Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lemon Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies

It wasn't until this batch of cookies was riding with me on the subway to work did I realize that I hadn't taken any pictures to showcase the final product of my Sunday afternoon baking. I figured that asking around the cubicles for a camera in order to take a photo of the tupperware container might have seemed a little crazy, so I wasn't able to capture any photographic proof of these Lemon Chocolate Chip Cookies. By the end of the day, there was not even a single cookie remaining, which could have been taken home and then later, eaten happily by me.

That's the kind of reaction I like out of my cookies, though; and not to brag, but the foot traffic through my work area was pretty heavy the other day, as was the praise following the first bite of these cookies. Actually, I should just credit the recipe, which I found and adapted slightly from Mrs. Fields and her vast wisdom of cookie-dom. The most surprising thing, I was told by my co-workers, was the hint of spice in these otherwise straightforward cookies: the cumin mixes well with the tartness of the lemon and the sweetness of the chocolate, making for a unique and delicious taste. Soft-baked and small, it's possible to eat a whole cookie in one bite, allowing all of the flavors to work together.

I was quite happy to bring the joy of Mrs. Fields into the office, considering what pleasure it gave me to bake these cookies over the weekend. As is the case, I'm sure, for so many around the city and the country, a good part of my Sunday routine has been given over to cooking; I make a large batch of my meals for the week and divide it into day-by-day portions; I peel and chop vegetables and wash fruit so that I'll have something to snack on; and, inevitably, I bake some sort of dessert that I will later share amongst my co-workers or my friends (however the week turns out).

Maybe this seems overly domestic, maybe it sounds positively dull, but for me, nothing is more relaxing and rejuvenating, and nothing begins my week as solidly, than a kitchen full of fresh, fragrant food. And the memory of having a table top covered with cooling cookies, the scent of lemon rising with the heat, is most definitely helping me get through this week.

Lemon Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) salted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 F.
1. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, and cumin; set aside.
2. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed.
3. Add eggs and lemon extract, and beat well. Blend in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips.
4. Drop dough by teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets, 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 14 - 15 minutes. Do not allow tops to brown. Immediately move cookies to a wire rack to cool.

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