What’s Making Me Happy, May 18, 2013

Perfect (well – almost) Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found this recipe on Saveur‘s website (one of my favorite food magazines) a while back, and it is almost perfect. Gillian had been telling me for years that she wanted to find a good recipe for flat and chewy and just a little crispy chocolate chip cookies. We found that the  recipe on the chocolate chip bag just wasn’t cutting it.

I say it is almost perfect because I don’t like the shaved chocolate that it calls for. I found that it melted so thoroughly throughout the dough that it made chocolate cookies, rather than chocolate CHIP cookies. They were good, but not quite what I wanted.

With a few tweaks and the original recipe more or less halved, this is what I’ve come up with. They are perfectly delicious almost every time. Being able to satisfy the discriminating palate of my spouse, who is an extraordinary cook, makes me very happy.


1 C flour
1 t  fleur de sel (or your favorite salt – I like to get a little fancy here)
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t cinnamon (optional)
3/4 C brown sugar
3/4 C white sugar
8 T unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
1 t vanilla extract
6 oz chocolate chips, roughly chopped


1. Mix flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda in a bowl; set aside.

2. In another bowl, beat sugars and butter with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, then beat in vanilla.

3. Add reserved flour mixture, chocolate, and nuts; mix until just combined.

4. Roll the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, and roll into a thick log. The log should be wrapped in the plastic wrap. You may opt to wrap the log with a second layer of tin foil. Chill for about 1/2 hour before baking.

5. Heat oven to 325°. Divide dough into 1-tbsp. portions; roll into balls, transfer to parchment paper–lined baking sheets spaced 3″ apart, and flatten. Bake until set, about 15 minutes.

I keep the dough in the fridge and make cookies to order, so they are fresh out of the oven whenever we want them.


Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Pie Dough

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus a little extra for dusting dough and work surface
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into ¼-inch pieces
8 tablespoons all-vegetable shortening, chilled
6-8 tablespoons ice water

Mix flour, salt, and sugar. Using a food processor fitted with a steel blade, or using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour. Add shortening, continuing to cut into the flour until the flour is pale yellow and looks like coarse cornmeal.

Sprinkle 6 tablespoons of the water over the mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold the mix to work in the water. Press down on dough with broad side of spatula until dough sticks together, adding up to 2 tablespoons of water if needed to help the dough come together if needed. Divide into 2 balls, flattening each into a disk about an inch thick. Dust lightly with flour, wrap in plastic, and chill for ½ hour.

3 1/2 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices trimmed rhubarb (1 1/2 pounds untrimmed)
1 16-ounce container strawberries, hulled, halved (about 3 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix ingredients for filling and set aside.

Pie Assembly

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Roll out 1 dough disk on floured work surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter pie dish. Trim excess dough, leaving 3/4-inch overhang.

Roll out second dough disk on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Cut into fourteen 1/2-inch-wide strips. Spoon filling into crust. Arrange 7 dough strips atop filling, spacing evenly. Form lattice by placing remaining dough strips in opposite direction atop filling. Trim ends of dough strips even with overhang of bottom crust. Fold strip ends and overhang under, pressing to seal. Crimp edges decoratively.

Blend 1 large egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water for glaze. Brush the exposed lattice.

Place the pie pan on a baking sheet and place in oven. After 20 minutes at 400°F, reduce temperature to 350°F, and continue baking for 1 hour and 25 minutes.