Wednesday, May 9, 2012

good-day sunshine!

I love my sunshine day bare-footed beauties, enjoying bubbles, chalk, flowers, drawing and each other.

Bentley is singing a self-written operatic ballad here

It was not "user error"

I consider myself a baker, not a cook.  So even though I could make a yummy banana bread and soft, melt-in-your-mouth snickerdoodles, I failed at making my most favorite dessert; the chocolate chip cookie.

After 15 years of using the SAME cookie recipe and getting the SAME crappy results (flat crispy cookies - bleh), a friend of mine shared her chocolate chip cookie recipe with me.  Finally, I tried the new recipe.  And I was shocked to see that it was not ME after all these years, but that darned recipe!  

I can now proudly say I have perfected the chocolate chip cookie.  I have made five batches in less than a week and ALL have turned out amazing. My friends, family and neighbors (as well as the little lady in my belly) have benefitted from my chocolate-chip-cookie-baking kick.

Here they are in their wonderful soft, melt-in-your-mouth glory... mmm...

...and yes, I will include the recipe below :)

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie
(named by me - recipe from my friend, Nikki Nave)

1 cup butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Mix these ingredients in your mixer, then add...

2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg

Once mixed with the previous ingredients, add slowly...

2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt (if the butter is not already salted)

Once everything is well mixed, add...

2 cups chocolate chips

I fill and level an ice cream scoop to dole out the dough on my cookie sheet.
Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 mins. 

Makes about  four dozen.

Update January 2013:
• If you double the recipe, only use 3 1/4 cups chocolate chips
• The type of baking sheet you use makes a difference! My Calphalon 14" x 16" "Air Bake" sheets (I think they are called) make the texture perfect.
• I bake my cookies for exactly 10 minutes and then let them cool on the cookie sheet. They don't look done, but when you leave them out on the cookie sheet, they complete the baking process perfectly.


Sleeping Emery

the Bentley and Emery trees

Before Bentley was born, we bought a Smoke Tree to plant in the yard to mark her birth.  We chose a Smoke Tree because she was named after my mother's parents (their last name is Bentley) and they have lived for that last 51 years on Smoke Tree Lane.

When Emery was to be born, I had a hard time choosing another tree.  At first I wanted a Magnolia, but was cautioned against the mess their petals leave on the ground.  I saw this beautiful pink flowering tree instead and realized it was a Crabapple.  Deciding that the name didn't matter (though it seems to be fitting for Emery at times) as much as the beauty of the tree in this case, we chose it and planted it to mark Emery's birth.

The little lady in my belly now will get her own tree as well... hmm... what to plant for her.