Chocolate Chip Cookies

I spent literally years and hundreds of dollars coming up with what I think is the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Perfect for me, I should say. I was looking for something that was like the cookie dough I used to slice and bake as a kid and something that was like the kind of cookie that my grandmother’s cook, Delia, made. So good, in fact, it made no difference if you left the chocolate chips out. To me, these are the ideal cookie: crunchy, not too sweet, lots of nuts. If you’re looking for soft and chewy, keep looking.

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Jake and Earl’s Six-Layer Bars with Chocolate, Pecans, and Coconut

Chris Schlesinger, chief owner of East Coast Grill, and Cary Wheaton, co-owner of Full Moon, two of my favorite Boston restaurants, used to own Boston’s best barbecue joint, Jake and Earl’s Dixie BBQ. Jake and Earl’s, which is now closed, served these amazing Six Layer Bars, but, for some reason, neither East Coast Grill nor Full Moon continue to carry them. So, if you’re dying for one, you’ve got to make it yourself. Here it is, layer for layer.

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Joey Steinberg’s Cookie Dip

One Valentine’s Day, I called my friend Nancy to check out the amount of parsley in her friend Joan Goldberg’s dip. She wasn’t home, and when I asked her husband, Steve, for a dip idea, he suggested I ask his 5-year-old son, Joey. Here’s Joey’s dip. I am sorry I don’t have the ability to reproduce the conversation, replete with Joey’s at-once serious and exasperated tone.

2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter (Jif)
½ pint ice cream (“maybe vanilla or chocolate or both”), softened in the microwave till it’s mushable
Small splash of milk (“I use whole milk,” says.)

“Put everything in a bowl and mush it all together,” instructs Joey.
“What would you dip in it?” I ask.
Cookies,” he says, a bit irked, as if it’s obvious. “Christmas cookies.”
“What if it isn’t Christmastime?” I ask.
“Well, then,” he says, “big, medium, and little hearts. Or stars, for nighttime. Paint them with a little frosting,” he adds. “Pink for Lauren [my daughter] and blue for Ben [my son].”
“What about for you?” I ask.
“Yellow for me.”
“And what about for Charlie [Joey’s brother]?”
“Blue. Charlie likes blue too. Okay, bye.” And he hangs up.
Serve immediately.

From Party Dips! 50 Zippy, Zesty, Spicy, Savory, Tasty, Tempting Dips (The Harvard Common Press, 2004)