When it comes to social media and tech savviness, I must admit I’m not exactly current. I have a twitter account with about 40 followers, but I’m confused about where I’m supposed to be leading them. I do post on Instagram, but not very frequently. I check the spelling and punctuation of every text I send, which makes me a very slow texter. My kids usually abandon our text chats within the first few messages and just pick up the phone and call me because I am so frustratingly slow, compared to their lightening fast thumbs.
I try to keep up with all the cool kids and know the meaning of many internet acronyms. One meme that has been picking up steam as usage of social media skyrockets is FOMO. For the uninitiated, FOMO stands for fear of missing out. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as “Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.” It’s that little pang of envy you feel when you’re looking at vacation photos, amazing restaurant meals or parties of friends and family that you weren’t invited to.
But it looks like FOMO may be taking a back seat to JOMO – joy of missing out. According to The Huffington Post, “the term is a rebellion against saying yes to everything, and is about giving yourself the space to think and experience things without freaking out about what you ‘should’ be doing instead.”
Creator Charlotte Druckman gives you the option of adding nuts or chocolate to the dough. Inspired by one of my favourite cookies, Skor Bars, I added pecans, chocolate and Skor bits!Place your empty cast iron pan in the oven while you make the dough.Grease the hot pan very carefully with butter. Press dough into hot pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup so you don’t burn yourself. Score dough into wedges and let cookies completely cool in pan before removing.The edges will be deeply browned and crispy while the center is still nice and chewy. Pecans and skor bits contribute great crunch and chocolate is always welcome. A glass of milk might just be the best accompaniment to your JOMO experience.
I love surprises. Well, I should clarify. I like good surprises, like finding out the sex of my babies, at the moment of their birth. Three of the greatest surprises of my life! It makes me sad that people have reveal parties and choose to forgo that moment of awe. A little too much over-sharing for my liking. Ok, social media rant over. Onto more important things.
Happy Valentines Day! We don’t make a big deal out of Valentines Day in our house, but I’d never say no to a little sweet treat. While many people believe the day should be marked with chocolate, I’m much more of a coconut –caramel kind of girl. But sometimes a little bit of chocolate is necessary.These cookies contain a little surprise. Along with the usual chunks of bittersweet chocolate, I mixed a big handful of Valrhona chocolate pearls into the dough. Little nuggets of crispy rice cereal enrobed in milk chocolate are totally unexpected but very welcome in a chocolate chip cookie. I ordered mine online. Callebaut also makes chocolate pearls. Their salted caramel crispearls are kind of astonishing (crunchy biscuit bits coated in salted caramel). If you can’t find them, chopped up maltasers or whoppers would make an excellent substitute. My friend Marla would love them!Can we talk about butter for a minute? Specifically, what does “room temperature” butter mean? How long a rest on the counter are we talking about here? When I’m baking, I’ll take the butter from the fridge first, slice it into 1/4 inch pieces. By the time I’ve gathered all the other ingredients, the butter will be perfect for creaming. Ten minutes is really all it takes. You want it to still be cool, but pliable. The whole point of creaming the butter with the sugar is to beat air into the dough. If your butter gets too warm, it won’t hold that air and you will end up with flat cookies.An ice cream scoop makes for even sized cookies.A light sprinkling of sea salt on top of each cookie before baking, because that’s how we roll around here. This is salt and serenity after all!
On the fourth night of Chanukah, I baked Perfect Chocolate Chunk Cookies for my true love. Crispy at the edges, chewy in the center, filled with abundant pockets of gooey chocolate and topped with a light sprinkling of coarse sea salt to balance the sweetness. I can’t take credit for creating these fabulous cookies. That place of honour goes to Ashley of the wonderful blog “Not Without Salt.” I blogged about these cookies before, when I first made them in 2011. I don’t usually blog about the same recipe twice, but I wanted to share them again, in case you missed them the first time around. (Plus, my original photos did them no justice!) They’re that good! If you’re not a baker, but still want to try them, Ashley sells them in a cookie mix.
Since that time I have tried many other chocolate chunk cookies, but I have yet to find another recipe that is as outstanding as this one. What makes this recipe unique is the use of 3 kinds of sugar. White sugar makes the cookies crisp, brown sugar contributes to their chewy center, and coarse Turbinado sugar gives them a delicate crunch. Are you still sitting there reading? Let’s bake!I have tried making these cookies with regular supermarket chocolate chips, and they are quite good, but if you are making them for someone you really want to impress, thank, or just say, “I love you”, make them with Valrhona Guanaja Feves. (those big chocolate oval discs in the photo above). They are pricey and you need to buy them online, but they are worth it. Slightly bitter, with hints of fruit, coffee and molasses, this is a complex, big flavoured chocolate. The larger chocolate chunks create majestic pockets of gooey chocolate, so if you’re into that sort of pleasure, go for the good chocolate! Personally, I don’t care for warm from the oven cookies. I much prefer them frozen. I have trained my family and friends to love them that way as well, so when they come to visit, everyone heads straight for the freezer to see what’s freshly baked (and frozen!).