Friday, April 25, 2008

Hello? Is anybody out there?

Oy. I only meant to take a few weeks off, but it turned into a couple of months! Life's been very busy and still is, but I'm going to try posting even just once a week to see if I can get back into the groove of things.

I've missed blogging, but on the upside, I have gotten a lot of things accomplished. I won't go into all the boring details, but one exciting thing I accomplished was painting all four bedrooms upstairs! Now that the weather is really nice, know I'll be very glad that I got it done over the winter so that I can focus my attention on the outdoors and the garden. Speaking of the garden, more on that in a later post.............

It's hard to figure out what my first post should be after being absent for so long! Since I left off last with a savory recipe, let's go sweet. I don't bake much these days. As much as I love to bake, it's just not good for the waistline, so I've cut back rather dramatically. It's not as much fun, but we're healthier for it.

If you like to bake and you like cookies, chances are you might be interested in this recipe. If not, you'll be bored by yet ANOTHER chocolate chip cookie recipe. Obviously I'm never bored or tired of them.....

This one was posted by a fellow blogger and member of the CLBB, Laura from The Spiced Life. Her raves about the flavor and texture of this cookie made me decide that it was definitely worth a try.

As I've probably mentioned here before, I'm a chocolate chip cookie snob - meaning I have a very definite idea of what I want out of a chocolate chip cookie and most cookies fall short of what I want. While these cookies are not quite as buttery as I like, I think the trade off for the texture is probably worth it - they are fabulously chewy -and chewiness ranks second right behind buttery flavor in what I look for in a chocolate chip cookie.

Unlike Laura, I usually like the taste of chocolate chip cookies BETTER the next day - the buttery flavor deepens as they sit - so that is not an issue for me. The use of peanut butter in the batter was intriguing. I also found it interesting that the batter only called for one stick of (per 2 cups of flour) - most of my favorite recipes call for two sticks.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
I think I would dub these "Bill Yosses' Best of Both Worlds Chocolate Chip Cookies". They look and feel like a shortening cookie - if I saw this cookie on a plate somewhere, I probably would turn up my nose and pass it by because it really looks like a shortening-based cookie - it's thicker and it holds its shape well. But since they are made with butter, they don't have the boring flavor of a shortening cookie - you can taste the butter. They are not as deliciously buttery as a Toll House (one of the 2 sticks of better recipes), but like I said, the texture is so wonderful and they don't spread like so many do, I might be willing to give up the extra butter. The taste of a butter cookie with the texture of a shortening cookie - the best of both worlds. It is my theory that the peanut butter acts sort of like shortening but without actually giving it a peanut buttery flavor and certainly not the crumbliness I associate with an out-and-out peanut butter cookie.

With both batches, I used 1 teaspoon of vanilla, no vanilla beans and Smuckers Natural PB. The first batch I made I decided to use up some open bags of chips, so I used a half bag of peanut butter chips and a half bag of semisweet chips. I also chilled the batter for several hours because I was unable to bake them right away. I baked them for about 10 minutes. The cookies came out fine, but I didn't like all the chips. I'm one of those weird people who don't like many chips in my chocolate chip cookies - I want to taste the cookie part.

The second time I made them, I used one cup of Ghirardelli's bittersweet chocolate chips - my preferred chip for baking cookies. I baked them at 350 (my oven runs hot) for about 12 minutes WITHOUT chilling them. They came out even better. I think that chilling is definitely not necessary for these cookies and I actually think they had a better texture this time around (although the chips in the first batch may have contributed to that).

I forget exactly how many cookies I got - about 3 dozen (more the first time since there were 2 cups of chips).

Ahh, it feels good to post again. I hope someone is still out there checking on my neglected blog and that everyone hasn't given up on me entirely. Although I know I'd keep posting even if no one was reading, just because it's fun.


  1. Hi Alysha,

    Welcome back! I was delighted to see your feed. The cookies look super yum. Sounds like you've been busy, but it's great to see a post again. The Savory Notebook is my favorite cooking blog. I really love your descriptions of how recipes turned out. So please keep it up! Maybe when the summer comes you will have more time like last year? Thanks for the post.

  2. Thanks Sandy. Yes, my job ends for the summer at the end of May, so I should have more time to blog. But our baseball schedule may well keep me from being able to cook much! It's always something........

  3. Good to see you again!

  4. Topher - Thanks!

  5. YAY!!! You are back!!! I'm so glad!!!!! :) Your food is so 'real' and I love how you describe your processes.

  6. Hey There!

    Just noticed you were back. Yay! I SOOOOO want to make these cookies!!

  7. theorbo - Thanks. :)

    recipegirl - I definitely recommend giving these cookies a try!

  8. Anonymous2:32 PM

    Welcome back! I found your blog while you were on your break and I was afraid you weren't going to come back! I fell in love with your food when I came across your postings on the Cooking Light BB's years ago- your famous spinach ball and marinara! Anything you suggested was good, my cooking light group would make, lol. So glad I found this blog, keep up the amazing work!

  9. anonymous - Thank you so much for your kind and flattering comments. I was afraid I might not come back either, but it was no fun to cook up yummy food and not be able to share it. :)

  10. You have such a distinct writing style that when I saw this I was pretty sure it was you--and it was. Did you give these people permission to post your post?

    No biggie to me, since it links to me, but it sure does not to you! So, just a head's up...