In January of 2011, I started a blog. We were living in the house on Hurley Avenue, and I was staying at home with our four children who were 8, 6, 3, and 18 months at the time. Rachel was living with us, we were opening our home to others on a regular basis, and I wanted an outlet, a place I could share my thoughts and my recipes and my life. So I started a blogRead More
Today I am sharing my recipe for the World's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies. It's no joke, I would bet my life on these cookies. They make grown men swoon and children gasp. They are oversized, perfectly soft in the middle, and satisfyingly crisp on the edges.
As far as recipes go, there is nothing remarkable about the list of ingredients, and there isn't a secret sauce or unconventional addition. All the magic is held in the details and execution. Here are the important things to know when making these cookies.
First, you need to cream the butter and sugar, not just mix it. Creaming butter and sugar takes three to five minutes in a stand mixer, and can only be properly done with butter that has fully come to room temperature (which can take several hours).
Second, you need to use solid, sturdy, metal sheet trays. No baking stones. No air-cushioned sheets. No flimsy dark pans. You want restaurant-quality half sheet trays lined with parchment paper for best results. Stores like Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table, and Ace Mart Restaurant Supply will have the right tool for the job.
Third, bigger is better. This recipe will yield fifteen enormous cookies, and the size affects the final product. Yes, you can bake these cookies smaller, but the proportion of crusty edge to soft center will not be the same.
Fourth, and finally, you need to take these cookies out of the oven while they still look underdone in the center, bang the sheet tray on the counter, and then allow them to cool completely before diving in. I cannot emphasize this step enough. Underdone coming out of the oven equals perfectly done once they cool. It's magical, and it's worth the wait.
I can't wait to hear how these turn out for you!
Hospitality Workshops are the latest addition to our class line up. They will be "lessons in lovely living," and beginning Thursday, February 1,they will be a weekly occurrence at Hurley House.
The Hospitality Workshop is designed to be an easy, approachable way to incorporate another aspect of Hurley House into your life. Our goal is to make these classes fun and encouraging as we present valuable, helpful information on a wide array of interesting subjects. The topics will be primarily practical--with an emphasis on hospitality--and with room to explore other areas of life as well.
What is the best way to cut and serve cake at a party?
How do I assemble a cheese board without spending $200?
Is it possible to make DIY flower arrangements from grocery store flowers?
Why is it important to set the table?
How can I execute a party theme without losing my mind?
Hospitality Workshops will tackle questions and topics like these with aspirational yet attainable answers. We want to inspire you to live a lovely life, and we want to be a resource to encourage you in your hospitality endeavors.
The updated list of topics can be found on the calendar at the bottom of our Classes page. (When you hover over a date, the topic will show up!)
The best news about our Hospitality Workshops? They do not require advanced registration. Just show up! We will be ready for you every Thursday morning at 10:00, beginning February 1. The cost to attend is $20, and the price includes your choice of beverage, any treat from our bakery case, and class materials.
And speaking of class materials...we are so excited about the workshop note-taking system we have designed for these classes!
Alway ready to exceed your expectations, our team created a way for you to take notes on the information presented during the workshops. Our solution is lovely and practical. Each time you attend a workshop, you will take notes on one of our beautiful stamped cards. Over time, and as you attend more classes, these cards will become a resource full of tips and tricks for you to refer to time and again. First-time attenders receive a complimentary gold ring to hold your cards!
Get out your calendar, grab a friend, and make plans to join us on Thursday mornings for our Hospitality Workshops. Lessons in lovely living are waiting for you!
The moment I hit "post" on Instagram, I felt my stomach drop. There was no turning back. It was officially happening. We were going to be open on Mondays, and I wondered if I should find a paper bag to breathe into.
Up to this point, every new venture, every big idea, every area of growth at Hurley House has brought with it a surge of excitement and giddy anticipation on my part. And while the decision to be open on Mondays has brought with it a calm foundation of knowing that this is the next right thing to do, I also felt a nervousness on the surface at the reality of the change.
Maybe you are thinking, "Come on. It's one day. What's the big deal?"
Imagine if you found out that your children would have to start going to school on Sundays. There would be a shift in how you think and prepare for your week. You would suddenly need to have clean uniforms and packed lunches ready a day earlier, make changes in wake-up times and bedtimes, plus consider and plan for things like carpool, homework, and after school activities. None of these things are new (you're already doing them), but now you have to begin doing them on a different day. That's a little how being open on Mondays feels to me.
Mondays are a big deal because up to this point, our entire operation has centered around the fact that Monday was a work day but not a retail sales day. From the inception of Hurley House, my intention was to never be open on Mondays. It was sort of a pillar of my plan. An ideal I held fiercely to, confident it would never change.
I loved hunkering down and working at my computer all day on Monday, not a stitch of makeup on my face and not a caring even a little bit about what I was wearing. I loved keeping the lights off in the store and knowing I could spread papers and projects out on the tables if I needed to. I loved walking out of the store on Saturdays, not really worrying about the condition of the store because, you know, I would have time to take care of it on Monday.
But then something happened that I didn't love. I started having to say no. No, I'm sorry, we can't have a birthday cake for your daughter on Monday. No, I'm sorry, you can't pick up your meal on Monday. No, I'm sorry, you can't have a party here on Monday. No, I'm sorry, you cant come in, even though you see us in here working on Monday. No. No. No.
It was time to reconsider my pillars, my ideals, my non-negotiables. Maybe it was time to figure out a way to stop saying no, and start saying yes. With that thought in mind, we began to figure out how to make it work.
In order to be open on Mondays, we had to change everything (and I mean everything) about how we work. We had to consider big decisions like when we have our weekly staff meeting and when we get the store ready for the coming week, to small decisions like when we brew tea and when we restock the beverage station.
Figuring all of this out was not a small task. It took weeks of brainstorming and plenty of charts sketched out on pieces of parchment paper (my favorite place to plan), to figure out a solution that wouldn't compromise the quality of our product. But we did it. We changed when we order groceries, how we store ingredients, when we prep food, when we assemble meals, and even how we staff our kitchen. We faced the challenge, and I like to think we won.
So why do it? Why even bother with all of the fuss? Because you are a big deal to us.
The real reason Mondays are a big deal is because, most exciting of all, we now get to say, "Yes!" to you.
We get to say yes to your request for birthday cakes and boxed lunches for Monday events.
We get to say yes to providing dinner for your family on Monday nights.
We get to say yes to all of you who have pulled up to the store with your children on a Monday afternoon after school, gotten out of the car with expectant looks on your faces, and then tragically been turned away by the locked door. Now you can come on in!
Being open on Mondays is a big deal for all of us, no matter how you slice it, and we can't wait to see you on Mondays!!!