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The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie. Who Says So?

My goodness, you'd think I'd been on vacation it's been so long since I blogged! Alas, I was not, but I will say I've had some new adventures during my absence. Well, maybe adventures is somewhat of a stretch, but I do have some new experiences to report.

You may recall that I was part of an art business group last fall. Meeting weekly, our leader Robin Marie Pedrero, using materials from Art Biz Connection, we learned all sorts of stuff about marketing art, none of which I've put into practice. No doubt you aren't surprised.

Nonetheless, the best part was making some new friendships with artists of various ages. Bethany, one of the painters in our group, is the curator of monthly art shows at Dandelion Communitea Cafe, a vegan/vegetarian restaurant housed in an old bungalow. As such, she suggested we do a group show which is happening as I type. Hanging three pieces last Sunday before the market, I went Wednesday night for the opening. Most of the night I spent talking to Kaitlyn, and her sister Kasey, delightful young women:
It was fun to get to know Kaitlyn (l) better because she has been working for my printer, Roger, for about six months now. Here's a candid shot of part of our art group:
We shall see if anything sells during the month........

For this month's FAVO snack, along with veggies and stuff, I pulled out my magazine to make what was labeled a new American classic.
As you have come to know, not one recipe in this book is quick-- quite the contrary in fact! Just like the sugar cookies I made a few weeks ago, you make the chocolate chip cookies with a whisk. So weird, but it seems to work just fine. You also melt most of the butter; actually melting would be too easy, you have to brown it, swirling the pan all the while it is on the heat. Obviously I quit my swirling long enough to take this shot:
Next step:
Using the spatula, I stirred the remaining butter into the browned butter until melting occurred. Too much work already huh? The idea was to make it toffee tasting, and after adding the sugars and eggs to the batter, you whisk and wait, whisk and wait ,for the sugars to fully engage with the other ingredients. Oh, did I mention there was egg separating going on? There was.
There's a reason I'm showing the color of the batter and if you keep reading you'll soon find out why! Finally I was to fold in the flour mixture, followed by rolling the dough into balls rather than the drop cookie method. And here they are, looking nothing like those in the magazine!
I used the required parchment paper which was great for clean up. I never could seem to get the cooking time just right. Some were light, others overdone. Angela came over to "borrow" some rice, and picked one up off the cooling rack, declaring it delicious. So, there was one opinion. However, when Bruce got in from Houston a little later, he thought they were fine, but preferred Toll House cookies which are infinitely easier to make. Was it worth all the extra steps? Let's find out shall we?

Friday, after picking up my order, I started in on a batch of Toll House cookies, following the recipe to the letter. I was happy to use my Kitchen Aid...
Now you see what I mean about the color of the batter, a shade of beige, unlike the above caramel color. Deciding to serve the Toll House at FAVO, here's the finished product:
Before they left the house, I had Bruce do a blind taste test, eating first one, rinsing his mouth with water, and then the other. He picked the Toll House, declaring that he's eaten chocolate chip cookies all over the country that are touted as "gourmet," and still he's a Toll House guy.

Well, just as I'd finished the cookies around 2:30 in the afternoon, a storm came up. So what Gail? It's summer in Florida after all. That may be true, but this was no ordinary afternoon storm. The rain came down in sheets,
with the loudest, most wild thunder and lightening we've seen in ages. And it kept coming and coming! Normally, because our house was built before air conditioning, the wide eaves built to keep the house cooler, also keep the windows fairly dry in even severe weather. Not so Friday afternoon!
Baxter was so scared! I wasn't scared, nor was Bruce, however both of us were pretty amazed at the severity. Figuring that it wouldn't last all night, I continued getting ready for FAVO. Guess what? It didn't stop. Although it slowed to mostly a drizzle, it kept raining most of the night. Amazingly, some folks did brave the weather, and in a silver lining kind of thing, it was not terribly hot, which earlier in the week was something I feared.
The city has finally approved the building plans which means, in January, the church hopes to rent the rooms out as studios at $300/mo, something, unless I can find folks to share the space with, I probably won't be doing. We shall see.

Up the next morning, out to Winter Garden, and a decent day there.
The funny thing is, now that the weather may finally take a turn for the better, it is football season. Surely, if anyone can, I understand not wanting to miss a favorite game! Fortunately, Florida State had a bye week, following their spectacular first game played on Labor Day.  

So, here's where the taste test comes in. Angela came over to visit, once I was home from the market, watching college football myself, and she was only too happy to do a blind tasting on the cookies. She, too, chose the Toll House! So, there you have it--not worth the trouble! Or, at least according to two people I love.

Sunday, we had lovely weather, almost a cold front--I'm pretty sure it never went over 90 degrees!
Imagine this: we made it all day with nary a drop of rain! Proving, once again, that as an outdoor vendor you NEVER know what will happen, my sales were less than the previous two rainy Sundays. In truth, I'm not unhappy about that because it means instead of ordering right now, I am blogging, and you know that always makes me happy. Thanks for reading Camera Crazy!
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