Cookies, Desserts, Recipes

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

How can you tell you've found the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe? I guess one logical answer is if you stop trying other chocolate chip cookie recipes. Another answer, I've discovered, is if you crave the cookies so much you would bake them in the middle of a heat wave.

I should probably also mention that my apartment doesn't have central AC. Last week, when it was about 95 degrees during the day for 3 days straight, I had to blast my rickety old air conditioner for 2 hours before my studio cooled down. But it was worth it just to be able to turn the oven on for an hour to bake these chewy, delicious cookies.

Cookies, Desserts, Recipes

Chocolate Chip Banana Cookies

I woke up on my 30th birthday last week just itching to bake. It was supposed to get up to 90 or 95 degrees that day, but I figured I could squeeze in some quick cookie-baking before my apartment got too warm.

Recently I started baking more with whole wheat flour, as you might have seen in the post on Whole Wheat S’more Cookies. In addition to its healthier aspects, whole wheat flour just gives cookies a nice extra nutty flavor. And if you add bananas and old-fashioned oats to chocolate chip cookies, there’s no reason you can’t have them for breakfast, right?

Cookies, Desserts, Recipes

Whole Wheat S'More Cookies

I got inspired to bake these whole wheat s’more cookies after seeing Moonrise Kingdom on opening weekend and getting all happy-nostalgic for summer camp.

I’m a total sucker for anything set in the 1960s or related to the New England coast, so I was completely sold on the movie after seeing the trailer in May. Set on a New England island around a “Khaki Scout” summer camp, the movie involves two 12-year-olds who make a pact to run away together and the scout troop that searches for them. There’s budding romance, intrigue, quirky art direction that’s a Wes Anderson signature, and a kick-ass soundtrack. The movie kept me grooving for days to this particular Francoise Hardy song that was stuck in my head.

Cookies, Desserts, Recipes

Classic Lemon Shortbread

 “After you have been a very good person for a very long time and are thin as a bean, you may decide to fall briefly into sin. You will want something simple and elegant that cannot be made without butter. There is only one thing that will do: shortbread.” – Laurie Colwin

I have written before about bookmarking pretty much every recipe out of Laurie Colwin’s books.  It’s hard not to. She writes about classic, unpretentious comfort food that is old-fashioned in a back-to-basics way yet modern in ease and speediness. Dinners, especially weeknight ones, focus on roasts and braises practically anyone can make. Desserts are equally unfussy.

Cookies, Desserts, Recipes

Jumbles - The First Cookies?

While itching to bake cookies last week and flipping through The Essential New York Times Cookbook, I came across a recipe for “jumbles”, revised from a recipe that a Times reader had sent in to the paper in 1878.

Jumbles? I had never heard of them, but the ingredients looked like the ingredients in your average cookie recipe, except with the addition of sour cream. Amanda Hesser described them as “crisp and buttery and trilling with freshly grated nutmeg.” I was intrigued.

Cookies, Desserts, Recipes

Toll House Peanut Butter Cookies

I recently got my hands on a copy of Toll House Tried and True Recipes, from the legendary Massachusetts restaurant that gave birth to the chocolate chip cookie. Written by Ruth Graves Wakefield, the owner credited with inventing the cookie back in 1937, the book is pretty extensive, covering not only appetizers, entrees, and desserts, but also making preserves and canning vegetables. True to 1940s fashion, it also has a “Primer for Brides” section, a short collection of recipes that all new housewives should know. Quite a time capsule!

Like pretty much every person in America, I’ve baked from the chocolate chip cookie recipe on the back of the Nestlé chocolate chip packages from the time I learned to read. And I’ve found few recipes that can rival it. So the day I got this cookbook in the mail I dove right in and tried their recipe for peanut butter cookies. Until then, my go-to had been this recipe for flourless peanut butter cookies. It had only 5 ingredients and I could make it in my sleep. Whereas the flourless cookies were crunchy, with the harder texture of peanut butter cookies sold at Chinese bakeries, these cookies were a bit softer and chewier. And so now I have two go-to recipes, depending on which texture I prefer on a given day.