5.28.2009

fine company

partly eaten cookie

When it comes to my jam-packed study schedule, Eli is a Very Supportive Husband. I capitalize, here, as a sign of affection and appreciation. It is thanks to him that our apartment remains hospitable to human life. These days, he washes more than his share of dishes, keeps the garbage and recycling moving from our apartment at a steady clip and, because he knows that - even two rooms over in my office - I work better knowing that our bedroom is tidy, he makes the bed every morning.

But there is one very special thing that he does for me even beyond all this. It's probably his most important contribution to the whole project of exam preparation: He leaves me alone.

When I have to study, Eli doesn't complain. He simply goes rock climbing with my sister, or to a movie with a neighbor, or cycling with a co-worker. In edible terms, he makes like a banana and splits. Eli has no trouble whatsoever keeping himself entertained, and for that, I am grateful. Is it weird that of all of Eli's many winning qualities, it's his self-sufficiency that's making my heart burst of late? "He leaves me alone." Surely this is not the most romantic statement ever uttered by a woman about her man. But still. I love that the one with whom I could happily spend every second of the day is also one who has a full and fabulous life without me. Dare I say, it's kind of a turn-on.

Last Saturday afternoon, I burrowed into my office for a study session. Eli left me to my books and went out to a barbeque at a friend's house. I read, flagged pages, and outlined like mad. When I finally looked at the clock, it was almost 10pm. I had had enough of Imperial Russia for one day. I closed the books, pried myself from my chair, and as the blood returned to my extremities, I suddenly didn't feel like being alone anymore. One moment aloneness had felt powerful and productive. The next, it felt just plain lonely. It's funny how that works.

Eli called to say that he was enjoying the bonfire and would likely be another couple of hours. All of my friends were either out of town or otherwise occupied. I had no choice but to take matters into my own industrious hands. A stick of butter, an egg, and a heaping cup of chocolate chips later, things were looking up. I snatched a couple of still-warm chocolate chip cookies from the cooling rack, poured myself a glass of milk, and called my mom. We discussed all manner of girly things. It's nearly impossible to feel lonely, I find, when you've got milk, cookies, and Mom.

cookies in tin

Eli came home shortly after I had polished off my fourth cookie. He smelled like fire. I, presumably, smelled like chocolate.

If ever you are forced to settle for the company of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies on a Saturday night, look no further than this recipe. And really now, with a plate of warm cookies on your lap, who's settling?

one cookie

Chocolate Chip Cookies (Make Fine Company)
Adapted from David Lebovitz's The Great Book of Chocolate, via Smitten Kitchen

I like that this recipe is on the smaller side. It produces only about 20-25 cookies, just a couple of tray's worth. The smaller ingredient quantities make prep time a little faster than when you're dealing with one of those monster recipes. Plus, it's nice ending up with a batch that doesn't take up every level surface in your home while cooling.

The original recipe contains 1 cup of toasted, finely chopped walnuts. That sounds good to me, but I left them out this time around.

1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
8 T. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large egg
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. baking soda
1 1/4 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
1 1/2 c. dark chocolate chips (I use Whole Foods brand, 70%.)

Adjust the oven rack to the top third of the oven and preheat to 300F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Beat the sugars and the butter together until smooth. Mix in the egg, vanilla, and baking soda.

Stir together the flour and salt, then mix them into the batter. Mix in the chocolate chips (and walnuts, if using.)

Scoop the cookie dough by rounded tablespoon into balls, and space them several inches apart on the baking sheets. (The dough will spread in the oven)

Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until pale golden brown. The cookies will be pretty soft when you remove them from the oven, but will cool to a pleasant firm-but-still-chewy consistency.

Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to three days.

Using the rounded 1 tablespoon measure per cookie, makes 26 cookies.

24 comments:

Len and Zen said...

Great post. Thanks for droppin' by on our blog. I'll add you on our food avenue. Thanks. Oh, do you have a twitter so i'll know if you have new post?. Thanks again.

Len

Holly H. said...

I can't wait to try these - and this dreary gross weather is perfect for some alone time and cookies.

slowlikehoney said...

Oh yes, fresh chocolate chip cookies are our friends. Especially when paired with ice cream.

Jess said...

Thanks, Len. Yes, I just recently joined all the cool kids over at Twitter. I'm @sweetamandine. See you there!

Holly - It's true. Though I would prefer picnics this time of year, at least this drippy weather is a good excuse to eat warm cookies.

Slowlikehoney, you have inspired me. I'm on dessert duty for a dinner tomorrow night, and now I think I'll bake up another batch of these and serve them with ice cream. Merci!

Kerstin said...

Chocolate chip cookies are very comforting, especially warm out of the oven with a tall glass of cold milk :) Good luck studying!

Jess said...

Hi, Kerstin - Thanks for the good studying vibes.

Shannalee said...

How lovely. I definitely relate---both on the needing to be alone and needing company. These cookies (and the phone call) are exactly my kind of answer.

Blondish said...

You know we're of the same mind (heart) when it comes to self-sufficiency. There is no sexier quality a man can have.

Colin's Mom said...

Oh I couldn't agree more, what's a better date than a warm chocolate chip cookie and a tall glass of milk to wash it down?!

Happy Belated Birthday to you too!

Jess said...

Shannalee - It's funny, isn't it, how we so viscerally experience those needs for being alone and for NOT being alone? Thanks for relating.

Blondish - That's right, babe.

Colin's Mom - Indeed. And thank you for the birthday wishes!

Yaffa said...

I made these cookies on Shavuot... and they were delicious! My first time making cookies from scratch and they were sooooo good! Everyone was complimenting me on them. But it was really annoying mixing since i could not use any electronic mixers on the holiday... only the oven!

finsmom said...

I could really go for one of these right now -they look incredible!

Rosiecat said...

Your blog is scrumptious! My blogging friend Shannon suggested I pay you a visit, and I'm so glad I did. I'm trying to read from start to present.

I totally agree with you about small-batch cookie recipes. They are my favorite for exactly the reasons you list. This is one of my favorite small-batch recipes (I like to share):
http://lifeloveandfood24.blogspot.com/2008/10/life-rich-in-recipes.html

Jess said...

Oh my gosh I'm making those TONIGHT. I actually bought chocolate chips today b/c I saw this post last week.
Thanks!

Jess said...

Hi, Yaffa. I'm so happy to hear that your first ever "cookies from scratch" baking endeavor was a success! You're a natural, my dear. I'm honored to have provided you with the recipe. Say hello to your mom, dad, and sisters for me, okay?

Thanks, finsmom. Come to think of it, I could use one too...

Welcome, Rosiecat! Many thanks to your friend, Shannon, for sending you my way. The thought of someone poking around in the Sweet Amandine archives makes me smile. I hope you will like what you find. Thank you for the small-batch cookie recipe. I've never thought to put peanut butter in an oatmeal cookie before!

And Jess - Happy baking! I'm a little envious. I'm fresh out of both chocolate chips and cookies around here.

Julie said...

Sounds like a dream evening to me. However. Loneliness and cookies (especially chocolate chip, warm from the oven) are not a good combination for me. I would have devoured all evidence before anyone came home.

♥peachkins♥ said...

Your cookie recipe looks really delicious..

Jess said...

Julie - Well, I did eat four. Who knows how many I could have packed away had Eli not come home when he did.

Welcome peachkins, and thank you.

jasmine said...

im going to try this today. thanks for posting, they look perfect :)

Jess said...

Hi, Jasmine. Enjoy!

Danica Patrick Milk Mustache said...

Def going to need some milk for those cookies!

Jess said...

My thoughts, exactly, Danica Patrick Milk Mustache.

Anonymous said...

Surely you meant to write one and a half cups of chocolate chips...I know this is a small batch, but one and a half chips would be pathetic! Thanks for the recipe. I'd never noticed it at Smitten Kitchen.

Jess said...

Thank you, dear Anonymous, for your eagle eyes! One and a half chips would be pathetic, indeed. I'll make the change at once.