Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas!

There was time for one quick painting project yesterday
....and this one was for our house.

Months ago I painted a pair of bookcases in our den dark olive green
 -- a lovely change from their previous golden oak.  
I had hoped to replace the clear glass in the doors with vintage, seeded glass,
 but given the cost, it seemed a frivolous thing to do.
Click to see how spray paint can turn clear glass into vintage mirror.
I was thrilled with the improvement!
 No more looking at the messiness that quickly accumulates on the shelves.

With this project quickly finished,
there was time to make one more batch of cookies,
 using a recipe shared by a friend, Miss Niki,
for the best Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER!

If you love your cookies melt-in-your-mouth-moist,
then this is a recipe for you. 
The key is to let the dough rest for at least 24 hours in the refrigerator. 
 This allows the gluten in the flour to relax and not make your cookies hard.  
 Don't ask me how or why, I just know it works.

  • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1 2/3 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature (1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 package  Ghiardelli bittersweet chocolate baking chips
  • 1 package Ghiardelli semi-sweet chocolate baking chips
  • sea salt for sprinkling

1. Sift the flours, baking powder and baking soda into a bowl and set aside
2. Using electric mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until well blended.  Add the vanilla extract.  Gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing until blended.  Stir in the chocolate baking chips until evenly distributed through the dough.
3.  Cover the dough by pressing  plastic wrap against it.  Refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
4.  When ready to bake, let the dough come to room temperature so you can scoop it.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line or grease your baking sheets.  Scoop dough and place on baking sheet.
I use an ice cream scoop - about 2 Tablespoons worth for each cookie, but you can make the cookies larger if you wish.  Don't press the dough down -- let it stay the way it is.  Sprinkle the cookies lightly with sea salt.
5.  Bake 10-12 minutes for smaller cookies, or 18-20 minutes for the larger ones.
6.  Allow the cookies to cool slightly on the baking sheet, then move them to another surface to cool.

Can freeze these for up to 2 months, but they won't last that long!


....and Merry Christmas to all!

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