Random Recipe: Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

We work hard and play hard at work. We also eat well, with which I have a love/hate relationship. Someone on my team is an amazing chef and she keeps us well fed. A few weeks ago, a colleague brought in a plate of what I thought were chocolate chip cookies. Until I had my first bite. They brought me back to my childhood. My mom used to make congo squares. Basically they were chocolate cookie bars, dense and sweet. I loved them. I no longer have her recipe, and have tried to recreate her recipe many times. I came back a few times that day for more and more.

Last night we made them so Chris could partake. Yum.

Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie  [adapted from Martha Stewart]

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (we used 1 1/2 cups)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, mix butter and sugars. Mix in egg and vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in chips. Transfer to a 10-inch cast-iron skillet; smooth top.

  2. Bake until cookie is golden brown and just set in the center, about 20 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes.

Note: Back in January I posted a recipe for a local restaurant’s version — Ned Ludd’s Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. This Marta Stewart adaptation is so much better.

Cheap White Napkins?

Over the weekend we had dinner with friends at a local restaurant. As I put my napkin on my lap, I looked down and thought gratefully that they had nice, soft, brown cloth napkins. I know, a strange thing to be grateful for at a restaurant. It is something that bothers me though. My pet peeve: going to a nice restaurant where they have white cloth napkins, enjoying your dinner, and then you walk out of the restaurant with remnants of napkins on your jeans or black pants. Ugh. What would I prefer? A white napkin that stays intact, or a black or brown cloth napkins that do not leave white particles on you. Heck, I have been to some nice restaurants that still give you paper napkins. I would take a paper napkin to the white remnant type.

The white napkins pill onto your clothing, and leaves the diner thinking “cheap.” Why do I care? I have had to take a lint roller to my pants, even after washing and drying to get the remainder of said restaurant off my pants. There are times that you are going out to dinner, and then have plans afterwards and you do not want to show the world the restaurant dandruff left behind on your bottom half. After some Internet searching I found it was a common theme on food discussion forums (for example: Chowhound.com, Foodmayheim.com). Many individuals shared how a nice restaurant would notice that you are wearing dark pants and ask if you would like a dark napkin. So, why not just offer them to all guests? Maybe I will be completely annoying and start asking for a dark napkin when I find I have been given a piling white one. Ah, they will love me (ha!).

I know, these are first world problems, but the thought crossed my mind, and sometimes it is the little things that make us smile, or make us feel appreciated. This last weekend, that little thing was a soft, brown napkin on my lap, a great dinner (inclusive of french fries), good friends, great conversation, smiles and laughter. No cranky Tami with white napkin dandruff left behind.