I’ve been baking since I was a little girl working beside my mother and grandmother in their kitchens. By the time I was twelve, I was an expert at everything from fudge to bread, but inexplicably I couldn’t make a decent cake from a mix to save my life.
Since then I’ve tried many more recipes. I’ve discovered things I’m good at and things that challenge me. Having made roughly 50,000 batches of chocolate chip cookies, I think I’m pretty good at that. In fact, I’d say cookies and squares are my specialties. I love taking a Tupperware container of treats to a church gathering or my younger daughter’s football games.
Things I’m not great at? Making pastry. Making caramel.
And hiding sweets from my husband.
Andrew has a sixth sense for when there’s baking in the house. Yes, sometimes he smells it, but sometimes he just knows when I’ve been busy in the kitchen. This sixth sense is particularly acute when the baking is intended for someone else.
I’m as resourceful as they come. I’ve camouflaged Nanaimo bars behind the still-unused relish dishes I received for my wedding. I’ve stashed blueberry muffins behind the box of All-Bran. Once I even considered hiding a batch of ginger snaps in the washing machine – no one but me ever looks there – but given my poor memory, the potential for disaster was just too great.
Sometimes I even bake a set of decoy cookies to throw him off the scent of the real thing.
It doesn’t matter. He’s found them all.
This is my favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. No wonder Andrew always tracks these down.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
(adapted from Bonnie Stern Desserts)
14 Tbsp butter (one cup minus two tablespoons)
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups flour
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
5 squares semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In large bowl, cream butter with both sugars until light. Add egg and vanilla and beat well.
In separate bowl, sift flour with salt and baking soda and add to batter. Stir in just until batter comes together. Stir in chocolate chunks.
Shape cookies into 2” balls and arrange on cookie sheets.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes.
Hide them well.