Friday, February 29, 2008

the cookie monster

Conversation with my lovely 8-year-old sister:
Me: Dad's coming to see me next week. Do you want me to make something for him to bring to you?
Sister: Hmm....COOKIES! No one makes them quite like you.

Since I was spending the day baking Julia Child's French bread anyways, I thought I'd make a care package for the little one as well. After jogging to Berkeley Bowl's for semisweet chocolate chunks (and nuts and dried fruits), I baked up five types of cookies - oatmeal raisin, white chocolate macadamian nuts, semisweet chocolate with walnuts, oatmeal raisin with dark chocolate, and white chocolate cranberry. I found that with two basic cookie recipes, endless variations are possible. Needless to say, I had a lot of fun, and ate a lot of cookies. Cook's privilege :) The chocolate walnut was especially good.

Chocolate Walnut Cookies
makes about 2 dozen small cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 egg (beaten)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate (chopped)
1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)

Cream butter and sugar until well blended. Beat in egg and vanilla until smooth. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl, and add into butter mixture. Mix until combined. Fold in chocolate chunks and walnuts. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet and bake in a 375 degrees preheated oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven while cookies are still soft in the center and let cool on sheet.

Enjoy the chewy, soft cookies with a cold glass of milk. It's a good treat anytime.

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