Monday, January 16, 2012

Cookies and Cameras

Those of you who have read this blog for a while (or even just skimmed it and noticed the pictures) know that I have never claimed to be a photo blogger.  I don't imagine I will ever post recipes in photo by photo detail, with ingredients neatly displayed on my counter and dozens of images of each step along the way.  I don't even really enjoy reading posts like that, so it's doubtful that I'd ever adopt that style.  I'm more of a "give me the money shot and get to the recipe already" kind of person.

That said, I got thinking about my humble blog as the new year began.  I don't think I want to be a mega-blogger, with deadlines and sponsors and thousands of readers.  Not right now.  I like being a small time blogger in a big pool of talent.  It affords me the time to be inspired and learn from that inspiration.  So it is with photography.  I looked up the manual for my little Nikon 8mp camera the other day and discovered that I can do things with it.  Like use a setting called "macro" to take better close up shots.  And play with light levels so that not everything I take a picture of in natural light looks like it's glowing.

There is a lot to read, and I have much practice before I can claim that I'm doing well, but I played a bit today and I think I got an image or two hat I can say are better than they would have been before I was inspired to learn more.

And on the plus side, having cookies to photograph means that we have cookies to eat.  These were inspired by Chef Michael Smith's chocolate chip cookies.

Marbled Cocoa Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

In a large bowl (or stand mixer) cream the butter and sugars together until smooth.  Add the corn syrup, egg, vanilla and salt and beat until totally blended. Scrape down the bowl, sprinkle over the baking powder and add the flour, mixing just until combined (yeah, I don't follow standard cookie protocol). Stir in the cocoa and chocolate chips until just marbled.  Streaks of cocoa should still be visible (it may be best to do this by hand, as I overmixed it a bit in my stand mixer).

Working with a teaspoon, scoop up some dough and roll it between your hands and flatten it lightly on a greased or or lined cookie tray. Leave space for the cookies room to expand.

Bake for 12 minutes (15 if you like them crisper), and let cool on a wire rack.

I got 2 dozen from this.

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