It’s nice to be back home! We’ve had a wild and crazy long weekend in the beautiful Pinetop area of AZ. So long, that I didn’t make it to the Daring Baker’s Challenge this month, I’ll be back and refreshed for next month!

It wouldn’t be a trip away from home without some kinks, so I went first by getting a fabulous sore throat Friday, then my little guy got a non-stop cough all day Monday! Thank goodness all is well today, now the unpacking and washing begins.

There’s just something about being away from home that justifies eating like maniacs. Talk about feeling like a glutten! I thought I’d stay away from the kitchen, but we had a beautiful newly remodeled kitchen to use, courtesy of my sis-in-law’s family and I couldn’t help myself! One of the nights for dinner, I made a huge pan of lasagna that was so yummy, I’ll have to make it again and take pics of it. I’ve got to take it easy this week, my hips are going to be the size of Texas!

Before I left, I made these gigantic cookies from Anna’s Cookie Madness Blog. I saw this post on Anna’s blog a couple weeks ago and knew I had to make them. These cookies are a copycat version of Levain’s Bakery in NY. They make their cookies big and beautiful! I was so excited to see that Anna made a copycat version, I was all over it!

They turned out big, soft and perfect. I was very happy with them and hope to visit Levain’s Bakery someday, I think I’d order one of every cookie!

Levain Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Copycats

8 ounces (two sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3 cups BREAD flour (13 1/2 oz)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 to 1 1/3 cups coarsely chopped, untoasted walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat butter and both sugars just until they come together. Don’t overbeat. Add the egg and beat just until incorporated. Mix together the flour, salt and baking soda. When thoroughly mixed, add to batter and stir just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. The dough should be neither sticky nor dry.

Divide dough into about 12 mounds, but keep the mounds kind of raggedy. That is, don’t smash them into compact balls. Bake on ungreased insulated cookie sheet or an upside down rimmed cookie sheet for 20 minutes at 350. Cool on sheet for about 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

This should make a dozen 4 oz. cookies or eight 6 oz. cookies.

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Here are some of our adventures over the weekend. The boys were so excited to have snow to play with Friday morning. This is soooooo not typical where we live, so it was very exciting. We didn’t pack snow boots or gloves, but they still stomped around for a while.

Here was us trying to take a decent photo: One kid picking his nose, the other trying to break free and it looks like I’m trying to sport some wierd side hawk! Hopefully I’ll have better luck next time.

I’ll be back soon with some fun new recipes this week! Have a great week!