When I took over the inn in July 2007, it came all set up as an inn. In fact, the guests were the previous owners’ responsibility in the morning and mine in the afternoon. The inn was “turn key” which means that it came ready to go, equipped with everything needed–beds and towels and cookbooks, like the Silver Palate. One of the author/illustrators, Sheila Lukins, had signed it for the inn in 1995. It is a well-worn cookbook. At the inn, we often make the coffeecake on page 321 (it’s so decadent! don’t be put off by the recipe on the facing page: sauteed chicken livers with blueberry vinegar), peach cake (p. 300), and lemon black-walnut bread (p. 252).
Matt (who as grandson of the previous innkeepers came with the inn as well!) uses the chocolate chip cookie recipe on page 262 as a starting point. The results are amazing.
Here’s the basic recipe. Matt likes to add all sorts of extras like white chocolate chips, toffee chips, butterscotch chips…
1/2 pound sweet butter (2 sticks), softened
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F for giant cookies; for regular cookies heat to 350. Grease a cookie sheet.
2. Cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
3. Sift dry ingredients together and stir in, mixing thoroughly. Add chocolate chips to batter (and any extra delicious bits). Form cookies [they suggest making giant cookies. I always tell Matt, “Smaller, smaller” so that you can try a small one to see if you like it and so you can always have a guilt-free mid-afternoon treat. We bake lots–there are always more]. If you’re making giant cookies, use an ice cream scoop and, with a wet hand, splat the dough into a 5-inch round.
4. Bake on the prepared cookie sheet, on the middle rack, for 15-17 minutes for giant cookies; 8-10 minutes for regular cookies. Remove from oven while centers are slightly soft. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to rack to cool completely.
Bake these and you will be o so popular.