Monday, July 25, 2016

The World Needs Cookies


There is much to be said about the sad state of the world but I don't really have the words.  Do you have a mantra that you must often repeat to yourself?  Mine--though not mine--is let go or be dragged.  I have to remind myself of this at least 78 times a day.  Whether I'm still pissed about how Peggy's story ended on Mad Men or still rehearse a diatribe aimed at one of my ex's mothers, letting go doesn't come naturally.  From sunrise when someone fucks up the line at Tim Horton's, midday political firestorms, to sunset when some horrible event has unfolded there are really only two choices.  Let go or be dragged.  Some fights, like how Kroger displays their fucking bell peppers unrefrigerated so it looks like a "farmers market" are worth fighting (they waste tons of produce and often what's available is squishy and gross).  I know eventually when I berate enough regional management, I will effect change.  You may call me Norma Gay.  Other fights are simply too big.  Our only real power is to be nice and create rather than destroy. 
My favorite moment from the RNC.
Did you see this about flag cakes? Thank you for sending it to me, Catherine!
This cake is not my best work but I try to keep 4th of July stress-free.
Bratwurst, grilled corn, and a Columbus specialty 




Who doesn't love a BLT buffet?


Though g&ts still hold my heart, a dirty martini is a nice change

I bought the red earthenware chargers when I was 14!
What foresight I had to buy 25 of them.  I didn't have time
to learn multiplication though. 

I'm obsessed with these Proven Winners Superbena Royale Red
 
Now is the time to get started! I always make my herb butter in the summer
and freeze.  One less thing to do in November and my herbs are plentiful now
So make cookies.  The world needs cookies. 

There has always been a short list of things I will not make.  This list has been formed over the years as I have catastrophically fucked things up.  For ten years I wouldn't work with yeast (I was much thinner in those ten years).  For 15 years I wouldn't make biscuits (disastrous burns two Thanksgivings in a row).  When I babysat my cousins, they wouldn't let me make them Kraft macaroni and cheese it just tastes bad when you make it.  They didn't want real macaroni and cheese.  They wanted neon powdered shit and sickly, pale noodles.  I'm persistent but there's no winning a stalemate with a six year old Aries girl.  So I boiled the noodles and she stirred in agent orange and milk and...margarine.  Let go or be dragged, let go or be dragged, let go or be dragged. 
But cookies were the longest-reigning item on the list.  I have tried so many times and failed so spectacularly.  I can't even make slice and bake cookies.  Yes, cookies designed and fortified at a molecular level to universally succeed have been spectacularly fucked up by me.  Also, I dislike most cookies.  I think of most cookies like I think of most ice cream: forgettable and regrettable.  Why draw a line in your sandy ass dry cookie dough at two sticks of butter and not 1/2 more?  If we "shouldn't" eat cookies anyway, we might as well make the transgression worth it.  What I love about these cookies is you really, truly only need one.  They are a dessert all their own and are immensely satisfying.  And they actually taste better the day after baking.  People say that about various things and it's so rarely true.  I swear this is true.  They are excellent two hours after baking but they are supreme the next day. 
These cookies are rather different in their preparation.  I started with this Martha recipe and kept most of the proportions but greatly tweaked the mixing. Basically what I want from a cookie is caramelization on the outside and super soft, barely cooked on the inside.  So to address my first usual cookie problem of rapid spreading and ultimate cookie collapse, I decided to hydrate the flour before mixing.  Usually in baking, you add your flour to a fat+egg mixture.  The fat is there for flavor and texture and the egg is there for protein (binding) and to catch and hold air. A good cookie is a dense cookie.  If you want an airy cookie, make a cupcake.  We don't want air.  Minimize mixing.  When you pre-combine the flour and the melted butter, they so readily become one.  This also imparts a much stronger butter flavor into the cookie because it affords each grain of flour the time to absorb the butter rather than just be coated in it like a normal cookie.  That absorption makes a huge difference in flavor.  The melted butter does make for a much less stable dough.  That is the importance of freezing the formed cookie dough balls.  You want that butter frozen solid when the heat of the oven hits it.  Baking at a high temp for cookies, 400, ensures that the exterior of the cookie cooks rapidly and acts as a force field for the butter as it melts. 
So the other unique thing in these cookies is diastatic maltpowder (DMP).  I first heard of DMP on the baking wonderland of The Fresh Loaf.  Oh my god I love those people.  They are so obsessed with bread and so generous with their knowledge.  I didn't buy any until America's Test Kitchen (ATK) included it in their baguette recipe last season.  ATK is conservative with specialty equipment and ingredients.  I figured if they were willing to urge their audience to buy it even though the recipe only used a teaspoon, then it must make a dramatic difference.  I live for specialty ingredients and equipment, so of course I ordered some.  I don't totally understand how it works; but it layman's terms, it makes flour softer.  You can read a more in-depth and competent explanation here.  I added it on a whim and was so pleased.  This recipe utilizes way more DMP that most do.  Too much DMP in bread dough and the baked bread tastes and looks oddly doughy.  Buuut in a cookie, that is a good thing.  The result is a practically melting cookie that is so soft, with such flavor you think they are not done baking. 
My first batch had just dark chocolate, but I loved the addition of white chocolate.  Because this cookie has a strong salt presence, white chocolate adds a lot to the overall flavor.  White chocolate is really not that great unless paired with salt. If you're sure you hate white chocolate, make yours with 12 ounces of dark chocolate.  I hate white chocolate but love it in these cookies.  The only other variable I see potentially being a problem is the sheet tray one uses.  I have used my dark nonstick sheets for these.  Color of sheet tray often does effect the bake.  So I wonder if on a lighter sheet tray, the outside would not caramelize as fast. If you're going to use a lighter tray, perhaps test bake one or two first and see how they respond.  If the cookies run and spread too thin too fast, try upping the temp to 415.  Dark surfaced baking equipment does hold more heat, baking slightly faster and often things color a touch darker when baked in a dark pan. 
 
Ruler included for chocolate chunk size, don't worry too much about precision


Leave them alone! no patting! 

Just don't forget to sprinkle the salt! Make sure to sprinkle the salt before freezing

Dark and White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

2 1/2 cups AP flour
1 1/4cups (2.5 sticks) butter, melted
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons diastatic malt powder
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon whiskey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 teaspoon salt-plus another tablespoon or so for topping
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
8 oz dark chocolate
4 oz white chocolate

1. Add flour, vegetable oil, and diastatic malt powder to melted butter.  Lightly mix until combined, being mindful to keep mixing to a minimum.  Let sit about 20 minutes. 

2. Chop chocolates into large chunks.  Put chopped chocolate into freezer.

3.  Mix sugars, eggs, whiskey, salt, and vanilla into the flour and butter mixture.  Once just combined, add chocolate and delicately mix in.  Some of the chunks will break, but keep mixing to a minimum both to minimize chocolate breakage and to maintain the soft texture of the cookies. 

4. Line sheet tray with parchment.  Using a 2" ice cream scoop, scoop cookie dough onto sheet trays.  Because they will freeze on this sheet, the dough balls can be crowded on.  Avoid temptation to pat or handle dough balls in any way, unless uneven shards break out of the circular perimeter, those may be patted back in to maintain the shape. 

5. Sprinkle each dough ball with about 3/4 pinch kosher salt. 

6. Freeze uncovered 4-12 hours. 

7. Preheat oven to 400F. 

8. Quickly place dough balls onto ungreased nonstick sheet tray.  The cookies will be about 2x the size of the dough so allow for expansion.  I only bake one sheet at a time as to keep oven humidity down. Quickly get cookies into oven and bake 9 minutes.  Put remaining dough back into freezer.  Start watching closely through closed oven door at about 7 minutes.  You will see the bottom and perimeter browning but middle should still look uncooked (though the middle will temp about 160).  In my oven, they are perfect after nine minutes exactly. 

9.  Remove and repeat.  Allow to cool on baking sheet.  If you try to remove them from baking sheet while still hot, they will likely break.  Interestingly, they taste very best about 24 hours after baking.  Though they are very good an hour or two after bake. 


My brother's become very interested in astrophotography  See the
shooting star? Make a wish!


67 comments:

  1. wow, thanks SAJ. what a great post. i'm not much of a cookie lover either but these sound fabulous. it's way too hot to bake here now but as soon as the temps cool i will. love your mantra btw. xo

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    1. Thank you! They are sooo good. it's too hot to bake here too but since my kitchen faces west I can get away with it if I bake early. Hope you're having a good summer!

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  2. Oh, how I wish I didn't LOVE cookies, but I totally DO!!! Those look amazing...all that glorious chocolate and salt. :) You're right, there's so much bad going on in our world it is disheartening and causes so many to have fearful hearts. We can do something about it though...remember, that peace and love always begin with ME. And you SA. Spread the love and the world will be a better place.

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    1. If yo make these, let me know how they turn out! They are sooo good!!

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  3. Is there anything more refreshing on a hot summer day than a beefeater gin & Tonic with a splash of lime, I ask you. And I absolutely love that mantra... perfect in the times we are living in.

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    1. You know I've never really bonded with Beefeater. My sister likes it a lot though. I feel like it doesn't have as much flavor as Tanqueray or Bombay. Last year when I posted about BLTs & g&ts, Namoi told me that the Tanqueray herbalist told her that grapefruit pairs best with Tanqueray and oooooh my a grapefruit g&t is so good! Otherwise my standard is a very limey Bombay. Thank you!

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    2. Well I might just give that a go. Thanks for the tip!

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  4. Love this post and needed it too. Your mantra, it's such a good one, I'm copying you all this week as I help my 21yo daughter pack up for Germany... every single time I look at the news something terrible has happened there or somewhere. The world right now, it is very easy to be scared shitless absolutely all the time.
    People need more cookies so true. Your recipe looks amazing and with the scientific genius approach you've taken here I can see it's not an accident. Will be trying these to wow my kids, thanks SAJ for your post today XOX

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    1. Oh Dani! I can't even imagine the anxiety! You're a better parent than I would be! I'd have her locked away and that ticket burned. It is such a hard time to have children. Make the cookies! They will help if only for a moment!

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    2. Not specially keen on biscuits either. But sometimes our son gets sentimental talking to his own children about when he was a boy, and he always recalls the Anzac biscuits I used to make and my ginger crunch (it really is good - and so easy).

      All the best Dani for your daughter's travel to Germany. Do tell her to avoid crowds and any big outdoor celebrations. She should also register her presence with your local
      Embassy and probably with your Foreign Ministry. This was the first year we didn't attend the Fete de la Musique, the wonderful annual Paris street music festival. Just didn't think it would be a good idea to mix in such crowds. Luckily everything was fine - but it just might have been a target.
      These are awful times - we've recently returned from nearly two months in France, incl. Nice. People live with the threat of terror and a constant security presence now - the army and different types of police in flak jackets, with automatic weapons, everywhere in Paris on patrol. We also saw busloads of military parked and on call, not far from where we always stay. The soldiers look battle hardened and grim, very alert. Even around the entrance to Le Bon Marche and all over, particularly stations, monuments, galleries etc. You have to open your bag to show the guard at any entrance (museums, theatres, shops even to go into your local supermarket). While waiting for the bus at the end of route stop near Chatelet, we noticed the driver lock the door after everyone got off, then he walked around the whole bus checking under every seat to make sure there were no bags or parcels left behind. When he was satisfied it was all clear he let us board.
      We have friends who live part of every year in Nice (the wife is French) - we had lunch with them only recently while there. They emailed last night to say they were on the Prom the evening of the attack - but decided to go home before the fireworks. So they came close to being caught up in the attack - and are feeling very shaken.
      Other friends who live in Paris say they will just hang in there. People are so brave. We kind of got used to the presence of so much security - at first it was alarming - but then I guess it kind of became re-assuring. I'm sure the Germans will soon (if not already) have a very strong security presence too, all over. How dreadful that all this is necessary!
      Best wishes, Pammie

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  5. Working for a few months at Dean & Deluca's cookie counter was enough to cure me of cookie's for LIFE (although I did start my education in cheese by trading the broken ones for bits of Époisse)...However, I do make a mighty mean dirty martini when the mood moves me.
    I needed this post today. Thank you.
    letgoorbedraggedletgoorbedraggedletgoorbedragged...

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    1. I am so jealous of that job!! What's your choice in martini? Gin or vodka? As much as I love my gin I prefer a (kettle one) vodka.

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  6. Oh Stephen, I love how you do up the 4th of July! Everything looks wonderful. I would expect nothing less of you ;) Those cookies look yummy - I'll have to give them a try. You've gotten my husband and I hooked on G&Ts this summer!

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    1. Thank you, Donna! Yes, absolutely make them! They are so good! What kind of gin are you liking? So glad to have spread the gospel!

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  7. Hi Stephen...definitely let go. I've said that hundreds of times, and still hold on. I'm a very nervous baker...always forgetting something. No one can talk to me when I'm attempting to bake something...and never ask "What are you baking?", unless your confident enough not to take my response personally. My worst baking episode was when I wanted to be a good mommy and bake the cupcakes for my daughter's kindergarten class on her birthday. I preheated the oven on broil, and forgot to turn it down...so, 7:00 a.m. we're at the bakery buying cupcakes. BUT, I will attempt these cookies...just don't ask me how they came out! Thanks Angela Muller

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    1. Oh god! I have done similar things so many times! How terrible! Rushed morning baking is never, ever good! I was teaching a cooking class once and one of the helpers put my frosted cupcakes in the oven! Hahaha.
      Please do tell me how the turn out! Enjoy!

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  8. Would you marry me? I know, I know. But would you? For every reason above and more besides, you're really something, Stephen Andrew.

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    1. It's been a while since I've had a proposal so I accept! Haha you have just landed in a very expensive and difficult spot! It's sort of like being married to 1970s Elizabeth Taylor but with more carbs and less talent. Thank you!

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    2. Bwahaha! Thank you for accepting. I am truly honored. ❤️

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  9. Your post brought me laughter,joy and a big smile during a day when one of my favorite people just got laid off from her job. At least she got a good severance. But you know there are more of these to come. I may just have to start baking cookies. The recipe looks great and there is power in being nice and kind. You totally nderstand that and I love love love Bahama Mamas............

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    1. Thank you! Oh I'm so sorry to hear that. Layoffs are so so stressful in a workplace. You should definitely do some stress relief baking! It's funny I used to love Bahamas but not so much anymore. But I always serve them!

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  10. why have I never thought of a BLT buffet? Where have I been? (under a rock, obviously)

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    1. Oh Jean, try it! It's such a nice way to entertain in the summer. Make your life easier and bake the bacon!

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    2. Am planning a BLT buffet for our Sept neighbor dinner (it will still be warm here in Oregon). They won't know what hit them. Can't wait. And yes, I will bake that bacon--world's best tip!!

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  11. I too love the BLT buffet and Duke's mayo is a must!

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    1. Can we get Duke's in Ohio? I've never tried it! I did find one in South Carolina that is beloved called silver platter or blue platter I think. My mayo of choice is Hellmann's but with red wine vinegar and a little salt added! It's too flat on its own.

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    2. Yes you can buy it at Jungle Jim's which is in Northern Cincinnati. Jungle Jim's is the Disneyland of grocery stores. They have everything. You should take a road trip to it, but do not go on Saturday afternoons. It is packed.

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    3. Oh yes I've been there! Haha coming back from a trip over into Kentucky to get diet pills from a trailer park doctor and 151! Haha! I have clients who go there often I will have them grab some for me to try. Thanks!

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    4. They may need to ask where to find it. It is towards the back of the store , closer to where the aisles of hot sauces are located.

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  12. god I love it when you entertain!
    your back story is as entertaining as your entertaining.
    but OH Stephen Andrew. I think I went into shock when you said you didn't like ice cream??? !!! did I read that right? my darling SAJ. that may be my only and first ever disappointment in you.
    but you immediately made up for it with pictures of that beautiful martini at dusk and Barbie with her ball almost airborne! LOL! and the food. oh the food!
    that buffet table. be still my heart.
    AND
    I also detest any cookie that is not chewy. I hate to bite into one and be showered with dry tasteless crumbs.
    so... even w/o ice cream... what a GREAT SAVE! and if your cake is not your best
    i'd hate to see what is! it's beautiful!
    I think 4th of july fixin's should look homemade and imperfect and absolutely fabulous. and it does. XO♥
    ps... still watching those hunks at the pool. oh my.

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    1. Haha oh no I love ice cream! It just has to be good ice cream! As in full fat and very good ingredients. Most commercial ice cream is made with some milk or even...this hurts...skim milk. And that's not worth eating! Water is the enemy of ice cream as it crystallizes. But I love good ice cream. So glad your summer is going well and you're enjoying the view!

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    2. And thank you! And don't ever worry as I am not one to condense words either.

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  13. oh GOOD LORD.
    this little blue box is misleading.
    my comment is as long as your ENTIRE post.
    sorry!

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  14. Welcome back! I have a Swedish cookie recipe for you. Even I can make them. Your cookies look SPECTACULAR along with everything else in this post. You have such a fan club!!!!!

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    1. Maybe we all should share our favorite cookie recipe. I have a favorite bar cookie recipe from Baking With Julia that I took liberties with.

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    2. Thank you! Oh I'd love to know more about the Swedish cookies!

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  15. Less politics and more cookies, plus more of YOUR amazing decorating and food presentation. That is all America needs to be happier! Thanks for reminding me of simpler and more beautiful things. They've certainly been tough to find of late, haven't they, amidst all this national and world ugliness.

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    1. Thank you so much! I know, I think we'd all get along better if everyone could spend the morning baking.

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  16. Love that you bought those charges when you were 14. Clearly you were born for a life of entertaining. I just can't understand why you don't love a biscuit ( as we call them here in Oz). I am going to try your recipe, but I did notice a few things when I was in the US - generally, the biscuits were a LOT bigger than we have them in Australia, and I think maybe that affects the bake and therefore the enjoyment? Secondly, many were way too sickly sweet. There was an edge of Corn Fructose to quite a lot I tried. I think putting the salt in/on definitely would help. But I have a choc chip biscuit recipe that is superb. I put my trays in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking so they keep their shape and go soft inside and baked outside and don't spread. Other good ones to try are home made yo-yos (do you have them?) and at Christmas I do cranberry and white choc, and I think the tartness of the cranberry is very good at cutting through the sickly sweet of the white choc. It's a well balanced biscuit. Plus brandy in it!
    As for my mantra. Well, I guess it's generally me telling myself "don't be lazy" whenever I feel like leaving the pile of kids toys on the floor/ not doing the thousandth load of laundry for the day/ leaving the saucepan to wash up in the morning. Basically, if I could I'd just lie on the sofa and read books, but the house would go to hell, and I couldn't handle that :)

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    1. Heidi you seem about as far away from lazy as one can be! I'm terrible about leaving dishes for the next day but I actually sort of enjoy doing dishes the next morning. But I don't have children who need me in the morning. These cookies are quite large and they are definitely a dessert and not a "snack" as some cookies are. I hate it when things are too sweet. In theory it should help me be thinner because I don't like most commercial/restaurant versions of things but then I just make my own and that's where the trouble occurs. I love white choc and cranberry cookies! My sister makes those and I love them. We don't have yo-yos! I need to investigate.

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    2. you leave your stuff in the sink overnight????? I thought we were friends.

      Happy month of Leo gorgeous x

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  17. Stephen, I always come here to see gorgeous photos of your impeccable food displays. Absolutely stunning, as always. You would cringe to see me in the kitchen, I am definitely not channeling Martha or Julia. The recipe sounds divine, something I would love to try once this silly gardening season winds down and I can actually get out of the dirt. Since going on my weight loss quest, I find myself being far more picky about everything I eat for if I'm going to consume the extra calories, then they better be worth it. I can tell those cookies would be!

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    1. Thank you! Oh I don't blame you one bit! Your garden must keep you so busy this time of year! but these will be a lovely project on a cold day. Totally agree with you, if you're going to do it it must be worth it!

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  18. You were precocious and I wish I started as young as you but I was indoctrinated to listen to others and the sense of self wasn't really a thing in the 70's and early 80's. I thought I rebelled by buying some nice plates in my late 20's as I thought I would never get a wedding list and didn't want to eat off ikea plates for the rest of my life. I love a cookie. They call them biscuits here. Oddly, choc chip isn't huge here. They love a digestive maybe with some chocolate on one side - Have you tried mcvite's? if not let me send you some. It's just part and parcel with a cuppa. Other big thing here is shortbread biscuits. But I think I could do with some of your cookies. Is there not one bloody day where we can all have a nice peaceful boring day already?!? But yes - i shall repeat - let go or be dragged!

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    1. Haha yes I was. I've often said I want to get married just so I can register for more china! I've never heard of mcvites! I will research. I also need to research part and parcel. I usually dislike shortbread cookies because they are too dry. I was on a big shortbread kick this past winter-spring as I was making bars often. Of course I added more butter and oil to the recipe to make it doughier.

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  19. OMG - you bought 25 chargers as a teenager? Also as a teen and 20-something, I would go 'saling' with my Mom as we called garage/tag sales - I bought most of my china, furniture, housewares, you name it that way and I am glad I did -- I have so many beautiful things that I use and enjoy for very reasonable prices.
    G&Ts (with Tanqueray) and Dirty Martinis are two of my favorite drinks...I wish you were my neighbor.

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    1. Haha yes! I started collecting at ten! My first collection was Japanese blue willow and then followed by jadeite. I was so stupid and sold both of my original collections at 19 so I had cash for a down payment on a car! I had so many platters and serving pieces. Ahhhh...
      Love that you started collecting early! Thrift stores and garage sales are the best way to build a collection. Also it makes it easier to use knowing you didn't spend too much. Thank you! Have you tried Tanqueray with grapefruit?

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  20. I shall make for THE ITALIAN as I am GLUTEN FREE!
    YOU are SO RIGHT THE WORLD NEEDS COOKIES NOW!

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    1. Thank you! These would translate to GF very well I think. Try it with GF flour and let me know!

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  21. Let them eat cake! And cookies :) Extra white chocolate for moi. YUM!
    xoxo
    L
    PS - You bought 25 chargers at 14? LUVVVVV you, Stephen!!!!!

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    1. I meant to comment on THAT TOO!!!!!!!
      LOVED IT!

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  22. Sharing a link to my favorite bar cookie recipe that I took liberties with. Stephen I hope that is ok? But I
    I love this recipe.

    http://tomatothymes.blogspot.com/2012/04/tuesdays-with-dorie-baking-with-julia_30.html

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  23. I like your mantra. It applies in a lot of situations.
    I have many mantras, namely:
    1. breathe, breathe, keep breathing ( unfortunately due to a few too many visits to hospitals);
    2.from the movie IceAge "smile & wave Kowalski, smile and wave". Whenever I want to respond to something, my sister through gritted teeth says to me, smile and wave Kowalski & we both burst out laughing.
    3. forgive but never forget. I'm told that my memory is bigger than that of a herd of elephants.
    I'm going to make your cookies for my son's birthday party in a few weeks. I'm sure they will be perfect.
    I love that you bought the Chargers when you were 14. Sometimes you just know what you have to do.
    Den xx

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    1. Thank you! I have a ridiculous memory too and though I think it's a gift sometimes it's annoying because I remember every detail of why I'm upset! I wish I was like my sister who will be irate and loud one moment and completely forget why she was upset the next.

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  24. I lol'ed at least 6 times reading this-- thank you,SAJ. Why you are not a food stylist is a mystery to me. Right now, up heah, it's blueberry season so those are going into everything. And raspberries-- I grow lovely ones and bake them into crostadas for company,pile them on peanut better sandwiches, and savor them with a bit of dark chocolate for dessert. Have you tried any of Ina G's cookies? Very good as well. Real ice cream-- one of my favorite parts of summer! Current favorite is made by an Italian lady--wait for it--coffee chocolate donut! Made with these wonderful homemade donuts. So divine, esp with some hot fudge. I substitute about one meal a week for this!

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    1. Oh I want to try that ice cream! There's no comparison between most ice cream and real ice cream, is there?! Thank you so much! I have tried two of Ina's recipes and they came out well. That Martha recipe is very similar to Ina's chocolate chunk cookie recipe I think.

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  25. Your mantra, the second time I read it this week! (Do you get Dee's emails by any chance? ;) ). I've been on a good ol' fashioned chocolate chip cookie binge lately and these look like the 'adult' version. Of course you would do that, haha. My grandmother and I used to make chocolate chip cookies that came out completely opposite, i.e. hers puffy and cake-y and mine chewy and flat. I wanted to make hers and she wanted to make mine. We never figured out how to change the outcome. We altered the oven temps, chilled the dough, changed the cooking time, margarine vs. butter (can't believe we ever used oleo!). Nothing worked to change it and we used to laugh a lot about it. Aghh! What a memory you brought me. My thanks to you, SAJ, and so nice to hear from you. xo, Nicole

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    1. Haha I don't think so! The only Dee that comes to mind is Dee Hardie and unfortunately I don't think she's writing emails anymore! It is funny about cookies how some people just have the touch, isn't it?! Thank you! Let me know if you make these!

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  26. I love you.

    I miss you.

    I feel bad because I replied to your email in my mind not in real life.

    I like to say "will this mater in 6 hours 6 days 6 weeks 6 months or 6 years?

    I love watching the USA election- it is like a soap opera. Seriously you couldn't invent it..

    Agree you should be a food stylist.

    xxxxx

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    1. Me too - Except it's so scary! What if Donald wins! It looks probable! There will be a lot of baking going on then! Pammie xx

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    2. Thank you FF! I know it seems I really must overcome my Instagram aversion. And no worries about the email! I was like two weeks late responding to you and it was probably 10 pages so you're off the hook! Yeah I have no idea what we're in for with th coming election. Both of them are already flooding into Ohio! We'll see. Gary Johnson is getting a surprising amount of press and traction so I am pessimistically hopeful that a third party might emerge. Many reference Ross Perot as a clear example of how that will never happen given his huge success but ultimate huge failure but it's such a different time. It will be interesting especially after the fallout from the Brexit and millenial abstention if American millenials come out in droves or sit it out. We'll see! Either way I'm already very sick of it.

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  27. Cheers to cookies!! oh how I enjoy your sharp wit my friend!!

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  28. Let go or be dragged. Love that. I'm stealing it as my mantra.

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  29. Needed a good laugh, so headed over here and re-read your post. It totally worked!! My favorite this am? The Mac-n-chs with the 6 yr old Aries!!! And your mantra!? Just perfect SA - bloody perfect!! I spewed coffee thru my nose onto my keyboard. :) Let go or be dragged... rinse and repeat

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  30. The grilled food looks amazing! I take a bratwurst and ear of corn, please! You are absolutely right, the world does need more cookies. Looks like you could sell those chunky chocolate chip cookies!

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