Time for this week’s Thursday Things:

1. The Huffington Post named me as one of The Best Food Bloggers: HuffPost’s Top 10 Picks

I’m honored to have been chosen. Some fellow bloggers whom I’ve gotten to know over the years are also on the list, making it even nicer to be named among friends. I never would have thought I’d be seeing my name on a list like this, but I’m very grateful and highly appreciative. Seriously, I am humbled.

I’m on Slide 7 of 11

The Best Food Bloggers: HuffPost's Top 10 Picks article

2. 10 Tips, no matter the recipe, to bake a better chocolate chip cookie, including don’t overmix, chill the dough, use a cookie scoop.

I thought this point is particularly interesting with regard to not using fancy butter: “When you swap regular butter for European style without otherwise changing the recipe, the cookies wind up with more fat than the flour can reasonably absorb, giving them a greasy mouthfeel.”

I bake all my cookies, including these Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies, with Trader Joe’s unsalted sticks of butter, $2.99 for a pound which suits me just fine. Kerrygold is my splurge butter but I generally don’t bake with it; it’s for eating on things rather than baking with.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie stacked

3. I wrote a Baking Supplies post nearly a year ago about some of the things I use and do to make cookie-baking results as optimal as possible.

Baking supplies wall

4. Monday, October 8 was National Fluffernutter Day. I didn’t know this until Glamour Magazine featured my Fluffernutter Smoothie

Glamour Magazine Logo

Marshmallow Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie Fluffernutter smoothie feature

5. I’ve been baking more cakes lately and I want this Fondant Marble Cake Stand, Anthro $128. Even if your cake isn’t perfect looking or perfect tasting, I’m sure that putting it under the glass dome of white marble and carved sheesham wood pedestal would make anything look more beautiful and taste more fabulous.

Fondant Marble cake stand with cakes in them with cutting board

6. Do you consider yourself to be a positive person? 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

7. Olive Wood Paddle Boards, $19 to $39 at West Elm which is a steal and they can be monogrammed.

“Gorgeous grains. Beautiful marbling, amazing durability and warm, earthy tones—three reasons to go with olive wood for your next wine and cheese party. As functional as they are decorative, these boards can be monogrammed with different letters to separate veggies from meat or gluten-free from wheat.”

Olive Wood Paddle Boards

8. I’ve started baking bread. Real bread with yeast instead of quick breads and I’ve been having so much fun. I have recipes coming in the weeks ahead for bread and if you’ve ever feared yeast and real bread-making with yeast, don’t. If I can pull it off, so can you because generally speaking, I have the patience of a two-year old and always thought that bread-making was an exercise in waiting around and a big production and wouldn’t it just be easier and faster to buy a loaf at the store. I’m here to say I wish I had started baking bread years ago because it’s incredibly rewarding and the process is gratifying. But in the meantime, make this bread if you need a seasonally-appropriate quickie quick bread.

9. This pink Cuisinart soft serve ice cream maker is on sale for $100 at Neiman Marcus. I think that’s a stellar deal and I’d love it.

pink Cuisinart soft serve ice cream maker with cones and sprinkles

10. Chunky throws on sale for $37.90 at Nordstrom. Another thing I’d love. But I also need to buy groceries, pay Skylar’s tuition, and not run up my credit card on ice cream makers and cute blankets. Darn.

Stack of chunky red and green throw blankets

What are your Thursday Things?

If you’ve made anything, done, seen, or bought anything fabulous recently, feel free to link it up in the comments.

Do you have any tips or tricks to baking the perfect cookie?

In general, I get better results when I cream the butter rather than melt it, but I love the flavor of  butter that’s been browned, cooled, and incorporated into cookie dough. However, I never get quite the thickness I want in my cookies if I melt the butter compared to creaming it. It’s a flavor versus texture trade-off.

Chilling the dough is mandatory. Above all else, if you do one thing, chill it before baking. Chilled dough spreads less and your cookies will bake up thicker, chewier, puffier, denser, and just better with dough that both has had a chance to rest and chill. Most cookie dough can be chilled for up to four days or so before being baked off which gives you time to mix it up, chill it, and then bake the cookies off at your leisure over the next few days.

I always use a cookie scoop because it ensures domed mounds of a uniform size. I linked my $3.99 el cheapo scoop in this post. I recently bought an Italian-made scoop at Williams-Sonoma and it’s fine but I’m not sure if it’s as amazing as it should be for the price; however it’s growing on me the more I use it.

Are you a bread-maker? Would you like to learn? Fave recipe?

If you have anything at all to say about bread or a fave recipe, please speak up and link up. I’m all ears because I’m learning as I go.

Thanks for the Pumpkin Whoopie Pies + Book Giveaway entries

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