is for you—you can find it on their site. I like mine chewy more than cakey, so I’ve had better IMHO. But they go great with coffee, so let’s segue into my new coffee maker, shall we?
First impressions — Zojirushi didn’t mess around with the design; it’s compact as can be for a 12-cup coffee maker. Fantastic use of optimal height, width and depth in a no-nonsense, sleek, small footprint design. I was happy to see a setting for brewing small amounts of coffee, which I experimented with immediately for my first test. I used grounds that I consider to be a cut above old school 1st wave but lower than craft coffee 3rd wave. If you’re a coffee snob you’ll know what I mean, and you’re probably into a 4th wave yourself.
I brewed only 4 cups, and the coffee was delicious! I tested the Taste Tuner feature that controls the brew strength and that worked too, turning my mid-level coffee beans into a pretty rich blend. I love the sound of percolating coffee.
A few years ago I reviewed my Zojirushi Breadmaker by baking a crazy looking Rainbow Bread with it, kinda going overboard with the food coloring in the process. I decided to tone it down for this Valentine’s, but not by much — ha ha!
I just used the Homemade Course on my Breadmaker to make the dough first, then flattened it out and rolled the two colors together as tightly as I could.
The Homemade Course allows you the time to do this step in between the knead and rise cycle, so when you’re done you simply put the dough back into the baking pan and start the baking cycle again. I would advise you take out the kneading blade at this point because it’s no longer kneaded (get it?). You want to minimize the hole at the bottom of your bread.
Bake according to regular White Bread instructions and the Breadmaker does the rest. Look…look into my bread…are you getting sleepy? Watch the pretty pink spirals go round and round and round. When you wake up you can eat it for breakfast; trust me, it’ll be delicious.
What do you guys have planned for Valentine’s? How about a picnic or a brisk hike in the woods; maybe you have kids who play sports like we did and you spend a lot of time following them around, sitting on cold metal bleachers while you watch them for hours. The good ‘ol days! I don’t regret them — it was fun. We didn’t have Zojirushi Food Jars back then, but I wish we did. We would have made clam chowder like here, and packed a hot soup snack.
I’m not gonna lie, I was already expecting the thermal insulation to be top notch (it’s Zojirushi after all), but I didn’t expect it to blow me away like it did. We heated and packed this soup in the afternoon at around 2pm, and we had it for dinner at 6:30. It was literally too hot to eat without blowing on it to keep it from burning my tongue. Maybe it was the type of soup too—clam chowder is thick and retains heat well. We also pre-heated the food jars which also probably helped.
Are these the perfect His & Her food jars? These might be the best designed jars that Zojirushi has made yet—minimalistic yet very sleek, in muted colors for sophisticated boys and girls. Lots of features in these new food jars; a better insulated, one-piece lid that’s easier to clean, and it’s designed to relieve the pressure build-up from hot foods when you open it. I even liked the octagonal packaging. Pretty cool.
Well, that’s it for me this month–have a great Valentine’s everyone!
Please note that these recipes were not tested by Zojirushi America.
All images by Bert Tanimoto ©2024