okay, chocolate chip cookies. basically completely one of my favorite sweet treats, if not one of my favorite overall food items. a mere photograph of particularly delicious looking ones and i’m somewhat overcome. and, yes, i’m aware that i am not the first person to have this reaction and that the penultimate chocolate chip cookie is blogged about ad nauseam, which is reason enough — duh — for me leave well enough alone. however, in this instance, i’m throwing caution to the wind/i just really want to share my chocolate chip cookie musings/recipe with you.so, i am not one of those people who grew up in the kitchen, at my mother’s apron strings, ceremoniously taking the mixing bowl from her at the tender age of 5 (or even 35) and revealing some innate pastry skills. my deep appreciation of sweets, however, did indeed exist from a young age and chocolate chip cookies were my first love. both my grandmother and father made them, each using the tollhouse recipe, but creating completely different cookies: my grandmother’s were tiny and perfectly shaped and very crispy; my father’s were a bit more traditional looking, a little lumpy and somewhat cakey. i have super strong food memories of both.however, once old enough to purchase my own cookies (it took a long time before i actually thought about baking them from scratch: weird, i know), i realized that it was not a crispy or cakey chocolate chip cookie i coveted, but a thick and chewy one. and that brought me to levain bakery, where i ate probably one of the best chocolate chip cookies i’ve ever had (love them as i do, however, my recipe is not an attempt to replicate their’s, but if that’s what you’re after, by all means look here and here). and that’s sort of how it breaks down: people either like crispy ones, cakey ones or thick and chewy ones, as amanda hesser’s legendary (at least in my world) article/recipes in the nyt magazine spelled out.
so, i’ve always had this obsession thing for australian lamingtons, small pieces of white cake dipped in chocolate and rolled in coconut. totally not surprising, as i adore cake, love coconut and love it even more if it is paired with chocolate. i can’t even recall when i first had a lamington or where, and, truth be told, i had no idea they were even called “lamingtons,” until i stumbled upon a picture of/recipe for them on cookstr two years ago and recognized them instantly (the photo/recipe is no longer there, but you can find it here). i was extremely pleased.
So, I had my first dirt bomb last summer at Bantam Bread Company in Bantam, CT. To the uninitiated, a dirt bomb is a nutmeg-infused muffin that, still warm from the oven, is plunged into melted butter and then tossed in cinnamon sugar until generously coated. Delish-sounding, no? However, the thing that is really totally brilliant about dirt bombs is that the butter and sugar transforms them from very nice, ho-hum-ish spiced muffins, into – basically one of my most favorite foods – doughnuts.