If you don’t watch FoodTV Network, you may think this is my own statement. Not the case. Best Thing I Ever Made is one of the shows I continue to tape, hoping that at some point they will air new episodes. Unfortunately,  not much luck in the past year or so.  What I love about it is that they ask chefs to share their recipes for the best thing they ever made in a certain category, like Family Recipes, Crowd Pleasers, Cheese, or this particular episode, Sweet Endings.  I didn’t know Elizabeth Falkner, but was immediately smitten by her smile, energy and aura. Instead of a super complicated recipe that required you to find beet sugar smoked on the hills of Himalaya, hers was one of the simplest formulas ever.  It’s a lot more about technique than anything else.


(recipe from Elizabeth Falkner)
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) butter, softened but still cool
3/4 cup (6 1/4 ounces) firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (4 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg (1 1/2 ounces by weight)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons (7 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped the size of chocolate chips, or bittersweet chocolate chips (about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup (3 ounces) chopped walnuts, optional
In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, cream together the butter and brown and granulated sugars until smooth but not over mixed. (I do this by hand, but if you use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a handheld mixer, beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes, and then scrape down the sides of the bowl before continuing.) Add the egg, vanilla and salt and stir just until combined.
Sift in the flour, baking soda and baking powder and stir gently just until combined. Add the chocolate and nuts if using and stir just until evenly distributed throughout the dough. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.
Position the racks in the upper third and lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Scoop up 1-inch balls of the dough with a spoon or mini scoop and set them 2 inches apart on the prepared pans. Bake the cookies, rotating the pans after 7 to 9 minutes, for 13 to 17 minutes until the cookies are golden brown. If you like a very soft cookie, bake them for 13 minutes. If you like a crisp cookie, bake them for 17 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool.
to print the recipe, click here.composite

: I always make cookie dough using my Kitchen Aid mixer, but watching Elizabeth mix hers by hand using just a fork seemed like so much fun, I gave it a try.  It was not as hard as I anticipated, and made it easier to judge when the butter and the sugar were properly mixed together.  Two things are important in this recipe: cutting the chocolate in uneven sizes, and refrigerating the dough, the longer the better, overnight is perfect.  The larger chunks of chocolate will melt in your mouth in a way that no chocolate chip will do. Of course, use the best chocolate you can find and afford.

I made the cookie dough after dinner, left it in the fridge until lunch time next morning, baked the cookies and took them to our department still warm from the oven.  They were inhaled quite quickly, which I think is a nice compliment to Ms. Faulkner…  😉

Flour, sugar, egg & butter: $5.00

Trader Joe’s Bittersweet Chocolate: $6.50

Unexpectedly including your dog in a food blog shot: PRICELESS…

ONE YEAR AGO: Farofa Brasileira

TWO YEARS AGO: Thai-Inspired Pork Tenderloin

THREE YEARS AGO: A yummy Brazilian cake: Bolo de Fuba’

FOUR YEARS AGO:  Summer’s Tomatoes

FIVE YEARS AGO: Leaving on a jet plane… 


    • It is quite simple indeed – she did not mention where she got the basic recipe from, though, so I could not add a specific origin…. not surprised it would be a toll house version –


  1. Yum and what a good looking cookie too! I love to watch The Best Thing I Ever Made and The Best Thing I Ever Ate. So much fun to watch, but you’re right, enough with the repeats, give us something new to chew on!🙂


    • I get so frustrated with the way FoodTV goes… it’s all about silly competitions, stuff like Worst Cook in America (who on Earth would be interested in that?) – or the Guy whatever man who has zero appeal to me but apparently rules FoodTV right now, he is on all the time, in plenty of different venues.


      • I agree. I wish they would just stick to the basics. It’s kind of like MTV when I was growing up. When they first came onto the scene we were all glued to the television. Seeing all of the musicians we’d listen to for years in cool and fun videos was so much fun. But as the years went by, they added all kinds of crazy programming and now, it’s just a mess and has completely veered away from the originality everyone once loved. Maybe we’re just getting old and don’t like change?😉


  2. Oh Sally, I am like your husband, chocolate chip cookies are my favorite, straight up, no nuts but lots of chocolate like have made them! They look delicious!!!!! When I make them I make a double batch, cook the first and the rest get wrapped and placed in the freezer for another day. I roll them list you see at the grocery so that I can cut off and bake only what we want!!🙂

    Don’t you just love to eat them hot?!!


    • Hot from the oven is definitely the way to enjoy these…. they did not last more than a couple of hours, so I was glad to see they were consumed close to their peak of deliciousness….


    • Having a blast here…. Of course, if I knew what I’m doing in the golf course, things would be even better, But one must take the good with the bad. Good hiking. Bad golf.


  3. Hope you are having a good time just north of me up there in Colorado! I haven’t made chocolate chip cookies in forever. I love hand mixing so now you have my attention. Really like the practicality and likely good effect of the long dough chilling. On my radar to give this a try in the upcoming week. Looked at some of the user reviews on Food Network — quite mixed. I’m willing to bet the recipe was not made as written or intended. Lots of people thought it was too sweet — what do you want to bet they used chocolate chips instead of bittersweet chocolate? Some said too salty — maybe it’s better to use unsalted butter, which most bakers do by routine but the average person likely would use the regular salted butter. Looking forward to the baking and the eating.

    On another subject — do you make biscuits for your dogs? I suddenly got the urge to do it so that’s on my list for next week, too. Need to avoid wheat flour because it gives the Bijon hot spots so I found a recipe with buckwheat flour, pumpkin, flax meal, eggs, and chicken stock. Not sure about this because this recipe is not from any kind of T&T source — you know, not a “Sally” recipe.


    • Loved your comment, made my day! And considering I played golf today, I needed something to perk me up…🙂

      don’t you LOVE when people hammer a recipe but they used chicken breasts instead of thighs, did not have chipotle pepper so they added five times the amount of turmeric, and microwaved it because it was too hot to turn the oven on? Geez…..

      I have never made dog biscuits, which makes me a very bad Mom for three furry friends. Shame. You let me know how it goes, ok? I might follow your wise footsteps!


      • Made ’em. Loved ’em. The color is beautiful, kind of a caramel color, not the pale color I’m used to seeing (even on very good chocolate chip cookies). I’m with the reviewers that said they were going to throw away all their other chocolate chip cookie recipes. I looked at the Toll House recipe and there are differences — this one uses both baking soda and baking powder, I think it uses a little less flour, it has more brown sugar, too. And, of course, it uses bittersweet not semi-sweet chocolate. I kind of hate making cookies but mixing them one day and shaping and baking them the next is a breeze.


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