The Simple Things in Life.

I live a pretty simple life. I wake up every morning about 9, I watch reruns of The Office on TBS on a daily basis, I listen to my new Josh Groban cd too much for anyone else's comfort, and I bake. Sometimes I'll stray outside my usual day to day schedule and go on a shopping spree at TJ Maxx, or go on a weekend trip with my mom to Columbus. But most of the time, I wake up in the morning in my warm bed and I know that the day ahead of me is going to be like every other: simple. Now, don't get my wrong, I wouldn't change a thing about my life. For me, simple is nice. I enjoy knowing what I'm going to do everyday and I love writing to-do lists and keeping track of my schedule. Some may call that boring, but I like to think of my life as planned, and there is nothing wrong with that.
A few weeks ago, I broke out of my normal daily pattern, and I hopped on a plane at the awful hour of 5:30 in the morning. Where was I going, you ask? Raleigh, North Carolina. My aunt lives there and she invited me down to visit, and to attend and photograph the Cut to the Core culinary competition at Johnson & Whales in Charlotte. I have a ton of things to say about this, so I think I'm going to just dedicate an entire post to it, instead of cramming it all into this one.
Guess who was one of the guest speakers at the event?! Alton Brown! And I met him! I was totally geeking out like a little kid when I talked to him, but I'm sure he gets that all the time. He talked about his healthy eating journey and how he lost 50 pounds! His speech was exciting and inspirational too. After he was finished, he stood at the beginning of an extremely long line and signed every book that awaited his signature. When I got to the front of the line, I was very nervous. What do you say to someone who is such a culinary inspiration? The first thing that popped into my head was a recipe of his. For one that many foodies know and love. The Chewy. So I just mentioned to him that it was the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever and that everyone loved it. Then he signed both of my books, one for me and one for my mom, and sent me on my way. It was the coolest moment ever.
So I thought it was an appropriate way to share my story of North Carolina with you with my favorite chocolate chip cookie. In this cookie, butter is melted not softened, bread flour is used, and the brown:white sugar ratio is greater than most cookies. Something about the way the melted butter interacts with the bread flour makes the cookie oh so chewy and awesome. This chocolate chip cookie is far from simple. Perhaps that's the reason I love it so much.
So even if you live a simple life, like me, you need to make this cookie. Your day will go from ordinary to extraordinary.

First, start with a recipe...
The Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie-recipe by Alton Brown

-2 sticks unsalted butter
-2 1/4 cups bread flour
-1 teaspoon kosher salt
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1/4 cup sugar
-1 1/4 cup brown sugar
-1 egg
-1 egg yolk
-2 Tablespoons milk
-1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
-2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

Pour the melted butter in a mixing bowl. Add the sugars and cream on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, milk, and vanilla, and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Chill the dough, then scoop onto parchment lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet, and bake for 14 minutes (I only baked mine for 8 because they were done enough then). Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

1 comment:

  1. That's awesome Erin! Believe it or not I can't tell you the last time I baked CCC. I'm not much of a cookie baker. I much prefer the simplicity and ease of bars. That said I've had my eye on this recipe for quite some time. Even have the bread flour. Yours look terrific. Perhaps it's time.....

    Btw, there is a lot to be said about routines!