Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Little Somethin' Sweet

Do you have a sweet tooth? I certainly do! There aren't many types of sweets that I will turn down, but of course I do try and sample these tasty treats without going overboard. Fortunately, my love of sweets also comes with a love of being active, so my occasional "sweet" indulgences are balanced out with frequent visits to the gym, long walks and lots of sit-ups!

I thought it would be fun to share a recipe with you today for a classic cookie that most everyone enjoys...unless you don't happen to be a fan of chocolate. This recipe for chocolate chip cookies is taken from the book, Martha Stewart's Cookies. If you haven't had an opportunity to browse through this book, I strongly encourage you to check it out. The photography is incredible, and almost every recipe includes a beautiful photo of the finished product. I've tried several recipes from the book and all of them have yielded wonderful results. If you like cookies, this book would make a great addition to your cookbook collection.

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips, or a combination (about 12 ounces)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the flour and baking soda in a bowl. Put butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about two minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add salt, vanilla, and eggs; mix until well blended, about 1 minute. Mix in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges turn golden but centers are still soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool completely. Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 1 week.

I have tried many different recipes for chocolate chip cookies, and this is my favorite, especially if you like chewy cookies. This dough also freezes very well. You can mix up the dough and then use a cookie scoop to make the individual cookies and transfer them to a freezer-proof container for storage until you are ready to bake them. The next time you get a craving for a warm, chewy, fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie, just pull the pre-made dough out of the freezer and bake some up. Yum!

On a completely different note, the Bay Area continues to enjoy some unseasonably warm and sunny weather. It truly feels like it should be late March or early April instead of January! While I am enjoying the sunshine, I do miss the rain - after all, it is January and it's that time of year when I like to be all cozy and warm inside. No matter what type of weather you are experiencing in your neck of the woods, I hope that you have had a wonderful weekend and that this coming week brings many good things to you.

I'll wrap up this entry with a cute quote about chocolate:

"Chocolate is the answer. Who cares what the question is."
-Author Unknown

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