Not Your Mama’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
We figured you’d stop reading if we didn’t make our blog a little spicy, a little sweet. We knew we had to create a read worthy of a few minutes of your day. So we’re going to introduce you to our crew, the folks who make the magic at Midtown Market happen.
Let’s kick the introductions off with our boss chef, Jessi Donaldson. She’s kind of a big deal around here. She’s the woman whose crazy food imaginings end up on our Deli Menu Board every week and the person we go to for inspiration about what to do with the varied ingredients that turn up on our shelves.
Intrigued by this woman’s creativity in the kitchen, we dove right into the layers of culinary madness that swirl around in her brain all day.Like most of us, Jessi’s earliest food memories are from childhood. In fact, her rise to culinary stardom began with a tattered, stained cookbook and a rock solid chocolate chip cookie recipe found in her mother’s kitchen.
The youngest of three siblings, Jessi remembers baking these ooey, gooey chocolate chip cookies with her mother and older brother in the afternoons. As she recalls, it was about the only thing her older brother of 10 years could be enticed to do with his baby sister back then, a note worth mentioning since it sweetens the memory for her.
Jessi’s family is Southern at its core. Potlucks and Sunday dinners at Grandmother’s house rounded out many of her weekends. Cooking wasn’t about pretention or crafting the most extravagant desserts. To prove our point, her grandmother is famous for a favorite family dish that is simply known as “Orange Stuff.” For Jessi’s family, food was about connecting and regrouping with one another after a long week.
All of this Jessi took for granted until after she finished college and began working in a not so creative field. Then cooking became her outlet, and you might even say, her sanity. It evolved into a passion that led her to culinary school and then to Midtown Market. Today, she can’t travel to a new city without making notes in her travel journal about the delicacies she’s sampled. Some of her current favorites include “chic” Southern dishes; the phrase “fatty in a melty way” may have entered into our conversation about delicious meats and Southern flavors.
While she often looks for new ways to incorporate ingredients into her repertoire of recipes, it’s those early childhood food experiences that she likes to build upon most. Remember those chocolate chip cookies we mentioned earlier? Jessi’s added her own signature to those delightful treats, as well. Here’s her take on an old family favorite.
Recipe for Midtown Market Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: 4 dozen
Unsalted butter, room temperature 1 cup or 2 sticks
Granulated white sugar ½ Cup
Light brown sugar, firmly packed 1 Cup
Pure vanilla extract 2t
All-purpose flour 2 ¼ C
Baking Soda 1t
Salt ½ t
Semisweet chocolate chips 1 ½ C
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cream butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time,scraping in between and making sure to beat well after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients slowly to the mixer and beat until incorporated, adding the chocolate chips about half way through mixing. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour until the dough does not stick to your finger.
Drop by the rounded tablespoon (or use a mini ice cream scoop) onto the parchment paper. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool and enjoy!