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I have a lot of studying to do today. As a result, I’ve made these cookies, scrubbed the floors and the cupboards, done two loads of laundry and all the dishes, and am about to paint a closet, weed in the backyard and go out on a boat. Before I continue with my epic sunday of procrastination, I need to share this recipe; mostly as a service to myself given that its already ALL. OVER. THE. INTERNET.

This recipe came from the New York Times in 2008 and has been bouncing around since. I read about them last week on Emily’s blog, and Emily heard about them from Kate, who had them when she stayed at her friend Shirley’s house and remembered them years later. I didn’t really need to make cookies today. I made some cookies last week, but I had some cake flour lying around and needed to see for myself what all the fuss was about. These cookies are worth all that fuss.

You will need the following ingredients plus some patience – the dough has to be refrigerated for at least 24 hours for maximum success:

  • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
  • 1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour (*I didn’t have bread flour and used all purpose and think these came out amazing anyway)
  • 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 vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate chips (at least 60% cacao)
  • Sea salt

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. 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. Add chocolate chips.

3. Wrap well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Set aside.

4. Scoop balls of dough roughly the size of a golf ball onto baking sheet (in the original recipe 3 1/2 ounce mounds are called for, others have success with an ice cream  scoop. I just made larger-than-usual balls of dough about the size of a golfball. The trick is to not make small cookies – thats how you get the chewy center and crispy edges).

5. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, about 15 minutes. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Enjoy!

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It’s funny that out of the handful of recipes I have on this blog, this is my second post about fish, because I’ve only cooked fish three times in my lifetime.

I had my parents over to our house last week for dinner and I wanted to make something easy, simple and delicious. Halibut is in season, and I always love fennel and orange. Usually in a beet salad, but for some reason I got this idea in my head of halibut, fennel and orange in parchment packets and I couldn’t shake it. Thus, a dinner menu was born. I served this with basmati rice and steamed bok choy. For dessert, we had amazing roasted rhubarb over vanilla ice cream. I am still dreaming of that rhubarb – if only the stalks would grow back overnight…

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You’ll need:

  • Fresh halibut for 4, divided into 4 pieces
  • 1 fennel bulb + fronds
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1 orange
  • Butter
  • Salt + Pepper
  • 4 sheets parchment

Slice the fennel, roughly chop your parsley, and supreme the orange and set aside so you are ready to assemble. Keep the membranes from your orange, you’ll use their juice. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

On your first sheet of parchment, lay out a bed of fennel and place a piece of fish on top. Top with a pat of butter, and salt and pepper. Then assemble 1/4 of the orange slices, more of the fennel, parsley and fennel fronds on top. Squeeze a bit of the orange juice over the fish, and seal the parchment packet by folding the edges together. You’ll want the seam facing up while the fish is baking so the juices do not escape. Repeat for each piece of fish, and place your four packets on a baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes.