Friday, December 16, 2005

Christmas Zone

Last night the freezing cold temperatures of the last week finally broke and a rain fell on Brooklyn to melt all the ice and snow. The sun is shining today, and it looks as if the city has narrowly escaped the threatening transit strike, for now anyway.

Like everything else governed by randomness, my freelancing "schedule" follows the general rule that there will always be droughts and when it rains it pours. This past month had been the worst drought I have yet to experience. So far I have worked a total of three days and it looks like there may not be more until the new year, as the design and advertising industry general grinds to a halt over the holidays.

With the length of
Brad's christmas list, December is an obviously bad time for my bank account to depleat. However, when it comes to having endless free time for a few weeks, there couldn't be a better month. Aside from spending lots of quality time with Francine and catching up on movies I've never seen, like Whale Rider, I have been able to exist in extreme holiday mode. I have made homemade Christmas presents, created and sent out Cristmas cards and baked Christmas cookies. While walking the dog this morning I actually had the thought that maybe I'd make some homemade wrapping paper, but that may be a bit much . . . We'll see.

Anyway, here is the recipe for some delicious Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies.

1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
1 (12-oz) bag of semi-sweet chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 325˚. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a food processor chop the oats and hazelnuts. Transfer to a medium bowl and mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl combine butter and sugars and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla, add the flous mixture and stir until blended. Stir in the chocolate chunks.

Drop dough in rounded teaspoonfuls onto baking sheets, spaced one-inch apart. Bake until the cookies are golden, about 15 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

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