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The Chewiest Cookies and Some Good Readings

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 Considering that I have this week (and the next two weeks) off, I decided to start it right, by making some lovely chocolate chip cookies on Friday. Although I’ve made plenty of chocolate chip cookies, I could never get the Chips-Ahoy chewiness. As you can imagine, it’s been a very frustrating adventure with cookies.

Until this recipe came along. I’m almost 100% positive that the reason that it’s so chewy and lovely is due to the corn starch. THE SECRET INGREDIENT!

photo (3)

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed (I use light)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup bread flour (all-purpose flour may be substituted and used exclusively in place of bread flour)

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste

12 ounces  semi-sweet chocolate chips

To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on low speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sugars and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and well combined, about 3 minutes.

Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flours (solely using all-purpose flour will work, but the cookies will not be as chewy), corn starch, baking soda, salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.

Add the chocolate chips and chunks, and either fold in by hand or beat for a few seconds on low speed. Transfer dough to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to 5 days (although chilling the dough is theoretically not necessary; in reality cookies spread less with chilled dough).

Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a non-stick baking mat, parchment, or spray with cooking spray. Using a 2-ounce cookie scoop, form heaping mounds weighing 2 1/4-ounces each (weighed on a scale, which is approximately a scant 1/4-cup measure) and place them on the baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart; I bake 8 cookies per sheet.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges, even if slightly undercooked in the center, noting the tops will not be browned and will be pale. Do not cook longer than ten minutes as cookies will darken and firm up as they cool (The cookies shown in the photos were baked for 9 minutes and have chewy edges with soft pillowy centers).

Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.

Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

Now that you’ve got some cookies to eat, you need some books to read while enjoying them.

The Night Circus  is one of those books  that everyone is telling you about. Telling you to read it, to make sure you tell them you’re reading it, when you finish it, and to have coffee to discuss it. Seriously, this how I was introduced to the book, from four different people.

In any case, I can say that they were not wrong. This novel is wonderful! The only word that I can think to say about it is CHARMING. Although, if I try to explain specifics about why I love it, it might give too much away; and yes, any detail can be a ruinous moment with this lovely treasure.

It’s more than a description of a game, or a love story. It’s sort of Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes  with Water For Elephants mixed in, along with some fantastical bedazzlement.

Enough said.

I’ve read this book twice. First, when I got to page 76, and I had to get ready for… life, and I didn’t it pick it up till recently. The second time I read it, I devoted at least two hours a day to it, either at work or before bed, until I was sure I was so hooked I’d carry it with me everywhere.

I can only say that while I love all of Neil Gaiman’s stories, this one was sort of close to the heart. Although it was about an ex-convict (and his unfortunately short-lived marriage) and gods, both old and new, the stories of the gods, how they interact, what their motivations are for moving from location to location, and the general nature of stories, myths, figures, creatures, and gods of every region was very– human.

This story was one that I enjoyed the most, simply because the action kept coming and the protagonist refused to give up (as is the usual case), and in the end he received minimal answers for his efforts, a lot of grief and pain, and a little bit of peace of mind.

Peace of mind was something that I desperately needed when reading this gem.

I recommend it tenfold.

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About JR

I'm passionate about a lot of things in life. I grew with a unique set of experiences that have guided me throughout my life. I currently work as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in sunny CA providing treatment to kiddos in the private sector. Adventure, food, love and laughs are my top priorites.

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