Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mixed Feelings

A few trees are starting to change colors around our apartment already, days are getting shorter, mornings are cooler, and kids are Ross is heading off to school.

On one hand, I'm SO ready for fall: a month and a half of 100-degree days with blazing sunshine and stifling humidity got old fast. On the other hand, fall turns into winter and my inner heart of hearts has still not thawed out from last year's terrible re-introduction to the Midwest. Could we keep the sunshine and ice-free roads, but drop down to 60-70 degree temperatures? Oh wait, I guess I'd have to migrate south to find that.

This week is confusing me. It was in the 60s when I woke up, but it's already sunny and 80-something out there now. On one hand, I plan to bake this afternoon and pretend it's chilly enough outside to justify it. On the other hand, I wimped out in the bright sunshine and did today's run on the treadmill in the air conditioning.

Speaking of running, I'm signed up for my first official 10k and next week I plan to sign up for my first official half marathon. On one hand, I am so excited that the ball is finally rolling toward my first marathon- I've wanted to run one since I was 17!  On the other hand, my two-mile speed workout this morning was hard enough. I can't imagine adding another 24 miles to that!

Something I heard recently: Fitness is about gaining strength, not losing weight.

Thank goodness! Because I made cookies after my run.

Yes, I got this recipe from Eat, Live, Run and yes, I'm obsessed with that blog. I realize it's a problem. But the author is a fellow baker and bookworm. She confesses her love of Little House on the Prairie for crying out loud! A woman after my own heart. Plus, if these cookies are wrong, I don't want to be right!

How could you go wrong with these ingredients?

In the mix:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
12 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 c white sugar
3/4 c packed brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375. Sift or whisk together the flour and baking soda in a medium bowl.

Put 9 Tbsp of the butter in a medium skillet set over medium-high heat. Allow the butter to melt for 2 minutes and begin to swirl it around the pan, allowing it to brown. Keep the butter moving so it doesn’t burn. Browning should take about 3 minutes and you’ll know it’s done when it smells nutty and it has a dark golden brown color. Remove the pan from the heat and use a heat-safe spatula to transfer the butter to a large, heat-safe mixing bowl. Add the remaining 3 Tbsp of cold butter to the melted butter, and stir gently until it is melted.

Add the white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and salt to the butter and whisk the ingredients together. Add the egg and egg yolk and whisk for 30 seconds until mixture is smooth. Allow the batter to rest for 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds more. Do this two more times; the end result should be thick and shiny.

Y'all, I wish you could smell this. Pure caramel.

 Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined, about 1 minute. Gently stir in chocolate chips. The batter will be soft.

Form each cookie with roughly 1 Tbsp of dough. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the baking sheets and bake one tray at a time, 10 to 12 minutes, on the middle rack of your oven. Rotate baking sheet after 5 minutes and check the cookies at 10; you want them to be golden brown and set around the edges, but puffy in the middle.

Allow to cool on the pan for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

On one hand, this recipe is too caramel-y and rich for me to attack as the dough-monster that I am (that's probably a good thing). On the other hand, once baked these cookies are perfect and I could eat the entire batch in one sitting. I have mixed feelings about that idea.

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