Keeping-It-Together Chocolate Chip Cookies

Back at blogging and back at trying to bake at semi-regular intervals!

My life right now has devolved into a series of lists with items that never quite get crossed off. There is a list of things I'm supposed to do every day to be a productive third year medical student--see patients, write notes on patients, present patients, and most importantly, don't be in the way or annoying. Then there's the list of things I need to read about said patients so I don't make a fool of myself in front of the attending/fellow/resident/intern. Then there's the list of things I have to do so I can study and pass the standardized internal medicine shelf exam, which means more book learnin' and more question banks and more flashcards and more money flying out of my bank account. There's the very important list of things I need to do to be a good daughter/sister/friend/girlfriend which unfortunately has been taking a hit recently; phone calls left unreturned, snail mail written and ready to be sent but not because I can't remember to buy stamps. There's a list of things I still need to do to officially move into my new apartment with Boise Boy and out of my old house. And there's the list of things like get car oil changed/pay electric bill/sweep floor/buy deodorant that we all have to do to continue to live in a state of semi-organization and cleanliness. 

And, last but certainly not least, there is the list of things i want to bake. Linzer cookies. Homemade thin mints. Lemon curd fruit tart. Homemade Twix bars. So many amazing recipes I want to try! 

I feel like the last 2 months have been at warp speed--between moving and finishing second year and taking boards and starting third year, it's been a blur! And I wasn't baking, which was bad because it's the only thing I do that is truly for me--my little corner of the universe away from medicine. We all need one, I think. 

It had been so long since I baked that I didn't really know where to begin. The other lists felt more important than baking. So I turned back to an old favorite--these chocolate chip cookies. I've written about them before, here. They are exactly what a chocolate chip cookie should be--chewy in the middle, crisp on the edges, caramel-y and brown sugary, with a punch of good chocolate. They seemed to be exactly what I needed--some butter and sugar to meditate on, a break from all the other lists. The recipe is based on one by the blog For Me, For You with a couple tweaks:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 2/3 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp coarse salt (I used maldon) + some for garnishing
  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tsp. vanilla extract

For the chocolate chips the recipe says to use 1 1/4 lbs bittersweet chunks but I like using a mix of Guittard milk and dark to have a couple different chocolate layers. I just add enough of each until I feel the dough has about 6-7 chocolate chips per 1/3 cup of dough.  The key to this recipe is letting the dough sit overnight, up to 36 hours post-mixing before rolling into balls, sprinkling some salt, and baking at 400 degrees for 12 minutes.

Apologies for the grainy-poor-lit photos. They were taken at 11:00pm on an iphone, living up to their keeping-it-together-ness.