The Only Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe You Need


I hate making cookies, especially chocolate chip. I can never seem to get the right shape, and they rarely taste as good as I had hoped. These, however, are perfect. The NY Times recipe is the only chocolate chip one I will ever use.


My pictures are not very good, I’m sorry. I nearly didn’t post but decided these need to be shared with the world once more.
The only bad thing is that the dough must chill for at least 24 hours (the longer the better–I like to make them in batches over three days, and the last always tastes the best). However, this makes so much dough that you’ll have plenty to snack on while you wait to bake.

Chocolate Chip Cookies from The New York Times

2 cups minus 2 Tbs (8 ¼ oz.) cake flour (This is when an simple kitchen scale comes in handy–I use mine all the time!)
1 2/3 cups (8 ½ oz.) bread flour
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp coarse salt
1 ¼ cups unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups (10 oz.) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tbs (8 oz.) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp natural vanilla extract
1 ¼ pounds bittersweet chocolate disks/chips (recommended: at least 60% cocoa)
Sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Gently stir in chocolate pieces. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

Shape into small rounded spoonfuls, pressing down gently (as pictured above). Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 15 to 20 minutes.

Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

Embroidered French Knot Monograms


I embroidered these monograms for Joseph and myself a few weeks ago. I’m dreaming of setting them up in a round or oval frame but can’t find any at a reasonable price! If anyone has any ideas, please let me know. I’ve read some very technical terms describing why round frames are much more difficult to make than rectangular, but I still want some!


They are made of hundreds of french knots that look like tiny roses.


The three I’ve made so far–the “c” is for an art swap I’m doing with my friend Carly. Hers is mounted on a 5×7″ white canvas


And good news for you–I’m now selling these on Etsy! If you need a handmade (keep in mind these take anywhere from four to eight hours to make!) gift or something to spice up your beside table, these are a great option. They are available in any color and letter–the sky’s the limit, really!

I’m sorry, that was some really pathetic self-promotion. But I’m very excited as I only made my shop today! I can’t wait to get many more items listed :)

More Paintings

I don’t know what’s come over me the last few months! I’ve never considered myself remotely creative or artistic but have suddenly been flooded with ideas for paintings (I’m also dreaming of carving, working with mosaic tiles, sewing, and more but those are a bit too ambitious now). No complaints here since it’s fun, and I can now produce decorations for my house exactly as I want them to be. All our walls were so bare before!


I made this for Joseph last week. I painted it one night and then hated it the next morning and completely redid it–that’s one nice thing about acrylics! He was surprised to come home and find this on the shelf by his computer.

I love texture!

I made this set for Joseph’s computer area as well:

Just kidding, these are now hung above my computer.


Tulips!


I feel like I need to round this off with this terrifying photo of my cat yawning

Olive Cheese Bread


This bread is fantastic. I might not be the best spokesperson as I’ll eat anything if it’s put on bread, but will it help if I tell you my cat likes it too (keep reading for evidence)?


It is very rich, but somehow I loved it despite not at all liking green olives.  I think I was drawn in because it just has such an interesting flavor!  Creamy and salty, this would be great as an appetizer, a side, or alone as a meal.  I ate it for lunch today with a ceasar salad.


Visit The Pioneer Woman’s website for step-by-step photos and a guide to freezing.

Olive Cheese Bread, from The Pioneer Woman

1 loaf French Bread
6 oz Pimiento-stuffed Green Olives
6 oz Black Olives
2 stalks Green Onions (scallions)
½ cup Butter, Room Temperature
½ cup Mayonnaise
¾ pounds Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated

Roughly chop both black olives and pimiento-stuffed green olives. Slice green onions into thin pieces.

Combine butter, mayonnaise, cheese, olives and green onions in a mixing bowl. Stir together until thoroughly combined. Spread mixture onto French bread that has been sliced lengthwise. Bake at 325ºF for 25 to 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and browning.

Mixture can also be refrigerated (up to two days) and used as a dip. Great with crackers.


I let him have a few licks. After a Google search I learned many cats like green olives! He has a sensitive stomach, so I couldn’t let him go wild.


Leonardo’s stamp of approval

Decorating Frames

I had a bad morning and needed to make myself busy with something, so I went to the BX and bought a cinnamon roll, some cheap little frames, and a world map. The cinnamon roll was unrelated to this project but significantly improved my mood.


I just tore strips of the map and arranged them on the frame with rubber cement. I’d still like to find something to help seal them but will have to look to see what’s available around here. Edit: I soon got my hands on Mod Podge, and it fit my needs perfectly as both a glue and a sealant!  I’ve been making these for a while now, using a variety of papers and switching between glossy and matte glue.


I tried a few different designs–the one in the front has a lot of water, the middle is mainly land, and the back is a good blend of both.  It was lots of fun!  I don’t know what I’m going to do with four of the same frames but I’m still itching to make more.


Name the book (I make sure the photo had a few recognizable names)! I had to sacrifice one of my (four) copies for this, but it’s worth it. I wanted to use a novel that will make me happy when I read snippets of it on the frame.


I have the perfect photo to put in this frame!

Edit:
Since I first posted this, I’ve made even more frames. I used the same book, but “antiqued” the torn pages using coffee and a flame. The frames smelled strange for a few days but are fine now!


I also finally got my hands on Mod Podge–a absolutely fantastic glue and sealant. I’m obsessed with it now!

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