Where should I eat?
Please tell me what your favorite eateries in Pittsburgh and NYC are in the comments below!
It just so happens that I'll be in Pittsburgh at the same time as one of my good friends from college, Nate, who's located there now, has his birthday. When I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he said that he wanted a cookie recipe, and when I asked him what kind of cookie recipe he wanted, this is the reply I got: "I want something dead simple and quick. My usual chocolate chip cookie recipe takes more effort than I'm willing to put in." My initial reaction to this was something along the lines of "Wait, wait, WHAAAAA?! How can it *get* any simpler than chocolate chip cookies?!?" But then I got to work and arrived at this recipe: the simplest chocolate chip cookie known to man and yet, so incredibly flavorful, perfectly chewy and toothy in the center, with just the slightest hint of crunch on the outer rim. The first batch of these that I pulled out of the oven disappeared within an hour.
Here's how dead-simple these babies are. There are only seven ingredients: butter, vanilla, salt, brown sugar, eggs, flour, and chocolate chips. (The secret to the extra kick of flavor is letting the butter brown while melting it.) All that's required is one pot, one half-cup measuring cup, and one half-teaspoon measuring spoon. (Read: super simple clean-up). There's no annoying creaming of room-temperature butter with sugar-- just melt the butter in the pot and then stir everything in. This recipe makes six to eight large sized cookies that all fit on one baking sheet, meaning no waiting around for numerous batches, and all you have to do is plop the dough down with a spoon (no shaping of cookies required!) and they will spread themselves out to the perfect round shape. I dare to you try to make a chocolate chip cookie recipe that tastes better and is simpler to make than this!
One final thing: every year at one of the conferences I'm attending, the American Dialect Society votes on Words of the Year. This year, several of us foodie linguists have launched a campaign for "nom" to be voted a Word of the Year because we believe that it's finally time this word be recognized! The nomination process just took place today, and "nom" is a candidate in the running for Word of the Year: Most Useful Word. The vote is tomorrow (Friday), so all of you who are on twitter and believe in the power of "nom," please retweet this message:
I'm not sure if they'll count virtual votes, but it will at least send the message that "nom" is alive and thriving! If you're interested in what other words have been nominated for 2010, the list should go up here sometime soon.
Go "nom"! (which, incidentally, is the perfect word for describing these cookies...)
Read on for the recipe...
Nate's Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes 6-8 large cookies
1 stick (4 oz./8 Tbspn) butter
1 scant cup light brown sugar
1/2 tspn salt
1 tspn vanilla extract
1 cup AP flour
1 cup chocolate chips or chocolate chunks
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Set aside.
2. In a light-colored saucepan, melt the butter. Cook on medium heat until the solids drop to the bottom and just begin to brown and the butter smells nutty. Remove from heat.
3. Stir in the light brown sugar until combined, followed by the salt and vanilla extract.
4. Stir in the egg until thoroughly combined.
5. Finally stir in the flour, and once that is thoroughly combined, let cool briefly before stirring in the chocolate chips.
6. Spoon six to eight heaps of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, making sure to leave a good amount of space between each cookie.
7. Bake for 15 minutes, until the edges just start to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack before enjoying.
Tip: All ingredients can be measured using a 1/2 cup measuring cup and a 1/2 tspn measuring spoon. If doubling the recipe, use a 1 cup measuring cup and a 1 tspn measuring spoon instead.