Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sundays with Sparky - It's Not All About Mom (Chocolate Chip Cookies)

022Dear readers, I am sure that by this point, you have constructed a mental picture of life in our little family: me, in my apron, pearls, and pumps, daintily dashing about my neat and well-scrubbed kitchen as I turn out delicacy after delicacy.  My cherubic boy, after emptying his pockets of snips, snails, and puppy dog tails, conscientiously helps me by sweeping the floor as I mince vegetables...and my firefighter husband comes home, slings his helmet on the table, wipes his weary brow, kisses me and says "honey...what's for dessert?"

Hah!  The reality is...well, the pertinent part of the reality (besides the mess, crying, yelling, and systemic allergy to girl clothes, just to name a few aberrations) is that my husband is the baker in the family...specifically, the cookie baker.  This role predates our family: my dear spouse spent many a Friday night sharing a bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough with his faithful and beloved (if not brainy) Old English Sheepdog, one spoonful at a time - a near-magical feat, considering his refrigerator at the time contained a warehouse-size brick of Velveeta and a bottle of ketchup.

After a tough week of fighting fires, saving lives and wiping noses, the love of my life decided he'd had enough, grabbed Sparky and headed for my stash of butter (I buy butter in bulk and keep it in the freezer in large for just such occasions.  Ask my scale: sadly, it doesn't lie.)

He began by mixing the dry ingredients in a bowl:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Then, using our stand mixer and the SideSwipe blade he creamed together:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar

Sparky got involved here, and added to the mixer (pls note dainty and tidy kitchen - not!)

002 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs

And then began crushing our whole walnuts into smaller pieces with a mortar and pestle.


Finally, they added the flour mixture to the mixing bowl, followed immediately by:

12 oz package chocolate chips (we like Ghiradelli bittersweet)
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 tbsp cacao nibs

And everything was whipped quickly into cookie-dough deliciousness, which hung temptingly on the blade...


...maybe too temptingly...



Dad regained his sense of self-control, and portioned out half the dough onto cookie sheets; they baked at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes until golden.  Your glass of milk awaits, dear cookie!


The remaining dough was scooped into a ziplock bag and formed into a loose log about the diameter of a cookie, to be frozen and portioned out for baking later (we often use the toaster oven for this task - after all, we need to be well-prepared for emergencies. Even cookie-related emergencies.)

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