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film fare movie night snacks | 1 2 3
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perfect chocolate chip cookies
Though there are many fancier desserts in the world, the plain old chocolate chip cookie -- done well -- is probably my favorite sweet treat.

Considering they're such a classic dessert, you'd think that everyone would already know how to bake the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Just follow the recipe on the back of your bag of chips, and you should be set, right? Sadly, there have been way too many times in my life when I've eagerly bit into a beautiful homemade chocolate chip cookie, only to have it greet me with a disappointing crunch. movie night tips
Pick a movie that you’ve already seen, love enough to watch again, and that you KNOW your friends will enjoy as well. Alternatively, send out a shortlist before the actual gathering, and ask folks to vote. Basically, you don’t want to find yourself in the embarrassing situation of watching your friends shift uncomfortably in their seats, trying desperately not to fall asleep, even while they secretly blame you for making them slog through two hours of The Worst Movie in the World.
Make sure there are enough good viewing spots for everyone. Yes, this might involve rearranging your furniture.
Have plenty of pillows and a couple of light throws on hand (in case anyone gets chilly mid-flick).

The secret to perfect chocolate chip cookies is actually pretty simple. One: you want to slightly underbake your cookies. They'll continue to cook a little once they're out of the oven.  And two: freeze the dough before you bake it -- this helps prevent the cookies from completely flattening out as they bake. Follow this recipe and you'll end up with soft, chewy delicious cookies every time.

2 ¼ cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsps. vanilla
1 bag (11 oz.) chocolate chips

1 First things first: clear out enough room in your freezer to fit your cookie sheet. Cream the butter and the sugars in a large mixer bowl; add the eggs and vanilla, and combine well. Sprinkle in the baking soda; gradually add the flour into the creamed mixture, mixing until you have a nice, evenly-incorporated dough. Stir in the chocolate chips.
2 Use a tablespoon to form balls of cookie dough; line 'em up on your cookie sheet. (You can pack them in pretty tightly). Slide the cookie sheet in your freezer, and leave them overnight. If you're not going to bake the cookies the next day, transfer the balls to a plastic container once they're frozen. (I'll often just bake half the batch, and leave the remainder in the freezer for the next time I'm having a cookie craving.)
When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375F. Drop the frozen dough balls on a cookie sheet, leaving a good amount of space between each one. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, until the cookies are just set. Be careful not to overbake -- you want your cookies to be brown on the edges but very slightly undercooked in the center when you remove them from the oven. Let the cookies sit on the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool completely. The cookies will stay yummy and soft for 2-3 days, stored at room temp in a tightly-covered container.

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