Lemon Chocolate Chunk Cookies and Granite Countertops
I was walking in to work the other day when I passed a large piece of gorgeous granite countertop leaning against the side of someone’s stoop. It had a sign taped to it that read, “Do Not Touch.” As I was staring longingly at it, a man came out of the building and told me that it was scrap, and the person who had asked for it had never shown up, and it was mine if I wanted it.
I was on my way to work, though, and couldn’t take it. I probably couldn’t even lift it. And of course, since I live in the city, I don’t have a car.
On the other hand, I’ve been dying for a nice piece of granite countertop. I miss my parents’ counters terribly. My apartment has wood and formica counters, and they are terrible for making pastry. You need a good, cold stone surface on which to roll out pastry. It keeps the butter cold and so the pastry turns out flakier, lighter, and much tastier.
I had no idea where we’d put it. But stone can be expensive, and this was a huge piece, and the man said it was scrap and would just get thrown away if I didn’t take it.
I said I’d come back to get it during lunch. He told me to just ring the bell and they’d come help me lift it into the car. I asked if I could pay him to cut it in half for me, but he said that sadly, they did not have the appropriate machine on site.
I went back during lunch, and called up car service as the guys started to lift the granite towards the gate. It took two of them to lift it; there was no way I would be able to get it out of the car and into my apartment on my own. Still, I had to try. I asked if they’d come with me, and promised them cookies if they did. They apologized, and said that they wished that they could, but they could not.
The car service guy refused to put the granite in his car, and drove away. $50 would have convinced him otherwise, actually, but that’s more than I wanted to pay for a street find.
The construction guys asked me to give them my phone number. They said they would try to get a guy over with a van to help me out, and they’d call if he showed up.
The next morning, Dave stopped by the Park Slope Food Co-op and somehow talked them into loaning him a dolly. He took it on the bus to the building with the granite, and rang the bell.
The guys hadn’t managed to get a van, but they had managed to get the machine they needed to cut the stone down for us. They cut it in half, and helped Dave load both halves onto the dolly. Each of them separately reminded him that I had promised them cookies.
Dave is the true hero of this story, because he actually carted these incredibly heavy pieces of granite countertop almost 2 miles and got them off the dolly and into our apartment. He returned the dolly to the Food Co-op, and called me up to let me know that I had to spend that evening making cookies.
I owed these men cookies, big-time. For that matter, if you need any apartment renovation done in NYC, let me know, and I will give you their contact information.
I also made some salty oat cookies for the guys, and will post the recipe for those soon.
When I showed up the next morning with my big bag of cookies in hand and rang the bell, one of the guys bounded down the stairs at top speed, clapping his hands excitedly.
“Cookies!” he exclaimed as he opened the door. “We were really hoping you’d come!”
Lemon Chocolate Chunk Cookies
1/2 C unsalted butter
Zest of 4 lemons
3/8 C granulated sugar
3/8 C packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/8 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 C chocolate chunks
Preheat the oven to 375º.
You can use store-bought chocolate chips for this if you like, but I prefer to take a hunk of good chocolate and cut it into large chunks myself.
Cream the butter, lemon zest, and sugars together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. At low speed, beat in the flour, salt, and baking soda just until blended. Add the chocolate chunks and mix in until evenly distributed.
Prepare baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Place heaping tablespoons of dough on the baking sheets about 2″ apart.
Bake 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden and done.
Cool on a wire rack before gobbling them up.