This little corner of the World Wide Web turns 1 today, and I can hardly contain my excitement. Forget my own birthday which doesn't round the corner until the bitter cold everyone-spent-their-money-on-Christmas-gifts-so-I'm-not-getting-anything time of year, this is way, way more exciting. Just this morning, I woke up early, fixed a pile of pancakes and stuck a striped candle right into the center of the syrupy stack. Then I switched my computer on, let it hum to life, and sang Happy Birthday to my blog at the top of my lungs.
Okay, I'm not that deranged. But I have been looking forward to it; it's been more fun than I ever imagined, and I couldn't be more proud of the little project we've got working here. There's been 365 days, 78 recipes, a lot of chocolate and a lot of...well, life. The best part of writing this blog has been the ability to pick a random recipe and see what was going on in my life at the moment, to retrace and remember the details that sometimes get lost in photographs. What started as a modest idea and a recipe for Double Berry Pound Cake has taken on a life of its own, and I feel like we're moving full steam ahead. The rowers keep on rowing and they're certainly not showing any signs that they are slowing...
But in the pool of boozy peaches, vanilla scones, butternut squash soup, sweet cherry pie, fudge brownies and sticky caramel apple cinnamon rolls, there was a small element of shame. I didn't have a recipe for chocolate chip cookies. I know, they're token baked goods and even the slice and bakes from the grocery store will work in a pinch, and I don't know a single person on the face of the earth who doesn't like them, but I still felt a twinge of guilt in knowing my site didn't have one. It's sort of the same line of illogical thinking I had about that lemon cream tart, and we all know how that ended up.
It's not that I didn't try, oh believe me, I tried. I've made a dozen different types of chocolate chip cookies in the past year that were never reported back to you, mostly because I was hiding under a rock in humiliation that someone who can't stop thinking about baking can't pull off the common denominator of the baking world. Oh the shame! They were always too thin, or they spread out all over the pan into a giant cookie, or they weren't anything special, too soft, too crunchy, too bleh - I think I'll eat Cheez Wiz out of the can. Okay, not really, but the devestation was remarkable, I assure you.
So I did a hefty amount of research, hell-bent on finding a recipe that was suitable, and the good Lord answered my prayers. This recipe is peppered across the blogosphere, so it's my own fault for not trying it sooner, but I'm stubborn that way. I tweaked it just a bit and I can now die peacefully knowing I have baked and eaten the most perfect chocolate chip cookie. It has a hefty dose of brown sugar for ample chew; I scooped them with a an extra large scoop that made for a thicker, more luxurious cookie; a quarter cup of turbinado sugar mixed into the batter (but never quite melts into it) makes for crunchy bits of toffee-like candy flecked throughout the cookie; and a sprinkling of fleur de sel (what else?) sea salt across the tops balances out the sugary-sweet confection to boot.
No dough chilling. No three day waiting. Just happiness.
And because we're all about celebrating blog birthdays and Wednesdays and just because days, I'm giving away a $25 gift voucher to Bake It Pretty - land of adorable cupcake liners and swizzle straws and icing tips galore.
The Rules (because you need them to maintain order in society and in blog giveaways):
Enter once by leaving a comment on this post and an e-mail address if you don't have a blog / Enter twice by becoming a follower of Fleur d'Elise / No entries after 11 p.m. EST on Sunday, May 2 / A winner will be randomly selected on Monday, May 3.
Let the games begin.
The Chocolate Chip Cookie
Adapted from Not Without Salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup Turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
1 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound chocolate, cut into chunks or 1 pound best quality chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until light. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. Add the vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour mixture in three additions, mixing until just combined. (Note: I had a heckuva time getting the last quarter cup or so of the flour mixture to blend in, but if you use a rubber spatula at the end to avoid over mixing, it will come together.)
Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate. (I used Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips, but it was a little sweet. Next rodeo - dark chocolate.)
Scoop cookies onto the baking sheet and sprinkle tops with a little bit of sea salt.
For 3 tablespoon scoops - bake for 12-14 minutes.
For 2 tablespoon scoops - bake for 8-10 minutes.
Let cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely. These cookies will keep in an airtight container for about 4 days, but that won't last that long.