Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Guilty pleasures: chocolate chip cookies

I'm sitting at a stop light. I fiddle with my Blackberry...then quickly put it down because I know it's not safe... (even while stopped at a stop light). I scan my mirrors to see if a police car is nearby, all the while coming up with excuses for what I was doing: "Just checking the time, Officer." or "Wasn't me" As I steal a  glance over my right shoulder I catch my little girl, T, sitting in her car seat with her right finger knuckle deep in her left nostril. The look on her face says it all: Nirvana.

I wink at my little ray of sunshine and telepathically tell her to enjoy this while she can because you just can't do stuff like this when you're an adult. I know she hears me because she unplugs her finger from her left nostril and continues on to her right. Smiling and humming to herself like someone who has just  gotten away with something naughty: like poking a wet finger in the sugar bowl when no one is looking. 

I know the light will turn green any second. Surreptitiously I gaze out of my window to my left and catch the woman in the car next me guessed it: picking her nose.

A guilty pleasure that knows no age limit.
I outgrew nose-picking at an early age, but I have never been able to shake my sweet tooth.
Tame it perhaps, but not shake it.

And so after our noses were cleared and our hands washed, we made cookies.

 Salted Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies  by David Lebovitz.
* this recipe is taken directly from David Lebovitz's blog

Makes two dozen cookies.

2/3 cup packed (110g) dark or light brown sugar
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup (180g) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt or kosher salt
1 1/3 cups (200g) coarsely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1 cup toasted nuts, coarsely chopped
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or by hand, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar just until smooth and creamy.
2. Beat in the egg and the vanilla.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
4. Stir the flour mixture into the beaten butter until combined, then mix in the chopped chocolate (including any chocolate dust) and the chopped nuts.
5. Cover and chill the batter until firm. (It’s preferable to let it rest overnight.)
6. To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
7. Form the cookie dough into rounds about the size of a large unshelled walnut. Place the mounds evenly spaced apart on the baking sheets, and press down the tops to flatten them so they are no longer domed and the dough is even.
8. Bake the cookies for ten minutes, rotating the baking sheet midway during baking, until the cookies look about set, but are not browned.
9. Remove from the oven and quickly tap the top of each with a spatula, then return to the oven for two to five more minutes, until the tops of the cookies are light golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cookies cool.
Storage: The cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to five days in an airtight container. The dough can be refrigerated for up to one week or frozen for one or two months.

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