C is for Cookie

This week, I have done (what for me is) a lot of baking. On Wednesday, I tried my hand at Wall Street Kisses. And today, I tweaked a family favorite: chocolate chip cookies from The Best Recipe cookbookThought I’d share the recipe here.

If you like your chocolate chip cookies thin, crispy AND delicious–you’ll want to write this down:

Traditional Chocolate Chip Cookies (Makes about 60 cookies)

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt (*I use coarse sea salt)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed (*I use dark)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon water
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans (*I used Heath Bar bits)

1. Adjust oven racks to upper-and-lower-middle positions and heat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk flour, salt and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Either by hand or with electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about three minutes with mixer set at medium speed. Scrape sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Add eggs, vanilla and water. Beat until combined, about 40 seconds. Scrape sides of bowl.

3. Add dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, 15-20 seconds. Add chocolate chips and nuts (or, as I did, Heath Bar bits) and stir until combined.

4. Drop batter by tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets, spacing pieces of dough about 1 inch apart. Bake, reversing position of cookie sheets halfway through baking (from top to bottom and front to back), until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges begin to crisp, 8-10 minutes. Cool cookies on sheets for 1 to 2 minutes before transferring to cooling racks with wide spatula.

Pass the milk, please.


Halloween Treat

Happy Halloween!

Thought I’d share a recipe for a great last-minute treat. It is quick, easy, and delicious! Last Halloween I served this as dessert for a dinner party my daughter hosted. Her friends loved it, and asked me to make it again this year.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

Pretzel rods, milk chocolate chips, Heath Bar bits (I couldn’t find the bits so used a mallet to break bars down), mini M&Ms, and mini Reese’s Pieces. Last year I also used Butterfinger bars which I also crushed with a mallet.

Melt around a 1/4-1/2 cup of chips at a time in the microwave. I melted this amount in exactly one minute.

Chocolate should be fully melted before applying it (in a very thin layer) to the pretzel rod. I use a spatula to do this, and only coat about half of the pretzel.

You can coat the chocolate-dipped pretzels in just about any candy that can be crushed, or comes in a “mini” size. The key is making sure the pieces are small, and the layer of chocolate is thin.

I use two sheets of wax paper during this process– one to hold the crushed candy which I roll the chocolate covered pretzels in, and the other to house the finished product.

When I am done, I put the pretzels in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to allow the chocolate to set.

I created a new version of this recipe for the winter holidays. I used both white and milk chocolate for the base and crushed peppermint candies for the topping. I love peppermint bark and found this to be a delicious take on that holiday treat. This makes a great gift for teachers, dog groomers, baby sitters, etc..