The past 2 weeks in California have been great, relaxing, and necessary, but I am very happy to be back. For one thing, I've come back to a Seattle that is in the process of transitioning from summer to autumn. For me, the new year always begins in September because that is when school starts again. I always enjoyed the newness of starting a new grade: new books, new pencils, and a new start. Plus, the weather is starting to cool down too--the refreshing bite on your cheek as a cool breeze blows by is always welcome. Also, autumn is especially great for one of my favorite activities: baking. When it's chilly outside, there's nothing better than curling up on a couch, with a book, while you've got something baking in the oven. The smells, the anticipation of something yummy to devour--total happiness! As it is Friday, and if any of you out there have time this weekend, maybe you too should indulge in this activity! To aid you, I thought I'd share one of my favorite recipes for chocolate chip cookies.
My mother is a pack rat, but in the best way possible. She is the devoted sort, that takes the time to clip recipes, ideas, and articles and file them. I am thankful for that, because sometime during my teenage years, I decided that I wanted to find the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe. A quick perusal of the recipe clippings folder, and I found a bunch of recipes for chocolate chip cookies that had come out of contest that the Seattle Times was hosting. I immediate chose the grand prize winning recipe. It is a true winner, and so easy to do too!
Dave's Chocolate-chip Treasure Cookies
Makes about 3½ dozen (approximately 2-inch cookies)
-- 1½ cups ground graham-cracker crumbs
-- ½ cup all-purpose flour
-- 2 teaspoons baking powder
-- 1 can (14-ounce) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
-- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
-- 2 cups flaked coconut
-- 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
-- 1 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a bowl, combine the graham-cracker crumbs, flour and baking powder. In a mixer bowl, beat the condensed milk and butter until smooth. Add the graham-cracker mixture and mix well. Stir in the coconut, chocolate chips and walnuts; mixture should appear to be lumpy and dry.
3. Shape dough into 1½-inch balls and place onto ungreased cookie sheets, allowing room to spread. Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to racks to cool.
Submitted by David A. Vargus
The only changes I made to this recipe was to substitute hazelnuts for walnuts. A little more expensive, but completely worth it. Plus, if you're will to crush the hazelnuts yourself, Trader Joe's sells a big bag of them for a fairly reasonable price. And honestly, crushing them is kind of fun, as well as cathartic. And for those of you who are not big fans of coconut, please don't let the coconut scare you! It is still delicious and I have had coconut-haters eat three of these cookies in one sitting. And I can tell you this: if you feel like you're being squashed by a gigantic beach ball, baking these is a must.
Solstice Festival photo taken by Quy Q. Dinh
Cookie photos taken by Tams