Thursday, December 28, 2017

Entre les Bras update

An article written by Adam Nossiter for the New York Times partially republished in this morning’s Durham Herald-Sun immediately caught my attention. It is about French chef Jérôme Brochot, owner of Le France in Montceau-les-Mines, giving up his Michelin star.
This is practically unheard of. Those stars, however, drive up prices and bring a lot of pressure. It is very difficult and very expensive to maintain the stars and add more. Halfway through the article, Sébastien Bras’ name jumped out at me. My Sébastien Bras? I thought. Yes, indeed. Last fall, Sébastien, with his father Michel’s blessing, asked Michelin to remove his three stars. I googled and found this from the New York Times.

In 2013, I was asked to review a documentary film Entre les Bras (Step Up to the Plate is the English title), for The French Review, a publication of the American Association of Teachers of French. It is an excellent film. I actually know someone, a parent of one of my former students, who has eaten at Bras’ restaurant. That’s as close as I get in the grand scheme of degrees of separation to Michel and Sébastien. I did eventually send them a copy of the article and I received a very nice thank you note.
While googling Sébastien and Michel, I also found these videos of them preparing their signature dish Gargouillou.
After watching the film several times and reading all I could find about them in order to write my review, I felt as if I knew Michel and Sébastien. I got rather attached to them actually. I hope that Sébastien is happy and has found joy in cooking again. I still hope to visit Laguiole someday and meet les Bras. It’s on my to-do list.
Here’s my review of Entre les Bras. If you enjoy documentaries and food, this film is a great way to spend an hour and a half.
Last year, I was asked to write about Entre les Bras for the French Review, the official publication of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF).  The editor of the film section of the Review, Dr. Michèle Bissière, lives and teaches in North Carolina and is active in our chapter of the AATF.   She attended a presentation I made about my sabbatical or about cooking with my students.  Not sure which.  Anyway, she sent me a copy of the documentary, asked me to watch it, and write a review.  Wow.   Documentaries about French food and chefs are right up my alley after falling in love with Jacquy Pfeiffer in Kings of Pastry.  Durham, NC hosted the North American preview of the film as part of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival  and I wrote a review about it for our local newspaper.  Jacquy and his wife were in the audience, no less.
I watched Entre les Bras (Step Up To The Plate is its English title) several times and set about writing and daydreaming about actually eating there.  I am not sure that dream will ever come true, but I started thinking about it again after recently reading Ann Mah’s book Mastering the Art of French Eating.  Journalist Ann actually went to the Aveyron départment of France and interviewed Sébastien Bras.  And Papa Michel came in while she was talking to his son.
I realized that I haven’t posted my review.  I had grand plans to send it to Michel and Sébastien after it was published last spring, but either common sense got the better of me or I’ve been too shy to do so.  Silly me.  I need to mail it off with a fan letter.  Pourquoi pas?
Read the review and if you are in the mood for beautiful views of la France profonde, cows, and a glimpse into the life of a Michelin star chef, rent the film.
The parents of one of my 8th grade students have actually been to the restaurant in Laguiole…  Sigh.
Lacoste, Paul, réal.  Entre les Bras (Step Up To The Plate).  Michel Bras, Sébastien Bras. Cinéma Guild, 2012.
I recently read the story of Bernard Loiseau, a chef who committed suicide in 2003 at the age of 52, after rumors that his restaurant might lose one of its three Michelin stars.  Remembering that tragic story and considering that we have elevated chefs to rock star status in the United States, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from a documentary about a three-star Michelin chef.  Would Michel Bras be a temperamental egomaniac?  Would he spend his time berating the wait staff in his restaurant or slamming pots and pans?   Or would he be riddled with self-doubt?  Or worse yet, would he have no confidence whatsoever in his son and heir-apparent, Sébastien, and belittle him?
Bras, père et fils, have a restaurant and hotel in Laguiole, in the Aveyron department in southern France, built on a hill with a breathtaking view of the valley below. Michel Bras is undoubtedly a perfectionist, as the viewer quickly finds out by watching him choose vegetables, herbs, and flowers for the restaurant.  His ties to the land where he has spent his entire life seem to be as deep as his family ties.  Michel is a slight, serious man, a runner, with round wire-rimmed glasses who looks more like a university professor than a chef.  He is, however, quite an entrepreneur and has built an empire based upon his expertise in the kitchen.
Food is the Bras family business.  Michel’s mother ran a restaurant and he followed her, taking over and earning Michelin stars.  He decided to build his current showpiece several years ago, secure in the knowledge that Sébastien would stay with him in the endeavor.  The premise of the movie is that Michel is ready to retire and hand over the reins to Séba, as he calls his son. I expected the movie to be mostly about Michel, but I found myself just as engrossed in the emotions of Sébastien and the idea of family duty.  There never seemed to be a question of what his life’s work would be. The photos of him at a very young age in a chef’s coat and toque made for him by his grandmother foreshadow his destiny. But is it easier to start from scratch as Michel did or to inherit an empire and try to stay on top?
Entre les Bras is divided into seasons, a fitting and logical setting for a movie about food and life.  The story comes full circle, in the course of a year, from spring to spring, watching four generations of family interact with one another around food.  Sébastien works on his own signature dishes, telling his own story, built on the time spent with his grandparents on their farm.  One touching scene shows Sébastien alone in the kitchen creating a dessert that he later calls his own chemin, or pathway, using elements from his childhood: bread (his dad), milk skin and chocolate (his mom), and blackberry jam and Laguiole cheese (his grandmother).  He seems truly at peace with the completion of this dish.  He must find his own way.  He knows this and his dad knows this.
The changing of the guard occurs as the viewer watches Michel take down his photos and mementos from the office bulletin board and put away his notebooks filled with recipes and drawings. Sébastien’s notebooks and a final scene of Alban, Sébastien’s son, cooking in the kitchen with his grandfather, wearing a miniature chef’s coat and toque, replace them.  Michel’s work isn’t finished yet.
From one of the first scenes, showing the plating of Michel Bras’ signature dish, Gargouillou, to the beauty of the Aubrac sunrises and sunsets, this is a stunningly beautiful and poignant story of the humans behind the creation of legendary food.
Teresa Engebretsen
Durham Academy
Bon appétit, les Bras!
Searching for a recipe, I found Michel’s Coulant au chocolat. Have you ever eaten a molten lava cake aka fondant au chocolat aka moelleux au chocolat? Well, mon dieu bon dieu, I just discovered that Michel INVENTED it. I have attempted it several times, but mine never seems to coule… to flow. I even found a video produced by FR2, a French TV station, about French desserts that features Michel and his dessert. It’s in French and the photos are amazing. If you don’t like chocolate, don’t bother!

There are a lot of recipes out there for this amazing treat. Here’s the one I will try next. Maybe this afternoon? When I need a break from grading exams? Should La Table de Claire be on my Paris to-do list?  Well, malheureusement, that won’t be possible. It is fermé– permanently closed- now.
Fondant au chocolat recipe from La Table de Claire
With black-and-white floor tiles, a Formica bar, modern light fixtures and a sunny terrace, this is the little bistro everyone dreams of having around the corner. La Table de Claire in the 11th arrondissement made its name thanks to the ‘chef d’un soir’ nights, in which amateur chefs would take over the restaurant. Chef Claire Seban has moved on to other projects, but the current chef/owner, Lofti Sioud, continues to serve a spontaneous cuisine inspired 
by his travels and by seasonal produce. Because so many customers had a soft spot for Claire’s fondant au chocolat, it often appears on the menu.
Serves 8.
• 220g dark chocolate, the best you can afford
• 200g butter
• 100g white sugar
• 5 eggs
• 1 level tbsp flour
• A little butter for the mould
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. In a heavy saucepan, melt the dark chocolate and butter together over a low heat. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Let the mixture cool to lukewarm and add the eggs one by one. Finally, fold in the flour.
3. Pour the batter into eight buttered ring moulds placed on 
a baking sheet, or eight buttered shallow dishes (crème brûlée dishes would work well). Bake for eight minutes.
4. Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of vanilla or caramel ice cream.
Bon appétit, mes amis, near and far. As 2017 comes to a close, I wish you all happiness and good eatin’, surrounded by loved ones. I will be with my in-laws, celebrating my belle-mère’s birthday.

Monday, December 25, 2017

All I Want for Christmas

As I sit here, next to my beautiful Christmas tree,

listening to the cat lap up water and to cars pass by at 7:15 on Christmas morning, I have the song All I Want for Christmas stuck in my head. Yesterday I had almost everything I need right under one roof. Adorable Granddaughter spent the night so she was crawling/toddling around the downstairs. Son #2 came in from Charleston by way of Charlotte, bringing Couper-Dog with him. Son #1 and EB came over to fetch Miss Adorable and stayed around to have some Maple View Farms eggnog and cookies. And for Miss Adorable to open her gifts. Not that she has any clue about what's going on other than there are some bright lights on a tree and tissue paper to pull out of bags.

They are off to visit the other grandparents today.

Christmas is much calmer when your children are 30 and 25. And way quieter. So I am in my silent house (even the cat has gone back to sleep now) thinking about what I want for Christmas, the real list. In no particular order:

  • good health for my family, my friends and me
  • the satisfaction that comes from hard work and a job well done at the end of the day
  • kindness in this world
  • politicians who genuinely care about the people they represent, true civil servants
  • laughter
  • good books
  • an end to poverty, hunger and homelessness
  • more time with Mama Mildred and the SP gang
  • equity for everyone, regardless of their skin color, religion and geographic location
  • music to sing along with and dance to
  • delicious food and drink, shared with family and friends
  • travel
I know that I could add many more, but as we always told the Sons, Santa doesn't like greedy children (or adults- especially adults). 

On today's menu, biscuits for breakfast. Or maybe French toast? Pancakes? (At least I already made the coffee.) For lunch, I will cook a roast beast (actually a beef tenderloin, I just like to call it that), gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans/haricots verts, if you want to get fancy, yeast rolls and an apple-cranberry crumble-type dish using a recipe passed on to me by the BFF (Miss Helen's specialty). We will time this lunch so that it doesn't interfere with the Boston Celtics basketball game later this afternoon. Son #2 is a huge fan and has started writing for a Celtics blog.

Time to get on with the biscuits-- I hear the thundering paws of a white lab upstairs so the house is coming to life.

My final cookie creation from Christmas Eve--

Chocolate Peppermint Kiss Cookies
adapted from Sally McKenney's Rainbow Kiss Cookies

makes 24

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 tsp. table salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
2 Tbsp. whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
24 peppermint kisses

  • Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Whisk together flour, cocoa and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Beat butter with an electric mixer until smooth, about 1 minute. Add sugar and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes, scraping down the bowl a couple of times. Add egg yolk, milk and vanilla; beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down sides and beat again as needed to fully combine. Gradually add flour mixture, beating on low speed just until combined. You may need to switch over to a wooden spoon to finish adding the flour- this dough is thick.
  • At this point, I wish that I had refrigerated the dough for 30 minutes so that it would have been easy to roll. You may do this, if you wish.
  • Shape dough into balls. Place them 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.
  • Bake cookies for 9-10 minutes, until set. When out of the oven, gently press an unwrapped peppermint kiss into the center of each cookie. Cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Be careful handling the cookies until completely cool. The kiss gets melty from the warm cookie. (I messed one up and had to eat the evidence.)
**Sally's recipe calls for the balls of dough to be rolled in rainbow nonpareils or sprinkles before baking and then a chocolate kiss pressed into the center of each cookie when they come out of the oven. With all the different flavors of chocolate kisses out there, you could be quite creative.

Bon appétit, Joyeux Noël and Merry Christmas, if you celebrate. If not, I wish you a plain old wonderful day. I hope that you are warm, safe and well-fed. And with at least one person you love.

Friday, December 22, 2017

20 + 76

Non, I am not posting about math problems. Heaven help anyone who asks me a math-related question. The kids in my after school study hall know that. I have a couple of 8th graders on call to help with anything more complicated that multiplication tables. And recently I proved that I am not even very good at that. I was at a workshop and we were asked to choose a number between 1 and 10, multiple it by 9 and then add the two numbers together.  Oh, I can't remember all the steps but everyone should have come up with the same number. Pas moi. Nope. I was puzzled until I realized that I had goofed up the second step-- I need to study my 9's, I guess. I will get right on that. Mon dieu.

I am posting about my 2018 trips to... France. Of course. I count the days. And I even catch myself thinking "This time next month I will have already spent my week in Paris." I have no idea why I do that. It's exciting and depressing all at the same time. I go in January as a guest of ACIS, the student travel company I use. They host global conferences for teachers who are taking students on trips. I have been lucky enough to go for the past five or six years. The conference lasts three days and I am extending my stay for three extra nights. I will meet with my fabulous Tour Manager, Bertrand, and check out some possible places to take the kiddos during our unscheduled time in March (that's the 76 part of the equation). I personalize the trip for my students so I am always on the lookout for new, interesting things to do with them. Bertrand's advice will be most helpful. ACIS has some great activities planned for us-- a guided tour of the Palais Garnier (the Phantom of the Opéra's home) and a walking tour of the Marais followed by a visit to the Picasso Museum. I always make new friends and see something new.

I wander around a lot. I get lost (I am better at getting lost than I am at multiplying by 9) and find myself in an undiscovered neighborhood or street. I plan to have a drink at the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz-Carlton (if I don't chicken out- I figure there is always the chance that the bartender or doorman will look at me, realize that there is no way I belong there, and toss me out with a Good riddance, Madame). I hope to have foie gras at least once, if not twice. A slice of Galette des Rois from a good bakery. Maybe an MOF pâtissier. Last year, Christophe Michalak's creation.

A baguette from the shop that won the 2017 Best Baguette competition, the Brun Boulangerie in the 13th arrondissement. I don't know that neighborhood well. I look forward to getting lost. (last January-- lost looking for the Marquis de la Fayette's grave- a grand adventure)

But I hope to find the bakery first so that I will have something to snack on while finding my way out!

Perhaps I should let Pierre know I will be there.

He hasn't been able to clear his schedule in the past to meet up with me, but one can always hope, n'est-ce pas?

I will also be able to spend some time with my dear friend Mme M who lives not far from Paris. I think that she is going to take the train into the city. She will retire from teaching at the end of the school year and our 30-year student exchange/pen pal letter writing adventure will sadly come to an end. At least for our students. Not for us. She was/is my first real French friend and she has shown me so many wonderful places in her country and taught me so much. I hope that our adventures together never end.  In 2008, we spent a weekend in Champagne, visiting champagne houses and sampling the vintages. Tough, I know. But seriously, someone has to do these things. Might as well be moi.
At Taittinger in Reims. Santé.

We got lost (big surprise, right?) and ended up driving through a beautiful vineyard. Having no sense of direction has its advantages.

Well, that's enough daydreaming for right now. I have Gingerbread Cookies to bake. Gwen Stefani's Christmas album, You Make It Feel Like Christmas, is playing. Her duet with main squeeze Blake Shelton is currently my favorite. Enjoy!  Dance around if you feel like it. Guaranteed to make you happy.

Gingerbread Cookies

The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion, 2004
Yield: 3 dozen 3-inch cookies

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
3/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice or ground cloves
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • In a saucepan set over low heat melt the butter, then stir in the sugar, molasses, salt, and spices. Transfer to a medium-sized mixing bowl and let cool to lukewarm, then beat in the egg with a whisk.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the baking powder and soda into the flour. Stir the dry ingredients into the molasses-butter mixture. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
  • Take the dough out of the refrigerator. Divide the dough in two and place it on a clean work surface lightly dusted with flour. Working one piece at a time, roll it out as thick or thin as you like. (King Arthur: We roll these cookies, which we prefer a bit less crisp and more chewy, to a 1/4-inch thickness.) Sprinkle enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface and rolling pin.
  • Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, cutting them as close to one another as possible. Transfer cookies to cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Re-roll dough as many times as necessary to use it all. 
  • Bake the cookies just until they are slightly brown around the edges, 8-12 minutes, or until they feel firm. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for several minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
  • Decorate with Royal icing, if you wish.

Bon appétit and may you have adventures to look forward to in 2018. We all need something to dream about. Adventures are good for the soul! If you don't have a traveling companion, go solo. I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Pre-Christmas Confession

So, confession is supposed to be good for the soul, right? What if I don't feel guilty? Do I still need to confess? Well, I will anyway.

Every morning on the way to my classroom, I pass a bin for used book donations. These books go to our annual school used book sale sponsored by the Parents Association. I love this book sale. I walk away with bags full of books. Books for me, books for Mama Mildred, books for friends, books for my classroom. And now there will be books for the Adorable Grandbaby. A couple of mornings ago, I glanced into the bin and spotted the book above. There was no way I was leaving that book for someone who would not appreciate it as much as I will. So, yes, I snatched it up. Actually, I very casually picked it up, started flipping through it and sauntered into my classroom still perusing cookie porn. I love King Arthur Flour and use no other when baking. 496 pages of recipes, photos, hints and advice when making cookies. Soften up the butter and preheat the oven!

And I promise to make a donation to the book sale in April. Baker's honor.

Here is the first recipe I am trying (stay tuned- I promise photos, the dough is in the refrigerator chilling as I type)--

King Arthur's Special Roll-Out Sugar Cookies

The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion, 2004

Often sugar cookies are fat and soft, the cumulus clouds of cookiedom. But when you roll out the dough, rather than drop it from a spoon, you reach the other extreme: thin and snapping-crisp. Make them just a bit thicker, and you've got crunchy. These golden cookies, with their comforting vanilla flavor, pair nicely with ice cream or fresh fruit. The dough is also sturdy enough to be cut into fanciful shapes and decorated. (Cookie porn, I warned you)

Yields: 42 cookies (depending on size, of course)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract, optional (I added another 1/2 tsp. vanilla)
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 cup heavy cream or sour cream
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • In a medium-sized bowl, beat the butter, sugar, salt, baking powder, vanilla, and almond extract (if using) until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well. Add half the cream, all of the cornstarch, and half the flour; beat well. Add the remaining cream and flour, mixing just until all of the ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Divide the dough in half, flatten into rounds, and wrap well in plastic. Refrigerate for 1 hour or more, to facilitate rolling.
  • Preheat oven to 350˚F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment paper- my preferred method) two baking sheets.
  • Transfer the chilled dough to a lightly floured surface and place a piece of plastic wrap over it while you roll it out to keep it from sticking to the rolling pin. Roll the dough to 1/8-1/4-inch thick. Cut it into the shapes of your choice and transfer to the prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, until they're set but not browned. Remove them from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a rack to cool completely. 
  Bon appétit and happy baking. Warm cookies make people feel loved. I am sure of that. And that's the best part of baking, in my humble opinion.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Banana's Baking Adventure

Hannah's cookies
Meet The Banana. She is Pretend Daughter #1’s daughter. So, that must make her my Pretend Granddaughter #1, right? Maybe that is too much math for my brain on a Sunday morning. Pretend Daughter #1 and I go way back. She arrived in my beginning French class somewhere around 1991 or 1992 (more math). She was new to my school, driving all the way to Durham from Henderson. We bonded pretty quickly. In high school, she played softball on the Ex-Ex’s team and she stayed with us when her parents and brother went on vacations without her (he attended a different school so their vacation dates were different sometimes). She babysat for Son #1 and Son #2. She spent her high school and college summers babysitting for the BFF’s three sons so we spent a lot of time together at the pool and getting the gang together to play. She continued to study French at Vanderbilt University. She studied in France. She met her husband in Indiana although they are both from North Carolina and were most likely at some of the same events more than once. It was a beautiful wedding. She is a French teacher and dean of students in a great independent school. Mommy of two. I am a very proud Pretend Mother. It’s a rare and wonderful friendship we have.
Pretend Daughter knew I would be very distressed to learn that The Banana is allergic to eggs and has never had a homemade, warm, fresh-from-the-oven cookie. Heaven help us all. This little angel is how old?? (She was born on the birthday of my college BFF– what a wonderful coincidence!).  Google to the rescue. I experimented with a couple of chocolate chip cookie recipes. One recipe led to another and a reviewer swearing that it was the best chocolate chip cookie she had ever made. I also experimented with a sugar cookie recipe, but it was god-awful. The dough wasn’t horrible, but the cookie was a major flop. I didn’t even taste more than a crumb when they came out of the oven. A waste of good butter and sugar not worth repeating. In the trash.
The first chocolate chip cookie passed the test. The Ex-Ex declared it okay. He has had numerous variations on chocolate chip cookies, too many to count. His mama makes good ones as well. Spoiled cookie consumer. I took a plate of these to school to test on 6th, 7th and 8th graders. They passed. They were good, but not quite what I was hoping for.
cookie #1
Recipe #2 produced a more cake-like cookie. I baked them on the night of a full moon, in case you care about stuff like that.
That, of course, has nothing to do with baking cookies. I just love full moons.
The Banana and Pretend Daughter #1 made cookies yesterday. And sent photos as evidence.
Getting ready…
And off we go…
Taste test… Did Pooh get to taste, Banana?
tasting with pooh bear
Ready for the oven…
Finished product…
cookies 1
Poor Brother Bear. No cookies for him yet.
Noah looking on
(He is the Most Adorable Granddaughter in the World’s future husband. Shhh. Don’t tell them. We will let them think that it was all their idea.)
I not only got photos of the big event, I also got a video thank you. Cuteness personified.
Pretend Daughter also found a gift for me on Amazon (where you can find absolutely anything). Once upon a time, a dear French friend of mine came to visit with her students. As a thank you gift, she brought me a bottle of a French perfume that had just made its debut. I wore this perfume for years. It is the smell that PD #1 associates with me. I gave it up about 10 years ago. I couldn’t find it any more, my life took a different turn, I found a new perfume. Now, thanks to a cookie-baking caper, Amazon and PD #1, it is back in my life and it smells exactly the same.
The sense of smell is very powerful and should not be underestimated. A certain smell can instantly transport us back to another place and time. Whether its perfume or cookies baking in the oven on a chilly day. The stuff of memories.
Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookie #1
Holly Hauck- KeepingLifeSane
24 cookies
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (or more)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Beat the butter with both sugar for 1 to 2 minutes, until creamy with hand or stand mixer.
  3. Add in flour and baking soda. Mix.
  4. Add water, oil, and vanilla and mix. (My dough was still a bit too dry so I added 1/4 cup of applesauce.)
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spoon.  (I chilled the dough for about an hour before baking.)
  6. Drop by spoonful onto the baking sheet. I usually do about 1-2 tablespoons and put 12-16 on the cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookie #2
makes 12-16 cookies
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons All purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • a pinch salt (skip it if using salted butter)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (my addition)
  • 1 stick or ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • ¼ cup white granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk (or half and half)
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F or 180˚ C for at least 10 minutes.
    Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  1. Whisk dry ingredients (all purpose flour, salt, cinnamon, if using, and baking soda) in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Beat softened butter in another bowl with wire whisk or by electric mixer until it becomes creamy and smooth.
  3. Add both sugars (granulated and brown sugar) to butter. Beat until it becomes fluffy (about 2 minutes).
  4. Add vanilla extract and milk until incorporated.
  5. Add dry ingredients. Beat just until well mixed.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips with a spatula or wooden spoon.
  7. If dough looks soft and sticky, chill it for about 30 minutes (or longer).
  8. Make 1-inch balls from chilled cookie dough. Place on cookie sheet, a few inches apart from each other. Flatten the balls slightly with your fingers.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes in preheated oven or until the edges are golden brown.
  10. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes.
  11. Remove it to cooling rack to cool completely.
Bon appétit to all bakers out there! Let the Christmas cookie baking begin! If anyone has a recipe for eggless sugar cookies, pass it on, please. Or really any favorite cookie recipe. Share your recipes and your cookies. Make someone smile. It’s really easy.