A Double-Batch of America’s Test Kitchen Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies in 6 steps

These are amazing cookies. For the most part, the process is similar to other cookies, but the browned butter caramel is special here. I’m not listing all steps because most of the steps are really mundane.

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Brown 2 ½ sticks of butter until nutty and golden brown (this takes a while. Don’t rush it.)
  3. Put 1pound, 1 ½ oz (by weight) of flour (or 3 ½ cups) in a large mixing bowl and mix in 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
  4. Make a caramel:
    -Put the melted butter in a bowl and add 1 stick of non-melted butter
    -Add 1 cup granulated sugar to the butter
    -Add 1 ½   cups of dark brown sugar; or if light brown sugar do the same but add a little molasses
    -Add 2 teaspoons of salt
    -Add 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract
    -Stir to combine for 30 seconds
    -Add 2 egg yolks plus 2 whole eggs
    -Mix in 2 additional sessions [for each session, stir for 30 seconds and rest for 2 minutes] until a caramel is formed.
  1. Stir in the flour and 2 cups of chocolate chips.
  2. Note: do not multi-task while baking the cookies – they will burn. They should take 10-14 minutes per batch. Only use the middle rack and don’t do two batches at a time because the bottom batch will burn on the bottom.



Just a note to my avid followers to share my readiness for winter. A lot of bucking and splitting to get to this point featuring two new Holz Hausens.

Chillin’ and Millin’

I’ve lived across the street from a WWI era elementary school for a decade now. The town has decided to tear it down and replace it. As a part of the process, they cut down all trees on the property.

Over the years, I have developed a habit of asking if I can have felled wood from storms or projects like this. In this case, the construction team obliged and gave me all of the trunks!

For a while, I bucked and split the wood for firewood, but some of the trunks had a higher calling – two nice sections of sugar maple, 14 foot in length and 24 inches in diameter and a Norway maple of similar length, 36 inches in diameter.

I brought in Rob Swanson from New England Portable Sawmill. Rob really knows his stuff and is a hard worker. We spent a full day milling boards out of the best tree trunks.The last trunk we did was the most impressive. There were many branches on the Norway maple and each revealed a curly figure near the crotches.

For now, the firewood shed is full and the wood is drying out in this hot summer weather. Assuming 1 year per inch of thickness, the thinner pieces should be ready to work this winter. I have a few projects in mind:

  • Cutting boards
  • Bowls and plates
  • A Roubo workbench
  • A bed
  • An armoire
  • A desk
  • Face frames, doors and panels for cabinets

Just finished a Swedish Butterknife

I made this out of a piece of pear wood. Shaped it on the bandsaw and did some sanding by hand. Rough shaping with 50 grit and worked all the way to 500 grit. Oiled with olive oil.

A nice process and an interesting project for me in that it was completely unnecessary, totally unplanned and has no requirements other than it looking how I want it to.

An Aromatic and Flavorful Marinade

This marinade is delicious.

I was first introduced to it by Gordon Ramsay on YouTube

1 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tbsp grated garlic
1 tsp cayenne
some olive oil until a paste-like consistency