Guess who's got a new book out? David Lebovitz, former Chez Panisse pastry chef, blogger extraordinaire, manic issuer of tweets -- "Am trying to figure out what's more important: cookware or bed sheets?" -- chocolate tourist, writer of cookbooks, and, well, one could go on. But why, when Lebovitz does it so well himself.
Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes is pretty self-explanatory. According to Lebovitz, the book is essentially a revised, updated and expanded Best Of from his first two, now out-of-print books, Room for Dessert and Ripe for Dessert.
Will we be reviewing it? Assuredly. Is he paying us to do so? Sadly, no. Unless you consider this video about chocolate chip cookies, which Lebovitz posted on his blog today well before it arrived in our in-box, as payment. For the recipe, just turn the page. You know what we'll be baking just as soon as the Dodgers game is over.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
From: Reprinted with permission from Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes by David Lebovitz, copyright © 2010. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
Makes: about 48 cookies
21/2 cups (350 g) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces/225 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (215 g) packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups (about 225 g) nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, almonds, or macadamia nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
14 ounces (400 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped into 1/2- to 1-inch (1.5- to 3-cm) chunks or 3 cups (340 g) chocolate drops (see Tip)
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a bowl by hand), beat together the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla on medium speed just until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly incorporated, then stir in the flour mixture followed by the nuts and chocolate chunks.
3. On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough into quarters. Shape each quarter into a log about 9 inches (23 cm) long. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, preferably for 24 hours.
4. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
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5. Slice the logs into disks 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick and place the disks 3 inches (8 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets. If the nuts or chips crumble out, simply push them back in.
6. Bake, rotating the baking sheets midway through baking, until the cookies are very lightly browned in the centers, about 10 minutes. If you like soft chocolate chip cookies, as I do, err on the side of underbaking.
7. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets until firm enough to handle, then use a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack.
Storage: The dough logs can be refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month. The baked cookies will keep well in an airtight container for up to 4 days.