The Chocolate Chip Cookie Compromise

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I remember first discovering Joy Wilson's blog. Before there was such a thing as a food blog, I scoured All Recipes like it was my job. Then one day I came across a picture of some brownies (which I haven't even made to this day)  that Joy had made and I was hooked! 

Joy is funny and real and she *mostly* makes food that average people will eat. Oh, and she recently moved to New Orleans just because she wanted to.  I think I have read every post she's ever posted at Joy the Baker and I have so many of her recipes in my recipe book. I talk about Joy like she is my friend...

When I am in the mood for a baking session or need a new recipe for a party or it's Sunday morning and I just need to make something, I almost always look to Joy...

 In my house there is a chocolate chip cookie debate. Ever since I was 8, I've been using the recipe on the back of the TollHouse bag. I can turn out cookies that are flat and slightly undercooked and those are my favorite. 

Everyone loves my cookies, except my Mom. She likes her cookies to be fat and crispy (her favorites are the ones that all the older ladies always turn out). While I'm happy with my cookies I've always wanted to make a cookie that my Mom would like. So, when Joy posted her recipe, I had to give it a go.

The result? The perfect compromise! Why am I not surprised? 

I'm convinced that it's the refrigerated dough, the molasses, the sugar ratio, the browned butter, and the extra salt that make the difference with these cookies.

You brown your butter. You mix your dough as usual. Then you form your dough into a disk and put it in the fridge, because Joy said so...

Then you do something you've never done before and scoop the dough off of that piece of wax paper and onto parchment paper lined baking trays. It feels a little strange, but remember, she does it too.

Then because you're a little skeptical, you gently press each cookie so it's a little flatter and you sprinkle it with some salt. You're not skeptical about the salt. That's always good.

Then you bake the cookies two trays at a time. It smells really good and you are convinced that Joy has delivered a good recipe once again.

The cookies are removed from the oven and you wait for them to cool enough to transfer onto the cooling rack and then straight into your mouth. Now you have EVERYONE'S favorite cookie! 

The Best Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes about 3 dozen cookies
recipe from The Joy the Baker Cookbook
Click HERE for a printable recipe. 
1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon molasses
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
coarse sea salt, to sprinkle on top
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Place half the butter (8 tablespoons) in a medium skillet. Melt the butter over medium heat, swirling it in the pan occasionally. It’ll foam and froth as it cooks, and start to crackle and pop. Once the crackling stops, keep a close eye on the melted butter, continuing to swirl the pan often. The butter will start to smell nutty, and brown bits will form in the bottom. Once the bits are amber brown (about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes or so after the sizzling stops), remove the butter from the burner and immediately pour it into a small bowl, bits and all. This will stop the butter from cooking and burning.  Allow it to cool for 20 minutes.
Beat the remaining 1/2 cup butter with the brown sugar for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth.
Beat in the vanilla extract and molasses.
Pour the cooled brown butter into the bowl, along with the granulated sugar. Beat for 2 minutes, until smooth; the mixture will lighten in color and become fluffy.
Add the egg and egg yolk, and beat for one minute more.
Add the flour, salt, and baking soda, beating on low speed just until everything is incorporated.
Use a spatula to fold in the chocolate chips and pecans and finish incorporating all of the dry flour bits into the dough.
Scoop the dough onto a piece of parchment paper, waxed paper, or plastic wrap. Flatten it slightly into a thick disk, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. About 15 minutes before you’re ready to begin baking, place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat your oven to 350°F.
Scoop the dough in 2 tablespoon-sized balls onto the prepared baking sheets. Leave about 2″ between the cookies; they’ll spread as they bake.
Sprinkle the cookies with sea salt, to taste — as much or as little as you like.
Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to rest on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before moving them.
Serve warm; or cool completely, and store airtight at room temperature for several days. For longer storage, wrap well and freeze.

 How do you like your chocolate chip cookies?

Where did you get the chocolate chip cookie recipe that you use?

Are you a Joy the Baker reader too?

When A Girl Wants A Hammock

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Before I get going on today's post, I have a special announcement for all of you!

Jenna and I would like to invite you to join us for: "Victory In Jesus", a ONE TIME link-up where you share your testimony of God's saving grace in your life!

So, here are the details:

* Victory In Jesus is a one time link up happening NEXT Tuesday, August 5th

* You can link up a new post OR one you have already written that is focused on your testimony. 

* This is a time for us to come together to share our story, encourage others, and grow in our relationship with God by focusing on what He has done in our lives.

We thought this would be a great way to get people talking about their faith and how their relationship with God got started! I hope you'll join us! 

* * * * *

According to Country Living Magazine, today is National Hammock Day. I had these pictures from July 2 sitting around waiting to be posted when I read about it earlier this month, so I decided that the timing was perfect! 

A few months ago my sister ordered herself a hammock. It took FOREVER to arrive (I don't know if it got back ordered or lost or what. It literally took WEEKS to get here). Every single day she would ask if ANYTHING had come for her. Eventually, something did...

We've never had a hammock, so it took some figuring out. She got the kind that hooks in a tree, but the instructions weren't all that helpful.

I went to grab my water and came back to find that she had all but given up. The excitement of laying on a hammock on the ground isn't quite the same as on that's in a tree. Still, it made for a cute picture!

My brother and I were ZERO help. I sat there taking pictures and he sat there teasing the dog eating a push pop. This made for an equally cute picture! 

Things got worse...Somehow, my brother ended up in the hammock before my sister!

And, wouldn't you know, this hammock does tricks! Just in case you prefer sleeping on your stomach.

And FINALLY, her hammock came, she got it set up, and she got to RELAX in it for herself! Ever since then, everyday is hammock day in my sister's book. She's one that goes after what she wants and her new hammock is just a small example.

These kind of afternoons are the ones that make me so glad to be enjoying these "teenage" years right alongside of them!

* * * * * 

Get your posts ready and come back next week for the link up.  I 'm looking forward to hearing about the hand of God in the lives of His people!

In the meantime, spread the word about "Victory in Jesus" by grabbing this button:

Through * For * By

Be Found

Monday, July 21, 2014

A couple of weeks ago, I posted over at The Quiet Place blog. I wrote about WHY there is rejoicing in suffering. You can read it by clicking HERE.

Over the course of last week I ended up right back in the middle of that same section of verses. Only this time, God was showing me something else.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith - more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire - may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1: 3-9 (ESV)

I've been reminded that life on this earth is not easy. The consequences of sin are REAL and we all suffer for them. Sometimes, we even suffer for the sin that other people have committed.

That drunk driver that got into an accident? Maybe he ran over someone's mother. Now at least three families have to deal with the consequences of one man's recklessness.

That struggling teenager who just needs someone to care for her? Maybe she gets pregnant. Now you've got a little boy or girl who has to deal with the consequences of one girl's hopelessness.

Look at your life...Surely, you can identify some of sin's consequences that you're dealing with or causing others to deal with.

We can deal with all of this suffering that we humans bring on ourselves knowing that a day is coming when the dealing will be over. We will be with God and freed once and for all from the presence of sin. That day will be beautiful...

For now, we are here. Along with the presence of sin and its consequences, we have the promise of being guarded by God and made into the image of His Son, our Savior.

Do you realize what that means?

There's a little phrase in verse 6 that might help...Two little words brought a lot of clarity to my thinking, namely, that phrase "if necessary” that comes right before the mention of "trials".

"In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,  so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."

This tells me that along with causing me to be born again to a living hope, raising Christ from the dead, giving me an inheritance (that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, and is being kept in heaven), and guarding me with His power through faith, God is also in control of the trials in my life.

“If necessary” really means, IF necessary. God knows better than any of us can ever hope to know and He’s doing better things than any of us can ever hope to accomplish!

Do you know what makes those trials “necessary”?  The testing and proving of the genuineness of your faith! If a trial is happening, however much it grieves you, you can TRUST that God is simply building you up even more in that faith that He gave you.
A faith that stands the tests of these trials that grieve us is a faith that came from God. It is a faith that is more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire.

To test gold and to refine it, we humans use fire. Gold is pretty much the most valuable thing to humans all over the world. When we know that it’s “the real deal”, we admire it, we hoard it, we buy it, and sometimes, we even flaunt it.

A day is coming when even that precious gold will pass away under the fire that comes from God. Our faith is not like gold. They are both tested and proved true (or not) now, but in the end, only our faith will not be burnt up.

Christian, the fire is here. The trials are grievous. Know that your faith, your salvation, and your trials are all gifts of God that go together.

I don’t want the trials any more than you do, but knowing that they grieve me “if necessary” really helps!

God is working for your joy in Him and His glory in you! Rejoice! Your hope is being kept in heaven and your inheritance will not disappoint. As if that wasn’t enough, you have the resurrected Jesus Christ who has gone before you and is your living hope!

It’s the tested genuineness of your faith that will be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of that Christ!

Your hope IS in God!

From Four Days

Friday, July 18, 2014

July 17, 2014
Don't mind my I've been swimming hair and going all day eyes. :)
The last six days were mostly really good!

Saturday we got pumped up about geocaching again after we went to a class and grabbed a few caches. We got some of our favorite chinese and it was a great day.

The highlight of Sunday was finishing a game of Kojak. I lost. :(

On Tuesday we went to visit some friends who are all camped out for the week. There was swimming and talking and eating. When we were done we picked up our first trackable and hit two geocaches.

On Wednesday, I went swimming with my brother for a few hours. When I got home I made "THE best dinner since you made steak" according to my brother (homemade chicken nuggets, oven potatoes, and watermelon).

Yesterday, my Mom and I went to the reflexologist in the morning. Then my brother and I went swimming again and I came home just in time to get dinner going. My sister came out to my garden with me and we picked the FIRST green beans of this season (this is also my first year growing green beans) and I fixed them with dinner.

When everything was ready, I took a plate to Al. We visited and then we moved out to visit on his porch and then we took a walk through his garden. He ended up giving me four of the cutest little zucchini! When I got home my Mom announced that she wanted to try out the new Etrex 20 that came in the mail yesterday. We geocached until it was too dark to see. We picked up another trackable, took her to some of our favorite caches, and even discovered two caches that we've never visited before.

Now it's Friday and there is so much to do before my little vacation begins on MONDAY!!! Even though I'll be away, I've got a few posts scheduled for next week because I've just had too much to share lately!

What happened in YOUR life this week?

On Purse Hangers

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Last week after my "what's in my bag" post, I got a question about the "purse hanger" that I mentioned. 

 Lindsie, I want to thank you for asking and for forcing me to take a picture FOR my blog in a public restaurant! I think I've mentioned it before, but I have NEVER taken a picture specifically for my blog at a restaurant before. It's up there on my list of "How do they DO that?!?!" questions for REAL bloggers.

Well, there's a first for everything...

The purse hanger hooks to the edge of the table and it is looped in such a way that the purse balances on it without it coming off the table. 

There is nothing sticky or magnetic. The purse hanger works for pretty much any table and can hold even the heaviest of purses.

You should know that this table was super low and even though you can't really tell, the bag is NOT touching the floor.

Is that the "here we go again" face everyone talks about? ;)

 I love my purse hanger because:

I don't have to hold my purse on my lap or stuff it behind me.

I don't have to set my purse on the floor. ICK!

I don't have to take up a chair or extra space in the booth. 

So, there you go! That's what a purse hanger is, how it works, and a few of my favorite things about mine.

Now, you're probably going to ask where you can find them...

I got mine in the gift section of a sandwich shop for less than $15 (I can't remember  exactly how much, but I'm sure it was less than that). I have seen them at the mall, but most of them are very cheaply made. If you're looking for one that will last you YEARS, pay a little more in a specialty shop and you'll get a strong and sturdy one like mine.

Do you have a favorite gadget that you happened upon and now can't imagine not knowing about?