Friday, May 1, 2009

A Baking Journey


When I was young(er), my sister and I would come home from school and take store-bought cookies and place them on a baking sheet and "cook" them until the chocolate melted. While we thought we were entering Baking 101, the reality is - we wanted melted chocolate and we had never heard of chocolate fondue. (This was in the olden days.) We later graduated to Tollhouse cookies. Baking cookies was usually something done over the holidays.
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During my single-actress-poverty-stricken days, I usually had free dinners where I waitressed. (Actress=waitress). On Mondays, I had the tradition of working lunch and taking my earnings to cook myself a gourmet meal (by myself) in my tiny 5-flight-walk-up Greenwich Village apartment. The kitchen had a bathtub/shower in it. Oh yes, I lived in charm. I always made a luscious dinner and dessert always came from a local pastry shop. I didn't bake.
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During my "children growing up" days, I cooked up a storm. But I rarely baked. Baking needs attention. Careful measuring. Time at oven. Hovering. I worked anywhere from 2-3 jobs at a time as a freelancer and had children who seemed to aspire to getting into the Guiness Book of World Records by seeing how many activities they could join. I baked over the holidays and then when I had an odd craving for a biscotti that no one seemed to make. In the last three years, my New Year's resolution has been to start baking. And this winter, the resolution finally took wing. Along with my weight!
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I first made these chocolate chip cookies from Donna FFW's website My Tasty Treasures. (It's the "My Big Fat Chocolate Chip Recipe" from Tyler Florence.) Each cookie can feed a family of four, so this time I adjusted the portion and the timing of the cookies. I've gotten hooked on the taste of freshly-baked. Just as I prefer that my dinner not come through a window while I sit in a car, it just took one winter to convince me that the store-bought cookies are not worth the calories. And I really wanted some cookies and milk yesterday. And the recipe couldn't be easier. Enjoy. (I like to use the Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips - but that's me.) Mr. Florence's recipe is just sitting there with nothing to do.

21 comments:

Reeni♥ said...

They look thick and soft and delicious! Just the way I like my chocolate chips cookies. You have me giggling over the bathtub in the kitchen!

Wanda said...

I know what you mean about store bought Claudia ...Keebler Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies aren't anything like they were 20 years ago...they were almost perfect texture wise...large chips and you could actually see pieces of coconut...Also...I'm actually eating toffee almond biscotti right now...not homemade...Nonni's!

girlichef said...

Yes, I absolutely adore homemade chocolate chip cookies (well, any baked goods, really). When I was little, I put my chocolate chips cookies on a plate in the microwave for a few seconds to make them warm & melty...ha ha. :D

unconfidentialcook said...

I completely agree about packaged cookies--not worth it! My daughter nukes all baked goods, even the ones (almost always chocolate) we make from scratch. She loves the frosting or chips or whatever as gooey as possible.

Chow and Chatter said...

what a lovely story will make them taste even sweeter

lol Rebecca

Lynda said...

Your cookies look great; there's just no comparison to the "store bought" ones!
I enjoyed those bathtub memories. :)

5 Star Foodie said...

The cookies sound totally delicious - so much better homemade! Yum!

Gloria Chadwick said...

That's so cute how you "baked" the store-bought cookies when you were young(er). :) I LOVE melty chocolate chip cookies with a tall glass of cold milk.

Pam said...

I never thought to bake store bought cookies until the chocolate melted. The cookies you made look tasty - I saw that recipe on Donna's site.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What delicious looking cookies! I love to bake...

Cheers and have a wonderful weekend,

Rosa

Christina Kim said...

Claudia, I love your story! Thank you for sharing with us. Those cookies look great. Isn't Donna-FFW hilarious?

OhioMom said...

Chocolate chip are the hands down favorite in our home, and I use Ghiradelli chips too :)

Nothing like warm cookies from the oven with a cold glass of milk .. yummmy!

burpandslurp said...

I'm glad you've discovered your love for baking! I was the other way...I loved baking first, then cooking!
those cookies look really soft and delicious! ten thousands times the worth of store-bought!

Sara said...

These cookies look great! I haven't made any treats in a while, I think it's time for that to change :)

Julianas said...

Wow, these cookies looks delicious...nothing more tempting that home made cookies.

Heather said...

don't you love memories of your first "adult" job? It makes me laugh thinking back to what I used to do as a lifeguard/swimming instructor.

these cookies look yummy :)

Pearl said...

:) when i was little, i used to heat store-bought choco chip cookies in the microwave. :)

Tatieva said...

Hum, des petits sablés pour le petit déjeuner, merci !
Ca a l'air tout simplement trés bon, trés simple... ;-)
Kisses from France,
Tatieva

Donna-FFW said...

They are some of my favorite cookies.. I am so glad you continue to enjoy them. I always ENJOY your stories Claudia!

Grace said...

"each cookie can feed a family of four..."--sounds like my kind of cookie, but i can understand why you scaled it down. i loved reading a bit about your past, too!

Dimah said...

Mmmm...The cookies look wonderful!