Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fruity and nutty and chocolatey... oh my!

Foodimentary (@foodimentary) just tweeted: "Avoid fruits and nuts. You are what you eat" — Jim Davis #DailyQuote

This is fitting because I've just made a batch of Cranberry Almond Double Chocolate Chip Cookies! I figure I'm already a little fruity and nutty, so I might as well eat plenty of both... accompanied by chocolate.

Life is one big rock-and-roll rollercoaster extraordinaire! The ups and downs and loops and swirls can make anyone a little nutty. In fact, I'd say that if you don't feel completely and totally off your rocker at least once in your life, you're not living.

"Holy smokes, this is crazy! I can't believe I'm really doing this right now!"

If you've never spoken those words (or similar words), it's about time you do something that makes you feel alive. Do something a little nuts and revel in the thrill of living.

And then make these cookies!

Cranberry Almond Double Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from The Gingersnap Girl)
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or chips
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips
  • 2/3 cup slivered almonds
  • Toast almonds either in a toaster oven or on a skillet over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until they start to turn light golden brown, stirring and watching carefully so they don't burn
  • Preheat oven to 375 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper
  • In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt together and set aside
  • Cream butter and sugar together on medium speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy
  • Add the egg, almond and vanilla extracts and mix until just combined
  • Slowly add flour mixture until just combined
  • With a spoon or spatula, stir in dried cranberries, white chocolate chunks or chips, semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips and slivered almonds
  • NOTE: dough will look and feel very crumbly — shaping the dough with your fingers will keep the cookies in one piece while they bake
  • Use a tablespoon to help you create golfball-sized balls of dough and place about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet
  • Flatten the cookies slightly and gently and bake for 10-12 minutes until the tops are just beginning to brown
  • Cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheets and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely

Here I am on a day when I felt utterly and completely nuts! Skydiving in Switzerland - an incredibly thrilling and wonderful experience!

...I didn't have any cookies that day so I had to settle for a beer after my big adventure. I'm counting on you to be better prepared.

Happy Baking and Adventure Seeking!

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