Cook’s Cookies: chocolate chip

This is the absolute best chocolate chip cookie ever! Cook’s Illustrated May/June 2009 calls it “The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie.” I must agree. The only adaptation I make is using dark chocolate chips and not making them as big. The Cook’s way makes 16; I make 36.

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

I baked these at 350 degrees F. I just reviewed the recipe and it said for 375. Oh well!

This is the secret: heat and lightly brown 10 tablespoons of the butter being careful not to burn. This will take 3-5 minutes. Swirl pan during this time, or stir. Pour this into the mixer bowl and add the rest of the butter; stir until it is melted.

Add both sugars to the bowl along with the salt and vanilla. Whisk (I am using a beater here) until fully incorporated. Then add the egg and egg yolk and mix for 30 seconds. Let rest for 3 minutes. This is a bit fussy but is worth it. Do this 30 second/3 minute rest two more times. Stir in flour mixture and then chips and nuts.

I spooned heaping tablespoons of dough onto parchment lined baking pans. And baked them for 9 minutes. Let them set on the pan for one minute before removing to wire racks to cool.

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I have tried the browning of the butter in other chocolate chip cookie recipes but it does not come out the same. When I first made these my son enjoyed the batter so much he wanted me to make some of the cookies without the chocolate chips!

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Chocolate Chip Walnut Loaf with Craisins, and some thoughts

Here are some thoughts…

  • Sometimes I think that there are no more unique recipes or ways to prepare ordinary food. And then I read food blogs…
  • I have too many cookbooks so I get stymied in my search for cooking and baking. Too many choices.
  • I was standing over the compost bucket disassembling a k-cup having images of my mother putting all the food scraps in a coffee tin to throw into the garden. She did not have the luxury of a compost service like I have. But there I was “channeling Mom”.
  • How does one simplify the kitchen supplies without giving away something I will need later?
  • Sometimes I don’t feel like cooking even though I am home from work a full hour or more before Hubby. I would like to take a weeknight or weekend afternoon to cook for the week. But I am concerned that I would then not want to eat what has been prepared! And camping season is arriving so my weekends should be spent camping.
  • I need to get three years of pictures off my phone and computer. And organize them in some way. I can’t always remember how to get to the “cloud”.
  • I want to get back to writing my memoirs and organizing them so that my kids can have my thoughts for posterity someday in the future, a long way into the future, when I am gone.
  • Writing is a creative outlet that I need to discipline myself to fit into my daily or weekly schedule. And regular exercise, and meditation, and prayer, and reading, and sewing, and all sorts of things I want in my life…!
  • I also am thrilled that there are those of you out there who read what I write!

Now for cake. This is a recipe that I found in one of my UK published cook books. I made it once before and it broke apart coming out of the pan. The recipe instructed to grease the loaf pan and sprinkle with sugar. Just so you know this does not work well with a stoneware loaf pan. This time I greased the pan, floured it, and put a rectangle of parchment paper in just to be on the safe side. I am pleased to say that the loaf came out of the pan in one piece. Yay!

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The recipe:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • grated rind of one lemon (I used a 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract because I did not have a lemon on hand. I did use the zest in the first loaf I made.0
  • 2 Tablespoons currents or raisins (I used Craisins.)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 Tablespoons chocolate chips

Sift the dry ingredients together. Cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time beating after each one. To this I added the vanilla and lemon extracts. Add the dry ingredients in three batches. Do not over mix. Then fold in the goodies. I used a combination of the three to an equal of one cup, so a little more than what is listed.

Spread in prepared loaf pan, 9 x 5 inch. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before turning out of the pan onto a wire rack.

I never let something like this cool before cutting and eating. It is quite tasty and not too sweet.

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A mind at rest. Hah!

So I caught hubby’s cold and after one night of no sleep due to scratchy throat; the second night I slept very well and woke up rested. Still have a cold but not bad enough to stay home from work. I actually have some energy that morning. I get out chicken, cut up potatoes, carrots, onion and celery and throw this in the crockpot along with a sprinkling of Herbs de Provence (just because it was on the counter) and some apple cider (because I had been thinking about cooking chicken with cider). I will add green beans when I come home from work and that’s dinner.

About the middle of the afternoon my cold hits me full force. I sound like I have a cold. You can hear me breathe. I am sniffling into my tissues, drinking hot tea, and thinking I will take a nap when I get home. I’ll curl up on the sofa and read my library book. It is due back at the library next week. Dinner is already made in the crock pot.

So I get home from work and change into comfy clothes. I prepare my book and my box o’ tissues. And here’s what I going through my mind:

The bed sheets need changing. I wonder if I should do a load of laundry? Cat box needs cleaning. Did the cats eat their food this morning? Where is Squeaky? Foodimentary says its National Boston Cream Pie day: do I have anything to make cream filling with? Should I? A friend posted that she doesn’t like Boston Cream Pie. What should I make of that? I need to embroider something over the stain on the front of this favorite sweatshirt. The hairs on my chin need to be tweezed (you older women will relate; you young women will go “hunh?”). I should look at my pattern book to make clothes for granddaughter. How come there’s no mail today? And then I have a sneezing fit! Wash the hands yet one more time.

So here’s what the body does: Cleans the cat box. Wash hands. Pulls the sheets off the bed. Sorts laundry into two baskets and puts one load in the washer. Wash hands. When I got out the chicken this morning I found cookie dough in the freezer. I take the cookie dough and wonder why I made this. It appears to be a plain sugar cookie. I put green beans in the crock pot. Wash hands. I remove two of the chicken leg quarters from the crock pot and remove meat from bone and put it in a freezer bag so I can make chicken soup sometime in the future. Wash hands. I read some blogs while preheating the oven to bake cookies. I wash the few containers from my lunch so hubby doesn’t find dishes in the sink when he comes home. I slice the cookie dough. I find some chocolate chips and think about making a glaze for the cookies to fancy them up. And then I do.

cookies 001 cookies 002I did not make a glaze. What I did was put a few chocolate chips on the hot cookies as they came out of the oven, I covered the pan briefly with another cookie sheet, and then I spread the melted chocolate chips on the cookie, and voila!

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I really should eat that messy one there in front. Hmmmm?

Meanwhile hubby calls saying he is on his way home from work and not to worry about dinner. Little does he know it‘s all taken care of.