Monday, September 1, 2008
I have a great friend who recently moved back to The City (yes, that must be capitalized, since in my opinion only one city qualifies as The City) and she moved into a New York apartment that is the envy of all of her friends. Her apartment has, shall we say, a unique layout on the bottom floor, as so many of them do. But walk up a short set of stairs and through her bedroom and you're thrown out onto her little private paradise on the roof. It's a dream. Anyway, this friend is very in to throwing BBQ's, lucky for me. I tend to want to bring dessert whenever I'm invited anywhere, since I can't quite justify making it for only the boyfriend and myself. These are what I'm bringing to her.
And now a word about Lee Bailey. I love Lee Bailey. I tend to become a bit obsessed with particular cooks and he, along with Ms. Meyers, is one of them. I love love love his books. They're lavishly illustrated, a photo for every single recipe, all of which are fantastic, and, thanks to his relative obscurity (it was not always so!), are cheep and easy to find used (at least on-line). The gossip columnist Liz Smith has long extolled the virtues of Lee Bailey, calling him a forerunner of Martha Stewart because of his total approach to stylish living. His food is unpretentious, so far in my experience his recipes always work, and as I said, I'm a sucker for a good picture.
These cookies are excellent, as was to be expected. When my Norwegian boyfriend finally convinced me to let him have a taste of the batter, he declared it to be the best cookie dough he has ever eaten. We Americans may not have much, culinarily speaking, but man do we have the chocolate chip cookie.
Chocolate Chunk Cookies
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
9 ounces extra-bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Preheat the oven to 375, combine the first three ingredients and set aside. Cream the butter and sugars together until smooth (4 minutes), add the egg and mix well. Add the mixture of dry ingredients and combine thoroughly. Stir in the vanilla, nuts and chocolate in that order. Drop scoops of the batter onto an ungreased cookie sheet, leaving a bit of room between each. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the bottoms of the cookies are lightly browned.