Friday, October 7, 2011

Ian's Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies + DIY Vanilla

We've monkeyed with many cookie recipes over the years and Ian's got this one absolutely perfected...

2/3 cup evaporated cane sugar
1 stick cold butter, cut into 1/2" cubes (must be cold!)
1 egg (love those Schaner Farm eggs!)
1&1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I make my own)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup & 2 tablespoons all purpose unbleached wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
a heaping cup of chocolate chips (fair trade of course)
3/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (Terra Bella Farm has lovely ones)

Cream the sugar and butter together. Add the egg, vanilla and salt and mix well.  Add the flour and soda and mix until just combined. Fold in the chips and nuts. Drop rounded spoonfuls of dough on a greased baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 8-12 minutes.

Makes 2 dozen.

Chocolate chocolate chip cookies - reduce flour to 1 cup and add 1/4 of fair trade cocoa powder

Make Your Own Vanilla Extract
This is very, very simple:  after you use vanilla beans, save the pods!  They can be wiped clean or gently rinsed (if you've boiled them in cream, for example) and dried.  Put them in a dark glass jar (with a tight fitting lid) or bottle with 1/2 cup of rum, brandy or vodka (Ballast Point makes rum and vodka locally).  Wait a couple months before using. Keep adding vanilla pods whenever you use them!

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