Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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Recipe: New Baby in the Family and Chocolate Chip Cookies at New Mom’s Request

September 12th, 2012 · 2 Comments

I’ve been slack in posting to my page lately – and have three legitimately big excuses: Hurricane Isaac, a bout of serious bronchitis, and the biggest, most wonderful excuse ever: newborn Jake Thomas.

I was on storm watch with the rest of South Florida as well as the Republican conventioneers for a week – and though Isaac came and went past us, walking up the other coast, its remarkably wide reach sent a huge deluge of feeder bands over us way too slowly – drenching us for four long days. Cities to the west of me are still cleaning up and sorting out the mess left behind.

At the same time, I was on baby watch. A new grandson was due any day, and without a storm in the mix, it’s always a frenzy of last-minute activity and being glued to the phone, not sleeping in anticipation of The Call. I was a little rundown – thus the bronchitis that I didn’t take care of soon enough. It became serious and knocked me for a loop.

But no way would I miss this birth – plus I was asked to help take care of Big Brother Kody if there was a midnight run to the hospital.

A perfect baby – of course!

Once Jake did decide to show up, there was another round of excitement involving a hospital waiting room and various food and drink runs. This was a day-long event – a sort of happy stress for we would-be grandparents, though certainly mom had it the hardest. (Bless her heart – a long labor. But this 9 lb. 11-oz. big bundle of joy made his grand appearance in short order once he started). Baby and whole family are glowing.

It’ll be awhile before “normal schedule” is in my vocabulary (was it ever?), but at least I’m back at the desk.

Cookies, please!

The new mom’s first request is for chocolate chip cookies. Favored are “bakery style” cookies I had, reminiscent of leftovers from a recent Meals on Wheels community booth at the Greenmarket. Good Sam hospital kitchen donated these to us to hand out. These are thicker than the typical ones made from the back-of-bag traditional recipe.

Only too happy to oblige. So here’s a recipe I’ll use from America’s Test Kitchen. I may adjust it and make slightly smaller cookies – these are large. The extra vanilla in it is a big deal – I am a stickler for using high quality vanilla – you really can tell a difference. Look for Madagascar vanilla. C0ok’s tip: As with most cookies, underbake them slightly.

(Another recipe to consider, from Michael Natkin’s Herbavoracious.com – a noteworthy food site. It’s one of the better vegetarian cooking sites out there and the chocolate chip cookie he likes is thick and cakey.)

America’s Test Kitchen Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

(For best results, bake only one sheet of cookies at a time. These cookies are best served warm from the oven but will retain their chewy texture when cooled.)

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (10⅔ ounces) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled – see * note
  • 1 cup packed (7 ounces) light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (3½ ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups (9 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, beat the melted butter and sugars together with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl and beaters as needed.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds. Mix in the chips until incorporated.

Working with 2 tablespoons of dough at a time, roll the dough into balls and lay them on the prepared baking sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the edges are set and beginning to brown but the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Makes about 24 cookies.

This dough freezes well. For individual cookies to be baked as desired: roll out the cookie dough as directed into balls; place on cookie sheet and freeze till solid. Pack the dough balls into a freezer-safe container with waxed paper between layers. Remove as many as needed and bake as directed once thawed.

* Note: Several recipes recommend browning the butter before adding for a nuttier flavor.

Do you have a better recipe? Let’s hear it! Comment below.

Tags: Baking: Cheap therapy · Food and Family Intertwine

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Leslie // Sep 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Congratulations…he is probably more delicious than a cookie!

  • 2 linda monaco // Sep 13, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Jan, congrats on the new grandson! You can teach them both to cook, always a grandmother’s pleasure. Might i suggest beginning with christmas cookies? [Inside joke] BEST WISHES! Linda and Tina Monaco

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