Zen & the Art of Baking

I love baking. Hands down it’s one of my favorite things to do. I find it calming, especially when I pop in my Bose headphones and listen to music while I sift, whisk and mix. For an hour I can just be in a relaxing zone where the only thing that matters is whether or not I have the ingredients and the delicious end result.  It’s one of those activities where the end justifies the means- I can always take time out my day to bake something absolutely drool-worthy because in the end, I know that everyone will enjoy them and I get some nice quality alone time in the kitchen where for once I feel it’s all mine and I’m in control. It’s a little like my own  science experiments gone foodie.

To ease some of the nervous energy I had about my trip, tonight I decided to make some chocolate chip cookies. Essential, and classic, especially since I figured I won’t be eating too many of these bad boys overseas, I figured tonight I will indulge in something I want (my parents vouched for my famous almond-half moons that are delicately dipped in icing sugar and melt in your mouth).

I borrowed the recipe from fellow food blogger smittenkitchen, but I ended up tweaking the ingredients a little after seeing that the mixture was a little dry.

The recipe is as follows:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (aluminum free)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon + 1/2 tsp pure Madagascar vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl,mix together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended, about 2 minutes.

3. Beat in the vanilla, and eggs until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.

4. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. I made my cookies about a tablespoon each.

5. Bake larger cookies for 15 to 17 minutes, or 10 to 12 minutes for smaller ones (check your cookies before they’re done; depending on your scoop size, your baking time will vary) in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

The recipe originally called for baking soda but I opted for powder, just to see what the end result would look like. They don’t have the same appearance as smitten kitchen’s but mine are a lot more cakey,I think from the extra egg.  Regardless, I now can make ice cream sandwiches for dessert since I have the base made OR, I have a nice snack for the tomorrow and some treats for my NFL-draft-obsessed sweetie pie. YUM!