Meet Small-Batch Kitchen Writer FAYE DAVENPORT:
After more than 35 years as a TV producer/director in Washington, D.C., life has relocated me to my hometown outside Philadelphia, PA. I was once a NotMom by choice, but when I married, I became a NotMom by chance. A familiar tale. Now, I’m divorced and enjoying a good relationship with my adult stepdaughter. Through it all, I’ve been passionate about cooking good food and baking delicious desserts.
I am chocolate chip cookie crazy. Chocolate chip cookies were my first big baking “thing”. Like the beginning cook who specializes in spaghetti, I specialized in the chocolate chip cookie. I’d found a recipe that was beyond the traditional toll house…a chocolate chip cookie that was loaded with extras. I loved this cookie. People loved this cookie. I took them everywhere and was very pleased with my efforts.
Then two things happened. I began taking my baking to the folk at my weekend freelance gig, where I got assigned to work with someone who really liked chocolate chip cookies. And I figured out that my wonderfully loaded up chocolate chip cookie was loaded up with stuff that took away from what would be the true essence of a really good chocolate chip cookie…which would be the chocolate, and the cookie. So, I began the exploration of baking the really good chocolate chip cookie.
Now, the truth of the matter is that the deliciousness rating really does depend on the buds of the taster. Some people like a soft cake-like cookie, some like crisp, some want nuts, some don’t, some want dark chocolate, some want semi-sweet and some (!!) want white chocolate mixed in. There are countless variations, and I do love trying as many as I can. But….
I cannot make a full batch of cookies and keep them. If I have a batch of cookies nearby, I’ll be eating a batch of cookies. Not all at one time, of course. One at a time. Maybe two at a time. All day. Every day. However, eating a full tin of cookies is counterproductive to my current “new-and-improved-healthy-eating-program”.
Now, a person with better self-control could make a full recipe, freeze the dough and just bake a couple of cookies at a time. I don’t know that person.
Sometimes, in the spur of the moment though, I really want a chocolate chip cookie. Or two. Four, if I hafta share. Here’s a recipe for scrumptious cookies. My masterpieces are shown above. With a hand mixer, this cookie dough comes together in less than five minutes for a chocolaty delicious, quick chip fix. If you try them, I hope you’ll let me know what you think!
Small Serving Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes four 4-inch-ish cookies – Adapted from Food and Wine. (Original output: 3 1/2 dozen cookies)
- 2 TB butter, room temp
- 3 TB brown sugar
- 2 tsp. white sugar
- 1½ TB beaten egg (I eye-balled that “half”)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 6 TB flour
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2/3 C Dark chocolate chips (I used chunks)
- 1/3 C chopped toasted pecans or walnuts (optional)
- Sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350º. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt (I used a fork).
- In another bowl, cream butter and sugars (I used another fork).
- Add in egg and vanilla (I needed the mini-whisk to completely incorporate).
- Add dry ingredients to wet and mix to fully blended (back to the fork, and a spatula to scrape the flour from the bottom and sides of bowl). Fold in chocolate chips and nuts.
- Divide dough into 4 more or less equal-sized balls, and place each at least 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten slightly and sprinkle each with a few flakes of sea salt.
- Bake 13-15 minutes, turning pan around at six minutes. Check for doneness at 12 minutes. Cookies are done when edges are browned and center still feels soft. They can be taken out earlier for softer cookies or left in another minute or longer for more crisp.
- Cool cookies for a couple of minutes on sheet before eating!
*To toast nuts, spread out on a non-stick pan and roast for 4-6 minutes, turning the nuts with a spatula halfway through. Take out when you smell the yummy nutty fragrance ‘cause they will burn quickly. They will also keep cooking if you leave them on the hot pan, so dump them onto a plate immediately. I roast at least one entire pan at a time so I have them on hand for the next baking. AND roasted nuts taste fabulous when tossed on a salad or on a simple pasta dish.
Disclaimer: Views and opinions expressed on this page are entirely my own. I will only endorse products or services reviewed through my own experience. Featured recipes tagged ‘adapted from’ have been modified and tested by me. Any recipe that I have not personally tested will be noted.