As a way of thanking them for the laundry, getting things off on the right foot, and buying their children's love, we made them a whole bunch of chocolate chip cookies.
I searched around my saved recipes for a good chocolate chip cookie recipe, since I've never been that sold on one in particular. This recipe from Erin's Food Files came up and it looked perfect to me, as I prefer a cakey, thicker cookie. In reading the post I learned that Erin wasn't so wild about this recipe herself, but it really appealed to me, and it got rave reviews from everyone who ate them.
I think the recipe made about 3 dozen good sized cookies. I made the last two batches a little bigger in order to use the dough faster, so I probably could have made 5 or 6 more if I'd tried. If I ever make this for a smaller group of people I'll probably halve it, to keep from having cookies in the apartment...just...starting at me.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Erin's Food Files.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (about 12 ounces) semisweet and/or milk chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.