It’s not easy to be a new kid on the block unless you travel back to the tail end of the eighties and join a boy band. Then you’d have stylists tweaking your style and choreographers polishing your groovy moves.
Alas, the eighties are over even if harem pants are back. We should be happy there isn’t a side ponytail trend starting up again.
Side ponytail or not you still might find yourself in the new kid role. Got new neighbors, classmates, co-workers? Bake cookies. It’ll make your house smell good and your people encounters easier.
Let’s say you renovated your apartment causing inevitable ruckus and dusty bootprints in the common hallway. Vacuum the hallway. Bake cookies. Use good chocolate. Did the reno go on for a rather long time? Vacuum the hallway. Use two kinds of chocolate.
I never froze cookie dough prior to baking until I read an article in the NY Times and tried it out. Works. Do it. Freeze the dough and you’ll get a richer, toffee taste in your cookies. And if you can’t wait long enough to do the freezing step then…whatever….make the cookies. Seriously, what’s not to love about homemade cookies?
Form the cookie dough into a log and freeze it for 36 hours to bring out the toffeemost flavors. If you can resist scarfing down chilly dough-hunks you can keep dough in the freezer and make cookies at whim. Perfect for saying hello, welcome, pardon my dust, happy birthday, sorry about that sweater…guess it isn’t washable, whatnot.
Chocolate-chip cookies work for all sorts of situations. Sprinkle the dough with fleur de sel before baking. Deepens the goodness. Fancy, French salt will do that. If you don’t have fleur de sel use sea salt and if you don’t have that just skip it. And don’t worry because your cookies are still gonna rock. If you shrank someone’s favorite sweater then you might want the ooh-la-la salt for that.
Cookies work wonders and if they don’t then run, son.
Hang out with people who like cookies. Here’s the recipe:Chocolate Chip Cookies (with tricks and techniques) adapted from Nestle Tollhouse recipe…the back of the bag! techniques mixed in from: NY Times quantity: 35-40 cookies prep time: 15 minutes, plus 36 hours of chillaxing in the freezer cook time: 9-12 minutes at 350 degrees
- 4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- one 4.4 ounce bar of milk chocolate, chopped (I used Lindt for this batch)
- one 4.4 ounce bar 70% dark chocolate, chopped (Used Lindt for this too)
- fleur de sel: for sprinkling on top of dough before baking
Whisk the flour, salt and baking soda together in a large bowl. Set aside.
Beat the softened butter, brown sugar and sugar together until the mixture is light in color and creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat to blend. Add this mixture to the flour mixture you set aside earlier and blend by hand. Fold in the chopped chocolate.
Lay out two pieces of wax paper. Each piece should be about the size of a cookie sheet. Divide the dough between the two sheets and form the dough into logs…slice and bake style. You can fold the wax paper over the dough and roll it a bit. Roll the dough up in the paper, wrap each log in plastic wrap or place each in a zip lock bag. Freeze for at least 36 hours.
*I only had parchment paper when I made these. Worked fine.
Ready to bake? Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Slice the dough in thick slabs…about 1/8 inch each. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 9-12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Eat cookies!
Note: I like crispy cookies and my husband likes soft cookies. For this recipe he wins. These cookies are best if you take them out of the oven when they are just baked in the center and golden on the edges. If you want crispier cookies then bake them longer. I admit I gave a crispy incarnation of this cookie to my neighbors and then realized that the softer version really is superior. If you were a cookie recipient and you want a do-over let me know. I like making cookies for people.