Saturday, February 6, 2010
I won't lie. I don't usually bake my own chocolate chip cookies. I buy them at the grocery store. The truth is, when I bake, I'm almost always disappointed with the outcome. I lack the scientific precision with which to guarantee positive results. I don't really commit to the baking process because I'm too busy enjoying it. The measuring is haphazard because I'm distracted by the smoothness of the flour, or the beauty of the salt crystals as they catch some of the natural light that streams into my kitchen. The stirring is over-zealous because I want every last chocolate chip to burrow itself deep within the dough. The baking is uneven because I just can't help myself from peeking in at the cookie sheet.
But as I've mentioned before, I'm trying to mend my ways. I'm avoiding shortcuts and I'm trying to learn how to fail with grace rather than not try at all. Life has not been very easy lately. There have been upsets and illnesses and circumstances beyond my control that have chipped away at my usually positive outlook. I've noticed the conspicuous absence of wonder and delight at the small things that used to cheer me. The startling colours of dusk; the sweet spot of my dog's head where I always kiss her, right between her eyes, with the faintest hint of my fruity lipgloss lingering. A song that hits just the right note of my mood; the rise and fall of Almost Husband's breathing as he sleeps, my own personal lullaby.
This is why I started a blog; not because the world needs one more blogger recycling and adapting recipes, but to keep track of the smallest of accomplishments. A recipe created or followed, a tangible result of my efforts to infuse my life with more colour, more flavour, more wonder.
So today, several hours before our friends come over for cheese and wine and conversation, I decided to make some chocolate chip cookies from scratch, despite a trip to the grocery store with its packages of perfectly respectable cookies luring me. I went to Smitten Kitchen for a recipe and decided to go with this one. The end result was a soft, chewy and brazenly chocolatey cookie that begs for an accompanying glass of milk and a quiet moment to wash it down with.
The recipe calls for unsalted butter. I only noticed that after I'd already made them with salted butter and noticed the slightly salty tang. I kind of enjoyed it, to be honest. It's up to you.
Smitten Kitchen's Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1 egg yolk
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 325° F and grease a cookie sheet
2. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
3. Combine the melted butter, brown and white sugars and mix till creamy.
4. Mix in the vanilla, egg and egg yolk till smooth. Add the dry ingredients and beat in till just combined.
5. Mix in the chocolate chips by hand. Scoop out a tablespoon of dough onto cookie sheet and bake in middle rack for approximately 7-10 minutes, or until golden and browning on the edges. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack or plate before transferring them to an airtight container, if they make it that far.