February 12, 2014


Celebrating another Birthday!
Our one and only granddaughter turned
14 last Friday!
Fiesta Time!
The family gathered at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants Friday night to celebrate Abbie's birthday. We were serenaded by the best Mariachi band, ate fantastic food and caught up with family happenings! Her party was to be held on Saturday afternoon, then the family was invited to meet over at the new house on Sunday for Cat's delicious Texas Brisket! My job was to bake the cookies!

Bright and early Sunday morning, I was up and baking. I selected The New York Times recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies. I have seen this recipe around and after reading a few reviews, decided I would see for myself if these cookies were as good as the reviews stated!

We packed up the warm cookies and headed to our destination....a rather cold 43 degrees!

This was our first visit since they moved in the first of January.
I could sit here forever and listen to the crows back in the woodlands.
 I love this backyard!

The Darling was walking around their property, checking out the way back area. 

Even though I wore my Maine windbreaker,
I needed to borrow the Darling's leather jacket......and his gloves!
 Start that fire pit boys.....a little brisk out here!

 Ok! When I saw their new chiminea, it was love at first sight.
I love anything with the Texas Lone Star emblem!
They loved it too and bought a second one for Miss Elizabeth.
This will be perfect out on her ranch!

This is Big Ben!
He runs wildly through his huge yard, chasing his ball and
 then bounds back up on this picnic table......I adore Golden Retrievers!

Catherine was off to check on Franz......she's such a country girl.
Their new house is so perfect for them both!

Talking with the neighbors......the daddy of Big Ben!
Franz is trotting over to say "Howdy" to Ben!

Now were talkin'! Cat makes the best brisket in the world.
Yes, it's better than mine.
I am going to have to talk to Miss Elizabeth for her secret BBQ rub!

It's so good, he just couldn't wait until dinner was served! I love this kind of gathering!
Good food, paper plates.....no fuss....
just a slice of bread, brisket, potato salad, a big slice of onion and pickles!
Now for the cookies.....they are rich and buttery.....the sprinkling of sea salt was a nice touch! Everyone gave them "two thumbs up!"
I made changes to this original recipe.
#1 I used 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, along with 1 cup of Milk Chocolate Chips
I did chill the dough overnight

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons 
(8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet
 chocolate chips
 Sea salt

 Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

 Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 hours.
 When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside. Using a cookie scoop, make each mound of dough about golf ball size. and place on the baking sheet about two inches apart. Sprinkle very lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more.




  1. Wonderful photos Estelle. Your menu sounds good and the cookies look delicious.
    Happy Belated Birthday to your granddaughter.

    1. How sweet of you Beth! So glad you enjoyed the post! The cookies are really good and a rather unusual recipe than the regular Toll House cookies! Warming up down here in Texas.....will try to send sunshine your way!


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