Thursday, September 24, 2009

Something Sweet...

You know the drill. It's 9pm, you ate dinner two hours ago, and you're hungry. Hungry for something sweet. And this is precisely why you don't let yourself buy snacks or candy to keep in the house: you will eat it. And a lot of it, especially if no one is looking. So, you search your cupboards and refrigerator, and settle on something less than satisfying - usually a small cracker or a scoop of peanut butter. Maybe you've been lucky enough to find a dried cranberry or two. But, well, blah. Not sweet enough, and now you've nibbled on about 9 things and find yourself feeling a little sick and very underwhelmed. Oh, woe.

Last night, my friends Kate and Katherine were lamenting about this situation to me. It's something that happens to everyone, because let's be honest, the only way to not eat lots of sweets is to not have them around the house. But sometimes you just need something delicious. Just a couple of bites.

My solution has been to keep my pantry well stocked with baking items. It's better to eat homemade cookies than storebought ones, right? And I only end up actually going through the process of baking if I'm really desperate. Desperate enough to take the time to bake homemade cookies and do all of the dishes...

Quick Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Amy Sedaris who in turn adapted from the Nestle Tollhouse recipe. This amount will give you about 20 small cookies if using a tablespoon to drop them on the sheet. I generally bake 1 sheet full (9 or 12) and then freeze the rest of the dough.

1 stick of butter, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/8 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (amount can vary)
1/2 cup walnuts (optional, but recommended)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Beat the butter and the sugars together using a hand mixer. Add vanilla and egg and beat until combined. Gradually add the flour, baking soda, and salt, making sure that it all combines. Stir in chips and nuts. Drop tablespoon sized balls of the dough onto a cookie sheet, and bake for about 10 minutes.

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