Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I awoke, early on Sunday morning, to the click-click-clicking of our heat turning on and the sssshhhhhhhhh of the steam going through the pipes.  I immediately snuggled a little more under the covers and let out a contented sigh only to realize that I had dislodged Newt from his spot on the bed.  He would subsequently meow in our faces for the next 45 minutes until he finally went back to sleep.  He's lucky he's so handsome.

Thus starts the season of coziness.  I immediately want to cook and bake anything that requires me to turn on my oven and wear my adorable oven mitts.  These mitts usually hang dormant in the warmer months because my little oven that can just barely hold a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish is actually a larger-than-normal space heater.  And you don't want to run that on days that are even slightly humid and over 72-degrees unless you plan on running your air conditioner as well (hello, energy costs).  

Cooking, and general day-to-day living, in NYC is all about balancing wants and needs, it seems. You get the apartment on the fifth floor of a walk up because you want the more-desired location.  You take the longer, local train to work but at least you can sit down and finish that book you've been lugging around for three weeks.  You have that third cookie because you just went down to the basement to change a load of clothes only to realize you left the detergent which means you have to go back up the stairs an extra, unanticipated time and therefore deserve it.  Just like Newt, this city is lucky it's so handsome. 

Another New York-city centered blogger that I enjoy following is Sydney from Crepes of Wrath.  Not only does Sydney seem to appreciate good food and restaurants as we do (and recaps her adventures with each post), but I adore her literature inspired blog name (being the English major that I am). Now that is how you name a blog.  (Not 'Bless your Tart' - which was my initial idea and now seems to be a good example of what not to do.)  Sydney, according to Anderson Cooper, has the best chocolate chip cookie recipe around.  Naturally, I had to make them.  

And the silver fox was right -- these are delicious and perfect with your first cup of coffee in the morning or your warm cup of tea at night or your Big Gulp of Diet Coke in the middle of the day.  I've had them in all instances and can't say I have a favorite setting -- just make these as soon as it is cool enough to turn on your oven.  Or, don't wait and find the balance of oven heat and counter-effective air conditioning.  The checks and balance system applies just as easily to ConEdison bills as it does to other life moments.  

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted (barely) from Crepes of Wrath

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chocolate, roughly chopped (I used a mix of semi-sweet chips (unchopped) and a dark chocolate bar chopped up.  The use of chopped bar chocolate creates all the chocolate flecks you see in the finished product as well as the larger-than-chips bites you get throughout.)
Optional - sea salt, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahreinheit.  In a mixing bowl, beat your butter and both sugars.  Add in the whole egg and mix until combined.  Add the egg yolk and mix until combined.  Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined.  In a separate bowl, mix your flour, baking soda and salt.  In equal parts, add it to the sugar mixture until just combined.  Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.  Fold in your chocolate.  Line baking sheets with parchment. Scoop out about 2 tablespoons worth of dough into balls and place on your sheet.  Sprinkle with sea salt if using.  Bake for about 12-15 minutes until just lightly golden and set.  Cool on the sheets for a few minutes before removing.  

According to Sydney, these keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, or frozen for up to 3 months.  Be sure to thaw them before you eat them!

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