Saturday, July 30, 2011



Things have been kind of hectic in the past few days, but I've found it's easier to deal with my other responsibilities if I reward myself with a project.

I've already missed the window to make my favorite maple taffy (no more fresh snowfalls this year), so I decided to focus on something more decadent: a super chocolaty, intensely buttery, ludicrously expensive chocolate chip cookie. This is no ordinary Tollhouse pleb. It is refined. It is deeply rich. It is complicated (sounds like Facebook).

The prep alone calls for two kinds of flour (neither of which are AP), sea salt, special chocolate known as Valrhona féves, and a full 36-hours of fridge time for the dough to rest before baking.

Disclaimer: you must be at least this pretentious to ride.

Impostor féves.

Deb of Smitten Kitchen said on her website that she was able to find les féves in her local Whole Foods, but we're not so lucky here in DC. I ended up purchasing a suitable substitute in the cheese section: flat, extra bittersweet 73.5% discs sold by weight. As in, $16 worth of 'roided up chocolate chips. If you're able to get your hands on the real deal, I highly recommend stocking up because of their special design: a slight hollow in the mold minimizes scorching if the chocolate bakes too long, which happened to a few of mine. That's right: surface area. And here I thought I'd never apply what I learned in middle school to Real Life.

Despite the fussy prep, the waiting, the hiding of raw dough from my roommate to ensure I'd have enough to bake in the end (no such thing: there's never enough), these cookies are well worth it all. Salty-sweet, tender dough gives way to chocolate that has melted into layered sheets, like strata.

Studs are out. Stripes are in.

A glass of milk, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion, and a solo binge of every last crumb will ultimately make for a very pleasant, albeit lonely, break from reality. Although if middle school taught me anything else, it's that you don't need friends when you have food.

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