Carrie Maldonado – Writer

Freelance writer, wordsmith, and novelist

My latest novel Grace Group is the story of Holly’s journey from dying corporate drone to spiritually redeemed doer of good works (most of the time). Her transformation is initiated in a grief support group that is secretly (at least at first) facilitated by angels (yes, you heard me right). In addition to spiritual rebirth, I am also passionate about baking, fitness, encouraging other women to kick butt, pinterest fails and parenting humor and one or more of these topics always seem to find a way into my novels. In Grace Group, I spent an inordinate amount of time describing all the decadent goodies people with a limited life span can guiltlessly enjoy. Page after page I devoted to the fragrance of the cookies, the fruitiness of the pie, and which group member brought which dessert. As a writer  I just can’t resist the temptation of a long, juicy description of EVERY detail (much like every three-year -old at bedtime). Alas, descriptions make unexciting novels, so most of foodie stuff didn’t make the cut.

But like a few of my characters, the sharing of the recipes idea would just not stay dead. So, I am presenting to you in blog form some of the recipes that the grief group members brought to table, so to speak. Last week I shared Archie’s cinnamon rolls. Today, I am pleased to present Charlotte’s chocolate chip cookies. Charlotte, if you’ll recall, was one of the angels, so you know this one has to be good! If you know me…err…Charlotte, darn it….anyway, you know cookies are a big deal to me. I spent years…decades…perfecting this recipe. The problem is that it’s very, very finicky so you may have to try it a few times. The cookies I like best are soft, fluffy, and chewy. Too much flour and they’re not soft enough, but too little and they’re flat and crispy. Good luck, and enjoy!

This recipe make about 1 pan of cookies. If you want more, make it twice, and I’m not joking. Every time I’ve ever doubled this recipe it hasn’t worked out.

Real butter ½ cup

Granulated sugar ¼ cup

Light brown sugar an overflowing ½ cup

Vanilla (bean paste is best but any works, even artificial) – 3 tsp (ish…#NoBen pours the vanilla now so it’s a tossup)

1 egg (don’t forget the egg, it’s gross without it…just sayin’)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 ¾ cup flour

1 cup chocolate chips (Chipits semisweet are the best, but only available in Canada, so you’ll have to make due with whatever you can if you’re not Canadian), but they have to be semi-sweet.

Cream the butter and sugars with an electric mixer. Add vanilla and egg and beat until very fluffy. Stop using the mixer after this. Only bad people mix flour in with an electric mixer. With a wooden spoon, stir in the salt, powder and soda. Don’t taste the batter again until you add the flour, because it tastes kind of gross. But that’s okay because the flour is next. Start with 1 ½ cups and mix in. The dough should not be sticky, but not too dry. I know that’s very vague, sorry. I usually end up using 1 ¾ cups. That’s perfect UNLESS ‘someone’ put in too much vanilla, or ‘someone else’ ate too much batter before hand and then you just have to go by feel. If you have to err, it’s better to err on the side of too much flour. After that mix in the chocolate chips. I bake them at about 410F for 8 minutes and 30 seconds. Take them out when they’re golden brown.

These are awesome!!

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