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Verses from my Kitchen: Memories of Chocolate Chip Cookies

November 9, 2010

Memories of Chocolate Chip Cookies

I want my family to grow and age with great memories associated with food and eating together. An afternoon with a hot and freshly brewed cup of tea sipped with warm cookies fresh out of the oven. The scent of fresh baked goods going in and out of my oven like an assembly line will surely elicit happy feelings of loved ones spending time together. The delight is seen straight across my face whenever we sit down together and lose ourselves in the moments that define who we are as a family.

In a few short years we've started establishing our own stolen moments in time. The weekend mornings sitting around our breakfast table, shopping at the market for a great family meal and the Sunday night ritual at our dinner table with a glass of wine. I will always think of food as another opportunity to connect with the people who matter and nobody matters more to me than my own family.

I love sneaking into the kitchen on a weekend afternoon to make biscuits or cookies or tarts or cakes. My wife is often heard a short time later calling downstairs and enquiring about the aroma drifting through our house. She has a big smile on her face and starts naming the ingredients as they come to her. "I smell chocolate, cream and vanilla...what are you making?" Maybe instead it's, "The house smells like fresh berries, when are we eating?" We break up the day with a sweet snack and tea and talk about how great life really is when you take time to share it and enjoy it.

Sunday was another busy day in my household. We got home hungry and tired in the middle of the afternoon after a few hours in Toronto as my wife snapped some shots of a friend's puppy dog. My wife rushed home and got to work editing pictures and downloading images and I snuck away to my favourite place in the house. I pulled out my recipe journal and started making notes as I mixed and baked my way towards another recipe.

This classic, iconic cookie is versatile and comforting. The soft yet crunchy exterior combined with the gooey factor in the heart of the cookie and the deeply satisfying chew. The components that add up to a decadent treat that is so hard to pull yourself away from after that first bite. Try stopping after the dough dances on your tongue and the semi-sweet chocolate melts in your mouth. It's impossible. The smell of cookie dough baking in the oven and the aroma created by melting chocolate is completely hypnotizing.

After I make a batch of cookie dough I use an ice cream scoop and drop golf ball sized dough on my baking sheet. This ensures that each cookie is the same size and shape. I pat them down gently but not completely, leaving the original roundish shape the same. I find this creates a cookie with more fullness and shape and retains some of that great dough texture and flavour. After all, a great cookie is all about flavour at the end of the day.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yields: 12-16

The Goods:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened (room temperature)
1 1/4 cups tightly packed brown sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups plan all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Using a mixer, cream butter with sugar together until light and creamy, about 3-4 minutes. Add egg, mixing well. Stir in vanilla and with mixer on low speed add the dry ingredients ( sifted flour, baking powder and salt) and mix until just combined, 10 seconds. Drop chocolate chips and fold through.
3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat. Place spoonful of cookie mixture (size of a golf ball) while allowing space for the cookie to expand.  Cook for 15-20 minutes.
4. Cool on the tray for about 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool further.

Chocolate chip cookies in 6 easy steps. 


At November 10, 2010 at 1:22 PM , Blogger Chef Dennis said...

I love your writing style and who dosen't love a good cookie! when I bake the whole neighborhood goes into a sugar shock from the aroma!

At November 10, 2010 at 4:52 PM , Blogger Michael Lewicki said...

Thanks Dennis! Very kind words. I agree, every neighbourhood loves the aroma of cookies!


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