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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!

Until Monday, when we were graced with fleeting snow flurries, Seattle was experiencing some lovely Spring weather. Sunny, with highs of 60 degrees and cherry blossoms in full bloom. 

Saturday morning was no exception, and I celebrated the perfect Spring weather over an outdoor brunch with friends at Volunteer Park Cafe. Stumptown coffee, delicious baked goods, sunny sidewalk tables and friendly servers = cafe perfection.

The three of us shared the caramelized banana brioche french toast, brie, apple & lavender honey panini and the spinach & goat cheese quiche. All three were divine – the quiche coming in last because the thin, too crispy crust was difficult to eat, and left something to be desired. The atmosphere was perfect for sitting on the sidewalk, sipping iced americanos and chatting. Had there not been a line,  I could have sat their all day enjoying the sunshine and atmosphere. I am amazed I’ve been living in Seattle for almost ten years and have just now discovered this gem.

IMG_2541Portland is so great. 

I’ve just returned from a long weekend with my siblings at our beach cabin on the Oregon coast. They are not trying to save their vacation hours to fly around the country for post-phone interviews, and thus, are still hanging out at the cabin. Those lucky bitches. My mister wasn’t able to come with me because of work, and I didn’t want to make the 7 hour trek home alone, so I brought my friend E, who had a great time and meshed well with my family members. The beach was divine and we had just as much fun coming home to Seattle, when we took a four hour detour in Portland for some great food with friends, and tax free shopping! (Mostly for her – but a liiiiiiiiittle for me)

Awhile back I read a review of Portland street food  in one of my mothers issues of Sunset magazine. The chickpea sandwich from Garden State piqued my interest, and I remembered just as we were approaching the city with grumbling tummies. Lucky for us, E is armed with an iphone, and we were able to look up the article to remember the name, the address, and then navigate our way! We arrived at 3:45 to find the shop owner in front of the cart tidying up. 

Owner: I’m sorry… we closed at 3:30.

Me: Oh, no. Really?

Owner: Yes.

E: …but we came all the way from Seeeeeeattle!

Owner: Really? Well, what would you like? 

How awesome is that? Everyone should go to the Garden State truck in Portland and order the chickpea sandwich. It is amazing with a chickpea patty, delicata squash, carrot slaw, lemon aioli and lettuce on a delicious roll. All this deliciousness for six freaking dollars. Amazing.