There are many wonderful things about living alone-you can have dessert for dinner, you can dance to Justin Timberlake while making dessert for dinner and you can spend a rainy Sunday lying on the couch catching up on a week’s worth of “All My Children.” Not that I would ever do any of those things, I’m just saying. Yet, at the same time there are instances when someone else might be of use.
Like a few nights ago I had this really weird headache. Kind of like someone was snapping a rubber band at my skull in the exact same place over and over again. It would have been helpful to have someone around assuring me that I wasn’t having an aneurysm, or to pick out a nice outfit for my burial if I was. And then my heart started pounding at the thought that this could be my last night on earth and somehow I fell asleep and woke up to a new day and hopefully not my last.
On other occasions, like when I can’t open a new jar of jam or need help fastening a bracelet, I think “this is why God invented the doorman” and I go downstairs for help. But the other day I had an experience that nearly convinced me to find a mail order husband, or set up a third bed in my nieces’ bedroom. After a long, sweaty run I was getting ready for a nice, hot shower. As I struggled to pull my jog bra over my head everything just stopped. It wouldn’t move at all. And I was now caught with a bra stuck under my arm pits propelling my arms forward like I was in the stockade. I was so sticky that it just wouldn’t budge and the panic that started to spread through my body only made the stickiness worse. This was not a case where going downstairs was an option. Neither was calling the super or knocking on a neighbor’s door. What if I can’t get this off? And I’m found sprawled on my bed having starved to death in this crazy position. So, I lowered myself onto the floor and wriggled back and forth on my back (like a dog scratching an itch) until the friction of the carpet pushed the bra past this hazardous point and I was released. Now I know why Liz Lemon figured out how to give herself the Heimlich. You just never know. I could have really used another set of, very familiar, hands.
But I don’t need any help making cookies-exactly what I needed to do after my sweaty trauma, make something sure to be good. My search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie is like the search for most things elusive-you'll know it when you see, meet or in this case-taste it. This recipe is my most recent attempt at perfection, encompassing so many
different techniques and tweaks. These are really good-if not a bit more labor intensive. My experimentation will continue but stopping to rest with these is sure to please.
A FEW NOTES-use Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Chips to add a little depth of flavor-I use them for any recipe calling for chips and they take things to a whole other level. Also, I would never think of disturbing the deliciousness with nuts but if you are a nut fan, who am I to stop you? Throw in a handful of your favorite with the chips.
To portion them out I always use a two teaspoon sized mini ice cream scoop- that way I can have two and not feel like a pig!My Most Recent Chocolate Chip Cookies
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1 cup + 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick butter
7 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
5 Tablespoons white sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Ghiradelli 60 % Cacoa Chocolate Chips
In a small bowl or on large piece of wax paper mix flour, salt and baking soda till combined.
Place 2 Tablespoons of butter in a medium sized bowl.
Heat remaining 6 Tablespoons of butter in medium skillet until melted over medium high heat. Continue cooking, monitoring butter and swirling occasionally until butter takes on a medium nutty color and smells like nuts too-about 5 minutes.
Pour melted butter over butter in bowl and stir until the 2 tablespoons melt.
Add both of the sugars, salt and vanilla to bowl and whisk until fully incorporated. It will be gritty. Add egg and whisk until the mixture is totally smooth. Let the bowl sit for 3 minutes and whisk again for 30 seconds. Do this sitting and whisking 2 more times.Add the flour mixture to bowl and mix with a spoon until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. If you dare, take a tiny taste (don’t do it if you’re scared of raw egg!) and enjoy a toffee, caramel-y warmth unlike your mother’s chocolate chip cookie batter.
This is where you will hate me. Now take a big piece of wax paper, put it on the counter and empty the bowl of batter onto the paper. Fold the paper around the batter, put the paper packet in a plastic Ziploc bag (or wrap again but with foil) and put it in the refrigerator.LEAVE IT THERE FOR AT LEAST 24 HOURS! If you have the self control, make it 36 hours. *A little trivia-the original Toll House Recipe called for this kind of chilled resting but somehow that detail was left off the back of the Nestle bag 50 years ago.
The next day, take out packet of dough and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Using two teaspoons or, ideally, the mini 2 teaspoon sized ice cream scoop, scoop out dough leaving two inches between scoops. Sprinkle very lightly with sea salt.Bake the trays one at a time, 8-10 minutes, until light golden brown and still soft. Cool sheets on rack for 2 minutes, remove cookies with spatula onto rack and cool completely. Yield: 36 2 1/2" cookies