For some people it's New Year's Eve, but, for me, fall has always been my fresh start. Growing up I was the weird kid that always looked forward to going back to school in the fall. Around the beginning of August every summer my mind became clouded with dreams of the coolest trapper keeper , the perfect pair of jeans and the idea that maybe, just maybe, the upcoming school year would be the best year ever.
Not much has changed except I don't load a back pack with books and climb on the yellow bus every morning to go to school. The backpack and bus are no longer, but I still get that optimistic and hopeful feeling when the weather starts to cool and we turn the calendar to September. It's like a switch has been flipped and I find myself browsing the back-to-school section at Target longing to buy new pens and five-pocket notebooks.
So now, instead of dreaming about making the diving team and going to school dances, I find myself fantasizing about finally painting the living room or signing up for the cooking classes I have been talking about for a year. Just like New Year's resolutions some of the goals are never quite realized (for example, finding the perfect pair of jeans-- still working on that one) and they just carry over year to year.
I know I'm not alone with this-- I've met others that have never been able to shake that feeling that September marks the start of something new. Maybe it's the cooler weather, nudging us to go inside, that triggers a personal desire to emotionally internalize and re-examine our goals, hopes and dreams. Or maybe I'm just over analyzing it and it's just really just a result of powerful business marketing that drives some of us to buy lunchboxes when we're in our 30s. Who knows?
I may not know what causes it, but September has once again reignited some dreams not yet realized and a wave of new hopes which has resulted in a growing to-do list and a fresh outlook on life. At the top of my list? I want to start taking the time to make cookies since it's something I don't do very often. I like the idea of regularly filling our house with the comforting aroma of fresh baked cookies and, in my opinion, there's no better cookie to start with than chocolate chip. A classic and timeless treat best served on a crisp fall day while contemplating a fresh start to the year.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies
My version is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside with the classic combo of toasted walnuts and chocolate.
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl cream the sugars, butter and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and mix until combined. In a medium bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt together. Slowing add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts until evenly distributed.
Drop a heaping tablespoon of cookie dough onto the parchment paper. The cookies won't spread much while they're baking, so you can squeeze quite a few onto one sheet-- I was able to fit 20 on a sheet.
Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes at 375 degrees. Be sure to check on them frequently so they don't over bake. You'll know when they're done when the start to brown around the edges. Once done remove them from the sheet and allow them to cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.