In my household, there is a clear division of labor.
My husband is responsible for mowing our minuscule lawn, unclogging drains, and figuring out which smoke detector in the house is causing that incessant beeping.
I make sure we always have a stash of home-made cookies on hand.
It’s an important job, and one that I take seriously.
Oh sure, my husband will indulge my whims to bake cookies with ingredients such as cardamom, rose water, chicharrones, corn nuts, or five-spice — as long as I don’t neglect the mandatory chocolate on a regular basis.
That’s why “Chocolate and Peanut Butter Ripples” appealed so much. After all, when I practically have to hide all the mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups from him until after Halloween, I knew this cookie would be right up his alley.
They’re craved by legions of sweet-tooth travelers. Home-cooks have tried in vain to come up with copycat recipes for it for years. And such is its stature, that it was the first food to actually be baked in orbit — aboard the International Space Station this January.
For so long, the only way to sink your teeth into a bona fide warm DoubleTree Hotel chocolate chip cookie was to check into one of its hotels, where you’re gifted with one for free with your room key.
And faster than my printer could spit out the recipe, I was already putting sticks of butter out on my counter to soften.
Knock on wood, I actually had all the ingredients on hand, too — no easy feat in this pandemic that has stripped store shelves and online sources of many baking products, as we all hunker down to shelter in place, and apparently stress-bake to no end.
It comprises more than 150 cookie recipes. There are short-cut ones such as “Santa Heart-Shaped Cookies” that make use of Betty Crocker cookie mix. But if you’re more inclined to make your cookies entirely from scratch, there are plenty of those types of recipes, too, including boozy “Bourbon Old-Fashioned Cups” (that includes bourbon and Angostura bitters), “Sparkling Orange Ricotta Sandwich Cookies” that makes use of orange juice, orange zest and candied orange slices, and “Chocolate Coconut Cookie Tots” (that require no baking at all).
You know that delightful crackly, papery layer that forms and separates from the top of brownies when you bake them, adding a fabulous textural contrast to the cakey or chewy foundation below?
That’s exactly what you get in cookie form with these “Clinton Street Brookies.”
They bake up fairly flat and modest in size. So you’re taken aback at the unexpected colossal chocolate taste they provide that’s as deep, dark and potently rich as your favorite dark chocolate brownie.
It’s by one of my all-time favorite bakers, James Beard Award-winning Joanne Chang, of Flour Bakery, with multiple locations in Boston and Cambridge, and the Chinese restaurant Myers + Chang in Boston.