On Friday evening, Shane & I officially put our house up for sale. A few hours later, we had two separate parties asking to see the house the next day. Saturday morning, Shane ran around like a chicken with its head cut off cleaning the house, taking stuff to storage, etc., etc., where I was given the “job” of baking. He felt people would be more likely to buy the house if it smelled like pie and cookies, and who was I to disabuse him of that?
The real reason behind the baking was to prepare for Kian’s 11th birthday. We were celebrating with friends on Sunday and needed to get ready. As Kian isn’t into cake, I baked two cherry pies. (Nor is he into gourmet cherry pies either: these were Pillsbury crust babies with Comstock pie filling. I know: classy.)
For those who don’t like cherry pie (me) I made chocolate chip cookies. The Wednesday Chef reminded me that the NYT’s Amanda Hesser had published three types of chocolate chip cookie recipes earlier this year. So, like the Wednesday Chef, I made Hesser’s Flat and Chewy chocolate chip cookies.
They are awesome. Buttery, with a bit of saltiness (don’t let that scare you off – it’s a good thing) provides the perfect counterpoint to the brown sugar and chocolate chips. I made them with and without walnuts. In response to their deliciousness, the Toll House people have committed hari kari.
All the baking was done a few hours before the prospective buyers arrived. I displayed the pies in my kitchen and the cookies under a domed cake plate in the center of my dining room table. There were plenty of cookies (I probably got 40 out of the recipe) so I piled some extras on a plate with the note “Please Enjoy” and left the house in the care of our lovely realtors.
There has been A LOT of interest in our house. I like to think the cookies are responsible.
Flat-and-Chewy Chocolate-Chip Cookies
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 ¼ tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. kosher salt (I used 2 tsps. Regular salt)
8 oz butter, softened
1 ½ c. packed light brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 c. chopped bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli’s 60-percent cocoa chocolate chips)
2 c. chopped toasted walnuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325-degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. (I stirred, but didn't sift, these together.)
In a mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter and sugars until fluffy, 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla. Add the flour mixture all at once and blend until a dough forms. Fold in the chocolate and walnuts. Chill the dough.
Roll 2 1/2 -tablespoon lumps of dough into balls, then place on the baking sheet and flatten to 1/2 -inch-thick disks spaced 2 inches apart. (Place a square of parchment paper a bit larger than the dough on top of each ball, then press down on the paper with a drinking glass. It makes fast work of flattening the cookie.) Chill the dough between batches.
Bake until the edges are golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes. Let cool slightly on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack. Makes 30 to 35 cookies. (As I used less cookie dough per cookie -- I think I have a small cookie dough scoop -- the recipe yielded more cookies. Each cookie baked up to about 4 inches across.)
UPDATE: I made another batch this evening, this time with toasted chopped pecans. They're really good.