Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Little Helpers and Chocolate Chip Cookies


        Y'all I love kids. I love their snotty noses, their questions, and just their fervor for life. I want to have children, adopt, foster and minister to children around the world. However, it's not time for that just yet, The Lord is not finished with the work that he has for me as a single woman. (Though sometimes, I'll admit, I wish he'd hurry up!) But, back to the point, I am so blessed to be able to babysit my nephews this summer! I started last week with just two of them (the oldest is still in school) and we have had a blast as well as more than a few temper tantrums and battles of will.

Memphis was not pumped about pictures, just cooking!
With John, who loves to cuddle
        One thing that they love to do is help. They will ask to do anything that I am doing, and I love for them to help! Memphis, who is now 3 years old, loves to help load the dishwasher. He doesn’t quite have the height and the spatial skills to do it adequately but I started giving him the job of putting the soap in, while John (age 5) loads the bottom rack. Memphis’ job started because I threw out my back and it hurt for me to bend over. Memphis gets one of the soap tabs out of the bucket under the sink, hands it to me to open, smells it (I can’t figure out his need to smell it every time) and then puts it in the soap compartment, closes it, and starts the dishwasher. After he looks at me with great pride and declares, “I’m your helper!”

         Lately, they have really wanted to do some cooking and of course I oblige. This week we made some less than healthy menu items - chocolate chip cookies!
(Side note: I had a debate with some friends over whether or not I could make cookies better than the roll of dough at the store, so this was a perfect time to prove my skills! And, I think it's safe to say I made them into believers.)

         I originally got this recipe from America's Test Kitchen and tweaked it just a bit. These cookies are not for the faint at heart because they are ridiculously tedious, but you could make a larger batch and freeze what you don't use for future moments of weakness, and trust me the are well worth the work!

On to the cookies...




Chocolate Chip Cookies
14 Tbsp. butter (1 ¾ sticks)


2 cups flour (8 ¾ ounces)


½ tsp. baking soda


½ cup granulated sugar (3 ½ ounces)


¾ cups packed light brown sugar (5 ¼ ounces)

1 tsp. table salt

3 tsps. Vanilla extract


1 large egg


1 large egg yolk


2 cups chocolate chips or chunks

·      Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the oven rack in the middle position.
The browned butter makes the difference!
·      Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl and set aside.
·      Heat 10 tablespoons of the butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted.  Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 5 minutes (at any point after the butter has melted you can move on, the longer the butter browns the “nuttier” it will smell and that flavor will incorporate into the cookies).
·      Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl.  Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted. At this point I use a stand mixer for the remainder of the recipe.
·      Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk or blend until fully incorporated.  Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds.  Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds.  Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, a caramel color and appear gooey and shiny. 
·      Stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.
·      Spoon the cookies on to a baking sheet lined with a silicon liner or sprayed with cooking spray. I use a small ice cream scoop with a trigger (instead of a spoon) to create more uniformed cookies. Place the cookies approximately 2 inches from another on the pan.
·      Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, about 12 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking.  
·      Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.



They turned out super yummy as always and I think the boys seemed to like them a lot! Definitely not a healthy snack, but sometimes you just have to splurge!

much love, 
Lori Jane 


I am seriously considering writing a cookbook, thoughts? 


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