I love chocolate and I love candy canes, so I knew when I saw a recipe for Chocolate Chip Candy Cane Cookies on the Food Network, that I would need to make them. I made these cookies on Wednesday night, and since Brad was working late I invited my neighbor over to hang out and have a glass of wine while I baked.
As most bloggers can probably relate around the holiday season, I was so excited to pull these out of the oven and see that some of them had even turned out round, and even more excited when they tasted perfectly chocolatey and perfectly pepperminty.
My excitement waned when I realized that in order to share them here on my blog I would have to take photos of them.
I love to cook and bake, learn about food and wine, mix festive cocktails and explore new cuisines and cooking styles when dining out. I adore writing and since I was in fifth grade and used to try to write “novels” on my dad’s enormous Compaq desktop computer, have enjoyed the creative outlet.
What I don’t enjoy is photography because I’m just not good at it. I have a Canon Rebel T5, I have a perfectly good enough macro lens for foot photography, my apartment gets plenty of natural light and yet every time I pull out the camera it’s a complete crap shoot as to whether or not I’ll get a decent photo.
For one thing, I have super shaky hands. Essential tremors run in my family and I’m a pretty fidgety person with a lot of nervous energy. Holding a camera still is not an option for me.
So I invested in a perfectly decent tripod from Amazon but even when I use that I can’t take a bright, clear photo to save my life.
Sometimes I use stock photography (for posts that aren’t recipes), or I’ll rely on Brad or my friends to take my photos for me.
But I want to be behind the camera and be able to share what I cook and bake and tell my own stories. Without amazing photography these days, people simply won’t read your posts and they definitely won’t make the recipe themselves to enjoy at home with their own friends and family. That is the whole reason I share them.
I’ve read the blogs about food blogging, I’ve watched the YouTube videos and I even spent several years working with a photographer and trying to absorb as much knowledge as I could about how to take a good food photo. And yet, my photography still looks amateur at best. I hope that 2019 will be the year I can improve it.
If you are a blogger or a photographer, what photography tips have helped you the most? How have you taken your photography game to the next level?
In the meantime, I hope you’ll trust me when I assure you that these cookies are more festive and delicious than they look, and I hope they will enhance your holiday celebrations like every good cookie should.
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- ⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips, chopped
- ¼ cup (2 ounces) coarsely crushed red or green candy canes (4 to 5 candy canes)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cream butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Blend until the mixture is light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl so mixture is fully blended.
- Add egg and vanilla, and then blend until all ingredients are combined.
- Mix the flour, spices, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl and stir until combined. Add half of the mixture to the stand mixer, and blend on low speed until combined. Stop and scrape down sides and then add the other half until combined.
- Add the chopped chocolate chips and crushed candy canes and repeat.
- Scoop dough balls the size of golf balls, 1 tablespoon each onto parchment- or Silipat-lined baking sheets and place 3 inches apart on the baking sheet, about 8 cookies per sheet (they will spread and stick together).
- Bake until the edges are set and the center is cooked through, but still soft, 13 to 15 minutes.
- Cool the cookies for 2 to 3 minutes on the sheets and then remove them to a cooling rack or enjoy warm. Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.