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Archive for November, 2011

As my readers know, I am passionate about cooking delicious, (sometimes) healthy food. But when it comes to expressing that passion on a blog, sometimes life gets in the way.

A busy workload in October, which included a trip to Baltimore, culminated in the deadline for a major project in November. Then I got word that my grandmother’s death was imminent, and I rushed home to Iowa to be with her during her final days. While my amazing, dedicated, and hard-working coworkers picking up the slack, I was able to focus on my family during a difficult week.

Suffice to say, tending to the blog has been the last thing on my mind. Of course, ignoring one’s blog violates the cardinal rule of blogging.

I figure I’ll start back with a simple classic — chocolate chip cookies. What is it about chocolate chip cookies? They are so comforting and wonderful and there are as many variations as there are personal tastes. After my Nanny died, my mom’s three cousins brought over a lasagna dinner, which included homemade chocolate chips cookies (in addition to salad, bread, and huge pans of lasagna). These cookies were amazing. They were pale in color and crisp, without being hard. They were also thick, without being too dry or cake-like. That evening I asked the cousin for the recipe. She said she uses the traditional, Nestle Toll House recipe, but ups the amount of baking soda and swaps Crisco for the butter.

After the Thanksgiving festivities, Chris and I returned to Louisville Thursday night, and deciding we did not indulge enough in turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, I decided to try the tweaked recipe for the cookies.

They were good, but did not have the same thick, dense, but not too-dense consistency I remembered. They were thinner, like the batter may have been thinner from the start. Next time, I’ll try adding a little more flour and will report back.

Thanks for sticking with me through this.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup Crisco, vegetable shortening

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I actually used Ghirardelli chocolate chips instead of Nestle)

1 cup chopped pecans (nuts are optional, could also use walnuts or another nut of your choice)

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Whisk together and set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Gradually beat in flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by overflowing tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets.Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
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