It’s officially summer in DC and it’s hot! It’s also muggy, sticky, and humid, but honestly I’m loving the heat. On my day off, I’m trying to find time to just sit outside and soak it up a bit. I’m inside so much now that it feels good to feel the sun. Even if I’m just sitting and doing nothing but sipping on my iced coffee. Plus I need the vitamin D.
The heat also has me craving my favorite summer frozen treats from when I was a kid. It reminds me of sitting on the beach in Nantucket in cut off jean shorts and a bathing suit top, licking up the ice cream or popsicle before it melts completely over my sticky fingers. I loved creamy push-up pops, Italian ice, and soft serve covered in rainbow sprinkles. But really my favorite frozen dessert was absolutely an ice cream sandwich.
The Chipwich defined some of my favorite summer memories. In fact, for many years, I thought they were sold exclusively at Jetties beach on Nantucket, because that’s where I exclusively had them for years. Chipwich, Jetties, hot sand, kites in the air, sandbar, boardwalk, ferries in the distance. The perfect Nantucket summer memory. When I found out I could get a Chipwich anywhere, I felt both excited and betrayed. The idea that I could eat one without all those great things surrounding me was so unnerving.
But I’m not going to Nantucket this summer (big bummer, I know), so I’ll do anything I can to recreate those memories. So here is my attempt, with these chocolate chip coconut ice cream sandwiches. Here’s how it goes… bake your favorite batch of chocolate chip cookies and sandwich your favorite ice cream between two cookies. For this batch, I used a great roasted coconut ice cream, which was creamy, sweet, and added just a hint of another rich flavor. Go outside, even if you have to sit on your city stoop, and enjoy both the sun and your ice cream sandwich all over you.
Happy first day of Spring! I know, it’s spring already? Wait, what? Starting a new job has been a major adjustment for me. Days seem to fly by with not enough time to get it all done. I love what I’m doing, but I’m also trying to keep my head above water. I know I’ll get the hang of it eventually.
So here’s a little recipe to help you get through to the end of the week. (Because I sure need it.) Between running around and working this weekend, I whipped up these cookies in record time. They’re perfect for that. Easy, fool-proof, quick, classic, taste great. I sprinkled a little sea salt on top just to make them a little more special. (Gosh, you could even make box cookies and add sea salt before baking and you’d look really good!)
Sometimes you need to just stop for a moment (surround yourself in happy pinks and teals) and smell the chocolate chip cookies. Ok, taste them too. They’re really good.
Crisp Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 3 dozen. Adapted from Martha Stewart
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cups light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- flaky sea salt for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk flour and baking soda together in a small bowl.
- Beat butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add salt, vanilla, eggs, and water. Mix until combined. Add flour mixture and mix until combine. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or baking mats. Sprinkle a pinch of flaky sea salt on top of each cookie dough ball. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway though, until golden brown, 18-20 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
Life has been moving way too fast recently. I’m still shocked it’s November. I’m trying to fit in so much in so little time. And all I really want is a night on my couch with a home cooked meal and for life to slow down just a bit. Living in what I’ve called “Nikki Mouse Club House” I’ve been avoiding cooking at home, so that hopefully the mice will stay out of my kitchen. So I’ve been eating out A LOT. I’ve had some great meals, so I’m not complaining, but I’m yearning for something smaller, something cheaper, and something made with my own hands.
A few weeks ago, I broke my no-baking rule and meticulously made these peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. (I couldn’t let any crumbs fall on the floor!) While these are by no means a real meal, they totally hit the spot for something homemade…complete with that warm and fuzzy feeling. These crisp, delicate yet rich cookies just taste like home. Comfortable Familiar. And that’s exactly what I was going for. It’s a lovely little feeling that does so much for your soul. (Which you can prolong for a while because you can just keep eating and eating these.)
Ok, so take some time to make these, grab a few, a glass of milk, your softest blanket, and curl up for some quality couch time. Trust me, you deserve it.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart – makes about 6 dozen
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, stir together oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Beat sugars, butter, and peanut butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla.
- On low speed, slowly incorporate the oats mixture just until combined. Mix in chocolate chips.
- Using a 1 inch ice cream scoop, drop balls of cookie dough 2 inches apart on parchment paper lined (or sprayed with non stick spray) baking sheets.
- Bake 13-15 minutes (rotating the pans half way through) until golden brown and set. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
Also, why don’t I bake with oats more often? They add so much to a cookie and provide instant feels-like-home warmth in my belly. Like these oatmeal cream pies…perfection.
There’s something both sweet and sexy about mint green. It’s refreshing and a bit mysterious too. And while I’m all about mixing brights for spring, I really like the pairing of this creamy color with rich, stark blacks and browns. Oh, so good.
Cass Bird for Dossier Magazine // Mint Chocolate Chip Cake
Life is moving at a million miles right now, but I actually love it. There are so many things keeping me on my toes and going non-stop: traveling, time changes, fun little adventures, new friends, new work, catchy pop songs, and (the best thing) the onset of spring weather!
I have so much energy and I’m exhausted at the same time. Which is why I randomly baked 60 of these chocolate chip, pecan, oatmeal cookies the other night. I typically have a pretty early bedtime, but I found myself starting to play around with random ingredients in my pantry and make these little guys around midnight. Maybe it was daylight savings messing with me. Maybe I’ve been itching to get creative in the kitchen. Maybe I wanted a few more hours in the day to listen to “Call Me Maybe” on repeat?
These aren’t the best cookies. I mean, they’re good, just the recipe isn’t anything special, which is why I’m not sharing it. Because that’s not the point. The point is that I love life right now. It’s warm and random and adventurous. Just like the cookies. I love life enough to stay up way past my bedtime and do things I wouldn’t normally do. I love it enough to forget a few blog posts here and there.
And it seriously feels so good.
If I disappear for a little while, don’t fret. I’m just skipping down cherry-blossom lined streets in a flouncy spring dress, shamelessly dancing to One Direction, with an iced coffee and cookie in hand. If anything, it’s all wonderful inspiration – exactly what I need in life and for this space right now.