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Picnics, Autumn, Italy & a Recipe for Light{ish} Chocolate Chip Cookies

I whisked my friend away to the mountains last week for an impromptu girls’ getaway. Actually, there was less “whisking” and more “driving” but you get the point.

Fall Colours
I packed us a picnic, which we were to enjoy on top of a mountain after a glorious, sunny hike. There was even wine. This getaway {and the picnic that accompanied it} is proof that I am ever the optimist. It rained lightly as I navigated the back roads. The wind picked up, the clouds grew darker, and I knew in my heart {also known as my belly} that the hike and picnic were not going to go as planned.

My friend seemed less concerned {she was obviously unaware of the wine… or the cookies.}.

Sun Rising
The temperature kept dropping, and I kept driving. Instead of making an attempt at the hike, I drove up to one of my favourite spots; a perfectly blue lake, high up a mountain. We sat along the shore, watching young big horned sheep sip from the glacial water, and ate our lunch in the winter-like winds.

I should have expected it, really. If I had considered the fact that it is late summer in Alberta, I probably would have brought a pair of boots and a toque.

Determined to get a beautiful stroll in before autumn arrives, and before we head to Italy, C and I took our new family member {a camera} out for an early morning photo shoot on the next warm day. It was no mountain picnic, but it was just as satisfying {and the cookies were still delicious}.

Sunlight & Fall Colours
I look back at the photos of that stunning morning – the outdoor do-over of late summer – and am reminded of my unwavering love for my home, despite the oft-chilly mountain temperatures.

Now, for our next adventure… C and I head off to Rome tomorrow morning. We’re traveling the country for three weeks; taking cooking classes, strolling down cobblestone streets, eating and drinking our way through each town we encounter. I won’t be posting here until we return, but be sure to keep an eye on my Twitter and Instagram accounts for photos and updates.

Now… back to those cookies {surely they’ll hold you over}.

Lightish Chocolate Chip Cookies

Light{ish} Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 18

Ingredients:
½ cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 large egg
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup dark chocolate chips
½ cup sweetened, shredded coconut

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two cookie sheets with parchment; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk flours, baking soda, salt, and cornstarch; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk sugars, milk, egg, butter, and vanilla. Stir dry ingredients into wet and mix just until combined. Add chocolate chips and coconut and mix well.

3. Spoon the dough into 18 portions, and roll between your hands to create golf ball sized balls. Place on the prepared cookie sheets, about 1 inch apart, and then flatten with the bottom of a glass. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until cookies are light golden in colour; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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