Late night, Christmas music, alone for Thanksgiving induced rant below! Scroll down for cookies!
So, I’m staying up late making all kinds of cookies and such for my soldier’s mini- care package. Baking and I have a bit of a love hate relationship; yes, I went to school for baking & pastry, and yes, I loved it…but I don’t know I guess it’s just weird for me now. I was obsessed with opening my own bakery, and getting everything perfect and then all of a sudden my life got turned upside down and I didn’t want anything to do with my life really. But everyone wanted me to just go back to the way I was before so they would always get me to bake and make them stuff when really I was falling apart inside, so it just became like a character people wanted me to play, where it used to be something I was passionate about! When I got out of school I came home and I don’t think I touched a kitchen for about 3 months, then I took on a huge project of making 2 decorated cakes for a coworker of mine and around 3am when I was laying on my kitchen floor, eating icing, I just realized I wasn’t ready yet. It’s been a while now and now that I’ve actually dealt with the actual source of my problems and worked through them with the help of my soldier, I can be happy again and start to enjoy the little things that used to make me smile.The important thing now is: I bake when I want to, not when people want me too, and I keep things simple. There’s no reason for things to be complicated…ever!
Sorry for that little rant, it’s just late and it was on my mind. But back to the sweet stuff! I made chocolate chip cookies…(So many chocolate chip cookies!), oatmeal raisin cookies, and brownies! I know it may seem like a lot for one night, but it’s not so bad once you get rolling. I find it better to plan out how I’m going to do things before I get into the kitchen. Maybe that’s my culinary school kid training, but it works for me! I sit down with all my recipes, plan out what I’m going to be making and then figure out the best order to do it. For example, I know my oatmeal cookie dough works best when it has sat in the fridge for a while, so I made that first and sat it in the fridge while I made my chocolate chip cookie dough! As for the brownies..I just had a really hard time picking a recipe to go with. I have so many recipes for brownies that I adore, and I really wanted them to be delicious since they’re for my soldier, but not super complicated. Like I said, I’m a firm believer that simple is best! But for now we’re just gonna stick with the chocolate chip, I’ll write about the rest later.
Chocolate Chip Cookies (Recipe off the Ghiradelli Chocolate Chip Bag)
- 2 & 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cups white granulated sugar (regular sugar)
- 3/4 cups brown sugar, packed
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (invest in a good pure vanilla if you can)
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups (1 bag) Ghiradelli Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional, I left them out)
Ok so, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Then whisk your flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside. Cream your butter with your two sugars (beat on medium until creamy), and then add your eggs and your vanilla one at a time. Gradually add your flour mixture and then once that is incorporated, mix in your chocolate chips and walnuts either by hand (I recommend) or on the lowest setting on your mixer. Scoop on to the cookie sheet and bake for 9-11minutes, or until you can see a little golden ring around the edges.
Ok…now here’s my little cookie pet peeve. I love my cookies soft, so I take mine out right at 9 minutes, and they still are soft and don’t look fully baked at all! (just till I can see the little golden ring around the edge). But I let them sit on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes so they set. Trust me…soft cookie goodness! Plus I think it will help these particular cookies not get hard as rocks when they’re being sent oversees to James! Which I’m sure he’s thankful for.
By the way, for those of you who may be sending these overseas, I vacuum sealed them (6 to a quart sized bag) and put them in these little holiday tins from the dollar store! I got a little handheld pump vacuum sealer from ziploc. It’s super affordable, unlike an actual vacuum sealer, and seems to work just as well. Be warned…if you seal them too tight you have just discovered the chocolate chip wafer. Not that I did that or anything…ok…I did…