Have you ever sat around like a shlub, avoiding something else you desperately needed to accomplish, and considered what it is that makes something special?
We hear from the moment we totter into kindergarten and park it on the magic carpet that we’re each special in our own way. Which is true. That’s cool. Go us.
But what specifically in a moment, a conversation, in anything at all distinguishes it as special?
If it’s simply being unique, wouldn’t just about every instance and object we encounter throughout the day be special? I mean most stuff is different on some level in comparison to something else.
But not everything we see/feel/smell/talk to/taste tweaks the heartstrings in that special way that sings “hey, this here be special.”
Is this too heavy for a Tuesday?
I’ll tell ya though, I think that specialness is largely defined by the sentiment associated with the occurrence/action/item.
Someone slightly more skilled than I in the art of concision boiled the idea down further. Essentially, something special need not be different, just as long as it’s meaningful to you.
I mean, that works. Yeah?
But what makes them special lies in the fact that even though I had already made a different recipe of choco-chippers earlier in the day, and I posted on classic chocolate chip cookies but a few weeks ago, I opted to make these chocolate chip cookies in particular to take as treats for my babies in ATL surviving their first few weeks at Emory University. Stupid smarty pants future doctor kids.
See, I chose these cookies specifically because the recipe is supposedly stellar and the idea of Jacques Torres’s chocolate chip cookies is personally quite special to me. I wrapped up my first trip to NYC by indulging in one of Mr. Chocolate’s cookies with a side of hot chocolate at his Amsterdam Ave shop… and it was just one of those delicious life moments I won’t forget like ever.
So I’ve been dying to give this recipe a go and the impending visit to my sweet wee ones seemed the perfect opportunity. After taste testing… I’d say this method yields some undeniably scrumptious results, but Jacques is holding out. Or maybe I just messed up. I only chilled the dough 12 of the 24 recommended hours. But whatever. Superfluous. Doesn’t matter.
What does matter is that these cookies that held special relevance for me became special to two of my special people because I baked them especially for the duo and delivered with Mama’s special love; thus, creating a intermingled chain reaction of specialness that conceptually could extend into infinity and beyond.
So why are we even discussing this?
And you’re so darn sweet for patiently listening.
And I wanted to tell you that you’re real special. I mean it. You are.
Special and sweet. You deserve a treat.
Cookies are calling.
Adapted from the New York Times
- 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons
- (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
- 1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
Scoop 6 to 8 mounds of dough (the size of golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more.