Big Girls, Small Kitchen: The Book

Posted by on Monday Nov 30th, 2009 | Print

EVENT: In the Small Kitchen, Coming Soon to a Bookstore Near You
MENU: Dark Chocolate Cookies with Milk Chocolate Chunks; Chocolate Chip Cookies with Milk and Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Good news in the oven at BGSK!

No, we have not conceived a love child. Or maybe on second thought, we have conceived something, and maybe it is a love child of sorts. It’s not a little girl though (that’s Helena, daughter of Rebecca, who’s enabling our first catering gig). What it is: a book! It’s been a year-long process, with a lot of help in the kitchen to take the project from blog to book, and so since we got the deal, we’ve been baking. A lot.

We baked for Heather, our delightful agent at ICM.

We baked for Katie, our energetic editor at HarperStudio, our imprint at Harper Collins.

And we baked for you guys, the readers, although we guess you didn’t know yet what we were celebrating when we enlisted you to tell us about your favorite cookies. Somewhere deep down, we must just have wanted to keep our apartments smelling like freshly baked goods so our glee didn’t run out. But more importantly, we baked for you because we’re grateful beyond grateful for your enthusiasm, comments, and suggestions throughout the last year.

Just like BGSK and books, milk chocolate and dark chocolate are so good in conjunction that it’s best to combine them whenever possible. That’s why for the two recipes below–one sent to Heather and one delivered to Katie–we mixed chocolate in two different ways, showcasing its more resonant semi-sweet side against its toothsome, rich milk chocolate-y aspect.

In fact, the cookies Katie received are quite similar to the ones her boss got to try the day we went in for our meeting at Harper. We’d actually brought a cookie for Heather, pre-meeting, but then she suggested we give it to Bob, HarperStudio’s publisher, instead. We piled into his office–three of us and four of them–and then we offered this one tiny (but delicious) cookie to one-seventh of the population in the room. It was a little awkward. Bob took a bite and smiled. Apparently, it did the trick.

Anyway, we’ll be developing the book, a cookbook-cum-memoir, out of the blog and the cooking and living we’ve done behind the scenes of it. It will have lots of our signature recipes, so if you come here for those, you’ll find them in the book, too. We’ll be writing up the successes and epic failures we’ve had in the kitchen and summarizing the lessons, tips, and tricks that have created our practice of quarter-life cooking. But if you’re more into gossip, we’ll also be sharing tons of details about the little life journey that transformed us from just-out-of-college kids of 22 and 23 to the lovely adults we are today.

So stay tuned, and give us suggestions if you have them. We’re really excited to be writing!

From our kitchen, where we’re celebrating! with cookies!, to yours,

Cara and Phoebe, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOKS

**Recipes**

Dark Chocolate Cookies with Milk Chocolate Chips
Makes 36 cookies

I have a very clear memory of making a similar cookie (one that also called for melted chocolate in the batter) back in high school. The recipe was for a triple chocolate cookie from Cook’s Illustrated magazine, and Kate, my younger sister, and I had been dying to make it for ages. We finally loaded up on chocolate on a mom-sponsored trip to Whole Foods, and we came back ready to bake. Unbeknown to us, the fancy Valrhona chocolate bar we’d acquired was flavored with orange. Tasting the batter, and later the cookies, Kate I could not for the lives of us figure out what had made the cookies taste so…unconventional. We kept saying things to each other like, “there’s sort of a fruity undertone, don’t you think?” Finally, a teacher (we had baked the cookies for a class of Kate’s) came out with it: “I love the orange flavor,” she said, completely casually.

These cookies, similar to those of the story, are great made with regular, non-orange, semi-sweet Ghiradelli chocolate chips, which is what I used here. More important is the quality of the cocoa powder–I like to use non-alkaline Scharffen Berger.

Ingredients
3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons natural (not Dutch processed) cocoa powder
3/4 cups milk chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In the microwave, nuke the semi-sweet chocolate chips until just barely melted, stirring to melt the last few chips. Set aside to come to room temperature.

Cream the butter with the sugar and molasses until lightened and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and cream again. Fold in the room temperature melted chocolate until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Stir into the butter mixture just until all the flour is incorporated (the dough will be pretty tough). Stir in the milk chocolate chips.

Roll the dough into tablespoon-sized balls. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 8 minutes, then leave on the parchment to cool at least 10 minutes before eating.

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Milk and Semi-Sweet Chips
Makes 3-4 dozen, depending on size

I have to attribute my appreciation of this combo–milk and semi sweet–to one of my closest friends, JoJo, with whom I spent many hours reading cookbooks and copying out recipes in the basement of the Harvard Coop. The first time I watched her pour chips from two bags into her dough, I was surprised. Then, almost immediately, I found myself a convert.

As for the chocolate chip cookie recipe, it’s more or less the Tollhouse one, and I think it makes the most exquisite soft cookies–just be sure to underbake!

Ingredients
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar (you can substitute dark, but then use a little less brown sugar and slightly more white)
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1 egg
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour–poured in
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Mix sugars and butter in a large bowl. With a mixer, hand-held beater, or very strong arm, beat until creamy. Then beat in the egg until the batter is fluffy and light.

Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 6-8 minutes or until just barely set. Cool for 5-10 minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove to a rack or a plate to finish cooling.

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  • Kate

    OH MY GOODNESS!! This is so exciting. Not only do the cookies look (and I can only imagine smell) delicious, but I am even more excited to see a book and all it will contain. Congratulations, I can't wait to see the product of such delicious labor.

  • KathyCooks

    Congrats!

  • Mishi

    AWESOME! I'm so happy for you guys. I can't wait for your book. :)

  • Jessie

    Yay!

  • Sara Bennett

    Congratulations! I can't wait for your book. Then I can take all the scraps of paper off my bulletin board and find recipes the old fashioned way–in a book.

  • Julie

    Congrats! That's awesome!!! As a long-time reader (though first-time commenter) and fellow blogger, I'm excited to read the book!

  • Calvine

    Congratulations! I've been following your blog for awhile now and absolutely love your writing styles and recipes. Really looking forward to the book – I'm so excited for you!!

  • Leora

    I'm so excited for the book! I can think of nothing more I would rather read. And this is one book I'm going to actually finish! xo

  • Kelsey B.

    How exciting!!!

  • Alex

    That's awesome! You both have worked so hard to get to this point. I can't wait to see and taste the end result. :-)

  • PRN

    Congratulations! I've been enjoying your blog and cooking dishes inspired by you guys for a few months now. You're very deserving of this latest success!

  • shayma

    congratulations, lovelies!! lots to celebrate, sending you best wishes, shayma

  • Adriana and Kylie

    Ah! Totally brilliant! I cannot wait to hear more about the book process, and of course to read the final product. I'm so happy for you both.
    -Kylie

  • Jordana @ Menu Maniac

    Congrats! Talk about awesome news. Since cookies are the only thing I can bake successfully, I'll be one of your first buyers/reviewers!

  • Jocelyn

    So glad to see your love child (aka my niece) made it onto the blog :) (This is also my very first post…) Can't wait to celebrate tomorrow!!

  • experimentalculinarypursuits

    Congrats Ladies! This is exciting news and I will be looking forward to seeing this book on the shelves!

    Phoebe, I'll try to make it to the book signing to cheer you on and share our adventures in the "glamour industry" – your former life and my current half life ;)

  • LBTurner*1959

    Congrats on your new book! I'm looking forward to checking it out.

  • bigBANG studio

    CONGRATS, gals! Hopie mentioned something along these lines and I am *so* excited for you both! You deserve immense success! xo from the desert!

  • Ozoz

    Congrats on the book and love the description of what milk and dark chocolatemixed tastes like…kitchenbutterfly.com

  • janelle

    Congratulations! These cookies look AWESOME—my kids will love them!

  • Sweet Foodie

    I love your blog and can't wait for the book. I think you're format is so clever and makes people feel like they're part of your kitchen! Great work girls – looking forward to reading about your cooking adventures in hardcopy :)

  • J at www.jellyjules.com

    We made the chocolate chip cookies and they're wonderful…but I'm wondering about vanilla…the tollhouse recipe calls for it, and yours does not. Did you purposefully omit? We didn't use any, and the cookies were great, so I'm just wondering.

  • Lara

    I've also combined milk chocolate chips with butterscotch chips! Thanks for the recipe.

  • The Simply Luxurious Life

    Congratulations! How exciting! I will be looking forward to picking up the first edition! :)