i great you on this most presidential of federal holidays from snowy detroit. snow-magedon 2011, the disappointment that it was, has quickly been replaced by presidential snow storm 2011, where a blissful, yet heavy snow graced our dear city last evening. enthusiastically, i embraced the snow (which came so aptly to re-freeze our springtime hopes after a mid-week winter hiatus with 50 degree weather), taking my sign from mother nature that i was not meant to go into work today. instead, i’ve romped through the snow with some lovely neighbors, attempted to make strides in some knitting projects (hoping to get them done before the sweet warmth of spring sun arrives), and made a giant chocolate chip dried fruit sunflower seed cookie.

one large cookie

it’s been a crazy couple of weeks. my parents traversed to the motor city last weekend, and i had the great pleasure of sharing them with good friends and showing them some of my favorite spots (eastern market, supino’s pizza, foran’s grand trunk, the detroit zen center). following their friday/saturday visit, i moved from my cozy Villages neighborhood (my home for all my time in Detroit!) to Corktown, the oldest neighborhood in detroit. thank goodness i made the move pre-snow-extravaganza!

view from the sunset window

thankfully, my new home comes with a most amazing feature: the sunset window!

pre-baked goodness

so, following the week of general craze, this monday i am very happy to have a day off work and a day to officially break in my brand new cast iron skillet. nothing like butter and sugar to break that baby in.

i must say, i am quite pleased with the results. my roommate and i happily tasted a slice (mine was rather large) and determined that cast iron + chocolate chip (etc) cookies = satisfyingly delicious texture, flavor, and the like. you should make your batch today!

skillet chocolate chip (etc) cookies

adapted from heidi swanson’s 101 cookbooks

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup mix of oats, ground flax, and ground sesame seed
1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
heavy sprinkle of cinnamon
8 ounces (2 sticks) butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mixed semi-sweet chocolate chips, toasted sunflower seeds, and dried blueberries/cranberries/cherries/raisins
a hungry stomach (!)

1. preheat oven to 350. butter a large cast iron skillet.

2. combine dry ingredients (flour through cinnamon) in a bowl, whisk to combine.

3. in a standing mixer, combine butter, sugar, and molasses on slow speed for about 2 minutes, till fully combined. add an egg at a time, then vanilla, mixing till smoothly incorporated. then add dry ingredients, mixing until just combined, can still look a bit floury. here, add most of the chocolate chips/sunflower seeds/dried fruit, and gently combine.

4. spread this mixture in the buttered skillet, top with remaining chocolate chips/sunflower seeds/dried fruit. bake for 35-45 minutes, till brown around the edges and center is mostly set.

enjoy! with a giant, soft, freshly baked cookie to share, i wish a very merry president’s day to you and yours.

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