Sunday, July 18, 2010

Life lessons with chocolate

We made chocolate chip cookies today to take to a friend’s house. It’s a pretty easy recipe, and it only takes eight or nine minutes in the oven. If you hurry, you can just about clean everyone’s sticky hands, wash the dishes and put the kettle on before they’re ready.

Chocolate chip cookies
This recipe, with a few minor adjustments, comes from an old Delicious magazine recipe by Jill Dupliex.

125g unsalted butter
125g caster sugar
125g brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 190°C. (I set it at 180°C as my oven is fan-forced).
In a food processor or electric mixer, mix the butter with the caster sugar and brown sugar until creamy.
Add the beaten eggs and vanilla extract and mix again.
Fold in the sifted flour, baking powder and half a teaspoon of salt until a stiff batter forms.
Stir the chopped chocolate into the mixture.
Using your hands, form little balls (about a tablespoon or so) of mixture onto lined baking trays. Allow about 2cm between each ball for spreading.
Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden, but not browned, then remove from the oven.
Leave cookies on the tray for five minutes to firm before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 20.

Grandma gave us a book called ‘Cookies – Bite-Size Life Lessons’ by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. The text and illustrations depict various children and animals learning valuable lessons – all with the help of a chocolate chip cookie. It’s not a moralistic type of book – how could it be, with a chocolate chip cookie featured on every page?

Modest means you don’t run around telling everyone you make the best cookies, even if you know it to be true.

Trustworthy means, if you ask me to hold your cookie until you come back, when you come back, I will still be holding your cookie.

Now that’s a tough lesson to master!

My favourite would have to be –

Wise means, I used to think I knew everything about cookies, but now I realize I know about one teeny chip’s worth.

Hmm… something in there for everyone, I think …

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