Chocolate Chip Cookies

10 Oct

(This has been saved in my drafts for a week and a half now, and I really need to be writing about the difficulties of implementing sustainable architecture practices in China, but instead I’m finishing this post.  I just want you to appreciate that, okay.  Take a moment.  Appreciate.)

So my butter sauce exploded yesterday.

I didn’t know that was possible, but as I was browning a tablespoon of butter and talking to my mom on the phone I went to add lemon, as you do, when it sizzled, crackled, and exploded. Piercing shriek of the smoke alarm.

Fogged, nasty air.  A perfectly disgusting brown splatter pattern ringing the frying pan.  Charred bits floating in the sauce.

It was one of those days, I guess.

So anyway, these cookies.  These are my go-to chocolate chip cookies, because they are:

a) delicious

b) very easy to make

c) delicious, and

d) as in Delicious. I’ve started to experiment with the recipe, which is adapted from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook, and I’ve finally found a permutation I love enough to tell you about.  And so:


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 sticks butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, or entire bag
  • 1/2 cup broken pretzel bits (optional)


Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.  Set aside.


In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes.


Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.


Do the same with the flour mixture, and then stir in the honey.  I suppose the honey is optional as well, but I find that it adds a slightly caramel-y flavor to the cookies.  Without the honey, these are very sweet and sugary, but with the honey they’re much richer.  I guess it’s up to you, but seriously, add the honey.

Then, add the pretzel bits and chocolate chips, stirring thoroughly.


My cookies probably had a higher ratio of chocolate chips to dough than was strictly reasonable, but they were also wicked tasty so I find it difficult to care.  Also, have you noticed that recipes call for anywhere from 6 to 9 ounces of chocolate chips, which always leaves you with an awkward amount in the bag?  The solution is clearly to dump the whole bag in.  Clearly.


Look!  Look at that!  If you squint a bit you can see some dough under all those chips and pretzels!  Amazing!

Now I will tell you a secret and I ask only that you don’t judge me.  Too harshly.  If you can.

I ate these so fast that I do not have a picture of the finished product.  Seriously.  By the time they were cool enough to move to a plate it was evening, which is when I get really gross lighting in my kitchen, so I decided to wait on the picture until morning.  But then I ate a ton of these, brought some to my library friends, and… they were gone in a couple of days.

I’m sorry.  I have an infinite capacity for dessert, so I’m not surprised.  Just disappointed.  In myself.

Speaking of disappointed, I have two midterms tomorrow that I must study for, and so I bid you all happy baking.



I still haven’t finished any books, so I will just recommend something I had to read for school.  Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior: A Girlhood Among Ghosts is a half-fiction, half-memoir collection of stories about Hong Kingston’s experience growing up Chinese-American in the 70s.  It’s really fantastic and beautifully put together.  She uses a lot of traditional Chinese myth adapted to fit her American identity, as well as stories of her family’s past back in China.  I loved the hell out this book and was very happy to take a class where it was required reading.

Next time, possibly two really excellent books I’m working on.


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